Blacks Are Dumber Than Whites

And Watson Isn’t the Only One Who Says So

New America Media, Commentary, Earl Ofari Hutchinson Posted: Oct 22, 2007

Editor's Note: Nobel laureate James Watson isn't the only one who says blacks are dumber than whites, a subject that has long come up in public debate and got those who proclaimed it into hot water, writes NAM associate editor Earl Ofari Hutchinson.

Who said this? "Three populations were studied, Africans, East Asians and Europeans. In each, a mostly different set of genes had been favored by natural selection. And genes that affect the brain have also been evolving, and they have also been evolving differently in the different populations."

No, it wasn’t the clueless and hapless Nobel Prize winning geneticist James Watson who said it. The quotes are from The New York Times, in a story a year before Watson said that he was “inherently gloomy” about black intelligence. Watson’s candor got him a swift boot from an appearance at London’s Museum of Science, blasted by a legion of British officials, ridiculed by academic groups, and made the butt of jokes about his intelligence and even his sanity. A chagrined Watson wilted under the intense public heat, back-pedaled fast and denied that he meant any offense to blacks, and said that he is not a racist.

Meanwhile the Times story passed way under the public radarscope. It quoted two leading researchers who are conducting an extensive study on racial groups as part of the ongoing human genome study of gene development. The researchers made it clear that their studies are still genetic works in progress, and no conclusions could be drawn from them. They did plainly hint, though, at a possible racial difference.

Even without the Times piece, Watson only said what many have said and still say about black intelligence, or lack thereof. A decade back, a task force of the American Psychological Association found big gaps between black and white IQ scores. It did not entirely chalk the gap up to test construction biases. The association was careful not to go the genetic route to explain the gaps, but others weren’t. There were 11 critical responses in the January 1997 American Psychologist, chiding the association for not delving deeper into partly genetic explanations for the gap.

The debate has long raged over whether IQ tests are a fail safe, full proof bell-weather of cognitive ability. High IQ scores are as much the result of preparation, coaching, income, education and even cheating. Yet, it’s a very short and sneaky step from the belief that high IQ tests and scores are a good gauge of intelligence to making the case that since blacks on average score lower than whites they are less intelligent than whites (and Asians).

An endless parade of scientists, researchers and top gun academicians have long mangled science to turn proving black stupidity into a growth industry. They deliberately distorted Charles Darwin’s race neutral biological theory of “natural selection” in human evolution to make the case that whites are the superior race and that blacks are intellectual cripples. Two centuries back, the sage of Monticello kicked things off in the great debate on race and intelligence. Thomas Jefferson authoritatively declared blacks “in reason much inferior to whites, in imagination dull, tasteless and amorphous.”

Throughout the 19th century and deep into the 20th century, scholarly journals, academic associations, societies and even the U.S. Census Bureau issued countless studies and position papers that purported to show that blacks were intellectually defective.

At the turn of the 19th century, the American Economic Association published a tract by a leading academician, “The Negro in Africa and America.” He cautioned that blacks in America were seriously handicapped by “the inherited conditions” they brought with them from Africa. The lineup of highbrow intellectual magazines that eagerly endorsed and approved the black intellectual lag notion read like a roll call of academia. They included Popular Science Monthly, The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Medicine, the North American Review, and the American Journal of Psychology.

There’s still the lurking suspicion that low test scores, high dropout rates, bad behavior in the classroom by blacks, and even the allegation they deride learning as “acting white,” is due not to bad homes, bad friends and bad habits, but to bad genes. That idea has reared up time and again in public debate. The names of the learned men that have pushed this line – William Shockley, Arthur Jensen and Richard Herrenstein – readily come to mind. In his best seller, The Bell Curve, Charles Murray kicked up a storm a decade ago with gems like this: “A large majority of the next generation of blacks in the inner city are growing up without fathers and with limited cognitive ability.” Murray took much heat but didn’t back down from it. For his efforts, he was applauded by many for daring to buck political correctness and openly say what legions of others believed.

Watson rendered profuse mea culpas for his outburst, and promptly left Britain for the United States. He’ll probably take some heat here especially since word has it he repeats some of what got him in hot water in his new book, Avoid Boring People: Lessons from a Life in Science. But Watson in a private moment can rest snug in the knowledge that he isn’t the only one who says and thinks that blacks are dumber than whites.

New America Media Associate Editor Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. His new book is The Latino Challenge to Black America: Towards a Conversation between African-Americans and Hispanics (Middle Passage Press).

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User Comments

Sarah on Nov 07, 2007 at 18:06:42 said:

As a young African girl I feel very hurt to be hearing about this. I am one of the top students in my class and I cannot belive anyone would say this. Adults are suppose to be guiding young people to their futures. Yet how is this possible when some people are already undermining African Americans? What is the future going to be like for us young African American students if people have already decided that we have failed because of our racial background. This is very painful for me to hear.

To Orlando Spicer... on Oct 25, 2007 at 13:35:37 said:

To Orlando Spicer... I bet you're not even black but probably some racist white guy behind the screen. We can see right through you. We're not stupid you know...

To Orlando Spicer... on Oct 25, 2007 at 13:34:13 said:

To Orlando Spicer... I bet you're not even black but probably some racist white guy behind the screen. We can see right through you. We're not stupid you know...

To Orlando Spicer... on Oct 25, 2007 at 13:27:50 said:

To Orlando Spicer... I bet you're not even black but probably some racist white guy behind the screen. We can see right through you. We're not stupid you know...

Sydney on Oct 25, 2007 at 13:24:31 said:

I'm not black, but the idea that blacks are dumber as a race than whites is a lie. Smart people and dumb people come in all colors of the rainbow. Take a look at the village idiot--in every village there is an idiot! It doesn't matter what color you are. As far as the IQ goes, who do you think developed the IQ tests?? That's right, white folks! Gasp! Anyhow, the differences in IQ can be explained with the idea that there are different types of intelligence (book smart, street smart, etc... and the IQ test probably only tests a certain area). Blacks have been discriminated and they didn't have as much opportunity as whites and nowadays in some geographic areas, that is still the case! Wake up people! Start using your brains to think and stop with all the brainwashing! Ignorance is the Enemy and Knowledge is Power!

caprio on Oct 24, 2007 at 09:34:17 said:

James Watson didn't say that blacks are dumber than whites at all. He tries to advocate a scientific thesis to research the relation between genes and intelligence. His interest in brain research is related to his son's schizofrenia.

He btw apologized for the headlines in the newspaper, in which he tries to provoke public opinion, and promote his new book. His actual scientific view is more subtle.

Given the complex relation between genes and phenotype/behavior/expression (culture vs nature), and the diffuse definition of 'pure' race (from a genetic point of view) it is unlikely that research will ever be capable to proof a strong relationship in this aspect. You would need a group of pure black persons, and pure white persons, PLUS breed them in different conditions, PLUS have a test group. And even if you find some statistical relationship, it is quite impossible to proof causalities.

Ka Wah Chan on Oct 24, 2007 at 09:18:54 said:

A stupid black better than a dumb black leader with a "black heart" like US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice who just know how to play public relation in crisis.

George on Oct 23, 2007 at 13:02:39 said:

"They deliberately distorted Charles Darwin’s race neutral biological theory of “natural selection” in human evolution to make the case that whites are the superior race and that blacks are intellectual cripples."

This is not a distortion. Darwin was overtly a racist and believed that natural selection logically meant that black people were inferior and would eventually be, in obedience to natural selection, murdered by white people. This is further proof that Darwin's theory is antithetical to religious belief--believe it if you want but don't then hold yourself innocent from the terrible things that are done based on the foundation of an evil belief-system that condones mass killing of God's created beings.
As for intelligence, different black people have different intelligence levels. Although some white people will find it impossible to believe, some black people qualify for MENSA, and are in the top one half of one percent of the population as measured by IQ--like me (and of course many are far more intelligent and competent than I am). God's creation has varied colors, qualities, and virtues, and recognition of those differences is no excuse for injustice, hatred and bigotry.
Another important issue is that black people are not all the same. Within Africa are many different peoples, each with its own characteristics--and this reflects in microcosm the rich tapestry that is humanity.
Yet another issue is that some black people who are not intelligent were held down by the bigotry and intense hatred they face in a world that does not allow them to develop properly.
Every race and people has its strengths and its weaknesses. Do you want to be someone who holds others down by bigotry and hatred, or someone who uplifts others by kindness, mercy and respect?

unknownauthor on Oct 23, 2007 at 11:50:40 said:

black people aren't dumb. any one regardless can act like an idiot.

black people have been great kings and queens of africa, inventors and came to the us before slavery.

if anyone is really going to find the truth of africans, go to great kings and queens of, there are books about africans being in the u.s. before slavery: "we came before columbus, and before the mayflower."

you can find black history month's inventions by black people.

John Creasy on Oct 23, 2007 at 11:49:44 said:

This ongoing egregious slander against Africans/African Americans is nothing more than the ongoing attempt of whites to justify their oppression of Africans/African Americans. If Blacks and African were so intellectually inferior, why then, do whites go out of their way to continually undermine African/African American educational development? What gives me great comfort is to know that when whites face God, Almighty, to answer for what they\'ve done,...the vast, vast majority of their rotten souls will be driven into Hell...a most deserving end for their centuries of slander.

Toom on Oct 22, 2007 at 22:39:57 said:

whats the use of having a high IQ ? the Chinese behave like savages - millions killed in communist rule, concentration camps, thousands of executions per year, female infanticide, eating snakes, dogs, cats etc. The Germans created WWII and conducted the holocaust.

Orlando Spicer on Oct 22, 2007 at 19:44:24 said:

I'm black and even I know I'm dumber than other races. Duh!!!




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