The only thing dumber than conservatives and Republicans flinching from racial attacks is when they make them. The latest example is the crucifixion of Jason Richwine, as Michelle Malkin calls it.
Borrowing the tactics of the racialist (and sometimes racist) Left, supporters of the Gang of Eight’s immigration reform have dug into the deep academic past of Jason Richwine. Richwine processed some data for a study by the Heritage Foundation showing that immigration reform, as currently proposed by the Gang of Eight, would cost the nation hundreds of billions of dollars.
Because the Heritage cost study dominated the immigration narrative for a few days and dimmed the prospects for legislation, the long knives came out. And the Left has no longer knives than accusing someone of being a racist.
I’ve written extensively how charges of racism are the Left’s magic words to cause GOP panic. In the past, merely accusing someone of being a racist earned you whatever policy you want. Read Shelby Steele’s seminal book White Guilt for details.
The same things happened to Richwine, except this time the charges have been coming from a purportedly conservative group called the Hispanic Leadership Fund. No matter where you stand on immigration, one thing that should unite genuine conservatives and believers in individual liberty is not to resort to smearing someone as a racist without cause.
For the last two days, the left-wing media has devoured the narrative stoked by immigration reform advocates that Richwine is a nativist racist. Why? Because of an academic doctoral dissertation he wrote which Harvard deemed worthy to approve. Malkin summarizes his doctoral work:
Part One reviews the science of IQ. Part Two delves into empirical research comparing IQs of the native-born American population with that of immigrant groups, with the Hispanic population broken out. Richwine explores the causes of an immigrant IQ deficit that appears to persist among Hispanic immigrants to the U.S. through several generations.
When I read that Richwine’s scholarship involved empirical study of IQ levels across generations, I was reminded of my voting-rights litigation. “Senate Factor Five” makes it relevant in a voting case the extent to which minorities “bear the effects of discrimination” as it relates to education and health such that it limits “their ability to participate effectively” in politics.
In other words, federal law recognizes that past generational experiences can impair a minority’s present-day ability to participate in politics. While it is the law, this factor has always struck me as the sort of thing the critics now howl about regarding Richwine. Naturally, they are entirely silent regarding Senate Factor Five, and the ACLU and NAACP will probably use the factor shortly in another voting case.
Eric Holder’s Justice Department won’t because it seems to have given up enforcing Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, once again without a whisper of criticism from the Left.
One of the most uncomfortable parts of immigration reform for me is the extent to which the champions have joined with the ugly, malicious, nasty, repugnant, wicked, and destructive racial Left to push the bill. Nothing good ever comes from confederacies of convenience with those uncivil monsters. Whatever Richwine’s dissertation says, it has nothing to do with the data in the Heritage study.
If you are a purported conservative or Republican supporting Senator Marco Rubio’s bill, don’t let your newfound friends on the racial Left rub off on you. If you do, go all in, and go away.
Related: PJM’s Zombie on the “Progracists.”