"And the Obsidian wants to paint it all black...as he is justified."
I am often asked, "Obsidian, why do you spend so much time talking about HBD? Why do you spend so much time arguing with HBDers?". Usually, these kind of questions are asked not necessarily in a dispassionate, curious sort of way, but more along exasperated lines; some of my readers think I have better things to write about; others think I focus on the HBDers because I've "run out" of interesting things to say, and so forth.
The reason(s) as to why I write (and will continue to do so) is rather simple, actually.
For one thing, it is my view that it is virtually impossible to be an American and NOT be fascinated with, even obsessed with and by, the issue of Race. America is perhaps the most racially diverse nation on the planet and in the history of human beings, and is rapidly changing along these lines as we speak. A big reason for our collective fascination/obsession about such things, is due to the founding ideals of our Republic - that, by recognizing and affirming our inalienable rights as human beings, we work toward a more Perfect Union.
But that rubs up against other notions, and here is where HBD - Human Bio-Diversity - comes into play. Strictly speaking, this merely refers to the ways in which human beings, be they individually or collectively, differ from each other; but such a term takes on a different meaning in what has become known in some circles as the "HBDsphere". There, the focus is quite a bit narrower; it has mostly to do with racial differences in intelligence and IQ, the argument being, that much of what we see in terms of human behavior, cultural norms and mores, human potential and accomplishment, is accounted for or explained along these lines.
Being an American, and following somewhat loosely the long line of tradition in Black American society as a "Race Man", I have as much interest in HBD as my arch nemeses do, though from different approaches and with a different focus. But there's another reason why I'm so interested in the topic, and it also has to do with my particular heritage as an African American.
And that is because the HBDers wish to take their perverted view of HBD, and to apply it to the public square; they wish their view of things along these lines, to inform public policy, which can and will have a direct impact on me, and that is something that I feel needs to be vociferously challenged. For example, Michael Levin, author of the book Why Race Matters, makes it quite clear that not only is racial profiling by the police a necessary practice in order to reduce crime, of which Black Males commit more of, but that it should be markedly increased. How does that square with the American ideals of individual rights, civil liberties and so forth? Levin doesn't quite answer, and neither do those who cotton to his views. Therefore, under Levin's rubrick, I too would be subject to unlawful searches and seizures, regardless as to my individual track record in terms of upholding the law.
What about Affirmative Action, another favorite topic of the HBD crowd. Per their arguments, AA gives unqualified or underqualified Black applicants elite college spaces and cushy job assignments over more deserving White (and some even argue, Asian) ones - even when it is clear that said Black applicants were indeed qualified. To the HBD set, the ONLY way AA can be seen, is through this lens; it simply isn't possible for real job and educational discrimination against Blacks, can exist in our time (even though we have all manner of proof to the contrary, such as the University of Chicago's Black name/White name study). Again, the assumption is that if a Black person has attended and graduated from an elite school or holds a prestigious position at a company or agency, or is in any other way successful in a "brain work" capacity, then the case is clear - he/she was an AA hire/admit, and only the kind of AA admit (read: un/underqualified) they're comfortable with discussing. (Of course, "affirmative action" that is "class-based" is something the HBDers can get behind - nor are they bothered in the least with naked nepotism. But of course, why should they, given that both of these things would benefit (poor and presumably, "deserving" White Males?) Which brings me to the next point...
The HBDers love to discuss IQ, especially as it relates to differing racial groups - in other words, comparing White and Black. For my part, I don't deny the possibility of differences along these lines - but so what? I say that because again, per our founding ideals, everyone is to be judged not on the basis of their group, but on their own individual merit. "Exactly!", says the HBDers - "that's what we've been saying all along!".
The problem with their sloganeering is, that for much of our country's history, African Americans have NOT been judged as individuals, but rather as one large group - and what the HBDers themselves propose, is nothing different, in actual practice. A good case in point is wrt the whole Race/IQ thing.
Assuming one buys the premise of the argument, one must also acknowledge that there is a segment of African Americans who are smarter on average than a larger segment of White Americans - but, short of giving out IQ tests and such, how are we to know a bright African American, from a more duller one, in everyday life? The short answer is, we don't - the HBDers' position (again, see Levin) is such that it will, by definition, toss all Blacks in the same boat, regardless as to documented cognitive ability or potential or track record of lawabiding behavior or adherence to middle class norms. Of course, the bulk and mass of HBDers won't honestly come clean about this, which leads me to the next point:
A major reason as to why I talk a goodly bit about HBDers, is because they are flatout hypocrites. They say that they want to be given their rightful place in the public square and to be heard, yet they practice the very same kinds of shutout tactics on their own blogs and websites and venues that they decry are being foisted on them by "leftists". They spend a tremendous amount of time bemoaning the ills of those born on the leftend of the Bell Curve, but refuse to address anything on the rightend of said curve. They say they want a real debate on the issues they wish to discuss and the positions they take, but they either punk out and/or shutdown anyone who actually takes them seriously about it.
The other day, I was asked by another commenter at a blog I frequent and even have on my blogroll, Chuck Ross, why am I so very interested in debating a bunch of nobodys and losers, especially given the fact that what they are talking about will never gain traction in the public square, nor in terms of public policy?-think again. Although he's known best for The Bell Curve, Charles Murray put out another work that dealt with what he saw as the failure of the public welfare system and was particularly concerned about the role African Americans played within it. The book was called Losing Ground - and it winded up playing a significant role in the Welfare Reform debate of the Clinton government of the 1990s. Welfare reform was indeed passed, and Charles Murray had a direct hand to play in that.
Now, one could argue as to whether that was good or bad - for what it's worth, both sides of the political aisle felt that Welfare Reform was a resounding success - all I'm saying is that those who think HBDers, and Murray definitely is one, can't or don't have any pull in the halls of political power, are fooling yourselves. They can and in some cases, most certainly do. And I think it is important to have concerned voices on the other side of the aisle that can bring a goodly bit of perspective, nuance and above all else, reason to the debate, on serious questions that may just effect all of us.
One of my bemoaners in this regard, is the founder of the Traditional Catholicism blog, Alte. Although she is of African American heritage, I think she would agree with me that she's more German than Black, both in terms of culture and appearance, and so I thought her recent registering of disdain at my frequent discussion of HBDers was quite interesting, especially in light of a recent and very interesting article she wrote. I say that because her adopted homeland is, right now as we speak, in the grips of a similar HBD discussion, with prominent German technocrat and politician-banker Thilo Sarrazin's book, "Germany Abolishes Itself". Despite efforts to quash the work, it has gone on to be a runaway bestseller in Germany, and has sparked all manner of real debate along HBD lines - in fact, I call it the German version of The Bell Curve, which is fitting, since Sarrazin borrowed a bit from that book itself, as well as many of that book's sources and ideas.
One of the big areas of focus for both Sarrazin's and Murray's books, is the notion that the dull are reproducing at a faster rate than the bright - and both books have no qualms about discussing measures directed at reducing the numbers of the former. But the latter book says virtually nothing about getting the brighter sections to reproduce more; Sarrazin's book, on the other hand, does, but only haltingly:
"In Chapter 8, “Demography and Population Policy,” Sarrazin brazenly violates the unwritten rules of the game of democracy. He writes of the “shift in the population structure towards one of less intelligent or uneducated groups.” In our society no one is allowed to think such a thing, much less to draw conclusions from it!
On page 375 Sarrazin even quotes this reviewer, who had written: “In the early 1970s a loose group of individuals who had thought seriously about the relationship between IQ and birth rate was able to influence social and educational policies in the GDR [German Democratic Republic—East Germany]. This group was also able to bring about a range of policy decisions that resulted in a qualitative population policy, even though that term was never used and there was never any public discussion of the issue. (In a democratic society, perhaps that’s the only possible way to achieve something in this field—that is, through cross party political consensus with minimal public discussion.)”
In 1996 J. Dorbritz and K. Schwarz published a table in the Zeitschrift für Bevölkerungswissenschaft (“Journal of Population Science”) showing that the portion of childless women in western Germany aged 30&3150;39 with technical skill certification was 31 percent, while the portion of childless women in this same age and educational group in the former GDR (eastern Germany) was only 5 percent. Similarly, the portion of childless women in western Germany aged 30&3150;39 with university degrees was 37 percent, but the portion of childless women in this same age and educational group in the former GDR was only 8 percent.
This shows that in the period 1970–1990 the German Democratic Republic was the only state in modern times that achieved an extraordinarily successful qualitative population policy and in which higher education for women was not a form of “birth control.” In the GDR the basis for this was an overarching consensus without public discussion—that is, precisely the opposite of what’s being kicked off with your book, Mr. Sarrazin! Such a thing has never happened in a democratic society because it’s contrary to its very nature."
That's right - Sarrazin is making the case, that prior to Germany's reunification and while East Germany was still under Communist rule, it was able to fashion a system where its bright Women bore babies at the height of their fertility. If what he says above is indeed the case, it would only buttress what I said a year ago - that the only way to get bright, White Women to have babies, is to strip them of their ability to choose their baby daddies, and under which circumstances to have said babies. This can only happen in a totalitarian state, like East Germany. Give Women the choice, and they choose not to have babies - at least not with Jeremy the STEM Guy, if they can help it. Yao Ming couldn't happen in today's Germany.
Perhaps Alte might've been cool with a kind of Stasi-inspired matchmaking system; I find it hard to believe any American (or modern day Western, for that matter) Women would go for it, however.
Oh, remember what I just said about about Murray's Losing Ground, and how it informed the Clinton government? Here's another snippet of the review of Sarrazin's Germany Abolishes Itself:
"In that regard, Sarrazin takes note of President Clinton’s 1996 welfare reform laws in the US. Perhaps, with this book, Sarrazin can help to achieve something similar in social policy in Germany, at least in the short run, with regard to immigration—at a time when government spending must be cut."
Need I say more? Well, just one thing - again, please notice the deafening silence, when it comes time for the HBDers to actually address their own baby dearth - and when they do, they sputter and stumble about, mumbling about "taxes" and "affordable family formation" and the like, but they never look dead in the eye at the implications of their own sacred cows. In our time - one from which there is no turning back, I might add - Women have the right to choose, who will or won't be, their baby daddies. And there is mounting evidence, that quite a few Women would rather hookup with the turkeybaster and go it alone, than to settle for Jeremy the STEM Guy. Perhaps that is for good reason - after all, there are limits to human potential in certain areas, for certain groups - and history has always recorded far fewer Men leaving behind genetic heirs, than Women.
And that, is why we write, about HBD.
Now adjourn your asses...