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The Counterproductive Suppression of Heterodox Views on Race

Between 2000 and 2014, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) documented 257 incidents of left-wing ‘no platforming’ activism on campuses, 111 of which succeeded in preventing the invited speakers from delivering their remarks. The chilling effect this practice has had on free and open discussion has been much discussed. Less discussed, but perhaps even more damaging, has been the more stealthy suppression of heterodox views through hiring policies and the censoring of faculty, and the deleterious effect this can have on the very causes progressive like to stress are of most pressing importance.

In a long essay for the Atlantic last year, the liberal journalist Peter Beinart described how this process has succeeded in stifling the free expression of anti-immigration positions on both the Left and the Right. A decade ago, Beinart reminded his readers, liberals “routinely asserted that low-skilled immigrants depressed the wages of low-skilled American workers and strained America’s welfare state.” But attitudes have shifted dramatically in the intervening years. Beinart noted that Jason Furman, a former chairman of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, has said, “Democrats were divided on immigration. Now everyone agrees and is passionate and thinks very little about any potential downsides.”

Academics are also vulnerable to these new cultural pressures. Beinart approvingly references Oxford economist Paul Collier’s claims that in their “desperate [desire] not to give succor” to nativist bigots, “social scientists have strained every muscle to show that migration is good for everyone.” Harvard immigration skeptic George Borjas pointed to “a lot of self-censorship among young social scientists.” However, immigration is not a straightforward issue that pits the interests of whites against those of people of color. Overlooked in the midst of all this anxiety is the effect that immigration may (or may not) be having on minorities within the United States. One in six black men aged 25 years and over do not have a high school degree, and another one in three have only a high school degree with no college enrolment. Thus, even if immigration only adversely affected less educated workers, half of all black men are at risk.

Similarly, a decade ago some liberals were open to the idea that, on average, black children born in female-headed households were at greater risk of adverse outcomes. Liberals participated in the Fragile Family Studies and some even supported President George W. Bush’s marriage promotion initiatives. In addition, progressive voices—including even that of Ta-Nehisi Coates (in his memoir The Beautiful Struggle)—could still point critically to the violent culture of a cohort of black youth, while others, including Cora Daniels in Ghettonation, could stress the irresponsible spending habits of many poor black mothers. Today, however, these more nuanced views are no longer acceptable. The exclusion of such views from the spectrum of acceptable opinion not only circumscribes criticisms of blacks by whites, but it also discourages thoughtful self-criticism by black writers and academics of their own communities.

This shift partly reflects efforts to rehabilitate the image of black men. From the interviews Kathryn Edin published in 2014, we learned that these men want to be caring fathers of loving families but that a brutal, racist system is robbing them of the opportunity. Changing perceptions of law enforcement conduct have aided this transformation of black men from sometimes-victimizers to always-victims. The annual number of police killings of unarmed black Americans has fallen substantially, as has the black incarceration rate. But, despite these changes, an inflexible narrative of mass incarceration and police brutality continues to underpin claims of systemic racial oppression. By contrast, despite a robust increase in employment rates of young black men, black homicides have risen substantially since 2014, and are now 25 times higher than the number of police killings. Two decades earlier, this increased murder rate would have led at least some liberals to ask searching questions about violent black subculture. In today’s political climate, however, the standard explanation reflects the views of Edin’s fathers: hopelessness produced by a racist, white supremacist society.

A similar emphasis on racial victimization dominates popular and academic discussion of black achievement and scholarship. In the prevailing academic climate, those who offer dissenting analyses of the problems afflicting black communities, or who support unpopular social policies designed to alleviate those problems, risk censorship, ostracization, and even the loss of employment. In 2012, the conservative journalist and university lecturer Naomi Shaefer Riley wrote an article challenging the academic standards of Black Studies departments, in which she described the graduate dissertations as “a collection of left-wing victimization claptrap” that did nothing to address the problems faced by black Americans. The ensuing social media outcry resulted in her immediate firing as a blogger at the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Then, last year, University of Pennsylvania law professor Amy Wax co-wrote an article for the Philadelphia Inquirer promoting ‘bourgeois values.’ In response, almost half of her law school colleagues signed an open letter condemning her point of view. During a subsequent podcast discussion with the Brown University economist Glenn Loury, Wax noted that very few black students placed in the top half of her classes, an observation consistent with available data from the 144 largest law schools. Penn law Dean Ted Ruger responded by removing Wax from teaching her mandatory first year course because, he said, her statement (the accuracy of which he disputed) had breached student confidentiality.

Earlier this year, Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy refused to renew the contract of faculty member Evan Charney. Despite consistently being rated by undergraduates as one of their three most popular teachers, Carney was effectively sacked after 19 years employment because an unspecified group of students had accused him of creating “a hostile class environment.” Duke eventually offered Charney a yearly renewable adjunct teaching position, Real Clear Politics reported, but only if he agreed to “undergo diversity training, cease teaching required courses, accept heightened monitoring by colleagues, and forgo an appeal to the Faculty Hearing Committee.” That ‘diversity training’ was made a condition of Charney’s continuing employment suggests that his willingness to interrogate progressive axioms on race was what got him into trouble, even though he routinely required students to defend the assumptions supporting any view they espoused.

The relatively rare occurrence of censorship efforts like these may seem encouraging at a glance, but it is more likely that this simply reflects the unbalance in hiring dynamics. A recent study of 51 of the 63 top-ranked colleges found that, outside of STEM areas, registered Democrats far outnumber registered Republicans: 30:1, 33:1, 44:1, and 48:1 in Theater, Music, Sociology, and English, respectively. In Anthropology and interdisciplinary departments, the study found no registered Republicans at all. As a result, there are fewer and fewer faculty members who would consider presenting studies or forwarding hypotheses other than those that postulate racism and oppression as the cause of racial disparities.

But, while the college campus dynamics depress me, what angers me are the faulty policies that emanate from this racism-only perspective. Disparate school suspensions can be overcome by eliminating suspensions. Disparate educational attainment can be overcome by reducing reliance on standardized tests or eliminating math assessment exams for entrance into credit-bearing college courses. Disparate incarceration rates can be reduced by decriminalizing certain behaviors. Certainly, some of these changes may be justifiable. Schools have sometimes suspended students too readily, over-emphasized standardized exams, or relied upon unnecessarily rigid requirements, and strategies to divert young people from prison should be trialled and—if they succeed—embraced.

However, while modest adjustments are justified, the more dramatic changes progressives demand can have negative consequences for those they are intended to help. A number of school districts which have drastically reduced suspensions, have seen a corresponding increase in school violence. Lowering college admission and retention standards may slightly increase four-year graduation rates, but, as I have argued elsewhere, black students graduating from low-rated colleges with disproportionately low GPAs in low-earning majors are not left appreciably better off. When they have trouble gaining employment in a competitive job market with these qualifications, they are encouraged to obtain Masters’ degrees. However, because of their comparatively weak academic record, many enrol in weaker programs, overwhelmingly at private and for-profit universities. As a result, black student indebtedness grows even though their Masters’ degrees often do not significantly improve their employment prospects.

Whether or not these policies are effective, they reflect a progressive unwillingness to reconsider the underlying causes of disproportionate behavioral problems in schools, disproportionately weak academic skills, and disproportionate criminality. Many, like myself, believe that we must be honest about the problematic environments in which too many black children grow up. As a result of widespread multi-partner fertility within the black community—that is, fathering multiple children with sequential partners—many black men have limited and inconsistent relationships with at least some of their biological children. A number of studies suggest that this can have damaging effects on their children, particularly their sons. Such problems are only compounded by a pervasive victimization narrative that can lead black men to discontinue individual initiatives when they encounter obstacles, and which insulates them from criticism for antisocial behaviors.

This tendency to encourage the abdication of personal responsibility is most apparent when progressive analysts assess high-poverty black neighborhoods. Unlike poor white households, black poverty is more concentrated in distinct communities. Progressives devote their energies to advocating subsidized housing policies that would enable some poor black families to move to low-poverty neighborhoods. The evidence that these subsidized relocations improve the lifetime outcomes of black boys is, however, highly dubious. But progressives focus on these policies even so, I believe, to avoid looking too closely at what mires high-poverty neighborhoods in dysfunction. High levels of violent crime dissuade middle-class families from living there; and progressives refuse to consider cultural explanations for these antisocial behaviors.

At the national level, major progressive policy initiatives do little to address the high levels of joblessness black men experience. Between 2010 and 2017, the black employment rate increased by 18.1 percent among men aged between 20 and 34. Yet, despite this robust rise, 29.5 percent of black men in that age group remained jobless compared to 18.5 percent of comparably-aged white men. More troubling still, 20.1 percent of black men aged between 16 and 24, are neither in school nor in work. This is double the white rate. Neither increasing Latino immigration nor raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour would stem this joblessness, and either or both of these measures may even increase it.

Now some leftists are embracing a ‘jobs for all’ proposal, whereby the federal government would provide a living-wage job with substantial benefits to anyone, regardless of their skills, educational qualifications, or past job experience. This fantastical proposal once more demonstrates an unwillingness to look at the important sources of joblessness: deficient skills and behavioral traits often rooted in family backgrounds. Similarly, the demand for free tuition at public colleges would do little to reduce the weak educational credentials that limit the employment prospects of many young black men. State and federal subsidies have already eliminated tuition obligations for the vast majority of low-income students. In the CUNY system in which I teach, 70 percent of students have no tuition obligation. The influx of students, however, would put strains on existing support services with which public colleges aid at-risk students. It would also probably result in more stringent requirements to enter high-demand majors.

For me, however, probably the most important downside of the free tuition demand is that it continues to focus on increasing the share of students attaining a four-year degree despite the high degree of failure among at-risk students. This narrow approach continues to ignore other avenues that could help these students obtain modest credentials, enabling them to gain a foothold in labor markets. First among these avenues are certificate programs offered by community colleges. These short-term programs give weakly-prepared students a taste of success that they can build upon but, because they only offer modest starting salaries, progressives are generally reluctant to support them. In New York City, the probation office and support organizations direct all of the previously incarcerated with high school equivalency degrees into community college academic tracks rather than certificate programs. President Trump’s infrastructure plan includes some proposals for training more workers, such as allowing Pell Grants to be used for short-term certificate programs, and creating more opportunities for work-based learning in high school. These programs can reduce the share of young black men who are disconnected from school and work.

A final example of the Left’s disregard for policies that can aid black advancement is its position on charter schools. Despite surveys that find black parents strongly supportive of charter schools, the NAACP voted against their expansion. Together with Black Lives Matter, the organization has claimed that charters perpetuate racial segregation. As the New York Times reported, “They portray charters as the pet project of foundations financed by white billionaires, and argue that the closing of traditional schools as students migrate to charters has disproportionately disrupted black communities.”

The NAACP assembled a taskforce that held staged meetings at which criticisms of charters dominated. According to a report in the Huffington Post, the New Orleans meeting “featured outraged students, outraged parents, and dismayed community members reciting a litany of the problems created by the massive change to a charter school system.” In contrast, New York Times reporter David Leonhardt has written enthusiastically about a commissioned report which found that New Orleans charter schools have performed exceptionally well. Summarizing the results, he wrote, “The New Orleans turnaround shows the power of giving more freedom to teachers and principals—and then holding them accountable for their performance.” A week later, after some harsh criticism, Leonhardt did acknowledge some outstanding problems, but he doubled down on his positive assessment of charter schools:

The harshest critics of reform … wave away reams of rigorous research on the academic gains in New Orleans, Boston, Washington, New York, Chicago and other cities, in favor of one or two cherry-picked discouraging statistics. … Here’s what the evidence shows: Initially, charters’ overall results were no better than average. But they are now. … One form of charter has particularly impressive results—highly structured urban charters with high academic standards.

So, once again leftists place solidarity with other progressive causes ahead of the interests of the black community. The unwillingness to consider alternative policy recommendations that might help black communities, or to acknowledge arguments that place responsibility for disadvantage anywhere besides structural racism and ‘white supremacy,’ has been particularly harmful for young black men. In an attempt to protect them from harsh judgment, and to avoid appearing to give support to the reactionary politics of the far-Right, many progressive academics have either suppressed dissenting views or looked the other way when such suppression occurs. While racial and gender diversity are championed, academics devote little energy to demands for political diversity that is crucial to understanding controversial issues such as the causes of racial disparities. Unless there are seismic changes, I fear claims to be fighting racist and white supremacist views will continue to justify the censorship of heterodox views that could help move black Americans forward.

 

Robert Cherry is Professor of Economics at Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center.

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127 Comments

  1. The immigration example with which the essay starts is the best one. Immigration obviously hurts blacks and also hurts American hispanics, because it keeps wages low. That’s why so many Democrats used to want to reduce immigration and why American business has always favored increasing immigration. But if you are a hispanic *leader*, then having more hispanics is a good thing for you, so you will favor increased immigration of hispanics, though not of people from China and India. Black leaders go along with this as part of the Democratic Party coalition. Thus we see the curious popularity of allowing illegal immigration (more hispanics) combined with the complete lack of any push to increase the limit for legal immigration (more Asians).

    • Illegal immigration also keeps the price of milk, lettuce, strawberries and other fruits low. Imagine, having to pay the ful price for all that.

      • So if you instead bring immigrants who are already ahead of the poor, that will somehow help the poor? It seems like ever more people who are more qualified just means fewer jobs now for the poor and the middle class.

      • Good thing milk, lettuce and strawberries are luxury items that no one actually needs.

      • Lert345 says

        Absolutely correct. The whole push for sanctuary cities is being driven by business interests. This is why $15 minimum wage can never be enforced. And the more illegal people come in, the cheaper the labor gets. Meanwhile, these people are living 20 in one house – hardly humane living conditions.

      • Marina says

        Milk prices are regulated by the Dairy Margin Protection Program, and while the prices have dropped, immigration doesn’t have much to do with it.

        • Is that really so Marina? In the NL, country over-regulated in agrarian matters, milkprice (for the dairy-farmers) goes up and down with the worldmarket (the world market and dairy industry determines, even if the price is lower than cost price, the farmers still deliver, because without, the losses would be even higher). I know that in Canada,the dairy sector and market is better controled, to save the dairy farmer. But US milk-prices regulated? New for me. Maybe you can explain with a few words!

          • Also, an average dutch dairy farmer is milking some 100 cows, with machinery, but without extra labor (thus no labor costs), but a Californian with 3, 5 or 7 hundred needs half a dozen or more Mexicans to assist, what does he pay them? To suppress the rising costs??
            I would love to know more about that, though, it has nothing to do with the theme here, of course!

      • Jeff York says

        I would be willing to pay the higher price for produce and other things in exchange for the reduced strain/expense on the education, welfare, healthcare and criminal justice systems, the reduced taxes that would likely result and the increased social trust & cohesion that comes from a more homogeneous society. Also citizens like Kathryn Steinle and Mollie Tibbetts not being murdered: http;//www.ojjpac.org/memorial.asp

      • That is a common assertion but it is not necessarily true.

        Citizens and legal immigrants can take those jobs, and would if the alternative was starvation instead of welfare. And even if that still resulted in increased wages, the impact will be largely a one-time thing.

  2. Farris says

    From the article…“Beinart reminded his readers, liberals “routinely asserted that low-skilled immigrants depressed the wages of low-skilled American workers and strained America’s welfare state.”

    He neglects to mention the effect on union workers. I have see this argument come full circle. It use to be liberals would argue that corporations encouraged illegal immigration to use those immigrants to displace higher paid union workers. As union membership and their consistent democrat voting patterns waned, illegal immigrants became the favored target audience of liberals.

    From the article…”A number of school districts which have drastically reduced suspensions, have seen a corresponding increase in school violence.

    This argument is like a pendulum. Liberals will argue that a lack of black academic success is due to unsafe schools. After authorities and school officials in response crack down, the argument becomes there is a lack of academic success due to blacks being stigmatized by arrests and suspensions. I have both these arguments presented to me by liberals on several occasions throughout the years.

    The author is correct that honest discussion of the pathologies afflicting the black lower class is verboten on college campuses. Universities have become echo chambers for the students rather than forums for honest debate. Which is an odd transformation given that it is the students that are there to learn. Higher learning has progressed to the point that the students now teach the professors what are acceptable theories and speech.

    • Yes, “acting white” is an insult. Academics don’t matter. Western values are racist and sexist. Harming others because you felt someone else didn’t “respect” you. Babies out of wedlock. Gang culture and it’s rap music soundtrack. Teaching that the police and society hates you due to systemic racism.
      What could go wrong with a culture like that?

  3. Nothing is going to happen to change the narrative presented to Americans about African-Americans. In virtually all of the most elite colleges and in most of the major media outlets, there is no dissent allowed from the official line that consistent black under-performance and criminality are entirely due to racism. Prestigious colleges and prestige media are no longer controlled by reasonable liberals, but rather by the wild-eyed true believers of the “progressive” movement, who, with actual and virtual mobs at their disposal, are free to shape opinion without the inconvenience of having to account for or address contradicting data or different views. If such a terribly small percentage of our total population has the ability to instill fear in some of our largest corporations, or elevate a thug like Michael Brown to civil rights sainthood (would it not be accurate to say that he’s the Rosa Parks of our era?), it’s probably fair to say that they control the means of production of ideas in the US. Because very few people want to lose their jobs, be attacked online, or be confronted with implicit (or even explicit) threats of violence, it’s also probably fair to say that there’s no revolution coming to restore some balance.

    Articles like this speak to those of us who are stranded in the middle — between the facts-denying and distorted idealism of the left and the sweaty fear-based emotionalism of the right — but they don’t really speak to anyone else.

    I don’t see any version of all of this that ends well. Blacks will continue to be coddled and treated like children, given special privileges, breaks, and status, and when they continue to under-perform, the left’s desperation will launch it toward even greater heights of irrationality.

    What will the rest of us, armed with our faith in statistics and graphs and reason, do? Other than write a comment in Quillette?

    • @ A New Radical Centrism

      One of the best comments I’ve read in Quillette in a while, even if your conclusion is depressing.

    • New Radical Centrism –

      “I don’t see any version of all of this that ends well. Blacks will continue to be coddled and treated like children, given special privileges, breaks, and status, and when they continue to under-perform, the left’s desperation will launch it toward even greater heights of irrationality.”

      I’m sad to say that I would have to agree with you.

      • Stephen Phillips says

        Mediocrity breeds mediocrity.
        The more these policies and agendas are pushed, the further they facilitate the slow slide of these universities into oblivion.
        The result I predict will be the emergence of online universities that do not accept the abysmally low standards of the mainstream and push the conservatives agenda of free and open discussion.

    • Peter from Oz says

      All it takes is for one person to stand up to the bullies and then another and then another.
      The problem is that too many of us think that the a few people represent the many.

      • Rivers says

        I don’t agree that courage is the principle issue. Liberals also think they have “the truth” behind them. If you try to suggest that there are other factors involved, they will bring in the “social sciences scholarship” and make you feel and/or sound ignorant. Suppose for example you ask “Why is `colorblindness’ so bad?” They will then proceed to explain how study after study shows that people who claim to be ‘colorblind’ are in fact even more biased than everyone else (or something like that). They always have “studies” behind them. Whether or not (or, better yet, why) those studies are actually worth a damn is never addressed.

        Which study? Should I take these studies seriously? Why? The fundamental problem, as I see it, is liberals (many of them at least) believe that there is a scientific consensus backing up their side of the argument. In fact, they are right that there do seem to be plenty of professors writing papers backing up their views. (See a Penn Law professor’s “refutation” of Amy Wax’s “defense of bourgeois values” on the Heterodox Academy website.) The question I have is: how much of this social science research is worth its water? Or to look at it from a different point of view, the liberal side has a massive public relations problem, and this site (or Rubin Report, or Jon Haidt’s public intellectual pursuits, or Jordan Peterson) is a perfect example of that.

        I’m not convinced that social scientists completely understand the sociocultural issues behind the culture war (implicit/unconscious bias and the psychological effects of all this discussion about race being two prominent examples). If you look at physics, it’s easy to identify the major breakthroughs (Newton’s laws, quantum physics, relativity) and visionaries (Netwon, Einstein). What were the major breakthroughs in sociology? Who were the visionaries? How much of sociology today is philosophy versus concrete science? How do we rigorously justify such a claim? The reason (most) people don’t deny physics or question its “studies” is we see its consequences everywhere. If you have ever taken a transcontinental flight, that was possible because of Newton (among many others). [Some of it is engineering (the “public policy” of physics), but fundamentally you need Newtonian mechanics to make fluid mechanics and, therefore, aerospace engineering work.] We are exposed to “the truth of physics” from a relatively young age, when we see miraculously that basic physical theories are born out by simple but effective experiments. There’s nothing similar in social science, and, as far as I have seen, social scientists, the liberal media, and mainstream public intellectuals (i.e. not Peterson, Haidt, et al.) don’t seem to appreciate the problem. Like, how could you possibly refute the scientific consensus against The Bell Curve’s findings? (Never mind the fact that most of us haven’t read The Bell Curve in the first place.)

        There ought to be a massive public relations undertaking to convince you and I (especially people who are tuned into “the Dark Web” or Quillette) that the social sciences aren’t being coopted as a military arm of the left. (Not to mention such a campaign could also try to convince voters that policy decisions should be based on social scientific findings, but that’s another axe to grind.) Not only do we need to be convinced that the social sciences aren’t terribly biased but have some real value, there should be a lot of publicity carefully explaining and validating some of these liberal positions that are considered orthodox. Many of these are complicated issues that require knowledge of philosophy, sociology, and psychology. Therefore, acting as though liberal orthodoxy is common knowledge or there’s clearly only one right answer in these questions is unfair, if not intellectually dishonest. What I’m calling for would not only involve exposing our personal failings (e.g. “unconscious bias”), but also explaining what can be done about it. [In some cases (“unconscious bias” principal among them), I’m not convinced there is any scientific evidence that the problem can actually be treated effectively. Therefore, the question “Should we actually talk about this problem publicly?” comes to the fore. Full disclosure: I’m at a point where I don’t think talking about “race” (whatever that may mean to you) is constructive.]

        My point is that the habit of deferring to the social sciences literature makes debating liberals impossible. The “social science literature” is just too obscure.

        Put it this way: at this point, it looks like both Jordan Peterson and Jonathan Haidt think there’s evidence suggesting IQ and ethnicity are linked. Are they credible social scientists or not? If you talk to a liberal, they will tell you that’s “19th century race science” and that a plurality of psychologists oppose this view. So which is it? I respect both Peterson and Haidt. Then again, I’m a PhD student in the physical sciences. Doesn’t that mean I should side with the majority of psychologists? How do I even know that the majority of psychologists oppose The Bell Curve and the idea that IQ and ethnicity are linked? I don’t have a vested interest in the answer to this question either way. (Surprise: like most of us, I don’t have a lot of time to invest in researching the answers to these questions.) The fundamental problem is it makes me think that “social science literature” may as well be “alchemy,” at least on certain topics. However, I can’t tell that to my liberal colleagues, for I risk becoming a “science denier.” The best option is simply to think, “My intuition is not at all convinced that this work is ready to be deemed ‘science,’ or isn’t on it’s way to a proverbial ‘quantum revolution’ where orthodoxy is flipped on its head,” and not engage these people in debate. It’s simply not worth it. Unlike SJWs on the left (apparently), I think learning to “choose your battles” is an important life lesson. It’s not a question of courage, therefore. The problem is “the truth” here is very murky, and the left refuses to acknowledge that.

    • Farris says

      “ I don’t see any version of all of this that ends well. Blacks will continue to be coddled and treated like children,….”

      This can only end well when blacks see liberal coddling for the condescending racism that it is. Liberals believe blacks can only be successful through the assistance of white liberals. This is not the recipe for minority success stories anywhere.

    • TarsTarkas says

      #Walkaway. What have you got to lose? Centrists have lost all power in the Democratic party, in fact many Democratic leaders want to replace you with immigrants because they are reliable votes and centrists no longer are. The more who #Walkaway from the Democrats and join the Republicans (or least vote Republican) the more power you will have over the Republican agenda, because you will be the votes that put Republicans over the top in purple districts.

    • augustine says

      Revolution is what liberals and progressives do by nature. They act like water while conservatives and centrists are the parent rock that resists their erosive effects (flow rates will vary). It is almost always more difficult to defend than to attack but that is what we are struck with, in general terms. Yet holding one’s ground is just as powerful, if not more so, than ushering in a new radical change.

    • Luke Hulm says

      You do realise that based on what you have written the majority of the left see you as far-far right, not a centrist like you claim?

      I’m well on the right and I’d also say you are pretty much where I am, so that is both left and right seeing you as right wing.

      Just keeping the above in mind, how do you differentiate between right wing “fear-based emotionalism” and your own views?

      I am on plenty of far-right sites, and far-right groups, your understanding & expression of the situation is a pretty exact match for our own, commonly communicated.

      Aside from some childlike and meaningless bleating and letting off steam very few even on the very far right (I am talking Nazi level) feel any hatred toward blacks or want anything less than their success based upon honest appreciation of reality as you give.

      The far right has risen almost purely on the basis of opposition to the negative effects of immigration, which are actual, and affect most of society not just poor-Whites as you know.

      They are smeared as having an agenda much bigger than that, or being hateful, or bigoted.
      The truth is they are mostly (90+%) good people that see reality as it is – that it doesn’t match what modern progressives believe.

      The kind of views that would be wholly consistent with the majority position on virtually any issue in the West through to the mid 2000’s is now considered to be extremist far right.

      That is beliefs that were largely consensus and normal just a decade or decade and a half ago are now considered beyond the pale and extremist far right.
      Perhaps it is time to realise we are not, that is just what we are labelled by people who want to see the far left procession continue on unobstructed.

  4. ga gamba says

    What will the rest of us, armed with our faith in statistics and graphs and reason, do? Other than write a comment in Quillette?

    Understand that to these activists if you won’t side with them your apathy and exit from the process is just is desirable. It doesn’t take all that many of them to wrest control of student government, school boards, local councils, etc.

    Vote for candidates who don’t espouse the false narrative. Cease donating money to charities and NGOs that sign on to the diversity, inclusivity, and equity (DIE) agenda (on their websites you can see who that partner with); shift your contributions to organisations that don’t. Donate to FIRE. These are two easy low-risk actions. If you’re motivated yet don’t want to incur the wrath of mobbing send emails – not tweets or Facebook posts – to legislators stating you understand the nature of the game and you’ll be working to end it.

    Don’t buy products and services from companies that partake in this. Again, send a private email if you don’t want to be public in your declarations. If need be, use subversion against these companies by stating to others their offerings are poor quality and ill-suited – customer testimonials, that word-of-mouth advertising, is still deemed by companies the most credible, the most effective, and the most desired.

    The activists have been very successful in creating activist jobs for themselves, for example all these new DIE jobs created on university campuses and local school districts. Raise holy hell with your state and local legislators. Complain this shifts money away from actual education and students to unproductive activities. You want to pit teachers against activists; money that goes to outside agitators is less money for the teachers’ classrooms. These activists are very adept at getting invited by local schools to perform DIE training for both teachers and students. Again, attack this as shifting money away from actual education. Know your school’s standardised test scores and tertiary placement; if it’s poor use this info against the administrators as evidence of their failings.

    If you have children, examine the texts and the school activities they are required to perform. If your school district has been taken over by DIE and you have to opportunity to shift public money with your child to private charter schools that don’t participate in the DIE curriculum then do so.

    Understand how much public money goes into teachers’ and public employees’ pockets as well as the grants awarded to artists and activists. The website Open the Booksprovides comprehensive data on public spending. Want to know what current and former public employees have salaries and pensions in excess of $100,000 per annum? It’s there. (After searching by zip code click one of the red pins on the map to have the list of employees presented.) Pressure legislators to cap pensions and other benefits. Make public employment less attractive.

    The above are all things that may be done discreetly and individually. Ultimately, true success requires public action by organised people to undo the damage done. You need to find others who are willing to join you to take public action.

    Lastly, people need to cease accepting the idea they owe it to others to improve their lives, to fix them and their communities, especially of those who disdain them. Activists are skilled at getting do-gooder busybodies emotionally involved in these crusades. But they also succumb to infighting and fratricide, and you ought to help them out to accomplish this. Making it so toxic it repels people is an acceptable objective.

    There’s a lot of info online on how to organise communities written by and for progressives, and the lessons presented are applicable to anyone. No need for you to re-invent the wheel. Steal their playbook. It’s been written over decades.

    • X. Citoyen says

      Ga Gamba’s remark should be stamped on the mind of every conservative. You have to get involved in civil society. Only a march back through the institutions will undo the march through them.

    • J-dude says

      DO NOT donate to FIRE. Hate to break it to everyone but they are probably not going to fight these people as hard as you think they will.

    • Excellent post. Far too many people want some silver bullet to undo all the harm. It will take the sort of sustained effort that you’ve indicated.

  5. E. Olson says

    The 25 most violent countries (per capita) in the world are majority black or Hispanic. Muslims are responsible for over 90% of suicide terrorist attacks globally. Transgenders have incredibly high suicide rates even after sex-change operations. Among people with genius level IQs, males outnumber females by 7+ to 1. White-European origin males are responsible for almost all what we call modern Western Culture – arts and entertainment, architecture, engineering, science, philosophy, etc. North-East Asians, Ashkenazi Jews, and White-Europeans are the only people on earth with average IQs of 100 or higher, and these populations also have the lowest levels of violence and highest educational and economic success globally. In contrast, median global IQ is estimated to be in the high 80s or low 90s. Any rational person would look at such statistics and conclude that some cultures and sub-cultures are better than others (at least in dealing with the modern world), and that IQ is a very important determinant of life success. Yet the Left continues to believe that it is white racism, patriarchy, Islamphobia, homophobia, etc. that are responsible for all the social and economy inequalities, even after 50+ years of affirmative action, racial/gender quotas, semi-open borders, trillions of $ spent on welfare and foreign aid, and the almost complete leftist takeover of education and popular entertainment. In other words – progressive/leftism is a complete failure because it denies reality.

    • True enough. Of course, suicide is generally driven by societal pressures (or mental illness), and in the case of transgenders (gender dysphoria because they believe/feel different than reality), it seems reasonable to assume they are mistreated and hated by many low IQ types.
      As for IQ, it’s shown that education can improve IQ scores, so racial basis is less likely than a cultural one.

      • E. Olson says

        David – high suicide rate in almost any other instance would be termed a sign of mental illness, but the leftists have pressured the psychology field to take transgenderism off the mental illness list for political reasons. Obese and Homosexuals also get mistreated, but they don’t kill themselves in anywhere near the same frequency.

        As for IQ, there is no evidence that education improves it. In fact that is the big problem, because 100 years of trying has found no effective method of permanently increasing IQ. For example, head start was supposed to improve IQ, but any positive cognitive effects are only short-term and gone by 2nd or 3rd grade. The few things that we know can repress IQ potential are poor childhood nutrition and exposure to lead (both much less frequent problems in recent times), high childhood stress (more likely seen in single parent and black households), and marrying 1st cousins (common in the Muslim world and parts of Africa).

      • IQ is almost entirely dictated by your genes at conception. Education can provide a small IQ lift in early childhood but loses out to genetics as you enter adulthood. Identical twins raised in separate families have a very highly correlated IQ of 0.8 in adulthood when you only see a 0.96 correlation with previous score if you take two IQ tests. That points to hugely dominant genetic factor. As does the high degree of heritability of IQ (kids IQ is, on average, about 50% of the average of their parents average IQ and the population mean.

        Also consider Mongolians; on average less than 8 years school, poor country, mostly live in tents (yurts), very vegetable poor diet, most lack literature to study, by western standards seriously deprived . Yet they have same or higher average intelligence than Western countries in IQ testing. A friend who has spent months there said it was noticeable how clever they were when dealing with them.

        Education can provably not fix IQ differences (and by correlated extension career income attainment) between ‘races’. All policy that tries to overcome the fundamental unfairness of genetic determinism in educational/career attainment is doomed to failure. If we could be honest about that we could structure education policies to produce better outcomes for everyone.

  6. D.B. Cooper says

    Whether or not these policies are effective, they reflect a progressive unwillingness to reconsider the underlying causes of disproportionate behavioral problems in schools, disproportionately weak academic skills, and disproportionate criminality. Many, like myself, believe that we must be honest about the problematic environments in which too many black children grow up. As a result of widespread multi-partner fertility within the black community… many black men have limited and inconsistent relationships with at least some of their biological children.

    Note to author: Many, like yourself, are not being honest about the problematic environments in which too many black children grow up. Yes, multi-partner fertility is problematic and, yes, it is widespread within the black community, but surely you don’t believe that deleterious cultural norms can account for the large racial disparities we see in lifetime outcomes, do you?

    I’m as willing as the next reasonable person to believe that progressives have inculcated a rather pernicious victimhood narrative within the black community to match their disadvantageous policies, but once again, this can’t hope to explain the level of disparities in outcomes that you’ve described.

    How many times are we going to kick this can up the road? How many times are we going to pretend not to notice that these same disparities exist in nearly 99% of societies – at the local, state, and national level – across the world? How many times are we (society) going to read an article criticizing the dishonest discourse on the causes of racial disparities, while giving on slightly less dishonest reasons for the causes of racial disparities. Of course, this is a multi-variant problem, so there can be no doubt that things such as culture and public policy play a role in the discussion; but there’s an elephant in the room that most everyone refuses to acknowledge, and I fear it may trample us to death unless we find the courage to let it out.

    Very few “reasonably informed” people are ignorant of the fact that the number one predictor of life outcomes is intelligence, followed (I believe) by a personality trait called consciousness. That is not to suggest that intelligence plays a majority role in accounting for life outcomes, but it is to say that intelligence is strongest the predictor of life outcomes that social science is currently aware of. While there are still good faith disagreements on the causes of racial differences in cognitive abilities, virtually no serious social scientist disagrees on the fact that these differences are real, important, and stubborn. These differences persist over time and space and their effects are substantial in nearly ever meaningful life metric that we care about.

    Due to the sensitive nature of such facts, one can understand the inclination to guard against having the discussion hijacked for all the “wrong” reasons. That said, it is unconscionable that we would continuously have the same tired debate on racial disparities in life outcomes without ever having the sac nerve to acknowledge what science has unequivocally told us is the number one predictor of life outcomes.

    The number one predictor, for Christ sake! Just think about how bat-shit crazy a society must be to continually act in such a manner. I swear, you would think that if we had any commitment to truth we’d start questioning our own motives, because who would earnestly try to solve a problem of this magnitude while consciously ignoring the single biggest cause of the… very… problem… we’re… trying… to… solve.

    And that is what’s so disconcerting about this tiresome discussion, I believe most people truly do want to solve the problems endemic to the black community. Only a fool would want to live in a society where these problems persisted in any community, black or otherwise. But you have to be honest about a problem before you can address it and, sadly, I don’t believe we are.

    • Very few “reasonably informed” people are ignorant of the fact that the number one predictor of life outcomes is intelligence, followed (I believe) by a personality trait called consciousness.

      Conscientiousness. The tendency to be organized and dependable, show self-discipline, act dutifully, aim for achievement, and prefer planned rather than spontaneous behavior. You realize you are promoting the teachings of Dr. Jordan Peterson when you say this, right? James Damore said that women are more prone to neuroticism (another Big 5 trait) and got fired by Google for daring to speak out. You need to really consider whether or not you want to make this an issue, because as soon as you do you’re getting in bed with people the progressive Left considers fascists.

      • D.B. Cooper says

        @harland0

        Thank you for the copyedit, it was much appreciated! As far as who I’m “getting in bed with,” my intent was, and still is, to snuggle up to the truth, insofar as it can be identified. I’m kind of a cheap date like that.

        While it may be true that James Damore’s claim about women being more prone to neuroticism got him fired, I hope we can also agree that Damore’s claim had/has no bearing on whether women actually are more prone (than men) to neuroticism. Women either are or are not more prone to neuroticism. Damore’s opinion(s) on the matter is ultimately of no consequence. The same applies to Peterson and his “expert” opinions.

        Similarly, what I have said is either true or it is not, but the validity of the argument is not substantiated by my belief in it (or anyone else’s belief or disbelief). The claims either correspond to reality or they do not. In any event, someone is getting mugged by reality.

      • ga gamba says

        …you’re getting in bed with people the progressive Left considers fascists.

        The progressive left thinks anyone who doesn’t genuflect to their ideology is a fascist. Keep crying wolf when there isn’t one and people stop believing you. Their accusations have lost power with anyone but themselves.

        • Robert Lynn says

          That would be OK, except that they do have a tremendous amount of power, and can destroy the career of just about anyone they choose to target. Only the retired and the financially very secure (can afford to retire) have the freedom to speak their minds in this world.

        • Nom De Guerre says

          That would be OK, except that they also wield the power to destroy careers if they choose to. Only the retired and financially secure (able to retire) have the freedom required to face opponents like that.

    • Why not cultural issues being the dominant issue? It’s hard for others to find compassion for groups that don’t assimilate and who pretend that “acting white” is bad, and claiming all negative actions against them are racist (like Serena Williams outburst on court being blamed on white males who hate blacks and women).
      IQ scores go up with a better environment and a culture of learning and hard work. As do incomes.
      Racism is real; but it’s not made better by suggesting it’s the only or primary cause of problems that are mostly the result of a bad culture that refuses hard work and education and investment as the way out of poverty and ghettos.

      • D.B. Cooper says

        @david of Kirkland

        Why not cultural issues being the dominant issue?

        Why? Well, because it’s not. But, let me qualify this to death so I don’t get straw manned to death – not by you, of course, but by less savory individuals who are known to traffic these channels for just such an opportunity.

        I will happily concede, there are any number of cultural dispensations that can or would frustrate a person/group’s intellectual growth. The idea that environment pressures could stunt or even irrevocably impair, what would otherwise be the “normal” trajectory of intellectual growth, seems obvious enough to me that no refutation is necessary.

        The question(s) then becomes:

        (1) Are the social and cultural norms of the black community IN AMERICA sufficiently intolerable to produce an order of magnitude that approximates to the cognitive differences we consistently see (and have seen for decades) on standardized tests?

        (2) If so, that is, if you truly believe that the cultural norms of the black community are that pernicious; then, well… we’re still going to have a problem explaining why middle and upper income (SES) blacks score lower on standardized tests than lower income (SES) whites. Surely, you don’t believe that middle and upper-income blacks are overrun by the type (or degree) of cultural profanities that would theoretically be necessary to produce deleterious cognitive effects?

        IQ scores go up with a better environment and a culture of learning and hard work. As do incomes.

        Of course, they do. I never suggested they didn’t. In fact, I would be surprised, if that weren’t the case. Consider, that if IQ scores failed to increase in the presence of improved/better environments (improved/better = most widely accepted criteria), then it might suggest that IQ (general intelligence) is predominately or even entirely the result of genetic inheritance, rather than being influenced – to some degree – by environmental factors/stimuli.

        My personal opinion is that IQ or general intelligence is influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. I would hesitate at the idea that I could accurately assign percentages to these factors, because it’s still early in the game (still a lot to learn about a complex trait) and, frankly, it would be imprudent to do so under such conditions.

    • “virtually no serious social scientist disagrees on the fact that these differences are real, important, and stubborn”

      61% of Democrats say a speaker who says the average IQ of whites and Asians is higher than African Americans and Hispanics should not be allowed to speak at their college.
      https://www.cato.org/survey-reports/state-free-speech-tolerance-america

      It MUST be buried. I believe this is mostly because they fear it will be used as an excuse by some to abandon all preferential policy, or self stigmatize the subjects of interest. Perhaps, but Team Science(tm) should be able to rise above that and factor that into their social experiments, maybe even robustly test it. The fact that these experiments must not be run is a tell for fear of the answer.

    • @ D.B. Cooper

      “nerve to acknowledge what science has unequivocally told us is the number one predictor of life outcomes”

      So where did you get that it is number one predictor? I would say a better predictor is the current social class you are born in is probably a better predictor.

      And you are taking this intelligence difference a little too far…

      • D.B. Cooper says

        @Reading Nomad

        Are we cross? I sense a little heat coming off that ellipsis there at the end.

        So where did you get that it is number one predictor? I would say a better predictor is the current social class you are born in is probably a better predictor.

        In fairness, I guess it would depend on how you define “life outcomes” (which I would loosely define as something like – health, longevity, educational attainment, income, social mobility, criminal activity). Is there a better predictor (than IQ) for an outcome such as health? Possibly. But that’s not really the claim I’m making. The claim that I’m making is that any fair reading of the available data would inevitably conclude that IQ is the single best predictor of life outcomes (in aggregate).

        If it helps, maybe a less provocative way of saying this is there is nothing that will provide you with a bigger advantage in life than a high IQ, which is what Jordan Peterson said. Or maybe, there is an overwhelming weight of evidence to support the ideas that intelligence is something real, it can be reliably and validly measured without bias, and the measures predict many real world variables that are important to most human beings, which is what Richard Haier, Professor Emeritus at UC Irvine, claimed. Or even, according to the research, people with high IQs tend to be healthier and live longer than the rest of us… like mortality, the association between IQ and career success is positive. People with higher IQs generally make better workers, and they make more money, which is what Stuart Ritchie thinks as an intelligence researcher at the University of Edinburgh.

        I could go on… and on… but I there’s no need. Also I would suggest looking at the following study: Genetic analysis of social-class mobility in five longitudinal studies – published 7/9/18

        It had, among other things, a number findings that may be problematic for your “social class you were born in as a better predictor” theory, such as:

        (1) The finding that participants’ education-linked genetics predicted change in their social position within their own lives, replicated across five cohorts in three countries, argues against the explanation that education-linked genetics are simply a correlate of a privileged social inheritance that escaped ancestry controls in GWAS.

        Instead, findings support the explanation that education-linked genetics are connected to social class because they influences attainment: Participants’ education-linked genetics predicted their social mobility, and differences in education-linked genetics between siblings predicted differences between siblings in life-course attainments.

        (2) The findings suggest that education-linked genetics may be connected to social class in part because education-linked genetics carried by a person’s relatives can influence that person’s own attainment.

        • @ D.B. Cooper

          Eh? Why would I be cross? I left the ellipsis so you would continue this particular point if you replied.

          And you didn’t really answer the question. You have strongly implied that it is agreed among various scholars that IQ is the best predictor. The strong emphasis seemed a bit odd. I don’t dispute it is a strong indicator – but probably not over the social class you were born into.

          And then the second point was that you’re over egging the average group difference in intelligence between races.

          • D.B. Cooper says

            @Reading Nomad

            Ah, I see where the confusion lies. First, by “science” I mean data, not scholar. As in, any fair reading of the data. I’m not aware of any poll taken among social scientists to gauge the majority view on the subject and to the extent that that is what you believed I implied then you can chalk that one up against me for lack of clarity.

            In any regard, I’m not aware of any single metric that has or can claim to have the predictive power that intelligence quite obviously seems to have. There is simply a mountain of evidence on the benefits intelligence can confer on an individual/group and I earnestly believe it is intellectually dishonest to discuss disparities in life outcomes without acknowledging the wealth of data on the subject.

            With respect to your claim on ‘social class’, did you see the results of the meta-analysis I referenced? Granted, it’s one meta-analysis, but I wouldn’t describe it as the most promising of results.

            Second, where did this over egging occur? I claimed that cognitive differences were “real, important, stubborn.” You seem to agree with this. I obviously didn’t assign any quantitative data to these differences, so where did I ‘over egg’? Is it possible that you may be making certain inferences that are less than the most charitable? I thought I’d ask…

    • Paul Ellis says

      It’s one thing identifying the problem, but it’s another to solve it, or even contain or control it. As many have onserved over the years, the poor will always be with us. So will the left-hand side of the bell curve.

    • Understanding the problem is the first step to fixing the problem, even if that understanding reveals part of the problem cannot be easily fixed by any social policy.

      An oversimplification is that if it was proven that 5 IQ points of the group differences was genetic, then when the IQ gap was closed to 5 IQ points it could be concluded that the environmental forcings of society have been reasonably equalized * and * further taxpayer expenditures on solving this socially would be wasteful * and * it would be unreasonable to blame 5 IQ points of the gap on racism.

      • D.B. Cooper says

        Let’s grant, your premise (or something nearing it). But instead of black/white IQ gap, let’s use the white/asian IQ gap and for purposes of simplicity we’ll put the white mean at 95 and the asian at 110.

        Now, let’s say society was able to flatten all the environmental forces (effecting IQ) and after having done so, the new white/asian IQ gap was found to be relatively stable with the white mean now at 100 and the asian mean at 105. If we could conclude – with a high degree of certainty – that this 5 point difference was entirely due to genetics, the salient question then becomes, at least for me, why does it exists at all?

        To put it more succinctly – What selection pressures created this higher IQ for asians, and can they be instill (synthetically via public policy, for example) into the white community; thereby allowing for a natural increase in the white IQ?

        Is this (or something like it) even plausible? If it is, I would have to believe it would be worth considering, no?

        *** For matters of simplicity, I’m using IQ, or more precisely IQ scores, as a synonym for general intelligence ***

        • One would expect that evolution is going to select for higher IQ’s all other things being equal (which they aren’t). Smarter people are likely to get eaten by tigers less often. Perhaps the tigers were smarter or more numerous in Asia which put more pressure on selection. Since we no longer have a survival of the fittest society these selection pressures no longer exist. I suppose we could let loose a bunch of tigers in the white community to reassert that selection pressure but I’m guessing this wouldn’t be popular.

          If it can be determined what genetic changes are necessary to optimize intelligence across all races then I wouldn’t have a problem with allowing people to choose this for their children. It would need to be freely available. Lots of other people would have problems with this I’m sure, but I would be pro-intelli-choice. For now, do it the old fashioned way and have babies with Asians.

          • D.B. Cooper says

            @tds

            Putting aside the logistics of creating and, still harder, maintaining a captive audience, I think your idea on loosing feral tigers into (but really onto) the white community has legs – four of them to be precise.

            It’s more likely they would weed out the physically unfit first (an overrepresented cohort, if ever there was one), along with drugies and, then most likely progressives (PETA & Greenpeace members, followed by anti-2nd Amendment advocates, and so on and so forth). But, I agree, eventually they’d make their way up the evolutionary ladder to cull out the many future ‘Darwin Award’ winners.

            That said, the Asian route does seem more appealing.

          • From studies of IQ regression to mean if all women only had babies with sperm from 0.1% of men with >150 IQ then their kids would average about 0.25*(150-100)=112 IQ – meaning about 50% of the population then would be as smart as just 16% of population now. Though psychologically hard on men (perhaps calamitously so) there is no amount of improved child rearing, or nutrition or education that can achieve such a huge gain. It could lift 3rd world out of poverty in one generation. Super rich families already effectively do this – their children attract exceptional partners, and can generally maintain family average IQ >115. Ashkenazic Jews were similar (selecting for smarts over 100’s of years)

          • Charlie says

            Read Nicholas Wade – Troublesome Inheritance. In the Hindu dominated society, Brahmins who are scholars and priest produce more children who reach reproductive age and this has been occurring for the last 3,500 years . In China , the Mandarin Class who were selected by exam existed from 100BC to about 1850 produced more children who reached reproductive age. This is true for Rabbis for the last 1400 years and Protestant clergymen post 1550s.

            The development of a priest-scholar- merchant class who marry amongst themselves raises IQ. If we allow 1 point per generation then over 250 years, 25 generations raises IQ from 100 to 110. In merchant families, women often run the firm when husband away on business. Monarchical /military/aristocratic marriages are based on land /dynasty , so a combination of intermarriage and marrying below average IQ people does not raise IQ of the class. The exception are certain aristocratic families who marry for brains Cecil -Salisbury.

            The question which is no longer asked is why do certain civilisations arise – Sumeria, Egypt, Greece, Indus, China, Aztec, Maya, etc, etc but not in other locations. The WASP of NW Europe only arise post 1550 and in particular the start of the Industrial Revolution post 1720s.

        • ga gamba says

          What selection pressures created this higher IQ for asians, and can they be instill (synthetically via public policy, for example) into the white community; thereby allowing for a natural increase in the white IQ?

          That’s a question I’ve thought about too. I think tds hit on part of it: the slow, the frail, and the dim died earlier. Those who figured out how to make stone tools to fight off threats and kill protein sources were able to fuel their advancement. Inter-group conflict likely awarded the more intelligent and further disadvantaged or even wiped out those less so. I’d add geographic isolation, or lack thereof, plays its part. There’s not a lot of evidence of successful inbreeding iterated through the generations. Reliable food supplies including protein were important. I’d look at when people got off the farm too; long ago the offspring of farmers and serfs procreated with the same, so selecting a partner, or having one chosen, on aspects more important than high intelligence were important. Over the past 50 years the educated procreate with the educated, but before that when advanced education was the preserve of the upper class you still find intelligent yet less educated women wed to educated men.

          • Agree ga gamba, we are seeing increasing social stratification as a result of our egalitarian society. Like marry like, dumb or smart. Meaning that due to high heritability of intelligence kids are more likely to follow their parents in being dumb or smart than if their were more heterogeinity (as in the past) and youthful/lustful naivety in mate selection. 150 years ago it was not uncommon to find genius or near genius labourers (an ancestor of mine was only schooled to age 10, worked as a farm labourer all his life, but also tutored students in calculus in the local high school). Likewise there were very unintelligent professionals handed their positions through family influence. This is very rare now due to the rise of egality. We were also ruled more harshly by lack of mobility – people travelled less (one of my Irish ancestors lived to 107yrs old, but never travelled more than 7 miles from her birthplace), making our pool of potential mates and social interactions far smaller in the less urbanised world that existed pre-industrial revolution. People had both smart and stupid people in their social circles. Not so now.

            An answer to restoring social mobility in an egalitarian, even an idiocracy type world where intelligence is highly heritable is to use the top achieving 0.1% of men as sperm donors for the whole population. More smart and capable kids will then be born across all levels of society, poor life prospects wouldn’t necessarily be baked in at birth for the kids of less intelligent women.

          • Jack B Nimble says

            @Foyle

            This thread is chock-full of people reifying IQ scores into something concrete and immutable [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reification_(fallacy) ].

            We need to contrast that with an actual psychometrician’s view of IQ, like this. From A.S. Kaufman, IQ Testing 101, p. 133 [ ISBN-13: 978-0826106292 ]:

            ….The Wechsler IQs of adult professionals are 25 points higher than the IQs of unskilled workers. Children of professionals outstrip children of unskilled laborers by 21 points. But don’t take the numbers…too literally or think of them too rigidly….Average IQs don’t speak for everyone within a given occupational group or with the same level of education. People vary…. Adults with bachelor’s degrees earn an average IQ of 115, which is 20 points higher than the average IQ of adults who dropped out of high school…. Yet, not all of the adults with bachelor’s degrees scored 115. In fact, in one study, their IQs spanned the wide range from 87 to 148…. The range for adults with 1 to 3 years of high school was 59 to 146. Quite a few high school dropouts shine brighter than college grads when sent into battle with an IQ test. So do some semiskilled workers (IQ range of 56-135) when they are compared to professionals (81 to 148). In fact, high IQs are found at all levels of education and within every occupational category….. The biggest difference invariably occurs at the low end of the IQ continuum…. emphasis added

            The idea that any industrialized country is an IQ meritocracy is another glibertarian fantasy.

          • D.B. Cooper says

            @Jack B Nimble

            The idea that any industrialized country is an IQ meritocracy is another glibertarian fantasy.

            I give you full marks for effort, but is it really necessary to jump straight to compound pejoratives – glibertarian, really? You appear to have begun this comment at, or near, the end of your patience. This is regrettable, because I believe reasonable people can disagree in good faith.

            I can’t speak for @Foyle, or any other contributor of this thread, but I can assure you I am not an accomplice to any fantasy, meritocratic or otherwise. In fact, I’m not entirely sure why you’re trying to disprove a claim that @Foyle never made. As best as I can tell, you’re the only one in the entire comment section to have used the word ‘meritocracy’.

            Undoubtedly, you believe that @Foyle has implied that approximates to industrialized countries are IQ meritocracies, but that inference is not at all obvious. In fact, it’s almost assuredly wrongheaded.

            Again, I don’t want to speak for anyone else, but my personal opinion of IQ is that both genetics and environment play an important role. So, in my view IQ operates something like (a rough analogy, I admit) strength training or speed training. Take the latter as an example. It is unquestionably true that given the right environment – proper training, diet, supplementation, coaching, etc., etc. – I would significantly improve my running speed. That said, however, there is an upper bound to the amount of improvements I can make. Furthermore, I would guess most, if not all, of the people in this thread have a similar view of IQ. Now, how is that any different than the scientific consensus?

          • Jack B Nimble says

            @D.B. Cooper

            I was reacting to this quote from @Foyle:

            “…………. 150 years ago it was not uncommon to find genius or near genius labourers (an ancestor of mine was only schooled to age 10, worked as a farm labourer all his life, but also tutored students in calculus in the local high school). Likewise there were very unintelligent professionals handed their positions through family influence. This is very rare now due to the rise of egality…..

            Yes, Western societies are economically stratified [with constraints on movement between classes] but this pattern is NOT accompanied by strong IQ stratification between classes, except for persons who find themselves at the low end of the scale. Foyle’s quote is flat-out wrong in that regard, as shown by the Kaufman quote. And the suggestion of using males at the high end of the IQ scale as sperm donors IS a fantasy.

            Finally, I don’t know what he/she meant by the rise of egality [i.e., social and political equality]; countries like the US have political equality by law AND high levels of economic inequality. But IQ isn’t the main driver of economic inequality, and equality under the law doesn’t automatically translate into equal economic prospects.

  7. The real reason for this is twofold: the Left consists of people whose values place “harm reduction” over all other values. In fact, they don’t have any other values, they see the world in black and white. Thus, when black people encounter poor outcomes because they don’t have degrees, the solution is to place degrees in their hands. Any other solution, such as insisting they should achieve the same standards as everyone else, is cause for anger and mob-forming.

    The second reason is that they would rather eat broken glass than give any validation to the people they consider The Other: conservatives. Conservatives have a five-axis value system with which they view the world, and the Left literally cannot comprehend it. One of the most telling discoveries by Haidt was that conservatives tend to be curious about what liberals think and why, while the Left sees conservatives as the inferior “other,” inherently incapable of thought. The idea that scientific facts might support some conservative values is inherently repellent and must be stopped at all cost.

    Until this changes, and I don’t see it happening, things aren’t going to get better. 🙁

    • “the left literally cannot comprehend it”

      and only very slightly later:

      “the left sees conservatives as the inferior “other,” inherently incapable of thought.”

      You are dangerously close to making the same error you accuse the left of.

  8. “The relatively rare occurrence of censorship efforts”

    Appearances mislead.

    Most censorship is self-censorship. Most censoring in dictatorships is done by individuals with no direct threat. People know what is expected of them.

    Many incidents go unreported for fear. And people give in in silence, lest their position be threatened further.

    • Jack B Nimble says

      @Jazi Zilber

      I agree that most censorship is self-censorship…. and that’s a good thing! On the highway, for example, it is easy to tell those drivers who are self-censoring versus those that are not. The latter will be honking their horns, shouting at other drivers, and in general just being jerks.

      The article by Cherry is a good example of a ‘Gish Gallop’** I’ll just tackle one issue he raised. The political affiliation ratio favoring Democrats that he mentioned is due in part because the study in question analyzed small liberal arts colleges, with small numbers of faculty members AND students. If one looked at research universities with professional schools (medicine, dentistry, engineering, ag), the situation would be different. Even so, over 40% of faculty either registered as political independents or didn’t register. THAT is a number that Cherry choose not to mention. But it is less sexy to say that almost half of faculty have no detectable political affiliation, than to mention the well-known D:R imbalance in some departments.

      Personally, I find it curious that people who worry about the D:R imbalance on campuses are not worried about the scarcity of pacifists working for the Defense Dept., or the scarcity of vegetarians working for Hormel meat co., or the scarcity of socialists or workers on the management boards of the Fortune 500 companies. All of these imbalances can be explained by self-selection bias [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-selection_bias].

      **‘……..The Gish Gallop (also known as proof by verbosity) is the fallacious debate tactic of drowning your opponent in a flood of individually-weak arguments in order to prevent rebuttal of the whole argument collection without great effort. The Gish Gallop is a belt-fed version of the on the spot fallacy, as it’s unreasonable for anyone to have a well-composed answer immediately available to every argument present in the Gallop. The Gish Gallop is named after creationist Duane Gish, who often abused it.

      Although it takes a trivial amount of effort on the Galloper’s part to make each individual point before skipping on to the next (especially if they cite from a pre-concocted list of Gallop arguments), a refutation of the same Gallop may likely take much longer and require significantly more effort (per the basic principle that it’s always easier to make a mess than to clean it back up again)…..’ Link: https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Gish_Gallop

      • Farris says

        “All of these imbalances can be explained by self-selection bias [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-selection_bias].“
        I am curious

        1. Does your citation of self selection bias include individuals or groups who self select social pathologies that inhibit or limit their success?

        2. Do you agree with James Danmore’s assesment that over all women self select fields other than STEM?

        • Jack B Nimble says

          @Farris

          Self-selection can occur whenever persons have a choice to participate or not. So persons who volunteer for a psychological experiment, or who agree to participate in a telephone survey, or who volunteer to join the army or who join the police force or enter a PhD program are probably NOT a random draw from the base population. Then folks are shocked……… SHOCKED!!…. to discover that soldiers, professors, astronauts, etc. differ in some aspects from the general population.

          Self-selection does not occur with things like the time, place and family into which a person is born. Those circumstances may determine some of the social pathologies you are so curious about.

          Regarding Damore’s truth claims regarding women and STEM, I don’t have an informed opinion there, so I will pass on the chance to comment.

          • Farris says

            @Jack B Nimble

            Thank you for your reply.
            Granted no one can choose the family or circumstances unto which he or she may be born.
            However if one group choses to disproportionately engage in out of wed lock pregnancies, drug usage, eschewing of education and criminal activity more than other groups in the community, couldn’t that selection best explain an over representation in poverty and crime statistics?

      • E. Olson says

        If you knew anything about the military you would understand that virtually everyone in the military is a pacifist – only those that must go under fire or send men into deadly combat truly know the cost of military battle and seek to avoid it at any reasonable cost. The cost or benefit to Hormel of hiring a vegetarian is carried entirely by Hormel employees and shareholders. In contrast, the cost of having no political diversity on campus is carried by society because of the damage it does to students and research credibility. This problem is magnified further because the dominance is on the Left, because research finds that the Left cannot understand and accurately articulate the viewpoints of the Right, while the Right is very capable of accurately conveying the viewpoints of the Left, which is why the Left typically resorts to name calling instead of debate. Thus students exposed to only Leftist professors will not be taught how approximately 40% of the US population that identifies as conservative thinks, nor will they be able to conduct unbiased research to uncover objective truths in their field (assuming they aren’t post-modernists who don’t believe there is a truth). As to your doubts about the true left-right balance of university faculties – look at how balanced their their political contributions are for another clue.

        • Jack B Nimble says

          @E. Olson

          Your point about the military is well-taken; I should have said conscientious objectors, not pacifists.

          Rightists have been complaining about college campuses being hotbeds of ‘subversion’ for at least 100 years. 70 years ago it was the Red Scare. Here’s an American Legion magazine cover from 1951 that asks ‘Do Colleges HAVE to Hire Red Professors?’ https://bit.ly/2oZlHTL

          As I used to say over on TheAmericanConservative before I was banned for life, I rarely saw much overt political activism in my 40 years of academic life, either from students* or from faculty. Faculty in STEM were generally too busy writing MSS and grant proposals, trying to get promoted or get a raise, etc. I know that I was. A few students who did research in my lab thought that I was a conservative or even ex-miliitary, mostly because of my somewhat old-fashioned mannerisms or the way I dressed, I suppose. I didn’t bother to correct them–why should I care what they think?

          *I was an undergraduate during the era of Vietnam and Kent State and, yes, there was activism among both students and faculty back then. But that burned out quickly.

    • Conan the Agrarian says

      @Jazi Zilber

      I have to amen that:

      Throughout the academy in particular, there is a diffuse, pervasive threat: if you question woke axioms

      THE INSTITUTIONAL BUREAUCRACY WILL NO LONGER PROTECT YOU

      as Wax, Peterson, Weinstein, et al. made plain. Once you step outside the bureaucratic wall by saying something unwoke ….

      If the Social Justice Weasels occupy your office and shout and threaten, the bureaucracy won’t let security defenestrate and expel them for physical intimidation. It’s your problem.

      If the department head decides everybody (you) needs more sensitivity training from “inclusion experts”; more student group “discussions” so they may harangue you about their subjective experiences; and more “faculty awareness meetings” for colleagues to virtue signal by correcting your bad thoughts, the bureaucracy won’t rein in this time wasting and public shaming one bit, and punish you if you refuse to play goat.

      Nor will they stop her when she removes you by fiat from any “spaces” (known during the Bourgeoisie Apartheid as “buildings and rooms”) where she has reason to believe you might cause a Protected Species to feel less than marvelous about himself.

      If a dean of wokeness somewhere decides there needs to be a lengthy equity investigation of you, the bureaucracy lets the inquisition roll. Eventually, they dismiss the investigation with the intimation that they just weren’t able to get enough evidence to punish you for what you most assuredly thought.

      If colleagues write op-eds and petitions calling you vile names directly, the bureaucracy dismisses it as “just free speech,” not childish libel of a colleague unbecoming a professional.

      In essence, you become a bureaucratic “outlaw”, whom anyone can pound on with their bureaucratic hammer to exhaustion. In the eyes of the bureaucratic woke, you are trying to be a big shot and meanie by discussing ideas outside the bureaucratically set safety window, so punishment with the bureaucracy is just the egalitarian thing to do.

      Most of us understand we’d better retain the aegis of the bureaucracy at all costs and self-censor however much it takes so as not to draw attention.

      Because it’s not punishment you have to worry about, per se. It’s not being protected from punishment that will sink you in a bureaucracy.

  9. Caligula says

    “Race, class gender” has been the drumbeat of academic mediocrity for decades now, For those who lack academic discipline and/or original thought, the weak standards in these fields provide a path for those whose work is mediocre at best to have a chance at tenure.

    When one adds a de-facto prohibition on doing original work, what’s left to do as an academic working in one of these fields other than to recite dogma? Other than to “de-platform” anyone who might express even the smallest doubt about that dogma, of course.

    In any case, this essay seems at best scattershot. As with any field ruled by dogma, conclusions come first, followed by “research” to support these conclusions. One of these conclusions is that any outcome other than proportional representation is sufficient evidence to prove racism, sexism, etc.; and therefore PropRep becomes a non-negotiable demand.

    And yet real-world experience shows that identity groups often have disparate interests, and probably have disparate talents in specific areas, and thus a demand for proportional representation everywhere can only be met by practicing discrimination against those who belong to groups that achieve “too much.”

    Thus, the dogma insists that the only way to achieve non-discrimination is to apply ever-more discrimination. Somewhat as (perhaps) those committed to “building socialism” insisted that in order for the state to whither away (thus leaving us free of its tyranny) it would first be necessary to estabish a dictatorship of the proletariat.

    Perhaps a first step would be to clean out the University stables of this, umm, stuff. Or at least ensure that the public is not taxed to pay for its production. For there seems scant hope that universities will find the strength to clean themselves, and re-establish themselves as places of academic excellence.

    • Only communists would expect equal outcomes and one-size-fits-all solutions for a diverse peoples. Those who never suffered true authoritarianism often cling to the notion that everyone would be really good if just given the chance, which is demonstrably false and certainly happens globally so as to reduce any notion of white/racial causes.

  10. Hypothesis on PC:

    If you start with the assumption that most people believe the problems are driven by differences in biology, not culture, and that attempts to fiddle with culture will have marginal to no impact. . .

    and we further assume that explicitly mentioning the first assumption will lead to one being socially outcast

    . . . it makes perfect sense that we should say white supremacy is the cause of Black dysfunction, and while efforts to “root out” white supremacy will fail to reverse the inequalities, they will insure everyone who is anyone “feels good” about the situation, and will “try harder” to fight racism. . .

    because everyone is probably perfectly aware that their behavior is motivated by their racist beliefs–that these differences are mostly intractable–and that the next best thing to fixing a problem that can’t be fixed is to pretend to fix the problem and pretend the blame lies with the more successful and make nice in order to manipulate the feelings of all involved. [The successful get social acrimony for “cheating”, the unsuccessful get victim sympathy cards as participation trophies.]

    Racism + Power = B.S. PC campaign of anti-racism to make everyone feel good?

    Its hard not to see PC & no-platforming as anything other than what happens when race realism meets Marxism meets universalist altruism. [One group will succeed over another whatever moderate environmental influences are at play + groups succeeding over other groups is “bad” + one should help members of the out-group, especially if down and out, more than your in-group.]

    I mean, who supports censorship if they are confident that their ideas are correct? Who wouldn’t support censorship if you were confident your ideas were B.S. but necessary for political reasons?

    • Doesn’t it make perfect sense that if you as a white person accept something like the “hard genetic” version of the Bell Curve, and believe that Blacks will always remain marginal in American Society, BUT that fact makes you extremely morally uncomfortable, AND you feel that you should devote yourself to the underdog, it would make sense that you would i.) advocate something like “white privilege” to assuage the feelings of the downtrodden, ii.) use coercion and censorship to prevent evidence of “hard genetics” from coming to light, iii.) do your best to status signal and ally around Black causes, iv.) while avoiding and/or moving out of Black neighborhoods and schools in favor of the Hamptons?

      In other words, White Liberals are “racists with a social conscience”.

      • Imagine a world in which conservatives convinced themselves that paralytics could walk and run if society encouraged the right family structures, and programs were developed for their physical rehabilitation, and perhaps paralytics who couldn’t walk or run were just lazy or immoral.

        Liberals would be horrified, because paralytics are paralytics, and they are never going to walk. Paralytics are “differently-abled” and their different abilities are just as good as the walkers and runners. The fact that people think it is better to be able to walk and run is just evidence of “ableist supremacy”–because it would be bad if for example, nature was set up in such a way that the group that could flee from predators the fastest had some kind of natural advantage over the slow group.

        Liberals will never admit that they are basically race realists, but cryptic race realism best explains their behaviors. Why would you support affirmative action programs across successive generations otherwise?

        • Its clear to me that the liberals have vanquished the conservatives on these racial debates because they are more cynical, hypocritical, and unprincipled than the conservatives, and political struggle rewards ruthlessness combined with deceit.

          • Peter from Oz says

            KD

            You are right that the right actually cares about black people having a better life, whilst the left cares about looking as though they care while grabbing power for themselves.
            As far as the left is concerned the only real black people are he black activists.

  11. Robert,

    Interesting you are working in the CUNY system; the history of NY public education is rife with unlearned lessons regarding many of the issues you mention.

    The issue of the charter schools in New Orleans perfectly parallels the Brownsville Teacher’s strikes of 1968, on which Martin Mayer’s story—the longest article ever published in the NYT Magazine—remains as stubborn, fair, and clear-headed as ever.

    Likewise, the issue of standards vs. access, and institutional tradeoffs between universities as citadels of truth vs. universities as promoters of social change has no starker historical example than City College New York, which bent, in 1969, to a virulent minority demanding equal representation, with consequences best evaluated by James Traub in his 1994 book, “City on a Hill.”

    These events wounded the left so badly as to push the rightward turn of an entire generation of idealists and marxists. They are completely hidden to today’s ideologues who pursue near-identical strategies.

  12. “From the interviews Kathryn Edin published in 2014, we learned that these men want to be caring fathers of loving families but that a brutal, racist system is robbing them of the opportunity.”

    This is the type of poisonous black myth making that is a large part of what is holding back black people as a whole in America.

  13. codadmin says

    Articles like this wildly overanalyse what motivates the fascist left.

    The fascist left, which is an anti-white ideology to the core, is simply an expression of minority hate and racism.

    If you take the words of the fascist right and swap them with the words of the fascist left, they are indistinguishable. All that is different is who they hate, and who they blame.

  14. One could always ask the question:

    “If your assumptions are wrong about the root causes of this issue what would the measurable results of your policies be?”.

    Alternately if you really want to tie them up into irrational thoughts, restate it as:

    “If your assumptions are right about the root causes of this issue what would the measurable results of your policies be?”.

    I don’t pretend even getting a thoughtful answer to this will change anything because this seems primarily about in group signaling. They have constructed an alternate reality where the failures of urban blacks in areas ruled by progressives for decades is somehow the fault of poor white people in rural Alabama. These country people apparently use their secret white supremacy Jedi powers to accomplish this.

    There is nothing wrong with trying to solve this problem in innovative ways, but only allowing one set of “acceptable” experiments to be run may never find an acceptable result. If these root cause assumptions are wrong I suggest results would look strikingly similar to what we have seen the past several decades.

  15. Old Tom Paine says

    Oh, thank you, Sweet Jesus, for answering my prayers that *somebody* would start speaking the Truth about what has been going on. “They” have been subverting the Publication system for some time, by refusing to approve research that members of Ethics Committees don’t care for, and actually using intimidation to suppress publications in journals and magazines. The New Left are the New Nazis, plain and simple.

    • E. Olson says

      Old Tom,
      You are far from alone in your inaccurate reference to the Nazis as being on the political Right. The Nazis were always Leftists – they believed in big government, high taxes, high regulations, government run pensions, education and healthcare, gun control, abortion, and identity politics (instead of blaming society’s problems on white male heterosexuals, the Nazis blamed the Jews). The Nazis did not allow multiple political parties once they were in power, they controlled the press, and locked up, “re-educated”, or killed political opponents. They were also the first big environmentalists, and invaded Russia and exterminated the native populations in part to create new wilderness areas for wildlife and Aryan settlers.

      Thus the corrected version of your last sentence should read: “The New Left are the Old Nazis, plain and simple.”

  16. Chip Daniels says

    The author here wants to comment about black people, but doesn’t want to actually engage with, or converse with black people.

    He wants to make the case that racism isn’t significant, and that the problems black people face are of their own making, yet he doesn’t feel the need to actually listen to black voices or their eyewitness testimony of their lived experience.

    He has no authority, no relevant base of experience to draw on. He doesn’t have the foggiest notion of how black people live, or what their experiences are.

    • ga gamba says

      The author here wants to comment about black people, but doesn’t want to actually engage with, or converse with black people.

      Unless you posses the power of clairvoyance to know all his wants and examine his memories of engagement and conversations with black people, which you’ll have to prove to us, yours is an unsubstantiated assertion. I found the gist of the article to be academics are being punished for failing to tow the ideological line, and this was supported by numerous examples. You’re playing the man and not the ball. It’s your job to provide arguments explaining the ways Mr Cherry is wrong. Notice that he provided numerous links to data to support his points and also embedded a video of Dr Glenn Loury; you may do the same. In fact, it behooves you to do likewise.

      Many, perhaps most, written articles are monologues. This is especially true of opinion pieces. It appears you wanted this article to be an interview. Perhaps you ought to contact him, he can interview you (or vice versa), and the record of the conversation may be published here.

      • Chip Daniels says

        His reliance on statistics is the tell.
        The claim being made is that white people are not treating black people poorly, on a systemic scale.

        Yet we have centuries of eyewitness testimony of black people complaining of this very thing.
        Books, magazine articles, recordings, artwork by black people at every level of society- rich and poor, rural and urban, from every religion subculture and state.

        He quotes Ta Nehisi Coates, but only to cherry pick his one comment about violence within the black community. The main body of his work is studiously ignored.

        Yet he refuses to engage with any of this, and prefers to pluck statistics from Wikipedia, and whine about the unfairness of academia for believing the words of black people rather than some random white guy.

        • Peter from Oz says

          Chip

          Your comments are very interesting. I think, however, that you are missing the real target of Mr Cherry’s attack, which is liberal whites who stoke the fire of racial tension for the sake of power.
          Many blacks may have presented as being victims. But that is subjective evidence that has far less probative value than the statistical evidence Cherry uses.
          My view is that in fact blacks have for the last 20 years the prejudice against blacks has been motivated by politics rather than race. This has arisen from the fact that most blacks vote for the Democrats and identity politics.
          The best way to cure this would be for roughly 50% of blacks to register and vote Republican. By removing the assumption that all blacks are Democratic, you immediately stop the idea that they are one mass of people with the same outlook.

        • ga gamba says

          Yet he refuses to engage with any of this, and prefers to pluck statistics from Wikipedia..

          I checked each one of his links. Not one of them takes the reader to Wikipedia.

          Yet we have centuries of eyewitness testimony of black people complaining of this very thing.

          Yet we have you, who would be considered an eyewitness of this article, claim the author plucks statistics from Wikipedia. This is factually incorrect.

          Whilst I won’t deny abuse and even crimes have been perpetrated, I also know some people have lied. And not just you. Recently the lies were coming in so fast and furious that BLM is now demanding police stop wearing body cameras because the recorded evidence was rubbishing claims of police abuse made. This is not to say police abuse doesn’t happen nor is it a claim that all recordings exonerate police.

          Further, over the last few decades numerous studies have disputed the reliability of eyewitness accounts and testimony.

          His reliance on statistics is the tell.

          Your objection is statistics. OK, you dislike an integral part of the scientific method. There’s not much I can say about that. I will offer an example of how people can take away different conclusions from them.

          One of BLM’s complaints in unarmed black men are gunned down by police routinely; so much so that it’s proof of a system that at the least tolerates this and may even encourages it. In 2016 16 of 55 unarmed men killed by police were black, which is about 29%. For the sake of argument we’ll say that all these unarmed black men were entirely cooperative and didn’t put up a fight, though we know some certainly did. Blacks are 13% of general population and black men are about 6.5%. Looks damning, doesn’t it?

          Is this the end of the story? Have the systems and institutions been proved guilty? In the US there are about 1m police officers working in roughly 18,500 police departments from the federal to the local level. On average 11m people are arrested per annum nationally, which is fewer than one person per month per officer. But police don’t only arrest people. They have tens of millions more interactions with the public from issuing citations to interviewing witnesses as well as providing aid and even ordering lunch. Not including parking tickets, I’ll use the National Motorist Association’s estimate that somewhere between 25 and 50 million traffic tickets are issued each year. I’ll use the low figure 25m plus the 11m arrested and that’s 36m. Yet, I’ve only captured arrests and traffic tickets. There are still all those other face-to-face encounters with public. I’ll exclude ordering lunch and dinner and limit it to job duties. It has to be more than 50m total encounters with the public, but I’ll use 50m to ensure I don’t double or triple count an event nor do I understate police murderousness against the public. This is 50 face-to-face encounters with the public per officer per annum, and an average of fewer than one per week has to be an undercount of police-public encounters, but we’ll go with that to make it easier to conclude police are systemically racist. Sixteen unarmed black men killed in the estimated 50m public face-to-face encounters with police per annum is 0.00000032. If there are 100m public face-to-face encounters with police per annum, less than two per officer per week, it’s 0.00000016.

          Does that look like a systemic issue to you? Systemic describes something that happens or exists throughout a whole system. If the police system is the procedures of 18,500 departments employing 1m people authorised to arrest people, then the procedures’ result of 16 unarmed black men killed by police has to be one of the most inefficient and ineffective systems ever created by mankind. It’s not getting the job of killing black men done. No, 16 does not prove a system is in place with this goal. These appear to be anomalies.

          We can dig deeper and perhaps find the city of Baltimore has more killings of unarmed black men than all other places. The may prove the Baltimore police department is systemically racist, but we can’t extrapolate this conclusion to all others.

          I don’t know the exact number of police involved in each killing; sometimes it’s one officer and other times it’s several. Let’s say on average it’s 3, so 48 police officers in total. Further, let’s say that all 48, including the non-white ones, are racists. That’s 0.000048 of the police force. Is five one-thousandths of a per cent proof of systemic racism?

          Some people, such as BLM, will state this is proof indeed. Others will find this claim unpersuasive.

          • How do we know Chip Daniels is legitimate and not trolling, making obviously bad arguments in a spoof of social justice jihad? I think that is the problem that emerges when logic and facts are subsumed by rhetoric and denunciations of enemies–it becomes indistinguishable from a spoof of itself.

          • ga gamba says

            I’m happy to take people at face value until evidence indicates otherwise. I have no way to read minds and determine genuine motives. At best we can deduce, but to do so with any accuracy takes a prolonged conversation.

            I also keep in mind when I submit a reply more than just the recipient may read it. Consider it outreach.

            Every comment is an opportunity to think things over, review data, and make the argument. Do so often enough and hopefully one will become skilled at it. You’re building an inventory of knowledge that proves very useful when dealing with one’s opponents face-to-face.

          • The author isn’t practicing science, he is making sciency-sounding claims.

            His argument is a sociological one, of trying to explain how groups of people interact.

            Data isn’t just statistics.

            Data for “how people interact” is the testimony, the actual experiences of the people themselves. The author refuses to accept or gather this data.

          • ga gamba says

            Sociology uses statistics, a tool that reveals regularities, as they provide supporting evidence. Statistics even allows one to account for variability, to an extent. And they are useful to show the causal correlation among multiple phenomena. Sociology is nothing more than hypotheses and we subject these to (hopefully) empirical testing. Then we see if they are replicable.

            I can understand why some dislike stats when it casts doubt or even disputes their assertions, but I suspect they’re happy with them when their assertions are supported. With the rough comes the smooth.

  17. I was banned on both Reddit Politics and Twitter (temporarily) for making the argument below, when responding to a thread about why we should blame “toxic masculinity” for school shootings.

    If you look up homicide stats, men are 8.1x more likely to murder someone than women are. That’s a recorded fact.

    However, within men, black men are 7.6x more likely to murder someone than white men. Also a fact. See: https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/htus8008.pdf, Table 1

    So if we’re taking this “blame entire demographic groups for shootings” thing to its conclusion, we should be lecturing black men for their toxic blackness and working to fix black people while also talking about how it’s OK to hate black men. Anything else is complete hypocrisy.

    OR…we could stop being bigoted and lecturing anyone based on their demographic group.

    This was seen as “hate speech” because how dare you talk about black men like we talk about men in general. My argument, if you have an ounce of common sense at all, is clearly that this whole practice of blaming groups for the actions of a few is highly suspect, and can support all kinds of behavior most on the left see as bad.

  18. John Craigton says

    The articles and comments of Quillette readers have become fairly predictable:

    Leftists, progressives, leftism, liberals = bad.

    Conservatism, libertarianism, and especially Jordan Peterson = good.

    In my opinion, Quillette has become an echo chamber. Too bad, because some articles are genuinely interesting, but I would like to see some more diversity here as well.

    • codadmin says

      95% of the media is a leftist echo chamber. Quilette is a tiny pocket of fresh air that challenges leftist orthodoxy.

      If you want to read leftism, you have thousands of publications to choose from.

      • Peter from Oz says

        codadmin
        I’m a conservative and I disagree. The highest selling newspapers in the UK are conservaitive. Rupert Murdoch’s papers world wide are conservative. There are plenty of right wing media outlets and important websites on which to comment. So you 95% is really an exaggeration.

    • DiamondLil says

      John Craigton, I have to agree with you and disagree with codadmin below. I don’t want to retreat to my own, comfortable non-leftist echo chamber at Quillette. I’d like a little more “steel manning” of opposing ideas and a little less echoing here.

    • OtherWay says

      Leftists are fully encouraged to post articles on Quillette. That was always the website’s intent.
      Why do you think leftists don’t post here?
      Your (probably correct) observation of Quillette shows what is really bubbling under the surface. Make a website that allows free debate and comment, and who shows up?.

    • I am pretty certain there are a lot of leftists on here. I consider myself a liberal, and love this site and comment often.

      What I do think is almost universally loathed here is identity politics and its policy of suppressing free speech. But it sort of has to be, by definition, because “including” those types involves censoring any ideas that offend them.

      • Peter from Oz says

        Well said Law. I’m pretty sure that one thing the old liberal left and the conservatives can agree on is their shared dislike of identity politics.
        I always thought Quillette was basicallly a website for the liberal left and the conservative right to talk about things in a measured fashion; finding things upon which they can agree. They both agree that the ideas of the new left identitarains are the curse of our times

    • ga gamba says

      The articles and comments of Quillette readers have become fairly predictable:

      Your compliant reminds me of the fat girl damning one clothes shop for failing to make size 36 whilst ignoring all the other shops selling plus-sized garments. Focussing on one whilst ignoring all others is a foolish choice, but I won’t take you for a fool, at least not yet, so I think yours is a deliberate over-egg. There are plenty of options.

      The site is what it is. There’s no restriction on who may comment. Instead of offering a comment that defies the predictable ones, you chose to offer piffle. I don’t sit in the editors’ room discussing what is and isn’t published, so I can’t speak to that. That being said, plenty of newspapers and magazines have an editorial line, which is another way to state bias. Much of what is published here I think would be rejected by the Guardian, Jacobin, Mother Jones, and the New Republic.

      In searching for diversity I encourage you to broaden your perspective. Theres more than one, and you can thank capitalism for that.

      • And one final thought as to Jordan Peterson – can you be more specific? I don’t think it’s Jordan the man that people like or dislike. It’s his ideas. So by all means, share what it is you don’t like. I saw a TON of detailed, calm discussion on this comment section, so I don’t know what more you could ask for. Here’s your forum, go for it.

        But I just read this – https://newhumanist.org.uk/articles/5342/the-problem-with-identity-politics

        And right out of the gate the guy says this- One sense is the white male identity politics of Donald Trump, and pop pseudo-intellectuals like Jordan Peterson.”

        And as someone who has listened to hundreds of hours of Peterson, all I can say is he constantly rails on ALL Identity Politics, the white kind, the black kind, all of it. He does this constantly. So as soon as I see a dismissal like that, or an off-handed remark, I know the speaker doesn’t know what they’re talking about, and I see a ton of that with Peterson for whatever reason. It makes me doubt everything they’re saying. To me it’s a major f’ing detail not to know that he is not a white supremacist or whatever the implication is there. I don’t give a shit about his fans, I listen to the words coming out of his face hole.

        But by all means, tell me what you don’t like about him, I have no interest in shutting you down.

        • John Craigton says

          I appreciate all the comments to my minor complaint. Again, I find many if not most articles really well written and researched, and Quillette is refreshing. What bothers me most is that often there are far too broad generalizations in many articles. For example, typically Quillette articles start with a specific problem and then it is concluded it is all due to leftists. For example, I read another article about leftist censorship and its history — but then, “rightist” censorship is also very well known and documented, probably starting with the NSDAP in Germany, and which has had followers around the world, including Spain until 1970s and South American tyrants.

          Yes, student activists and associated academics with social-justice issues can be pretty annoying (because, for example, being hypocritically race-centered rather than being race-ignoring), but I think that many problems are not truly leftist problems. Many of the people responsible for awkward policies do so because they are conformists who go with the flow. Also, there is nothing left about many of the so-called left wing policies, depending on how you define left (which seems to be pretty open — and that would be a nice topic for an article: what do we actually mean with concepts such as left and right).

          I am fairly pragmatic and do not feel comfortable in any labelled group. Okay, I admit I dislike conservatives, but I equally dislike SJWs. I feel uncomfortable when Quillette becomes a purely conservative pro-Jordan Peterson outlet (I hate his gibberish language use, his over-emotional way of speaking, his exaggerations against porn, for example, and his constant references to Jung’s archetypes, which not really scientific by any standard).

          • @John Craighton

            I will definitely agree that JP babbles a lot! On those topics – or when he starts talking about god – I don’t comprehend much of what he says. He is a weird dude for sure.

            I will also agree that back in the 90s and early 2000s it was the religious right that was doing the censoring.

          • ga gamba says

            …but then, “rightist” censorship is also very well known and documented, probably starting with the NSDAP in Germany,

            The lesson I take from history is ideologues of either extreme become censorious when they ascend to power. Sadly, the game keeps devolving to power politics, swinging from one end to the other. Currently the left holds cultural capital in the institutions of sense making such the academe, journalism, and entertainment. I’m quite happy to have equal marriage and many of the other things the centre-left advocate. I have no desire to censor anyone’s books, films, music, etc. I’m an advocate of DIY entrepreneurship. Start your own comic, produce your films, write software, etc. The marketplace is large enough to accommodate all and we’re the better for it – some more than others. This also allows people to be their own bosses, to make their futures, and, if all goes well, acquire wealth. Where I put my foot down in when the extremists start demanding things I enjoy be changed to accommodate their preferences. For example, a woman creating her comic character and writing the stories is more empowering than transitioning an existing character into a woman. Unfortunately, there are some who think creativity is ruining what others enjoy. Better to be productive than destructive, but the nihilists who want to topple the existing order ruin it for the majority of people who have a live-and-let-live attitude.

            BTW, hate speech laws,which I think are a form of censorship, existed in Weimar Germany prior to the Nazis taking control.

          • E. Olson says

            John Creighton,

            The Nazis were not far Right – they were far Left. Franco Spain also wasn’t Right, it was Left. The clue is the size of government; big government is the Left and smaller government is the Right, and only big government can effectively censor the media and political opponents. The only Rightist “censor” I can think of was Pinochet in Chile, who freed the country from Communism by shrinking the government following the guidelines of Milton Friedman, and then peaceably allowed free elections – something few (any?) far Left governments/dictators have voluntarily done. Thus censorship on the Right has almost never happened, but in the rare case it did it was only temporary and arguably for a good cause, because Chile is about the only country in S. America that isn’t a basket-case.

    • Many on the left now like to self identify as a classical liberal, which I think now means a liberal who doesn’t like identity politics. I don’t expect everyone on the left to herd their own cats, as the right also has plenty of people who need to be disavowed.

      What I don’t really see is a similar disavowal of the poisonous strand of identity politics (overt white bashing) from the left that you do see on the right with the poisonous overt white supremacists. White bashing has become overt and there seems to be no perceived limitation on it, see the ridiculous mainstream rationalizations for Sarah Jeong’s comments for example.

      The left leaning media and academia have mainstreamed white bashing and there should be pushback because this arguably hurts society. One cannot possibly say there isn’t immense social pressure on the left to allow this to happen without comment. I understand it, who wants their career ruined because they take on SJW’s?

      There is a lot of unvented and socially disallowed frustration on this issue, which is why the comments are the way they are. People can defend these policies in this comment section if they wish, but they generally don’t. I don’t pretend they wouldn’t be attacked though. Echo chambers aren’t very interesting.

  19. Progressives have never been about solving problems. If ever, problems solved were a side effect, often unwanted. All they are about is getting more zombie electorate by which I mean kind of voters who’ll vote Democrat no matter how corrupt, deceptive and treacherous they turn out to be and what kind of outrageous policies they introduce. It’s all about expanding the bureaucratic moloch and creating more and more government agencies, increasing taxes and wasting taxpayers’ money for their benefit. Killing free market economy with excessive regulations, so open competition is replaced with oligopolies and cartels run by their friends. All they want, all they live for and all they believe is Power.

    Democratic Party = Oligarchy Party

    Identity politics and victimization is perfect for this.

  20. “In today’s political climate, however, the standard explanation reflects the views of Edin’s fathers: hopelessness produced by a racist, white supremacist society.”

    I’d like to offer an explanation for this perspective in so far as black people are concerned. Whites who share this perspective, do so either from a lack of understanding, or because they have a political agenda, or more likely both.

    Western civilisation was created by Europeans, i.e. white people, over the past four centuries, although its roots go back even further to the ancient Greeks, who were also white. Whites can look back on this history, not just with shame for all the wrongs their ancestors committed, mainly against fellow whites, but also against Africans and other races, but also with immense pride at what they achieved.

    Blacks, like all non-whites, have played a relatively small role in the development and history of western civilisation. but are encouraged by whites, esp. Democrats, seeking to patronise them to see any expression of white identity or pride as white supremacism.

    The demonisation and suppression of white identity, despite it being central to America’s founding (the Constitution was written by and for white men, who were the original white nationalists) is of huge political importance and urgently needs to be addressed. I make a start here: https://twitter.com/rogerahicks/status/1012987161409355776

    • For the Greeks (and many other neighbouring empires, such as the Persians), all non-Greeks (whether white or not) were barbarians, because, instead of talking properly Greek, they mumbled -bar..bar..bar.br. They were not only seen as not-equals, but as scarcely human. In fact, who started with that funny idea of all men are equal? The whites again, of course!

    • Rivers says

      “The Greeks were white” is “white guilt” talking, not history. The idea of “whiteness” as we know it today hadn’t been invented yet.

      • But blackness was, read the Bible, Solomon: even if I’m dark skinned, don’t you think I,m a pretty woman??

    • X. Citoyen says

      You’re confusing race and culture. Western civilization is Western Europe. More white people have lived outside Western Europe than within it, so the cultural subset should get the credit, not the whole lot. On top of that Western Europeans groups are racially more similar to their non-Western neighbors than they are to other Westerners–e.g., Italians and North Africans are more similar to one another than to Scandinavians, and Scandinavians are more similar to Russians, etc.

      Second, Western European culture didn’t become successful by emulating the tribalism of others, but by rejecting it. Western culture, after all, is a shared super-ordinate identity that links and often trumps the specific national, racial, and regional identities of Western nations. Come to that, I have more in common with my Westernized Asian and black colleagues than I do with any of the lily-white Muslims of the Caucasus.

      Identity politics is an intellectual and spiritual dead end, a death cult.

      • I completely agree.

        In _The Coddling of the American Mind_, Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff draw a useful distinction between “common-humanity” and “common-enemy” versions of identity politics. The former is best represented by the Civil Rights Movement of the 50s and 60s. In response to real injustices, it appealed to shared values of equity and fairness in advocating for concrete reforms. Unfortunately, the vast majority of contemporary identitarians fit in the latter category. They follow a divisive and demonizing approach that overstates the extent of discrimination, denies the reality of progress, and alienates potential allies.

        I see rogerahick’s extremist view (everything good has come from whites) mirrored in the perspective of radical anti-racists, who vilify white men and reject the Enlightenment. Both are fixated on the pseudoscientific concept of race instead of focusing on cultures and individuals.

      • Rivers says

        @X. Citoyen, actually, at least in US academic settings, Western civilization is synonymous with “the West,” which includes the USA, Canada, and Australia in addition to western Europe (and perhaps a few other places I haven’t thought of). In other words, the places where what you describe as “Western culture” prevails would be described, at least here in the US, as being part of “Western civilization” or being places where the idea of “Western civilization” dictates political institutions and cultural mores. If academics in the US wanted to specify Western Europe, they would say “Western Europe” specifically, they wouldn’t talk about “Western civilization.” (In my experience, “Western civilization,” in the US, refers to the cultural-political conglomeration that belonged to the Catholic church before the Reformation, colonized the world starting in the 15th century, understands itself to be the intellectual successor of the Greeks/Romans, and is responsible for either writing or promulgating the “great books.”)

        Otherwise, I do agree with you that “death cult” isn’t a bad way of describing identity politics.

  21. The elephant in the room is low black average intelligence. The Flynn effect has increased black and white raw scores over the decades, which has required renorming, but the average IQ (after renorming) continues to be 85. IQ scores predict black performance about as well as they predict white performance. The solution is an increase in average black intelligence.

    • But how do you increase group IQ? Education does not work. Kids of Rich black families given every aid and advantage still don’t do as well as kids of dirt poor white families struggling their way through school. Again and again intelligence has been shown to be highly genetically deterministic. The only thing that can provably (and easily) deliver desired results is using highly intelligent sperm donors.

      Eg SAT difference black-white graphed with family income. At every level of family income there is a black-white SAT gap of 150. The socio-economic excuse for the achievement gap is obviously bunckum: https://benkurtzblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/12/the-blackwhite-sat-gap/

      No amount of improved education or post-conception interventions can fix this problem.

  22. Rivers says

    I don’t think the “free tuition” argument should be relegated to the “lowering standards for people of color” pile. The question of who should pay for higher education is a real one.

    (1) Why should primary education be freely available, but not higher education? Particularly in a world where higher education is coming to be expected. (Note: I don’t agree with the move towards higher proportions of people receiving higher education. Who gets what job is already arbitrary enough in the corporate world.)

    (2) Is the tuition model a vestige of the “good old boy” days? I don’t know the history of higher education well. However, I do know that not long ago schools like Harvard were places where you went if you had previously gone to a school like Choate or Exeter. (Wealthy) people pay a lot of money to send their kids to Choate. Does that mean lower middle class people should similarly pay a lot of money to send their kids to Seton Hall University? My point is I have come to think that the tuition model is with us because of inertia, and it reflects a time when private universities were more like private high schools in socioeconomic terms. If higher education is now more like high school in function (i.e. most people need it), then it doesn’t necessarily make sense for average people to be acting as though they were sending their kids to a boarding (high) school when, in fact, they’re thinking about college.

    (3) It’s one thing to send your kid to a boarding (high) school, it’s another to send an adult to college. College students ought to be treated as adults — at least once in a while! The fact that their parents are the ones paying (not only tuition, but even room and board) sends the message that they’re still dependents who can’t fend for themselves in the slightest. It also suggests to the administrators that they are accountable to the whims of the parents, not the students’ best interests.

    However, consider the contrast when one moves from undergrad to a PhD program. In the physical sciences (in the US), serious PhD students have fellowships that cover their tuition costs and provide them with a stipend to live off. This sends the message that the PhD students are employees of the university, there to learn, teach, and do research. Indeed, for many PhD students, this is their first real job and the first time they are not dependent on their parents.

    Why can’t undergrad education be like this? Imagine this: the university covers your tuition costs and provides you room and board (or a stipend, if you want to live off campus, maybe). You then understand (hopefully) that being an undergraduate is a responsibility: you are there to better yourself through learning so that you can leave and become a productive member of society. The university believes in your potential, otherwise they wouldn’t be paying for you to be there (unlike doting or irresponsible parents who will spend the money regardless). Moreover, when every student has a full tuition scholarship, it’s much easier to ask more of them. I went to Cooper Union, where everyone had a full tuition scholarship. There was no grade inflation in the freshman and sophomore courses. If you were an engineering student, you might fail a math or physics course, even if you had worked hard. How many Ivy League schools can say they routinely fail students who are working hard? (Indeed, I agree with the author that “free tuition” would make more demanding majors raise their standards, and I think that’s a benefit.) What I’m trying to push here is, when the school is providing you a full tuition scholarship contingent on your performance, you’re learning about being an adult. If you get to your first job and you don’t perform, you will lose the job. We may as well expect the same of undergraduates, and I personally prefer that to the “being popular and FOMO is part of my job on campus” approach we have now.

    (4) A “free tuition” model could impart in the students more of a sense of civic responsibility. This is an expansion of point (3). How would the universities be able to offer free tuition? My response is: take a cut of the students’ salaries for some amount of time.

    Unfortunately, we are living in a country where a sort of “free market, winner take all” mentality prevails and so people will think, “There’s no way the university is taking money from me, even if they paid for my studies beforehand.” I know as an alum of Cooper Union that people who are eternally grateful to be in school “for free” will leave and almost immediately forget the debt they owe the institution. (Even though Cooper Union provided full tuition scholarships to all of its students until the Class of 2018, something like 15% of alums give back to the school each year.)

    Nonetheless, is there no way to counter act this? Wouldn’t changing this mentality be desirable? Consider the following exchange I had with a friend: I asked if he ever sent money back to his alma mater (University of Chicago), even just $100 a year. He said no. Of course, $100 isn’t much. He could afford to do it, but it wouldn’t go very far. He’s also not yet at “donor age.”
    (He’s 29 and I’m 27.) However, I mentioned to him: “Wouldn’t the University be beyond pleased if every alum gave $100 a year?” He agreed that would be more than they could ever hope for and would probably go a long way. This didn’t seem to phase him or change his attitude. I don’t doubt that if he becomes a rich man, he would give lots of money to Chicago. (On the other hand, he’s in a “creative” grad program right now so it seems unlikely he’ll ever be in the “donor class.”) Why can’t we give a little bit of money regularly now, regardless of our age or level of attainment? That’s what I do, both to Cooper Union and my (private) high school.

    Wouldn’t we live in a stronger country if most people regularly donated (even small amounts) to their universities? I don’t even mean it as an economic argument: in fact, I suspect there are free market economists out there who could show that it would slow down our economy. However, imagine what that would mean from a civic point of view. What would our culture be like if people thought on those terms? Every now and then (or at a specific time of the year), I send something my school’s way because I owe it to them. Again, free market economics might say, “Nah, that’s inefficient,” but I think it’s this kind of cultural vitality that stands out historically when you start thinking about strong nations with a really robust and enviable social cohesion and institutions. And “robust social cohesion and institutions” is the last way I would describe the US today.

    Otherwise, yes, I agree, the left is overplaying its hand on race. It’s so obvious it’s scary. If you’re 100% sure of something and then you turn around five years later and now you’re 1000% sure of something and angry as hell about it, then you’re almost surely at least 50% wrong about that thing.

    • ga gamba says

      Why should primary education be freely available, but not higher education?

      Is this a serious question? Because primary education is mandated by law.

      • Rivers says

        @ga gamba, OK, so why is primary education mandated by law? Because the progressives thought everyone needed it and were concerned if it weren’t freely available, then education wouldn’t be readily accessible to some people. That’s my point.

        By contrast, I don’t think everyone needs higher education, but I do think, if parents are expected to pay, there will be talented people who will not be able to get a good (enough) education because of that.

        If Asian Americans are entitled to fairer admissions standards at Harvard (as they’re arguing now in the courts), aren’t people who’s parents aren’t willing to pay to attend Harvard also somehow being let down by society as well? That is, if Asian Americans have a case, why don’t people who’s parent’s don’t want to (or can’t) pay? Put another way, why does Harvard ask parents to pay but West Point doesn’t? Harvard itself makes the argument (in the affirmative action debate) that it is a significant US institution that prepares people for roles at the highest level of US society in politics, business, law, and elsewhere (and, therefore, it is justified in carefully crafting a diverse student body). That sounds a lot like what West Point does, except only for the Army. If you’re grooming people for top leadership roles, wouldn’t it be problematic if you were leaving out certain people because they couldn’t pay (or their parents were unwilling to pay, for whatever reason)? That is, if we take it for granted that to become a Supreme Court Justice (a particularly stark example), you need to go to an Ivy League school as an undergrad, doesn’t that imply that, as a society, we have an obligation to eliminate obstacles that prevent deserving students from attending an Ivy League school?

        If your parents are unwilling to pay the money Harvard asks for, that’s a pretty big obstacle for an unemployed high school senior. If universities did not expect parental contributions, that obstacle would be gone and it would literally be a fair playing field. (Financial aid by definition is not fair because different people get different amounts based on their parents’ income, not their own merit. If the university says this is how much financial aid you require but your parents scoff, you’re out of luck. However, your best friend’s parents might love the financial aid package they get. Hence the quandary.)

        My feeling is: take parents out of the picture. You want to come to my school? If you have a good application, great, enroll, and we pay your bills. If you goof off, you’re out of here. If you graduate, you owe me this percent of your salary for this long. Is this not economically viable? Is it particularly risky for the universities? I honestly don’t know. Nonetheless, I suspect not, and I sense that historical inertia has more to do with it than economics.

        At any rate, this post is related to a point I forgot to add to my original comment:

        (5) Some people’s parents will be unwilling or unable to pay for them to go to university, and financial aid won’t necessarily make up the difference. This is why I myself went to Cooper Union: one of my parents was unwilling to pay for me to attend other schools on principle (this parent claims they do not believe in paying for their children’s schooling), in spite of the fact that of my two (divorced) parents they made the majority of the money. I made this clear to other schools I applied to, but they were unable to take this into consideration in financial aid calculations. However, Cooper Union gave me (and all my classmates) full-tuition scholarships. And to Cooper Union I went. All the while, my classmates and I couldn’t understand for the life of us why other schools didn’t follow our school’s example. We saw the benefits of being at a school where the doors were thrown wide open to you as long as you acted like you deserved to be there.

        Why should universities leave something like this to the whims of fate? I was unlucky, and I know I’m not the only one who has not gone to “the school of their dreams” for similar reasons relating to “parental contributions.” I don’t think that everyone deserves to go to their top choice school. Of course not: disappointment is part of life. Nonetheless, I think we’re sending a very strange message to students when we talk about the importance of going to a great college, but a major part of the decision is how fortunate the financial aid package is and whether or not the parents are willing and able to pay the rest.

        Why subject parents to the enormous expense of not only paying tuition but also paying their adult children’s living expenses? I will tell you, as far as room and board are concerned especially, it’s hard to fathom that this is considered normal in this country and people hardly blink. Then when you look at the amenities and facilities that universities invest in, you can’t exactly be surprised. You see exposes in the NYTimes about administrative bloat, rising tuition costs, and luxurious amenities at some universities that dream of becoming the next Duke or Stanford. What do you think is the cause of that? At Cooper Union, students don’t even have one gym facility to use. Is that a coincidence? (For context, Cooper Union’s problem is it doesn’t require its alums to donate after they graduate. Therefore, they have to carefully manage their endowment and hope to skirt by. They’re pretty squeezed when it comes to upgrading facilities or adding amenities. Hence no gym. Of course, I think universities should have a gym: exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, and I hated this about CU. Nonetheless, the stark example provided by CU shows how university administrators’ priorities could change if the “parental contribution” disappeared.)

        I’ve already made a case that the current set-up is infantilizing and incentivizes students’ and administrators’ bad behavior. It takes power away from the schools, since their incentive is to keep students happy, not to have good students that are proving their worth. Add to that the fact that it literally implies that people’s ability to attend a given university is related to their parents’ financial ability and willingness to do so. PhD programs navigate these waters in an entirely different way, and their students act like adults, to boot. My conclusion is undergrad admissions continue to operate the way they do because it gives (relatively) wealthy people and their parents (e.g. Obamas) more power (“All you have to is get in, and you have it made! What’s a 3.0 GPA requirement in a school with grade inflation!”), and the wealthy in this country aren’t very concerned about appearances of nepotism (“This is the way it’s always been! My parents paid for me.”) or the increasingly hedonistic lifestyle on campus the current system enables.

  23. Andy Jay says

    The link provided in the sentence “…an observation consistent with available data from the 144 largest law schools” does not point to a valid page. Can you please update it with a working URL?

    Thank you.

  24. The great flaw in this essay is the author’s assumption that leftists in academia actually want to solve these problems. In general, they do not. They benefit from them.

    Progressives tend to be proponents of Rich Person’s Leftism, which promotes “solutions” requiring academic “experts” to study the problems and design “solutions,” diversity officers, welfare administrators, etc to implement “solutions,” further “expert” studies of results and designs of additional “solutions” in a never ending process that primarily benefits progressives.

    Those farther left are likewise uninterested in solving these problems. They’re focused on overthrowing capitalism (again, for reasons of personal aggrandizement… *they* know how the world should be reconstructed).

    Donald Trump’s economy – extremely low unemployment coupled with rising labor force participation rates, both overall and also among black Americans – has been at least part of a solution. That those on the left can’t even acknowledge this fact exposes their dishonesty and hypocrisy.

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