Blacks, Whites, and Asians–Rushton`s Rule of Three

One day in 1981, I was standing
in front of UCLA`s Royce Hall, when I noticed two young
men walking toward me across the huge open quad. "Hey!"
I said to myself. "There`s something you don`t see very
often at UCLA. That tiny fellow talking to the
normal-sized guy is a genuine midget." Then, another
young man walked up to the pair. "Wow! Now there`s two
midgets with that regular guy," I thought. "What are the
odds of that?"

Highly unlikely, I suddenly realized, as I underwent one
of those gestalt snaps, like where the

vase in the picture
suddenly becomes two faces in
profile. Now that
there were three people, it became clear to me that the
two "midgets" were six-footers and the "normal-sized
guy" was 7`-3" 290-pound Bruin basketball center

Mark Eaton
(who later became a league-leading shot
blocker for the Utah Jazz).

When I think about race, I`m frequently reminded of that
lesson I learned in the difficulty of accurately
comparing X to Y without a Z to provide perspective. Not
many other writers on race seem to have learned it,
though, judging by the proliferation of essays comparing
blacks to whites with no third race included as a
control group. Andrew Hacker`s 1995

Two Nations: Black and White, Separate,
Hostile, Unequal
is a classic

bad example.

Last week
, I pointed out that another typical
problem that makes most American books and articles on
race so much less insightful than they ought to be is
the near universal assumption that African-Americans
couldn`t possibly have brought over any cultural traits
from Africa. As an example, I showed how Harvard Law
professor Randall Kennedy`s relatively good

"Interracial Intimacies: Sex, Marriage,
Identity, and Adoption"
could have been improved by
discussing the continuity between African and
African-American attitudes toward adoption and foster

Kennedy`s other main topic, interracial marriage,
provides an excellent example of the midget-giant
problem in action. Kennedy is concerned about why black
men are so much more likely to marry white women than
black women are to marry white men. Because the 2000
Census results on interracial marriage still haven`t
been released yet, and the Census Bureau`s annual
estimates are worthlessly erratic due to small sample
sizes, the best estimate we have is from the old 1990
Census. There were 2.5 times more black husband-white
wife marriages than white husband-black wife marriages.
But, Kennedy`s explanations tend to spin their wheels
because he`s just comparing blacks to whites without a
control group to anchor his theorizing.

contrast, in 1997 I wrote a National Review
article on

interracial relations
called "Is
Love Colorblind?
" [VDARE.Com
 note – can the

post- purge Goldberg Review
be imagined publishing
anything similar, unless of course specifically aimed at
It`s well enough known among

people interested in the subject
that even now I
regularly receive emails asking for dating advice (which
is pretty funny—the only lesson I learned is "Get
married—it`s a lot less painful than dating"). The
reason my article remains a touchstone on the topic is
because it considered interracial dating among blacks,
whites, and East Asians. I pointed out:

"In the 1990 Census, 72 per cent of black—white
couples consisted of a black husband and a white wife.
In contrast, white—East Asian pairs showed the reverse:
72 per cent consisted of a white husband and an Asian

From this, I was able to come up with a powerful yet
parsimonious explanation for the "dating disparities,"
which I invite you to


Like the midget-giant gestalt, "Is Love Colorblind?"
grew out of my two years at UCLA from 1980-1982. Just by
standing on a street corner in Westwood on a Saturday
night watching couples go by, it was obvious that black
men were more in demand than black women and Asian women
more than Asian men.

fact, a more general pattern was readily visible among
UCLA students: on a wide variety of quantifiable
measures—whether grades, athletics, popular music
skills, classical music skills, etc.—the averages for
blacks and East Asians wound up at opposite ends with
whites in the mediocre middle. Every UCLA student to
whom I mentioned this observation agreed that that was
indeed the general pattern: black—white—East Asian.

More than a decade later, occasional

VDARE contributor


published a landmark book called "
Evolution, and Behavior
," which documented how this
black—white—East Asian pattern (what I now call "Rushton`s
Rule") was found in a remarkable variety of behavioral
and physical traits, even in obscure aspects like
percentage of fraternal twins.
The book became hugely notorious and Rushton was even
placed under criminal investigation by the Canadian

Now, his specific explanation for Rushton`s Rule remains

, but what struck me as bizarre was how so
many claimed that this basic pattern couldn`t possibly
exist. After all, I`d noticed Rushton`s black—white—East

more than a decade before. All I could
think was that if you lived in a

multiracial big city
and hadn`t observed Rushton`s
Rule all around you, well, you must not get out much. I
guess, though, that George Orwell was more insightful
when he

, "To see what is in front of one`s nose
needs a constant struggle."

[Steve Sailer [email
him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and

movie critic

The American Conservative
His website
features his daily