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'The Bell Curve': Veiled White Supremacy

In response to an article by Andrew Sullivan, Atlantic magazine blogger Ta-Nehisi Coates tackles The Bell Curve, calling it a line of inquiry invented to justify white supremacy.


In a blog entry at Atlantic magazine, Ta-Nehisi Coates, responds to an article by Andrew Sullivan at the Daily Beast that examines The Bell Curve. Sullivan argues that the distribution of IQ is slightly different among different racial populations. Coates says the notion that blacks are intellectually inferior to whites is a thinly veiled justification for white supremacy.

... I encourage you to read the rest. For the record, I certainly am not claiming that Andrew defends slavery or sterilization. I am arguing that the notion that black people are, genetically, intellectually inferior to white people is not a new and revolutionary strain of research subject to academic repression, but a specimen of thought as old as this country, invented mainly to justify white supremacy. To this very day one need only look around to find a familiar cast of characters lurking in the shadows. 

It was not simply science that James Watson appealed to, but to presumably frustrated white employers "who have to deal with black employees." William Saletan did not merely cite some objective numbers. He wrote a five part series for a major publication almost wholly based on the work of a researcher whose organization funds such data-driven conclusions as "Everyone knows that blacks are dangerous" and "Unless whites shake off the teachings of racial orthodoxy they will cease to be a distinct people." 

Read Ta-Nehisi Coates' entire blog entry at the Atlantic.

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