May 3, 2010

"Racist Harvard Law Email: The Cat Fight That Turned Into a National Scandal."

Oh, no!

We cannot absolutely rule out the the possibility that women are, on average, genetically predisposed to be....

Ha. How horribly, embarrassingly messy for everyone at Harvard who took the bait. They got sucked into the vortex. They got played.

AND:  David Lat has some details. And some opinion:
Heck, this episode probably won’t even stop Steph from landing a Supreme Court clerkship. If I were in her shoes, I’d focus my efforts on Justice Clarence Thomas. Of all the members of the Court, he’d probably be most open to hiring the victim of what some conservatives might call, to paraphrase CT himself, the “high-tech lynching [of conservative females] who in any way deign to think for themselves, to do for themselves, to have different ideas.”
He also has an update from the woman whom some accused of leaking the email. She writes:
There was no fight over a guy (this isn’t Mean Girls). I certainly didn’t yell that I would ruin Stephanie’s life.

Moreover, I didn’t forward the e-mail to BLSA, anyone in BLSA, or ATL....

I know that you would prefer anything related to two girls to be a catfight... but that just isn’t how it happened.

***

If you're trying to remember the "Seinfeld" reference for "cat fight," it's "The Summer of George":
Jerry: Did you tell Peterman about this?

Elaine: Well, I tried, but he thought it was some sort of cat fight.

Kramer: Cat fight?

Elaine: Ok, why? Why do guys do this? What is so appealing to men about a cat fight?

Kramer: Yeye cat fight!

103 comments:

Big Mike said...

Women sabotaging other women. Old, old story. You want to know where the glass ceiling comes from? Go look in the faces of your "sisters."

Slow Joe said...

Wow, I haven't read anything on Gawker in months. They really are the sewer of the internet.

The federalist society is racist? Grace's views are racist? Why? She refused to rule something out?

It sounded like she was the non-racist and her quote was well out of context anyway. The idea that she couldn't resist spewing hate speech is simply a lie meant to sex up a story.

Gawker is happy to ruin lives to sell a few ads. Anyone who believes anything on Gawker is a total idiot. Kozinksi's 'cow porn' wasn't porn, either, it was a joke that Gawker happily inflated into beastiality so they could sell ads. Another example of how that site is simply evil.

Stephanie Grace should have had the stones to back up what she said. She never insisted blacks were inferior, she said she was unable to rule out genetics. And why should she be able to do that? Because the PC crowd doesn't want the science discussed?

Of course genetics is a potential explanation for the obvious and well documented problems in the black community. I think there is a much better non-genetic explanation, but the fact that you can't even say you haven't ruled it out without such anger directed at you proves that we can't say the issue is at all settled.

Genetics do help determine your intelligence. Obviously. And Stephanie Grace obviously knows black people who are smart, since a lot of them are her classmates. But she didnt' have the balls to explain that she's not a racist but has every right to speculate about touchy subjects if she wants. She will go down harder than the asshole student at the Ghetto Fabulous party at UT (none of whom were in the Federalist Society).

Seven Machos said...

Hilarious. Clearly, these people must have low IQs. How else could they be so stupid? Right, IQ lovers? After all, IQ measures intelligence.

mesquito said...

"We cannot absolutely rule out the the possibility that women are, on average, genetically predisposed to be...."

Treacherous?
Bitchy?
backstabbing?

Kirby Olson said...

When government decides what can be said, the individual conscience will never match, and then when government suppresses dissent, we have the beginning of a terrorist state, or university.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Saucer of milk, table for two!

Old, old story. You want to know where the glass ceiling comes from? Go look in the faces of your "sisters."

Testify.

Jimmy said...

Great more lawyers

ironrailsironweights said...

A couple of men who had such a falling out would be more likely to get into a fistfight, then make up afterwards. Much better, all in all.

Peter

Seven Machos said...

Is anyone else reminded of the classic movie Hot Shots part Deux?

Ramada: But that has been the idea all along, hasn't it, Michelle?

Michelle: You're looking beautiful as ever, Ramada. How did you know?

Ramada: I didn't. It all came together when I saw you here. I think about your inscription
in my yearbook. You wrote: 'Remember all the fun
we had in speech class...and I'll fuck up your life if it's the last thing I do.' Then I realized where I had last seen this. [picks up mole off the ground] What could I have done to make you so vindictive?

Topper: Goodness sake. You gals know each other.

Trooper York said...

The only thing worse then a journalist is a lawyer.

rhhardin said...

Everybody played according to their stereotypes.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

CATFIGHT!

Booya.

We're talking "American Idol" type hits for this post, baby.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"The only thing worse then a journalist is a lawyer."

The only thing worse than a lawyer is a law professor (those who can't do ... and so forth).

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"What is so appealing to men about a cat fight?"

Simple. You might accidentally rub boobs. And as you roll around on the floor, pulling at each other's hair, you might get all sweaty and dirty.

Oh, yes. Dirty, dirty dirty.

And then kiss.

BOOYA!

New "Hussein" Ham said...

Giggity.

campy said...

Moreover, I didn’t forward the e-mail to BLSA, anyone in BLSA, or ATL....

Interesting that she doesn't deny forwarding the email, just not to these specific parties ...

Doug Wright said...

Did anyone else notice that the top priority in combating off-shore oil well breeches was supposedly to burn off the oil slick? Except for one little problem, the Feds didn't have that specific capability!

Now, what was the question again?

TAS said...

It's interesting that none of the liberals who are smearing this woman as racist have bothered to refute anything she wrote.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

Did anyone else notice that Barack Obama, instead of flying down to Louisiana to inspect the damage, was yukking it up with Leno and the reporters yesterday?

It's almost as if Katrina never happened.

I mean, this is the worst ecological disaster since the Exxon Valdez and Barack Obama can't even get his ass to New Orleans to inspect the damage?

Instead, he's yukking it up with Leno?

We need new leadership in this country.

somefeller said...

I heard this backstory a few days ago from a reliable HLS source, complete with the names of the email parties. Once again, human nature takes its course.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"It's interesting that none of the liberals who are smearing this woman as racist have bothered to refute anything she wrote."

But sweetheart, that's the whole point.

The Harvard's are making a point that irrespective of factual considerations, this subject cannot be studied.

It is verboten.

Women are not to be asked math questions because they might not be able to answer them and someone might get the idea that they aren't genetically suited to math.

It's not about truth.

It's about orthodoxy.

Harvard isn't interested in truth.

Harvard University is a church.

An this girl is being excommunicated to show others what happens when you seek the forbidden fruit of knowledge.

Seven Machos said...

TAS -- The arguments are self-refuting. However, an academic community that is always blabbering about free inquiry should encourage her inquiry, no matter how stupid it is.

She's stupid. But Harvard's much worse. Harvard's totalitarian.

David said...

"We cannot absolutely rule out the the possibility that women are, on average, genetically predisposed to be...."

Mothers?

Can I get in trouble for saying that?

Penny said...

"Last week, we introduced you to Stephanie Grace, the Harvard Law student who wrote an email suggesting blacks were inherently dumber than whites. New details have emerged: a feud over a boy, a backstabbing friend, and a campaign of sabotage."

Nothing like a great "story".

roesch-voltaire said...

I think as one commentator noted these are spoiled students who know little of life lived outside the commons. Now if they were attending the UW-Madison, a much lower ranked law school, they actually might meet a real cross-section of society and learn a bit about humanity:)

ken in sc said...

They are like crabs trying to crawl out of a bucket. The ones below pull the others back down.

Cedarford said...

Blogs have identified the leaker (suspect) as Yelena Shagall, whose past writings are conservative, pro-Israel stuff.

If she dredged up a 6 month old email to punish someone who was once her friend..ignoring in doing so that she had a stronger negative opinion than her two friends about the black intellectual capacity...well...it's boomerang time, baby!

Maguro said...

@Seven - TAS -- The arguments are self-refuting.

Which arguments are those? The argument that blacks don't score as well as whites on achievement tests? I think the achievement gap is a pretty established fact. Barry's Secretary of Education is always prattling on about how he's got a plan to reduce it, so it must be real, right?

Or the argument that said achievement gap may or may not have something to do with genetics? Because that's all Grace really said. That's the thought crime in question here.

Penny said...

"Saucer of milk, table for two!"

And therein lay the problem....No one hanging out in the barn, sweet talkin' those cows.

Penny said...

But that CAT and that MOUSE?

They never cease to amuse.

prairie wind said...

Members of the BLSA passed the email among themselves, understandably enraged by the content.

This is understandably the funniest line of the whole piece.

Nora said...

It's only a national scandal because the media wants attention off the WH connection to GM lies, and inept handling of Gulf of Mexico oil spill, which are much bigger scandals each.

The girl who wrote an email is no more racist than people that approve affirmitive action are racists. Positive discrimination is still discrimination.

Penny said...

"Everybody played according to their stereotypes."

Rh, that isn't true. If I might make a slight adjustment...

"Everybody was PLAYED according to their stereotype."

Dinah said...

Nice site, very informative. I like to read this.,it is very helpful in my part for my criminal law studies.

somefeller said...

It's only a national scandal because the media wants attention off the WH connection to GM lies, and inept handling of Gulf of Mexico oil spill, which are much bigger scandals each.

Yeah, that's why this has been the lead story on cable and broadcast news for the past several days, and hasn't primarily been a lawblog story. Oh, wait...

PatCA said...

Sisterhood is powerful!

AJ Lynch said...

Harvard needs one of those PR firms to come in and fix its image.

Doug Wright said...

Not only that, but the Times Square SUV thingy is also disturbing! Do we really have to wait until November 2 to vote in a new Congress?

Seven Machos said...

Maguro -- Blacks as a group don't score as well as whites as a group on standardized tests because blacks as a group because are poor.

I will spare you the historical explanation, as I trust you know it and understand how ridiculously shameful it is for a country that holds that everyone is created equal. I will instead briefly mention some of the reasons why, right now, poor people of all colors and hues don't score as well as people who aren't poor.

Rich people have the money to buy books and the time to read those books to kids. They spend more time with their kids when the kids are young and, in fact, wealthy families are like little achievement factories (to use a borrowed metaphor). They make sure their kids do schoolwork. They have the knowledge and education passed on to them from their parents and all the knowledge benefits that come from stability and money. The list is incredibly long and the factors are complex.

The argument that black people as a group are somehow not intelligent is the argument that poor people are stupid. It is embarrassing to me that I have to educate anyone about this.

Pogo said...

This is how petty rivalries played out in the Soviet Union, where private conversations were used as evidence against you.

Over time, people learned to mistrust everyone, even family. The costs to society were enormous and entirely destructive.

And it's where we're headed; a society composed of falsified preferences. Say nothing except the Official Party Line. Hide your heart.

"Modern man must descend the spiral of his own absurdity to the lowest point; only then can he look beyond it. It is obviously impossible to get around it, jump over it, or simply avoid it."
Vaclav Havel

edutcher said...

When I was a kid (50s), my mother used to say, "Men get along with other men better than women get along with other women". I've always tended to see feminism as that sort of a cat fight when they start denouncing the Maggie Thatchers and Sarah Palins who don't tow the line. Nice to see the 'sisterhood' was always the crock Mom's wise counsel led me to believe it was.

Next up - cage, salad oil, or mud?

Kirby Olson said...

No one has mentioned Henry L. Gates or Officer Crowley.

Just thought I'd throw a log on the fire.

Maguro said...

@Seven - Certainly rich kids have a lot of advantages over poor kids, as you've helpfully explained. If the explanation were that simple, though, why would people still be so terrified by the topic?

In fact, the black-white achievent gap remains significant even after adjusting for socioeconominc status. See here.

Despite much effort by the various sociologists, statisticians and economists who've studied the issue through the years, no one has been able to identify and adjust for the social factors responsible for the gap.

Hence Grace's remark about how the only way to know for sure would be to take 100 black babies and 100 white babies and raise them in "Disneyland utopia".

So, we really don't know why blacks lag whites in scholastic achievement. We do know the answer's not something simple like "Adjust for income". Which is basically what Grace said and why she got into so much trouble.

Jim said...

Catfight definitely deserves its own tag.

Titus said...

Those of us living in Cambridge don't feel this "impact" as the rest of the country dpes/


Therefore, you are all drama queens.

Ralph L said...

Titus, don't be such a townie, feel the hurt!

Stupid people tend to be poor--see the Bell Curve. Actually, they looked at low IQ people. Plenty of well-off people are or act stupid. Ritmo can afford a computer and data link.

Seven Machos said...

Little known fact: John Negroponte and his wife adopted and raised three girls from Central America who were born into abject poverty. I believe they were from three different families. I have met them. They all went to toney prep schools and they were whip smart and destined for excellent universities.

What do you suppose would have happened to them had they been raised by their own parents in Central America?

Seven Machos said...

One more thing: you cannot "adjust for income." Wealth and poverty are not merely income. They are time, education, taste, nourishment, exercise, social cues, the people you are around -- everything.

SFC B said...

"One more thing: you cannot "adjust for income." Wealth and poverty are not merely income. They are time, education, taste, nourishment, exercise, social cues, the people you are around -- everything."

I think he meant that when rich white kids were compared to rich black kids... not that they extracted the effects of growing up wealthy.

Alex said...

Get the whipped cream ready.

Seven Machos said...

SFC -- I'm still right, then even more. Because a black family that has the same amount of money as a white family still may not have all the other trappings of wealth that the white family has -- time, food, reading with a mother who alos grew up in a relatively wealthy environment, the white social cues that help with tests written by white people.

Money is one factor to wealth.

Slow Joe said...

" Seven Machos said...

SFC -- I'm still right, then even more. Because a black family that has the same amount of money as a white family still may not have all the other trappings of wealth that the white family has -- time, food, reading with a mother who alos grew up in a relatively wealthy environment, the white social cues that help with tests written by white people.

Money is one factor to wealth."

You assert your conclusion as though you've proven it. I can't discount the possibility, and in fact I'm sure there's a lot of truth to what you're saying.

But poor whites often do pretty well. Poor whites who are first generation college students. I believe that's the kind of study you are attempting and failing to refute, actually. I know it's never going to satisfy some, who will assert 'white privilege' no matter what the facts of the study are.

I don't even see why it matters if some genetic intelligent issues correlate to some extent with race. Clearly that's no reason to say an individual will be smart or dumb. Plenty of smart blacks and dumb whites, even if such a genetic issue were to exist.

And sadly, it seems that being a poor white with no 'wealth' from relatives is to be at a disadvantage in many ways to a black person who has all kinds of bonuses in his upbringing. I know several blacks who went to Harvard, and they do not tend to be pity cases at all. Rather, they are much more privileged than the average white student. Obama's a great example.

When you're talking about an elite school, the 'rules' about entire 'race' genetics or race privilege are not accurate.

Seven Machos said...

Joe -- Come on, man. Poor blacks often do pretty well. Poor blacks who are first generation college students.

I am not asserting white privilege. I am asserting wealth privilege.

There are no genetic intelligence issues that correlate with race. Moreover, there is no white race and there is no black race. These are artificial constructs. My own ancestry comes from all over Europe -- places that until a few hundred years ago nobody had sex with each other. German/Welsh/Irish/Whatever is not a race. If you want to, check out the history of the word Caucasian. It's so laden with false racism that it is hilarious.

Blacks do not have bonuses over whites in their upbringing. Black people until a generation ago were forced into a ghetto with no opportunity whatsoever. Black people today still receive much less in the way of social and educational capital than whites.

Finally, you are shifting the debate here to affirmative action. That's another thing. We are talking here about whether whites as a group are somehow more intelligent than blacks as a group. They are not.

reader_iam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Duscany said...

Gawker takes it as a given that Stephanie Grace is a racist and a bigot because she said she does "not rule out" the possibility that when it comes to IQ blacks are less qualified than some other races (presumably whites). Well, what's the corollary to this? That all people of good will do rule out the possibility of differences between races?

I wonder if Gawker has ever been to a professional basketball game or seen a track & field event. Does Gawker believe the obvious black superiority in those sports is due to nothing more than better coaching and hard work?

Unless he's a fool, Gawker would admit the genetic superiority of blacks in certain sports. But he'd also argue, I'm certain, that when it comes to mental abilities, no one race has an advantage over another.

This is one reason I love bloggers. Consistency is not required.

Seven Machos said...

First of all, I think the way that people bandy about this basketball analogy with intelligence says a lot more about the people bandying than it does about intelligence.

But, anyway, the Lithuanian national team could beat most NBA teams on any given night. So could the Brazilians, the Spanish, and the Argentinians.

Are those "races" also genetically predisposed to being really good at basketball? What is it about those Spaniards that makes them so good at hoops? Is it the tapas? Is it the genetic Moorish influence? What about those crazy Lithuanians? Is it their racial purity?

Are Italians and Brazilians genetically predisposed to being awesome at soccer? Are white people in American genetically predisposed to snowboarding and shopping at Whole Foods and drinking fancy coffee?

You people are silly and absurd.

Slow Joe said...

"There are no genetic intelligence issues that correlate with race. Moreover, there is no white race and there is no black race"

You can't prove the first, and the second, while true, is weaseling. We know what groups of people have been put into each of these categories... we're speaking a language here, and you're changing the rules as you go.

Fact is, studies have accounted for wealth pretty well and still find a problem exists. And, in fact, I don't care. There are smart blacks and dumb whites even if (and I have no idea, and neither do you) one of these categories has some kind of genetic intelligence difference.

Now, there's no doubt there are some genetic differences. And there's no doubt genetics has some relationship on intelligence. So you're probably wrong that blacks and whites in a completely identical environment wouldn't perform differently.

In fact, blacks at elite schools seem to have a wealth advantage over whites at lover tier schools, and still perform worse on bar exams, for example.

But that's not my point at all. I don't have to prove anything; all my concern is is that this is still worth speculating over and thinking about. I think it's silly to claim the debate has ended on this, or that it ever will.

After all, the racial lines are artificial, mainly because we intermingle and virtually all American blacks are pretty darn white (40% or more European). That intermingling hopefully will continue. I do think slaves evolved to be physically superior, because, like livestock, their slaveowners would attempt to breed better slaves. I know how offensive that may sound, but it makes sense and it's probably reflected in sports.

I don't see why that wouldn't also lead to smarter blacks. I wouldn't be surprised if it did, and we just can't see it because of the culture of lowered expectations and outrage at anyone having a real discussion about this stuff.

Eugenics and ugly things like that already have come into play here.

Seven Machos said...

And then Slow Joe played the Jimmy the Greek card.

Good night, everyone!

Slow Joe said...

I don't catch the reference, but if you don't want to talk about it, I really don't mind.

I think it's an area where speculation is still available, and your anecdotes are precisely the wrong way to think about race and genetics. In fact, your arguments seem to insist on that, and yet because you know a few hispanic kids who you think are smarter than other hispanic kids you know, you're willing to apply that in silly ways.

Sorry, but it's no surprise if genetics determine intelligence, and there are racial correlations. It's the same for hair color, height, heart disease, athletics, etc.

It's also no surprise to me if those lines do not match up with socioeconomic performance. I wouldn't be surprised if Hispanics had better genetics for intelligence than Japanese, and nurture had overcome that line.

I think you're just pretending not to understand how obvious and correct my banal concept is because you want to love your fellow man without regard for his race. Your mistake is thinking genetic intelligence factors are all that important.

rick said...

Been following this topic since it was posted......it is interesting that race/ gender/ intelligence can be discussed here - no holds barred- with impunity.

However, it can't be discussed at institutions of higher learning. How sad.

SGT Ted said...

@ seven:

I would posit that giving a shit about your childs education the most controlling factor. Not poverty.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

Slow Joe said: "Sorry, but it's no surprise if genetics determine intelligence, and there are racial correlations. It's the same for hair color, height, heart disease, athletics, etc."

Genetics connect in really funny ways. For example, did you know that redheads are more likely to be under-anesthesized? For whatever reason, one that there is no logical reason for, it is less effective on us. No one knows why, but there is likely a genetic component.

I can't remember the details now, but I recall studying something about a certain kind of muscle tissue, genetically determined, that is more prevailant in (the people our society usually calls) blacks than (tposuc) whites. People with more of that muscle tissue are generally better at running and jumping (hence, basketball and olymipic running). This is no more controversial than a statement that Jews are more predisposed to Tay Sachs.

It's a lot more complicated when you get to intelligence because, as has already been pointed out, there is no universal, clear-cut, definition of "intelligence". You would really have to narrow it down further to look at genetic differences.
- Lyssa

vcollard said...

It is interesting to ponder what would have been the reaction if Ms. Grace had said . . . predisposed to be "more" intelligent. . . I am disappointed that Ms. Grace apologized, although I can understand why she did. I imagine that she might have faced expulsion or some such sanction did she not apologize. Her comment merely allowed for the possibility of a genetic component to intelligence, and admitted that more research on the topic might be useful in forming an opinion. Nowhere did she express a belief one way or the other, nor did her comment rise to the level of a racial slur of any kind. How sad that she and we cannot express our opinions freely.

AllenS said...

Ms. Grace apologized because PC trumps free speech.

Mark said...

@Seven Machos:

Leaving aside the lunacy of comparing national teams to NBA teams and potential upsets by the former as an indicator of the athletic abilities of the members of those teams, how do the Lithuanians, Brazilians, the Spanish, and the Argentinians fare in, say, 60 and 100 meter sprinting? How about in marathons? Is it just a coincidence or quirk of training and motivation which leads to the results we see in those events?

It would be one hell of a coincidence if all races had exactly the same potential in burst speed, long distance endurance, strength, intelligence, or anything else that is based on the functioning of the body.

It seems like people get a little irrational with respect to intelligence. If I am taller than John and say so, John probably doesn't get to upset. If I say I am smarter than John, John is more likely to get all atwitter, even if I can outperform him by whichever criterion he chooses.

Kirby Olson said...

Officer Crowley should arrest all three women and have a sensitivity session with them.

Graham Powell said...

Wait, so her name is Yelena Shag all? How surprising this is about a boy!

prairie wind said...

The next year Newsweek ran a story on basketball's rise to prominence and declared the sport was one "at which Jews excel." ... Yale University alumni demanded their coaches end discriminatory practices against Jewish basketball players in order to field a winning team.

Interesting what time and circumstances do to our ideas of obvious truth.

liltrixter said...

:) Hah do you know how tough the academic world is, even at the high school or middle school level, on a "dumb" Asian student? lol no matter how much we all want all things to be nice and fair and equitable, the fact is that it is not, never has been, for whatever the factual reason(s)...so, our best hand up to each person is to honestly advise them that they just might have to work harder than someone who has an advantage... fyi i am of several identified "groups" by the way that seem to warrent "special" assistance...so no matter how outstanding i might have been in my achievements someone always assumes it is due to an affirmative action intervention that allowed me to obtain my degree, my position and my success.

Michael said...

None of this would have happened if the Greeks hadn't stolen the ideas of the Africans.

AllenS said...

Perhaps liltrixter, if you started to use Upper Case letters more often, you might possibly come off as more than an affirmative action intervention.

winni said...

Simmer down now, POTUS will quell the waters by offering a beer summit.

liltrixter said...

AllenS, not all cultures require the use of capatilization of the pronoun "I" within written conversation sir...

AllenS said...

You're in America liltrixter, use Capital Letters when appropriate. I like to use them, even when their not needed.

Vicioussss said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
liltrixter said...

AllenS, well, i believe the correct word is they are / they're not their...but then, that is like picking the fly spots out of the pepper, no? And do you enjoy using capital letters do to you need to shout for attention sir? And why not respond to the actual content of my initial post. I believe the subject of this string is regarding the ability to converse about genetic propensity to abilities. If there was no affirmative action in our nation our universities would be mostly populated by those students of Asian parentage/genetics, as our NBA and NFL are mostly populated with those of African-American parentage.

Big Mike said...

What campy wrote at 8:14 last night is interesting. Good catch, sir (madam?). The worthless little slut who set out to ruin Steffy Grace's life doesn't completely deny forwarding the Email, does she?

I blame President Clinton.

Tom said...

Maguro -- Blacks as a group don't score as well as whites as a group on standardized tests because blacks as a group because are poor.

This study failed to confirm that, and also noted some obvious objections that cut both ways.

Most obviously, income and wealth tend to be correlated with intelligence. As a made-up example, suppose Irish ditch-diggers are equal in intelligence and income to Italian ditch-diggers, and that Irish lawyers are equal in intelligence and income to Italian lawyers. (Let's also assume lawyers are smarter and earn more, although the ditch guys may be more honest and better looking.)

If, I say *IF* 80% of Irish are ditchdiggers and 20% are lawyers and the percentages are reversed among Italians, then it will be true that (a) the average Irishman is dumber than the average Italian, and (b) adjusted for income, the two groups are identical.

Left unanswered, of course - why are there so many more dumb Irishman who can't make it as lawyers?

As it relates to blacks, one might insist that their grim history in this country fully explains their economic circumstances. That might be correct, but it is not proven.

Another confounding problem - whites on average are wealthier than blacks.

Consequently if a white and black family of equal wealth are statistically paired, the white family is much likelier to have wealthier role models and aspirational relatives. The white kids may benefit from having uncles, aunts, cousins, and grandparents who are well educated and successful even if mom and dad themselves are pursuing a lower-income career path.

Tom Maguire

Moira Breen said...

Pogo: And it's where we're headed; a society composed of falsified preferences. Say nothing except the Official Party Line. Hide your heart.

"Modern man must descend the spiral of his own absurdity to the lowest point; only then can he look beyond it. It is obviously impossible to get around it, jump over it, or simply avoid it." Vaclav Havel.


But, but, Pogo, it's different here. We're only trying to root out the nazis. Nazis are bad, right? Are you saying that nazis aren't bad? Are you speaking in "code", Pogo? Are you a nazi, Pogo?

Nothing Havel ever observed could apply to us because we're the good guys. Our intentions our good. Our goals are noble. What could go wrong?

wv: redisabl. What you do to a reasonably free and just society when you get impatient with realistic incremental means of improvement and try to go for utopia.

PatCA said...

Re the Soviet angle, Pogo, read Volokh's account of his memories of the whisper system.

Moira Breen said...

liltrixter: AllenS, not all cultures require the use of capatilization of the pronoun "I" within written conversation sir...

Yes, but those of us who belong to the Always Capitalize the First Person Singular culture have an unshakable belief in our superiority to members of the Eternally in Texting-mode/Can't Be Arsed with Writing Conventions culture. We will look down our noses at you and regard your all-lower-case and unconventionally-formatted drippings as illiterate and ignorable, and will black-ball you from our exclusive virtual country clubs, where all of us exciting and glamorous if aging and curmudgeonly posters hang out and complain about the deplorable lack of writing skills in Kids These Days. So there.

But in all seriousness, liltrixter, there are good reasons for spelling and formatting conventions, not all of them having to do with avoiding irritating the hell out of some cranky old bitch like me who has a particular prejudice against people who know no other form of punctuation than the ellipsis.

These conventions allow the reader to focus on the writer's content, without having his brain distracted by idiosyncratic spelling, lack of paragraph organization, weird spacing, etc. In fact, I skipped your first comment and only caught this one because I was following AllenS's. Crap presentation shows your indifference to readers, and like all forms of discourtesy will tend to make people avoid you - in this context meaning they will just ignore your comments. Like my old teachers used to write in lieu of a grade across the front page of sloppily presented work: "If you don't care, I don't care."

If you want to take the above as refusal or inability to address your brilliant content, suit yourself.

wv: maggard: a maggot who falls behind the other maggots.

Seven Machos said...

Mark -- If you don't understand that the Spanish national team could easily beat 75 percent of all NBA teams every day, then that merely demonstrates that you know absolutely nothing about basketball.

How do black people in the United States fare at golf, tennis, swimming, water polo, and lacrosse?

Also, I remind you again that race is an artificial, wholly bullshit construct.

prairie wind said...

Moira, I got a kick out of your post because I agree with much of it. Perhaps I'm a bit more forgiving of the texting "anti-conventions" because I'm a texter myself. When my texts are grammatically correct, it takes extra time to make them that way, even with a QWERTY keypad. Some of the posters here are coming in via their phones, maybe from a stoplight or from the produce department at the grocery store.

I do not think that children are taught much about writing conventions nowadays. Teachers seem much more interested in whether the child has "voice!" in his/her writings than whether sentence structure is correct. My daughter is considered one of the better writers in her class, yet the teachers don't seem to notice the mistakes that I notice.

And just to make sure I stay on topic here, I think children of all races--and their teachers, too--are mostly abysmal writers.

JorgXMcKie said...

I have to admit that Seven Machos is the most persistent question beggar I've ever seen. Probably the most tendentious, too.

I marvel at the effort.

Seven Machos said...

Jorg -- I have to admit that I am shocked that there are so many idiots who believe that white people as a group are genetically more intelligent than black people as a group because "science" tells them so.

I thought you people died out sometime in the 1950s. Shows you how intelligent I am. I must be black.

Uncle Pinky said...

How do black people in the United States fare at golf, tennis, swimming, water polo, and lacrosse?

Y'know, when golf or tennis come up the first names folks think of are Tiger, Venus and Serena. At least before Tiger kept sticking his hog in his hoes. Now 7Machos will undoubtedly say that Tiger is not black and so on.

As a person who has spent plenty of time in the water, I've never seen a great AA influence in the aquatics. Many moons ago this was explained as blacks having greater bone density. Surely that is racist now.

For lacrosse, blacks would have dominated but they could see forward in time and didn't wish to be falsely accused of rape.

Seven Machos said...

Pinky -- I did assume that some idiot would bring up Tiger Woods and the Williams sisters. That's why I already thought up in advance Larry Bird, Bob Pettit, George Mikan, Jerry West, Bob Cousy, Rick Barry, Pete Maravich, Dirk Nowitzki, John Havlicek, John Stockton, Steve Nash, Jerry Lucas, and Dave Cowens.

As far as your argument that black people don't do "aquatics" because they have greater bone density, yeah, dude, that's pretty racist.

My advice to you is to get out more, and also not to make grossly obvious arguments that are so easily refuted.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

7 said: "I have to admit that I am shocked that there are so many idiots who believe that white people as a group are genetically more intelligent than black people as a group because "science" tells them so."

Not a single person has said that white people are more intelligent, or anything close to that.

Seven Machos said...

Lyssa -- There have been several threads about this on Althouse. Yes. People have said they think it's possible or even probable that blacks as a group have a lower IQ than whites as a group. In fact, the whole point of this controversy is that someone at Harvard contended that blacks as a group have a lower IQ than blacks. So, that's exactly, what we are talking about.

prairie wind said...

So, is it possible or not, Seven? If it is possible, so what? That doesn't mean that the people who get lower scores have to clean toilets for a living; it means they have to work hard to be engineers or doctors.

Seven Machos said...

Since race and IQ are both bullshit -- as I have said here to the point of fatigue -- no, it is not possible for a race to have a lower IQ than another race. Get it? Or you want me to say it again using smaller words?

prairie wind said...

Geez, Seven. Fatigue this early in the day? Go take a nap. If you saw my earlier post about Jews playing basketball, you'd notice that you're not the only one who thinks that genetics cannot the answer for everything.

And thank goodness for that! Otherwise, we'd all be consigned to whatever category our genes dictate. As it is, we each get to make our own successes and failures.

Freeman Hunt said...

Oh, blah. I can't believe that this is still a story.

Unknown woman writes surprising email to other unknown woman who forwards it around later. Who cares? I bet there are all kinds of weird emails out there by non-famous people. Big deal.

former law student said...

Freeman -- the story is still a story because HLS is a breeding ground for the likes of Supreme Court justices and Presidents. If a Wisconsin student had typed something similar few would care.

Jeff said...

"As far as your argument that black people don't do "aquatics" because they have greater bone density, yeah, dude, that's pretty racist."

Why? I don't know that they do have denser bones or not, because unlike you I don't spend all day fixated on race, but it it racist to suggest that there are few Japanese pro basketballers because they are, on average, shorter?

"no, it is not possible for a race to have a lower IQ than another race."

Why? Because YOU SAID SO.

Great debating technique, champ.

Skookum John said...

@Seven Machos: Rich people have the money to buy books and the time to read those books to kids.

Library cards are free. Used books are dirt cheap. And who has more free time than a welfare mother?

I frequently work 70 hour weeks. Yet I found time to read aloud the entire Tolkien canon, five of the seven Harry Potter books, and about fifty other non-trivial books to my children when they were young.

If the "nurture" side of the equation was controlling, I'd expect to see things improving in the black community as they slowly acquired the nebulous cultural resources in which you place so much faith. Instead, I think it's fair to say that the black community in this country is in worse shape than at any time since the end of Jim Crow, despite fifty years of patronizing cosseting by white liberals, and trillions of dollars shoveled their way by the War on Poverty.

Seven Machos said...

Skookum -- You have demonstrated that you know exactly nothing about how the culture of the dole affects behavior.

Jeff -- I'm not fixated on race, dumb ass. I'm positing that race is an artificial construct.

Don't any of you find it fascinating that you keep coming back to basketball to argue about intelligence? A book could be written about this strange phenomenon.

Uncle Pinky said...

As far as your argument that black people don't do "aquatics" because they have greater bone density, yeah, dude, that's pretty racist.

Yup seven,racist racist racist.

My advice to you is to not make grossly obvious arguments that are so easily refuted.

Seriously, folks start talking about race and they get worked up to the point where they know they're walking into a trap but they just can't help themselves. Looks like the only genetic difference allowed in some folks wold is melanin concentration.

The way we bandy the term "race" about as a convenient shorthand tends to blind us. That's why I tend not to use it, preferring to speak of populations. Takes some of the sting out.

P.S. Larry Bird was one of the finest players ever but he couldn't jump for shit.

Seven Machos said...

And what does this study you spent who knows how long googling tell us about "aquatics"?

Also, your next research assignment: list all the NBA championships won by Dominique Wilkins and Karl Malone.

reader_iam said...

I vote that we all use, in all areas, outliers in achievement as the standard-bearers for our ideals. I vote that we use the achievements of the infinitesimal number as the benchmarks for our judgments-in-general.

I mean, what the hell? Why not?

Seven Machos said...

I just thought up an extra credit question for you, Pinky. It's got some math, but you should do okay, unless of course you have a low IQ, whatever that is.

Add up all the NBA championships won by Dominick Wilkins and Karl Malone. Now multiply this number by the number of championships won by Patrick Ewing and Allen Iverson. Now add the number of championships won by Kurt Rambis and Steve Kerr. Now multiply your result by the number of championships won by Charles Barkley.

What is your answer?

lyssalovelyredhead said...

7 said: "Yes. People have said they think it's possible or even probable that blacks as a group have a lower IQ than whites as a group. In fact, the whole point of this controversy is that someone at Harvard contended that blacks as a group have a lower IQ than blacks. So, that's exactly, what we are talking about."

"People"? What people? Be a man; name names.

And no, no one at Harvard said that blacks have a lower IQ. She said that it is possible that there is a genetic connection. Possible and is are different things.

Re: bone density. One of the main risk factors for osteoporosis is being Caucasian or Asian. That suggests to me that blacks have denser bones (along with other races other than those 2), at least in women. Although I'd expect that differences in swimming are largely cultural (you pretty much have to learn to swim well at a young age).

- Lyssa

lyssalovelyredhead said...

BTW, 7, I do agree with you that race is an artifical (well, cultural) construct, although it is a cultural shorthand for certain collections of genetic charactoristics that are associated with skin color. I long for a day when we're all so mixed up that those constructs fail, though.

Also, I agree with you a little on IQ; it isn't as meaningful as we would like it to be. It correlates with certain other markers of intelligence, so it tells us some things, but we have no true definition of "intelligence," so discussions of it are challenging at best. Plus, it is so shaped by culture, upbringing, nutrition, education, etc that it is scientifically impossible to really isolate the gentic componant. So any discussion of genetics is completely theoretical.