You may recall last week's gigantic brouhaha over the two New Orleans pictures, one of blacks and one of whites and the captions that said the blacks were "looting" while the whites were "finding" food. This took up an enormous amount of space in the brains of high-minded folks for quite some time since it provided a welcome distraction from the obvious reality that blacks were doing the vast majority of the looting, raping, sniping and so forth in New Orleans. See, those captions proved the problem in New Orleans was ... white racism!
As Larry Auster says in his addendum to Auster’s First Law of Majority-Minority Relations in Liberal Society:
The worse blacks behave (in this case the total failure of the black-run government of New Orleans to take the absolutely necessary steps to prepare for and respond to the disaster), the more this black failure must be blamed on white racism.
This week, my essay on why the New Orleans nightmare shouldn't have come as a surprise, as it apparently did, to all levels of government might replace the now tapped-out Caption Controversy as an enjoyable distraction from reality, a Two Minute Hate, for the pure of heart.
Thus,we see libertarian Radley Balko blogging:
I have never understood why Steve Sailer gets taken seriously. Even by people I respect.
One can only hope that after this vile screed, said serious-taking will cease.
This "vile screed" of course being my VDARE.com article on New Orleans. This is representative of the usual "point-and-sputter" attacks on me -- no facts or logic are presented, because that's not the point. The point is merely to gesticulate in fury at the sheer unmentionability of what I've said.
Meanwhile, Michelle Malkin blogs:
Via Instapundit, Steve Sailer weighs in with a related column on race and Katrina. Sailer has written many brilliant articles, and I admire his willingness to challenge politically correct shibboleths. But I strongly disagree with his assertion that African-Americans possess "poorer native judgment than members of better-educated groups" and "need stricter moral guidance from society."
No, I wrote, "tend to possess."
Thus, the rest of her entry is attacking a non-existent straw man: the idea that I claimed that "moral cowardice and weakness is not predetermined by race," which I of course never did. I merely pointed out that by the overwhelming weight of statistical evidence, it appears that African-Americans on average show less resistance to temptation than Asians and whites, so a moral environment like that of New Orleans, which specializes in encouraging people to give in to temptation, will tend to be particularly deleterious for blacks.
UPDATE: Michelle has since corrected her out-of-context quotation. My substantive response to her argument that there is no correlation between race and judgment is here: http://isteve.blogspot.com/2005/09/is-there-relationship-between-iq-race.html
A reader writes:
My sense is that on a whole range of issues, the more something is at variance with obvious reality, the more fervently people attack those who suggest that fact. This was pretty similar to what happened for two or three generations in the late, unlamented USSR.
I think a secondary element in this is that people who've worked/trained very, very hard to "doublethink" their way around reality are bitterly resentful at some indication that maybe all that training might have been wasted. After all, given the nature of human evolution, pretty much *everyone* can see reality, while only highly-trained elites can manage to (pretend to??) avoid seeing it.
As I've said before, I suspect that almost everyone in the world is actually a human biodiversity realist, though the highly trained make enormous efforts to pretend not to be, much like the religious zealots of the Middle Ages sometimes did and claimed to believe all sorts of peculiar things, partly to demonstrate their elite status. Compared to flagellating oneself every Easter (or on Ali Martydom Day, as the Shiites do), just "lying" a lot on TV for lots of money doesn't seem particularly difficult.
By contrast, I'm almost sure that the simply-educated Latinos who work at my morning coffee shop watch TV and say to each other "those dangerous blacks are rioting again in New Orleans---Boy, I'm glad I don't live there!"
Careerism is an important part of it (is it really so crazy to say silly things on TV about black rioters so that you yourself don't actually have to live in a neighborhood near them??) and so is "fashionability."
Consider the latter. Fashions come and go each year, in partially manipulated but partially mysterious ways, and most people mostly go along with them. Near as I can tell, they're approximately random (e.g. the fashionability of hair length over the last 50 years).
If all the fashionable people are saying what seem to be silly things, well then, you, too, should probably also say those same things, lest you be considered unfashionable. And if all the smart people (e.g. Harvard professors) say those things, then maybe you're just not smart enough to understand it properly. And any Harvard professor who might consider saying otherwise would worry about getting in trouble with the Harvard President. And when the Harvard President (accidentally) said something different, well, he learned never to make that same mistake again.