Re: Rutgers (was: Re: IQ AND RACE. The taboo subject.)

Bob Webster (
Fri, 10 Feb 1995 16:50:54 GMT

In article <3hdnkc$>, Gordon Fitch <> wrote:
> (Stephen Lajoie):
>| In my first response to this thread, long ago, I stated that there was
>| serious reasons why one could not say that IQ was related to race.
>| Later on, I stated that many professors are muzzled by political
>| pressure to not state the obvious; that race and IQ are correlated. I
>| knew very well that many professors will tell you they are not related in
>| public, and but admit that there is a correlation in private when they
>| felt it was safe. They fear for their jobs.
>| The response to my claim was that this evidence was anecedotal. That there
>| was no proof. I remembered that there had been cases of extreme political
>| pressure put on profs who admitted the truth in public, but I couldn't
>| remember when.
>| Well, the is a case in the news now. Francis Lawrence, president of
>| Rutgers university, said that SAT scores were unfair because black
>| students lacked the genetic and hereditary background needed to score
>| high on them.
>| He's taken it back, he said he mispoke, he apoligized, but the clamor
>| for his firing still goes on. He is under a great deal of political
>| pressure to quit or be fired. ...
>A little bit different, I think. Francis Lawrence is
>supposed to be an administrator and leader, that is, a
>person who holds political power. Not surprisingly, many
>people do not want an institution to which they are closely
>connected, and which may judge them publicly, to be led by a
>person who thinks they are genetically deficient. This is a
>quite a bit different than writing similarly stupid material
>in some journal where the only harm is the affront to one's
>I will not be surprised, however, if the Academic community,
>at least at Rutgers, chooses to pretend that this is an
>issue of academic freedom, just as the article I am quoting
>does. I understand that petition forms have already been
>printed up at the university and taken to every department.
>One wonders what pressures the faculty feel at a time like
>this, especially the untenured.
>The Black students, of course, will not care; they are too
>hip for that game, I'm sure.
>It's interesting that, with all his doubtless massive "IQ",
>the hapless Lawrence could not have figured out that if he
>called a large number of his constituents congenitally
>stupid he would get into some kind of trouble. Most ten-
>year-olds know better, at least in the 'hood.
>>< Gordon Fitch >< ><

I find this entire thread remarkable for it's short-sightedness.

Prof Lawrence's comments are meaningless. He is NOT calling
students "stupid." To the contrary, he is pleading for an
intelligent process for admissions - one that does not put such
strong emphasis on SATs. There are a lot of highly successful
people who do not score high on SATs. And there are a lot of
unsuccessful people who scored high on SATs.

If we concentrated more on treating people for what they are
rather than what group they are identified with, this would not
be an issue.

Prof Lawrence makes a statement that suggests there might be
a genetic reason why AfroAmericans score lower on SATs. So
what? He isn't saying there IS a conncection, only that there
is statistical evidence (SAT scores) that would suggest it.

What he suggests is a generalization that means nothing to any

Are those who are so horrified by Prof Lawrence's statement
prepared to suggest that it is mere chance that the NBA is populated
well beyond the national average with AfroAmericans? If not chance,
how do you explain it without exploring the possibility of a
correlation with genetic characteristics that are well-suited to
basketball (strength, quickness, stamina, height, etc.).

And, again, the bottom line is "so what?"

People should be proud of their differences - celebrate them - it's
what makes meeting others so interesting and visiting other cultures
so exciting. Differences let us appreciate in others what we do
not possess ourselves. We don't have to label every difference as
"good" or "bad" - and IQ and atheletic ability certainly are two
examples of differences that are neither good nor bad - just

Seems there is an overabundance of oversensitivity and an
underabundance of common sense regarding this issue.

My advice to Rutgers students is to move on to more important things.

-Bob Webster
# "There is nothing so powerful as truth." -- Daniel Webster #