Back in 1999 I was invited to join Steve Sailer’s HBD email group, where I encountered all sorts of interesting people. The participants were mostly intellectuals or journalists having sharply heterodox views about racial differences, especially those involving IQ and crime, and this was reflected in the somewhat euphemistic title, which stood for “Human Bio-Diversity.” A reasonable sense of the controversial roster is that less than a year earlier a founding member named Glayde Whitney had contributed the Foreword to David Duke’s 700 page opus My Awakening.
Although the discussions were intended to focus on scientific matters, it sometimes seemed that half the heated arguments revolved around immigration, and on that highly contentious topic, I was invariably outnumbered around 99-to-1, with even the handful of self-proclaimed liberals regularly ranging themselves against me. Despite such apparently long odds, I regarded myself as always victorious in all those endless debates, though I would have to admit that 99% of the audience probably would have disagreed with my verdict.
Particularly contentious was the question of Hispanic immigrant crime rates, which I claimed were roughly the same as those of whites, a position that virtually all those professors and authors denounced as utter lunacy. That particular dispute went on for so many years that eventually I no longer even bothered to argue the case, but just every now and then provided some satirical jibes on the topic.
As it happens, the late J. Philippe Rushton, longtime professor of Psychology at the University of Western Ontario, was a very occasional participant, and one of my jokes happened to catch his eye. Being a bit on the humorless side, he failed to comprehend that my remarks were actually tongue-in-cheek, and after three or four explanatory exchanges, I was finally forced to state my position as explicitly as possible: “Hispanics have approximately the same crime rates as whites of the same age.” He found my claim totally astonishing, saying that it contradicted absolutely everything he had learned about the topic and even threatened to overturn his entire ideological world-view, which he had so painstakingly built up over his previous thirty years of scientific investigation into human racial differences. Therefore, he said I couldn’t possibly be right.
Now Rushton was then widely regarded as being the world’s foremost White Nationalist academic scholar, and he was basically saying that he would eat his own hat if my contradictory racial analysis proved correct. Such an intellectual challenge was just too tempting for me to resist, so I took a brief hiatus from my ongoing software project to work out the crime numbers.
Sure enough, the quantitative results came out exactly the way I knew they would, and I was quite pleased with my resulting cover story “The Myth of Hispanic Crime” that ran in the March 2010 issue of The American Conservative. Not only did my detailed analysis eventually win over Prof. Rushton and most of my more thoughtful critics, but it also sparked an enormous Internet debate, and probably had widespread influence. I was puzzled at the time that such simple calculations had not previously been undertaken by America’s vast army of pro-immigrant academics and journalists, and could only wonder whether they had deliberately avoided investigating the issue for fear that the claims of their anti-immigrant opponents would prove entirely correct. Regardless of the cause, for years afterward whenever I Googled “Hispanic Crime” or “Latino Crime”, the search engine would turn up many tens of millions of web pages, but my own article was generally listed in the top five or six results, quite often in the top two or three. Even today, nearly a decade later, copies of my article still rank remarkably high in such searches on Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo.
Was my controversial analysis actually correct? Well, when I moved to Palo Alto in 1992, neighboring East Palo Alto had America’s highest per capita murder rate, which obviously made people here rather nervous. But then over the next 25 years, a vast flood of Hispanic immigrants, both legal and illegal, swept into the region, and the city became overwhelmingly Latino and immigrant. Perhaps coincidentally, the homicide rate fell by some 99%, with the last two years marred by only a single killing, a murder-suicide involving a couple of elderly white lesbians, while all other crime rates have also plummeted. Palo Alto is home to the CEOs of Google, Facebook, Apple, and numerous other leading tech companies, so perhaps rightwing activists should be less than totally mystified why their anti-immigrant zealotry has generally fallen on rather deaf ears within the Silicon Valley business community.
Although immigration and Hispanic crime were perennial topics in that HBD group, for a few years after the 9/11 attacks the latter issue was almost entirely displaced by feverish exchanges on Muslim terrorism and the accompanying Clash of Civilizations. Once again, I was invariably on the short end of a 99-to-1 divide, with nearly all the others in the group claiming that destruction of the World Trade Center conclusively proved that we needed to close our borders to foreign immigrants. I pointed out that since the Arab hijackers involved hadn’t been immigrants, but had generally entered our country on tourist visas, maybe the “War on Terrorism” should be renamed the “War on Tourism,” and we should protect America by completely closing our borders to the horrifying risks of the latter. Yet everyone ignored my sage advice.
The 9/11 attacks themselves had astonished me as much as everyone else on the HBD list, but aside from carefully reading the developing story in the New York Times and my other morning newspapers, I was too busy with my work to otherwise follow the topic. At first, everyone seemed certain that there would soon be a wave of follow-up attacks by the dozens or perhaps even hundreds of other Islamic terrorists remaining in our country, but nothing like that ever happened. After a few weeks had gone by without any further explosions, even small ones, I told the other HBD listmembers that I now strongly suspected that every last Al Qaeda terrorist in America had probably died in the suicide attacks of September 11th, and there wasn’t a single remaining operative left behind to commit further mayhem. Many of the others disagreed with me, but as the months and years went by, my surprising hypothesis turned out to be correct.
There was one important exception to this pattern, but it actually served to confirm the rule. As I wrote a few years ago in my original “American Pravda” article: