Michael Barone On David Reich: "Genetics Is Undercutting the Case for Racial Quotas"
April 08, 2018, 09:45 AM
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Michael Barone writes in his syndicated column:

Genetics Is Undercutting the Case for Racial Quotas

By Michael Barone

April 6, 2018 6 Min Read

“I am worried,” writes Harvard geneticist David Reich in The New York Times, “that well-meaning people who deny the possibility of substantial biological differences among human populations are digging themselves into an indefensible position, one that will not survive the onslaught of science.”

Reich was responding to anticipated resistance to his forthcoming book, “Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past.” The “well-meaning people” Reich references are those who argue that race is a “social construct,” that there are no significant genetic differences among people of different racial ancestry. Maybe there are differences in appearance and other physical traits, these people say, but there definitely aren’t any in intelligence.

Such people responded with rage and fury to the publication in 1994 of Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray’s book, “The Bell Curve.” That book, solidly based on the then available psychological research, explored differences among races in intelligence as measured by rigorous IQ tests. …

In arguing that racial differences do not justify racial discrimination, Reich steps out on some possibly dangerous turf. “Most everyone accepts that the biological differences between males and females are profound,” he writes, though some Times readers would volubly disagree. …

But the continuing existence of racial gaps, even as the IQ scores of all groups rise (that’s the Flynn effect, identified and named by Herrnstein and Murray), does undercut the case for racial quotas and preferences and the “disparate impact” legal doctrine established by the Supreme Court 47 years ago.

The justification for quotas is the assumption that in a fair society, we would find the same racial mix in every school, every occupation and every neighborhood. Any significant deviation from statistical equality, in this view, can be evidence of persistent racial discrimination.

This notion suffuses the behavior of leaders in colleges and universities, in large corporations, in government at all levels. Many such leaders regard enforcing quotas as a moral duty, even if they place people in positions for which they’re unprepared. For these “well-meaning people,” David Reich has a (probably unintentional) warning: Science is undermining the rationale for the work you’re doing.

[Comment at Unz.com]