The Inside Story Of The Harvard Dissertation That Became Too Racist For Heritage

Tuesday, May 21, 2013 - 09:00

 

The Inside Story Of The Harvard Dissertation That Became Too Racist For Heritage

By Zack Beauchamp

The idea that some racial groups are, on average, smarter than others is without a doubt among the most discussed (and debunked) “taboos” in American intellectual history. It is an argument that has been advanced since the days of slavery, one that helped push through the draconian Immigration Act of 1924, and one that set off a scientific firestorm in the late 60s that’s hardly flagged since.

Yet every time the race and IQ hypothesis reclaims the public spotlight, we are caught slackjaw, always returning to the same basic debates on the same basic concepts.

The recent fracas sparked by Dr. Jason Richwine’s doctoral dissertation is a case in point. The paper is a dry thing, written for an academic audience, yet its core claim, that Latino immigrants to the United States are and will likely remain less intelligent than “native whites,” has proved proper tinder for a public firestorm. The Heritage Foundation’s Senior Policy Analyst in Empirical Studies is now a former Senior Policy Analyst — Heritage could not risk further tainting an immigration report it hoped would be influential by outright defending its scholar’s meditations on the possibly genetic intellectual inferiority of immigrants from Latin America.

Read the entire story here.