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A Reader Reminds Us Of WHY IQ Differences Matter—The Law Assumes The Opposite
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March 04, 2018, 05:43 PM
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Re: John Derbyshire’s Derb’s February Diary: Meritocracy; Pinker; Oncologist Humor; Etc.

From: Matthew [Email him]

In reviewing Michael Young's The Rise of the Meritocracy John Derbyshire touches on the issue of the genetic influence on intelligence. This reminded me that not too long ago in the National Review Columbia linguist John McWhorter (who is black) wondered "so what?" if there is a difference in the races intellectual capacity based on genetics. [Stop Obsessing Over Race and IQ, by John McWhorter July 5, 2017]

Here's so what: about a year ago I had a young black female co-worker tell me that America was a racist society. She was getting a Masters in Social Work from a fairly prestigious California university. I asked her what part of America was racist and, incredulous, she asked me if I was kidding. I assured her I was not; and I asked her to name one part. She said “Okay: in elementary schools they label black kids learning disabled at a much higher rate than white kids.”

And there's the rub. If we are right, if there is genetic component to intellectual racial disparities, what she described is just what you'd expect. If she is right, however, the disparity can only be explained by white racism or bias.

But I guarantee that even now she and her Social Work colleagues are acting on the assumption of racism. And they are going to implement policies that will entail vast bureaucracies, consume enormous resources in people, time, money and energy. But of course, they are wrong. And their policies won't work. And they won't help one kid, black of white. They will, however, enrich themselves and spur their advancement up the ladder. And there's the rub. And there's the answer to Mr. McWhorter's query: that's the what in "so what?"

James Fulford writes: This is more or less what I blogged at the time: Why Race And IQ STILL Matters, Despite Loury And McWhorter’s Objections–Because Black Failure Is Always Blamed On Racism. We might add that the whole “disparate impact” thing, which goes back to 1971 Supreme Court ruling Griggs vs. Duke Power, rests on the assumption that if blacks fail tests at a higher rate than whites, it’s the tests that are at fault.