Tuesday 4 December 2007
Segregation, Race, Science and the Big Lie
For all those who are interested in the issues of race, IQ, Intelligence, Segregation, White Flight and the way that the BIG LIE that 'there is no such as thing as race' has been promoted by the media and the Leftist scientists - then read this superb article.
It blows apart the whole debate.
Learn these facts and prepare to deploy them when the Equality Commission and Trevor Phillips push for bussing black and asian pupils into white schools.
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Meanwhile, many white liberals also had second thoughts about integration. This phenomenon is so well known that it hardly needs elaboration. During the 1960s white liberals had pushed for integration, and for one generation—from about 1968 to 1991—they succeeded in enlisting the Supreme Court in their campaign. They emphasized the importance of peer groups in affecting attitudes toward academic work. Taking their cue from sociologist James S. Coleman, they said that black children would become better students if they attended predominantly white, middle-class schools. As Coleman explained the rationale for integration, as long as middle-class whites remained in the majority, middle-class values would govern the integrated classrooms and “in that situation both white and black children would learn.”49
In the mid-1970s, however, Coleman conceded that it was mistaken to assume that integration would improve the schoolwork of black children. What happened all too frequently, Coleman said, was that “characteristics of the lower-class black classroom, namely a high degree of disorder, came to take over and constitute the values and characteristics of the classroom in the integrated school.” Many middle-class parents then fled to the refuge of private schools or to public schools in predominantly white areas—a phenomenon that Coleman considered “quite understandable” because so many integrated schools had “failed to control lower-class black children” and had to spend “90 percent of the time)not on instruction but on discipline.”50
After analyzing data from twenty large school districts, Coleman reported that court-ordered busing fostered “resegregation” by stimulating “white flight.” The more blacks enrolled in a school’s system, the more whites left. Specifically, Coleman found that an increase of 5 per cent in the average child’s black classmates caused an additional 10 percent of white families to leave. Thus integrationists faced what Coleman called “an insoluble dilemma.” The push for integration was offset by the actions of white families who moved from areas where there was a large enrollment of black students to areas in which there was less racial mixing.51
Nevertheless, most geneticists and physical anthropologists rejected the argument that “race” was merely a social construct. The prominent population geneticist Theodosius Dobzhansky was one of those who found fault with the first UNESCO statement. Dobzhansky was a friend of Ashley Montagu, with whom he coauthored articles. But Dobzhansky nevertheless insisted that “Race differences are facts of nature which can, given sufficient study, be ascertained objectively.”58 The prominent physical anthropologist Carleton Coon agreed, saying that the “soft pedaling” and “prudery” of some cultural anthropologists with respect to race was “equaled only by their horror of Victorian prudery about sex.”59 Others chimed in. Henri Vallois, the director of the Musée de l’Homme in Paris, considered it ridiculous to regard race as a myth.60 And W. C. Osman Hill, the prosector at the Zoological Society of London, discussed the question with remarkable candor, saying,
That range of mental capabilities is “much the same” in all races is scarcely a scientifically accurate statement. It is at most a vague generalization. It is, however, scarcely true, for temperamental and other mental differences are well known to be correlated with physical differences…Even if it were true that there is “no proof that the groups of mankind differ in intelligence, temperament or other innate characteristics,” it is certainly the case that there is no proof to the contrary.61
In response to these criticisms, UNESCO convened another committee of racial experts, one that was composed entirely of physical anthropologists and geneticists. The resulting Second UNESCO Statement on Race differed from the first statement in important respects. While admitting that within a given race “capacities vary as much as, if not more than, they do between different groups,” the second statement rejected the earlier assertion that the races did not differ in mental traits. “It is possible, though not proved,” the second statement said, “that some types of innate capacity for intellectual and emotional responses are commoner in one human group than another.”62 As Jenny Reardon has noted, the second statement “accommodated both those who wanted to de-emphasize the importance of group-level differences in intellectual and emotional traits (by pointing to the importance of differences among individuals within a group) and those who wanted to hold onto a belief not uncommon among geneticists and physical anthropologists that group differences in mental and psychological traits did exist.”63
At mid-century most population geneticists and physical anthropologists accepted the possibility (but not the certainty) that the races differed intrinsically in important respects. This view was so widespread that even Ashley Montagu acknowledged that there was no proof as to the equal distribution of innate intelligence. This was quite a concession, but one that Montagu had to make in order to retain the respect of his professional peers. In 1944 Montagu had written “with some degree of assurance that in all probability the range of inherited capacities in two different ethnic groups is just about identical.”64 In 1961, however, he asserted that he had been misunderstood;65 that he had never maintained that the races were equal in mental abilities; that he had contended only “that studies claiming to have proven that genetic differences were the responsible causes [for differences in test scores and standards of civilization] have not upon critical examination been found to prove anything of the sort.”66 Montagu went on to say that “during thirty-five years of reading on the subject I have not more than once or twice encountered a writer who claimed that ‘the races were equal in mental abilities.’”67
In the course of mapping the distribution of genes, the human genome researchers discovered that if they looked at enough genetic markers they could identify the geographic region of a person’s ancestors. They concluded further that all of mankind arose out of Africa but began to disperse into different regions some 50,000 years ago. As a result of the common origin, 95 percent of the genetic variation in the human genome was found in people all over the world. But as human populations started reproducing independently from one another, each group began to develop its own genetic configuration.120 Since so much of the genetic make-up was held in common, some egalitarians said the new knowledge pointed to the insignificance of race. Others, however, said the importance of race should not be discounted, even if 99 percent of human genes were shared among all people. According to Dr. Alan Bernstein, the president of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, small genetic differences were far from insignificant. After mentioning that there was not much genetic distance between humans and gorillas, Bernstein said, “It’s silly to try and be politically correct …” Even when the same genes were shared, the frequencies of distribution often varied.121
Several science writers have developed this theme. Steve Sailer, a writer who has frequently commented on human biodiversity, noted that humans shared “98 percent of our genes with chimpanzees (and, supposedly, 70 percent with yeast).” But that did not mean that genetic differences between humans and chimps (or yeast) were insignificant.122 Occidental Quarterly editor Kevin Lamb also concluded that it is a “sham” to say that because almost all human genes are racially shared, there are no important racial differences. According to Lamb, “the genetic similarities between mice and men are chemically nearly exact, but a few selected genetic switches that turn certain genes on within human and mouse genomes yield the difference between a Beethoven and a rodent…Race differences by their very nature stem from minor biological distinctions.”123
Scanning the human genome has forced scientists to confront a problematic situation. They recognized that there were five main human population groups, corresponding to the major geographical regions of the world: Africa, Europe, Asia, Melanasia, and the Americas.124 But they feared that the evidence of genetic difference, even though useful for medical purposes, might be used invidiously to damage one population or another. Nevertheless, the immediate benefits were such that many doctors began to practice racial profiling. They recognized that some diseases were much more common among some ethnic groups and that there were group differences in the way people responded to medical treatments.
Thus sickle cell anemia was more common in parts of Africa than in most other places. Hemochromatosis (an iron metabolism disorder) was especially prevalent among Swedes, and Tay-Sachs disease afflicted a disproportionate number of East European Jews. As knowledge of genetics increased, doctors also discovered that enalapril, a standard treatment for chronic heart failure, was less helpful to blacks than to whites; that blacks should be given lower doses of Prozac because they metabolized antidepressants more slowly than Caucasians and Asians; that whites responded better than blacks to the standard treatment for active hepatitis C; and that blacks and whites tended to respond differently to treatments for hypertension and high blood pressure.125
Meanwhile, in 2004 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the world’s first “ethnic medication,” a heart-failure drug for African Americans known as BiDil, and in 2005 Astra Zeneca began marketing a lung-cancer drug that had failed with Caucasians but seemed to work for Asians. Genaissance Pharmaceuticals, a biotechnology company, similarly developed a genetic test that enabled doctors to forego trial and error when deciding which asthma or cholesterol drug was best for a patient. Another company, DNA Print Genomics, developed a test that measured customers’ racial ancestry and their ancestral proportions if they were of mixed race. This was relevant not only for medical reasons but also in determining eligibility for some government benefits and set-asides.126
In addition, America’s premier black university, Howard University, established a Human Genome Center to investigate the genetic and environmental contributions to the causes of complex diseases that afflicted African Americans disproportionately. African-American men were three times more likely than white men to die of prostate cancer and five times more likely than Asian men, researchers reported; and the codirector of the center, microbiologist Rick Kittles, thought this was due to both genetics and environment. Kittles also established a firm that gave African Americans the chance to trace their ancestral roots. Kittles’s fellow researcher Mark Shriver reported that about 90 percent of those who identified themselves as African Americans were at least half black genetically and, on average, about 83 percent of the genes found in African Americans were from Africa.127
The new knowledge challenged the premises of those who had maintained either that race did not exist or was insignificant. Genetic research continued nevertheless, driven by a belief that lack of knowledge would harm sick people. As the research proceeded to deal with genes that might be involved in mental diseases that can be inherited, such as schizophrenia, autism, and Alzheimer’s, scientists once again were plunged into the debate over human intelligence and its heritability. Thus one group of researchers, headed by Dr. Paul M. Thompson of UCLA, began with a type of brain scanning called magnetic resonance imaging, which showed the difference between gray and white matter in a living brain. Then they reported that there were “some brain areas in which there are very significant genetic influences on structure.” Finally, they “gave their subjects intelligence tests and found that intelligence was significantly linked with the amount of gray matter in the subjects’ frontal lobes.”128
Meanwhile, at the University of Chicago a professor of human genetics, Bruce Lahn, presented evidence to show that mutations that affected the brain had occurred in Asia and Europe but not in Africa. Dr. Lahn, an immigrant from China, did not understand political correctness and reportedly considered it “a triumphant moment” when he published two articles in the highly regarded journal, Science, maintaining that DNA changes had taken hold and spread widely in Europe and Asia but were not common in sub-Saharan Africa. One magazine described Lahn’s research as “the moment the antiracists and egalitarians have dreaded,” and the media department at the Chicago medical school feared that the work would be too controversial for the university. As one story in the Wall Street Journal noted, by 2006 scientists were accustomed to dealing with many physical differences, but they “tense up when it comes to doing the same sort of research on the brain.”129
At first Lahn stood by his research, saying, “society will have to grapple with some very difficult facts.” But Lahn had second thoughts after he learned more about the extent to which his research had touched a raw nerve. The University of Chicago abandoned a patent application it had filed to develop a test that would draw on Lahn’s work in developing a correlation between DNA and intelligence. And some of Lahn’s coauthors were uncomfortable with the publicity their work was receiving. Lahn then turned to other projects, saying that he had second thoughts about “whether some knowledge might not be worth having.”130 This statement predictably led to much criticism on the World Wide Web. “Welcome to the new Dark Ages,” one writer scoffed. Another wrote that Lahn had been made “to stand before the altar of equality and recant. The sun moves about the earth.”131
The full extent of the nature and significance of racial differences is not yet a settled question. But there is little doubt about which way the wind is blowing. Research in genetics has established that race is a reality. Police in Florida admitted as much when they identified “the man they sought in the murders of at least five women [as] 85 percent African and 15 percent Indian.” Authorities in Louisiana did the same when they concentrated their search for a serial killer on white men between the ages of 25 and 35.132 So did courts when they ruled that convictions must be overturned because DNA evidence established that the crimes had been committed by people who were not members of the convicts’ race.133
The Pulitzer Prize–winning historian Carl N. Degler has written a perceptive account of the revived emphasis on DNA, race, and sex as explanations for differences in human behavior.134 Summing up the thesis of the book in his review for the New York Times, Richard A. Schweder, a professor at the University of Chicago and president of the Society for Psychological Anthropology, put it this way: “Anyone who has lived long enough in the social sciences has seen the nature-nurture pendulum swing: from nature in the first decades of the century, to nurture in the 1930’s, 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s, to nature once again in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.”135 In this instance, the movement may be more than just another swing of the pendulum. It seems, at least to this writer, that truth crushed to ground is rising once again.