Yes, I’m going for low hanging fruit, but let’s have some fun with this.
Brotha Wolf (epic name) released a blog post about a couple months ago that I’ve just now found, titled “Scientific Racism, a Brief History and Quick Criticism” Now, I don’t support anything called scientific racism. But, neither does anyone. It’s likely he’s referring to, and later misrepresenting, the views typically labelled as race realism. I prefer hereditarianism, because big words are cooler and it doesn’t instantly put the idea of “race” in people’s heads. Regardless, let’s see what he has to say:
“To sum it up in a few words, scientific racism is a pseudo-science that promotes that race exist, the white race is superior, the black race is inferior and that it’s reasonable to have less-than positive outlooks for black people, because black folks are doomed to fail since birth. Okay, that’s way more words than a few, and writing that sent a cold chill in my soul that there are people who still believe it. It’s been revitalized in the age of the Trump regime, but it’s always been around.
The broken record of biological differences by people who costume themselves as intellectuals and free thinkers always go by two ends: intelligence or IQ and accomplishments. The argument goes something like this: people of African descent have low IQ’s (around 70). So, it’s no secret why most of them are poor and criminal prone. On the other hand, while the greatest gifts to mankind and the result of human progress to what it is today has largely been orchestrated by whites due to them have “superior genes”.
To many of you, this sounds bonkers on several levels. To actual scientists, this is stupid, primitive thinking that has been debunked already at least once. But to today’s alt-right leaders, white supremacist “philosophers” and typical Trump supporters, this is what the truth sounds like.
Yet, to call it and them racist is somehow wrong. Some of them consider themselves “race realists”, not racist. (Pssst…there’s NO difference.)”
Well, I wouldn’t really call it a pseudoscience. I can argue against this point, along with your argument that “To actual scientists, this is stupid” really easily. After all, we have a couple polls from scientists who might disagree with you Brotha Wolf:
Lieberman (1992) finds across all higher education levels, biologists agree race exists, starting at 70% at the associate’s level and higher at Ph.D level.
Rindermann, Becker and Coyle (2016) polled scientists as to why they believed international differences in IQ existed. Education was rated as the top reason why and genes were rated number 2. I’ll be happy to have a discussion or do a blog post as to why it’s not education, but for now, my case is still plenty made.
Snyderman and Rothman, Rindermann et al. (2013) polled scientists who believed evidence existed to prove the case (n=228) and found average and median estimates of the black-white IQ gap to be heritable by 47% and 50% respectively.
I don’t prefer to refer to appeals to popularity. There was also a time when the majority of whites preferred slavery – did that make it right? But, even when we do, you’re kind of outnumbered here.
Brotha Wolf says the argument goes along the lines of “people of African descent have low IQ’s (around 70). So, it’s no secret why most of them are poor and criminal prone. On the other hand, while the greatest gifts to mankind and the result of human progress to what it is today has largely been orchestrated by whites due to them have “superior genes”.” This gets a couple small things right, and A LOT wrong:
1) people of African descent do have lower IQs – got that right, 2) well, 97% of significant scientific innovations came from North America and Europe and Europe and the West are massively overrepresented through all of history in significant artistic achievements (Murray, 2002), and it does have to do with something about white genes. But not superiority which brings us to your third mistake: 3) assuming there are superior races.
So, let’s quickly explain how superiority works to Brotha Wolf. For there to be a superior race, there would have to be a set of features that is objectively superior. If you believe higher intelligence objectively defines all of superiority, then that is your personal standard. But, I not only disagree with that subjectively, but see no way we can objectively justify it. So if you think race realism is about superiority, then the blame is on you. We are not the racists because we have only asserted one fact: biological differences exist and account for most of the disparities between racial groups. You have gone one step further – without our warrant – and said this makes a group superior. You are the white supremacist Brotha Wolf, not the race realists.
Brotha Wolf goes on,
“Scientific racism has been around since the 18th Century. It resurfaces under new names with new “findings” and new answers as to how to deal with the “inferior” races. But no matter the time period, it’s always the same means to an end. The pseudo-science of brain size employed the measuring of people’s skulls to determine how large their brains were. Ergo, the bigger the brains, the smarter that person must be. And by using a few people out of millions, it was concluded that whites were smarter than blacks and Africans.
Charles Darwin’s ‘On the Origin of Species’ was not intended to be used as a road map to explaining the assumed biological differences in humans. Some would argue that it did the opposite. However, it was still co-opted by racists and was reinterpreted, rewritten and retaught as the basis for racial categories. Again, white (mostly Western) European supremacy had to be at the top while blacks had to remain in the bottom.”
First argument: “race realism is always a means to an end.” Well, I’d argue everything is a means to an end. Committing ethical actions is a means to being ethical and doing your duty, ergo an end. Using race realism is a means to the end of explaining why people differ. Obviously, Brotha Wolf is probably talking about the harsher ends such as eugenics, the Nazi regime, justification for slavery. But, the burden of proof is on him to prove most of the race realists support these things. Heads up – they don’t. Most are libertarian-ish and some are progressives. (That’s right – good old Sam Harris is one too!) The ones who take more radical positions are often white separatists, meaning they just want to separate from black people. Literally keeping black people away from the harmful Nazis. I would say he would support this, but chances are he doesn’t.
After all, every civil rights movement in history has been about separating from the oppressors except when it was blacks in America.
He also tries to argue against the differences in skull sizes without actually providing evidence or a coherent argument it is wrong. Samuel Morton’s skull measurements still hold to this day and the rebuttal to Gould still holds, which seems that the evidence would favor race realists here. I await Brotha Wolf to provide any actual evidence here.
He says Darwin’s On The Origin of Species wasn’t meant to be used for race realism. Well yeah, no one says that’s the original purpose. There’s a good Unz article you can read here, though, and it shows how Charles Darwin, the founder of evolution, clearly supported race realism (along with some other interesting things). Along with him, another bright scientist – James Watson, the discoverer of DNA – also believes in differences in intelligence between the races.
“There were more divisive measures to attempt to put a “deeper” spin towards prejudice such as the classifications of human races based on location and, of course, where the most superior races resided in. Then came justifications for slavery on both a scientific and religious level, immigration policies, the rise of Nazi Germany, eugenics, racialist publications, laws, court cases, foundations, think tanks, books, etc. In virtually every way possible in this country and beyond, the unrelenting push for white supremacy to exist as a biological quality and as some kind of guilt repellent when confronted about the hate it produces and harm it brought certain people – blacks, Jews especially and even Eastern Europeans in the beginning – is still strong in the 21st Century.”
Yes, the biological differences between races was used for some bad things. But, I think you have some of your history wrong here.
What happened with the Jews in Nazi Germany was not made up of race realists. It was actually the opposite! After all, most race realists accept the higher IQ and abilities of the Azhkenazi Jewish people and Hitler only said the Jews brought Germans down. Hitler also banned IQ testing because, as he said, it was “Jewish”. This doesn’t sound like race realism to me. In fact, like how universities in California would ban the IQ testing of black people, it shows the complete fear that races do differ. If you care to read a couple pages, Michael Levin writes a good, and more in-depth summary of why the Holocaust was an act of egalitarianism.
But sure, give us a guilt-by-association. It’s not an actual argument against the legitimacy of race realism, regardless.
“Again, the concept of race has been thrown away as there are numerous flaws and impossibilities within its concept. In other words, it’s no longer legit. Race IS NOT a biological construct! But regardless, it’s still cherished by racists around the world to justify their hate no matter how often the science community says otherwise.”
After that last paragraph, I’m left with two options. I could go in depth about how races are a legitimate biological construct. But, I could also just not say anything, because after all, no source was provided to back up the “scientific” claims of Brotha Wolf. He’s simply reflecting his emotions and maybe some stuff he heard off ContraPoints. But, since I’m antsy, I’ll leave him one here:
Li et al. (2008) looked at 938 unrelated individuals from 58 different populations, sampled from the Human Genome Diversity Project, at 650,000 different SNPs, making it one of the largest scale studies of this nature. They found that groups do cluster to their continental ancestry for biological reasons, just as I’ve argued.
So, that’s all for this.