Further Down The Road (Paved With Good Intentions)
Brimelow writes: We`ve said repeatedly that
VDARE.COM is not a White Nationalist webzine—but
that we do publish White Nationalists because we
regard their focus on white interests as at least as
legitimate as Black Nationalism, Hispanic
Nationalism, Zionism, etc…and as an inevitable
development in the Brave New America created by mass
Jared Taylor, Editor of
American Renaissance, is perhaps the most
brilliant and accomplished figure among White
Nationalists. We post here a shortened version of his
Preface to the new edition of his 1992 book Paved
With Good Intentions: The Failure Of Race Relations In
Contemporary America, which has been out of print
Taylor says, he did not make his full position clear in
1992. But his demonstration that whites could not really
be blamed for the plight of blacks was still radical.
More than a decade later, he feels the debate has moved
significantly his way.
appears to contrast with the pessimism
expressed last year on the tenth anniversary of
The Bell Curve. We felt the scandalous treatment
Charles Murray and
Richard J. Herrnstein has had a real chilling effect
on discussions of race, even—especially—in
think that Taylor is right about what might be called
the "esoteric" debate—among colleagues, in the
technical literature. Indeed, Clint Bolick, one of
Taylor`s Establishment conservative critics made this
point to me, ruefully, with regard to Taylor`s influence
on the movement to which we then both thought we
belonged, within months of writing a negative review.
public debate has become more constrained, if anything.
But then, there is no public debate anymore. Even
liberals don`t make
Kerner Commission-type arguments about the effects
of "white racism" today. They don`t make any
arguments at all.
almost seems to me—and I`ve been following this subject
since doing American Studies at college in England
several hundred years ago—that everybody in the U.S.,
left and right, has just plain flat-out gotten bored
with African Americans and their problems. That`s why
no-one except VDARE.COM`s Ed Rubenstein has pointed out
that black unemployment has actually
risen during this recovery. It`s why immigrants in
general, and Hispanics in particular, are now the cause
Why read a book that first appeared
in 1992? I believe there are two reasons.
- First, it is still an
eye-opening account of a series of terrible mistakes
we have made with regard to one of the most
sensitive and difficult aspects of our nation`s
history. Some of the characters in America`s
continuing racial drama have changed since 1992, but
a surprising number have not, and the empty
sloganeering that passes for public discourse has
slackened only a little.
I made a number of compromises in
order to have this book published, but the compromises
lie mainly in what I did not write. I think most of what
I did write stands up well more than a decade later.
Many readers of this book have told
me it angered them, enlightened them, and in some cases
shifted their thinking substantially. I would like to
think it still has that power.
- The second reason: In its own
modest way, Paved With Good Intentions was
part of a steady evolution in what it is permitted
to say about race in the American "mainstream."
When it appeared in 1992, the
obligatory "mainstream" view was that
white "racism" causes black failure.
If blacks are poor, commit crimes, have
children out of wedlock, drop out of
school, or take drugs, it is due to the accumulated
I wrote this book to refute this
view, to show that American society as a whole does not
oppress blacks and that, indeed, it often offers them
race-based benefits of the kind that go under the
The method I used to make this
argument was simple: compare like with like. How does
society treat similar populations of blacks and whites?
For many people, for example, it is
an article of faith that blacks are more likely than
whites to be in jail because the criminal justice system
black robbers with three prior convictions do not
get longer sentences than white robbers with three prior
Black murderers do not get the
death sentence more often than white murderers.
[Black murderers do not get the death sentence more
often than white murderers. They get the death sentence
considerably less often because they are more likely
than whites to commit murder as a result of an argument
or fight. Whites, though they commit far fewer murders
on a per capita basis than blacks, are more likely to
kill deliberately and coldly, and premeditation is
usually a requirement for the death sentence.]
Nor do the police arrest blacks in
unjustifiably large numbers. The proportion of blacks
arrested for robbery, for example (about half of all
such arrests), is almost exactly equal to the proportion
identified by crime victims as black.
Other comparisons of like with like
give the same results.
Blacks and whites who graduate from
similar universities with
similar grades and degrees get a similar number of
job offers—blacks may actually get
more. Blacks and whites with equivalent employment
records make about the same amount of money—blacks often
make more. Similarly-qualified blacks and whites are
equally likely to be granted home mortgages. Equally
deserving black and white candidates for
organ transplants are equally likely to get them.
In fact, whenever it is possible to
study outcomes for similarly situated groups of black
and whites, the independent effect of race is almost
always vanishingly small and may well
The reason blacks and whites do not
enjoy similar outcomes despite similar treatment by
society is that the black and white populations are not
equivalent. Although I expressed myself as gently and
sympathetically as possible, my conclusion was that
black outcomes reflect
black behavior rather than oppression by whites.
A systematic, scholarly search for
discernable effects of "racism" should not have
been controversial, but it was.
No matter what the evidence may
tell us, most whites are almost as deeply convinced as
blacks that "racism" oppresses blacks and holds
So ingrained is this conviction in
the publishing industry that this book almost failed to
appear. My literary agent Theron Raines spent almost two
years trying to sell the book, and continued long after
I would have given up. He finally got a contract with
Carroll & Graf, a small New York publisher that has
since been bought by the Avalon Publishing Group.
Carroll & Graf publicized the book
as best it could, but the press largely ignored it. With
the exception of the Wall Street Journal and the
Baltimore Sun (whose black reviewer
called it "the most scurrilous work about
American blacks since Thomas Dixon`s
The Clansman"), [Blame
It All On Blacks, November 23, 1992,
Gregory P. Kane] not one major newspaper reviewed
Probably the book`s single most
important boost came from a
favorable notice in National Review by Peter
Brimelow, back when NR still welcomed contributions from
the now-banned Mr. Brimelow (his work continues on the
Internet at VDARE.COM).
Paved With Good Intentions
also became a selection of the Conservative Book
Club—but only after considerable agonizing. Their
publicists called it "the most outspoken book the
club has ever offered. And the most painful."
Talk radio also kept the book
alive, with Carroll & Graf arranging as many as three or
four programs a day during the summer of 1993.
This was exhausting work for me—not
physically but morally. At that time, radio audiences
were not prepared to hear that blacks had any
responsibility for their own failure. My book was a
perfect example of
"blaming the victim," and hosts and callers
heaped worse abuse on me than they do for the
considerably more subversive things I am now inclined to
Times—and attitudes—are changing.
The question that remains with me,
however, is why whites so desperately want to believe
that it is they, rather than blacks themselves, who are
to blame for black failure.
It is understandable why blacks
profess to believe this; it relieves them of
responsibility and gives them a very effective club with
which to beat guilt-ridden whites. The entire racial
preferences industry is based on the assumption that
whites are guilty and must atone for their sins. The
benefits for blacks are both psychological and material.
But what is in it for whites? Why
are they so
desperate to believe the worst about their own
I have theorized elsewhere that
whites have an unusual inclination towards principles of
reciprocity and equality, and that this gave rise to
peculiarly Western phenomena such as rule of law,
rights for women, freedom of the
democracy. Everyone, including blacks and other
non-whites, has a point of view that deserves a serious
hearing. White guilt and racial preferences are an
unhealthy exaggeration of an otherwise laudable sense of
fair play. [See The Real American Dilemma: Race,
Immigration, and the Future of America,
Ian Jobling has added the
complementary view that whites are particularly devoted
"competitive altruism," or the appearance of
generosity and philanthropy. There is much prestige in
publicly ministering to the unsuccessful, and non-whites
are the most obvious examples.
These theories are plausible but
not sufficient. Nothing entirely explains the
savage joy of the liberal with a "racist"
(or a "xenophobe"
in his sights. People who think only moral inferiors
fox hunting or bullfighting take a different view
when the quarry is human, as they bay for the blood of
like hounds on the scent. It is wearying, on the radio
or off, to play the fox to liberal hounds.
I think it likely, though, that
this book nudged the debate about race ever so slightly
in the direction of sanity. A dozen years later, fewer
whites are quite so eager to take the blame for black
problems that refuse to go away.
A steady stream of other books has
battered away at the conventional view of race: The
Bell Curve (1994) by Charles Murray and Richard
Herrnstein, The End of Racism (1995) by
Dinesh D`Souza, Race, Evolution and Behavior
Philippe Rushton, Why Race Matters (1997) by
Michael Levin, and The g Factor (1998) by
Arthur Jensen. In 2000 Jon Entine wrote frankly in
Taboo about the physiological differences that explain
black dominance of certain sports, and by 2003, when
Abigail and Stephan Thernstrom wrote in
No Excuses about the persistent racial gap in
academic achievement, their systematic refutation of the
usual whites-are-responsible arguments met with some
objection but little outrage.
Since I wrote Paved With Good
Intentions it is has become possible to criticize
"affirmative action" not only for the treacly,
liberal reason that it hurts blacks by discrediting the
accomplishments of whose who can succeed without
preferences, but for the straightforward reason that it
unfair to whites.
In 1995 the Board of Regents of the
University of California voted to
abolish racial preferences, and two years later
California voters approved
Proposition 209, which forbids the state to practice
race or sex preferences.
Similar bans have been put to the
vote in other states, and although in June 2003 the U.S.
Supreme Court failed to find racial preferences in
unconstitutional, many universities are scaling back
and even eliminating preference policies. Some progress
is being made.
However, taboos and hypocrisies
remain, and Paved With Good Intentions afforded
me opportunities to witness them.
In 1995, on the strength of the
book, the famously conservative
Hillsdale College invited me to participate in a
series of lectures on welfare. My subject was to be
"Race Relations and Welfare."
Bell Curve author
Charles Murray was also a speaker, and the evening
before my talk he and I participated in a long private
conversation with several others about
race and IQ, and the implications of
racial differences for American society.
Lissa Roche, daughter-in-law of Hillsdale president
George Roche and one of the conference organizers, was
present and joined actively in the conversation.
The next day, in my talk, I spoke
in some detail about black-white IQ differences, which I
offered as one of the reasons
blacks are more likely than whites to be on welfare.
To my astonishment, during the
question-and-answer period, Mrs. Roche herself denounced
me from the audience for bringing up the IQ question.
I now regret it, but out of
deference to my hostess I did not describe from the
podium the conversation of the previous evening, in
which she had taken such a lively part.
The speeches given in that series
were all published—except for mine—in a volume with the
Champions of Freedom.
Of course, my own book could be
accused of hypocrisy, or at least of a huge logical
My search for the effects of
"racism" had turned up very little. If comparable
black and white populations have similar social outcomes
it must mean America does not usually treat people
differently on account of race. What then explains black
In conversations with my editor,
Kent Carroll, I argued that the book implicitly but very
clearly raised this question, and that it was
disingenuous not to discuss
racial differences in IQ. He was adamant that
such a discussion would ensure that the book
received no serious consideration.
I did not press him to the limit on
this matter, but I suspect he would have refused to
publish a book that discussed the
15-point average black-white difference in IQ. I was
unhappy about remaining silent on such an important
question, but in retrospect I think Mr. Carroll was
right: A more explicit Paved With Good Intentions
would have sunk without a bubble.
Because I could not remain
completely silent about the causes of black failure, the
book makes feeble arguments about the debilitating
conventional views of "racism." If, I asked,
both blacks and whites are always telling blacks their
troubles are caused by wicked whites, doesn`t that mean
there is nothing they can do to help themselves? Do not
constant reminders of "racism" encourage blacks
to give up because whites will thwart them no matter
what they do?
This was another argument designed
appeal to liberals, and implied that if blacks could
only throw off their obsession with white oppression
they might achieve at the same level as whites.
This is an aspect of the book that
troubled me in 1992 and continues to trouble me.
Although it never says so plainly, it implies that if
racial preferences could be abolished, if blacks could
stop using "racism" to excuse their own
fecklessness, and if whites would only stop encouraging
this kind of excuse-making, race relations might perhaps
enter a new era of harmony.
I did not believe this in 1992, and
I do not believe it today. Neither Americans nor anyone
else have managed to build a harmonious multiracial
society, and I cannot foresee any policy or attitude
changes that would make it possible.
At the same time, our government
has permitted a huge influx of non-white immigrants who
threaten to reduce whites to a minority by the middle of
this century. In their bones, whites know this will not
be a good thing. They know that an increasingly
Third-World America will slip into Third-World habits of
corruption, poverty, and violence.
And yet, whites rarely oppose their
own dispossession in explicitly racial terms. They may
complain about overcrowding and environmental
degradation, or suggest that immigrants should be
encouraged to assimilate, but it is still unacceptable
to state openly that whites have the right to remain the
majority in their own country, their own institutions,
their own schools, or their own neighborhoods.
To take this position requires an
unconventional understanding of the nature and
importance of race, and views that reflect this
understanding have been banished from public discourse.
Every other racial group can freely
advance its interests at the expense of others, but
whites are forbidden to organize and work for their own
interests as whites.
When I wrote Paved With Good
Intentions I did not attempt to challenge that ban.
On page 356, for example, I warned that if blacks
continue to use race as a weapon, to advance their
interests as a race and not as Americans, there are "disquieting"
signs whites will be tempted to forge racial weapons of
Of course, given the demographic
and cultural challenges they face, signs of racial
awakening among whites are not "disquieting."
They are essential to survival as a distinct people with
a culture and heritage of their own.
I did not take this position in
Paved With Good Intentions. I did not even propose
it to my editor Kent Carroll because he would not have
published a book that advocated racial consciousness for
whites. He would have told me—no doubt correctly—that
the country would not take such a book seriously.
Mr. Carroll took considerable
criticism for publishing the relatively mild book that
he did, and I do not fault him for his decisions. There
are limits to what a publisher may publish and still
retain the respect of his profession.
Since even before the appearance of
Paved With Good Intentions I have been the editor
American Renaissance, a magazine that goes
considerably further into forbidden territory. Some time
after the book was published, I approached my agent
Theron Raines with a proposal for a scholarly treatment
of the subjects commonly raised in AR: the difficulties
of integration, the disadvantages of "diversity,"
the challenge to whites of
non-white immigration, and the long-term
consequences if whites fail to act in their own
Mr. Raines, who worked tirelessly
to help this book see the light of day, spent more than
two years before he finally gave up on the new project.
Mainstream publishing is still not ready for open
dissent from the myths of multiracialism and diversity.
It is not yet ready to hear what I
really think about race. For that, readers must turn to
Some day whites will throw off the
self-imposed scruples that require them to work for the
benefit of every group but their own.
Some day, there will be a just
solution to the American race problem that preserves the
cultures and respects the dignity of all races.
Those who bring it about will, I
believe, have read and reflected on books like this one.
him) is editor of
and the author of
Paved With Good Intentions: The Failure of Race
Relations in Contemporary America.
(For Peter Brimelow`s review, click