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20211030 – Facing Reality

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MAIN IDEA:

The author’s main idea is to call attention to the dismal condition of the American polity that is under severe stress due to racial tensions and identity politics. The author is afraid that the American creed, which he defines as a multiracial and mainly classless society, is falling apart. Therefore, he calls to action, rejuvenating and restoring this creed. Consequently, the author allocates the bulk of the book to demonstrate the real differences between races in IQ and crime rates with factual data and statistics. However, he points out that racial discrimination directed against Whites and Asians and designed to suppress their statistical advantages is not just unfair but dangerous. If Whites, who are the majority of the population, become another special interest group, the society in its current form could not survive.  

DETAILS:

Introduction
The author defines current reality as the struggle for America’s soul, and he wrote this book to clarify two facts that people are afraid to look at:” The first is that American Whites, Blacks, Latinos, and Asians, as groups, have different means and distributions of cognitive ability. The second is that American Whites, Blacks, Latinos, and Asians, as groups, have different rates of violent crime. Allegations of systemic racism in policing, education, and the workplace cannot be assessed without dealing with the reality of group differences.”

Chapter One: The American Creed Imperiled
The author presents his understanding of the American creed as expressed in the Declaration of Independence that “All men are created equal” and then describes the recent American history of the successful civil rights movement. Then the author moves to describe developments of the XXI century that challenged this American creed. The key component of this development is identity politics, defined this way:” The core premise of identity politics is that individuals are inescapably defined by the groups into which they were born – principally (but not exclusively) by race and sex – and that this understanding must shape our politics.” The author also defines another component that he intends to defy: “…the premise that all groups are equal in the ways that shape economic, social, and political outcomes for groups and that therefore all differences in group outcomes are artificial and indefensible. That premise is factually wrong. Hence this book about race differences in cognitive ability and criminal behavior.”

Chapter Two: Multiracial America
This chapter begins with the description of multiracial America:

After describing the general racial breakdown of the population, the author discusses the racial geography of multiracial America. It includes the big cities which went from the white majority to the minority. The total population of big cities (500,000+) is 127 million people, or 39% of the population. Outside the big cities, the European percentage raises to 71%. The author also presents the color-coded map of racial distribution:

Chapter Three: Race Differences in Cognitive Ability
In this chapter, the author presents his position on the race’s average cognitive ability in the groupings. His contentions are:

  • When Africans, Asians, Europeans, and Latins take tests that are related to cognitive ability, their group results have different means.   
  • Race differences between Africans and Europeans in cognitive test scores narrowed significantly during the 1970s and 1980s, but the narrowing stopped three decades ago.   
  • Scores on today’s most widely used standardized tests, whether they are tests of cognitive ability or academic achievement, pass the central test of fairness: They do not underpredict the performance of lower-scoring groups in the classroom or on the job.

The author also refers to several specific studies and explains how to interpret the results. For example, here is the table demonstrating group variance:

At the end of the chapter, the author discusses the meaningfulness of these findings.

Chapter Four: Race Differences in Violent Crime In this chapter, the author uses a similar statistical approach to analyzing the racial group differences in criminal activities. The data mainly relate to 13 states of the USA and summarize in several tables that all demonstrate similar trends. Here is the summary of the findings.

Chapter Five: First-Order Effects of Race Differences in Cognitive Ability
In this chapter, the author enumerates the effects of cognitive deficiencies. For example, in the job market, these are the impacts:

  • Measures of cognitive ability and job performance are always positively correlated.   
  • The size of the correlation goes up as the job becomes more cognitively complex.   
  • Even for low-skill occupations, job experience does not lead to convergence in performance among persons with different cognitive abilities.   
  • For intellectually demanding jobs, there is no point at which more cognitive ability doesn’t make a difference. Increases in IQ scores are statistically associated with increases in productivity at every level of cognitive ability.

For impacts on educational achievement, the author provides the statistical result of the admission tests to professional training.:

At the end of the chapter, the author presents the consequences of affirmative actions:

“The 2014–2018 American Community Survey found that Africans, at 13 percent of the population, accounted for only 3.6 percent of CEOs, 3.7 percent of physical scientists, 4.4 percent of civil engineers, 5.1 percent of physicians, and 5.2 percent of lawyers. Latin percentages in those prestigious occupations ranged from 5.3 to 7.6 percent, but Latins are almost 18 percent of the population, so their underrepresentation was nearly the same.

The picture flips when race differences in cognitive ability and job performance are taken into account. Africans and Latins get through the educational pipeline with preferential treatment in admissions to colleges and to professional programs. Their mean IQs in occupations across the range from unskilled to those requiring advanced degrees are substantially lower than the mean IQs for Europeans in the same occupations. Race differences in measures of on-the-job performance are commensurate with the differences in cognitive ability.

I think it is fair to conclude that the American job market is indeed racially biased. A detached observer might even call it systemic racism. The American job market systemically discriminates in favor of racial minorities other than Asians.”

Chapter Six: First-Order Effects of Race Differences in Crime
In this chapter, the author reviews the consequences of high crime levels of minority groups. The author looks at big cities and finds that many crimes and arrests occur in specific zip codes. He links it to the stunted economic activity: the result of high cost and even danger of doing business in the high crime areas. The author also reviews the multiple political interventions and government expenses, none of which produce sustainable improvement. Similarly, the high crime protected by massive grievances industry makes policing defensive when police officers are concerned more with protecting themselves than anything else. The author also discusses small-city and rural America, where crime is much lower and, interestingly enough, much less varies by race.  

Chapter Seven: If We Don’t Face reality

The final chapter represents the author’s sum of all fears. He laments his previous neglect regarding identity politics as just a college student game and states his belief that it now presents an existential threat to America. His big fear is that the white majority respond to growing defamation and discrimination against it with its own identity politics. The author provides parallel to BLM movement and warns:” “The question asks itself: If a minority consisting of 13 percent of the population can generate as much political energy and solidarity as America’s Blacks have, what happens when a large proportion of the 60 percent of the population that is White begins to use the same playbook? I could spin out a variety of scenarios, but I don’t have confidence in any of them. I am certain of only two things.

First, the White backlash is occurring in the context of long-term erosion in the federal government’s legitimacy. Since 1958, the Gallup polling organization has periodically asked Americans how much they trust the federal government to do what is right. In 1958, 73 percent said “always” or “most of the time.” Trust hit its high point in 1964, when that figure stood at 77 percent. Then it began to fall. By 1980, only 27 percent trusted the government to do what is right. That percentage rebounded to the low 40s during the Reagan years, then fell to a new low, 19 percent, in 1994. It rebounded again, hitting a short-lived high of 54 percent just after 9/11. Then it plunged again, hitting another new low, 15 percent, in 2011. It has been in the 15–20 percent range ever since. A government that is distrusted by more than 80 percent of the citizens has a bipartisan legitimacy problem.”

In the end, the author calls:” The return to an embrace of the American creed must be a celebration of America’s original ideal of equality under the law.” He believes that it is possible if the supporters of the American creed on both sides of the political divide start expressing their support loudly and actively. They should also stop demonizing each other, express the belief that the people on the other side also love this country, and start looking for compromises.

MY TAKE ON IT:

I generally agree with the author that the balkanization of America currently underway could lead to tremendous pain and suffering. To me, the idea that non-elite whites would sheepishly agree to be second-class citizens and passively suffer all kinds of restrictions and humiliations to pay for sins of the past seems to be just plain unrealistic. However, I do not think that accurate restatement of racial groups deficiencies would help with this problem. Actually, I believe that elite whites who actively promote identity politics are not just well familiar with statistically lower IQ and high crime rates of blacks and Hispanics but count on it to help them stay in power. Nothing could be more threatening to some mid to upper-level bureaucrat or politician than some lower-middle-class high IQ kid striving to move up and push this bureaucrat out of the comfy place. Therefore, for such bureaucrats and politicians, the identity politics that would substitute this dangerous kid with a lower IQ but a racially correct alternative is just too great of an instrument to fend off this threat. The best way to correct this issue is to disregard statistical differences and demand an individual approach with double-blind selection for candidates to any preferred and competitive position. Anything else should be treated as open racism, regardless of whether it is anti-black, anti-white, or anti-Hispanic. The individuals at the higher levels of government, educational, or corporate hierarchies should be immediately fired and treated the same way afterward as sexual predators, so people would be alerted if they move in nearby areas.        


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