Welcome to the jungle: Unamusement Park explores the Congo (part 3)
Sep 6th, 2011 by Unamused
Welcome back to the jungle.
Last time, we sat down for a second sickening serving of (in the words of a UN human rights expert) “unimaginable brutality” on the part of those incorrigible Congolese. Whether it’s fistulas or forced incest, cannibals or child witches, sex slaves or soccer sorcerers, or even just a herd of innocent goats languishing in prison on trumped-up charges, the fun truly never stops in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Let’s make all the cultural relativists live in the Congo
I promise you we’ve only scratched the surface. I could go on, for post after post, just cataloging the utter horribleness of the DRC.
How about soldiers abducting and murdering civilians, then eating their hearts? Did we cover cardiac cannibalism, that characteristically Congolese kind of collateral damage? The UN has plenty of reports on the subject (UN News Centre, 2003).
One witness reported that soldiers killed his brother and four other people, including a three-year-old child, then took the heart of one of the victims and sucked the blood from it.
Another said soldiers killed his father, cut his chest open, removed the heart, cooked it and ate it in front of him. In yet another reported case, soldiers under the command of a woman executed six people out of a group of 13, pulled out their hearts and forced the other prisoners to taste the human flesh.
(You can watch a Liberian child soldier preparing to eat the heart of a Liberian general 38 seconds into the Vice Guide to Travel: Liberia, well worth watching in its entirety.)
In other news, a few years later, the left-wing media (Huffington Post, 2008) discovered that Michele Bachmann, while running for Congress, had said (of Muslims and the French): “Not all cultures are equal. Not all values are equal.”
Commenters were quick to characterize this “loonie toon” and her “massive ignorance and bigoted mischaracterization” as “disturbing” and “depressing,” and I’m sure they had a good cry over it. One unintentionally amusing comment contrasts conservatives like Bachmann (bad) with Democrats (good): “Conservatives want people to assimilate before they will accept them. Democrats will accept them and HOPE they assimilate and be a part of the culture.” Indeed.
So bear in mind, as we explore the Congo from the safety of our homes — well, the relative safety of our homes (mine is currently full of vicious bearcats, for reasons I can’t get into, but at least they aren’t out sodomizing Pygmies — as far as I know…) — but in any case, bear in mind: to believers in the Doctrine of Diversity (our state religion), the surest way to become ignorant of another culture is to actually learn about that culture, without (and this is still key) assuming that non-whites are perfect and wonderful in every single way, and all their various horrific self-imposed “struggles” are the direct result of evil racist white folk. Somewhere. At some point in time. Through mechanisms unexplained and, indeed, inconceivable to the human mind.
But wait: given that the Congo is the way it is, by which I mean horrible in every way imaginable, and a few other ways the UN assures me aren’t imaginable, and supposing for a moment that all the aforementioned and variously imaginable horribleness isn’t necessarily caused by awful, no-good white folk (as a corollary to some Fundamental Law of White Guilt, presumably one of the commandments handed down by Diversity’s greatest prophet, MLK, and therefore presumably plagiarized from some other saintly figure) — supposing that…
Why is the Congo the way it is?
An important question — not just for the Congolese, but for us as well. As I remarked in part 2,
If the answer is historical, i.e. “the Congo sucks because of the evil Belgians who colonized it,” then surely now that the Belgians are out, the Congo will improve… eventually. But the fact that it seems to be moving in the opposite direction is a point against this theory. On the other hand, if the answer is genetic, i.e., racial, i.e. “the Congo sucks because it’s full of Congolese,” then the Congo will probably not improve on any timescale short of geological.
And if the genetic theory holds, then given that we, the inhabitants of those wonderful white-majority nations, don’t want to live in the Congo ourselves (which we surely don’t), then shouldn’t we try very hard to keep the Congolese out of our countries? Otherwise, won’t they, through their prodigious reproduction and unique, er, “genetic legacy,” inevitably drag us down to their level?
“Wait a minute!” Says the token race denialist in the audience. “Genetics? But I thought race is only skin deep! Just what the heck is going on here, anyway?” And grumbles to himself: “Must be some kind of racist trick… grumble grumble…”
Race is ancestral geography
As I once explained —
“… grumble grumble grumble.”
Excuse me, Token Race Denialist. There will be time for your grumbling later.
As I once explained to a black woman who does not believe that she is black (in “Black and white”), human beings are grouped into races and subraces according to ancestral geography. The so-called black races, to pick a particularly relevant example, consist of people of sub-Saharan African descent; that is, whose ancestors, going back thousands of generations and tens of thousands of years (except possibly the last few hundred years) were inhabitants of sub-Saharan Africa. Obviously, there are also people who are 50 percent black, 90 percent black, 1 percent black, and so on, and the line that separates black from non-black in practice is blurry — but then so is the line between short and tall, yet height continues to exist.
Races are not defined by skin pigmentation, although in America dark skin is a convenient way to identify black people (hence the term “black”). There’s not a whole lot of (relatively dark-skinned) Australian Aborigines here.
So-called black people can usefully (not to say profitably) be divided into five races — again, based on ancestral geography: the Khoid race (or Hottentot), the Sanid race (or Bushmen), the Central Congoid race, the Bambutid race (or Pygmies), and the Aethiopid race (hybridized with Caucasoids). In America, for well-known historical reasons, the majority of blacks belong to the Central Congoid race, which (coincidentally to this series) originated in the Congo river basin. There’s just not a whole lot of Bushmen or Pygmies here either.
The Central Congoid race has four subraces, two of which are particularly well known. West Africans (the Sudanid subrace) produce the world’s best sprinters. East Africans (the Kafrid or Bantid subrace), on the other hand, produce the best distance runners, but they don’t make especially good sprinters.
How can this be? What does ancestral geography have to do with athletic ability?
Race is therefore genetic
The relevant equation here is:
geographical separation + time + evolution = genetic differences
That, at least, is what evolutionary biology teaches us to expect. Can we test this theory? Look what happens when you plot the three principal components of genetic variation (PC1, PC2, PC3) among black people, in this figure from “The Genetic Structure and History of Africans and African Americans” (2009) by S. A. Tishkoff et al. (Science 324(5930): 1035–1044):
If I had to choose just one conclusion to draw from that graph, “races don’t exist” wouldn’t be it.
I hammered this point home when I debunked radical social scientist Mikhail Lyubansky (in “Want to know what race is or isn’t? Don’t ask a radical social scientist!”). Lyubansky had claimed (Psychology Today, 2011) that
the genetic data suggest that there is no biological evidence for human subspecies (what we might call racial groups). To the contrary, all people are about 99.5% similar genetically, and the genetic variability that does exist (the remaining .5%) tends to be greater within ethnic groups than between them…
This is a form of Lewontin’s Fallacy, and (as the name suggests) it’s simply wrong. A complete rebuttal may be found in the outstanding “Race: A Social Destruction of a Biological Concept” (2001) by Neven Sesardic (Biology and Philosophy 25(2): 143-162). In brief, two people of the same race are always more similar genetically than two people of different races (pp. 150–154). The problem is, Lewontin (and Lyubansky) measured genetic variation by looking at each genetic indicator separately, thereby failing to account for genetic clustering. Their reasoning is thoroughly fallacious. When you take a less simple-minded approach, what do you find?
In “Genetic structure of human populations” (2002), N. A. Rosenberg et al. showed that people cluster genetically according to major geographic regions — in other words, races (Science 298(5602): 2381–2385).
In “Genetic Structure, Self-Identified Race/Ethnicity, and Confounding in Case-Control Association Studies” (2005), H. Tang et al. demonstrated that genetic clusters match self-reported race (white, black, Hispanic, or East Asian) 99.9 percent of the time (American Journal of Human Genetics 76(2): 268–275).
We already saw African races with our own eyes; luckily for us (not-so-luckily for race denialists), Tishkoff et al. (2009) also plot global genetic variation. You can literally see the races:
The Congolese population is made up of “over 200 African ethnic groups of which the majority are Bantu; the four largest tribes — Mongo, Luba, Kongo (all Bantu), and the Mangbetu-Azande (Hamitic) make up about 45% of the population” (CIA). Can there be any doubt that these ethnic groups are really genetic groups, albeit on a much smaller level than races or even subraces?
Just for fun, find the Kongo tribe in this enormous tree diagram of genetic distances between populations, also from Tishkoff et al. (2009).
Now that we know race is genetic —
Now that we know race is genetic, at least our question — is the Congo shitty because of its shitty history or its shitty gene pool? — is meaningful. So which is it? What’s the ultimate answer? History or genes? Nurture or nature (if you can call paying $50 to have your child tortured by an exorcist “nurture”)? Are the Congolese exactly like us, only (1) darker and (2) so hampered by the legacy of colonialism that they’re forced to imprison innocent goats, influence soccer matches with sorcery, shoot five-year-old girls in the vagina, and eat each other’s hearts? Or do we differ genetically in more than skin tone (and hair texture, and bone structure, and disease susceptibility…)?
It’s one of those questions you’re just not supposed to ask, let alone answer, as the great American biologist James Watson discovered in October, 2007. He had stated in an interview (The Times, 2007) that
he is “inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa” because “all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours – whereas all the testing says not really”… He writes that “there is no firm reason to anticipate that the intellectual capacities of peoples geographically separated in their evolution should prove to have evolved identically. Our wanting to reserve equal powers of reason as some universal heritage of humanity will not be enough to make it so.”
Watson was absolutely right: race differences in intelligence exist, favoring the descendants of ancient Europeans (whites) over the descendants of ancient Africans (blacks), and for that matter the descendants of ancient northeast Asians over whites; and these differences probably have a significant genetic component. It is certainly what one would expect from human history, recent and evolutionary. Two articles by Jason Malloy at the blog Gene Expression, “A World of Difference: Richard Lynn Maps World Intelligence” (2006) and “James Watson Tells the Inconvenient Truth: Faces the Consequences” (2007) explain the science in detail.
But Watson’s potent blend of evolutionary biology, psychometrics and, uh… passing familiarity with black people, so tasty to race realists (the blend, not the blacks), proved too much for the academic left to handle — so-called scientists included (Gene Expression, 2007):
several of Watson’s sold-out speaking engagements were cancelled, many critical articles appeared in the British press, trailed by the American press a few days later, hundreds of blogs were fuming with negative commentary, including ones by the editors of Scientific American and Wired Magazine, a number of associations issued statements condemning his words, and soon he was suspended from his chancellorship at Cold Spring Harbor. Watson cancelled his already ruined book tour and flew home to tend to the destruction. It was too late; the eminent biologist retired in disgrace on Oct. 26th.
Watson’s great crime was telling the unflattering truth about the intelligence of blacks in general. What about the Congolese in particular?
Unsurprisingly, they’re no exception. Richard Lynn’s “Race Differences in Intelligence: an Evolutionary Analysis” (2006) cites five studies of Congolese intelligence.
- Verhagen (1956) administered Raven’s Standard Progressive Matrices (SPM) — a non-verbal, multiple-choice test of abstract reasoning, which measures the reasoning component of the general intelligence factor, g — to 67 (Congolese) adults and obtained a mean IQ of 64.
- Laroche (1959) administered SPM to 222 children, ages 10–15, and obtained a mean IQ of 68.
- Boivin and Giordani (1993) administered the Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children (K-ABC), which is designed to be culturally fair, to 47 children, age 8, and obtained a mean IQ of 62.
- Boivin et al. (1995) administered the K-ABC to 95 children, ages 7–12, and obtained a mean IQ of 68.
- Giordani et al. (1996) administered the K-ABC to 130 children, ages 7–9, and obtained a mean IQ of 65.
In short, the Congolese are really dumb. This has many profound consequences. We will expand on this idea in part 4.