6. Scientific Racism And The Case Against It

Scientific racism is the pseudoscientific belief that empirical evidence exists to support or justify racism, ‘racial’ discrimination, ‘racial’ inferiority, or ‘racial’ superiority.[1][2] Pseudoscience consists of statements, beliefs, or practices that are claimed to be both scientific and factual, but are incompatible with the scientific method.[3]

While inaccurate, scientific ‘racism’ was common during the 1600s to the end of World War I. Since the second half of the 20th century, scientific racism has been exposed for its flaws, inaccuracies and faulty conclusions by the scientific community, and criticized as non-factual, obsolete and discredited information. Historically it has persistently been used to support or validate racist world-views, based upon the belief in an existence and significance of imagined ‘racial’ categories and a hierarchy of superior and inferior races.[4]



Casas vs. Sepulveda

An important debate related to the idea of ‘race’ occurred in Spain during the 1500’s between Bartolome de Las Casas and Juan Gines de Sepulveda. The debate was concerned with how Europeans should deal with the humans they encountered in the New World of the West Indies (The Caribbean) and North America.

When Columbus first set out to sea, he was originally looking to sail to India. Upon reaching North America, he mistakenly believed that he had indeed reached India, and when he encountered the local natives, he incorrectly referred to them as ‘Indians.’ The term ‘American Indian’ is a result from this initial confusion, and has since been replaced with the terms ‘Native American’ and ‘First National’.

Casas and Sepulveda had both been involved in the early settlements in the Caribbean (The West Indies), yet the two took very different opinions of the natives they encountered. Casas was a Catholic friar, and wrote A Short Account Of The Destruction Of The Indies to the King of Spain, where he went into detail about the horrible treatment early colonizers subjected the local indigenous people to. He described the complete slaughter, desolation and torment the early colonizers committed against the natives, leaving millions upon millions of good natured people either dead or turned into slaves.[5]

Casas believed that the natives had souls, and that they should be taught Christianity and saved by converting to Catholicism, and to become subjects loyal to the Crown. He held the position that ‘all the world’s ‘races’ are men’, and he strongly opposed the violent treatment and enslavement of the native individuals of the West Indies. He became the first “Protector of the Indians”, a group who represented the natives in court and also in correspondence with the king.[6]

Sepulveda on the other hand took the view that the indigenous people were savages and should be treated like animals; to be either enslaved or killed. Sepulveda was a philosopher and a proponent of colonial slavery, a defender of the colonial’s violent treatment of the local people they encountered. He claimed the indigenous to be “natural slaves” and that “Those whose condition is such that their function is the use of their bodies and nothing better can be expected of them, those, I say, are slaves of nature. It is better for them to be ruled thus.”[7]

Casas is believed to have come out on top in the debate as he ended up gaining the ear of the King and the Church, and his efforts led to limiting the encomienda enslavement system,[8] and to reduced invasions of indigenous populated areas for a time.
According to Ali Rattansi in Racism: A Very Short Introduction, “It is now generally acknowledged that the term ‘race’ entered English early in the 16th century.”[Rattansi, 2007] The word ‘race’ began to hold meaning in European languages, and it translated to lineage, family, and breed.

This debate however did not stop the brutal mistreatment of Native Americans by colonizers during the colonization of America by Europeans. Massacres, torture, terror, rape and enslavement were common treatment for Native Americans by Europeans. The genocide of Native Americans, combined with disease, sent the indigenous population from around 145 million people in 1491, to around 15 million by 1691, meaning that roughly 10% of their original population size remained.[9]



‘Racial’ Theorists Gobineau & Knox

Two of the most influential ‘racial’ theorists of the 19th century, known as the ‘fathers of scientific racism’, were Arthur de Gobineau and Robert Knox. Their combined works were used to develop the idea of the ‘Aryan master race’, and much of their faulty scientific findings were used to show that there existed a ‘race’ of Anglo-Saxons and that they were a ‘racially’ superior people. Their writings were perhaps the most influential in the formation of the Nazi party.[10]

Gobineau

Arthur de Gobineau was a French aristocrat and elitist who fiercely fought against ideas of human equality. He lived during the European revolutions of 1848; where citizens attempted to remove former feudal structures in hopes of gaining freedom and a more democratic society, but as a member of the wealthy class he was strongly opposed to the revolutions. After they ended, Gobineau wrote a book titled An Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races, a 1400 page lecture on why aristocrats were ‘racially’ superior to commoners. His reasoning came down to that aristocrats had pure ‘Aryan’ genetics and genetic traits, while commoners had interbred with other inferior ‘races.’ He argued that there were innate differences between humans; dividing people into different human ‘races,’ of which there were three; superior white, inferior yellow and inferior black.

Gobineau suggested that only in the bible did it say that all humans descended from Adam, but besides this line in the bible, nothing proved that all humans came from the same ancestor, and he believed that only whites descended from Adam (science today has proven that all humans are born from a single unnamed ancestor who lived roughly 100,000 years ago[11]). He postulated that since time began, many civilizations were ruined and destined for destruction when the superior white ‘Aryan race’ mixed and bred with other ‘races’ that were genetically inferior, bringing the civilization lower and lower until its demise.[12]

His work was very popular among pro-slavery Americans, who translated his book into English, yet left out the content which negatively described Americans as a mixed ‘race’ population. The Nazi party also idolized his work, republishing his book and making it the basis for their ideology.[10]

Knox

Robert Knox was a European anatomist, zoologist, unqualified doctor and later known serial killer, who believed that ‘race’ was the most important factor regarding human anatomy and behavior. His lectures on human anatomy were widely popular in Britain during part of the 19th century. He believed that Europe’s political problems all had a ‘racial’ basis, and that lower ‘races’ were prone to impulsive, emotional behavior, and were unable to engage in higher reasoning. Knox sought to find scientific proof supporting his idea that brain size was smaller in ‘lower races’ and also in women. He used human cadavers in his research and public lectures, which were the body-parts of murder victims in which Knox secretly paid large sums of money to William Burke and William Hare to murder a minimum of 16 individuals for his research.[13]

Knox’s ideas centered around philosophical anatomy, where he believed that the animal kingdom had an ideal plan for evolution, and that somehow evolution was based on the universe trying to create the most superior being through nature. The European scientific community soon after rejected his research, but later groups looking for ways to justify racist ideals often cited his work as evidence.



Scientific Racism

According to Dr. Ali Rattansi in his book Racism: A Very Short Introduction, the scientifically racist ideas of Gobineau and Knox were united in four specific assumptions;

1. That humans can be “divided into a limited number of distinct and permanent ‘races,’ and that ‘race’ was the key concept for an understanding of human variation.”[Rattansi, 2007]

2. That there were “distinct physical markers that characterized the different ‘races’”; mostly skin color, but also facial features, texture of hair and the size and shape of the skull.[Rattansi, 2007]

3. That each ‘race’ was “innately associated with distinct social, cultural and moral traits.”[Rattansi, 2007]

4. That these ‘races’ could be “graded in a coherent hierarchy of talent and beauty, with whites at the top and blacks at the bottom.”[Rattansi, 2007]

As these four views were the basis for what became a large and dangerously racist Nazi regime, as well as the content for racial pro-slavery arguments within America, it’s important that we look at them in depth and consider their validity or lack of validity.

The Case Against Scientific Racism

1. That humans can be “divided into a limited number of distinct and permanent ‘races,’ and that ‘race’ was the key concept for an understanding of human variation.”[Rattansi, 2007]

This assumption is not valid based on numerous scientific findings: As science has shown, there is no biological underpinning for the word ‘race’. All humans on Earth have a common ancestor dating back to roughly 100,000 years ago[11] and all humans on Earth descended from the same population of Africans, who beginning close to 60,000 years ago, slowly populated the entire Earth over numerous generations.[14]

Evolution takes place over the course of millions of years, and there simply has not been enough time for human variation to become significant,[15] and there has been not nearly enough time for sub-species of humans to develop.[15] Small changes such as skin color can be observed, as any population of people while living in a sunny or shaded climate, over the course of roughly 10,000 to 20,000 years, or even in as little as 1000 years, will have their skin color adjust to protect from harmful UV rays from the Sun.[16] Science has proven that identification based on what one would call ‘race’ or skin-color has no relation to biology, in fact, science has shown that in terms of genetics, 95%, or the vast majority of individual genetic variation(differences) happens between members of the same population.[17] The human genome project has also confirmed that the DNA of all humans on Earth are between 99.5% and 99.9% the same.[18]

2. That there were “distinct physical markers that characterized the different ‘races’”; mostly skin color, but also facial features, texture of hair and the size and shape of the skull.[Rattansi, 2007]

This assumption is not valid based on numerous scientific findings: As previously stated, ‘race’ is not related to anatomy nor biology. ‘Race’ itself has no basis in the world of biology nor anatomy, and is an imaged concept; a ‘social idea’ based on the observation of the color of one’s skin, rather than on anything visible in the world of genetics. Science has shown that genetic variation is actually highest between individuals within the same population,[17] and attempting to classify people biologically by the largest “distinct marker” of skin-color is not accurate nor true when it comes to genetics and biology. Skin color adaptation is the natural biological occurrence of any human population to the amount of sunlight in the area of the Earth where they reside for 1000, 10,000, 20,000 years or longer.[16] Hair texture is decided simply by the size and shape of the hair follicle,[19] and it is theorized that tightly coiled hair is also a feature designed to cover and protect the skin from harmful Ultraviolet rays from the Sun. The sizes and shapes of the skull vary for all people from all corners of the globe, especially within populations, so this classification is not valid when attempting to classify or identify human beings.[20]

Another important finding shown in historical records and revealed in human DNA ancestry testing is that humans have migrated back and forth around the globe, while interbreeding everywhere along the way and constantly mixing genes. For thousands of years, human tribes, villages and nations conquered surrounding areas, and during this time they incorporated those conquered into their own communities regardless of their physical variations. Geneticists have proven that continual intermating among human groups throughout history is the reason why all humans alive today are members of a common species.[21] Europeans mated with Africans, Egyptians mated with Middle Easterners, Romans mated with Asians, etc. A continuous mixing of human genes between people from all over the Earth regularly happened, as world renowned anthropologist Dr. Audrey Smedley explains;

“The empires of the ancient world—the Egyptian, Greek, and Roman empires, and later the Muslim empire, with its center at Baghdad— encompassed peoples whose skin colors, hair textures, and facial features were highly varied, representing the same range of physical diversity that is seen in the “Old World” today—Africans, Europeans, Middle Easterners, and Asians. (see Blakely, 1993; Boardman, Griffin, & Murray, 1986; Cavalli-Sforza, 1995; Fryer, 1984; Godolphin, 1942; Hitti, 1953; Hourani, 1991; Snowden, 1983). It follows from this brief account of historical facts that physical characteristics should never be included in a definition of ethnic identity.”[22]

Because of interbreeding, humans with varying physical characteristics have mixed genes throughout time, making physical characteristics an inaccurate “marker” for any perceived ethnicity (Ethnicity is defined as; “Clusters of people who have common culture traits that they distinguish from those of other people. People who share a common language, geographic locale or place of origin, religion, sense of history, traditions, values, beliefs, food habits, and so forth, are perceived, and view themselves as constituting, an ethnic group.”[22]).

3. That each ‘race’ was “innately associated with distinct social, cultural and moral traits.”[Rattansi, 2007]

‘Racial’ scientists have unsuccessfully sought for centuries to prove that certain ‘races’ are prone to specific negative behaviors and that they exhibit certain negative social traits. The main connections they’ve tried to make are that the ‘races’ that they themselves perceived as inferior; namely the black ‘race,’ but not excluding the ‘Jewish race’ of Germany nor the ‘Buraku race’ of Japan, exhibit higher percentages of negative social traits such as; being overly aggressive, being overly sexual, being prone to crime, and exhibiting frequent violent behavior.[23]

Each time a supposed scientist makes such a claim and uses their study to justify it, the large community of international scientists review it and consistently find major problems within the research; flawed and inaccurate correlations, misreported numbers and find false conclusions being made. The accurate scientific reviews, time and time again, expose and disprove the faulty conclusions drawn and use verified scientific studies to accurately explain and correct the many attempts at illegitimate ‘racial’ science.

‘Racial’ science is also known as pseudoscience; the statements, beliefs, or practices that are claimed to be scientific and factual in the absence of evidence gathered and constrained by appropriate scientific methods.[24] The truth concerning behavioral traits and the idea of ‘race’ is that science has never shown specific behaviors that are linked only to what one might consider to be a ‘race’ or population of people of a certain skin color, and not linked to another. Social, cultural and moral traits are learned behaviors.  There is no valid science connecting these traits biologically or genetically to any imagined ‘racial’ group. The genetic population of Germans, who carried out the genocide of six million innocent human beings during the Nazi regime (considered a severely negative social event) is the same genetic population of the people who tore down the Berlin wall in 1989; which allowed millions of people to be free from East German poverty (considered a positive social event). Any individual, population or imagined ‘race’ of humans will behave in the ways that they have been educated to do so; from their schooling, their families and from society.

An example of scientific racism occurring in a series of recent studies which unsuccessfully sought to show that ‘race’ is “innately associated with distinct social, cultural and moral traits” was John Rushton’s[25] 1988, 1992 and 1995 studies on ‘Race differences in behavior: Personality and Individual Differences’ and ‘Evolutionary biology and heritable traits (with reference to Oriental–White–Black differences)’ (Rushton; 1988, 1992, 1995).

Rushton argued that human behavior correlates with the genetic ancestry of three vaguely defined ‘racial’ groups; Negroids, Caucasoids and Mongoloids, and that behavior has near nothing to do with one’s environment (education levels, poverty levels, etc.). Rushton’s studies generated worldwide criticism[26][27][28], as not only were his conclusions completely inaccurate, but he seemed to unethically cherrypick data which favored his ‘racial’ hypotheses and exclude other sets of data which contradicted his hypotheses in his research. Nonetheless, researchers gave a serious and accurate scientific review of his studies that tried to connect social behavior to ‘race’ and came to the following conclusions based on actual evidence and factual data;

“Table 2 summarizes our results. A glance at Table 2 makes it clear that Rushton’s predictions do not find much support, regardless of how ‘‘race’’ is operationalized. Indeed, of the 78 correlations in Table 2, only 2 are statistically significant (at less than or equal to the .05 level) in the predicted direction. This is no more confirming a set of results than one would expect by chance. Even if we look at the direction of the correlations, Rushton’s predictions are not supported. More of the correlations are in the opposite direction (45 of 78) than in the predicted direction. Rushton’s predictions clearly fail our cross-cultural evaluation.”[29]

Not only were Rushton’s conclusions statistically insignificant, but the data showed that the majority of the correlations (45 of 78) were in the opposite direction from what Rushton claimed. Rushton’s type of false science, which in reality was a ‘racial’ bias trying to fraudulently make its way into scientific research, has appeared numerous times during the past two centuries; being falsified time and time again by accurate scientific review.

An important fact related to scientific racism to note here is that; even after being proved inaccurate, ‘racial’ “scientists” continued to base their conclusions and further research on the previous inaccurate findings of past ‘racial’ studies, such as Rushton’s inaccurate conclusions. Not only does this invalidate the current ‘racial’ studies conducted, but it shows a general lack of understanding of the scientific method, revealing that the true intentions of these studies is to promote a racist ideology and racist agenda, rather than to further an accurate understanding of humans based on using the scientific method. It serves only as an attempt to gain national attention for prejudiced ideas, ‘racial’ agendas and invalid racist “science” that was never true in the first place.

The scientific review goes on to state;
“ ‘Race’ does not predict societal or cultural variation in human behavior. This seems both an obvious and logical conclusion from our cross-cultural tests. There is clearly more variation in cultural behavior than can be explained by a trichotomy of ‘racial’ groups. There is a vast array of research demonstrating clear effects of the environment on human behavior—indeed, entire traditions and subfields within anthropology, biology, ecology, psychology, and sociology focus on the effect of environment on human behavior. In contrast, ‘race’ seems to be irrelevant to the task of explaining cross-cultural differences in behavior.”[29]

Actual evidence has shown that when it comes to both; “aggressive and/or violent behaviors”, usually expressed in society as crime, and “overly sexual”, usually expressed as having a high number of children, there is a common link; and this link is called poverty. Becker’s economic theory of crime shows a direct correlation between poverty and crime.[30] Research has shown that those living in poverty have a much higher chance of committing crime than the general population.[31] Further research also confirms that poverty is a predictor of crime; as financially poor individuals face greater frustrations and pressures to commit crime, especially in areas of high inequality.[32] When a person is unable to receive adequate food and shelter for themselves or for their families, crime can seem an easier route than starving or watching their loved ones suffer. Income levels can also predict birth rates,[33]  as people who have lower incomes tend to have higher amounts of children due to lack of birth control and having less education.[34][35]

In the United States especially, decades of discrimination and lack of opportunity have forced minorities into ghettos and poverty, creating stereotypes that people of darker skin colors are prone to crime and having high numbers of children, when in reality the cause is living in poverty; and poverty is a situation where people of any skin color; white, tan, black etc. exhibit the same patterns of crime and higher birth rates when living under such impoverished conditions.[36][37]

As geneticists Dr. Nelkin and Dr. Lindee point out when it comes to scientific racism, “Persistent and entrenched social problems such as poverty, educational underachievement, mental illness, delinquency, alcoholism, violence, and criminal behavior, were being increasingly attributed to ‘deficient’ or ‘problematic’ genes by experts, rather than to the social conditions in which people lived.”[38]



4. That these races could be “graded in a coherent hierarchy of talent and beauty, with whites at the top and blacks at the bottom.[Rattansi, 2007]

This assumption is not valid based on an accurate understanding of history and of the contributions to technology made from humans of various locations, ethnicities, ‘races’ and skin colors from around the world.

Gobineau especially tried to claim that white humans of “Aryan blood” were the only contributors to significant inventions and technology throughout human history.[39] This statement is false, as prior to the 16th century, the majority of all technological inventions were discovered by non-white skinned humans and nations.[40] Gobineau’s claim also assumes that a “white race” exists, which we’ve learned is not true after seeing the data and results from the human genome project; that all humans have genome sequences that are between 99.5% and 99.9% the same, regardless of skin color.[41]

Just to name a few of the significant inventions coming from people of various non-white skin colors are; math, art, metallurgy, tools, astronomy, architecture, engineering, medicine, navigation, writing, religion, numbers, tools and civilization itself.[40][42] There is also no research that shows the cause of the creation of any significant inventions being due to one’s skin-color or imagined ‘race.’ Any attempts to grade and rank technological achievement based on skin color and ‘race’ are futile, extremely flawed, inaccurate, and simply untrue.

When it comes to physical beauty, the saying ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ holds more weight than when Gobineau claims that people of white skin color are more beautiful than people of any other skin color. Beauty is a personal opinion rather than a scientific fact. Researchers have indeed studied the effects of skin color on perceptions of physical attractiveness, and have found that according to real studies, that light brown is considered to be the most attractive skin color; “Results show an overall main effect of skin tone, suggesting that light brown skin color is perceived by both Caucasian and African American models as more credible and attractive than models who are pale and dark skinned.”[43] The research shows that it is neither white, nor black which is today perceived as “most attractive,” but rather it is light brown.[43]

Gobineau’s false ideas of scientific racism and of an imagined ‘racial’ superiority came from a time of little to no biological science. His ideas have all been invalidated by the scientific community, yet many are still accepted even by people today who have not had an accurate education on the topic of ‘race.’

Eugenics

All three of the previously listed overtly racist societies instituted eugenics, an inhumane set of beliefs and practices aimed at increasing desirable believed genetic traits and decreasing undesirable believed genetic traits among the human population, at certain times. The idea of ‘race’ was central to the practice of eugenics, as those in power sought to reduce or eliminate minority populations through forced sterilizations and laws forbidding ‘interracial’ marriage. As ‘race’ it not a real genetic nor biological grouping,[44] The idea itself of eugenics, outside of racism, has the major flaw that the undesirable genetic traits will always express themselves in any given population. In as early as 1915, American scientists such as Thomas Hunt Morgan proved through experiments with white and red eyed fruit flies that major genetic changes occurred outside of inheritance, and that the concept of eugenics based upon genetic inheritance was not completely scientifically accurate.[45]

‘Race’ and Intelligence: IQ Scores

Racial “scientists” have long attempted to use test scores to try and prove an incorrect idea that people of black skin color have a lower intelligence than people of white skin color. Two of the largest examples of these attempts are interpretations of IQ testing and The Bell Curve. An Intelligence Quotient (IQ) is a total score derived from several standardized tests designed to assess human intelligence. While IQ testing was originally intended to help improve education for students, it became a tool of racism when manipulated by ‘racial’ “scientists” who set out to use it with a hidden agenda and a previous bias.

The Bell Curve is a book half written by a political strategist in which the authors argue that human intelligence is substantially influenced by inherited factors; such as ‘race.’ The Bell Curve itself was heavily criticized by the scientific community and the American Psychological Association.[46] The Bell Curve also received the majority of its funding by a ‘white supremacist’ and racist group called the Pioneer Fund.[47] The Southern Poverty Law Center, after extensive research, labeled the Pioneer Fund a ‘Hate Group’, in which bigoted and discredited ideas were funded in an effort to bring them into the mainstream.[48]

Before the 1920s, social scientists pushing racist agendas set out to prove the incorrect idea that whites were superior to blacks and other minorities. They sought for a way to prove this in order to back social policy in favor of whites, and they felt the best way to gauge this was through “testing” intelligence. By interpreting each of the tests to show favor to whites, their research results portrayed all minority groups very negatively.[49][50] In 1908, Henry Goddard translated the Binet intelligence test(IQ test) from French and in 1912 began to apply the test to incoming immigrants on Ellis Island. By testing for education levels and incorrectly concluding that it indicated a supposed ‘racial’ intelligence level, a study of immigrants conducted by Goddard reached the “conclusion” that 87% of Russians, 83% of Jews, 80% of Hungarians, and 79% of Italians were feeble-minded and had a mental age less than 12.[51] The reality is that intelligence testing shows one’s education level, not one’s innate intelligence. Inaccurate studies such as this were taken as “evidence” by lawmakers and thus it affected social policy for years. Dr. Bernard Davis of Harvard University explains that Goddard wrote that the subjects of the study were not typical members of their groups but were selected because of their suspected sub-normal intelligence. Davis has further noted that Goddard argued that the low IQs of the test subjects were more likely due to environmental rather than genetic factors, and that Goddard concluded that “we may be confident that their children will be of average intelligence and if rightly brought up will be good citizens.”[52]

‘Racial’ “scientists” often claimed that people of black skin color scored lower on IQ tests than people of white skin color, and drew the faulty conclusion that heredity, genetics and skin color were the reason for low test scores, rather than the differences in the education levels of the students being tested. Outdated and inaccurate data from unscientific studies done in the early 1900’s attempted to justify white superiority over blacks, and segregation by skin color. In many instances in South Africa, ‘racial’ “scientists” handpicked highly educated whites to compare against poorly educated blacks for their “studies”, many of whom had no experience with standardized testing nor with the subjects being tested on.[53]

The segregated black schools in the 1900’s of South Africa were also schools widely known to be substantially inferior to those of the ruling white minority. The result of this testing was that the highly educated whites scored higher on the IQ tests than the uneducated blacks did, simply because the black South African students had not received the same level of education as the white students; it was not because of their skin color, genetics or ancestry. It was because of their education.

Similar tests were done in America during the 1900’s, often finding that poor black schools tested lower in “IQ” than rich white schools. Those with racist agendas leapt to inaccurately conclude that ‘race’ was the reason, and seemed to deny that education could affect test scores. The reality again comes back to the fact that education levels and poverty levels affect test scores, not biology nor an inaccurate idea of a biological ‘race.’ If we were to use this same logic today in reverse, with an agenda to show that black students have higher IQ’s than white students, it would be quite simple to do. Simply choose highly educated black students who have attended prestigious schools and have them take the IQ test, then compare their results to IQ tests from poor white students who attended underfunded schools in large cities. The black students would score higher in IQ than the white students, and ‘racial’ “scientists” could claim that all black students have a higher intelligence than all white students. It again would be a faulty finding, because the test scores represent education levels and opportunity vs lack of education and lack of opportunity, not black skin color compared to white skin color. But this is exactly what took place in the many of the attempts to belittle and reduce the perceived intelligence of black human beings and other minorities by those who had no regard for the scientific method, had deeply racist hidden agendas, and who willfully ignored the obvious flaws and confounds in their faulty research. In short, ‘racial’ “scientists” used these types of studies to further their own underlying views of white supremacy and non-white inferiority.

As centuries of discrimination and prejudice in America have forced minorities into poverty, into poor segregated communities and into poor segregated schools, it also caused the children of minorities to receive less education and therefore not score as high on standardized tests. Studies have shown that social and economic disadvantage depresses student performance, and that concentrating students with these disadvantages in racially and economically homogenous schools depresses it further.[54]



The individual predictors of low achievement are well documented: With less access to routine and preventive health care, disadvantaged children miss classes more often,[55][56] and they cannot benefit from schooling if they are not able to attend.
With less literate parents, they are read to less frequently when growing up, and are exposed to less complex language at home.[57][58] With less than adequate housing, children rarely have quiet places to study and learn, and they also may have to move houses more frequently, changing schools and teachers.[59][60]
With fewer opportunities for participating in enriching after-school and summer activities, the background knowledge and organizational skills of poorer children are less developed.[61][62]
With fewer family resources, their college ambitions are constrained.

As these and many other disadvantages accumulate, children from poorer families inevitably have lower average achievement than middle class children, even with the highest quality instruction. When a school’s proportion of students at risk of failure grows, the consequences of disadvantage are exacerbated.[63]

In 1950, The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) confirmed that intelligence tests do not prove innate ability rather than education levels: “It is now generally recognized that intelligence tests do not in themselves enable us to differentiate safely between what is due to innate capacity and what is the result of environmental influences, training and education.”[64]

In America, between 1950 and 1980, the IQ scores of African Americans rose enormously to conclude that in 1980 their intelligence levels were the same as the IQ scores of white students in 1950.[Rattansi, 2007] “Given the impossibility of ascribing these changes to rapid genetic transmutations, it is hard to dispute that changes in environmental factors, including better nutrition and education, and other factors deriving from rising standards of living have had a significant impact on performance in the tests,” Rattansi explains.[Rattansi, 2007]

Bermuda Test Scores: Ending The Racist Debate On Blacks And Intelligence

The IQ test score results from Bermuda are examples of how equal education and equal opportunity created equal performance for black students. In recent years, the black students of Bermuda have outperformed American white students in terms of IQ testing, as social scientist Sandra Scarr explains in her study;
“In Bermuda, we found that black children have IQ scores at the norm for white children in the United States at age 2; at age 4 their average IQ score is 99, and by sixth grade they score 2 years above U.S. white children in vocabulary, reading, and math on the California Achievement Test.” [65][66]

To separate genetic factors from rearing conditions, 130 Black and interracial children adopted by advantaged White families were studied. The socially classified Black adoptees, whose natural parents were educationally average, scored above the IQ and the school achievement mean of the White population.[65]

If any concepts concerning lower intelligence and people of black skin color were true, then these test results from Bermuda would not be possible. The fact is that when given equal education and equal opportunity, black children and white children perform the same; skin color is not indicative of intelligence, and all humans on Earth have the same intellectual abilities.

Rattansi makes a valid point concerning the Bermuda IQ test results and the condition of American education for black students; “Hereditarians are especially prone to dismiss the impact of generations of racism and social disadvantage on African American educational and professional achievement. The effect of racism is indeed hard to quantify, but the fact that populations of African origin in countries such as Bermuda score as highly as American whites gives clear indication that there is a specificity to the African American environmental condition that must be taken into account.”[Rattansi, 2007] The environmental learning conditions for African Americans in America have been disadvantaged to say the least; with poverty, often a lack of decent nutrition, underfunded and income segregated schools, centuries of prejudice denying equal opportunity, and being forced to work low-income jobs at early ages to help and provide for their families all taking away from their ability to receive a full and equal education.[67]

Corn Seed: How Privilege And Opportunity Affect Education Levels And IQ Scores.

When ‘racial’ “scientists” and authors of The Bell Curve Hernnstein and Murray were confronted with the inaccuracy of their conclusions, in which they claimed that differences in intelligence could be explained by differences in “race” and skin color, they conceded their ideas and admitted their mistake after other scientists explained the following analogy concerning growing seed corn to them;

“If genetically identical seed corn is planted in two different environments the results could be quite different. As the authors of The Bell Curve point out, ‘The seeds will grow in Iowa, not in the Mojave [Desert], and the result will have nothing to do with the genetic differences.’ Immediately after this statement, Hernnstein and Murray concede that the environment for black Americans has been more like a desert when compared to the social conditions in which whites have lived. This obviously points to a huge environmental rather than genetic effect in determining the different scores of black and white Americans in IQ performance.”[Rattansi, 2007]

The research and data related to intelligence has shown that all humans, regardless of skin color or ancestry, have the same mental potential regarding intellectual ability. African Americans, Black South Africans and many other targeted minorities have had a difficult time performing on standardized testing due to prejudice, discrimination, lack of resources and lack of opportunity. Black students in Bermuda have been shown to outperform White American students in terms of IQ scores, which disproves any idea that intelligence is somehow only related to the white skin color. Intelligence is related to education levels and opportunity, not skin color, and includes much more than the limited standardized test score referred to as the IQ.




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