Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Brad DeLong digs through the NYT archives for this memorable rebuttal of Charles Murray

From Bob Herbert:

The book shows that, on average, blacks score about 15 points lower than whites on intelligence tests, a point that was widely known and has not been in dispute. Mr. Murray and I (and many, many others) differ on the reasons for the disparity. I would argue that a group that was enslaved until little more than a century ago; that has long been subjected to the most brutal, often murderous, oppression; that has been deprived of competent, sympathetic political representation; that has most often had to live in the hideous physical conditions that are the hallmark of abject poverty; that has tried its best to survive with little or no prenatal care, and with inadequate health care and nutrition; that has been segregated and ghettoized in communities that were then redlined by banks and insurance companies and otherwise shunned by business and industry; that has been systematically frozen out of the job market; that has in large measure been deliberately deprived of a reasonably decent education; that has been forced to cope with the humiliation of being treated always as inferior, even by imbeciles -- I would argue that these are factors that just might contribute to a certain amount of social pathology and to a slippage in intelligence test scores.

Mr. Murray says no. His book strongly suggests that the disparity is inherent, genetic, and there is little to be done about it....

The last time I checked, both the Protestants and the Catholics in Northern Ireland were white. And yet the Catholics, with their legacy of discrimination, grade out about 15 points lower on I.Q. tests...

1 comment:

  1. Bob Herbert will be missed from the Times for sure.