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Sunday, July 23, 2017

Stop Obsessing Over Race and IQ

John McWhorter
The National Review
Originally published July 5, 2017

Here are three excerpts:

Suppose that, at the end of the day, people of African descent have lower IQs on average than do other groups of humans, and that this gap is caused, at least in part, by genetic differences.


There is, however, a question that those claiming black people are genetically predisposed to have lower IQs than others fail to answer: What, precisely, would we gain from discussing this particular issue?


A second purpose of being “honest” about a racial IQ gap would be the opposite of the first: We might take the gap as a reason for giving not less but more attention to redressing race-based inequities. That is, could we imagine an America in which it was accepted that black people labored — on average, of course — under an intellectual handicap, and an enlightened, compassionate society responded with a Great Society–style commitment to the uplift of the people thus burdened?

I am unaware of any scholar or thinker who has made this argument, perhaps because it, too, is an obvious fantasy. Officially designating black people as a “special needs” race perpetually requiring compensatory assistance on the basis of their intellectual inferiority would run up against the same implacable resistance as condemning them to menial roles for the same reason. The impulse that rejects the very notion of IQ differences between races will thrive despite any beneficent intentions founded on belief in such differences.

The article is here.
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