Race and Class

If you follow the race-IQ discussion, you’ll note that the entire edifice is calibrated to questions of work and class. As long as classism stands, the arguments of inherent ability will be plausible to far too many people, and the problem of blacks in poverty will be used to justify itself. Just as racism has always been used to justify poverty.

Read: At the Corner of Race and Class at Quiche Moraine by Stephanie Zvan.

Comments

  1. #1 Desiree Schell
    January 11, 2010

    FYI… we’re doing an episode on Skepticism and Race this month. So I’ll be picking both your and Stephanie’s brains this week. :)

  2. #2 Stephanie Z
    January 11, 2010

    Cool. And eek. (Don’t mind me; just feeling a little responsibility suddenly.)

  3. #3 Greg Laden
    January 11, 2010

    Maybe I’ll call in!

  4. #4 Desiree Schell
    January 11, 2010

    Informally, Stephanie. I won’t even turn on the recorder if you don’t want me to. :)

    Greg, you’re absolutely being recorded. ;)

  5. #5 Benjamin Franz
    January 12, 2010

    The core problem of discussion of race and IQ is that virtually everyone participating has an an agenda that searches for justifications of their already held opinions rather than for truth.

    Whether it is the racists who are looking for reasons to believe their own group is innately superior to others or those who are looking for reasons to believe that there are no significant innate differences between groups, neither is engaged in an honest and open search for knowledge.

    The number one question any honest seeker of knowledge must answer is “What evidence would convince me that my opinion is wrong?” If you can’t answer that question with something that can actually be tested, you are not engaged in science but in mental masturbation.

  6. #6 Deen
    January 12, 2010

    @Benjamin Franz: that’s an awfully strong accusation towards both sides of the debate. According to you, nobody is engaged in an honest and open search for knowledge, except maybe those that have no opinion at all (and I wonder if such people really exist in our current society). Do you have anything to back that accusation up?

    To describe what evidence would convince me of the existence of races with the human population, I’d have to say that the proponents would first have to provide a consistent definition for “race”. Right now, their definitions of “race” seem to shift all the time.

  7. #7 Ben
    January 12, 2010

    “Race and Class” … did anyone else think it might be a post about pen-and-paper RPGs?

  8. #8 Greg Laden
    January 12, 2010

    Benjamin: I completely agree that the key question is “what would convince me that my position is wrong.”

    Regarding this statement:

    Whether it is the racists who are looking for reasons to believe their own group is innately superior to others or those who are looking for reasons to believe that there are no significant innate differences between groups, neither is engaged in an honest and open search for knowledge.

    There are two things wrong with this statement. First: the statement explicitly and implicitly assumes that there are “groups.” This is one of the key flaws in teh racist prosition. In a sense, what you are saying is like this: “There are two sides to the story, and it is possible that Benjamin beats his wife for bad reasons, or for good reasons.”

    Having said that the second flaw is that the “non racist” side is insisting that there are no innate differences. It isn’t.

    Deen, I agree that the definition shift, but I think they shift like this: There is a definition that is implied in almost everything they say. But they will never ascent to the definition.

    And, you can ask them again and again and they won’t come clean with what they are thinkig. In the case of one commenter on this blog, my repeated requests for clarification seems to have embarrassed him so much that he is now seeking an injunction to have my blog shut down or to erase all references to race and racism.

    That is how the racists operate. Their main objective is to shut down dissent, anny way they can.

  9. #9 Stephanie Z
    January 12, 2010

    Benjamin, I have, in fact, laid out in comments both what I would consider proof of race-based genetic differences in intelligence and what I would consider proof of genetic control of intelligence. I have also laid out why I hold by those standards of proof. Nobody’s challenged either yet.