A Conversation with a Russian Immigrant
one of my readers, an immigrant from Russia whom I
will call Vladimir, phoned me. Polished into readable
text, our conversation went something like this:
Mr. Sailer, I read all of articles you write and like
Well, thank you. That`s most kind.
But, I want to ask you question. I come here from
Russia, you know, and I look around me at people in
America. I see things, I see patterns. I watch sport
shows on TV, too. I notice patterns there, too. Then,
I read newspapers. Nobody writes about patterns I see
with my eyes.
You know, like race stuff. I watch basketball, I watch
Eyewitness News on TV, I go to beach.
Oh, yeah. Definitely.
Then I find you. You write about patterns I see every
day. You tell truth.
How come almost nobody write like you?
Well, when I was starting out a writer, I was looking
for a market niche without much competition, so I
settled on telling the truth. Turns out, though, that
the reason the truth is in short supply is because
there isn`t much demand for it from editors.
Okay, here is question I worry about lot since I come
to America. Take average writer who works for big
fancy newspaper. What in world is he thinking? Does he
not notice things like I notice things?
Oh, like …
Like take racial profiling. Don`t writers at New
York Times or big magazine notice that black guy
more likely to commit crime than white guy or Chinese
guy? Don`t they see this with own two eyes?
Oh, I get it. No, they have two eyes in their head,
same as you do. They see what you see. When you talk
to a nice white liberal about his personal life, he`s
far more realistic in what he tells you than in what
he writes for public consumption. When you ask him why
he lives in his beautiful crime-free suburb, or why he
sends his kid to a private school, or why he fought so
long to get his kid into a magnet school, or why he
wants his kid to specialize in soccer rather than
basketball, he`ll tell you exactly why. He`ll
generally use code words so he won`t have to mention
race specifically, but that`s precisely what he`s
relieved): You mean, he`s hypocrite?
Yeah, exactly. It would hurt his career to write for
the public what he thinks in his private life.
Hypocrite I understand. I grow up in Soviet Union.
Lying to save your job, that`s life. No, I was very
worried smart people in America weren`t
hypocrites. You know, this country is supposed to be
land of free, home of brave. I was scared that smart
Americans weren`t hypocrites, but instead were
hallucinating. I am very happy to hear they`re just
hypocrites. Hypocrisy much less scary than mass
[Steve Sailer [email
him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and