Racial Disparities

15 04 2010

On April 5, a man named John Derbyshire spoke at a panel discussion organized by the Black Law Students’ Association (BLSA) of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, April 5, 2010.

…If a species is divided into separate populations, and those populations are left in reproductive isolation from each other for many generations, they will diverge. If you return after several hundred generations have passed, you will observe that the various traits that characterize individuals of the species are now distributed at different frequencies in the various populations. After a few ten thousands of generations, the divergence of the populations will be so great they can no longer cross-breed; and that is the origin of species. This is Biology 101.

Our species separated into two parts 50, 60, or 70 thousand years ago, depending on which paleoanthropologist you ask. One part remained in Africa, the ancestral homeland. The other crossed into Southwest Asia, then split, and re-split, and re-split, until there were human populations living in near-total reproductive isolation from each other in all parts of the world. This went on for hundreds of generations, causing the divergences we see today. Different physical types, as well as differences in behavior, intelligence, and personality, are exactly what one would expect to observe when scrutinizing these divergent populations.

This sounds perfectly reasonable. Doesn’t it? The entire speech is reproduced at his blog. If you tend to agree with it, you’re a racial realist which to many, is a fancy term for racist.

The discussion was supposed to be about whether government should do more or less to eliminate racial disparities.

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7 responses

18 04 2010
Josh

I will cover sexism as well as racism in this topic, because they are the same thing, differences between subgroups of humans. Blacks are a subgroup of humans, whites are a subgroup of humans, females are a subgroup of humans. it all comes down to someone is getting butthurt about what someone else said. Especially the female one, even posing the inkling of a hypothesis that women could possibly be slightly inferior in one part of human intelligence, lets use math skills here, gets you burned at the stake. He was not even posing it as fact, merely a hypothesis that he would like to research and he got crucified for it.

His points have merit, they do. Ignoring the blatant differences between races is as stupid as ignoring the differences between sexes (amirite?). Women are not the same as men, never have been, never will be. However the differences between races are more subtle than the differences between men and women.

Example, black people are typically better runners because they have different muscular structure in their legs. This isn’t even a pigmentation thing, this is a difference in internal mechanics! So if legs can be different, why can’t brains be too? This however would be taboo to speak of, because people don’t being less intelligent than the other person.

With differences in physical performance they are easily quantifiable, out in the open and they are logically understandable. But with something that is little understood like the brain, people feel they have no power over it and that they are stuck with what they have. As far as we know that is true, if you are of lesser capacity in the thinking area then that is just the way it is. However people forget that most people don’t use their full thinking capacity, not even close, which is why the difference is largely academic and that black people, white people, asian people, hispanic people, native people, all have opportunities in fields that require the exercising of the brain.

Physical differences are not so relaxed, in the olympics you have the HEIGHT of physical prowress, blacks dominating the running events this time around and whites crushing swimming with the positively mutant Michael Phelps (in a good way XD). At the top of intellectual pursuit you will most likely see more people of the asian and white background rather than black and hispanic. This is most likely a difference in race, it could be a difference in “opportunity” but I don’t think so.

Are there really intelligent people from every group? Definitely, my ex-girlfriend is hispanic and last I knew she was in university for software engineering. This girl could run circles around me in math, and math is what guys seem to grasp more easily. So she had the odds double stacked against her from being female and also being hispanic, both of which show trends to not be as strong in math as their asian and white counterparts.

As a side note, this is not a random racist and sexist opinion, this is what I have observed in the high school environment, and throughout history the biggest minds in math were LARGELY men. Do I have a simple measurement to quantify this? Nope. Do I need one? I need one as much as a woman needs evidence to get a man’s name in paper (and, therefore, life destroyed) about rape. The average man is better at and more geared for mathematics and logical problem solving than the average woman. There are always exceptions, like my ex or my favourite teacher in high school, she was an incredible math teacher, calculus couldn’t have been made more easy to understand.

Instead of harping the differences between race and sex and telling people what they can and cannot think, what they can and cannot say, PROVE THEM WRONG. Go do it. You contribute nothing except more pain and more fear of speaking, destroying freedom of speech when you attack people for stating opinions, theories, questions, random inquiries or passing non-inflammatory statements that even hint at claiming a race (except white, those evil whiteys aren’t even people!) or gender (read: women) is lesser than one of its counterparts. It sucks being not as good as the next person. But not everyone is built the same, there will differences, that is just the way it is.

Against the counterpoint that it is largely upbringing I believe that is a fallacy as well, or stupid families would always be stupid and intelligence would keep within the upper echelons like money is. If you were able to identically bring up an infinite amount of humans of different races there would most likely be different trends in AVERAGE performance in multiple aspects of human ability. I do not know what any of these may be, as the only way to be certain would be to have this impossible theoretical test.

You cannot prove it in either direction, this argument is emotionally charged and emotionally based, which means pointless as you cannot convince one party to change sides, there are no facts to debunk because the facts you can get have too many uncontrolled variables.

To add some sort of groundwork for any replies, I am a “white” heterosexual male. I say “white” because I am actually part of Lusitania which includes Portugal as its major section, like South America is the largest portion of the hispanic peoples. So I can (and am) discriminated as a white person even though I’m closer to a Spaniard than a true white person.

What is a a stereotypical white person anyway? Blond hair, blue eyed Aryan? What about the lighter skinned latinos like people from Northern Spain? Are they white or hispanic? Where are these lines drawn? White is so ambiguous because so many different cultures encompass this umbrella race and so very small a section of it is to blame for the “crimes of the white race”. Not to mention these people are dead and their descendants are not to blame either. Blaming a race for past actions of their racial kinsmen is crazy. Bat-shit insane even. That’s like blaming the people of the middle east for the Arabian Moors invading Portugal and taking over 300 years to get them out. The people in the middle east didn’t do shit to us, the people who invaded us did. This was 300 years ago and they were ousted, they are all dead, we got over it.

Slavery is bad, it is still happening around the world to all subgroups of humans. Focus on events that are currently happening, like wars around the world, the potential threat of the nuclear standoff that has been happening for a long time now between Pakistan and India or if glancing at that woman five feet away could be interpreted as sexual harassment (yes). The white people you see around you did not hold a chain that was wrapped around your neck and hold a whip to your back, partially because they aren’t the slavemasters their ancestors were, and partially because you were never a slave, your ancestors were. Neither of you partook in these terrible events, this shouldn’t even be a topic that is relevant in day to day conversation! This should just be in history class, or, the class in which you learn stupid shit that you learn not to do from idiots in history. Everything else is pointless propaganda. The past events are for learning, not finger pointing.

We will never progress as a society until we learn to let go of these primitive activities, stop blaming the blameless. Is there real racism out there? Hell yes there is, every day there is racism in every group about every other group.

Most white people have been so cowed by the overwhelming fire that their race is under for their apparent rampant racism in every aspect of Western society that the vast majority of them would be too afraid to even utter THE racial slur for blacks while black people will openly and constantly insult a white person based on their skin colour. White people tend to find black people who insult them based on their skin colour silly, annoying, and perhaps a little primitive, however black people who hear anything about skin colour from a white person would probably, if given the opportunity, physically injure and/or kill. Black people have been so trained by society to find that word so insulting when it is just a word.

Women have been trained to find anything that even implies a gender role to be insulting, restrictive and bad when you actually look at the situation that had it really good. Being a housewife would be awesome, I get to chill with my little kids ALL DAY. I KNOW that they are being raised the way I want because I’m there to do it. And there is always free time, housewives moaned about being bored when machines that made chores relatively simplistic in comparison to what they had before and then they had nothing to keep them occupied. Why not read a book or learn a new language, what ever tickles your fancy. Play an instrument. You have free time! You do what you want! Raising one child is not an all day task especially when they are not little helpless things anymore. As soon as they are old enough to go to school you have HOURS AND HOURS of free time. Many people would kill for that, I would. But nope you were manipulated by the feminist movements to believe that working was awesome, working was fun, empowering, working made you feel useful and awesome! Then after you were successfully outplayed by the feminist movement and started working, you realized that it is none of these things, it is work. And then because you are now working, everyone takes advantage of these dual incomes from husband and wife and they make everything more expensive, and they will NEVER drop the prices unless the economy crashes because for some reason every single woman gave the finger to the industry and went to being a housewife (this brings tears of laughter to my eyes at the very suggestion, they have been too well manipulated to ever do this). This means you effectively are required to work now to support your home. Before you had the choice to read, play an instrument, learn a language, nap, watch TV, other more explicit things with yourself, now you have the choice to work, work, work, work, or work. If you choose to live completely off of a man then your standard of living will be lower since the average single income cannot afford what it did in the 60s. The average man used to be able to afford the stereotypical american home with the car that you take the family out on sundays in. Now it’s more like a tiny little home with a shitty import compact. All brought upon by the feminist movements, I don’t know how I can thank you enough.

TL;DR – Stop whining.

21 04 2010
Jason Cramden

I guess under your views then you are a good swimmer and fence climber.

Spic.

28 04 2010
G

‘Blacks’ are not homogenous; the African continent contains the narrowest and widest of noses in the world. Speaking very generally, west Africans tend to be muscular sprinter types and east Africans tend to be gracile endurance athletes. One study found that the average west African has more in common with the average west European than with the average east African.

See also: Pygmies, Masai.

Frankly I don’t care enough about small differences between ‘races’ to want to factor it into policy. I see it as something for doctors to take an interest in and probably no one else. I suppose it makes sense for a distance-running coach to scout out talent in Kenya, etc… But I just don’t know why anyone cares so much about it as a political issue, except in relation to undoing racism. You’re not talking about different stages of evolution or radically different categories of human so it shouldn’t affect policy.

It’s arrogant to assume that one has the knowledge and perceptiveness needed to finely tease apart the effects of race and the effects of culture. I know a Chinese girl who blithely states discredited ideas about black people being innately good singers and dancers. There’s no talking her out of it.

Anyway, many people who appear to be purely of a particular race really have a surprisingly diverse genetic history; I doubt the blogger’s / Derbyshire’s picture of human groups separated for millenia right up to the modern age.

29 04 2010
unfrozencaveman

As I understand, there are peoples in Africa who’ve been there for thousands of years but are not entirely or even primarily negroid, so your point about west Africans being more genetically similar to west Europeans might not be significant.

When and how were the ideas that blacks are innately good singers and dancers ever discredited?

29 04 2010
G

Um, I feel that you have ignored most of my post and gone for what you perceived to be the softest targets. That whole thing about so-called ‘negroids’ being some distinct race among Africans – if anything that reinforces my point which was that the idea of ‘blacks’ is easily deconstructed into nothingness; in other words, it’s an archaic and useless taxonomy.

There to my knowledge hasn’t been a study refuting the notion that ‘blacks’ are innately good singers and dancers, but it’s a question of degrees here – I’ll explain.

If there was a study linking melanin abundance to increased balance, rhythm and coordination, and went on to establish with certainty that dark people are 2 or 10% better dancers – fine, I don’t care. Many if I was a competitive dancer I might get melanin injections; I dunno.

But this is NOT what constitutes the folk-belief ‘black people are innately good singers and dancers’. The belief is that they are VERY SIGNIFICANTLY superior at these things. The corollary is that The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air will joke about ‘white’ people being poor dancers.

These folk-beliefs are crude and exaggerate racial differences. The very existence of top-level light-skinned dancers invalidates this belief prima facie.

Even well-established racial differences, like the edge some west-African genotypes in the sport of sprinting, are small differences that only significantly separate people at elite competitive levels. It’s like, if I train consistently my physical peak will probably be around the age of 26, but a couch potato who starts working out at 50 may attain his lifetime peak then, aches, pains and age-related deterioration notwithstanding.

The observation that ‘blacks’ are good singers and dancers comes from uninformed observation and spurious generalisation.

28 04 2010
G

“One study found that the average west African has more in common with the average west European than with the average east African.”

– Heh, I meant genetically, not like, shoe-size or taste in books.

29 04 2010
G

And just to add more confusion to the mix:

http://www.boingboing.net/2010/04/23/humans-and-neanderth.html

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