Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Crippled by Their Culture

For most of the history of this country, differences between the black and the white population have been attributed to either race or racism. For much of the first half of the 20th century, these differences were attributed to race--that is, to an assumption that blacks just did not have it in their genes to do as well as white people. Three decades of my own research lead me to believe that neither of those explanations will stand up under scrutiny of the facts. As one small example, a study published last year indicated that most of the black alumni of Harvard were from either the West Indies or Africa, or were the children of West Indian or African immigrants. These people are the same race as American blacks, who greatly outnumber either or both. If this disparity is not due to race, it is equally hard to explain by racism. To a racist, one black is pretty much the same as another. But, even if a racist somehow let his racism stop at the water's edge, how could he tell which student was the son or daughter of someone born in the West Indies or in Africa? Perhaps they have different patterns of behavior and different cultures and values behind their behavior.


At April 26, 2005 7:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem is that when the sociologists et al use the word "racism," they don't mean personal prejuduce; they mean that the way the rules are structured makes it difficult for (minority group) to get ahead. An example from the sociology textbook I used awhile back: a college giving preference to children of alumni when choosing applicants to attend is racist because minorities are less likely to have attended the college in the past. The word doesn't mean what we think it means, which makes it difficult to argue.

At April 26, 2005 9:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would be tempted to blame it on "their culture" if there was cultural variation. Where is the African Shanghai or Switzerland?

At April 27, 2005 4:00 AM, Blogger Don Miguel said...

'I would be tempted to blame it on "their culture" if there was cultural variation. Where is the African Shanghai or Switzerland?'

Spoken like a true man of the world!

At April 27, 2005 4:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How do you explain the differences in average brain size between whites and blacks? Rushton has shown this by averaging a large number of studies. Even studies using MRI scans show an average brain size difference. And there is a significant correlation between brain size and IQ.

When comparing blacks to whites in adopted white families, blacks still score about 15 points less than whites on average when they grow up (studies have shown that genetics plays a larger role when one is 18 than 6). One could say it was racism. But that wouldn't explain why those adopted who were a mix of white and black scored in between whites and blacks even though most whites simply consider them to be black.

There is a great deal of evidence to consider, but a good introduction is here:

At April 27, 2005 4:16 AM, Blogger Fjordman said...

"Anonymous": The original article I posted pointed out that many African immigrants do significantly better in academia than African Americans, who speak the language without accent. This cannot be explained by racism. I believe it has to do with a cult of victimhood, as well as a tendecy among some groups of black Americans to view higher education as something "feminine".

At April 27, 2005 4:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that culture has something to do with it. I think that both genetics and culture are important.

That said; it's really hard to evaluate this kind of anecdotal evidence. There are very smart blacks. IQ research just says they that they are less common than smart whites (the black bell shaped distribution is shifted about 15 points lower). Actually, the ratio of whites to blacks in a given IQ becomes greater as IQ is increased. This is why "gee whiz, that guy is smart" fields like Astrophysics are heavily dominated by races with higher average IQs.

Well I don't mean to make a big deal out of it (thanks for the website by the way). Some may consider talking about this in bad taste. I just think that people disserve to know the truth since increasingly, through immigration, they will have to live with the consequences.

At April 28, 2005 5:19 PM, Blogger ric ottaiano said...

very provocative issue...i can't speak to physiology or biology, but logic dictates that if west Africans coming to America become more successful in a much shorter period of time than native born blacks, the problem cannot be primarily the result of "racism" or "lack of opportunity"...i would love to see someone take the time to analyze that paradigm, but of course it won't happen because that would undermine the race-mongers in American politics who don't care a whit about their "constituency" if it undermines their power and influence...very sad.

At April 29, 2005 3:53 AM, Blogger Don Miguel said...

'I believe it has to do with a cult of victimhood, as well as a tendecy among some groups of black Americans to view higher education as something "feminine".'


I've never heard that it is viewed as something "feminine." The most common view I've heard and read is "acting white."

Culture is a primary reason. In the U.S., blacks that go to primarily "white" schools or that are children of military "lifers" and attend schools on military bases tend to be indistinguishable from the other students. Of course, in both cases, there is on average much greater parental involvement than in other cases.


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