It is sad when we find a professor – a person the public is taught to look up to – using straw man arguments in order to bolster the beliefs of racial orthodoxy. The article in question is designed for children – who usually lack the ability to ask critical questions or to distinguish between education and deception.
Professor Audrey Smedley sets about misleading children in her interview with PBS called “Race – the power of an illusion”. Here are some blatant deceptions from from interview:
Race is an ideology that says that all human populations are divided into exclusive and distinct groups; that all human populations are ranked, they are not equal. Inequality is absolutely essential to the idea of race. The other part is that the behavior of people is very much part of their biology.
In all my years associating with other race-realists, not once have I heard somebody claim that races must be exclusive or distinct. In most cases, races blend into each other and there is a continuum. As for rankings, It is unclear what she means. Is she referring to their overall worth as Human Beings or is she referring to specific abilities? As for overall worth an individual normally would value one of his own kind over a foreigner, just as one values his own children more than the children of strangers. The question “which race is worth more” would be answered differently depending on who is being asked. As for specific traits, why would one assume that various populations (evolving under different conditions) would miraculously end up having exactly the same average abilities? Would it be logical to assume that an Inuit could, on average, run as fast as a Masai? People are not usually offended when told they cannot run very fast – but they do get offended when told they are not very intelligent. This is not a valid scientific argument that intelligence is somehow different; all this tells us is that people tend to get more emotional when it comes to intelligence. So, from a purely objective standpoint, there is no reason to assume that average I.Q. will be the same all over the world. Therefore, we may rank races based on average I.Q. or any other ability or trait.
Smedley writes “Inequality is absolutely essential to the idea of race.” Yes, it is. As a matter of fact, inequality is absolutely essential to the idea of evolution. Is Smedley opposed to the idea of evolution? There is only one place where equality is the norm: in the fantastical minds of leftist ideologues. It is a rarity in the real world – equality under the law not withstanding.
And then the idea that all of this is inherited. People don’t only inherit their biological features, but they also inherit their moral and temperamental and intellectual features. And it stays with us right into the 21st century. Not only are all of these features inherited, but they are not transcendable. You can’t change. Racial populations, individual races, and individual people cannot change their race. So there’s no way in which you can transcend this identity. Once you are identified as a socially low-status race, you remain so forever.
One problem with leftists is that they tend to see most things in black and white. There are few grey areas for them. In the real world, people who are born with certain tendencies can overcome them. Belonging to a particular race only means that you, as an individual, are more likely to have a certain set of traits, predispositions or proclivities to certain diseases. It does not dictate that you will act upon those dispositions or that you will actually get those diseases. You can still control your habits and behaviors. Here, Smedley implies that blacks are of lower status than whites. She seems to be oblivious to the fact that, during the last 40 years or so, whites have been relegated to the back of the bus so to speak. Perhaps this is due to her own privileged position.
Race wasn’t invented because it is a set of beliefs and attitudes about human variation. It has nothing to do with the biological variation itself. You can have many societies with great diversity in physical features without the idea of race. Race represents attitudes and beliefs about human differences, not the differences themselves.
It is unclear what Smedley means by this but I’ll venture a guess. She seems to be saying that “race” is an ideology that is divorced from the actual science of human biodiversity – and yet she admits that such diversity exists. Would she feel better if we called them “populations” rather than “races”? If “racists” shed their attitudes and beliefs, would it then be alright to study human biodiversity? But what if those attitudes and beliefs are, themselves, the products of such study? She refers to “diversity in physical features”, implying that there is no diversity in mental features. Yet she presents no evidence of this. In fact, there is much evidence to the contrary.
One of the things we have to recognize is that slavery existed virtually everywhere. It existed throughout the Mediterranean, for example. Slavery was thousands of years old by the time the colonists in America established slavery. There was no need to justify slavery because the Spanish had slaves; the Portuguese had slaves. In other words, slavery was part of the normal state of affairs of the colonizing nations. It was part of their world.
She conspicuously leaves out the fact that slavery was especially prevalent in black Africa – and that black Africans were major participants in the trans-Atlantic slave trade.
In the 1820s and ’30s, a physician by the name of Samuel Morton, who lived in Philadelphia, began to collect skulls. And he collected skulls from populations around the world, and began to measure the internal capacities of these skulls. He devised a mechanism for using mustard seed and other materials to measure the internal capacity. He discovered that African skulls were smaller on average than European skulls, and that different populations had different average measurements in their skulls. This provided confirmation of the belief that Africans were less intelligent than other people.
It was assumed, both by the population at large and by scientists, that people with larger heads and larger brains presumably were more intelligent than people with smaller ones. We now know that this isn’t true. There are many people who have small skulls who are highly intelligent. But the fact is that there was a need to have scientific confirmation of the existence of races. And since races had to be different from one another, one of the ways of measuring these differences was essentially to say that the average skull size of races were different.
Yes, of course there are many people who have small skulls who are highly intelligent. Nobody disputes this. The crucial point that Smedley conveniently leaves out is that not all correlations are absolute. There is a correlation between brain size (relative to body size) and I.Q. and there is a correlation between skull size and brain size. It is hard to believe that somebody could be a professor and not be aware of this. One can only conclude that Smedley is intentionally deceiving people. She conveniently leaves out decades of documentation regarding the persistent scholastic achievement gap between blacks, whites and Asians. The fact that the larger-skulled races consistently outperform the smaller-skulled races (on average of course) must be pure coincidence in her eyes.
She concludes with this exhortation:
If you give up racism, you’re not giving up privileges. What you’re doing is expanding privileges. You’re not giving up your rights. You’re not losing anything. What you would be doing is gaining something. White Americans don’t realize how much has been lost by their failure to integrate blacks into the community. A great deal of talent, a great deal of skills and wonderful creativeness has been lost, simply because we’ve not allowed black Americans to become part of this total society.
How anybody, in this day and age, could write such a statement boggles the imagination. The most frightening aspect of all is this:
Site Information for pbs.org
I hope to see the day when race-realist sites get that kind of ranking. When the truth is valued over propaganda and when lying to millions of children is recognized as the serious crime that it is.