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‘If You Take Certain Positions, You Will Be Cast into Outer Darkness…’

"... Whether your statements are empirically accurate is irrelevant." -- Charles Murray at NRO in defense of Jason Richwine, recently fired by the invertebrates at the Heritage Foundation.

by
Roger Kimball

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June 7, 2013 - 9:41 am

I just caught up with Charles Murray’s brave and perspicacious column at NRO about Jason Richwine. I know memories are short, but the outrageous story of how Mr. Richwine was hounded out of his job at the Heritage Foundation by a gaggle of PC witch-hunters last month is worth bearing in mind. His own account of his travails is very much worth reading. The bare outline:

  1. On May 6, Mr. Richwine’s co-authored report on the fiscal cost of immigration amnesty (we’re talking trillions, trillions) is published by Heritage. Many interviews, lots of media attention.
  2. The next day, The Washington Post reports that Mr. Richwine’s 2009 Harvard dissertation presented data showing that recent Hispanic immigrants “score lower than U.S.-born whites on many different types of IQ tests. Using statistical analysis, it suggests that the test-score differential is due primarily to a real cognitive gap rather than to culture or language bias.”
  3. Later that day: a media fire-storm. Accusations of racism. The Heritage Foundation lives up to the title of Ralph Buchsbaum’s zoological classic, Animals Without Backbones: An Introduction to the Invertebratesand Mr. Richwine “resigns.”

Another victory for the forces of “diversity” and “tolerance.” The enforcers in George Orwell’s 1984 would have been proud. Once again, reality caved in to ideology.

I know that this depressing scenario is happening too often to be surprising. While there is still a little space for dissent, however, it is worth publicizing such disgusting events for what they are: the victory of totalitarian imperiousness over a cowardice masquerading as prudence. (I am speaking of the Heritage Foundation, not Mr. Richwine).

Charles Murray, with his usual instinct for the salient, gets it just right:

In resigning, Dr. Richwine joins distinguished company. The most famous biologist in the world, James D. Watson, was forced to retire from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in 2007 because of a factually accurate remark to a British journalist about low IQ scores among African blacks. In 2006, Larry Summers, president of Harvard, had to resign after a series of attacks that began with his empirically well-informed remarks about gender differences. These are just the most visible examples of a corruption that has spread throughout American intellectual discourse: If you take certain positions, you will be cast into outer darkness. Whether your statements are empirically accurate is irrelevant.

If you take certain positions, you will be cast into outer darkness. Whether your statements are empirically accurate is irrelevant. Translation: truth doesn’t matter when ideology triumphs. White is black, day is night, there are no IQ differences among ethnic groups.

We are used to this sort of politically motivated mendacity in the university, where “diversity” has come to mean “conformity.” Murray merely states the obvious when he observes that “In academia, only the tenured can safely write on these topics. Assistant professors know that their chances of getting tenure will be close to zero if they publish politically incorrect findings on climate change, homosexuality, race differences, gender differences, or renewable energy. Their chances will not be much higher if they have published anything with a distinctly conservative perspective of any sort.”

That is bad enough. Here we have institutions, whose very raison d’être is the pursuit of truth, constrained to parrot politically sanctioned untruth on a wide range of sensitive topics.

Even worse is the metastasis of this freedom-and truth-blighting habit of mendacity. Increasingly, this sort of craven doublethink has oozed out of the academy and into the corridors of business, the media, and culture at large. Where will it end?
*****

Cross-posted from Roger’s Rules 

Images courtesy shutterstock / Mariusz S. Jurgielewicz / Sergey Novikov

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Top Rated Comments   
I've finally come to embrace the radicalism of the '60's generation, albeit 40 years late, but heck...I was pacing myself, I guess. Now that the spawn of the '60's has thoroughly infested the University I say burn them all down, leave no two stones standing on each other and salt the earth they stood on.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
The problem is that these particular truths are partlally congruent with lies that were used to justify great wrongs.

That partial congruency is very bitter. And there is justified fear that providing any credence to the lies could revive the associated wrongs.

There's also a self-image aspect. The fight to win civil equality for all races was largely fought by liberals. One might call it "their finest hour". And liberals want to live in that hour - forever. That requires finding "racism" to fight.

Eventually, though, reality will break through.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
One has from time to time come across an article maintaining that conservatives have a lower IQ than libruls. From Kos we have:
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/09/13/1131220/-Religious-and-Conservative-people-have-lower-IQs-than-their-counterparts

On thew other hand, some studies show the opposite:
http://iahymnewsnetwork.wordpress.com/2011/08/10/new-study-shows-liberals-have-a-lower-average-iq-than-conservatives/

CONCLUSION: One can't put much faith in IQ studies, or many other soft sciences studies for that matter.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (53)
All Comments   (53)
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The Heritage Foundation is consistent. It already turned its back on the folks (http://www.insectman.us/testimony/text-book-war.htm [http://www.insectman.us/testimony/text-book-war.htm]) it used to launch itself.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
I see this topic has been avoided like the plague. Just goes to show you how taboo this topic is in the current Leftiwng soico-political zeitgeist.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
I seem to recall that Watson (I assume you mean of Crick and Watson?) was kind of a nut, even if he did figure out DNA.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
"this sort of craven doublethink has oozed out of the academy and into the corridors of business . . "

Indeed, it has been so disheartening to watch all of these commercials lately from oil companies, automobile companies, manufacturing companies, etc. that try to pander to the PC crowd. One recent commercial showed a young employee sitting at a desk staring intently at a 3D image of a small wind turbine in a high tech setting. What was he looking at? And why? Yea . . let's save the planet and have an interesting and fun and high paying job right out of school - all at the same time! All 20 million of us! Someone else can build our toys, create our housing, grow our food and provide our energy. I kept wishing that a small 3D bald eagle would fly into the fan blade.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Simon is a nice man and his misses a point. Let's be honest. Our era's sociology is both bunk and a product of the liberal ascendancy.

People like Charles Murray - a good man - enjoy one of the biggest boondoggles in history - billions of dollars in taxpayer grants being kept alive by that overworked and convenient phrase "recent studies suggest".

The truth is that recent studies usually suggest what we already know is wrong and Liberals can't maintain an argument based on honesty. And they can;t get a way with lying either.

So they invested sociology and the social sciences.

But Charles Murray is absolutely right about the motive for the firings he reports.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
So they invented sociology and the social sciences. Invested isn't bad either, actually.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
The problem is that people are confused about what IQ means. The tests where originally conceived to detect mental retardation, but were sucked into service with a full blown theory about innate cognitive abilities that is pure bunk, but widely believed in an age of eugenics, the ghastly wrong ideology of biological utopianism engendered by pure pseudo-science.

If you think of genetics are merely a form of knowledge based tests such as the SAT test, then there is no real controversy. But the confusion and equivocation as to what IQ means makes it controversial. Murray treats it as one thing (innate intelligence that buys into the myth of classic IQ theory that buys into much of the 19th century ideology), and Richwine, so far as I can tell, treats it as no different than a type of SAT test. Now Murray further muddies the waters by defending himself through Richwine, though Richwine's view has nothing to do with Murray's genetic based view? Is your head spinning yet?

Murray is an opportunist who is responsible for this mess by his weaselly positions that smack of nativism, hereditarianism, and biologism that he sometimes wants to disassociate himself from, but not really. People defend him because ... you know .. old stuff must be conservative. Well, not necessarily in a good way. Now he wants vindication through Richwine, who doesn't share his views in the most important aspects. Is it any wonder people are confused?

Someone really should call Murray out on his sophistry, but no one will because the Libs hate him too so Conservatives will defend him. What a fine mess, but I'll bet he's profited more than the average JFK conspiracy theorist so maybe he's the smart one. I do think Richwine naive for not understanting the history on this. For all I know, he wrote that he was treating IQ as any other knowledge based test such as SAT, but I don't know that he did. If he didn't he's kinda dumb given the history on this and the profession he's aiming for. The dirty secret is that academics even within the walls of academia is more political than any other profession. Too bad no one told him.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is particularly sickening because it leaves nowhere for people to speak truth to Political Correctness. Not even in Conservative Political Advocacy Organizations. It doesnt pay to speak truth to PC. However eventually we will all be the poorer and miserable for not doing so.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Roger, couldn't you just start your article with White Men are smarter than anybody and I know it?
Or even better why would the smart employed Mexicans sneak into the country illegally to become manual laborers?
Or even better how smart could a bunch of White High on Dope college drop outs possibly be?
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
I remember when Summers made the woman comment. The female professors responded with histrionics - seriously! Some said they thought they were going to be sick and some said they almost fainted. Vapors much?

Personally, I thought he posed a valid question - and that's all it was, a question and should it be looked at.

Feminazi's need to accept that men an women are different and have different talents. That's why marriage should between a man and a woman - they compliment each other and can fill in each other's gaps in talents.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
today "racism"has become an ideological weapon of imperiallistic politics. ashley montagu from "mans most dangerous myth;the fallacy of race.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
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