From the New York Times
What, Congressman Steve King Asks, Have Nonwhites Done for Civilization?By DANIEL VICTOR JULY 18, 2016Representative Steve King, Republican of Iowa, questioned the historical contributions of nonwhite “subgroups” during an appearance on MSNBC on Monday, igniting swift backlash online.Mr. King spoke during a panel discussion, led by the MSNBC host Chris Hayes, about the racial makeup of the Republican Party on the first day of the party’s convention.“If you’re really optimistic, you can say this was the last time that old white people would command the Republican Party’s attention, its platform, its public face,” Charles P. Pierce, a writer at large at Esquire magazine, said during the panel discussion.
In response, Mr. King said: “This whole ‘old white people’ business does get a little tired, Charlie. I’d ask you to go back through history and figure out where are these contributions that have been made by these other categories of people that you are talking about? Where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization?”“Than white people?” Mr. Hayes asked.Mr. King responded: “Than Western civilization itself that’s rooted in Western Europe, Eastern Europe and the United States of America, and every place where the footprint of Christianity settled the world. That’s all of Western civilization.”Frantic yelling ensued, with the panelists speaking over one another. “What about Africa? What about Asia?” April Ryan, a reporter on the panel, said.
This is one of those Emperor’s New Clothes
moments. As anthropologists Robin Fox and Lionel Tiger pointed out, a mob that was bullied into believing they’d lose their jobs if they admitted the truth isn’t going to listen dispassionately to somebody tell the truth. Instead, they’d get very, very angry at the one who dares to say the obvious.
Here, of course, we see three professional talkers who can only sputter with mindless rage at Rep. King.
Of course, Rep. King’s statement has been scientifically tested in Charles Murray’s Human Accomplishment
. In my 2003 review
, I wrote:
Dead white European males dominate his inventories, despite Murray reserving eight of his 21 categories (including Arabic literature, Indian philosophy, and Chinese visual art) for non-Western arts. Murray, who was a Peace Corp volunteer in Thailand and has half-Asian children, began this project wanting to devote even more attention to Asian accomplishments but found he couldn’t justify his predisposition.In the sciences, 97 percent of the significant figures and events turned out to be Western. Is this merely Eurocentric bias? Of the 36 science reference books he drew upon, 28 were published after 1980, by which time historians were desperately searching for non-Westerners to praise. Only in this decade has the most advanced non-Western country, Japan, begun to win science Nobels regularly.
The irony is that modern progress over the last 600 years has been overwhelmingly the achievement of the hate object of modern progressives: dead white European males. Most other great civilizations were stuck in conservative stasis even before the European gunboats showed. Only Japan was making a modest degree of progress.
It’s too paradoxical for anybody to notice, but the general tendency of non-European civilizations has been to be excessively conservative.
Recently, Murray released his data tables to the public, so you can look at them here
and see if you can find some way to empirically justify all the rage at Rep. King.