Bell Curve, Black people, Defend the modern world, Detroit, Intelligence quotient, John Derbyshire, Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, racism, racism and pornography, United States
This week I was browsing the website Vdare.com on my mobile phone and chanced upon a link to an article by the writer John Derbyshire. You may never have heard his name before, but there’s a slight chance you may have heard of one of his more controversial articles: ‘The Talk: Nonblack Version’. This particular piece has now passed into the political-correctors hall of shame, alongside cultural events like the The Bell Curve, Mein Kampf, and Race, Evolution and Behaviour.
I’ll put a link to the original article at the close of this one, but in case you don’t fancy reading it, I’ll summarise it here. ‘The Talk’ is a phrase apparently common among Black parents in the United States. It denotes the conversation they must inevitably have with their growing children about the issue of race, and especially about White racism.
Somewhat indignant about this, Mr Derbyshire took to writing a White version of ‘The Talk’ in which the reader is to imagine the words being spoken to a young White youth instead of a Black one.
Whilst the Black version of ‘The Talk’ is imagined to typically consist of dark and exaggerated warnings about the workings of the evil White community, Derbyshire’s inverts this and cautions the hypothetical youth against the danger of such things as wandering into Black areas at night, or stopping to listen when ‘accosted in the street by a Black’, or of the gap in intelligence between the two races….
You don’t need me to tell you which of those examples became the most controversial.
The issue of Race and Intelligence is apparently destined never to be settled. One cannot even raise it without risk to ones reputation or career. Scientists, including those in the relevant fields, are all too keen to change the subject when asked about it, and few pursue studies of the issue, (if they do, the final papers are laden with firefighting qualifications before and afterward.)
As for me, I like controversy, so it’ll do me no harm to talk about such matters here.
Are the races generally equal in cognitive ability? No. Of course they aren’t. But then nobody really believes that they are. Social manners dictate that we pretend they are in public, but in private, everyone of every racial background knows there are wild intellectual distances between the ethnic groups. And it isn’t just evident on IQ tests, but can be seen in everyday life too.
Just the other week I was sitting in a fast-food restaurant in Hammersmith when the table next to mine was suddenly leapt upon by a group of about 6 Black youths. They were, in appearance, aged around 18 to twentysomething years old, and were riotously trying to hold a six-way conversation with each other.
I’d already finished my ‘meal’, and was just waiting to stand and leave, but I was feeling lazy and so I sat for a few more minutes and listened to these people talk……
What I find most curious is that nobody else finds the conversations these people have curious. They aren’t like those held by any other ethnic type. No member of the group ever had the chance to complete a sentence. Each guy just kept shouting whenever anything like silence emerged from between the shouts of the others. Since words weren’t getting through, some of them started to make extended noises in order to bring the centre of gravity over to them. One of them kept going “Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh……Ohhhhhhhhhhh..Ohhhhhhh.” Another tried with “Whoaaahhh…Whoaahh.”. Another kept repeating “Listen but, listen but, listen but….”
They carried on like this, with each obstructing the communication of the other for about five minutes. At this point I had to leave as one of them, his mouth full, became so enthused by his enjoyment of the food that he commenced to dancing ecstatically between the tables.
I don’t think it’s honest to say that I find this a shared behaviour identical in portion within all ethnic groups. I would be truly shocked if a group of British-born Chinese, Jewish, Turkish, Arabic, Hispanic or Indian youths, even school-kids, behaved in that way in public.
But then perhaps the fault here is my own. You might justly ask why haven’t I been shocked before at the bizarre behaviour of young Black men and women? It hasn’t been my liberalism or cowardice. A more probable reason is captured by the phrase “the racism of low expectations’.
If I or society truly believe that races are equal, then should we not be free to confront those crazy youths and bar them from public places? Should we not be allowed to ask for social services to investigate whether those youths are retarded and need greater supervision? And if not, why not?
The answer is that we expect nothing more from them. Or at least, that we aren’t surprised by their behaviour, which amounts to the same thing.
We put off thinking about these things, because to think about these things can be painful.
For me more than others. I do not self-identify as ‘White’, although much of my ancestry is European. I have other infusions which conspire to give me a Latin complexion. My skin is fair, but I wouldn’t call it ‘White’. More than this, the word ‘White’ means nothing by-itself. I self-identify rather as English. But then, my endorsement of the civic-nationalist argument does not cancel out my awareness of race. True, I’d rather not think about it at all. It dehumanises people to place them in categories, and it goes against my liberal instincts too. But if we adopt full colour-blindness, I’m scared about where my England will end up.
And how far can society actually go before it is forced to acknowledge racial truths? In America, the birthplace of modern multi-racial democracy, the conversation may have to be had sooner even than in Europe.
The city of Detroit, Michigan is for White, race-conscious Americans, a terrifying prophecy of the future. Historically this city was a Germanic, mostly-White, car-making boom-town. After the great-migrations of African-Americans from the South, the white population fled, first to one end of the city, then, after a massive race-riot, to the suburbs around the city and finally after a second race-riot, began to leave the whole metropolitan area.
Detroit is now almost entirely Black, and has become the most dangerous, violent, and deprived city in North America. The residential areas have fallen into third-world condition. Abandoned houses stand next to burned-out houses, closed hardware stores next to blasted and looted ones.
Americans deep-down, know why this has happened. In public, they will tell you it is because of the collapse of the local car-making industry, but the local car-making industry did not support the entire civilised spirit of the city any more than banking supports New York or London. Remove financial services from London and you still have a thriving economic force based around other services, construction and the arts. The same is true of Los Angeles, Paris, Milan and Berlin. No ‘city’ depends on one industry. A town maybe, but not a city.
In truth, the car-making industry was the last White refugee from Detroit. The cars are still being made, but somewhere else now. With White and Asian-American economic talent gone, the city is going quickly rotten. Gangs are taking over. There are running gun-battles echoing around the feet of skyscrapers.
Could this be the American future? Quite plausibly.
But if this is a disease I would hate to see it cured fully. Multi-racialism is not just a fact of life (and of modernity) but a salient fact of the world as it is. There are more people in the world than Europeans. Many non-Europeans have as much or more to offer.
Let there be no confusion – blind egalitarianism does not only mug White people. It also mugs other races of the right to be proud of their superiorities.
Returning to end where we began, I genuinely think there may be such a thing as an ‘optimum IQ’ – that is, an IQ that is best suited to life on planet earth and which is best capable of fulfilling the duties of reproduction, civilization and the creation of public happiness. I don’t believe such an IQ is typical at Harvard or Oxford. Extremely high intelligence is like an untethered helium balloon lifting one away from the vital plane of real existence. In places like Scandinavia, the natives have some of the highest IQs in the world. The same is true of Japan. But these societies are at the end of their history. Nothing of interest happens anymore. The birth-rate is through the floor.
The music, art and babies of the future are being made by those who still occupy the lower, dirtier but more vital world.
Food for thought.
Defend the Modern World said:
The John Derbyshire article can be found here –
What is the optimal iq then?
Defend the Modern World said:
Interesting question. I’m really not sure. My point was that extremely high IQs – like those found in elite universities do not provide for the satisfaction of natural impulses. I’m not sure what would be optimum, but that said, I think there is an optimum, and that this will be proved by success in survival and reproduction.
“Extremely high intelligence is like an untethered helium balloon lifting one away from the vital plane of real existence.”
Yes, it`s true. Therefore we have an emotional intelligence which is much more important than the IQ.
See Daniel Goleman: Emotional Intelligence
Being from the lower IQ stock, your sweeping generalization of a whole race based on the antics of a few teenagers at a lunch table makes me call into question the use of your higher IQ. Ignoring your obvious racist bent however, may I suggest that you look into the issue of Religion as a more concrete source of differences in cultural assimilation. It is my humble opinion considering that I am so inferior to you, that even at my basest, I will tend to share a similar world view as you if based on shared spiritual principles/outlook. Emotional intelligence is also a form of intelligence Sir, Its unfortunate its not taught in schools
Defend the Modern World said:
I did not say that everyone from a certain ethnicity behaves a certain way. From how you write, I can tell that you are a smart guy/girl. I don’t need to know your race. I myself derive from many ethnic backgrounds and I staunchly oppose ethnic chauvinism. But chauvinism can be many things. It can be insults at those deemed ‘inferior’, or as I say in this piece, it can be ‘low expectations’. Not all Black people behave in the ways described. My point was that people were less likely to flag up there behavior because they were Black, than if they were from another ethnic background. That in itself is a subtle form of discrimination.
Well, part of the problem is that we used to expect more from OURSELVES. This is true of all the world’s people, it seems, but is more marked in Black areas. I know, growing up, that my mom and dad EXPECTED me to act like I had some sense. I can’t say it’s “ethnic” or “racial” so much as the general lowering of expectations, particularly among black people themselves.
Also, atheists and leftists of all kinds may object to this, but the fall of the black Church (and the rise of “victimhood” mentality) has had a whole lot of impact, at least in the United States. Churches used to be, particularly in black areas, the community and cultural center. The church was where the neighborhood gathered not only to worship, but to socialize; to reinforce the basic teaching of virtues; to encourage in getting through life and getting better. Families were strengthened via churches; even if the father of a family had to go away to find work, he could be expected to come home and see to his children.
Of course, the “Great Society” programs didn’t help matters, either. Too often, the programs punished families who had a working father in the house. To get any sort of help, he had to go away. Not having the father in the house takes away an important element of the raising and teaching of children (another fact that many leftists and “feminists” will decry, but no less true for that), and thus, children, especially male children, are less likely to get ALL the nurturing and teaching needed to raise successful adults.
Just my view.
Defend the Modern World said:
I agree. Religion performed a greater social function than many progressives imagined. This will become clear through its absence.
I have seen German and British teenagers behave worse than the Black boys you mentioned above.
Christian(the real thing, not the lip-service kind) raised children are naturally well behaved than others.
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