Andrew Sullivan says, apropos of Jason Richwine, the cross-burning Charles Murray, and company, that the racists are the real victims here…
Twenty-eight hours before Sullivan posts--thus showing that Ta-Nehisi Coates's worldline is capable of following closed timeline paths--Ta Nehisi Coates delivers the smackdown. And in the process he says what Sandy Jencks, George Borjas, and Dick Zeckhauser really should have said to Jason Richwine when he first proposed his dissertation topic, and he lays out arguments that Richwine really should have been forced to acknowledge and grapple with before they signed off on his dissertation:
Ta-Nehisi Coates: The Dark Art of Racecraft:
Dave Weigel is one of my favorite reporters, but I think this piece on Jason Richwine, intelligence research, and "race" deserves a closer look:
Academics aren't so concerned with the politics. But they know all too well the risks that come with research connecting IQ and race. At the start of his dissertation, Richwine thanked his three advisers -- George Borjas, Christopher Jenks, and Richard Zeckhauser -- for being so helpful and so bold. Borjas "helped me navigate the minefield of early graduate school," he wrote. "Richard Zeckhauser, never someone to shy away from controversial ideas, immediately embraced my work…." Anyone who works in Washington and wants to explore the dark arts of race and IQ research is in the right place. The city's a bit like a college campus, where investigating "taboo" topics is rewarded, especially on the right. A liberal squeals "racism," and they hear the political-correctness cops (most often, the Southern Poverty Law Center) reporting a thought crime.
It is almost as though the "dark arts of race and IQ" were an untapped field of potential knowledge, not one of the most discredited fields of study in modern history. We should first be clear that there is nothing mysterious or forbidden about purporting to study race and intelligence. Indeed, despite an inability to define "race" or "intelligence," such studies are one of the dominant intellectual strains in Western history. We forget this because its convient to believe that history begins with the Watts riots. But it's important to remember the particular tradition that Charles Murray and Jason Richwine are working in. A brief reminder seems in order.