some opinion for Jake

John Mcreery (jlm@TWICS.COM)
Thu, 27 Oct 1994 11:24:17 JST

The following is my reply to Jake, the journalist friend of Mike Lieber's
who wants to know why White vs. Black IQs attracts so much attention while
Asian vs White IQ gets so much less.

--------Why should the white vs black difference in average IQ be a focus of
interest while the Asian vs white difference gets less attention? When I
turn off my critical faculties and go into informant mode, the first thing
that comes to mind are (to use Raymond Williams words) the
structures of feeling associated with colors: black is sinister, often evil;
red can be savage but also noble; yellow is cowardly; white pure and
courageous. Next come the stories that resonate with these basic
feeling tones: the Black Riders vs. Gandalf in Tolkien's _Lord of the
Rings; Darth Vader vs Obiwan Kenobi in _Star Wars_; Geronimo,
Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse; Fu Manchu and Nayland-Smith. Then, it
crosses my mind that white folks like me are used to looking down;
looking up is unnatural.Then, I flash on movie scenes where the white
hero is thrown on the ground, forced to look up at the colored villain
sitting on a throne. What the movies have taught me is that our hero
will win in the end. The villain may be smart, but he doesn't have the
right stuff. If I didn't know from anthropology that humanity is one big
breeding population and that bell curves associated with skin color
overlap so much that they give me no ground for making judgments on
individuals, I'd certainly be more racist than I am.

John McCreery (JLM@TWICS)