are the scientific racists. These people are fucking weird creepers.
I’m not going to link to anything they’ve written because frankly I’d rather not be on their radar.
My first encounter with one of them was on a random news site, on a subject that was only tangentially related to race. I can’t remember what the comment was, but for whatever reason this guy responded to me with links to Nicholas Wade’s recent book. Look Nicholas up if you want to, but it’s waste of time if you ask me. This commenter linked to an article published by TIME magazine. Yes, the TIME magazine you see in airport bookstores. Mr Wade’s article was a lot of stuff about science that frankly I don’t understand. But what stuck out to me was a passage about how English (i.e. from England) are smarter because during a time of peace between 1200 and 1800, noble people had lots of children. Nobles had, according to Wade, better smarts and that’s how they held onto their money.
Again, I’m not a scientist, nor a trained historian (or am I? I majored in Classical Studies… does that count?). At any rate, I pointed out to scientific racist troll that err, I don’t think 1200 to 1800 was a very peaceful time in English history (if there was one, before, say, 1945) and that at any rate that’s a pretty arbitrary time period to choose from (why not 100 BC to 900 AD? Why not 2003 to 2005? *snickers*) and finally that hereditary nobles tend to hold onto their wealth because they make the rules, not because they’re particularly bright. This troll didn’t like this an accused me of ignoring all the emerging science and being like people who refused to believe the Earth revolved around the sun. The conversation ended about there.
Being as I’m a naturally curious person and enjoy peeking into the minds of loony people I started reading up on Nicholas Wade and his book. It’s a book you can find prominently sitting on the shelf at your local Barnes & Noble (I checked- there are multiple copies and it was cover forward on the shelf), there are reviews all over the place. And the same loony commenters were commenting on the articles in droves. So much that at least one reviewer commented on the recent surge in traffic and comments. The same people were mobbing review pages to accuse the author of various mistakes, heresies, and basically to defend Mr Wade.
I bring this up because I ran into one today*. I don’t know if I’ve run into this person before because they all seem to have the same hectoring style. I was just making a point about how it’s not a bad thing for people who want to discuss hot-button issues related to race, in this case Affirmative Action to establish that they aren’t racist. And in my opinion, all that entails is a willingness to listen to people with opposing views and to lay some groundwork on how they came to their opinion to establish that they’re not racist. In practice it can be messy, but I don’t think there’s anything controversial about what I said. Regardless, this guy kept steering me towards a discussion about Affirmative Action, which frankly I didn’t want to have. For the record, I support Affirmative Action in the broad sense, but it’s not a program I’m totally wedded to either.
At any rate, I didn’t think I was saying anything controversial- if you want someone to listen to, you should assure them you’re not someone they would rather not listen to. But this person kept trying to present “evidence” to me about how Affirmative Action was a waste of time because non-white people are naturally not that bright. I cut him off at that point.
There’s no particular reason why I bring this up except that I’ve run into a few of these people and all of them have been really weird. I grew up in a place where casual racism was just part of the landscape so I’m pretty much resigned myself to the fact that some people are just like that. But it seems like some people maybe grew up in the city, and have to go to extraordinary lengths to justify their racism, maybe to distinguish themselves from rural people I don’t know. Several of these people have written four and five paragraph comments on various points of how we can determine intelligence based on a variety of factors, usually something to do with the geographic area they came from. Besides the obvious fact that racism is fucking dumb, I have a few questions that never seem to get answered:
- Just for kicks, let’s accept that natural selection favors people with certain physical characteristics in certain geographical areas. Say, hairy people in cold areas. Where in the world would dumb people have an advantage? Where would intelligent people be at a disadvantage?
- I’ve heard the argument that “well, people evolve so far, but their natural surroundings make it so they don’t have to evolve any further”. OK, let’s accept that too. Humans are not natural. Duh. They don’t act on instinct, they think about stuff. If tribe A is made of stupid people and the tribe B is made of really smart people, and those tribes go to war… which tribe would you put your money on? If there is intra-tribal conflict, who do you put your money on?
- “But, but, continent A has special challenges that others don’t have.” Really? Then the smartest people on earth should be from Australia, a continent that is famously hostile to human life. I have yet to hear a scientific racist make this suggestion.
But let’s be real. If, as scientific racists’ claim that Asian people, followed by white people are the smartest, really we should recognize that Mexicans are the smartest people on earth**. WAIT! HEAR ME OUT! Mexicans are a mix of Native American (people originally from Asia) and Spanish (white people with funny mustaches). Their combined intelligences make Mexicans the smartest! So there!
*I actually started this post a few days ago. So not actually today
**Full disclosure- I am half Mexican. Ahem.