A plea for race realism in the USA

A plea for race realism in the USA,  by John Derbyshire.

To an outsider like me, one very striking thing about that scene was the deep, hungry yearning among most white Americans to think well of blacks. …

Statistics bore this out. A survey in 1978 asked white Americans to estimate what proportion of black families were headed by a female. The estimates were from eight to twelve percent. The actual figure at the time was 21 percent. White people under-estimated black-white differences. They wanted to. They wanted to think well of blacks.

A lot of that yearning still persists. If you engage with the statistics much, you’re struck by how staggeringly big the black-white differences are — bigger than most people are aware, way bigger than estimates you’d get from average white Americans.

Try asking some white acquaintance how much more likely a random black American is to commit homicide, than a random white person. “Heck, I don’t know,” he’ll say, displaying considerable embarrassment at having been forced to think about the matter. “Is there really a difference? What is it, twice as likely?” The actual answer: six times as likely. …

If you replace “homicide” by “street robbery,” the multiplier is thirty times. You wouldn’t hear that as an estimate from any white person, though. White Americans just don’t want to think that badly of their fellow citizens. …

In professional sports, blacks do do well. So sports fed that yearning to think well of blacks. …

For broad marketplace appeal, tragic truth doesn’t stand a chance against feelgood falsehood. …

Those hopes Americans had in the sixties and seventies, that the whole damned wretched race business would just go away under legal equality, came up against reality, and reality won. Unwilling to accept that, white Americans shifted to a different posture, a sort of paternalism. …

American whites seem to be in some similar relation to blacks. Either blacks are an undeveloped, immature type of humanity, for whom endless excuses have to be made, or they are solemn, grave repositories of wisdom and high spirituality—Magic Negroes. The notion that they are just men and women like ourselves seems to be difficult to keep a firm grip on at any level above the one-on-one. …

Football may be our national sport; but the national pastime of white Americans, I often think, is making excuses for blacks.

The beginning of wisdom here: race realism. The truth about race is that it’s real, and the statistical differences between blacks and other races — in temperament, behavior, intelligence, and personality — are big and intractable. …

I do wish, I so do wish, we could cut out the hypocrisy about “white privilege” and “police brutality,” and cut out the futility about “closing the gaps” and “fixing the schools.”

That’s my formula for an enlightened patriotism: for black and nonblack to face up honestly to reality, to our group differences, which aren’t anyone’s fault, except Mother Nature’s — as citizens united in a common enterprise, with a common collective fate as Americans.

hat-tip Stephen Neil