Dr. James Watson, the brilliant scientist who helped pioneer the field of genetics, signed up for yet another round of attacks and denunciations by the political police when he decided to sell his Nobel Prize earlier this month in light of the fact that, as he put it, “No one wants to admit that I exist.” His “mistake”, one he cravenly attempted to apologize for, to no avail, was being frank during an interview about the scientific realities of meaningful racial differences.
His reputation and public life is permanently ruined, with no opportunity for redemption, precisely because his intellect and achievements lend so much weight to what he said. Unlike, say, Kramer, whose expletive-laden nightclub outburst was dramatically more hateful and hurtful, Watson’s passing remarks matter because they pierced the unscientific narrative imposed on the scientific community, that no intelligent and qualified scientists acknowledge that race exists and matters.
During yet another failed attempt to rehabilitate his reputation earlier this month, Watson insisted that he’s “not racist in a conventional way“. We all know what he was trying to say, essentially that he’s “not a hater”, that he has no ill will toward non-whites and strives to behave equitably. He is a classic and type-true case of a specifically “academic” variety of racialism. His is neither atavistic, that is to say instinctive or emotionally-charged. Nor is it altruistic, as he has no loyalty to his ethnic or racial identity.
This is commonly understood to be the “bad” type, and it’s the type you’re being accused of when you’re being accused or racism. It’s the type that’s lampooned in comedy and gut-wrenchingly portrayed by directors hoping for an Oscar nomination. With some possible autism spectrum exceptions, everybody’s a little bit racist. We humans tend to project certain assumptions onto people based on how they look, and we would continue doing it even if a good share of the stereotypes and assumptions we carry weren’t based on truth.
Even Jesse Jackson admits that having a black guy following him down the sidewalk is more unnerving than having a white woman following him down the sidewalk. Some starry-eyed neo-Marxist ideologues would like to live in a world where our atavistic responses to racial and sexual differences were “social constructs” which could be eventually “deconstructed”, but the best we can actually hope for is to maturely and respectfully deal with our human nature as individuals and as groups rather than indulging in denial or wishful thinking.
While we’re just about all atavistic racists, including every last one of our “anti-racist” commenters, some have it more than others and some deal with it more gracefully than others. While I can spout off the latest genetic research on human biodiversity from memory and have made a life’s calling out of advocacy for “my people”, I’m actually less racist in this sense than most. I’ve always been fascinated by other cultures, have always enjoyed engaging with a wide range of people from a wide range of backgrounds, and I was stunned and confused by a recent study confirming that three quarters of White Americans have no non-white friends. I, Matt Parrott, have several non-white friends, despite being Matt Parrott, even after they’ve all googled ‘Matt Parrott’.
I believe that befriending and behaving respectfully and equitably toward “the other” is perfectly compatible with both academic racialism and altruistic identitarianism. In my years in White Nationalism, I’ve noticed that there’s a relatively even, if rarely acknowledged or discussed, divide on this topic, with about half of White Advocates pretending that they’re not conventional bigots as an “angle” and the other half pretending that the conventional bigots among us don’t exist.
While it’s healthy and natural to feel more comfortable and warm with one’s own than with one who doesn’t share our identity and culture, hateful and hurtful expressions of atavistic racism are repellent to our better instincts, they make enemies where we need to be making allies, and (of course) they play into our opponents’ worst stereotypes about our motives and goals.
What many people don’t get about academic racism is that it can exist entirely independently of atavistic or altruistic racism. In fact, many of the more prominent academic racialists are in mixed-race marriages. William Saletan, Slate’s science and bioethics correspondent, famously attempted to reconcile his liberal Jewish worldview with his knowledge of human biodiversity. He was forced to offer an involuntary and unconvincing apology shortly after his foolhardy attempt at honesty in science journalism, but well-presented truths ring louder than the most shrill apologies, as Dr. Watson can attest.
Facts exist independently of politics, and any given set of facts can be grappled with in any number of ways by folks of differing political persuasions. The only real problem comes when political acts are predicated on falsehoods. For example, falsely presuming that Blacks have the same aptitude for engineering as Asians could result in a futile search for invisible obstacles and secret privileges causing the disparity. There’s more than one way to skin a cat, though. I, for example, favor American universities setting aside more engineering seats for Black Americans than for Asian students studying abroad, because I believe investing in the education of American citizens should take priority over investing in the education of foreign nationals.
There’s an implied assumption, a false one which is too frequently perpetuated by academic racialists themselves, that meritocracy is a virtue and that the scientific facts imply that behaving meritocratically is socially and economically advantageous. Meritocracy exists in opposition to loyalty. The two are incompatible, and loyalty eventually wins, as a simple matter of game theory. The success of Jews in our Ivy League institutions is one such example of how this process plays out in real life: White Christian academic institutions embraced meritocratic principles in the 20th Century, allowing a wave of genuinely gifted and motivated Jews to rise to prominence. Once in prominent positions, Jewish academicians wielded their power to loyally favor their own, so acutely that the typical Ivy League Jew is now less talented than the typical Ivy League White Christian.
For too many, academic racialism ultimately amounts to a sort of rhetorical citadel we identitarians wall ourselves off in because the facts are so clearly and vividly on our side. After over a century of psychometric research, spanning every continent and identity on the Earth, accounting for every last possible hypothetical challenge, racial differences in intelligence have persisted as one of the few ironclad things to hang one’s hat on in the typically murky and fad-prone field of psychology. For every possible objection to the presented facts, we have a conclusive response.
The science is in, and there’s more going on than the color of skin.
And, yet, we do ourselves a disservice by holing ourselves up in this bunker, regardless of how well-fortified it may be. Because, ultimately, quantifying and clarifying the differences between the races isn’t what we’re about. Even if my people were the least intelligent, had the shortest average gestational period, and produced the ugliest babies, …they’re still my people.
When we argue for separate communities and self-determination on factoids, insisting that we should be separate from Black Americans because they tend to commit dramatically more violent crime, we’re making an implicitly supremacist argument where supremacy and inferiority are beside the point. After all, should we follow from that logic that our own people are inferior to East Asians because our own people tend to commit dramatically more violent crime than they do? We have a right to exist in our own communities granted by God and nature, and have no more need to explain ourselves than a family has to explain locking its doors at night.
The term “racism” is a bit of a misnomer, here. As a more accurate term for the locus of altruism would be either a “tribe”, an ethnic group, or an extended family. Altruistic Racism is the proposition that biological identity is a factor (not the factor) in defining one’s identity and community. It’s distinct from atavistic racism in that it’s abstract rather than instinctive, and that it’s pro-active rather than reactive. It’s the conscious and willful decision to love, support, and uplift the kinfolk who share your values and vision for the future, and only those kinfolk who share your values and vision for the future.
It entails loving the kinfolk who are at the left tail of the bell curve in terms of intelligence and achievement. It entails planting seeds to create shade you’ll never enjoy for distant cousins you’ll never meet. It entails discarding our contemporary individualism in favor of conceiving of oneself not as a discrete and complete self-contained atomic unit of identity, but as one strand of fabric in an inter-generational quilt of human experience which transcends time, space, social class, and subculture.
It’s the type of “racism” that we need more of, because it’s the constructive kind that brings people together and pulls people toward developing solutions and firm goals rather than toward accusations and arguments. It’s about simple and wholesome loyalty, and that’s bigger than all the physiological responses and facts and figures combined. It’s something Black Americans, Jews, Latin American immigrants, and pretty much everybody save for we White folks already take for granted. Without it, our people will eventually be lost to history, and with it will be lost our unique signature expression of life, our artistic expression, our pursuit of knowledge and discovery, and our experience of our faiths.