Genetics, Personality, and Race
Personality appears to be greatly influenced by heredity. Do races differ in “average personality”?
It usually takes time for scientific knowledge to become generally accepted. Even when there is no entrenched opposition to new ideas, information spreads slowly. Sometimes, though, powerful vested interests mount such effective attacks on scientific inquiry that they are able to keep discoveries almost completely sealed off from the public.
This has been the case with recent research on race and IQ. Today, there are almost no qualified geneticists or experts in mental testing who claim that racial differences in intelligence are not due, in large part, to genetic differences. And yet, the popular press overwhelmingly supports the view that intelligence is almost exclusively a product of environment rather than heredity.
It may be even less well known that many of the traits we think of as “personality,” such as gregariousness, political views, personal mannerisms, and even choice of hobbies appear to be governed to a significant degree by heredity. The power of genes that has been confirmed in recent studies has surprised even the most convinced geneticists.
The new findings have racial implications. After all, the races have a great many physiological differences that are clearly inherited (see AR, Dec. 1992) and the evidence for racial differences in average intelligence is overwhelming (see AR, Nov. 1992). Are there then group psychological differences that are inherited? Is there such a thing as an “average personality,” like an average intelligence, that differs from race to race? The small number of studies done in this field suggest that there is.
The most eye-opening findings on how genes determine personality — whatever a person’s race — have come from studies of identical twins who were separated at birth and reared apart. Since identical twins have identical sets of genes, they are ideal subjects for study. Even when they have been reared in different families in different environments they show astonishing similarities that can be explained only by their shared genes.
|Identical twins show astonishing similarities that can be explained only by their shared genes.|
Thomas J. Bouchard and his colleagues at the Minnesota Center for Twin and Adoption Research have done the most extensive and convincing research on identical twins separated at birth. They have found more than 100 pairs of such twins and have been studying them for more than 12 years. Time and again they have found similarities that cannot be explained by coincidence.
For example, of all their subjects, only two were afraid to go into an acoustically shielded room for special testing. The same two people agreed separately to enter the room only if the door were wired open. Whenever they were at the beach, they went into the water backwards and only up to their knees. They were, of course, a pair of identical twins, and since they had been reared apart their curious behavior can only be explained genetically.
Another pair of twins discovered on their first meeting as adults that they both used Canoe shaving lotion and Vademecum toothpaste, and smoked Lucky Strike cigarettes. After they parted, they exchanged birthday presents that crossed in the mail and proved to be identical.
Some similarities are even more uncanny. One pair of twins had both divorced women named Linda and then married women named Betty. They later discovered that before they met each other as adults, they had taken several Florida vacations on the very same stretch of beach and had driven there in the same model of Chevrolet. They had both named their sons James Alan (one was “Allen”) and both chain smoked Salems. Both chewed their nails and had woodworking shops in their basements.
Another pair of twins who were reunited at age thirty found that they had similar mustaches and hair styles, aviator glasses, big belt buckles and big key rings. Both were volunteer firemen and had jobs installing safety equipment. Both drank Budweiser and crushed the empty cans.
|Separated at birth.|
One pair of twins confessed that they did not vote in elections because they did not think they were well enough informed to make wise decisions, another pair had each been married five times, and a third pair firmly refused — in separate interviews, of course — to answer controversial questions. One pair of twins were habitual gigglers and said that until they finally met the other twin they had never known anyone who laughed so freely.
Dr. Bouchard and his colleagues found that similarities of this kind were the rule rather than the exception. Moreover, identical traits are uniquely characteristic of identical twins. Fraternal twins, who are no more genetically alike than ordinary siblings, do not show this kind of remarkable similarity even when they are reared together in the same family. As for intelligence, it was discovered long ago that identical twins reared apart have IQs that are closer to each other than those of fraternal twins reared together.
No one would argue that environment has no effect on the mind. However, it is increasingly clear that there are deep-seated psychological and personal traits that are established at birth and are unaffected by environment.
In an article in the December 1992 issue of American Psychologist, Dr. Bouchard and his colleagues have speculated on what their findings mean for genetic theory. The traditional Mendelian approach has been to look for traits that run in families. High intelligence, schizophrenia, diabetes, baldness, and blue eyes are all likely to appear in succeeding generations and are therefore accepted as having genetic origins.
But what about a liking for woodworking or Budweiser, or the conviction that one is not well-enough informed to vote? These traits are either not likely to run in families or, if they do, have usually been thought to be caused by parental influence. However, since the Minnesota twin studies suggest that genes are at work even at the level of individual personality traits, genetic theory must be revised to explain this.
In addition to those physical traits that are clearly genetic, and distinct conditions and diseases for which the genetic origins have been discovered, it appears that we all have many traits that are genetically influenced in complicated ways that are not yet understood. David T. Lykken, one of Dr. Bouchard’s colleagues, has coined the term “emergenesis” to describe this phenomenon. According to his definition, an emergenic trait is a “novel or emergent property” that results from combinations of more basic genetic traits.
|If genes are at work even at the level of personality traits, genetic theory must be revised.|
The random genetic mixing that takes place through sexual reproduction can produce chance combinations that result in traits not seen in any ancestor. Since these traits do not run in families, they would not ordinarily be thought of as genetic. The remarkable similarities found in identical twins suggests that even those uniquely individual traits heretofore thought to be products of environment or of chance occurrence are strongly influenced by genetics.
The American Psychologist article gives an example of how twin studies have shifted our understanding of the balance between environment and heredity. In one case of identical twins reared apart, both developed serious psychological problems by age ten. According to a psychoanalyst who examined both girls, their disorders were so similar that he described them as “equivalently pathological.” However, he also noted that if each child had been studied separately, most clinicians would never have suspected a genetic cause. Although their families were very different from each other, it would have been tempting to explain the girls’ conditions in terms of parental personality and family dynamics. It was only because the children were identical twins and had become “equivalently pathological” at the same age that doctors realized that this was probably a genetic problem.
The study of identical twins therefore suggests that heredity accounts for much more of our personalities and characteristics than even geneticists had thought possible. As Dr. Bouchard puts it, “the vast majority of psychological traits are influenced to some degree by genetic factors.” Personality testing of twins has led him to conclude that although environment has a clear effect on personality, even such things as religious fervor, political convictions, gregariousness, and moral integrity appear to be 40 to 50 percent determined by heredity.
How do these new findings apply to the different races? Although it is difficult to evaluate personality, and the political pressures against racial comparisons are enormous, a certain amount of data has nevertheless come to light.
For example, it is well known that criminals typically have lower IQs than non-criminals. The lower average intelligence of blacks and Hispanics as compared to whites and Asians doubtless explains much of the differences in crime rates. However, other genetic factors may be involved.
In their wide-ranging book, Crime and Human Nature, James Wilson and Richard Herrnstein point out that criminals are almost always more impulsive than non-criminals. They cannot put off the satisfaction of their desires, even if immediate satisfaction means smashing and grabbing. Other researchers, whose work has been exhaustively summarized by J. Philippe Rushton of the University of Western Ontario, have found that blacks are more impulsive in this sense than whites, who are in turn more impulsive than Asians.
If it is true that blacks favor immediate impulse over long-range goals and if they are less able to sacrifice today for rewards tomorrow, it would help explain not just high rates of criminality but the chaos and lack of development that characterize all black societies. It takes foresight and self-control to work at a boring job rather than rob a liquor store, or to invest money rather than spend it, or to do homework rather than watch television. Any group that cannot defer satisfaction will not progress very far.
Prof. Herrnstein and Prof. Wilson also point out that blacks and whites get different scores on standard, pencil-and-paper personality tests. The best known such test is the MMPI (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory), which measures the extent to which someone deviates in various ways from the norm. Black men get higher scores — meaning they are less “normal” — than whites on every measure except femininity. Whether or not, as Prof. Wilson and Prof. Herrnstein suggest, the MMPI is based on an arbitrarily white definition of “normal,” it is still significant that blacks and whites get different scores. It makes no difference if, by black standards, it is whites who are abnormal; what matters — and is scarcely known outside the expert community — is that measurement of personality consistently gives different average results for different races.
Victor Elion and Edwin Megargee have tried to test the validity of the MMPI for blacks by concentrating on just one of its components, the Psychopathic deviate (Pd) scale. They compared the scores of college students, first-time criminals, and repeat offenders — for both blacks and whites — and found that for both races, Pd scores rose with the degree of criminality. Their conclusion is that the MMPI is an accurate predictor of deviance. Therefore, higher average scores among blacks probably reflect a real, underlying difference in personality.
The view that the races differ psychologically is scarcely new. In a recent paper, Michael Levin notes that 15th-century Arab slaveholders concluded that blacks were unintelligent, had a good rhythmic sense, and were highly sexed. These were opinions of men who had had no previous contact with blacks and had no other information about them.
In our own era, a number of authorities have concluded that psychological differences between the races are as striking and profound as physical differences. The great British anthropologist, Sir Arthur Kieth, maintained that “the primary marks of race are psychological.” Louis Leakey of more recent fame has said, “I would be inclined to suggest that however great may be the physical differences between such races as the European and the Negro, the mental and psychological differences are greater.”
Albert Schweitzer, who devoted his life to ease the sufferings of Africans concluded at the end of his career: “They [Africans] have neither the intellectual, mental or emotional abilities to equate or to share equally with white men in any of the functions of our civilization.”
The views of such men as Dr. Leakey and Dr. Schweitzer are confirmed by the consistent failure of blacks to conform to the demands of white society. It may well be, as Michael Levin is brave enough to suggest, that it is foolish to expect them to do so. As he puts it: “At an aggregate statistical level it may not be possible for blacks to satisfy white norms … If so, blaming Negroids for deviation from white norms of self-restraint is as pointless as blaming cats for not eating hay.”
Foundations of Liberalism
Clearly stated conclusions like this account for why any discussion of inherent genetic differences terrifies the defenders of orthodoxy. Virtually every attitude that can today be described as “liberal” depends on blind faith in the power of environment to overcome the consequences of genetics. (An interesting exception to this is the acceptance among many liberals of the view that homosexuality is biologically determined. People who would be horrified at the idea that women are biologically better suited than men to child-rearing or that blacks are inherently less intelligent than whites seem to turn into instant geneticists when it comes to homosexuality.)
Liberals believe that crime, stupidity, poverty, and deviance must not be the result of hereditary limitations and must be caused by bad surroundings. Government must therefore intrude into every corner of our lives as part of its sacred mission to improve those surroundings. Likewise, since it is only accidents of environment that cause people of different races to attain different levels of civilization, environmental tuning can raise people of any race to the highest levels. It therefore makes no difference if whites are displaced by waves of non-white immigrants.
Since liberalism does not even begin to make sense unless these things are true, its defenders are ruthless opponents of any scientific inquiry that might unearth awkward facts. That is why a conference that was to be underwritten last year by the National Institutes of Health suddenly lost its funding when the guardians of orthodoxy learned that it was to study genetic causes of crime. They were afraid — perhaps justifiably — that blacks would be found to be more inherently crime prone than other races.
For the last several decades, the forces of militant liberalism have been remarkably successful at preventing even the expression of inconvenient facts, much less further discovery. This is beginning to change. Facts can be suppressed for only so long before they come tumbling out in a rush. The dam is cracking and before long it will break.
Heart of Darkness
Pushing whites out of Africa.
Zimbabwe — the former Rhodesia — is sinking into violent anarchy as its aging autocrat stirs up hatred against the remaining whites. In neighboring South Africa whites look on in horror as rampaging blacks kill and dispossess farmers in a nightmare they persist in believing could never be visited upon their own country. And in a perfect parallel to their treatment of non-white degeneracy at home, the American government and media have said next to nothing about this continuing outrage.
Part of the problem is 76-year-old Robert Mugabe, leader of the ZANU-PF party, who has ruled the country for 20 years. His “leadership” has slowly destroyed a once-prosperous economy, left one quarter of the adult population with AIDS, and encouraged corruption at all levels. He is running out of booty to distribute to his supporters and hopes to plunder the one remaining efficient sector of the economy: commercial farming. Some 4,500 large-scale farmers — almost all of them white — grow wheat, tobacco, and other crops that account for 40 percent of the country’s exports.
Says whites are “enemies of the people.”
Last February, Mr. Mugabe held a referendum to approve constitutional changes that would have broadened his powers and given him the right to seize white-owned land without compensation. The measure was defeated, largely because of the rise of a serious opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by Morgan Tsvan-girai and supported by many whites. Mr. Mugabe was furious at the defeat and responded by encouraging Dr. Chenjerai Hunzvi to lead a movement to occupy white farms and drive out the owners. Dr. Hunzvi, who likes to go by the name of “Hitler,” is thought by some to be the second most powerful man in the country. He is a shady operator (see: Hitler’s Rise to Power) who claims to speak for black veterans of the insurgency that ended white rule in Rhodesia 20 years ago.
Swarms of blacks calling themselves “war veterans” are now squatting on approximately 1,000 (some reports put the figure at 700) commercial farms, egged on by Mr. Mugabe’s denunciation of white farmers as “enemies of the people.” Arriving in government-supplied convoys, they camp out on private property, demand food and drink, and intimidate farmers and their black employees. Many admit they are being paid by the government. Often roaring drunk and brandishing clubs and knives, they sometimes make the farmers’ wives and daughters dance for them or sing songs praising Robert Mugabe and the ZANU-PF. At their worst they kill, burn, rape, and loot (see: Violence and Anarchy). It is a miracle that so far only three farmers have been murdered, but many have been beaten, held hostage, or forced to sign documents transferring ownership of their farms to the occupiers.
One reason there have been so few deaths is that farmers have put up no resistance and many have abandoned their farms and fled to safety in the homes of friends in the cities. In some cases blacks have looted and ransacked unoccupied homes, killed livestock, and burned farm buildings and crops. Squatters have frequently vented their wrath on the blacks who live and work in the farms, beating them and burning their houses.
Many whites have farmed the same land for three generations and are very attached to the blacks who have also worked there for generations. Sixty-two-year-old Lorna Coleman says these attachments would make it hard to leave Zimbabwe no matter how great the danger. “One of my biggest worries is what will happen to our staff. We have 70 people working for us and their families live on our property. I take that responsibility seriously. I don’t want to abandon them.”
The “war veterans,” — most were not yet born or were in diapers when the insurgency was actually going on more than 20 years ago — imitate a Red Guard tactic from the Chinese Cultural Revolution. After they beat up one group of farm workers they load them onto trucks, drive to the next farm and make them beat up the workers there. This is supposed to raise political consciousness. “We are forced to beat our own friends,” says one terrified worker.
The Supreme Court of Zimbabwe has declared the occupations illegal and ordered Mr. Hunzvi to get his people off the land, but the court cannot enforce its order. The police, whom whites now dismiss as “coat hangers for uniforms,” stand by idly in the face of rampant lawlessness. Mr. Mugabe himself has no regrets about the killings and beatings. “We warned the white farmers,” he says. “We cannot protect you if you provoke the war veterans. You must accept the consequences.”
On April 28, although he did not suggest that the squatters go home, “Hitler” Hunzvi publicly called for an end to violence and the occupation of more farms. Some hoped this might ease the crisis but it did not. Farm invasions, beatings, and crop burnings continued, fueled by Mr. Mugabe’s increasingly shrill denunciations of whites. Farmers have now concluded that even if Mr. Hunzvi actually wanted to stop the violence he doesn’t have the authority.
It is hard to believe he wants to. On May 8, after the third farmer was beaten to death, he called for all Zimbabweans who hold British passports to be rounded up and deported. Anyone who didn’t want to go, he said, should be killed.
Members of the opposition MDC have suffered worse than the farmers. ZANU-PF activists have killed at least a dozen: party administrators, declared candidates for office, and ordinary supporters. They have beaten up and intimidated uncounted thousands. On May 5, police even held MDC leader Mr. Tsvangirai for seven straight hours, though they did him no violence.
The MDC salute is an open-handed raised arm. In some areas blacks have stopped waving to each other for fear the gesture could be misread and invite attack. Funerals for murdered MDC supporters have been hush-hush, stealthy affairs rather than typically African large-scale observances. “No one must mourn a member of the MDC,” explained the daughter of Peter Kariza, an activist murdered by Mugabe supporters. “If they do, they’ll be killed.” Mr. Kariza’s widow, who was herself badly beaten, saw her home burned down and her cows and goats stolen. She must now care for her eight children alone.
David Coltart, an official in the MDC says the violence is vastly under-reported: “They attack families every night, beating everyone they can lay their hands on. The trouble is that this happens deep in the rural areas. By the time they are reported, there is nothing fresh for television cameras.” In early May police admitted that for a month they had not even told anyone about the murders of three MDC activists, much less captured the killers.
New elections are expected in June, but the chances of a fair vote are zero. “People might value their vote, but they value their life more,” says political scientist Alfred Nhema at the University of Zimbabwe. “Many would rather lose the election than die.” He confirms that, as is common throughout Africa, many Zimbabweans think the Mugabe forces have magical powers and will know if they vote for the opposition.
On May 6, a Mugabe-supporter addressed this paean to democracy before a crowd of 700 at a political rally about 40 miles north of Harare: “If ZANU-PF loses this election, you will not say that I did not warn you. If we lose, we will get out our guns… We will be at the voting stations. If ZANU-PF loses, the way forward will be filled with war.”
MDC supporters are hardly saints either. On May 7, at an MDC rally they beat two men who made the mistake of wearing ZANU-PF T-shirts.
Gedahlia Braun, an American academic who has lived many years in South Africa and has written occasionally for AR, argues that many Africans are incapable of understanding elections as anything other than a form of warfare. Political opponents are no different from battlefield enemies and might as well be killed.
The crisis has been something of a battle for journalists, too. The “war veterans” rightly see them as unsympathetic and have often barred them from covering farm invasions. One South Africa-based reporter who wanted to talk to squatters 25 miles east of Harare changed his mind when “war veterans” threatened to kill him. They seized the two blacks he came with, handcuffed them, and beat them with iron rods. Both men were badly hurt and one may have gotten a fractured hip.
On April 28, the secretary general of the War Veterans Association insisted that blacks own the land, and lashed out against “false reporting:” “With immediate effect, if we hear any journalist saying we are squatters, there is going to be war here. There will be severe punishment.” Many white farmers have stopped talking to reporters for fear of reprisals and mob violence.
Although many Zimbabweans now despise Mr. Mugabe for the ruin and lawlessness he has brought to the country, African heads of state stand by him. On April 22, after the murders of two farmers, the leaders of South Africa, Mozam-bique, and Namibia gave Mr. Mugabe a ringing endorsement of his handling of the “land problem.” They accept his view that whites are clinging to unearned privilege and must be taught a lesson. To the dismay of his own whites, President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa has yet to pronounce a single word critical of Mr. Mugabe, though on May 6, Nelson Mandela spoke pointedly from retirement about African despots who cling to power until they die.
The United States has officially condemned “violent attacks against farmers” and called for Zimbabwe “to restore the rule of law.” It plans to keep the annual aid budget at $12 to $14 million but has canceled plans for an increase. A State Department spokesman promises a “wait and see” approach, saying there might be further action if the elections this summer don’t appear to be fair. The killings don’t seem to be of much interest to him.
Britain, the former colonial power, has been so stupid as to call the violence “incomprehensible.” It has cut off arms sales to Zimbabwe, and got the Commonwealth to issue a condemnation (though it agreed not to invoke economic sanctions or try to have Zimbabwe thrown out of the Commonwealth). Mr. Mugabe scoffed at the scolding, saying “Britain has nothing to teach us.” He closed a two-hour May-third speech with his fist jabbing the air, shouting “Down with British imperialism and neo-colonialism.”
The British had promised $57 million over the next two years to buy some of the land now farmed by whites, but will not hand it over if illegal occupations continue. Mr. Mugabe wants the money without conditions, and promises to drive whites off the land without compensation anyway. Those who oppose him, he says, can leave the country.
There has been an increasing flow of Zimbabwean asylum-seekers to Britain, with 50 arriving in March. The British have said they will offer entry only to whites who have ancestral ties to England — anyone else is out of luck. Britain and the European Union have, however, discussed setting up contingency plans to evacuate whites to South Africa if the violence gets worse.
Needless to say, farm occupations are wrecking the cash-crop econ-o-my. This is the season tobacco farmers auction their crops but squatters have burned thousands of bales and halted all work on many farms. Only a tenth of the usual tonnage has made it to market (though some farmers are delaying sales, in the expectation of another devaluation of the Zimbabwe dollar). Tobacco accounts for the bulk of Zimbabwe’s annual export earnings and 20 percent of its gross domestic product, so the disruption is significant. The vice president of the Zimbabwe Farmers Union, a Mugabe supporter, says he knows why so little tobacco has gotten to market: “The war they [white farmers] are fighting by withdrawing their tobacco is so that they can destroy the economy and push Mugabe out of power.”
Now is the time farmers should be planting winter wheat but many cannot. Not only are operations paralyzed by squatters, an estimated 30,000 farm workers — one in ten — have fled for their lives. This sudden work stoppage raises the specter of serious food shortages by December.
The crisis in Zimbabwe is lapping into South Africa. The Rand has hit a record low against the dollar, and already-wary foreign investors are appalled by what they see across the Limpopo river.
The cruel fact is that Mr. Mugabe and the “war veterans” are going after the land of white farmers not because there is not enough to go around but because whites made the land productive. Estimates vary enormously but whites are said to own 30 to 70 percent of the most fertile farmland. Over the years the government has used British aid money to buy 1,120,000 acres of formerly white-owned land, and “redistribute” it. The theory was that large farms were going to be broken up, Marxist-style, into thousands of small holdings. In fact, the 1,120,000 acres have gone to only 400 people — 2,800 acres per person. The 400 people are, of course, Mugabe’s cabinet secretaries, retired generals, family and friends. Moreover, the government already has millions of acres of undeveloped land it could distribute any time it liked. What it wants is more land already improved by whites and now recognized as some of the most productive in the world. Past experience shows that once whites leave and their farms are turned over to blacks, crop yields rapidly go downhill.
Those with long memories have noted a certain grim parallel with South Africa. Twenty years ago, when Rhodesians buckled under world pressure and gave power to blacks, Robert Mugabe was the darling of the West. He was intelligent, well-spoken, and had several advanced degrees. World opinion greeted his 1980 election as president with something like the rhapsodies they later lavished on — well — Nelson Mandela. His Marxism, we were told, would quickly wear off, he wanted only peace and reconciliation with whites, and Africa would have a chance to show the world the kind of enlightened leadership of which it was capable. It certainly got that chance.
Some of the sheen wore off in the mid-1980s when Mr. Mugabe turned out to be a bit of a primitive after all. A member of the Shona tribe, he sent his notorious, North Korean-trained Fifth Brigade to slaughter an estimated 20,000 Ndebele who had the temerity to think their tribe should have a say in government, too.
At age 70 he married his 30-year-old secretary, with whom he began several years of dalliance while his wife was dying of a protracted kidney disorder. Grace bore him two children before the wife finally died and is now famous for extravagant shopping sprees at upscale London shops. She is known in the British and African tabloid press as “Zimbabwe’s Imelda Marcos.” But what has most upset Mr. Mugabe’s liberal admirers is his attacks on homosexuals, whom he calls “worse than pigs and dogs.” If the 20,000 Ndebele he killed had been homosexuals, the West might have forced him from power.
In 1980 there were more than 200,000 whites in Rhodesia. After the capitulation, two thirds ignored the West’s ecstatic predictions of love and prosperity, and fled the country. The remaining 70,000 are now less than one percent of the population and completely at the mercy of black-run institutions.
Perhaps they might have listened to an Africa hand from an earlier time, Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965). The much-beloved musicologist, theologian, and doctor was known as “the greatest Christian of his time” and won the Nobel Peace Price in 1952 for missionary work in Africa. Near the end of his life he wrote:
“The negro is a child, and with children nothing can be done without the use of authority. We must, therefore, so arrange the circumstances of daily life that my natural authority can find expression. With regard to the negroes then, I have coined the formula: ‘I am your brother, it is true, but your elder brother.’”
George Kimble is a businessman who has lived for several years in Africa.
Quotes By Blacks & Other Minorities
Assembled by John “Birdman” Bryant
When individuals try to convince you that “diversity” is good, think about the following quotes:
Miles Davis (black jazz musician) “If somebody told me I had only one hour to live, I’d spend it choking a white man. I’d do it nice and slow.”
Khalid Abdul Muhammed (New Black Panther Party Leader) “Hollywood is owned by these so-called Jews. Look at the movies they make about us, Black people killing black people. Let’s make some revolutionary movies where we kill white people in the movie. Kill’em so hard you have to cover up your popcorn from the blood spraying out of the screen.” Speech given at San Francisco State University in May 1997.
Malcolm X “The death of over 120 white people is a very beautiful thing” (Speech given in Los Angeles, upon learning of a plane crash.
Mario Obledo (1998 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient from Clinton, and the former head of the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund) “California is going to be a Mexican state, we are going to control all the institutions. If people don’t like it, they should leave.”
Willie Brown, black Mayor of San Francisco (currently under investigation by the FBI) To a white parent complaining that affirmative action would penalize his children. “I don’t care about your idiot children.” I’ll bet this parent went away with great satisfaction on affirmative action and diversity.
And a FAMOUS CARING “CIVIL RIGHTS” LEADER: Former Black Panther leader Jesse Jackson Admitted in a November, 1969 “Life” magazine interview that when he worked as a waiter in a Greenville, South Carolina hotel he spat into the soups and salads of White customers. “[Spitting into the food] gave me a psychological gratification,” Jackson said.
More quotes from nonwhites:
**** James Baldwin (Black Novelist) “The future is…black”
**** Khalid Abdul Muhammed (Black Panther Leader) (on what South African Blacks should do to any whites who refuse to leave South Africa) “We kill the women. We kill the babies. We kill the blind. We kill the cripples. We kill them all…When you get through killing them all, go to the goddamn graveyard and kill them a-goddamn-again because they didn’t die hard enough” (November 29, 1993 speech at Kean College in Union, New Jersey) The Black panthers are headquartered in the United States. Just think of how many of his members are following his agenda.
**** Professor Jose Angel Gutierrez (University of Texas, Arlington) “We have an aging white America. They are dying. They are sh**ing in their pants with fear!…I love it!” (Speech of January 1995, quoted in Coe, Reconquista, p. 16)
**** Reverend James Cone “What we need is the destruction of whiteness, which is the source of human misery in the world.” Quoted in David Horowitz, “Hating Whitey, Spence Publishing, 1999, p. 44) ****
Endnote: It seems that misery is abundant in the countries of Africa. The one place that whites were involved was the current country of South Africa, which at one time was the “Jewel of Africa”. This was prior to turning the country over to uneducated, immoral blacks, which have stripped the country of all wealth. It is now the only country where citizens can purchase RAPE INSURANCE.
The Reality of Racial Differences
By • 1/17/07
The culture of the age that we live in is founded on a lie: racial egalitarianism. It is an article of faith in the West that all racial differences in abilities and personality stem from environmental, rather than biological, factors.
This dogma has been conventional wisdom among the Western elites since 1950, when the United Nations published its “Statement on Race,” which declared: “There is no proof that the groups of mankind differ in their intelligence or temperament. The scientific evidence indicates that the range of mental capacities in all ethnic groups is the same…. Genetic differences are not of importance in determining the social and cultural differences between different groups of Homo sapiens.” Link, p. 102.
In succeeding years this belief has entrenched itself. A 2003 documentary on PBS, entitled Race: The Power of an Illusion, expressed a view that is more or less entirely unchallenged today in the media and most of the academy: race is a myth constructed by whites to justify colonialism and slavery. The documentary urged viewers to take an environmentalist view of racial differences:
Try a paradigm shift. Every time the mind gropes toward the seemingly evident—that, say, black people are better at sports, or Asians at math and music—deconstruct it. Look for the social reasons, the economic reasons, the cultural reasons why these stereotypes only seem to hold true.1
So crucial is this lie to our society, and so weak the empirical support for it, that Western universities must silence those who contradict it. Two cases of such silencing have occurred over the last two years. After Frank Ellis, a lecturer in Russian and Slavonic studies at Leeds University in Britain, stated his belief in the reality of racial differences in the student newspaper, the university and local political elite immediately began calling for his dismissal. One local politician called Ellis’s views “narrow-minded, intellectually bankrupt, morally reprehensible nonsense.” He eventually chose early retirement after the university began disciplinary proceedings against him. A similar fate befell Australian professor Andrew Fraser after he declared his race realist views.
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The heart of race realism is recognizing this lie for what it is. Research on differences between the behavior of whites and blacks has decisively refuted the environmentalist view. Indeed, at least a large school, and perhaps even a majority, of specialists in the study of intelligence believe that the black-white gap in IQ is rooted in biology. There is also powerful evidence that blacks and whites differ innately in other respects, including sexual behavior and ability to defer gratification.
This article focuses on differences between whites and blacks because these differences have received the greatest amount of attention from scholars, not because they are the only, or even necessarily the most important, racial differences. Black-white differences are thus the best test of the validity of the innatist and environmentalist perspectives. Given the dominant role that genes play in determining behavior, it is likely that many of the differences among the cultures of the world have biological roots.
The Power of Genes
There is no denying that racial populations differ in their behavior. All the statistics on high-school graduation rates, out-of-wedlock births, crime rates, and other behaviors regularly reveal substantial differences between blacks and whites. The environmentalist view depends on the premise that genetic makeup does not play a major role in the formation of these differences. Rather, environmentalists attribute black behavior to social factors like poverty, inferior schooling, and racial discrimination.2 For more on the environmentalist interpretation of racial differences, see “The Lesson of Race Denial”.
This view, however, contradicts the known facts. The science of behavior genetics, or the study of the genetic basis of differences among human beings, has revealed the power of heredity in shaping our personalities. Given the strong influence of genes, it is highly unlikely that racial differences have no genetic component.
The primary means of sorting out the influence of genes and environment on behavior is twin studies. Scientists can measure the contributions of the two factors by comparing the similarities among identical twins, who have the same genes, to those among fraternal twins, who share only half of their genes, to those among children reared together in the same household, who are not genetically related. Additionally, scientists can compare twins who were raised apart to those who were raised together.
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Not only do twin studies enable scientists to assess to what extent people’s personalities are due to genes and environment, but also the nature of the environmental influence. By comparing the similarities between twins reared together to those between twins reared apart, scientists can calculate to what extent twins’ personalities are influenced by the circumstances of their upbringing, which scientists call their “shared environment.”
This research has concluded that shared environment has a negligible effect on how people turn out, and genes a major one. Adult identical twins are highly similar across the whole range of behaviors and abilities. Astonishingly, identical twins who are separated at birth and reared apart are almost as similar to each other as twins reared together.3 However, children who are unrelated but raised in the same household are no more similar to each other after they have reached adulthood than any two random strangers would be.4 The general rule is that about forty to fifty percent of the variation in behavior and abilities among individuals is determined by heredity, half by non-shared environment—experiences that are unique to an individual—, and zero to 10 percent by shared environment.5
Intelligence is one of the personality traits most strongly influenced by genes. Although genes have a weaker influence in childhood, a full 80 percent of the variation among adults in intelligence is due to heredity.6 The IQs of identical twins have a correlation of 0.86, whereas those of fraternal twins have a much weaker correlation of 0.6. However, after they have grown to be adults, there is no correlation at all between the IQs of unrelated children who are reared in the same household.7
This research makes the environmentalist view of racial differences highly implausible. The social factors to which environmentalists attribute racial differences, such as poverty and inferior schooling, are part of blacks’ shared environment, as they affect the black population as a whole. However, shared environment has no effect on IQ and little effect on other personality attributes.
The power of genes to affect behavior is evident not merely from the scientific results of twin studies, but from psychologists’ accounts of the similarities in behavior among identical twins separated at birth who have never met each other before. For example, among the subjects of the largest study of twins reared apart were 39-year-old twins who both had worked part-time as sheriffs, both smoked Salem cigarettes, drank Miller Lite Beer, bit their fingernails, and enjoyed scattering love notes to their wives around the house.8 Another pair had long made it their practice never to express any opinions on controversial issues. Two were helpless gigglers, even though both described their parents as serious. Other pairs each had the habit of wearing seven rings on their hands, or obsessively counted things, or had each been married five times, or were fashion designers, and so forth.9
If genes shape our personalities down to the smallest details, it is very likely that substantial and constant behavioral differences among races have some genetic component.
Racial Differences in Intelligence
The black-white gap in IQ is the racial difference that has been most extensively researched, publicized, and argued over. Psychologists have consistently found a gap of about one standard deviation, or 15 points, between the mean IQ of American blacks and whites ever since IQ tests began to be administered nearly a century ago. American blacks have a mean IQ of about 85 and whites of about 100.
There is no doubt that IQ tests do measure intelligence. As Richard J. Herrnstein and Charles Murray demonstrated exhaustively in The Bell Curve, a person’s IQ is the strongest predictor of his school performance and socio-economic success as an adult.10
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The stability of the difference across time strengthens the case of race realists. Despite all the efforts made in the US to achieve parity among the races, the IQ gap has not gone away. In 1917, the first large scale IQ tests in America found about a 17-point difference between the scores of the races; the most recent studies show the difference is about the same.11 The equalization of spending on black and white education, government educational programs for the poor, diversity training, and all the rest of it simply have had no discernible effect on the racial IQ gap.
Not only is the difference found consistently across time, but also across place. Blacks all over the world have a mean IQ that is low relative to that of whites. In reviewing the literature on black intelligence in Race Differences in Intelligence, Richard Lynn found that the 57 studies of the IQ of blacks in Africa conducted between 1955 and 1994 consistently showed that they had a mean IQ of around 67.12 Fourteen studies between 1986 and 2002 of blacks in the Caribbean and Latin America found a mean IQ of 71.13 Thirty-one studies of American blacks between 1918 and 1998 found a mean IQ of 85.14 Twenty-nine studies conducted in Britain and the Netherlands between 1966 and 2002 found a black IQ of 85 there as well.15 In Israel, two studies of Ethiopian immigrants who are Jewish by religion but racially black found a mean IQ of 65.16
Some of the most powerful evidence of the biological origin of racial differences in intelligence comes from trans-racial adoption studies. For example, a 1992 study examining the IQs of adopted white and black 17-year-olds raised in upper-middle-class white families found that despite their similar environment, the adopted children with two biological white parents had a mean IQ of 106, whereas the adoptees with two black biological parents had a mean IQ of 89.17
In light of evidence like this, none of the environmentalists’ explanations of racial differences in intelligence is even remotely plausible. Some object that IQ tests are not a good measure of intelligence because they contain questions that whites are more likely to know the answers to than blacks. But the racial difference appears even on reaction-time IQ tests, in which subjects must respond as quickly as possible to a simple visual stimulus, such as a flashing light or a change in color in a dot on a screen.18 It is difficult to see how such tests could be culturally biased.
Nor do arguments that blacks score lower on tests because of socio-economic deficits hold water. If class background explains differences in IQ scores, why do blacks raised in upper-middle-class white families score so much lower on IQ tests than whites from the same background? Moreover, black high-schoolers from affluent backgrounds regularly score lower than whites from poor households on SAT tests, which are a good measure of intelligence.19
In media coverage of race, including the PBS documentary mentioned earlier, hand-picked authorities tell the audience that the genetic theory of the racial IQ gap has no credibility among experts and is merely a relic of pernicious superstitions. This is another lie. The school of researchers that argues for the biological basis of racial intelligence differences, among whom are psychologists Arthur Jensen, J. P. Rushton, and Richard Lynn, have solid academic credentials and publish in peer-reviewed psychological journals, and their work is respected even by those who disagree with them. Furthermore, in 1988, a survey of experts in intelligence and its measurement found that a full 53 percent believed that the black-white difference in IQ was partially genetic in origin. The same study found the news media consistently overestimated the percentage of IQ experts holding egalitarian views. There can be little doubt there still exists today at least a significant school of experts that hold race realist views despite pressure from their colleagues and society at large to abandon them.
Racial Differences in Sexual Behavior
Although the racial difference in intelligence has received the most attention, it is only one of many. In fact, blacks and whites differ across a whole range of personality attributes. The fact that these differences are found the world over is strong evidence that they stem from the differing genetic makeup of the races rather than from any accident of history or culture.
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The races differ in sexual behavior: blacks are more sexually promiscuous than whites and are less inclined to form long-term sexual partnerships. The sexual mores prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa differ radically from Western norms. African sexuality is characterized by the early onset of sexual activity, loose emotional ties between sexual partners, and matings with many different partners. For example, among the Herero tribe of southwest Africa, men typically sire many children by different women before they marry at the late age of 35 to 40. The tribe considers this behavior normal and does not stigmatize the children of out-of-wedlock unions.20 In 1987, 64 percent of African adolescents reported being sexually experienced vs. only 40 percent of European adolescents.21 Africans also have sex with greater frequency than whites.22
The same difference is evident in the US. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), in 2005 sixty-seven percent of black high school students reported having had sex, whereas only 43 percent of white high school students did. Twenty-eight percent of black high-schoolers said they had had four or more sexual partners in their lifetimes, compared to only 11 percent of white high-schoolers.23 Also, in 2002, black men aged 15-44 reported having had 8.3 sexual partners in their lifetimes on average, whereas white men reported 5.3.24
These differences in sexual promiscuity create enormous differences in susceptibility to sexual diseases. In 2005, over six percent of Africans aged 15-44 were HIV positive, compared to 0.5 percent of North Americans and Europeans, making the HIV incidence rate in Africa a full 12 times higher than in the West.25 Blacks in the US show the same pattern. According to the CDC, US blacks are 10 times more likely than whites to have AIDS. There are similar differences in other sexually-transmitted diseases. In 2005, 9.8 out of every 100,000 American blacks had syphilis vs. 1.8 whites, making the black syphilis rate more than five times higher. American statistics on parenting also reveal blacks’ lack of inclination to form long-term sexual bonds. The CDC reports that no less than 70 percent of all black births were to unmarried women in 2005, which is about three times higher than the percentage of births to unmarried women among whites. Black children are three times more likely to live with a single mother than white children.26
Racial Differences in Ability to Defer Gratification
A third domain in which whites and blacks differ is the ability to defer present gratification for greater future rewards. It is essential to success in modern societies that we be willing to accept privations and hardships in the present for the sake of greater good down the road. Buying a house in the future often requires that you save and invest your money rather than spending it immediately. Getting a good job in the future often requires that you endure difficult and costly training in the present. Scientific studies and statistics on behavior show blacks have a lower ability to defer gratification than whites. Blacks’ inability to focus on the long-term makes them more prone than whites to socially irresponsible behaviors such as crime, unemployment, and drug addiction.
The psychologist Walter Mischel demonstrated this racial difference clearly in a 1961 study. He offered black and white children the choice between a small candy bar immediately or a larger candy bar a week hence. The black children were so much more likely than whites to ask for the smaller candy bar that Mischel deemed significance tests superfluous. He concluded, in the blunt language that his day still allowed, “Negroes are impulsive, indulge themselves, settle for next to nothing if they can get it right away, do not work or wait for bigger things in the future.”27
A particularly good example of the consequences of blacks’ inability to defer gratification is their higher crime rates. Criminals are the best examples of people who favor present gratification at the expense of long-term rewards: a mugger is willing to sacrifice his whole future for the chance of stealing someone’s wallet. According to the research report “The Color of Crime” by the New Century Foundation, which publishes American Renaissance, blacks in America are seven times more likely than whites to be in prison. Nor is this an artifact of racial discrimination by the legal system: the report also proves that the available evidence leaves no doubt that police are equally likely to arrest white criminals as black criminals and judges equally likely to convict them. Blacks are more likely to commit every category of crime than whites, but the gap is particularly wide in the categories of robbery, which blacks are 15 times more likely to commit than whites, and drug offenses, which blacks are 12 times more likely to commit.28
“The Color of Crime” also proves that this difference in criminality is not caused by black social disadvantage. Examining violent crime rates by state, the report finds the percentage of the state’s population that is black or Hispanic is a far better predictor of crime levels than poverty, unemployment, or high-school dropout rates. Furthermore, even when you control for these factors, the relationship between percentage black and Hispanic and crime rates remains almost as strong as before. This indicates that even if whites were just as socially disadvantaged as blacks, the racial difference in criminality would still be almost as great as it currently is.29
This difference in criminality prevails internationally as well. Using data from international surveys of crime, J. Phillippe Rushton found that violent crime was twice as common in Africa and the Caribbean as in predominantly white countries.30
Many other differences between white and black behavior are consequences of the difference in ability to defer gratification. Blacks are twice as likely to be unemployed as whites, indicating they prefer the present pleasure of sleeping in and “hanging out” to the long-term rewards afforded by holding a steady job. Blacks also spend three times as much of their income on movies as whites, who are more prone to save their money for major purchases in the future.31
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These racial differences create major differences in lifestyle between blacks and whites that cause blacks to struggle in white societies. No matter how much taxpayer money is devoted to improving black education, employment, and so forth, blacks continue to lag. Year after year, they do worse in school than whites, commit crime at higher rates, and are more likely to be unemployed and impoverished.
This insurmountable difference in lifestyle suggests that the white and black mind were designed to form basically different types of society suited to different conditions. The reason for the differing psychologies of whites and blacks is not hard to find. Blacks are a people adapted for tropical conditions: until the first Muslims began taking African slaves in the 10th century, all blacks lived in the tropics. Whites, however, spent 18,000 years of their evolutionary history living through the Ice Age. A world of ice and snow makes radically different demands of an organism than one of sun and lush forests. Life-threatening cold would have spurred early Europeans to evolve greater intelligence, family nurturance, and ability to plan for the future. For more about the evolution of racial differences, see Ice People and Sun People.
Other Racial Differences
The nature and causes of differences between whites and blacks have been studied substantially, and there are, consequently, a number of easily available reviews of research on this topic. Little research, and fewer reviews, exist on other racial differences, however. Psychologists have, of course, determined the IQ scores of populations all around the globe, and these have been summarized in Richard Lynn’s Race Differences in Intelligence, but there is little beyond this.
The lack of information on the innate characteristics of the world’s races is a major scandal. It is of the utmost importance that the nature of the races be known, not only because of their inherent interest, but also because they have critical implications for public policy. Take the effort of the US to establish a democracy in Iraq as an example. In a sane world, the US would have found out before it started the effort whether a population had to have certain psychological characteristics to be capable of democracy. Does a population have to have a certain minimum IQ for democracy to take root in it? Is a certain level of altruism required? To determine this and other foreign policy matters, the US government would have employed psychologists and geneticists by the thousands to gather and evaluate information on the innate characteristics of the world’s peoples. Without such information, however, we are forced to proceed in the dark, with predictably unfortunate consequences.
In the absence of scientific research on how the races differ, race realists are within their rights to make their best guess. If people object to our guesses, we can always respond that scientists have failed in their responsibility to provide us with better information. Under what circumstances, then, is it appropriate to judge that a trait that is common among members of a given race is due to innate factors? There are two good guidelines. A racial trait is probably innate if members of a given race show the trait in many different parts of the world and social contexts, and these behaviors persist in spite of incentives and pressure to change them.
Take South Asians/North Africans (SANA) as an example. According to Luca Cavalli-Sforza, the world’s foremost authority on population genetics, the predominant population of the region of the world stretching from Morocco to Bangladesh forms a distinct genetic cluster.32 People from this region, whether Afghans, Pakistanis, Iraqis, or Jordanians, show a tendency towards violent tribalism, which expresses itself as a fanatical commitment to Islam. They manifest their violent tribalism not only in Palestine, Iraq, and Afghanistan, but also in the very different societies of the West when they immigrate there. This behavior persists in spite of powerful pressures and incentives to change it. SANA’s violent tribalism has resulted in economic sanctions and actual military invasion in their homelands. Once they immigrate to West, moreover, SANAs have every reason to assimilate into their host societies, as assimilation would enable them to prosper. In spite of these pressures and incentives, SANAs prove themselves willing again and again to blow themselves up in order to extend the dominion of Islam, or their particular version of it. Furthermore, sizable minorities of SANA immigrants in the West, and actual majorities in their homelands, support terrorists. This being the case, it is reasonable to suspect that violent tribalism might be in their blood.
It is absolutely crucial that the West wake up to the reality of racial differences, as these have implications across the whole spectrum of public policy. Is it realistic or desirable for universities to recruit black students if blacks are less intelligent than whites? Is it wise to prevent police from racially profiling if blacks are naturally more likely to commit crime than whites? Above all, is it a good idea to accept black immigrants into our societies if they are naturally incompatible with it? So crucial are these questions, and others like them, that the very future of the West may depend on our finding the right answers.
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- Quoted in Vincent Sarich and Frank Miele. Race: The Reality of Human Differences (Cambridge: Westview Press, 2004), p.197) ↑
- See, for example, John U. Ogbu, “Cultural Amplifiers of Intelligence: IQ and Minority Status in Cross-Cultural Perspective,” in Race and Intelligence: Separating Science from Myth [book on-line], ed. Jefferson M. Fish (Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2002, accessed 29 January 2007), 241-78; available from Questia, http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=106447739; Internet. Michael Hout, “Test Scores, Education, and Poverty,” in Race and Intelligence, pp. 329-354. ↑
- See table in J. Philippe Rushton. Race, Evolution, and Behavior: A Life History Perspective, 3rd ed. (Port Huron, MI: Charles Darwin Research Institute), p. 46. ↑
- Steven Pinker. The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature (New York: Penguin, 2002), p. 379. ↑
- Ibid. pp. 380-81. ↑
- Arthur R. Jensen, The G Factor: The Science of Mental Ability [book on-line] (Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 1998, accessed 31 January 2007), 169; available from Questia, http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=24374054; Internet. ↑
- Nancy Segal. Entwined Lives: Twins and What They Tell Us About Human Behavior (New York: Penguin, 1999), pp. 50, 53. ↑
- Ibid., 118. ↑
- David Lykken et al., “Emergenesis: Genetic Traits that may not Run in Families,” American Psychologist, 47, 1565-77. Quoted in Rushton 46-47. ↑
- Richard J. Herrnstein and Charles Murray. The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life (New York: Free Press, 1994), pp. 148-53, 63-89. ↑
- J. Philippe Rushton and Arthur R. Jensen, “The Totality of Available Evidence Shows the Race IQ Gap Still Remains,” Psychological Science 17, no. 10 (2006): 921-22. Link. ↑
- Richard Lynn. Race Differences in Intelligence: An Evolutionary Analysis (Augusta, GA: Washington Summit Publishers, 2006), 31-34. ↑
- Ibid., p. 40. ↑
- Ibid., pp. 42-43. ↑
- Ibid., pp. 48-49, 52. ↑
- Ibid., pp. 52-53. ↑
- R. A. Weinberg, S. Scarr, and I. D. Waldman, “The Minnesota Transracial Adoption Study: A follow-up of IQ test performance at adolescence,” Intelligence 16 (1992), 117-135. Quoted in J. Philippe Rushton and Arthur R. Jensen, “Thirty Years of Research on Race Differences in Cognitive Ability,” Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 11, no. 2 (2005), 257-58. Link. ↑
- Rushton and Jensen, 2005, pp. 244-45. Link. ↑
- Stephan Thernstrom and Abigail Thernstrom. America in Black and White: One Nation, Indivisible (New York: Touchstone, 1997), pp. 403-05. ↑
- Rushton, p. 156. ↑
- Ibid., p. 172. ↑
- Ibid., p. 172. ↑
- Center for Disease Control, “Trends in HIV-Related Risk Behaviors Among High School Students, United States, 1991-2005,” CDC website, 11 August 2006 (accessed 2 January 2007). Link ↑
- William D. Mosher and others, “Sexual Behavior and Selected Health Measures: Men and Women 15–44 Years of Age, United States, 2002,” CDC website, 15 September 2005, p. 28 (accessed 2 January 2007). [Link}(http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/ad/ad362.pdf) ↑
- UNAIDS. 2006 Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic (Geneva: UNAIDS, 2006), 13. Link ↑
- US Census Bureau, “Children’s Living Arrangements and Characteristics: March 2002,” US Census Bureau website, June 2003, p. 5. Link ↑
- Walter Mischel, “Preference for Delayed Reinforcement and Social Responsibility,” Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology 62, no. 1 (1961), p. 6. Quoted in Michael Levin. Why Race Matters (Oakton, Va.: New Century Books, 2005), 77. ↑
- New Century Foundation. The Color of Crime 2nd ed. (Oakton, Va., New Century Foundation, 2005), pp. 7-11. Link ↑
- Ibid., pp. 11-12. ↑
- Rushton, pp. 158-60. ↑
- Levin, p. 77. ↑
- L. Luca Cavalli-Sforza, Paolo Menozzi, and Alberto Piazza, The History and Geography of Human Genes, Abridged ed. (Princeton: Princeton University Press), p.80. ↑
Why Is Africa Poor?
Just as American blacks blame whites for their failures, Africans deny responsibility for the misery they bring on themselves.
Black Africa is the poorest part of the world by far. It is in Africa that we find countries like Zaire, Ethiopia, Chad, and the Sudan, where gross national product per person is less than $200 a year. The 41 nations of sub-Saharan Africa produce no more wealth than the tiny country of Belgium, which has only one forty-fifth as many people. Of all of the region’s economic production, white-run South Africa accounts for three quarters.
Numbers like these mean that Africans live in misery so desperate that Americans can scarcely imagine it. Every year, thousands of Africans die of starvation. In bad years, hundreds of thousands starve. Even in tropical parts of Africa untouched by famine, as many as one third of all children die before the age of five. One in a hundred births kills the mother. Malaria, sleeping sickness, hepatitis, leprosy, and AIDS are rampant.
Nevertheless, the population of Africa grows faster than that of any other region of the world. The total number of children, grand children, and great-grand children that the average American woman will have is 14. The equivalent figure for the average African woman is 258! Despite the ravages of disease, starvation, and inter-tribal warfare, Africa’s population increases by more than three percent a year. At that rate, populations can double in 20 years.
Why is Africa poor? The standard explanations blame anyone but the Africans. Colonization by whites, it is said, kept Africa poor. The slave trade depleted the continent and impoverished it. Multinational corporations plundered it.
Just as blacks in America seek to explain their own failings by blaming them on whites, Africans explain their own poverty by blaming Europe. Recently, this is how a broadcast on Somalia’s state-owned radio attacked the BBC for reporting uncomplimentary facts:
The BBC’s day dream … was to succeed once again in looting at will the abundant natural resources both on land and at sea in the third world, particularly in Africa.
The colonial bogeyman still lives.
The argument that colonization accounts for Africa’s poverty is so easily refuted that it should have gone out of currency long ago. That it has not can be attributed only to the apparently endless capacity of whites to accept arguments that paint them as villain.
|There is no reason to think that, left to themselves, Africans would have risen from the primitive conditions in which Europeans found them.|
To believe that colonization thwarted the economic development of Africa is to believe that indigenous societies were on their way towards prosperity but were brutally shoved off course by Europeans. In fact, African societies south of the Sahara that had not had contact either with Europeans or with Middle Eastern traders showed no signs of modern development. No pre-contact African society had devised a written language or had discovered the wheel. None had a calendar, or built multi-story buildings. No African had learned how to domesticate animals. The smelting of iron was widespread, as was fire-hardened pottery, but the continent did not produce anything that could be called a mechanical device.
Africans had no concept of the biological origins of disease, and attributed personal misfortunes to the work of evil spirits. Slavery was widely practiced, and deeply rooted in Africa long before the arrival of Europeans. There is no reason to think that, left to themselves, Africans would have risen from the primitive conditions in which Europeans found them.
The European slave trade, though unquestionably harmful to Africa, was hardly the depopulating scourge it is often made out to be. When the 15th century Portuguese began sailing down the coast, they met long-established slave traders keen to sell off surpluses. Europeans almost never went on slaving expeditions into the interior. They bought slaves from dealers, which means that slaves taken from Africa were first enslaved by other Africans.
At the same time, Europeans introduced two New World staples that could be stored — cassava and corn — revolutionizing the African food supply. The sudden increase in population more than made up for losses to the European slave trade which, in any case, ended by the middle of the 19th century.
It was trade with Europeans that introduced modernity to iron-age Africa. Far from hobbling and holding the continent back, colonization laid the foundations for whatever evidence of economic progress can now be found in Africa. It was Europeans who built roads and rail lines, introduced piped water, schools and telecommunications, and built national administrations. Nothing suggests that Africans would have achieved any of this on their own.
There is no question but that life for Africans improved steadily under colonization. By the 1960s, when most of Africa became independent, the region exported food. Now, it devours more than $1 billion a year in Western food aid, and thousands still starve.
It is possible to argue that Africans might have been better off if they had been left entirely alone. This is to take a romantic view of the disease, tribal warfare, slavery, and ignorance that were widespread on the continent. Moreover, no African group that has glimpsed the possibilities of Western progress has opted to return to purely African primitivism. This suggests that Africans themselves would rather have the benefits of Western technology than do without them. Given that people naturally yearn for medical advance and material progress, colonization was an obvious and striking benefit to Africa.
The benefits are particularly clear in any comparison of those parts of Africa that were colonized with those that were not. Ethiopia remained independent except for a brief occupation by Italy during the 1930s. It is the poorest country on the continent, with an annual per capita gross national product (GNP) of $130. Eritrea, which was absorbed by Ethiopia after the Second World War, had been an Italian colony for 50 years. It is more advanced in every way. Though it has only three percent of Ethiopia’s population, it has 30 percent of its industry. It recently won a decades-old war of independence against Ethiopia.
An equally stark contrast can be found in West Africa. Ivory Coast, heavily colonized by the French, is much better developed than neighboring Liberia, which was founded by freed American slaves in 1822. Liberians, apparently unaware of the political heresy they are uttering, freely attribute the miserable state of their country to its having gone without “the benefits of colonization.”
The Decline Since Independence
What about Africa since independence? During the first few years, while some European procedures were still being followed, the standard of living in Africa continued to improve. It is in the last 20 years, during which Africans themselves have shaped their own nations, that conditions have deteriorated spectacularly. Virtually without exception, Africans have failed to build modern economies.
In the last dozen years, per capita GNP has fallen every year in Africa. By 1989, per capita food production in Africa was only three quarters what it had been in 1970. In 1985, an estimated 25 percent of African pre-school children suffered from acute protein deficiency. Only five years later, an estimated 40 percent did.
It is not as though Africa has been neglected by white countries. Since the 1960s, they have poured more than $300 billion in aid into the continent. Tanzania, a favorite target for Scandinavian largess, received $8.6 billion between 1970 and 1988 — more than four times its 1988 GNP. By that year, Tanzania’s annual per capita GNP was a pitiful $160, lower than at independence in 1961.
Obviously, it is much easier for undeveloped nations to copy the tried and tested technology of nations that have gone before. They need not invent telephones or electric power generators. They need only install and maintain what Europeans have invented. Africans cannot or will not.
Mobutu the Messiah
Often African “leaders” are outright pirates whose only interest is in enriching themselves and their cronies. Zaire’s Mobutu Sese Seku is perhaps the worst. He has been in power since 1965, and has looted the country of an amount estimated to be between two and ten billion dollars. Either figure would make him one of the richest men in the world. He owns chateaus or estates in France, Belgium, Switzerland, and Ivory Coast. He has 11 palaces in Zaire itself, including one in his home village of Gbadolite that is so lavish it is known as the Versailles of the Jungle. Mr. Mobutu likes to be called “Messiah,” and has worked up a personality cult for his hotel-maid mother that rivals that of the Virgin Mary.
Zaire, which is blessed with diamonds, gold, silver, copper, and uranium, should be one of the richest countries in the world. Today it has a per capita annual GNP of $180. The World Bank has calculated that from 1973 to 1985, per capita income fell by 3.9 percent every year, and is now one tenth what it was in 1960 when the country became independent of Belgium.
|Rarely do African leaders show the slightest evidence that they have any concern for their people.|
Zaire has not built a hospital in 20 years. In the ones that still remain, nurses and doctors must be bribed to do their work. Road maintenance is so primitive that the 1,100-mile drive from the Atlantic to Zaire’s eastern border that used to take two days now takes three weeks. In the rainy season, the trip may be impossible. Reliable electricity and plumbing are hazy memories from the colonial past.
Rarely do African leaders show the slightest evidence that they have any concern for their people. Consider Madagascar. When the French controlled the island, they nearly succeeded in wiping out the malaria mosquito. When the Malagasies were given independence, they let public health programs fall into decay. By 1988, when 100,000 people had died of the disease in just six months, the national malaria-control laboratory owned one Bunsen burner and two old microscopes. The Swiss government, under World Bank auspices, has offered to donate 300 million tablets of anti-malarial drugs — enough to treat the entire population for two years — but the Madagascar government insists on selling them rather than handing them out free. This ensures that most people won’t get them and that a few government officials will get even richer than they already are.
In the Sudan, where starving people are so desperate that they sell their children into slavery, government authorities refuse to let western relief agencies operate unless they pay fat bribes. Even then, aid convoys are often attacked and pillaged by government soldiers who then sell relief supplies for their own profit.
In Zambia, the percentage of government spending that goes to education dropped from 19 percent in 1972 to 8 percent in 1987, even though the number of students doubled. Zambia’s president, Kenneth Kaunda, has stolen so much of the state budget that he is estimated to be worth as much as $6 billion. In the capital, Lusaka, only an estimated one half of city employees actually work.
Ivory Coast is putting the finishing touches on a $280 million Catholic cathedral made of marble, ivory, and gold. By papal request, the cupola will stand a few feet lower than that of St. Peter’s in Rome, but Our Lady of Peace will still be able to accommodate 300,000 worshipers at a time. The cathedral is located, not in the capital, but 130 miles inland in the home village of former president Houphouet-Boigny. By strange coincidence, the nation’s only divided highway also runs to the same village, though it has little commerce with the capital. Upon his death, Mr. Houphouet-Boigny intends to be laid to rest, amid much pomp and official mourning, beneath Our Lady’s dome.
Ivory Coast, on which France has lavished not only a great deal of aid but thousands of technical advisors, is, relatively speaking, an African success story. Nevertheless, its merchant class is almost exclusively Lebanese, and extravagances like the cathedral have forced the government to default on its international obligations.
When African governments are not openly plundering their people, they are simply incompetent. Sierra Leone, which should be rich from its gold, diamonds, and fertile farm land, is nearly as much of a disaster as deserts like Chad or the Central African Republic. The currency, the leone, has been so unstable that farmers smuggle their produce out for sale in Ivory Coast. In 1987, diamond traders found they had to pay so many near-worthless leones for diamonds that they began to withdraw currency from banks by the truckload. When this happens, most governments simply print more banknotes. Sierra Leone, which has its currency printed in England, didn’t even have enough money to pay for paper and ink. Currency disappeared, and the economy temporarily reverted to barter.
In Africa, natural wealth seems only to increase the scale of national follies. Nigeria, an oil producer and member of OPEC, is wasting a fortune trying to build a steel industry. The site the Nigerians have chosen is far away from iron ore, coking coal, or transport routes.
At the same time, government-subsidized gasoline sells for about 40 cents a gallon — the cheapest price in the world — so Nigerians waste fuel and import more cars than the economy can afford. Tanker loads of artificially cheap gasoline are smuggled out for sale in neighboring countries. Waste in the oil industry is so great, that Nigeria cannot meet its OPEC export quota. Twenty years from now, when Nigeria has pumped its oil wells dry, it will have little to show for them.
Africa and AIDS
One disservice that many African governments do their people is to deny that AIDS is ravaging their countries. Zimbabwe’s is one of the worst. Though no one knows for sure, a quarter of the adult population — millions of people — may be infected, but the government officially reported only 499 cases of AIDS in 1989. At the central hospital of Harare, the capital, AIDS kills more children than any other disease. Still, government authorities refuse to recognize the problem or disseminate public health information. When criticized for its silence, the state-controlled press complained about “the slurs on Africans brought about by the West’s obsessive determination to blame AIDS on Africa.”
In the mean time, Africans continue to infect each other at a great rate. For reasons that are not entirely understood, many Africans seem to get AIDS through heterosexual intercourse. Rich Africans are often very promiscuous, so the millions who will be dying over the next decade will be from the upper classes. One doctor estimates that 80 percent of Zimbabwe’s best-paid men are infected. AIDS could put an end to Africa’s rocketing population growth and even cause a serious decline, beginning around the year 2010.
Just as Western governments and aid agencies refuse to criticize African dictators for fear of being called “racist,” the Western press is squeamish about reporting African savagery. In April 1991, Muslims and Christians in northern Nigeria started a small war against each other that may have left as many as one thousand dead. The streets of the town of Bauchi were littered with decapitated corpses, but few Americans ever heard about it.
|The press prefers to skip lightly over news of this kind, to avoid complaints from American blacks about ‘negative stereotypes.’|
In the summer of 1988, the majority Tutsis of Burundi sent in the army to slaughter some 5,000 minority Hutu tribesmen. This was a repetition of a similar exercise in 1972, when Tutsi soldiers killed an estimated 100,000 unarmed Hutu. Neither event got much attention. In 1991, when Liberian rebel leaders captured the former president, Samuel K. Doe, they first tortured him to death. Then they carved off his lips, ears, and genitals and put his body on public display.
The press prefers to skip lightly over news of this kind, to avoid complaints from American blacks about “negative stereotypes.” Of course, if white South African police shoot into a menacing crowd of blacks, it is front-page news.
Except for South Africa, whose government seeks the consent of the (white) electorate, and for one or two newcomers to democracy like Botswana, African governments rule by brute force. Since 1957, there have been 150 African heads of state, but only six gave up power voluntarily. All the rest died in office, were murdered, or were thrown out in military coups. In virtually every African country, the people who rule are the people who own the weapons. This explains why African countries spent $2.2 billion on imported weapons in 1983 while they spent only $1.7 billion on medical care. Until it was overthrown in 1991, the Ethiopian government was spending 60 percent of its revenue on the military.
Why, then, is Africa poor? For anyone who has looked into the question, there seems to be little doubt that Africans have brought misery upon themselves. Whether it be in Africa, Haiti, or Washington (DC) (see book review, this page), Africans show little evidence of an ability to organize and run a modern economy. Just as blacks have made wastelands of those parts of the United States in which they are a majority and over which they exercise authority, so have Africans desolated a continent bursting with riches.
Of course, it is not permissible to conclude that this is because of natural, genetic handicaps from which blacks suffer, so anti-white arguments inevitably rush in to fill the explanatory void. Blacks the world over, whether they live only among themselves or among people of other races, are said to lead lives of failure and misery only because whites have oppressed them in the past and continue to oppress them in the present. It makes no difference that this explanation falls apart under scrutiny; it is the only one that is permitted because the alternative does not conform to current political dogma.
There can be no pleasure in saying so, but the facts point to one conclusion. Whether in Africa or America, Haiti or Great Britain, blacks are poor because they are, for the most part, incapable of lifting themselves from poverty. Africa is poor, just as Harlem is poor, because it is populated by Africans.
Locust: with that said, America is finished, this nation has been given the death blow of diversity, the economy will be the last dieing breath of a dieing ideology, western ethos of universal equality. If you survive, see you on the other side.