In 2009 AG Eric Holder called America a “nation of cowards” regarding the national dialogue on race relations. The conversation would probably be more fruitful if the non-black side wasn’t immediately labeled as racist for criticizing anything the black side did — even if the actions were committed by a black President. And then, of course, there’s the Trayvon Martin killing where the Hispanic Zimmerman shot and killed the black youth Martin. Before the official investigation is over, the nation has already tried and convicted Zimmerman, with even the President throwing in his two cents to poison the jury pool on a national level.
And in a moment of stunning creativity the New York Times managed to label Zimmerman as a white Hispanic to further fuel the racial warfare. With all this talk about race, it seems like it’s a fairly safe topic to discuss in polite society these days. Until you have something like the article written by John Derbyshire over at Taki’s Magazine:
(10) Thus, while always attentive to the particular qualities of individuals, on the many occasions where you have nothing to guide you but knowledge of those mean differences, use statistical common sense:
(10a) Avoid concentrations of blacks not all known to you personally.
(10b)Stay out of heavily black neighborhoods.
(10c) If planning a trip to a beach or amusement park at some date, find out whether it is likely to be swamped with blacks on that date (neglect of that one got me the closest I have ever gotten to death by gunshot).
(10d) Do not attend events likely to draw a lot of blacks.
(10e) If you are at some public event at which the number of blacks suddenly swells, leave as quickly as possible.
(10f) Do not settle in a district or municipality run by black politicians.
(10g) Before voting for a black politician, scrutinize his/her character much more carefully than you would a white.
(10h) Do not act the Good Samaritan to blacks in apparent distress, e.g., on the highway.
(10i) If accosted by a strange black in the street, smile and say something polite but keep moving.
(11) The mean intelligence of blacks is much lower than for whites. The least intelligent ten percent of whites have IQs below 81; forty percent of blacks have IQs that low. Only one black in six is more intelligent than the average white; five whites out of six are more intelligent than the average black. These differences show in every test of general cognitive ability that anyone, of any race or nationality, has yet been able to devise. They are reflected in countless everyday situations. “Life is an IQ test.”
Basically, the article is a Do’s and Don’t’s list for white people interacting with black people in American society. On its face, the piece basically boils racism down to a science, but is it more than that? Could it be that the broader issue at hand is classism, and that most blacks just happen to fall in the class that is responsible for most of society’s blight? After all, who wouldn’t feel safer standing next to a black man in a business suit than next to a white guy covered in tattoos with a shaved head? I didn’t click on all of his links, but I’m sure Derbyshire backs up all of his advice with relevant statistics and/or evidence. Be sure to read the whole piece.
In any event, Derbyshire has contributed his thoughts on race in America and has prompted a lot of discussion over at Taki’s. As a result, he was fired from National Review where he normally contributes. I’m not sure how I feel about all of this. On one hand, stereotyping is inherently bad in that it pronounces guilt on a lot innocent people, and as a society we have always agreed to prove guilt because condemning innocence was always considered a worse crime than overlooking guilt. On the other hand, when the stakes are as high as your dignity, property, well-being or life, do you really have the luxury of being politically correct?
This conversation can continue without cowardice in perpetuity, but it probably won’t resolve anything until statistics are changed.