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The assault on truth continues

June 6th, 2013 - 7:00 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.

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Top Rated Comments   
"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."

Ha. Universities haven't been in "pursuit of truth" for a very long time. In the 1960s those who were supposed to defend truth and knowledge were often the very first to kneel in front of the political left. I just hope we all live long enough to see them burned by the fires they started.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Roger, as usual, is right. It's about principle, not programs or specifics. Once you give in on principle, you're done -- and you deserve everything that comes your way.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Where will it end? Not sure

When will it end?

It will end when Winston no longer fears the rats. Not until.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (21)
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Anytime someone swerves onto the Bell Curve idiot train, there are going to be predictable reactions. That's because this I.Q. nonsense isn't being presented in an academic got-no-dog-in-the-hunt manner of the cool and reasoned scientist who studies humans the same way he studies the life cycle of some bacteria underneath a sheath of Antarctic ice.

Implicit in racial dialogues about I.Q.s is the idea the information should be in someway acted upon, and therein lies the rub as no one ever actually said.

I have no trouble with the idea of cutting off immigration from failed nations. I do have a problem with using the idea such nations are innately sub-human to do so, based on views that are way too close to visions of Aryan supremacy.

If one wishes to fight PC diversity and multicult, there are one hell of a lot of ways to do so that are a lot smarter than I.Q. tests, which are worthless anyway. Setting someone up for a fall based on what they were the day they were born is a form of depravity.

Yes, reality will have its day in court and yes, it may be too late by then. Hell, it's probably too late already. But if someone wants credit for being smarter than their opponents, then start solving the problem, instead of making it worse. We have laws in this country - start there. Taking a principled stand and doing an impression of David Duke are two different things.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I don't fault Charles Murray, but the NRO casting stones at Heritage for craven cowardice is a little bit "Rich". Perhaps John Derbyshire would like to comment.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Since the offense lies in the analysis of data, the end of the offense lies in studies supporting contravening data analysis of which no such studies seem to exist. Mere emotional disapproval seems to suffice. Where does this end? Words do not seem to suffice as a defense of oneself. It will end when libelous assaults like the one on Richwine are treated as fighting words and dealt with accordingly, both on the street and in the courthouse.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Where will it end?

You know where it will end, you just do not want to have to say it.

Shari'ah Law.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Truth is always the first casualty of war and this is a war on reason, objective truth, and our culture of liberty. Of course this is the same group who would deny there is a war to begin with.

Next thing you know they'll be telling us that divorce is good for families and children thrive under it........sorry, I didn't realize they already did that.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Some years ago, columnist Maggie Gallagher wrote that if there is no such thing as objective truth, then our statements to one another can only be assertions of power, attempts to use one another. This appears to be the overarching conviction of the Left, which has denied the existence of objective truth for some time now -- and has behaved in accordance with that stance at every turn.

Doesn't that make any attempt to reason with a leftist an exercise in futility?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
PS: quoting a TRUE liberal, Daniel P. Moynihan: "everybody is entitled to their web opinions, but not to their own facts".

I will prefer an ugly truth over a pretty lie anytime --- but as somebody else wrote elsewhere, our age has all the Victorian dedication to pious frauds without any of the Victorian virtues.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The odd thing is: the findings that got him fired do not even imply any difference between whites and Latinos as a whole - they can be adequately explained by self-selection among the immigrants.

From what I understand, the majority of middle- and especially upper-class Mexicans are quite happy to stay where they are. A small number may be tech-entrepreneurs frustrated by Mexico's Byzantine bureaucracy but numerically that will be a drop in the bucket.

And if you had a college-level intellectual skills, would you go do back-breaking construction or agricultural work with no obvious prospect of ever doing anything else unless you were truly desperate?

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It ends in ruin and destruction, the way it always ends when one denies reality. whether it is an individual or a whole culture, it is perfectly scalable. It may take decades, but reality always wins in the end.

I certainltylost a lot of respect for Heritage and for now their fund-raising letters go into the recycling pile, unopened.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Reminds me of what happened to John Derbyshire, who was fired from National Review. He wrote an article containing facts that made people uncomfortable. This made him a "racist" of course. Tell that to his Chinese-American wife.

http://takimag.com/article/the_talk_nonblack_version_john_derbyshire/print#axzz2VUQZxBqi
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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