Askenazi Jews, Murray

Mon, 7 Nov 1994 17:41:21 -0600

Another fine discussion of Askenazi Jews and their American journey
is found in Ronald Takaki's `A Distant Mirror'.

Been plowing my way through the Bell Curve... a few thoughts on the

the main thrust aims at how social programs have according to Murray
and H failed. Rather than taking a selective, critical view as to
how to improve programs, ie, what might be done, Murray falls back
on his genetic arguements around iq. two points struck me especially
- the first is, that, actually his speculation on Black-White IQ
differences is actually a small part of the book. His main target -
and he goes at them with a vengeance - is poor people in general,
white, black, green, purple, chartreuse, mauve, brown - it matters
little. It seems his biases while racially distorted are even more
directed towards blatant class prejudice, and most especially that
section of the working class that has been the historic losers of
this nation's long-term policy of deindustrialization, who were
thrown out of work as industry moved out of cities in the mid west
to points beyond the borders. This process has been going on form
some 20 years; as a result we now have a stratum of our work force
that has been permanently unemployed and they are now entering the
second generation... these are Murray's targets - the indigent, the
lumpen, the under-employed victimized by what are essentially structural
economic changes, some of whom but by no means all of whom are Black.

Murray's Jewish angle is enough to make one nautious. Think of it
earlier in the century the vanguard of US racists, the Stoddards
and Madison Grants targetted Jews with a vengeance. Now modern
day racists elevate them to the heights. It is something akin to
those men who can only think of women as angels or whores, and not
simply human beings with strengths and weaknesses. The arguement is
completely insideous and you can be sure if Jews are being held up
as some kind of a model, that the higher they are held up, the harder
they will fall at the proper moment.

Well folks, back to book. I've got two days to finish it before
Murray arrives on the Metro State College campus on Wednesday. I
haven't decided if I will go inside to see the man in the flesh
and tell him not all former Peace Corps volunteers took the path
he did or if I will stay outside with what appears to be a sizeable
demonstration that is shaping up in protest of his visit....

Rob Prince