Recently Tim Wise wrote an article called soft pedalling White Supremacy. In it, he attacked David Horowitz for promoting nazi sympathizers and racists. One of the people mentioned in his article, Jared Taylor, wrote ZNet a response. We have published his letter with Tim Wise’s reply.
I hope you will post the following reply to Mr. Wises’s article:
In his Dec. 16 article about David Horowitz, “Making Nice With Racists,” Tim Wise treats Znet members to a smear-by-association that would be hard to top for recklessness. His argument can be summarized as follows: (1) David Horowitz once said a few nice things about Jared Taylor. (2) Jared Taylor is a wicked racist. (3) Jared Taylor has sponsored conferences—open to the public—that have been attended by David Duke and Don Black. (4) Therefore David Horowitz is “ultimately no better than” Jared Taylor, and is “a Jew who makes nice with Nazis.” Whew! When the right used to do this sort of thing it was called McCarthyism. How soon we forget.
Mr. Wise’s entire article is, of course, an attempt to make those with whom he disagrees look simple-minded and vicious by offering short, out-of-context quotations. My irredeemable wickedness, for example, is demonstrated by the following:
“…in some important traits–intelligence, law-abidingness, sexual restraint, academic performance, resistance to disease–whites can be considered ‘superior’ to blacks.”
What did I actually say?
“There is no scale on which they [racial differences] can all be ranked so as to draw across-the-board conclusions about racial “superiority” or “inferiority.” AR [American Renaissance magazine (www.amren.com), of which I am editor] therefore draws no such conclusions. It is certainly true that in some important traits–intelligence, law-abidingness, sexual restraint, academic performance, resistance to disease–whites can be considered ‘superior’ to blacks. At the same time, in exactly these same traits, North Asians appear to be ‘superior’ to whites. Is someone who believes that there are probably genetic reasons for this a ‘yellow supremacist’?”
Mr. Wise continues to quote me:
“Without constant urging from liberal whites, virtually all Africans would be content to put their fate in the hands of a (white) race that they recognize as smarter and more fair-minded than their own.”
I indeed wrote these words–but in a book review in which I was summarizing the author’s controversial views, not stating my own. Can Mr. Wise not tell the difference or, as in the previous quotation, does he simply have no interest in accuracy?
Mr. Wise introduces me to your readers as some “who advocates an all-white U.S.,” but I have never advocated such a thing. I have repeatedly pointed out that people prefer the company of people like themselves, that this is natural and healthy, and that we should organize our society on this assumption. In this context I have proposed two policies: the repeal of all anti-discrimination laws and an end to immigration. To say that I advocate an all-white U.S. is to suggest I want to kick non-whites out of the country. Nice try, Mr. Wise, but completely false.
Correcting the errors of someone with so little regard to the truth is tedious and probably pointless, so I will try only once more. One of Mr. Wise’s targets is J. Philippe Rushton of the University of Western Ontario. Prof. Rushton holds two doctorates from the Unversity of London, is a fellow of the Guggenheim Foundation, and of the American, British, and Canadian Psychological Associations. He is the author of six books, and hundreds of scholarly articles. Between 1986 and 1990, he was the 11th most cited psychologist in the world. He is undoubtedly the world’s foremost authority on racial differences–and what does Mr. Wise say about him? He calls him a “scholar” (in quotation marks) “who says blacks have smaller brains because they have larger penises and ‘you can’t have everything.’ ” A distortion as crude as this can only be deliberate, as a visit to Prof. Rushton’s www.charlesdarwinresearch.org will demonstrate.
If Mr. Wise has an argument with Mr. Horowitz he should engage him directly. Instead, he teases out the most tenuous connections to people Mr. Horowitz doesn’t even know, distorts their views, and then acts as if Mr. Horowitz were responsible for the resulting nonsense. This is not journalism; it is childish screaming.
In the past, I have often found Z Magazine incisive and thought-provoking. I see I shall have to approach its articles with considerably more skepticism in the future.
Response From Tim Wise
In response to my recent article on David Horowitz and his praise for white nationalist and racist Jared Taylor, Taylor accuses me of some form of leftist McCarthyism, implying that my essential argument was:
“(1) David Horowitz once said a few nice things about Jared Taylor. (2) Jared Taylor is a wicked racist. (3) Jared Taylor has sponsored conferences—open to the public—that have been attended by David Duke and Don Black. (4) Therefore David Horowitz is ‘ultimately no better than’ Jared Taylor, and is ‘a Jew who makes nice with Nazis.’ Whew! When the right used to do this sort of thing it was called McCarthyism. How soon we forget.”
But this is silliness of the highest order. I was merely arguing, as the title made clear, that Horowitz was “soft-pedaling white supremacy.” The fact that he refuses to call Jared a racist, despite the evidence of this simple fact, and that he praises him in terms that are quite glowing (along with other articles on his site that actually make racism sound like a natural and healthy thing), make this charge entirely appropriate.
As for Jared’s conference merely being open to the public, and certain racists merely showing up–as if by coincidence–this is utter and complete subterfuge. First off, I listed a number of persons who were asked by Taylor to SPEAK at his conference. These individuals made blatantly racist remarks, and are affiliated (in the case of Steven Barry and Gordon Baum) with overt neo-nazis. Glade Whitney wrote the fawning introduction to Duke’s racist manifesto, and was a fixture at the conferences (and a speaker) up until he died. Gordon Baum, Director of the CCC (a friend of Taylor’s, for whose group Jared has written articles and papers, and to which group he belongs and serves as a Board member), tried to recruit the head of the Aryan Nations security detail to the CCC national board of directors. Steven Barry is a member of the Nazi outfit, the national alliance. Jared said in a debate with me in November that he didn’t know of Barry’s affiliations when he invited him to speak, and that once he found out he never asked him to speak again. But Barry has continued to attend and be welcomed by Taylor. Taylor refuses to turn Nazis away from his conferences, preferring to take their money and have them in attendance, and he refused to condemn Barry or the National Alliance by name in our debate, though he was given the chance to do so and encouraged to do so.
I will repeat the challenge. Today, right now Jared: say the following:
“I Jared Taylor hereby condemn the neo-Nazi National Alliance, and any individual who joins such a violent, hateful organization or supports them. I condemn David Duke and repudiate his noxious views on race and his call for “Aryans” to reclaim America for whites. From now on , I wish to see none of these people or their followers and supporters at my conference, so as to demonstrate my utter repudiation of racial hatred, violence, and neo-Nazism.”
He won’t say it. And not only because he doesn’t like to be told what to say, but because to do so would anger many of his supporters and possibly even endanger his life at the hands of some of the goons who follow the white nationalist movement and support it. He will say, most likely, something akin to the following (which David Duke still says publicly, though his book implies the opposite):
“I repudiate any individual or group who advocates violence.”
But that’s not good enough Jared. First off, it allows you to think (as if your fingers were crossed behind your back as you say it) that you don’t mean the NA, since you might believe they don’t advocate violence (though they clearly do). Secondly, it allows you to still feel a kinship with the NA on everything but the violence. In other words, their overt hatred of people of color is not being repudiated by the above kind of comment. And third, it allows you to avoid a very clear denunciation of the specific kinds of people who are part of this movement, thereby maintaining a united front of sorts, even while you seem to be distancing yourself.
The only way to really make the point is to denounce specifically, the NA, Stormfront, all Klan groups, all skinheads groups, Duke by name, Richard Butler by name, Metzger by name, the Euro-fascist Mark Cotterill by name (he being the one who helped Nazify the DC area CCC), the Church of the Creator and Matt Hale by name, Steven Barry by name, etc. That would be a start. Of course, I don’t expect you to do any of that.
More to the point, you shouldn’t let such folks attend your conferences. There is no reason to allow them to do so, and if you were truly bothered by their views you would tell them to stay away; tell them that yours is a respectable movement with no room for haters such as they. Yours is a private organization, and you have every right to limit membership, or contributions, or participation in events that you host. To not do so is to say that you are not really that troubled by their presence.
Taylor then accuses me of misquoting him or taking quotes out of context. To Wit:
“Mr. Wise’s entire article is, of course, an attempt to make those with whom he disagrees look simple-minded and vicious by offering short, out-of-context quotations. My irredeemable wickedness, for example, is demonstrated by the following:
‘…in some important traits–intelligence, law-abidingness, sexual restraint, academic performance, resistance to disease–whites can be considered ‘superior’ to blacks.’
What did I actually say?
“There is no scale on which they [racial differences] can all be ranked so as to draw across-the-board conclusions about racial “superiority” or “inferiority.” AR [American Renaissance magazine (www.amren.com), of which I am editor] therefore draws no such conclusions.”
But this is a dodge. To be a racist does not require that one believes that on EVERY trait there is clear racial superiority and inferiority, with the same group being on top at all times, and the others on the bottom. For example, David Duke says that blacks are probably better athletes than whites–especially in certain sports–but does that mean he isn’t an anti-black racist? Hardly. AR and Taylor most certainly do believe (and the argument is made every year at their conference) that blacks are inferior to whites in every one of the categories deemed critical for mainatining advanced civilizations. Indeed, Taylor has said, as has his buddy Sam Francis that Whites and North Asians have built civilizations that others simply CANNOT build (i.e., because they are genetically incapable, thus inferior), and that the genetic endowment of the founders of the U.S. was key to America’s success…i.e., that whites are superior in all the areas that count.
Indeed, in Feb. 1999, Jared ran an article by professor Michael Levin, in which Levin said:
“Academics tend to duck (these issues of racial superiority or inferiority), from a desire for scientific neutrality or simply to avoid trouble. They will say that race differences in IQ and temperament have nothing to do with questions of value, that the greater intelligence of whites, for example, is just a fact of nature like blood pressure. But very few people view intelligence this way, and I am sure the typical psychologist prefers that his children have IQs of 120 rather than 80.” (italics mine)
In other words, although people might claim that they only view the differences as facts, and don’t seek to rank them in terms of superior and inferior, this is clearly a form of subterfuge.
Although Levin goes on to claim that indeed these differences shouldn’t be ranked as superior or inferior, his case for such relativism is hardly convincing–so little so that one knows he can’t possibly believe it or expect others to believe that he means what he says. To wit, Levin:
â€œon average, blacks are less concerned than whites about the golden rule. This is clearly suggested by the very high rates of black criminality not only in the United States but around the world. At a more mundane level it is also reflected, for example, in the unwillingness of many blacks to take turns and a tendency of blacks to â€œtalk backâ€ to movies (which displays a lack of sympathy with audience members who want to watch in silence).â€
“being moralâ€“being concerned with the golden ruleâ€“isnâ€™t better in any absolute sense than being amoral. It is a preference, neither right nor wrong, that some people feel more intensely than others, and that still others lack altogether…”
“Hearing someone say a steak is tender and juicy, you would as a matter of course assume he is praising it. You would be surprised and a little doubtful if he insisted he was only describing the steakâ€™s properties.”
Of course, because such a claim would be insane. Society ascribes value to things like juicy steaks, and it is commonly accepted that intelligence is a positive attribute and that one who has it is in some sense “better” than one who doesn’t. While this kind of thinking may be flawed (and I would say is flawed), to the extent Levin KNOWS (and so does Jared) that listeners and readers will ascribe definite superior value to the traits that they claim are white, and inferiorize “black traits,” their claim to merely be expressing differences without judgment is little more than verbiage paired with a wink and a nod to their real beliefs.
Jared continues his accusation of my misrepresentation of his views by continuing with his quote from the above…To wit:
“It is certainly true that in some important traits–intelligence, law-abidingness, sexual restraint, academic performance, resistance to disease–whites can be considered ‘superior’ to blacks. At the same time, in exactly these same traits, North Asians appear to be ‘superior’ to whites. Is someone who believes that there are probably genetic reasons for this a ‘yellow supremacist’?”
Yet this too is another dodge. Note, at none of his conferences do speakers proclaim Asian superiority, or wax eloquent about how bright Asians are, or how much whites lag behind Asians, etc. These are conferences to bash blacks and Latino immigrants and call for racial separatism, period. Read the statements made at the conferences, some of which are available from Jared’s site and others of which can be found by searching the site for the Southern Poverty Law Center (a group which I generally don’t much like, but which does a thorough job in this area of tracking and monitoring racist organizations.)
Secondly, even if he does believe that Asians are in some way superior:
1. This doesn’t insulate him from a charge of anti-black racism or white supremacy vis-a-vis blacks, or Latinos, etc.
2. Such a belief is also inherently racist for it takes as a given that there are inherent racial differences that adhere to different groups, and that these groups can be easily biologically classified and distinguished, and that these differences allow one to claim for a certain trait that one or another group is superior to another, due to some biological, innate traits or characteristics. That is the textbook definition of racism in fact.
Also, as regards the charge of racism, let us look at something Jared himself said at the 1997 conference of the CCC. While regaling the audience with tales of how his neighbors in Louisville made up a flyer denouncing him and encouraging folks to essentially run him out of town, he quoted from the neighbor’s flyer, the following: “Mr Taylor and his cohorts provide plenty of pseudo-intellectual justification for dismantling decades of social progress and they are all too eager to usher in a new era of racism, hate crimes, segregation and xenophobia.”
Jared then went on to say that after one particular young man came across the flyer, he paid Taylor a visit at his home. There, he asked Jared if it was true “what they say about you” in the leaflet, to which Jared replied:
“Yes it is. He said, let me shake your hand. He says Iâ€™m with you all the way brother.”
So here we have Taylor, telling a young man in a private moment that indeed the charges against him in the flyer (see above) are true, and sharing that with others of his mindset. Though publicly he now wants to deny it.
Jared then accuses me of another misrepresentation. To wit:
“Mr. Wise continues to quote me:
‘Without constant urging from liberal whites, virtually all Africans would be content to put their fate in the hands of a (white) race that they recognize as smarter and more fair-minded than their own.’
I indeed wrote these words–but in a book review in which I was summarizing the author’s controversial views, not stating my own. Can Mr. Wise not tell the difference or, as in the previous quotation, does he simply have no interest in accuracy?”
More interest than Jared, apparently. In July of 1998, he also reprinted in his publication a full length article by this same author, where the author makes all the same points about blacks “knowing” that whites are superior to them. He never took issue with the author’s statements, either in the book review (where the words I quoted above were his, not the authors, and where he never said anything to imply he disagreed with a word of the book), nor when he posted an article by the author saying the same thing.
Indeed, in the book review where these words appeared, he described the book whose views he was “merely summarizing,” as
“a remarkable book that is anything but rubbish. Racism, Guilt and Self-Deceit is one of those rare books so full of insight and good sense that they are a pleasure to write about.”
In fact, the specific paragraph from which I drew the quote does not read as if he is merely summarizing the author at all…to wit:
“Ultimately, as Dr. Braun recognizes, his observations illuminate the terrible flaws in the white man. Without constant urging from liberal whites, virtually all Africans would be content to put their fate in the hands of a race that they recognize as smarter and more fair-minded than their own. Dr. Braun puts it this way:
(1) Blacks cannot manage a modern industrial democratic society; (2) blacks know this and would never think of denying it were it not for white liberals insisting otherwise; (3) except for those black elites who hope to take power, black rule is in no one’s interest, especially not blacks; (4) blacks know this better than anyone and are terrified of black rule.”
Now read that carefully again. The first sentence opines as to what Dr. Braun recognizes–i.e., an immutable truth one assumes that he sees clearly (and which taylor must then endorse). The second sentence is presented without any qualifier that it is Braun’s view, and then the third sentence returns to the way Braun actually puts it: In other words, the offending sentence was indeed Taylor speaking for Taylor…when he wants to speak for Braun he says so…
In the same “review” Taylor offers, in what is clearly his opinion the following:
“Racism, Guilt, and Self-Deceit is one of the few contemporary books to make a rational case for apartheid”
And then, going beyond what even Braun says himself, Taylor adds:
“Also, though Dr. Braun does not mention this, because of miscegenation with whites, the average IQ of American blacks is 10 to 15 points higher than that of African blacks. Therefore, when white South Africans voted last year to hand over power to blacks, they agreed to submit to the will of a majority people with an average mental age of twelve.”
Putting aside the nonsense about black IQ–which nonsense was “proven” by Richard Lynn using deceptive research and frankly lying about the sources’ conclusions that he cites in his own research–there is little doubt that such a sentiment confirms my original interpretation of the quote I used in the article: namely that Taylor’s statement in the review was his own, not merely an innocent recitation of what someone else believes.
And while I’m at it, what the hell…let’s dispense with the bullshit about African IQ.
As mentioned before, the chief “source” for the argument that African blacks are especially defective in intellect is Richard Lynn. Lynn claims that years of IQ testing demonstrate intellectual inferiority among Africans, and since African blacks are more â€œpureâ€ than African Americans, white nationalists like Jared take this to mean that there is some inherent link between blackness and feeble-mindedness. But there are several problems with Lynnâ€™s research.
First, Lynn heavily rests his claims about African IQ on a 1989 study by Ken Owen, which Lynn calls the â€œbest single study of the Negroid intelligenceâ€. The study, which involved tests given to white, Indian and black pupils in South Africa, found, according to Lynn, that the mean IQ for blacks there was 69. However, Owen never assigned IQ scores to the students who took the tests, as the test was not an IQ test. Lynn made up the IQ scores, claiming they corresponded to the differences between white and black test performance. Indeed, Lynn completely misinterpreted Owenâ€™s findings. According to Owen himself, â€œthe knowledge of English of the majority of black test-takers was so poor that certain of the tests proved to be virtually unusable;â€ Most importantly, Owen insists that the test results were â€œnot at allâ€ an indication of inherited ability. In fact, the author explicitly blamed the white/black performance gaps on the unequal conditions existing under apartheid.
Other studies cited by Lynn were also misinterpreted, including one involving a test given to black and white youth in South Africa, which actually found that the black students scored higher than the white students. In seven of eleven studies cited by Lynn to â€œproveâ€ inferior African IQ, subjects were never assigned IQ scores at all: Lynn simply concocted them after the fact. The authors of a 1988 study cited by Lynn rejected his interpretation of their work, noting that the tests were not valid indicators of intelligence for non-Westerners as they were all given in English. Furthermore, they insisted that the study said nothing at all about genetic influence, let alone genetic comparisons between whites and blacks.
According to Lynn, the â€œfirst good testâ€ of Negroid ability was a 1929 study involving the administration of the Army Beta Test to Africans. Yet, this study was profoundly culture-biased. On one test item, test-takers were shown a picture of people playing tennis without a net. To get the question right, one would have to draw the net into the picture. Needless to say, few black Africans at that time would have been familiar with the game. Even the biggest proponent of the Beta Test, Carl Brigham, admitted it was worthless for non-Americans.
Jared then complains that:
“Mr. Wise introduces me to your readers as some ‘who advocates an all-white U.S.,’ but I have never advocated such a thing. I have repeatedly pointed out that people prefer the company of people like themselves, that this is natural and healthy, and that we should organize our society on this assumption.”
Putting aside how “natural” it is to separate on the basis of race (which in modern times has been determined by arbitrary phenotypic differences, and which indeed was not natural for impoverished euros and african slaves in the colonies who often worked together and saw the common interest they had in overthrowing aristocracy), Jared is simply being disingenous here. He openly says that he would prefer racial separation, with a white nation, a black nation, a mixed nation for those who want to choose integration, etc…all of these would be carved out of the present day U.S., but I assume he would wish to retain the U.S. name for the white nation. Thus, when I say he advocates an all-white U.S. this is simply true.
This is what I sent to Jared when he wrote me personally to complain about this accuasation. Re-posting it here will save me some time and make the point intended:
[Maybe you are misinterpreting my meaning here, or we are disagreeing on a semantic point.
What I am saying is that you most certainly do say that you would like racial separation in this country. Whether that is voluntary (as you say you support) or forced (as I think it would actually require and as many people in the movement openly support), the result would be the breaking up of the U.S. into several nations. One (and the one that I assume you would like to retain the name, "United States,") would be the white nation, one would be a black nation, one perhaps Latino, one perhaps for those who want a mixed nation, etc. The end result of this vision is indeed an "all-white U.S.," in terms of what you would like in your heart of hearts to see. To me, that is the very definition of "advocating an all-white U.S." The definition of "advocate" in my dictionary (Websters) is "to plead in favor of, support or urge by argument, recommend publicly." You certainly do that regarding the so-called favorability of racial separation and a white nation (alongside a black nation, etc). You clearly wish the U.S. were even now all-white, much as you said after the debate at Vandy that you wished all your neighbors in Louisville had been white. I don't see how this is in any way a controversial statement on my part. Perhaps you read it to mean that I was accusing you of openly advocating forced removal and purging of non-whites. I realize you do not openly advocate these things, and never said that you did. ] Jared continues that he merely has: “proposed two policies: the repeal of all anti-discrimination laws and an end to immigration. To say that I advocate an all-white U.S. is to suggest I want to kick non-whites out of the country. Nice try, Mr. Wise, but completely false.” But that was not my implication…separation, even if “voluntary” would mean an all-white U.S….and he advocates that. My statement was true. Of course, lots of his followers and supporters do indeed advocate forced removal and violence. I get plenty of emails from such folks, fairly regularly in fact.
Jared then attempts to defend his colleague and friend, J. Philippe Rushton of Ontario, who I criticized in the article. To wit: “Correcting the errors of someone with so little regard to the truth is tedious and probably pointless, so I will try only once more. One of Mr. Wise’s targets is J. Philippe Rushton of the University of Western Ontario. Prof. Rushton holds two doctorates from the Unversity of London, is a fellow of the Guggenheim Foundation, and of the American, British, and Canadian Psychological Associations. He is the author of six books, and hundreds of scholarly articles. Between 1986 and 1990, he was the 11th most cited psychologist in the world. He is undoubtedly the world’s foremost authority on racial differences” According to whom? Not any geneticist, because he isn’t one. Not biologists, because he isn’t one. Not anthropologists, because he isn’t one. Taylor continues: “–and what does Mr. Wise say about him? He calls him a “scholar” (in quotation marks) “who says blacks have smaller brains because they have larger penises and ‘you can’t have everything.’ ” A distortion as crude as this can only be deliberate, as a visit to Prof. Rushton’s www.charlesdarwinresearch.org will demonstrate.”
Well, Rushton said it, and has made the issue of penis size vs. brain power a central point of his research. And he has based these things on old research, with small sample sizes (no pun intended), and has been pilloried for it by plenty of scholars in the field. Read Joseph Graves’ book The Emperor’s New Clothes or Alexander Alland’s Race in Mind for detailed rebuttals, among others. As for me, let me just offer a few things here about Rushton: One of his claims is that blacks have smaller brains than whites and that this explains “lower black intelligence.” Yet a principal source he uses to make this claim rebukes his interpretation of the data. Specifically, Dr. Alan Wilson at the University of California who says, â€œhe is misrepresenting our findings,â€ which actually show no substantial differences between Africans, Asians and Europeans, and that Rushtonâ€™s misuse of his work, â€œshocks and dismaysâ€ him.
Rushton also ignores an array of studies going back over 150 years, which find no significant racial differences in size or weight of human brains. According to the preponderance of these studies, the average difference in white and black cranial capacities is no more than 50 cubic centimeters: a size difference of less than three-and-a-half percent. Even Rushton canâ€™t seem to make up his mind about the importance of cranial and brain size to intelligence: indeed, despite insisting that the relationship is strong, he has also said, in typically inconsistent fashion: â€œâ€¦head size is a weak predictor of intelligence;â€
Such a scholar as this could afford to be a bit more consistent…
Also, to claim as Rushton does that brain size is a key to intelligence is self-evidently absurd. Women, for example, have smaller brains on average than men, but the average IQ’s of men and women are the same. Indeed, the racial difference in brain size, according to one of the key studies cited by Rushton, is less than one-fifth the size of the average difference between men and women, and yet IQ tests indicate no gender differences in intelligence. Similarly, Neanderthals had massive skulls and brains by contemporary standards, yet never created any semblance of civilization.
Then of course we have Rushton’s favorite obsession…black sexual behavior. He argues, for example that evolutionary conditions for Europeans and Asians encouraged different reproductive patterns than for Africans. Specifically, that Africans developed reproductive strategies that emphasized high fertility, producing many offspring, and then investing little time in the development or care of those offspring. It is argued that this adaptation was the logical result of developing in warm climates, where life would be easier, and families wouldnâ€™t need to stick together as closely. On the other hand, according to Rushton, Europeans and Asians developed different strategies, emphasizing fewer offspring and the lavishing of care upon oneâ€™s children. These differential strategies are known to biologists as r- and K-strategies, and according to Rushton, they are responsible for larger black families, greater levels of sexual promiscuity among blacks, and less family stability among blacks, relative to whites and Asians.But Rushtonâ€™s application of r- and K-strategy theories to human races is a complete break with the views of geneticists and biologists who first developed r/K theories to describe differences between entirely different species. When biologists talk of r/K theories of selection, they are describing the kinds of differences one sees between cockroaches, on the one hand (r-selected), and humans on the other (K-selected). The notion that humans would differ in r- and K-selection strategies based on so-called â€œracial groupingsâ€ is completely foreign to the field of biology or genetics, and as such, has not been espoused by practitioners of either discipline, but rather by â€œevolutionary psychologists,â€ like Rushton.
For Rushtonâ€™s theories on r/K to be true, one would have to accept the idea that blacks were essentially a different species from whites and Asians: a notion that is completely absurd and rejected by every geneticist and biologist of any repute in the world.
As Dr. Mark Feldman, population biologist from Stanford University, and noted expert on r/K selection theory has explained, r/K is â€œabsolutely inapplicableâ€ to human differences, and Rushtonâ€™s work â€œdoesnâ€™t really classify as scienceâ€¦it has no content, it is laughable.â€
Furthermore, Rushtonâ€™s claims hardly seem logical when confronted by the realities of the contemporary world. After all, how could Asians be viewed as employing reproductive strategies that emphasized few offspring, when the two most populated nations on Earth are China and India? And given the fact that fertility rates for blacks in the U.S. have fallen as African-American economic mobility has improved, it is hard to see how genetic adaptation is the key to black reproduction patterns. Even the small average family size among â€œwhitesâ€ is a fairly recent phenomenon, owing to better sanitation, medicine and hygieneâ€”all of which helped reduce mortality rates (thereby reducing the incentive for greater fertility to maintain stable families)â€”as well as access to birth control, which directly lowered white birth rates in the modern era. Small white families are simply not the historical norm, contrary to Rushtonâ€™s evolutionary claims.
Rushtonâ€™s â€œscholarship,â€ also includes the claim that blacks are more susceptible to AIDS than whites and Asians due to these same differences in reproductive strategies and sexual behavior. Yet, as anthropologist Charles Leslie explains, the â€œevidenceâ€ for such a position is embarrassingly limited and anecdotal. For example, Rushton considers it â€œproofâ€ of more restrained Asian sexuality that Asian men in certain studies have expressed great concern over premature ejaculation. On the other hand, the fact that black men express far lower concern about this sexual dysfunction, leads Rushton to conclude that they are more sexually libidinous.
Leslieâ€™s colleague C. Owen Lovejoy further explains the silliness of Rushtonâ€™s position by noting that his claims about black hypersexuality and Asian restraint (with whites inbetween), consists of categorizing various tendencies, traits and behaviors between the groups in highly unscientific ways. He classifies everything from sexual maturity, to onset of sexual activity, to genital size with such non-scientific terms as â€œlow, medium and high,â€ or â€œsmall, medium and large,â€ all of which are so thoroughly vague as to allow for broad interpretation and misclassification. Rushton also apparently considers it evidence of lower Asian sexuality that 52% of British women report thinking about sex every day, while only 1% of Japanese women report doing so.
As for the claim that blacks are evolutionarily predisposed to AIDS thanks to rampant sexuality, a few points should serve to dispel such nonsense. First, it seems fairly absurd to believe such a notion, in spite of the higher infection rates of African Americans or Africans, since only one-tenth of one percent of African Americans are HIV-positive: hardly an indication that blacks engage as a group in massively irresponsible sexual behavior.
In fact, there are very clear, non-racial, non-behavioral explanations for higher HIV-infection rates among blacksâ€”especially continental Africansâ€”than among whites. First, the epidemiology of the disease is such that it targets the immune system, which in poorer nations will be more heavily compromised by malnutrition and other health problems in the first place. Secondly, the serum infection levels of Africans will tend to be higher thanks to the unavailability of low-cost medications that can help control the spread of the disease by reducing the infection load in an HIV-positive carrier. Third, the lower rate of male circumcision in Africa has been isolated as the single greatest factor contributing to the spread of HIV because lack of circumcision, combined with poverty conditions, can contribute to chancroid sores which go untreated and allow for the spread of infection.
A final reason for lower rates of HIV-infection among whites is that Europeans appear to have a greater frequency of a particular protein found on their T-cells, which are the cells targeted by HIV. The particular mutant allele known as CCR5 to geneticists renders its carriers resistant to the virus, and since Europeans appear to carry this mutation more oftenâ€”not because they are a separate race but because of a quirk of evolutionary historyâ€”whites will tend to exhibit lower levels of infection. Indeed, the mutationâ€™s frequency is about eight times more prevalent in those of Northern European descent than in Africans; though even among whites it is rare. The existence of this particular mutation in approximately eight percent of Northern Europeans and their descendants is likely the result of previous viruses many millennia ago, which produced the natural selection of such a mutation in order to allow populations exposed to the previous virus to survive.
Whatever the ultimate reason for higher HIV infection rates in Africa, we can rest assured that sexual promiscuity is not to blame. Indeed, a study published by the United Nations in 1999 indicated that there was no correlation between rates of sexual activity and prevalence of HIV, anywhere in the world.
As researcher Eileen Stillwaggon recently explained, multiple-partner, unprotected sex is common in the United States and Europe, as evidenced by epidemic outbreaks of STDs such as herpes and chlamydia. Yet unlike Africa, where AIDS has been mostly a heterosexual phenomenon, the West has not experienced a substantial outbreak of heterosexual HIV and AIDS. So some other factor besides rates of sexual activity itself must explain the difference between African and U.S. or European AIDS rates. As Stillwaggon notes, that factor can best be summed up in the words of Louis Pasteur, who explained epidemiology by opining: “The microbe is nothing, the terrain everything.” In other words, pre-existing health conditions play a substantial and even primary role in determining oneâ€™s susceptibility to disease. As such, it should be no more surprising to see HIV and AIDS spread more rapidly in poor African nations than to see similar gaps between rich and poor nations when it comes to outbreaks of TB, measles and practically all infectious diseases.
In Africa, poverty, drought and lack of potable water in many locations makes populations highly susceptible to malnutrition and parasites, while also constricting access to antibiotics for other STDs that are themselves contributors to HIV transmission. During the period that witnessed the onset of the African AIDS crisis, the continentâ€™s health and economic status were approaching free-fall. From 1970-1997, sub-Saharan Africa was the only part of the world to suffer a decline in food production, caloric intake and protein supply, and eighteen of the worldâ€™s nineteen famines from 1975 to 1998 were in Africa.
Stillwaggon explains the connection between structural conditions and disease transmission as follows:
There is a large body of mainstream biomedical literature that documents the mechanisms by which malnutrition and parasite infection undermine the body’s specific and nonspecific immune response. Protein-energy malnutrition (general calorie deficit) and specific micronutrient deficiencies, such as vitamin-A deficiency, weaken every part of the body’s immune system, including the skin and mucous membranes, which are particularly important in protecting from STDs, including HIV. Parasite infestation plays a dual role in suppressing immune response. It aggravates malnutrition by robbing the body of essential nutrients and increasing calorie demand. Moreover, the presence of parasites chronically triggers the immune system, impairing its ability to fight infection from other pathogensâ€¦Poverty not only creates the biological conditions for greater susceptibility to infectious diseases, it also limits the options for treating disease. Infection with other STDs is an important co-factor for transmission of HIV; genital ulcer diseases in particular, such as chancroid, provide an entry point for HIV. Such painful bacterial STDs are relatively uncommon in rich countries because of the availability of antibiotics. In Africa, South Asia and Latin America, however, even when poor people have access to healthcare, the clinics may have no antibiotics to treat bacterial STDs that act as co-factors for AIDS. These are among the conditions we have to consider in poor countries, and they are standard variables in epidemiology.
Jared then concludes with the following: “If Mr. Wise has an argument with Mr. Horowitz he should engage him directly. Instead, he teases out the most tenuous connections to people Mr. Horowitz doesn’t even know, distorts their views, and then acts as if Mr. Horowitz were responsible for the resulting nonsense. This is not journalism; it is childish screaming.” The article was true, the praise he heaped on taylor was real…taylor’s racism is apparent. I do not say Horowitz is responsible for what Jared says, but if he is going to praise such a character as this, he becomes fair game. I should point out that Taylor has said and done plenty of other things I didn’t even mention in the original article, such as publish articles in his AR newsletter praising David Duke and the NAAWP (even though both have advocated openly neo-nazi and racist ideas for years), even advertising how one can order Duke’s racist manifesto by mail, and even running an article praising racist skinhead music. I could go on, but what’s the point. Anyone who has an article on his website claiming to demonstrate how blacks really had lots of positive things to say about slavery, (and thus presumably, it wasn’t really all that bad) is not to be taken seriously as anything but what he is: a racist. Shoe…fits…wear Tim Wise