For the first time in about a year, I clicked onto to the National Review when a link to the article “Stop Obsessing About Race and IQ” appeared in my Twitter feed. The article, by John McWhorter, was juxtaposed with a piece by Robert Verbruggen titled “Why I Write About Race and IQ.” Unsurprisingly, both were rather tepid.
The first piece suggested that there would be nothing to be gained from the discussion because “the moral development of the West, halting and imperfect though it has been, has produced a bulwark against complacently accepting racial stratification.” The latter stated that “an end to racial bean counting” might be a goal of increasing knowledge about the topic, and that if “Americans of all races have the opportunity to achieve what their natural talents make possible, any remaining statistical gaps among races should become a non-issue.”
Neither piece addressed why this issue has become a more common topic for discussion lately, that is, the alt-right’s focus on racial identity and human biodiversity, including IQ. I think a look at some of the most well-known faces of Alt-right is informative. Two of them, Vox Day and Pax Dickinson, each faced professional ostracism when accurately pointing out that their fields were basing rewards on social justice goals rather than merit.
Why do we talk about race and IQ? Because so many smart, industrious, white men have been adversely affected by our society’s fervent devotion to enforcing demographic balance in all facets of life. They have been denied well-deserved advancement in favor of lesser-qualified “diversity” hires. They have seen the performance of their industries suffer as quality takes a back seat to social justice goals. And they have been told – loudly, frequently, and incessantly – that any success they have is the undeserved result of “privilege.”
Our best minds have finally become fed up enough to shake off the taboo against discussing this unseemly topic, and point out that there is, in fact, reason to believe that unequal success among demographic groups is the result not of “discrimination” or “privilege,” but – wait for it – unequal ability.
McWhorter is probably right that our society will not complacently accept racial stratification. I think an end to racial bean counting is a more realistic goal, but I don’t think it will ever be a non-issue. Without the inclination for individuals to accept their personal limitations with humility, facts about the distribution of ability will have little effect. Ridding our society of excessive pride and sense of entitlement is the real challenge.