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Most White People Think Blacks Are Intellectually Inferior

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Luke Visconti’s Ask the White Guy column is a top draw on DiversityInc.com. Visconti, the founder and CEO of DiversityInc, is a nationally recognized leader in diversity management. In his popular column, readers who ask Visconti tough questions about race/culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability and age can expect smart, direct and disarmingly frank answers.

Ask the White Guy Luke ViscontiQuestion:
I think you have a distorted view of Americans when you make such blanket statements like the one you made in your reply to the question of “Why doesn’t the NBA look like America?” You stated “… because it’s still not acceptable in our society to think of black people as being intellectually equal.”

I find that very offensive. I know I don’t think like that, nor do most whites I know. I do know a number of African Americans who think whites think that way, and your statement just reinforces their thinking. Perpetuating that kind of thinking only aids in supporting the separatist attitude that too many African Americans hold, and it certainly won’t help it to go away.

Answer:
You may not think like that–and because you don’t, you associate with people who share your opinion. That’s good. However, unless we face the facts as they are, we can’t change our circumstances. I think the facts show that most whites do not accept blacks as intellectually equal.

We live in a society that purports itself to be open for all people, but we should keep in mind that Dr. King and the civil-rights movement had to bring the federal government to the state of national unrest and international embarrassment (over the treatment of peaceful civil-rights marchers) to get the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Bills passed just 42 years ago. Until that time, most African Americans could not legally vote, and access to “mainstream” higher education was almost zero.


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Sen. Obama is the third black senator since reconstruction (which ended in approximately 1877). There have been 1,148 senators sworn in since 1877. African Americans have been fairly consistent at 13 percent of our population. If whites felt that blacks were intellectually equal, they certainly wouldn’t have enslaved African Americans, and the Senate would have been far more than 0.26 percent black.

It’s a sad state of affairs, but there’s no way our country would sit still for a second and accept Gary, Ind., or Camden, N.J., looking as it does if the inhabitants were not almost 100 percent black.

You and I may accept blacks as intellectually equal–and I’d assume that we both socialize with people who feel the same as we do–but that’s no reason to assume most white people feel the same way, because the facts show otherwise.

Aside from the ethical issue, there is an overarching economic imperative to rectify disparities: We are now competing in a global market; any waste of talent is a loss in productivity, innovation and wealth that we cannot afford.

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26 Comments

  • Anonymous

    The results of most studies that use scores earned on standardized tests (IQ, SAT, etc) show that measured intelligence level and race do indeed correlate. This is quite an inconvenient fact in our modern progressive era. While it is immoral and foolish to judge on the basis of race alone, to assume that race plays no role in innate intellectual capacity is misguided.

  • Anonymous

    it is true. only for this reason: some of the whites that were racially biased in the civil rights movement are still alive. the teenagers of that era now have families. they tell their kids what they thought of blacks and unrightly spit racism back into play. now the white kids with racist parents are domed to be racist. furthermore, the kkk does have a significant enough audience to brainwash nonracist whites into becoming a racist, they recruit them. and furthermore, ‘hoods’ like camden, gangs, and the general ‘gangsta’ agenda is a dying trend. it wont take long for community development, environmental projects, and education to prosper in these areas. hip hop is about money these days; the easiest and safest way to make money is through schooling. but we all know whos falling behind on funding schools and providing good education. the government.

    as i see it, it may take another generation, maybe more to fully rid this country of racism. us blacks won the civi rights movement on a federal level, almost. its up to the country itself to man up and respect our brothers and sisters as equal americans, and its up to the government to spend their billions on things that really matter. then finallly, equality will be possible

  • Anonymous

    To be quite honest, people will believe what they choose to believe regardless of having scientific proof or not. If I’m raised in a poorly educated house hold, then my test scores may reflect that, no matter what race I might be. My race is just a part of me. Race alone does not dictate my circumstances, nor does it define me completely. So, obviously there are people of various races who are more or less intelligent then some others. You would see this if we all truly had an equal opportunity (and we do not). If you put a white person and a black person in the same life situation, and neither one had access to a job, money for food, education, clothing, survival mode should kick in. Then you would see that race has very little to do with the will to live, survive and prosper. Don’t judge, THINK!!!!!!!!!!!!! Our physical appearance is dictated by our genes. Natural selection could affect how we look when specific environmental conditions cause genes adapt over time. We are all related! You might not like it, but try to disprove it and see what you find. You may be blacker than you think.

  • Katherine Coles

    In response to the comment made on Jan 5, 2010 by Guest. Standardardized Test measurements are defined by the questions asked, which are defined and determined by the question designer. Please consider the source of the question before determining its infallibility in measuring intelligence. This includes racial correlations. Differing life experiences influence question responses. A major error in the “standard” test is an assumption that everyone taking the test have equal exposure and access to knowledge.

    • Please, so tired of these excuses…

      • These aren’t excuses. The studies have shown that once the questions are changed to a vocabulary that the test taker is used to using, the race based correlation is removed from the results. An example of this is using the word “Boat” instead of “Yacht.”

        • T.D. Morse

          “….Yet a closer look at the PISA scores (test design not for whites and accepted by UN) reveals some unacknowledged truths. While Northeast Asians are turning in the top scores, followed by Europeans, Canadians, Australians, and New Zealanders, looking down the list of the top thirty nations, one finds not a single Latin American nation, not a single African nation, not a single Muslim nation, not a single South Asian or Southeast Asian nation (save Singapore), not a single nation of the former Soviet Union except Latvia and Estonia. Among the OECD’s thirty-four members, the most developed nations on earth, Mexico, the principal feeder nation for U.S. schools, came in dead last in reading.
          Steve Sailer got the full list of sixty-five nations, broke down the U.S. reading scores by ethnicity, and measured American students against the continents and the countries from which their families originated. What he found was startling. Asian American students outperformed all Asian students except those from Shanghai. White Americans outperformed the students from all thirty-seven predominantly white nations except Finland. U.S. Hispanics outperformed the students of all eight Latin American countries that participated. African American kids outperformed the only black country to participate, Trinidad and Tobago, by 25 points.
          America’s schools are not all abject failures. They are successfully educating immigrants and their descendants to outperform the kinfolk their parents or ancestors left behind when they came to America. What America’s schools are failing at, despite the trillions poured into schools since the 1965 Primary and Secondary Education Act, is closing the racial divide. We do not know how to close test-score gaps in reading, science, and math between Anglo and Asian students on one hand and black and Hispanic students on the other. And, judging from the PISA tests, neither does the world. The gap between the test scores of East Asian and European nations and Latin American and African nations mirrors the gap between Asian and Anglo students in the United States and black and Hispanic students in the United States.
          Even if we could equalize the home environment, and the school environment, for all children, we would still not get equal test scores……”

          • Luke Visconti

            My favorite racists are the ones who parrot the pseudoscience they read on their white-supremacist websites. In this case, almost all of this post is lifted from one of Pat Buchanan’s books. There are plenty of criticisms of the PISA test. You can do your own web search, but in this book, Buchanan’s lifting the racist claptrap thinking of Charles Murray.

            Here’s a criticism of the PISA tests: China’s scores beat the stuffing out of the U.S., but we still have a larger GDP, despite having one-fifth the population; the Chinese won’t beat us on a per-capita basis for decades, maybe ever. Just goes to prove that a snapshot of data without perspective is worthless.

            Finally, take a good look at a picture of Pat Buchanan and Charles Murray. Now look at a picture of Bull Connor. Look at a picture of Governor Wallace. Look at a picture of Edgar Ray Killen. They’re birds of a feather. Their hate and bitter thoughts are etched on their faces. They look like people who would scare any child witless just by glancing at them. What kind of person is proud to be associated with the bunch of them? Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc

  • Anonymous

    We must understand that civil rights were granted to blacks only 5 decades ago. It takes more than one generation to catch up with the social inequality. Sure legally and socially racism has been controlled but what about the racist talk over the kitchen table? I bet even today there are many white parents (particularly of Nordic origin) who are still telling their young impressionable kids how inferior their black fellow citizens are.
    The measurement of blacks in terms of their achievement would be realistic only after at least 2 generations when most of the white supremacists who lived thru the black slavery days have died and kids make their own judgement of their fellow human being

    • Tony Thompson

      White people will give a chance reasonably. It really all depends on where you are at in life. I’m black and I got a job at the olive garden recently walked right in asked for a application dressed to impress filled it out and was hired that same day and the managers were white

  • Anonymous

    Under the skin we are all equally the same.

  • Theodosius

    A dozen unbiased studies demonstrate that the mean average African-American IQ is one standard deviation (about 16 points) below that of whites. Further, that this difference in intelligence is largely (>70%) biogenetic in origin and not in any significant way remedial to social/cultural enhancement. It is a fallacy not unlike the dogma that the earth was flat to disingenuously argue otherwise. A scientific truth does not suddenly become invalid simply because its conclusions don’t support a partisan political agenda.

    • Readers, I’ll leave it to you to look up all the studies that dispute Rushton and Jensen and the rest of their ilk. I’ll ask you to think about three things: 1) There is no clear scientific consensus on race and genetics, African Americans in particular are not a distinct genetic group as our history is one of considerable mixing. 2) You cannot start a race with a 1:20 disadvantage and expect equal results. African American households have one-twentieth the wealth of white households (Pew Research), look up the “Flynn Effect” for a discussion on IQ scores and wealth (and its attendant early-childhood development advantages) 3) Racists take this flag up because it helps them justify their racism. It is far easier to subjugate people – murder them or wage war on them, when you de-humanize them first. This is evil of the first degree – and this website will not be an agent to it – you’ll find further discussion of this on white supremacist websites, but not here. Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc

      • I have worked side by side with too many whites who if they had been black would never have been in the positions they were in. Yet they believed they had earned their positions. If they had been black they would never had been where they were and justifiably so. Of that I have no doubt.

        Whites have no idea how much their whiteness affords them. And I can’t tell you how frustrating it was to work alongside people who actually and sincerely believed they earned it because of their natural superiority. I’m sorry, but they were idiots. Whenever I achieved anything or put together two coherent sentences, whites have always marveled and then told me they didn’t think of me as black (you’ve addressed these “compliments” in other articles), thereby revealing what they really think – such ignorance from superior people.

        Money, education, high self-esteem, and a feeling of self-worth go hand in hand with better test scores. For people who are so superior, so much time is spent on showing how inferior everyone else is. Perhaps there are doubts? Or maybe deep down inside, they know we are human-beings.

        • Michelle LaValley

          You are too right. I have often wondered how on earth some people got their jobs and kept them, when they were so obviously not too bright. And I knew if I performed that way I would have been fired. I worked with an accountant who questioned why I assigned an overseas account to Europe. The account was for England. He didn’t know that England was in Europe. How did he get through High School and College and not know that? That is just one example.
          He always delivered the mail to our sister company next door. I had given him some checks that had come in the mail. On the way over, he dropped some of the checks. The owner found them on the ground. Apparently, he blamed me and the owners questioned me half to death and kept looking at me like I had to be lying. But they never doubted him and he was the only one, ever, who left the building with mail to deliver next door. Just some experiences.

      • Bravo. Thank you Luke Visconti for your response on 7/1/2013 at 10:14am. You are a man of integrity and I appreciate that!

    • Theodosius, those same dozen or so unbiased studies also show whites’ mean average IQ at one standard deviation below East Asian and Jewish peoples as well. So same point taken for whites as compared to Asians: a scientific truth does not suddenly become invalid because its conclusions don’t support a partisan political agenda. To the point: Whites are intellectually inferior to Asians, and thus should be treated in the same manner and fashion as whites treat blacks. Natch.

  • I work with a lot of young black people of all different socioeconomic status in my tutoring job, and this is the thing I have found in common with every one of them: They believe it isn’t “cool” to be highly educated, talk in a manner other than ebonics, and be married while raising a family – in short, it isn’t cool to “be white” and like/do the same things as young white people, from approximately the same geographical area. Now, some of that is due to prejudice against them from whites, absolutely, but until the black community as a whole recognizes that they can’t demand “equality” (whatever that means now) and then veer around and worship thug rappers (who CONSTANTLY reinforce the idea that any problem in a black person’s life is due to “whitey’s fault”) and not think that having a kid who doesn’t know his/her father isn’t a problem in this day and age. I make every effort to look past a person’s race/national origin when getting to know them, but we have to acknowledge that we are at the worst race relationship level since the mid-1960s and no one wants to talk about this because it is “politically incorrect”. Don’t believe this? Then what was the George Zimmerman trial really all about beyond the “stand-your-ground” law? My advice for young black people is to stop listening to asshats like Al Sharpton and start recognizing that MAKING POSITIVE GAINS IN YOUR LIFE AND WORKING HARD IS NOT A “WHITE-ONLY THING”!

    • Luke Visconti

      If you’re tutoring people, please stop. You can’t be doing them any help with that attitude. My experience is exactly opposite yours. Many people on the DiversityInc staff are Black, none of them had a privileged upbringing, all are very successful, all have very high standards for themselves. I’ve been involved with the Rutgers Future Scholars program for six years. The program has a 99 percent success rate. I’ve seen 1,200 people start the program as eighth graders; the oldest are now freshmen/women at Rutgers (and other schools). One is an intern in my office; he’s a young man who could not have had a more challenging childhood.

      I’ve been a trustee of Bennett College for nine years. I’m chair of the foundation board at New Jersey City University, an MSI and an HSI. NJCU boasts almost 100 percent first-generation college students. You see the triumph of mind over circumstance at every commencement. Over the years I’ve met thousands of young people—and older people who grew up under the same conditions the RFS students are living in now. There are some people who are more “street” than others, but the drive to succeed runs deep in the human species and all of the people in all of the programs I’ve been associated with have one thing in common: They’re working very, very hard.

      I will say, however, that the folks who succeed in the challenging environments they are born into have superior strength. Many of the average ones, who would probably be just fine in a white, middle-class upbringing, have their young egos crushed under the wheels of socioeconomic injustice, which can be measured in many, many ways. Where I see weakness is where people think their good fortune is providence—and that’s what I’m smelling in your comment. Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc

    • Michelle LaValley

      I am generationally mixed raced of African descent. My family moved north from the south in the 1930s. All my family came from farms and developed professions. When we left the Midwest to the Northeast, a friend of the family tried to introduce me to other black children. The differences in our backgrounds was a culture shock to me. I was ridiculed for my speech, my mannerisms, and accused of being an “oreo cookie”. Took me a while to know what that meant. These kids were smart. In spite of their treatment towards me I perceived the intelligence but they were all so angry! I was lucky I had the parents I had. All this is to say attitude plays into how ability is used. These kids were products of urban living for generations and reflect the despair of their parents. They weren’t being taught to think and the examples of behavior are all knee jerk reactive. Add in the all time favorite “misery loves company” and you get packs of garden variety underacheivers. This happens across the board under similar social circumstances but the powers that be want to believe its exclusive to blacks.
      I have a lot of relatives; we could be our own country and we are all, at least, of high average intelligence. I’ve experienced all kinds of people and spoken to individuals of all subsets with obvious high intellegence right down to mystery levels as in how do they function at all so these scientific conclusions definitely stand for some serious scrutiny. I just can’t buy it, they defy logic.

  • Luke, i’m a black guy, (I really am) in the American south. I respect everyone’s opinion and you’re entitled to yours but you left the comments open so I’m entitled to mine.

    I was treated very harshly by others blacks since I was 7. I never understood how anyone can be so impulsive and spontaneous and aggressive and I felt like there was something wrong with me because I wasn’t. I never hung around other blacks because I didn’t have anything in common with them and the school I went to was mostly white. There worse I was treated the further I retreated towards my white friends or mostly alone. All 12 years of school was the same believe it or not. College was only a step above. Blacks were/are like a collective group where no one can get in or out. I had issues in college I almost committed suicide but that’s another story.

    I don’t understand why crabs in a barrel mentality is so prevalent in the black community. I don’t understand why I’m so scrutinized even if i’m just a stranger. I don’t know why upper middle class kids acted very identical. I’m tired of people telling me that I’m wrong for noticing these things. I’m tired of having my intelligence tested. I’m tired of the over-reaching pendulum of political correctness in the opposite direction because it further divides and nothing gets done. I understand a truly honest topic about race will step on toes so maybe America’s not ready now. I don’t think anybody’s better than anyone I really don’t but I’m not going to lie and say everybody’s exactly the same I”m not going to do it because it’s not true and don’t say it’s just me I wouldn’t be here if it was. I don’t have anything against my own race but I had to say something. Sorry. I had to move out in the middle of no where to escape the drama of the city and everythings peaceful and the people are friendly. I came to the realization I may never get better and so the black race as a whole in a positive light I really did try but the trauma is too deep. I don’t like white racists I stay away from them but I never did have any friends it doesn’t matter. That’s just the way things are. I don’t have any answers. I don’t know why blacks form gangs and have collective mentalitly you’re either with us or against us I’m tired of it and it’s just not poor communites and I’m tired of being told my entire 38 years of observations are wrong. I know I have issues but it’s not all my fault. Don’t take this the wrong way but some things on this site seem like excuses are being made for us. I shouldn’t say that but that’s how I feel. I think each and every human should be respected but I don’t know what to do collectively I hate collectivism. I didn’t mean to rant I have SO much to say I’ve been through so much because of other blacks. I love my mom and brother and cousins but blacks as a whole I’ll pass. Until I get better I just stay away from large groups of blacks. If you want to contact me directly you can email me.

    rw

    • Luke Visconti

      You’re describing the effects of centuries of trauma inflicted on a group of people brought here in chains, a people that can be readily identified by the color of their skin—who cannot Anglicize themselves like the Southern Europeans and/or Jewish immigrants of 100 years ago could.

      I (and, by extension, this publication) don’t make excuses for people, but I demand they be given opportunity equitably—and the only measurement of success I consider is outcome; measuring intentions is as effective as trying to measure fantasy. I feel this way because I believe that people are created equally and, therefore, it’s logical that talent is distributed equally. At the end of the day, the discrimination we can measure in our society, the wasted opportunity, can be described in dollar terms. For example, what would happen if education outcome were equal? How much more taxes would be paid by people working at maximum productivity? Discrimination can also be described in moral terms—but for the sake of keeping this a business discussion, let’s stick to dollars.

      As far as your personal experience, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that you may have post-traumatic stress disorder—you don’t have to be a combat soldier to have it. You should speak to a counselor. There are things you can’t change, but framing them properly in your mind will free you to pursue your interests. Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc

      • Thank you Luke for your gentle objective answer I wasn’t expecting that and I feel bad for the post now I do. Yes it’s exactly pts but I won’t go into detail now.

        Keep making a difference in the way you know how.

        rw

        • Luke Visconti

          Give yourself the grace of accepting the stress you’ve been through and the damage that stress has done. It’s the key to finding your path forward. Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc

  • Searching

    The title is misleading…most whites who believe there is an intelligence gap between the two races think the AVERAGE white person is smarter than the AVERAGE black person. However, no white person who thinks logically and objectively would deny that there are SOME blacks who are smarter than most other blacks AND most whites. The smartest black people will of course be smarter than the average white people. If it is true that there is an intelligence gap, that doesn’t change the fact that we should allow the smartest blacks to succeed, thrive, and be treated as equals. In fact, even the dumbest blacks should be treated as equal citizens with equal rights, because ALL humans should be treated as equal citizens with equal rights, no matter WHAT.

  • It is only fair to look at history when one is speaking so blatantly about “innate intelligence”. Blacks were enslaved for more than 400 years with no access to any form of education, while whites were becoming more educated with each generation. Now if you believe in eugenics, each generation builds on the progress of the previous. Whites progressed while blacks remained the same for centuries. Even after slavery, it is only within the last fifty years that blacks have been given opportunities for education and even then it is not the same quality as whites are receiving. It is only fair to say that blacks possess the potential match the white intellect given that they are brought up in the same manner. We must give credit to the rising number of blacks that are being submitted to state universities and other higher education institutions.

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