Re: Television, Murray, Rushton

Sat, 29 Oct 1994 21:32:07 +0000

>A couple of people have posted re: Murray (and Rushton? I've
>unfortunately deleted the messages) on "Eye to Eye" and "Primetime" last
>A question, harking back to the (traumatic) discussion from last week re:
>power and racism: does the fact that we see Murray (and Rushton?) on major
>TV news shows and we don't see the melanin scholars tell us anything
>about the power relationships as related to theories of race?

It shows us that TV is interested in controversy, because controversy
raises ratings and increases advertising. And, yes, I'd admit, it also
shows us that a white crackpot scholar is more likely to get attention than
a black crackpot scholar. Certainly, the media did not *ignore*, for
example, Leonard Jeffries... should they have?

>If these
>shows did a piece on the melanin scholars, how do you think they'd be
>portrayed--as scholars (as Murray (and Rushton?) were or as fanatics?

"Fanatic" is a loaded term. But I do hope the basis of "melanin
scholarship" would be attacked, since it seems to have no basis. Like
somebody pointed out, we all have the same amount of melanin in our skin.

>Does this complicate the intellectual purity of the issue (ie we as
>scholars are opposed to anything linking biology and capacity)? Are we
>operating in a vacuum?

Of course not.

>Seems to me that the publicity machine that
>brings "scholarly" work to the public (and thus can have a tremendous
>impact on all sorts of real world things) is significant.

That same "publicity machine" brings us Roseanne documentaries and OJ
Simpson revelations. What can I tell you? Long ago, it decided to pander to
the least common denominator. Race cranks raise ratings.

>Could we this time have a discussion on issues as opposed to a polemic
>debate? Thanks.
>Michelle "I must be a masochist" Golden (

Lady, you should see some of the heat I'VE taken on this list.


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