A Talk with Jason Richwine: ‘I Do Not Apologize for Any of My Work’

Byron York, Washington Examiner, May 13, 2013

“It seemed like that day lasted forever,” says Jason Richwine of last Wednesday, when he found himself in the middle of a media firestorm over his writings about Hispanic immigrants and intelligence. “I knew that this probably would not end well.”

It didn’t. On Friday morning, the 31 year-old scholar resigned from the Heritage Foundation, where he had co-authored the new report, “The Fiscal Cost of Unlawful Immigrants and Amnesty to the U.S. Taxpayer.” The paper, released last Monday and written largely by Heritage scholar Robert Rector, argued that Hispanic immigrants to the United States, most of them low-skill, end up costing the government more in benefits than they pay in taxes. {snip}

Heritage expected that debate. What it did not expect was the firestorm that broke out Wednesday morning when a liberal Washington Post blogger posted an article titled, “Heritage study co-author opposed letting in immigrants with low IQs.” The blogger, Dylan Matthews, wrote that Richwine, who earned a doctorate from Harvard University in 2009, had written a dissertation, “IQ and Immigration Policy,” which argued that on average immigrants to the U.S., particularly Hispanic immigrants, have lower IQ scores than “the white native population.” Admitting immigrants with higher IQs, Richwine argued, would be a better immigration policy than admitting low-IQ newcomers.


Richwine knew he was in trouble the minute the first story broke. “The accusation of racism is one of the worst things that anyone can call you in public life,” he says. “Once that word is out there, it’s very difficult to recover from it, even when it is completely untrue.”

It got worse. In the 24 hours that followed the Post’s initial report, other outlets noted that in 2010 Richwine published two articles on a website called AlternativeRight.com, which describes itself as “an online magazine dedicated to heretical perspectives on society and culture” but is better defined as a site with a strong white nationalist perspective. Then a web video surfaced of Richwine saying, during a 2008 panel discussion, “Decades of psychometric testing has indicated that at least in America, you have Jews with the highest average IQ, usually followed by East Asians, then you have non-Jewish whites, Hispanics, and then blacks. These are real differences, and they’re not going to go away tomorrow, and for that reason we have to address them in our immigration discussions and our debates.”


Richwine knew from his own observations of other such controversies that they usually resulted in someone losing his job and his reputation. When he got home Wednesday night, he told his wife, a stay-at-home mother to their two children, ages six months and two and a half years, that things didn’t look good.

By Friday, he was saying his goodbyes at Heritage and wondering what had happened. “It still amazes me that it would be me who is portrayed this way,” Richwine says. “I have a pretty good educational background, I have a good background in doing very good quantitative work. The idea that I am some sort of foaming-at-the-mouth extremist never even crossed my mind.”


So, how did it happen? Richwine, the Harvard intellectual, thought he could discuss perhaps the most radioactive subject in America–a mixture of race, ethnicity, and group intelligence–in the context of another highly controversial topic–immigration–and act as if it were all a matter of scholarly inquiry. {snip}

Richwine got in touch with me over the weekend, wanting to talk. In a long discussion Sunday, I began by asking about his interest in the topic of race and IQ. How had that started? He had read Charles Murray’s “The Bell Curve” when he was a student at American University in Washington, Richwine said, and was fascinated by the author’s approach to a complex topic. The son of an engineer and a bookkeeper from the suburbs of Philadelphia, Richwine was quantitatively inclined. After graduating from American in 2004 with bachelor’s degrees in math and political science, he was accepted into graduate school at Harvard, where the focus of his research was the question of group intelligence.

While Richwine was at Harvard, Murray visited Cambridge and Richwine told him about his research project. The result was a two-year fellowship at the conservative American Enterprise Institute in Washington, where Murray has long been a scholar. The fellowship gave Richwine the opportunity to finish his doctoral work while also getting a start in the world of Washington think tanks. “It was wonderful,” Richwine recalled. “Few grad students get that kind of support and get to work with their childhood hero.” Indeed, Richwine’s dissertation acknowledgements make special note of Murray. “The substance of my work was positively influenced by many people, but no one was more influential than Charles Murray, whose detailed editing and relentless constructive criticism have made the final draft vastly superior to the first,” Richwine wrote. “I could not have asked for a better primary advisor.”


“I am a much better writer than I am a speaker,” he told me. “I probably would have written those things differently than I spoke them. What I emphasized was that ethnic group differences in IQ are scientifically uncontroversial. That being said, there is a nuance that goes along with that: the extent to which IQ scores actually reflect intelligence, the fact that it reflects averages and there is a lot of overlap in any population, and that IQ scores say absolutely nothing about the causes of the differences–environmental, genetic, or some combination of those things.”

“I don’t apologize for any of the things that I said,” Richwine continued. “But I do regret that I couldn’t give more detail. And I also regret that I didn’t think more about how the average lay person would perceive these things, as opposed to an academic audience.”


After Richwine’s two-year stint at AEI, he moved to Heritage in March 2010. “I was first hired into the Center for Data Analysis,” Richwine said. “I was not hired as an immigration expert. I was hired to do numbers crunching on a variety of things.” During his time in the data department, Richwine did research on various issues concerning public finance, pension reform and education. After a couple of years, he was promoted to the domestic policy shop.

None of his work involved the topic of his dissertation, Richwine told me. But at the same time, Richwine wrote a number of articles touching on immigration, some of which presaged themes in the new Heritage report. For example, in June 2010 Richwine published an article in National Review titled, “A Population Portrait — Who illegal immigrants are, and what they bring with them.” In it, he wrote that legalizing currently illegal immigrants “would add to our citizenry millions of people, most of them poor and less-educated, whose prospects for advancement are decidedly low.” In a conclusion that echoed a 2006 Heritage report (which was also written by Robert Rector) on the fiscal cost of immigration, Richwine wrote that “[government] benefits eventually owed to low-earning immigrants will be much greater than what they paid in.”

Along with his research on other issues, Richwine began working with Rector on an updated version of the immigration report. “The methodology of that was certainly not developed by me,” he said. “It goes back to a National Academy of Sciences report in 1997, which built a framework for taxes people pay and benefits people receive. There is nothing in that paper that is even remotely related to any of my dissertation work.”


Richwine decided not to talk to the press, at least for a while. When he contacted me, he said he knew fully the danger of discussing an issue like IQ in a political context — “I’m not naive about that,” he said. But he wanted to make clear that he defends his work. “I do not apologize for any of my work,” he told me. “I’m proud of it. But I do regret the way it has been used.”

As the conversation went on, Richwine pointed to a piece a few years ago by Slate’s William Saletan that discussed the fact that there are IQ differences between groups but that many people simply don’t want to hear about them, preferring instead to believe in an ideal of intelligence equality. “Saletan called this ‘liberal creationism,'” Richwine said. “For liberals, that’s their creationism — something that is obviously not true from a scientific perspective, but that they have to believe.” In the article, though, Saletan included all the caveats and explanations that Richwine had left out of his remarks at AEI back in 2008. As Richwine learned, those “nuances” are absolutely critical when discussing the issue of intelligence in a political context.

Richwine and others also pointed to the fact that his ideas were expressed most completely in a dissertation done at Harvard, of all places, under the supervision of a group of distinguished scholars, and that the dissertation was accepted and Richwine was awarded a Ph.D. It seems unlikely that a Harvard dissertation, finished in 2009, would qualify as hate speech, his defenders contend. But that is how it was portrayed in the controversy.


Now, it will soon be time for Richwine to look for another job. He knows it will likely be tough. “What remains to be seen is how radioactive people consider me,” he says. “My goal right now is that people understand that I’m not someone who has to be avoided. I’ve always considered myself a mainstream scholar. If people associate me with these three days for the rest of my life, it will be very difficult.”

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  • The__Bobster

    Richwine knew he was in trouble the minute the first story broke. “The accusation of racism is one of the worst things that anyone can call you in public life,” he says. “Once that word is out there, it’s very difficult to recover from it, even when it is completely untrue.”

    Ahem! Publishing the truth about racial differences DOES make you a racist in the eyes of the libtards.

    • dd121

      You’re always guilty when accused of “racism”. That’s what you’re called by liberals when they disagree with you.

      • The__Bobster

        Especially when you’re winning the debate.

      • WIRBIW

        Liberals will stop calling whites racists when we no longer get defensive, scared or ashamed of being called one. The blacks, mestizo and muslims will keep pushing us around unless we collectively stand up to them. The survival of us as a people depends upon us and us alone

    • guest

      Any white conservative is guilty of racism. White conservatives want to cut social spending, and social spending is a transfer of money from whites to blacks, so the conservative agenda, at its fundamentals, meets the definition of racism.

      I think at this point the best response to the R-word accusation, for white conservatives, is something like, “liberals always accuse conservatives of racism. Attack my research with facts. I’m not going to pander to people who disagree with me.” Matt Heimbach would say something like this, and would never apologize or address such accusations.

      It’s bad to try to say the accusation is “completely untrue” because the only way to show that it is completely untrue is to agree with many of the tenets of the cult of diversity and liberalism. Going down that path is bad. He’ll have to buy the lie, and he still won’t win.

      • WIRBIW

        There is a growing racial (overt) awakening in the white conservative movement lately. Even regular neocons are talking about black on white violence, about how pandering to Hispanics is a waste of time, etc. Hell, even Rush Limbaugh is talking about this!

    • Erasmus

      While he’s a hot commodity, Richwine needs to publish a book. A large percentage of the country agree with him and would enjoy hearing him speak.

  • The__Bobster

    Well, I’m glad he’s not groveling at the feet of his inferiors. It wouldn’t work anyway and would just make them more aggressive.

    • Spokker

      Never apologize.

      People here may have some ideological differences with guy (and I would suggest a surprising amount of agreement!), but the late comedian Patrice O’Neal often talked about how the media attacks offensive speech. One of his pieces of advice is to never apologize, because that’s when they smell blood in the water.

      Here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXo1yJC0FrM

  • sbuffalonative

    “The accusation of racism is one of the worst things that anyone can call you in public life,” he says. “Once that word is out there, it’s very difficult to recover from it, even when it is completely untrue.”

    We’ll never really know will we. People are sacrificed before they’re even allowed to put up a defense.

  • bigone4u

    JR was the target of an intellectual drive-by shooting. Libtards can get away with it because they control the MSM. These are facts. Not only did they silence him, through the fear factor,they silenced dozens, perhaps hundreds, of scholars who can see the handwriting on the wall. And so far I have not seen the president of Harvard defend the standard of free open inquiry. As a former academic, I know better than to hold my breath. We conservatives, libertarians, race realists and other assorted “misfits” and “racists” will have to do the heavy lifting in support of freedom of speech. Just sayin.

  • E_Pluribus_Pluribus

    “Liberal creationism” — William Saletan of Slate’s memorable term for liberals’ faith in “intelligence equality” among racial groups.

    Pity the academic, politician or editor who openly dissents from the faith.

    • David Ashton

      “Unintelligent design.”

  • Luca

    Jason Richwine, yet another casualty of the Liberal Inquisition. Ostracized for heresy and sentenced to shunning and unemployment for having held the blasphemous opinion that IQ levels are not equal among the races.

    Mr Richwine is quite lucky really, had this event taken place in the 16th Century rather than today, he would have also been charged with witchcraft and promptly burned at the stake in public.

    • Epiminondas

      At the rate liberals are going, we will probably see the return of witch burning.

  • joegoofinoff

    I don’t know why anyone is worrying about these stupid tempests in teapots. This is nothing. The die is cast and we must use other methods to get our point across. This man is completely right, but it’s all meaningless. Read the Declaration of Independance. That’s where we’re at. There’s nothing left to talk about.

  • pcmustgo

    I recently was booted out of a conservative group because the head didn’t get the identity politics stuff and felt I posted too much about “race” on my facebook page… which is decidedly pretty mild stuff.

    She thinks abortion and lower taxes are the big issues here.

    I’m fine with that. I know another member of that group who also only turned away from Liberalism and joined that group because of identity politics.

    So if the Republican Party doesn’t wake up and realize Identity Politics is what’s pissing off many whites and making them turn away from the Left, and capitalize on it, they deserve what they get.

    • Erasmus

      She thinks abortion and lower taxes are the big issues here.

      Most of mainstream “conservatives” went over to the dark side long ago. One can’t even have a discussion about abortion and lower taxes unless one has a country first. Once you flood your own country with invaders from without, you no longer have your country. Discussions about abortion and lower taxes at that point are moot.

  • Now, it will soon be time for Richwine to look for another job. He knows it will likely be tough.

    One word: China.

    • JohnEngelman

      It’s not exactly news that China is setting itself up as a new global superpower, is it? While Western civilization chokes on its own gluttony like a latter-day Marlon Brando, China continues to buy up American debt and lock away the world’s natural resources. But now, not content to simply laugh and make jerk-off signs as they pass us on the geopolitical highway, they’ve also developed a state-endorsed genetic-engineering project.

      At BGI Shenzhen, scientists have collected DNA samples from 2,000 of the world’s smartest people and are sequencing their entire genomes in an attempt to identify the alleles which determine human intelligence. Apparently they’re not far from finding them, and when they do, embryo screening will allow parents to pick their brightest zygote and potentially bump up every generation’s intelligence by five to 15 IQ points.

  • Ralph

    The truth is the truth, and each and every White needs to start standing up for the truth and not hiding because some don’t like it.

    Our “politeness” that has us cave in to be nice, has to end. It served us well in all White socieites, but in our present Dark Age it just lets non-Whites push us further and further to the back fo the bus.

    It’s time to be White again and with no apologies to anyone.

    Statistically, Mestizo Hispanics are not as bright as Whites. Period.

    • Erasmus

      Our “politeness” that has us cave in to be nice, has to end. It served us well in all White socieites, but in our present Dark Age it just lets non-Whites push us further and further to the back fo the bus.

      2X. Time to get in touch with our inner-Viking or Visigoth.

  • What I emphasized was that ethnic group differences in IQ are scientifically uncontroversial.

    Problem is that the ethnicities that hold the lower IQ’s, generally do not have a strong grasp of science, so scientifcally uncontroversial means nothing to them, all they think is that you just called them stupid.

    • Will

      Well they are stupid.

  • rick

    I managed to find a picture of left-wing blogger Dylan Matthews who started the whole smear campaign against Richwine. He’s looks to be young and white. People like him should spend 6 months non-stop in a dysfunctional Latino paradise like Maywood, CA (97% Hispanic) or 84% black Detroit if they really think Richwine is incorrect.

    • JohnEngelman

      It is unfortunately the case that one usually needs to be the victim of black or Hispanic crime before one is willing to acknowledge the truth of race realism.

      • IstvanIN

        Personally victimized I suppose you mean, because all it would take would be a drive through any major city to see what Hispanics and blacks have brought America.

        • schnoz

          Look at what the Jews have brought America. Everything from the filth that oozes out of Hollywood to the filth that oozes out of Washington. God’s chosen people eh?

          • JohnEngelman

            The development of IQ tests confirmed the impression that Jews were unusually intelligent, and Professor Lynn’s extensive review of the literature indicates that Jews in the US have an average IQ of 110 compared to 100 for other Europeans. This would help account for their outstanding performance in a variety of fields. Though Jews are only about 0.2 percent of the world population, half the world’s chess grandmasters, for example, and 16 percent of Nobel Prize winners for science have been Jews.

            – Byron M. Roth, American Renaissance, November 2011, “The Chosen People”

          • Bismark

            John. After reading so many of your posts about the obvious intelligence of the Jewish people, you have never once addressed the fact that Jews control not only a big chunk of banking but also Hollywood as well as the hard core porn industry. Do you honestly think that these people really have the common good of European Americans in their hearts….I think not.

      • shnoz

        Does that also apply to your people? Can we be realists about that? Why don’t you load up your mixed kids and your dragon lady and go back to Israel?

      • WIRBW

        Unfortunately, that’s the way it is. What’s that saying? “A liberal is someone who has never been mugged.”

        • JohnEngelman

          My parents raised me not to hate blacks. I still don’t. Nevertheless, after I was robbed at gunpoint and mugged several times by blacks I began to realize that there was a problem.

    • This is even better:

      Dylan Matthews
      Researcher at The Washington Post

      Greater Boston Area
      Writing and Editing
      Previous Campus Progress, The New Republic, The American Prospect
      Education Harvard University

      Public Profile
      http://www.linkedin.com/pub/dylan-matthews/1/309/88Contact Info
      The Washington Post
      January 2010 – Present (3 years 5 months)Cambridge, MA; Washington, DC; Cambridge, UK
      Staff Writer
      Campus Progress
      February 2009 – February 2010 (1 year 1 month)
      Web Intern
      The New Republic
      June 2009 – August 2009 (3 months)Washington, DC
      Editorial Intern
      The American Prospect
      June 2008 – August 2008 (3 months)
      Obama for America
      June 2007 – January 2008 (8 months)
      Harvard University
      AB, Social Studies
      2008 – 2012
      Activities and Societies: President, Perspective; Columnist, The Crimson; Tech director & DJ, WHRB
      Hanover High School
      High School Diploma
      2004 – 2008

      A fellow HARVARD man has has been lying ing the gutter waiting to sh!t on him.

      • nobody

        People like this guy infuriate me. I hope he gets “enriched” by some “diverse youths” as soon as possible, if you know what i’m saying.

        • rick

          Fit him with an ankle bracelet, force him to spend 6 months non-stop in Detroit and I’m sure he’ll have many “enriching” experiences (if he survives).

          If he’s still a libtard afterwards, he should be certified as mentally insane (as most libs probably are).

    • whitecross

      Actually, I think something else needs to happen to people like him, but I won’t say what here.

      Although, I will point out that genetically-deficient whites like him can be known for what they are at a glance. Observe the low forehead,the ape-like protruding lips and jaw,the overall mongoloid cast of his face,the glazed and unintelligent eyes,the round childish face that bespeaks a failure to completely mature,the spotty facial hair that confirms this.

      9 times out of ten, a person who is physically-deficient in this way is a liberal or a Marxist.

      Do with that information what you will.

      • WIRBIW

        I’ve never met a liberal anti-white (or who looks white but isn’t, wink wink) that wasn’t either gay, a hippie-looking/weak looking. Most feminists are gay or look like men. They do not look like the types of men and women as did our parents, grandparents, great grandparents, etc.

    • Erasmus

      I wonder if young, white and male Dylan Matthews realizes that most of the tens of millions of illegal aliens who’d be amnestied under our government’s immoral and treacherous program would jump in front of him in the hiring and education queues.

  • JohnEngelman

    Then a web video surfaced of Richwine saying, during a 2008 panel discussion, “Decades of psychometric testing has indicated that at least in America, you have Jews with the highest average IQ, usually followed by East Asians, then you have non-Jewish whites, Hispanics, and then blacks. These are real differences, and they’re not going to go away tomorrow.”

    – Byron York, Washington Examiner, May 13, 2013

    There should never be any sanctions against telling the truth.

  • LastBastionOfHope

    You know, I would like to get into Harvard…but I only have a 1.0 GPA. I think Harvard should let me in! No discrimination against the dimwitted!

    Pretty soon Harvard will be admitting those with intellectual disabilities who can’t even explain what a pen does. Welcome to the ultra PC age.

    • A blind MD graduated from University of Wisconsin Madison.


      Tim Cordes is blind.

      He has mastered much in his 28 years: Jujitsu. Biochemistry. Water-skiing. Musical composition. Any one of these accomplishments would be impressive. Together, they’re dazzling. And now, there’s more luster for his gold-plated resume with a new title: Doctor.

      • IstvanIN

        Wikipedia:Cordes created a program called TimMol to represent atoms in protein structures musically instead of graphically as is more common for biochemistry software. Different elements are represented by different musical instruments, and spatial coordinates x, y, and z are represented by varying the notes’ left-right position, loudness, and pitch respectively.

        He sounds quite bright, although he uses equipment that a sighted student wouldn’t need. And I do not think I would want him as a doctor, although a great deal of a doctor’s examination is by feel, I would not feel comfortable with him. But let’s give him credit for his accomplishments. And he will probably make a better doctor than so many affirmative action doctors.

        On a sad note his fiancee is some sort of Indian/Arab creature named Blue-leaf Hannah, what ever a Blue-leaf is.

  • les cant solve it

    no blacks looting clothing stores anymore? they must be on sabbatical.

  • LHathaway

    “I managed to find a picture of left-wing blogger Dylan Matthews who started the whole smear campaign against Richwine. He’s looks to be young and white”.

    In this Dylan Matthews defense, we was simply revealing the truth. He wont be hounded out of public life for his ‘McCarthyism’.

  • LHathaway

    no offense to Richwine but you have to wonder if this incident serves as a distraction. The issue has become ‘white supremacy’. The reality is whites are being displaced and are on track to be a minority. Something they already are in a fair amount of the country. It isn’t the truth of ‘race realism’ that frightens the higher-ups. It’s the truth of white dispossession. It must never be discussed. Why not have a ‘two-pronged’ attack against affirmative action? Why not a two-pronged attack on ethnic cleansing? Why not a two-pronged attack on hate crimes. There’s never a discussion of the real issue. That could be dangerous, apparently

  • whitecross

    God bless you,Mr. Richwine.

    Thank you for showing the spineless cowards,on the left and the right,what a MAN looks like.If you ever need a place to stay where your intelligence is appreciated,you can crash at my place-no charge-you’re paid up as far as I’m concerned.

    • WIRBW

      I think the first and real conflict won’t be a race war, but it will be a civil war fought between whites caused by “diversity” and creeping cultural Marxism and the second half of white people which are like us. That doesn’t mean blacks,muslims and mestizo aren’t a threat to our way of life, but it’s the ones that fight against things we and most other normal nonliberal, traditional whites hold dear. Whites who support multiculturalism have never had to live around it (like I am others here have) OR they benefit financially and politically by selling out.

  • augustusalexander

    Republicans had a chance to be a nationalist party….the biggest in the western world. Instead they are digging their own graves, i am not voting republican again unless they get someone who is actually against illegal immigration. When i say “against” i mean i really believe them, not some John Mccain Wishy washy bs.

    • Sick of it

      We have tried and the older people keep putting in the most corrupt human beings I have ever known for the final vote. Not enough informed primary turnout.

    • WIRBIW

      I’m never voting for a Republican president again, but MAYBE at the state/local/county level if they can prove to me that they really are conservative and for small government.

  • “The accusation of racism is one of the worst things that anyone can
    call you in public life […] even when it is completely untrue.”

    RACISM: The notion that one’s own ethnic stock is superior (Am Heritage Dict).

    The accusation of racism is completely justified. There is no avoiding Richwine’s thesis of white racial superiority is pure racism. It’s as obvious as the nose on Richwine’s face.

    • Sick of it

      Liberals define racism as simply acknowledging the existence of race and then push for race-biased legislation. In other words, they are liars and hypocrites.

  • Erasmus

    Good on ya, Jason. You told the truth. Now let’s finally have an open and honest discussion about the “blessings” of amnestying tens of millions of illegal aliens.