May 15, 2013

"The Economist" denounces Jason Richwine

From a column in The Economist:
Racism and immigration policy
The Richwine affair
May 14th 2013, 20:36 by W.W. | HOUSTON

Presumably, W.W. is Will Wilkinson. I thought Will had announced he had given up journalism to become a fiction writer -- a wise move, in my opinion.
JASON RICHWINE, a co-author of the widely trashed Heritage Foundation study on the the costs of immigration, "resigned" his post at Heritage Friday after his doctoral dissertation on immigration and IQ fell under a shadow of suspected racism. Harvard awarded Mr Richwine a PhD in 2009 for work arguing that Hispanic immigrants are less intelligent than non-Hispanic white Americans, that this gap has a genetic basis, and that immigration policy should discriminate against less intelligent groups of people, albeit under the cover of the language of "low skill" and "high skill" immigrants. Is this really racist?
... Now, I don't think the subject or conclusion of Mr Richwine's dissertation is out of the bounds of reasonable discourse. Yet I think a suspicion of racism is perfectly reasonable. Grad students can choose from an infinite array of subjects. Why choose this one? Who are especially keen to discover a rational basis for public policy that discriminates along racial lines? Racists, of course. Anyone who chooses this subject, and comes down on the side vindicating racist assumptions, volunteers to bring suspicion upon himself, to expose his work to an extraordinary level of scrutiny.
... Nevertheless, Mr VerBruggen, sees "a shocking unwillingness on the part of Heritage to stand up to bullying and protect the academic freedom of its researchers". Michelle Malkin says that Mr Richwine was "strung up by the p.c. lynch mob for the crime of unflinching social science research", which she finds "chilling, sickening and suicidal". This sort of indignation speaks more to the right's failure to take seriously the history and reality of American racial injustice than it does to Mr Richwine's fate. As long as conservatives are inclined to think that Mr Richwine was "bullied" and "lynched" for his brave empiricism, instead of having been sunk by the repugnant prejudice exposed by the shoddiness of his work, non-white voters will continue to flock to a party less enthusiastically receptive to the possibility of their inferiority.

41 comments:

FWG said...

None of these critiques I've read give a valid, fact-based reason why they consider Richwine's work shoddy. Evidently to these folks, any work proclaiming differences between groups of people is shoddy on its face.

x said...

could the author explain what was 'shoddy' about richwines work? we see these accusations of 'pseduoscience' 'bad science', etc made everywhere by people who denounce richwines thesis, but what exactly makes it pseudoscience or sketchy? do people even know what the word 'pseudoscience' actually means and what it denotes?

agnostic said...

"Liberaltarian".... personally I think dickless airhead captures it better.

x said...

EVERYBODY ON THIS BLOG: register on the economist and post your disgust for this article in the comment section. you too steve. lets let them hear how much we think these people suck.

Anonymous said...

Only bad people even think about IQ!

Harry Baldwin said...

Interesting: the greatest threat to religious fundamentalism, Charles Darwin, is a god to the left except when the implications of his theory threaten its fundamental belief, that of absolute racial equality.

former economist reader said...

Economist, Economist, Economist... where have I heard that name before? Oh yes, last summer, decrying the suppression of the black vote by obviously racist voter ID initiatives.

Beefy Levinson said...

"None of these critiques I've read give a valid, fact-based reason why they consider Richwine's work shoddy."

They don't because they can't.

Anonymous said...

Richwine needs to sue. He is being out and out slandered. I wonder if the IRS will audit him soon.

Anonymous said...

So Richwine can't study IQ because of a "suspicion of racism"? Setting aside this dubious assumption, is no one now to study anything if they have any hunches or hopes as to what the results might be? Do not liberals hope and pray that every racial study will show how wonderfully fair-handed mother nature has been to the races?

I'm inclined to think Mr. W.W. is am anti-racist... and so who can trust his opinions on race now?

Anonymous said...

I'm a racist or race-ist cuz I believe in race.

Sure beats being a racidist seeking to commit race-cide of the white peoples of the world.

Auntie Analogue said...


"Yet I think a suspicion of racism is perfectly reasonable."

That's it, W.W., perfectly indict Richwine for Thoughtcrime because your "suspicion" must simplemindedly trump Richwine's hard data.

W.W. is, apparently, another one of the self-anointed who Speak Power to Truth.

As Pamela Geller said: "Truth is the new Hate Speech."

Jon Claerbout said...

The problem is that our jails are filled with black and Hispanic men. The women bring their own social problems (children without support). School dropouts. These problems are intractable. These social problems are found everywhere these people are found, in our country and in their own countries. Is the blame them or us? It doesn't matter where the blame is. Our government has been spending big bucks to try solve these problems since Lyndon Johnson 50 years ago. Richwine is looking for the root cause, and he may well be correct, but the real issue is that the social problems are intractable. We have not solved them, and there is little evidence we ever can.

MC said...

Will Wilkinson is the incarnation of every reason I'm not a libertarian.

bluegrass said...

Yet I think a suspicion of heliocentrism is perfectly reasonable. Astronomers can choose from an infinite array of subjects. Why choose this one? Who is especially keen to discover a rational basis for God's creation of Earth to revolve around the sun? Heretics, of course. Anyone who chooses this subject, and comes down on the side vindicating heliocentric assumptions, volunteers to bring suspicion upon himself, to expose his work to an extraordinary level of scrutiny.

Signed
-Some random Inquisitor, over all this Galileo stuff.

Unknown said...

"Shut up", he explained.

Anonymous said...

We have not solved them, and there is little evidence we ever can.

Actually, we've unsolved them. They can be solved again, although the majority in western countries need to recover from the dysgenic effects of a century of industrialized warfare (i.e, grow a pair....).

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, the Economist hasn't been a serious journal since about 1990. About that time it caught a serious dose of PC and never recovered.

A shame, because it used to be a reliable source of world news. Not any more, alas.

Anonymous said...

There was that commercial in the 60's by Goldwater that in the end said , "In your heart you know he's right."

Well. In the Economists collective heart they know Richwine is right.

You can tell by where they live and who they hang out with.

Hunsdon said...

In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better.
Theodore Dalrymple, 2005

"Because," they explain.

Hunsdon notes that this is the first time he has ever quoted or discussed anything from FPM in a manner remotely positive.

FPM interview

sunbeam said...

This story has hit a nerve and I'm not sure why.

Why all the hullabaloo? It doesn't make a whole lot of sense for the people who are excited about it to be so energetic.

I wouldn't have thought this would have much effect on the immigration debate, but maybe I'm wrong.

This is coming from too many places and too virulently.

Or maybe they view what he said as an existentialist threat in some way, but I'm not sure why.

I mean there have been people like Anton Lavey and the Church of Satan which apparently existed only to provide red meat to write stories about and take photos.

Yet I never saw Billy Graham with a throbbing vein in his forehead over that.

Richwine guy got canned. I just don't get all the excitement.

Unless we are in a slow news cycle, or this was some kind of threat to the immigration bill I'm not getting.

Anonymous said...

social justice = Jacobin justice

Anonymous said...

Et tu, Will?

You used to have a pair.

Sad.

Cail Corishev said...

Unless we are in a slow news cycle, or this was some kind of threat to the immigration bill I'm not getting.

The mass-immigration push needed a boost to combat the damage it took from the recent high-profile crimes by immigrants. Otherwise, I'd guess this study would have been ignored by the MSM like anything else that comes from "right-wing" sources. But they needed some way to demonize the other side, and Heritage and Richwine fell into place.

C. Van Carter said...

I'm with Sunbeam, the response seems coordinated.

Maxwell Power said...

"widely trashed" = me & and a dozen of my best Internet buds hated it

Anonymous said...

" As long as conservatives are inclined to think that Mr Richwine was "bullied" and "lynched" for his brave empiricism, instead of having been sunk by the repugnant prejudice exposed by the shoddiness of his work, non-white voters will continue to flock to a party less enthusiastically receptive to the possibility of their inferiority." - something tells me that even totally denouncing Richwine won't get the republicans many non-white votes.

"could the author explain what was 'shoddy' about richwines work?" - he made a reasonable inference from the available data rather than telling those in power what they want to hear, which is that their plans to harm the American people won't actually destroy america or harm the aforementioned people. They don't want to feel bad about what they are doing after all.

Matthew said...

"Why choose this one? Who are especially keen to discover a rational basis for public policy that discriminates along racial lines?"

Ummmmm...

"This story has hit a nerve and I'm not sure why."

Are you kidding? We know why - because the open borders kooks haven't a single reason to justify this amnesty/massive expansion of legal immigration. We don't have a labor shortage; they won't do a damn thing to benefit most Americans; they will, in fact, be a huge suck on the federal treasury; and morally it makes absolutely no damn sense to reward corruption and lawbreaking.

So what do they have left? To vilify the opponents of open borders, and Richwine presents a tempting target. So their argument basically come down to "We have to take a $6 trillion hit to our national wealth...because Jason Richwine is a racist."

Mr. Anon said...

"... Now, I don't think the subject or conclusion of Mr Richwine's dissertation is out of the bounds of reasonable discourse. Yet I think a suspicion of racism is perfectly reasonable. Grad students can choose from an infinite array of subjects. Why choose this one? Who are especially keen to discover a rational basis for public policy that discriminates along racial lines? Racists, of course."

So, it's perfectly reasonable to study the matter, but you're nothing but a damned racist if you actually do so.

I can't be bothered to read anything in "The Economist", so I don't know what he says, but based on those who have selflessly done so and reported back here, he offers no explanation as to why Richwine is wrong.

Given that Wilkinson writes for the Economist, I think a suspicion that he is a highly educated idiot is reasonable.

Cail Corishev said...

So their argument basically come down to "We have to take a $6 trillion hit to our national wealth...because Jason Richwine is a racist."

Hey, the same logic got OJ Simpson off.

Thursday said...

Let me defend Wilkinson the journalist for a moment. Yes, he's a often clueless semi-autistic who often can't get outside his libraltarian blinders, but he is genuinely curious about the world and has a real knack for digging up interesting stuff.

Besides, as far as fiction goes, one Ayn Rand was enough.

Anonymous said...

I find it amazing that he references voters. As if this whole issue is all about what's good for the Republican Party. Not the country as a whole.

I can't believe I'm starting to hate the GOP much more than Democrats.

rob said...

sunbeam said...
This story has hit a nerve and I'm not sure why.


It's going to be hard on them when everyone realizes ten maybe twenty or thirty years from now, that not only was the squatter thing done to us, it was done by people who knew it would turn and badly for American-American, and did it because that's what they wanted to do.

They really, really want it to be a bipartisan consensus decision, and that only Nazis and mouth-breathers objected to the alien flood at the time. Richwine is public proof that all of them know that the alien flood is bad: therefore it is being done with malice aforethought.

The Tea Party looked like it might have been an actual populist movement. Then came the astroturfers. The TPers are obsessed with tax rates, union-busting, and war overseas. The 'Obama's a Kenyan' thing is just a foreshadowing of a political current that recent immigrants, especially the illegals and their kids are not legitimate American citizens. They're afraid the far right will gain traction with sane people, and thugs and lunatics (more so than now) will win elections.

eah said...

Grad students can choose from an infinite array of subjects. Why choose this one? Who are especially keen to discover a rational basis for public policy that discriminates along racial lines? Racists, of course.

Classic!

Anonymous said...

I love the way the writer tries to use the word 'empiricism' as an insult.
For his information ALL social science is based on 'empiricism'. Any theory cooked up a social science professor that doesn't accord with the actual facts of the real world (ie doesn't agree with empirical studies) is worthless.
It is precisely this reason that 'social science' has poor repute amongst hard scientists who rely on concrete facts and mathematical axiom, proof and theory.

In other words, the author hasn't got a f*cking clue about what he is writing about.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the IRS will audit him soon.

I see what you did there. Funny line.

Toddy Cat said...

Wilkinson is a buffoon. Why anyone gives a rat's patoot about what he thinks is a mystery.

Svigor said...

Grad students can choose from an infinite array of subjects. Why choose this one? Who are especially keen to discover a rational basis for public policy that discriminates along racial lines? Racists, of course.

Classic!


Yeah. Further, who but a racist knows more than the conventional wisdom about race? Only a racist would put a lot of time into studying the facts about race.

Captcha word: ivagist

Svigor said...

In other words, the author hasn't got a f*cking clue about what he is writing about.

Just as being an expert on magic was evidence of being a witch, knowing too much about race is evidence of being a racist. Only a sorcerer delves too deeply into magic, and only a racist knows much about race.

David said...

>I love the way the writer tries to use the word 'empiricism' as an insult.[... He] hasn't got a f*cking clue about what he is writing about.<

"Empiricism" is a civilization-toppling evil in the Ayn Rand cosmogony. It's supposed to be facts minus theory (i.e., minus Ayn Randism).

Willie has swung around in libertarianism long enough to pick up Randian tropes albeit without fully understanding them.

He has always been a bit light in the, well, brain, correct?

ATBOTL said...

The Economist magazine is one of the most evil institutions in world history.