Jared Taylor versus Tim Wise (part 1 of 2)
Feb 11th, 2011 by Unamused
Today, in response to my post about Jared Taylor (a personal hero of mine), the optimistically named Truth suggested I link this video (the first of ten, the rest easily accessed from the sidebar). It’s a debate between Jared Taylor and Tim Wise on the merits of racial diversity, hosted by The Infidel Guy, Reggie Finley, on his radio show.
Yes, Tim Wise: the same fanatical, foaming-at-the-mouth anti-white bigot you may have heard about in the wake of the November 2010 elections.
I was once a fan of Mr. Finley, and I regret that I missed this debate — not that I missed much, besides the opportunity to ask a few pointed questions of Mr. Wise. The whole thing is so dreary, I have to split my remarks into two posts. I just can’t subject myself to a full hour of Tim Wise. That’s 4.2% of my day!
Without further ado, here is my analysis of parts one through five of the debate.
Introduction to Destruction
Finley sets the parameters of the debate. The topic is the “merits of racial and cultural diversity in [American] society. … Tim Wise will argue it’s a positive, and should be encouraged and embraced, while Jared Taylor will oppose him.” Keep that in mind, as Wise’s arguments tend to wander.
Taylor begins by pointing out the undeniable fact that racial diversity is, without exception, a source of conflict all over the world, and always has been, just like religious diversity.
Wise admits he doesn’t disagree — certainly a novel debate tactic, if not a particularly sound one — before professing disbelief in race as a valid scientific categorization of human beings. He’s wrong: see here and here and here and here and here and here and here. Or you could go check to see if white parents have white children, black parents have black children, Asian parents have Asian children, and so on. That might work too.
That last link is a rebuttal to a common race denialist fallacy, Lewontin’s Fallacy, named after one of the two famous biologists who led the politically motivated attacks on Edward O. Wilson’s theory of sociobiology, a precursor to evolutionary psychology, in the 1970s — a theory since vindicated by science. In Wilson’s words:
The question of interest is no longer whether human social behavior is genetically determined; it is to what extent.
Tim Wise’s firm grasp of evolutionary biology
Next, Taylor gives even more evidence that diversity, racial or otherwise, is a source of lethal conflict all over the world, from ancient times up to the present, making it a historical constant.
But Wise explains that Europeans can’t possibly be considered one race — I’m sorry, one “race,” unless of course you’re a white nationalist. He also reminds us that Europeans have waged countless wars against each other in spite of their racial homogeneity. Now, this seems to contradict his previous claim, but in any case, are we to believe racial diversity is “a positive, and should be encouraged and embraced” (Wise’s position) simply because it’s possible to have wars without it? Because it only adds to the existing violence? Let’s embrace gangrene, too: it’s possible for your flesh to rot off without it!
In a characteristically bizarre turn, he tells us that people can’t be biologically predisposed to seek out the company of their own race as a result of evolution, because it would be so much more rational to form groups based on running speed, height, or strength. According to Wise,
… it is definitely true… that we develop in-groups and out-groups, as a matter of evolution. I don’t doubt that for a second. But what I doubt is the idea that race is the natural delineator or the natural dividing line. So, for example, if you were thinking about it in evolutionary terms, it would actually make a lot more sense for us to divide in-group and out-group on the basis of speed, or height, or strength—things that actually matter in catching prey and surviving in the wilderness… not something as silly as skin color.
A brilliant argument. And yet…
- We did evolve.
- We do not divide up into groups on the basis of speed, height, or strength.
- We do discriminate on the basis of race.
Of course, speed, height, and strength are all subject to (fairly obvious) evolutionary pressures much more powerful than in-groups and out-groups: if your ancestors didn’t have enough of all three, they would have been eaten by a woolly mammoth or fallen down a crevasse or something. For that matter, don’t women consistently discriminate on the basis of height and strength in choosing mates? I mean, good grief, the mistakes are endless.
Also note how he conflates race with skin color — has he never seen an albino black person?
Then Taylor points out that the aforementioned European conflicts arose largely from diversity: in nationality, in language, in religion.
A zero tolerance policy on facts
Wise claims that the “vast majority” of violence, in schools and in the rest of the country, is between people of the same race. Well, sure, that makes sense — if by “between people of the same race” you mean “by blacks against themselves and everybody else.” In schools:
- “An earlier NCES study found that 18 percent of the nation’s schools accounted for 75 percent of the reported incidents of violence, and 6.6 percent accounted for 50 percent. So far as serious violence, murder and rapes, 1.9 percent of schools reported 50 percent of the incidents. The preponderance of school violence occurs in big-city schools attended by black students.” (Source.)
- “Anyone who was observing the Chicago schools with even just one eye open could see that disproportionate black student violence is real. The idea that graduates of what is likely the most left-wing educational institution in the country—teachers ed schools—suddenly become red-necked bigots once they start teaching in or managing schools is preposterous. To the contrary, black students are undoubtedly being under-disciplined, not over-disciplined, compared to their rates of classroom violence and disruption.” (Source.)
And in the rest of the country:
- “Blacks are 3 times more likely to commit violent crime than whites, and… black thugs prefer white victims, selecting them 64 times more than white thugs choose black victims.” (Source.)
- “In its last complete National Criminal Victimization Survey (1994), the Justice Department revealed blacks to have committed 1,600,951 violent crimes against whites. … While blacks were committing these 1.6 million crimes against whites, whites were reciprocating with 165,345 violent offenses against blacks. Blacks, representing thirteen percent of the nation, committed more than 90 percent of the violent interracial crime. Fifty-seven percent of the violent crime committed by blacks had white victims. Less than 3 percent of violence committed by whites had black victims. In 1994, a black was 64 times more likely to attack a white than vice versa. This is the real story of hate in America.” (Source.)
- Look at these pretty pie charts.
- Please consider reading Jared Taylor’s classic book Paved With Good Intentions: The Failure of Race Relations in Contemporary America. It’s illuminating.
Taylor suggests that the overall decline in school violence is due to the end of forced busing. That is, not forcing different races to mix mitigates the conflict caused by racial diversity. He starts to say how ridiculous it is to think white students commit violence at school at the same rate as black students, but he’s cut off by the end of the video. On to part two.
Babies be hatin’
Wise thinks kids don’t discriminate between races until high school, when the pervasive racism of our (white) society begins to take hold. He’s wrong, and Taylor knows it. Plus, if self-segregation along racial lines really is cultural in origin, it’s universal among human cultures, which suggests there’s an ultimate biological cause (what we used to call human nature).
Here, Finley interjects with an anecdote about how he, as a young black student (of above average intelligence), got along just fine with a white girl. One white girl, by the name of Angela Petty. Taylor suggests that assimilation works when there’s an overwhelming racial majority, whether that majority is black, white, or Asian. I think this underscores the importance of maintaining a white majority in America through sane immigration policies. A little later, Finley wants to know where Taylor would “draw the line.” Well, the lines draw themselves: Iceland wants to stay Icelandic, Japan wants to stay Japanese — why don’t white Americans want to remain a majority? Or do they?
Wise continues to argue that young kids don’t discriminate on the basis of race, while acknowledging that adults do. Am I missing something, or is he still not telling us why racial diversity is a strength?
I was glad to see Taylor didn’t let him get away with baseless accusations of white racist school teacher conspiracies.
People are like noodles: they both stick together, they both taste delicious, and they’re both racist
According to Taylor, racial conflicts are based on instincts that can’t be legislated away. Wise responds: if people naturally tend to stick together by race, then we wouldn’t have needed to pass Jim Crow laws.
I don’t even know how to address a non-argument like that. It seems I have to decipher what he meant to say before I can rebut it. Look, Wise: small numbers of influential people, called “politicians,” can pass laws that force larger numbers of ordinary people to mingle or not mingle. Regardless of the law, racial tensions are still there beneath the surface, and it leads to all those conflicts associated with racial diversity, in all places, at all times, between all different races.
This (White) Flight Tonight
Taylor introduces white flight as evidence that white people just want to hang out with white people most of the time. Wise immediately counters! White flight could just as easily demonstrate the effectiveness of racial propaganda, which teaches whites that blacks are criminal, and want to rob them, and don’t make good neighbors. “Racial propaganda,” in this case, means “crime statistics.”
Note how far we are from establishing the “merits of racial and cultural diversity.” Are you bored yet? I am. Stay with me, it’s about to get crazy up in here.
Ethnocentrism is like sex: something sticky always gets in your hair. Wait, no. That’s noodles again.
Taylor points out that if ethnocentrism were a cultural construct, it is a universal one. Some people think sex roles are a social construct, too. Doesn’t the fact that these things turn up in every culture, around the world and throughout history, suggest that it’s not a product of culture?
Wise responds to Taylor’s “diatribe” by failing to grasp the point: he’s not conflating ethnocentrism and sex roles, he’s drawing an analogy. That’s still legal in this country. Conflating would be saying that ethnocentrism and sex roles are the same thing, or arguing that one is biological and therefore the other is too.
Taylor gives the same rebuttal he’s been giving all damn day. I think I dozed off for a minute or two here. I was having the most wonderful dream. In it, I was eating two kinds of noodles at once! No, wait, that time it was sex. Anyway one of them was flat and one of them was stuffed with cheese. Moving on…
Tim Wise on the family: Darwin wants you to have sex with your sister
A listener poses Taylor a question: isn’t he committing the naturalistic fallacy, arguing that because racism is natural, we should accept it? No, he isn’t, you poor, dumb bastard. He’s arguing that ethnocentrism — to the extent that white people generally prefer to hang out with white people, black people with black people, and so on — is partly biological, and therefore impossible to eradicate. He thinks we should acknowledge that reality; in particular, the fact that diversity has always lead and will always lead to strife.
And this is where Wise’s argumentation really starts to deteriorate. First he denies that races are big extended families — but that’s nothing. He just uses it as a jumping-off point to make perhaps the stupidest claim in the whole debate: that the concept of family is socially constructed. That’s right, family: perhaps the most biological concept known to man.
You see, according to Wise, parents love their adopted children just as much as their biological children. Furthermore, we don’t marry people in our family. Therefore the family is a “socially constructed thing.” What can one possibly say to that? We shall see in part four.
First Taylor demolishes Wise’s claim that race is a recent concept. People have understood race since at least the 19th century BC, when an Egyptian Pharaoh set up a stone marker telling blacks to keep out of his country. (Where’s a Pharaoh and a block of stone when you need them?)
As for this adoption nonsense, a simple internet search for “abuse rates, biological, adoptive” reveals evidence to the contrary:
Children residing in households with adults unrelated to them were 8 times more likely to die of maltreatment than children in households with 2 biological parents (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]: 8.8; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 3.6-21.5). Risk of maltreatment death also was elevated for children residing with step, foster, or adoptive parents (aOR: 4.7; 95% CI: 1.6-12.0), and in households with other adult relatives present (aOR: 2.2; 95% CI: 1.1-4.5).
Source: Pediatrics (April 2002), 109:4, p. 615; via Google Answers.
This is in no way intended to disparage adopters, most of whom are perfectly normal, which is to say loving, parents. It is merely a statistical difference — which happens to destroy Wise’s argument. The host agrees since, you know, he’s not an idiot.
Wise, on the other hand, thinks a child murder rate 200–300% higher for adoptive parents than biological parents doesn’t matter, since the child murder rate for biological parents was so low to begin with. And there he goes again with his wife. Did you know that if we can’t choose our families, it follows that we don’t have free will? Then he changes the subject to varying levels of education among white people — I’m sorry, “white” people.
But Taylor’s still on this whole “family = cultural not biological” thing. It turns out half of all marriages end in divorce, but surprisingly, most divorced parents remain attached to their children. Why is that?
Oh, it’s because parents have a legal obligation to care for their kids. That, to Tim Wise, is an equally likely explanation for why divorced parents often fight so bitterly over child custody. Gee, parents must take their legal obligations really seriously, if they’re hiring lawyers to prove they have more legal obligations than their spouses, whose legal obligations apparently should only cover alternate weekends.
Plus, if the family were biological, we would all want to marry our siblings. So there.
Everybody’s favorite study
I’ll skip ahead over a digression into African promiscuity and Taylor’s religious beliefs, which he prefers not to discuss publicly (his beliefs, that is, not the promiscuity). On to part five, where Wise drags out the infamous Chicago study. Here’s the complete abstract:
To measure whether there is racial discrimination in the labor market, we send fictitious resumes in response to help-wanted ads in Chicago and Boston newspapers. We manipulate perceived race by randomly assigning to the resumes either a very African American sounding name or a very White sounding name. Employers are 50 percent more likely to call back resumes with White names for interviews. Moreover, we find that the returns to better credentials differ significantly by race. For White names, higher quality resumes elicit 30 percent more callbacks. For African Americans, however, higher quality resumes elicit a far smaller increase in callbacks. Applicants living in better neighborhoods are also more likely to receive callbacks but, interestingly, this effect does not differ by race. The amount of discrimination is uniform across occupations and, to a lesser extent, industries. Federal contractors and employers who list “Equal Opportunity Employer” in their ad discriminate as much as other employers. In Chicago, we find that employers located in more African American neighborhoods discriminate slightly less.
Let’s assume that this prejudice against black names is unwarranted. Let’s assume that even though affirmative action is essentially a concerted effort, by all levels of government, to inflate blacks’ credentials, employers won’t think for a second that an “equally” qualified black might not be. Let’s assume this prejudice — and there’s no evidence it’s conscious — is not the result of actual negative experiences with blacks, possibly as a result of their higher crime rates, lower average IQ, or propensity for racial paranoia. Under those assumptions, I submit that it is perfectly reasonable for white employers—hence most employers—to believe they would get along better with a white person, or at least a person with a white name, than with a Lakisha or a Jamal. That has certainly been my (limited) personal experience. Which, of course, supports Taylor’s case: employers agree, diversity is not a strength.
Bad white people and good white people: it’s all so confusing and depressing
Wise fantasizes for a while about what all the bad white people would do if they were in charge: they would decide they want to live where black people are living now, and then kick them all out. Oh no! As fantasies go, it’s pretty tame. No one — and I mean no one — gets stuffed with cheese.
Plus: miscegenation (inter-racial breeding) wouldn’t solve our racial problems. Taylor wants to know: why not? Good question. Think about it.
Finally, it turns out even Wise knows white people aren’t inveterate racists: they don’t give discrimination a second thought, according to him. However, white institutions are full of discrimination — obviously. Taylor wants to know: are you suggesting we should tear down all our institutions to root out the systematic discrimination (you know, the discrimination that kept a black man out of the White House, and prevents blacks from contributing to popular culture, and won’t let blacks play professional sports?), even though the (white) people in them have done no wrong? Good question. Think about that too.
Okay, that’s it, I can’t watch any more today. It’s just too depressing, listening to this bigoted fanatic spew misinformation.
Meaning Tim Wise, of course.