Charles Murray’s ‘Facing Reality’

Charles Murray’s ‘Facing Reality’. By Razib Khan.

There are only two big ideas being forwarded: that different races in America “have different violent crime rates and different means and distributions of cognitive ability.” That’s it. …

But why read a book on this topic when you can discover these facts within a few minutes? Tables on SAT scores by race are available in the Journal of Blacks In Higher Education, which pointed out in 2005 that “whites were more than seven times as likely as blacks to score 700 or above on the verbal SAT.” Wikipedia, meanwhile, has an entry entitled “Race and Crime in the United States,” which plainly states that a bit over 50 percent of victims and offenders in homicides are African American. The same website tells us that African Americans are about 13 percent of America’s population. Would you also be surprised to face the reality that the perpetrators of homicides are overwhelmingly young and male as well? These dots are there for anyone to connect if they like.

Reality versus the narrative:

And yet very few choose to do so. Indeed, the failure — refusal, even — to connect the dots has become a vaunted feature, not a bug, of 2021’s regnant culture. …

Which is precisely why Murray wants to inject these taboo realities into the intellectual bloodstream of our society. … Without these facts on the table, the contemporary American debate has had to rely upon the ether of social science and nebulous theoretical explanations of “systemic racism” and “white supremacy.” …

They know, really:

Reality has been a subtext of American culture, even if it has become progressively more taboo to speak about it as openly as Murray does. Washington, DC is an overwhelmingly liberal city — 92 percent of its residents voted for Joe Biden in the 2020 election. It is also starkly segregated by race. The white residents may not face reality openly, but it is obvious from where they choose to live that they make consistent judgements about patterns of violent crime. …

Upper-middle-class liberal whites also live the facts in Facing Reality tacitly, even if only subconsciously. Even liberal scolds like Samantha Bee ensure that their children attend de facto segregated public schools.  …

Comfortable and well-off white Americans live the reality of race throughout their lives when they make decisions about where to live, who to date, and who to befriend. Meanwhile, the regnant ideology of systemic racism and white supremacy convicts all, but in the process absolves all. It turns the realities of our lives into abstractions, useful only to enable positional games of status and prestige. …

But they continue to deny reality:

But the conclusions suggested by Murray’s data are not palatable to much of America’s elite. The end of affirmative action will mean that some groups will be overrepresented among prestigious professionals and in the governing elite. …

However, they dare not follow the narrative though:

One of the reasons [Ibram X. Kendi] does not frankly set out the legal and policy proposals required to instantiate true equality is that they are unlikely to be welcomed, even by those who participate willingly in the present Sturm und Drang. Changing the name of an elementary school is free. And cutting the size of a police department is actually good for the demands on the property taxes of the homeowner class.

In contrast, swingeing inheritance taxes that decimate intergenerational wealth, or explicit quotas on professional sinecures, would sacrifice the comfortable material interests of a privileged gentry. No wonder they’re so gung-ho about embracing a symbolic reformation of language instead. In Kendi’s framework, true justice can only be obtained through actions far beyond the nominal gestures now being performed. …

The narrative is strong propaganda:

Those already familiar with the data on racial differences in cognitive tests and crime rates, and therefore predisposed to take Murray’s book seriously, will most likely give up on engagement due to intellectual exhaustion with today’s punitive and spiteful political climate.

And those who might benefit from Murray’s book will not read it because it was written by someone who transmits ritual pollution to all those who acknowledge him.