The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

When the Truth Is Scandalous

Posted on | May 20, 2013 | 22 Comments

Jonathan Karl of ABC News is evidently a Republican, and liberals think it’s a horrible scandal that a Republican could be employed as a reporter: “Didn’t he see the ‘No Republicans Allowed’ sign?”

Meanwhile, Jason Richwine’s recent resignation from the Heritage Foundation, a subject I haven’t previously discussed, yields a secondary story that is either amusing or frightening, depending on whether you take Harvard students seriously:

Harvard students, outraged over a doctoral dissertation arguing that Hispanic immigrants lack “raw cognitive ability or intelligence,” this week urged the university to investigate how the thesis came to be approved and to ban future research on racial superiority. students presented 1,200 signatures to president Drew Faust and the dean of the John F. Kennedy School of Government, David Ellwood.
“Academic freedom and a reasoned debate are essential to our academic community,’’ the petition said. “However, the Harvard Kennedy School cannot ethically stand behind academic work advocating a national policy of exclusion and advancing an agenda of discrimination.”
The thesis — “IQ and Immigration Policy,’’ by Jason Richwine, a former doctoral candidate at the Kennedy School — compared IQ scores of US residents, including immigrants from a variety of countries, and concluded that the scores of Hispanic immigrants were substantially lower than those of native whites. The paper argued that the United States should allow only immigrants with high IQs.

This controversy essentially re-hashes the controversy over Charles Murray and Richard Herrnstein’s The Bell Curve back in the 1990s. And the problem is that the facts are the facts. You can explain the facts or interpret the facts however you wish. You can use the facts as arguments for one policy or another, or you can even argue that the facts have no relevance in terms of policy. What you cannot do — at least if you have any regard for intellectual integrity — is to attempt to suppress the facts as politically incorrect.

This is the same basic problem that Harvard feminists had with Larry Summers, who merely referred to available data in suggesting that innate differences between men and women explained the relative paucity of women in elite science positions.

In all of these cases, we are talking about measurements of average group differences. I repeat: average group differences.

Men — as a group, on average — are taller and stronger than women. This does not mean there aren’t tall women who could kick my ass. Also, men — again, as a group, on average — have better mathematical aptitude than do women. (It so happens that I’m crappy at math.) Such average group differences don’t really matter in terms of assessing any individual’s aptitude, but do matter when attempting to explain large-scale socio-economic phenomena.

Liberals have spent the past several decades insisting that all socio-economic differences between groups — male and female, white and black, native and immigrant — can be explained in terms of unfair discrimination which must be remedied by policies (including quotas) to equalize outcomes between these groups.

So when Larry Summers tried to say that maybe the reason there aren’t more women doing advanced scientific research at elite institutions is because women aren’t as good at science or, alternately, aren’t as interested as men in pursuing such careers, the feminist outrage was to be expected. Summers had denied the radical-egalitarian thesis that all differences between groups are the result of systematic unfairness —  “social injustice” — that must be rectified at all costs.

To quote Orwell, “One has to belong to the intelligentsia to believe things like that; no ordinary man could be such a fool.”

Radical egalitarianism so pervades the thinking of our 21st-century intelligentsia that they can’t seem to think outside of its dogma. The witch-hunt against Jason Richwine is typical: Exactly what did he do wrong? He was not, as the article says, doing “research on racial superiority,” nor did he argue that all Hispanics lack “raw cognitive ability or intelligence.” Richwine examined the data and found that — as a group, on average — immigrants score lower on IQ tests than native-born Americans, so that our current policy (or lack thereof) has the effect of lowering the nation’s average intelligence, with consequences that are both unfortunate and predictable.

One can disagree with Richwine’s policy recommendations without shutting down an entire field of academic inquiry, which is what the Harvard petitioners seem to have in mind. But any institution that would make Soledad O’Brien a “distinguished visiting fellow” obviously doesn’t have much intellectual integrity left to lose.

Harvard students are assholes. As a group. On average.



22 Responses to “When the Truth Is Scandalous”

  1. Dan Collins
    May 20th, 2013 @ 8:57 am

    Dan Collins liked this on Facebook.

  2. Bob Belvedere
    May 20th, 2013 @ 8:59 am

    Indeed, they are arseholes.

  3. ZION'S TRUMPET » Harvard Students, As a Group, On Average, are Assholes. But of Course.
    May 20th, 2013 @ 9:02 am

    […] When the Truth Is Scandalous […]

  4. riverlifecallie
    May 20th, 2013 @ 9:30 am

    I love the letters that start “Academic freedom and a reasoned debate are essential to our academic community,” and then proceed to request a shut down of academic freedom and a reasoned debate because…shut up wing-nuts!

  5. herddog505
    May 20th, 2013 @ 9:30 am

    The “reality-based” community strikes again.

  6. fadboo
    May 20th, 2013 @ 9:32 am

    RT @smitty_one_each: TOM When the Truth Is Scandalous #TCOT

  7. Rose
    May 20th, 2013 @ 10:24 am

    Silly, it’s not real unless the Democrats say it is real.You have evidence? “What difference, at this point, does it make?” It’s irrelevant. It doesn’t exist in this universe.

  8. Jaynie59
    May 20th, 2013 @ 10:55 am

    The truth is that most people, on average, are just plain stupid. Intelligence, talent, and ambition are rare qualities that society used to recognize. But that won’t be allowed in the “equality” world of the socialist utopia.
    The biggest losers are not the smart, the talented, or the ambitious. They always find a way to get ahead. The biggest losers are the average people who are perfectly happy being average and are made miserable when expected to do things beyond their capabilities. I saw it first hand when I worked for the phone company and upper management instituted a policy where everyone was considered the same. Sure those of us at the top weren’t happy that we were considered the same as the mid level people who couldn’t do the job without us and we stopped getting credit for it, but we all had a lot of years in and we all retired eventually with our pensions. The real losers were those people who did the drudge work, the Worker Bees who made the place. They were the first to get laid off.

  9. Quid Est Veritas? – What Is Truth?…At Harvard | The Camp Of The Saints
    May 20th, 2013 @ 11:02 am

    […] From Stacy McCain, we learn: […]

  10. Libertarian Advocate
    May 20th, 2013 @ 11:36 am

    “One has to belong to the intelligentsia to believe things like that; no ordinary man could be such a fool.”

    Yeah, so much for the Ivy League.

  11. Finrod Felagund
    May 20th, 2013 @ 1:39 pm

    I like to call them the community-based reality.

  12. Cube
    May 20th, 2013 @ 1:43 pm

    Let’s go all Mythbusters on them. “I reject your ‘reality’ and substitute my own”?

  13. Dai Alanye
    May 20th, 2013 @ 2:02 pm

    …most people, on average, are just plain stupid.

    Are we to conclude from this statement that you are being satirical or that you failed Statistics 101? It certainly can’t be true of my family, for we are all “above average.”

    And need I mention, “good looking.”

  14. Jaynie59
    May 20th, 2013 @ 2:53 pm

    Welcome to Lake Wobegon, where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.
    Garrison Keillor

  15. K-Bob
    May 20th, 2013 @ 3:15 pm

    The funny thing about the idiot leftists who are demonizing of the thesis (which can be read online), is that then-student Richwine was most likely working from his leftist professors’ set of talking points of the day. Evidently they were concerned with the fact that “for some mysterious reason,” hispanics are not getting ahead, and are not doing as well (as one would expect) after living in America (as other immigrant populations have done).

    This was a leftist concern of the day. At least among academics. So the young Richwine explored the reasons why, and his leftist professors signed off on it.

    And in fact, anyone who cares about immigration ought to be concerned when data shows such marginal improvement.

    The answer to the problem is to get the government to stop hampering the ability of people to open a small business. A Mexican who comes here today is totally discouraged when he sees what happens when trying to build his own prosperity. But then, so are we all.

  16. K-Bob
    May 20th, 2013 @ 3:18 pm

    Ask not for whom the bell curve tolls…

  17. Charles
    May 20th, 2013 @ 3:20 pm

    Harvard has 21,225 students and while it is possible that 10,613 of them are assholes, it should be observed that any demonstration attended or petition signed by fewer then that number does not speak for a majority of Harvard students.

    Even the reliably liberal Harvard Crimson occasionally prints articles with which you might agree:

    Of course, you may be computing the average asshole factor based on weighting some individuals as being equivalent to 10 assholes or even
    100, but really that is giving more credit than is due.

  18. Quartermaster
    May 20th, 2013 @ 4:17 pm

    Nah. Arschlochs attend overblown Ivies. Anyone with half a brain stays away from the Ivies these days.

  19. RichFader
    May 20th, 2013 @ 5:35 pm

    The left: Believes that sexual preference is inborn. Is offended at the notion that intelligence might be.

  20. Dandapani
    May 20th, 2013 @ 9:25 pm

    And 50% of them are below average in intelligence.

  21. Adjoran
    May 20th, 2013 @ 11:51 pm

    If you were correct, wouldn’t there be a protest of the leftist assholery at least sometimes from your “silent majority” of students?

    Silence is assent. They either agree with all the nonsense, or just don’t care how their school is portrayed.

  22. Charles
    May 21st, 2013 @ 8:30 pm