January 28, 2014

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Let me suggest two explanations. Obviously, silence regarding these awkward deficiencies helps keep the peace. The poobahs, mucky-mucks, and potentates attending the White House summit know what happens to those who speak truth to power on racial differences in intelligence. Peter Brimelow aptly compared such frankness to loudly farting at a dinner party.

The second explanation largely applies to blacks plus a few whites”€”cognitive dissonance. According to this theory, if reality absolutely refuses to cooperate with deep-seated beliefs, it is often far easier to reaffirm these erroneous beliefs than to accept reality. In their classic When Prophesy Fails, Leon Festinger et al. told how a predicted end-of-the world apocalypse came and went for a cult called the Seekers. But rather than abandon their dogma after the doomsday deadline passed, they even more vigorously embraced it. The deus ex machina was a last-minute communication from the planet Clarion to the faithful explaining that the God of Earth had decided to spare the planet from destruction since the Seekers had spread so much light. The cult continued with business as usual, now calling itself the Association of Sananda and Sanat Kumara.

The parallels with the stagnant civil-rights movement are clear. Put bluntly, to admit that nothing can overcome group-related differences in academic accomplishment is tantamount to confessing that blacks are just not as smart as whites and Asians and, by implication, that this gap is genetically hardwired. This is the Great Unthinkable and Unspeakable, so it must be repressed. What better to accomplish this silencing than to organize assemblies of the faithful where unequal accomplishments are explained away with a litany of excuses? Thus we hear that talented blacks are overlooked by prestige universities, they don”€™t enroll in SAT prep courses, the university has failed to provide a warm and supportive environment for them, and they are debilitated by more kinds of racism than Eskimos have words for snow. That such excuses are easily disproved is irrelevant; these rituals are only about banishing the Great Unthinkable. Rest assured that new excuses, including blatant lies, are easily invented if the old ones grow stale. Perhaps next year’s White House summit will focus on how African Americans overvalue athletic accomplishment, suffer from unequal Internet access, and eat too much brain-killing junk food.

All this is self-esteem über alles. In today’s political climate, undermining certain minorities”€™ self-esteem is a hanging offense. Better to waste millions and pursue doomed-to-fail nostrums than to confront thin-skinned groups with unpleasant realities. 



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