Radio Derb is on the air. To get the podcast, follow the instructions at Taki’s Magazine
. The transcript will be archived on my own website
A couple of people have asked me whether I’ll be reviewing Shelby Steele’s new book about race: Shame: How America’s Past Sins Have Polarized Our Country
. I reply that I won’t, and explain why.
Because science, that's why; the science of human nature, now firm enough to tell us without reasonable doubt that there are innate statistical race differences. Behavior, intelligence, personality: everything we have been able to measure about these classes of human traits tells us they are all highly heritable. It follows that localized mostly-inbreeding populations, under selection pressures of different environments, will develop distinctive group profiles on these traits.Black and Hispanic populations aren’t ever going to exhibit the same behavioral profiles as European whites and East Asians, though of course there’ll be lots of individual exceptions and outliers. It’s a fantasy. It would actually violate the laws of biology.Conservatives educated in literature and the humanities cling to the fantasy because they can’t understand the science. That’s too bad, but I’m tired of trying to educate them. I no longer want to engage in any way with race denialism. It’s just ignorant.So no, I won’t be reading Shelby Steele’s book for review, unless someone offers me a large sum of money for the trouble. (I can be reached via Taki’s Magazine.)In future I won’t be reading or listening to any material on race topics that denies the simple reality of group differences. It’s like listening to creationists or flat-earthers. People are free to believe in dumb things. I don’t mind them doing so, and wish no offense to anyone, certainly not to my friends. I’m getting older, though, and more and more sensitive about wasting my time.
That may be a little harsh on Steele, who seems like a decent chap and who I’m sure means well.
A listener emailed the following, after conceding the point on race differences:
Can’t you argue though that liberal social policy has worsened things for blacks by rewarding irresponsible behavior and by letting blacks think that they will never succeed given white racism, and that their fate is beyond their control? Thomas Sowell says that black families were far more intact and that blacks economically were slowly improving until the 1960’s.
Yes, you can
argue that, and Steele apparently (I haven’t read his book for the aforementioned reasons, only the promotional material and two reviews) does. It’s worth saying.
It gets said a lot, though, by the likes of Steele and Sowell. It is dogma over at Conservatism, Inc. I know it is: I spent fifteen years among those people.
Someone has to stand up and say the other things.
- Liberal social policy has worsened things for everyone—certainly for whites, as Charles Murray and Robert Putnam have amply documented, likewise recent memorial essays on the Moynihan Report. Still the black-nonblack gaps remain. It’s like the Flynn effect: the gaps remain. If the waters rise (or drop) and A’s boat is still sitting higher in the water than B’s, there is something different about the boats.
- After decades of social transformation and trillions of dollars spent, the gaps remain. Black populations do not exhibit the same statistical profiles on behavior, intelligence, and personality, or on the social outcomes therefrom, as other populations.
- There is now a mountain of evidence from the rigorous human sciences that the differences are biological, baked in by recent human evolution.
- If you deny that, then you can only say—you must say—that the differences result from malice on the part of nonblacks, from racism.
- If you tell blacks that the statistical profiles of their race would be identical to those of nonblacks if only…, they will naturally, for historical and straightforwardly logical reasons, finish the sentence with: “… if only the white man wasn’t keeping us down.”
- The way to reduce racial rancor is to promote a frank, honest acceptance of race differences.
The full Radio Derb playbill:
- Protected to death. (Safety kills.)
- Sauve qui peut. (Shut off the voice tube.)
- Summoning the demon (cont.) (The robo-apocalypse.)
- Print me a house. (The coming Japanese century.)
- Down with uplift. (No more time for race pollyannas.)
It’s all there at Taki’s Magazine