Stubborn Ignorance

Walter E. Williams, GOP USA, July 25, 2012

Academic intelligentsia, their media, government and corporate enthusiasts worship at the altar of diversity. Despite budget squeezes, universities have created diversity positions, such as director of diversity and inclusion, manager of diversity recruitment, associate dean for diversity, vice president of diversity and perhaps minister of diversity. This is all part of a quest to get college campuses, corporate offices and government agencies to “look like America.”

For them, part of looking like America means race proportionality. For example, if blacks are 13 percent of the population, they should be 13 percent of college students and professors, corporate managers and government employees. Law professors, courts and social scientists have long held that gross statistical disparities are evidence of a pattern and practice of discrimination. Behind this vision is the stupid notion that but for the fact of discrimination, we’d be distributed proportionately by race across incomes, education, occupations and other outcomes. There’s no evidence from anywhere on earth or any time in human history that shows that but for discrimination, there would be proportional representation and an absence of gross statistical disparities, by race, sex, height or any other human characteristic. Nonetheless, much of our thinking, legislation and public policy is based upon proportionality being the norm. Let’s run a few gross disparities by you, and you decide whether they represent what the courts call a pattern and practice of discrimination and, if so, what corrective action you would propose.

Jews are not even 1 percent of the world’s population and only 3 percent of the U.S. population, but they are 20 percent of the world’s Nobel Prize winners and 39 percent of U.S. Nobel laureates. That’s a gross statistical disparity, but are the Nobel committees discriminating against the rest of us? {snip}

Nearly 80 percent of the players in the National Basketball Association in 2011 were black, and 17 percent were white, but if that disparity is disconcerting, Asians were only 1 percent. Compounding the racial disparity, the highest-paid NBA players are black. That gross disparity works the other way in the National Hockey League, in which less than 3 percent of the players are black. Blacks are 66 percent of NFL and AFL professional football players, but among the 34 percent of other players, there’s not a single Japanese player. {snip}


There are some other disparities that might bother the diversity people. Asians routinely get the highest scores on the math portion of the SAT, whereas blacks get the lowest. Men are about 50 percent of the population, and so are women, but there’s the gross injustice that men are struck by lightning six times as often as women. {snip}


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  • Commenter

    Sowell is alright with me.

  •  AND contribute only 13% of the crime!

  • It’s always interesting to hear leftists justify the racial disparity in the NBA. They use all sorts of convoluted logic to explain it away – but it never occurs to them that there are much simpler (non-racism) explanations for disparities that do not work in favor of blacks.

  • Sherman_McCoy

    That’s because more men are “out standing” in their fields.

  • Sherman_McCoy

    No, they will condemn it as the rantings of a self-hating house n*.  

  • Sherman_McCoy

    Simple mistake, I would think, as there are so few of them.  One or the other had to have written it.

  • JohnEngelman

    When the conclusion is unpopular do not state it. Document the facts that lead to the conclusion. Some people will get the point. Others will stutter with anger because they cannot refute the facts. 

  • Wolf

    Blacks (as a group) not superior in ANY way?  They are superior is some ways, such as basketball, sprinting, jumping.  I’m not including blacks of East African descent in those examples.  They are the best in the world at long distance running, which blacks of West African descent are terrible at.

    • Dan Reardon

       I’ve read where West Africans tend to be short and stocky with smaller lung capacity and a high concentration of fast twitch muscle fiber. This is said to account for their success in football at positions like running back. Whites tend to dominate many of the strength sports like worlds strongest man competition and collegiate wrestling. I also remember reading where their was a certain tribe of Indian that were known for their long distance running abilities but I’ve forgotten their name. At the present time Kenyans are dominating the long running events and I believe they have even narrowed it down to a certain tribe who, at one time or another, were adept at cattle rustling.

      • Ted

        The Tupamaros are the distance runners.

  • Dan Reardon

     Conan, Regarding Asian intelligence. It’s my understanding that average Asian IQ is slightly higher but Whites have a higher rate of people in the genius category. Apparently the Asian bell curve is more of a spike and our curve is more bowl shaped.