Sunday, April 08, 2012 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Freedom of speech in the U.S. is a fantasy

John Derbyshire was one of the brightest writers in National Review who focused on history, immigration, China, race, and even mathematics – including topics involving the Riemann zeta function. He is conservative and almost (or about) as pro-science (and pro-evolution) as your humble correspondent.

Three days ago, he also wrote an essay for Taki's Magazine about what the American white teenagers should be told about the co-existence with the blacks,

The Talk: Non-Black Version,
which was inspired by reports that young black kids were being told by their parents to avoid encounters and especially confrontations with the whites so that they don't end up as Trayvon Martin. Derbyshire wrote pretty much analogous things from the other side. However, his essay also contains lots of facts about the statistical differences between the whites and the blacks in the U.S. and their consequences for a rational decision-making, together with many relevant URL references.

In fact, Derbyshire loves to talk about the statistical distributions in this context so much that he became another candidate for who may be the mysterious La Griffe du Lion, at least I propose him as a candidate! ;-)

What did he write on Thursday?




He wrote lots of self-evident facts about the double standards concerning who may use the N-word and who can't (hint: it depends on the color), about the differences in the average concentration of antisocial behavior in between the whites and the blacks, about the differences in the IQ, about the 5% of blacks who are violently anti-white and the 50% of blacks who are prepared to team up with those 5%, and he proposed some safety measures meant to protect the life and health of the white teenagers (as well as the convenience of the other side). He also said the obvious thing that the affirmative action makes the average black employee in an occupation (especially in the government offices where the affirmative action is strong and omnipresent) to be less competent and/or friendly than the average white employee. And citizens needing these services should adapt accordingly. (He says that the DMV lady is not a myth but a statistical truth.)

His essay has attracted over 2,000 comments.

Derbyshire's recommendations are as polite and friendly towards the blacks as I can imagine. He tells the white teenagers to stay polite etc. but avoid environments with a high number of unknown blacks because that's where the statistical properties inevitably kick in. Nevertheless, as I would expect, it took just hours before the politically correct warriors started to scream that Derbyshire should have been fired and dozens of hours before he was actually fired even though he wrote his essay for a libertarian website that has nothing to do with National Review.

What a warp speed. However, you will still find left-wing loons (and alarmists) who are sufficiently unhinged that they consider the firing too slow. At any rate, the politically correct ideologues feel as happy as any fascists may feel after a successful Blitzkrieg.

The explanation of the end of his employment looked like this:
We never would have published it, but the main reason that people noticed it is that it is by a National Review writer. Derb is effectively using our name to get more oxygen for views with which we'd never associate ourselves otherwise.
Needless to say, this is complete rubbish. National Review has the name it has because of unusually skillful writers such as Derbyshire who have been feeding National Review with oxygen for decades. So if some of the members of the thought police try to declare themselves to "be" the spirit of National Review, they're classic tails wagging the dog. To say the least, Rich Lowry's importance for the spirit of National Review is as many times smaller than John Derbyshire's as a tail is smaller than a dog. They have no right to hijack the identity of National Review in this way because they mostly haven't built it. But of course, some justice will come in the long run: if they fire other drivers such as the Derb, whoever they are, and maybe earlier, National Review will inevitably fade away.



Make no mistake about it: What Derbyshire wrote was pure common sense – a type of common sense that the tourist in the fresh video above, posted after the publication of Derbyshire's essay, overlooked. During my 10 years in the U.S., I've interacted with a rather large number of blacks. Many of them were "cultural whites" who were equally intelligent and more peaceful than an average white I knew; Derbyshire called them IWSBs (intelligent and well-socialized blacks) and recommended white folks to befriend a few IWSBs as a protection against the accusations of "racist prejudices". I won't offer a lecture to you about how I enjoyed "my" IWSBs although I did because I don't feel that I need to add such exercises.

But I would have to be blind if I have overlooked some of the real statistical blacks.



The rent paid by C-Town to the city for this place is $1 per year and one could argue it's a fair market price.

For example, in New Jersey (1997-2001), I did many if not most of my shoppings in a black neighborhood of New Brunswick which had a C-Town supermarket (see above); just to make you sure that I have never quite avoided such environments, unlike many hypocritical promoters of the political correctness. After all, as a kid, I lived in a gypsy-loaded neighborhood of Pilsen. (Today, Roudná begins to look very different.) In this sense, I grew up in a similar colored environment – so it feel rather "natural" and "home-like" to me – and it's doubly inconsistent that I wasn't ever given the same affirmative action advantages as the blacks.

Nevertheless, there have been many situations in which I saw highly suspicious and potentially aggressive characters on the other side of the road (or a side of the road that I quickly tried to transform into the opposite one). I was often relieved and grateful when I saw a nearby police car and believe me, I am usually not enthusiastic about police cars in my vicinity. ;-)

There are unquestionable differences between the body of the whites and the body of the blacks – equivalently, about the statistical differences between the members of the groups – and there are unquestionable sources of additional tension in the interactions between typical members of these groups that do justify some kind of segregation, at least under certain circumstances. Whoever denies these things is, in my opinion, plain insane. And whoever even wants to force others to deny these things is a dangerous fascist.

Of course that I have considered America to be a role model when it comes to freedom but it has lost this status many years ago. Around 2005, I realized that people with common sense concerning similar matters are pretty much dealt with in the same way as the Jews in Germany 80 years ago so it was a matter of safety (especially if you appreciate my existential dependence on the visas and therefore the jobs over there) to largely shut up for 2 years and escape before it's too late. The unbelievable harassment of the feminist activist Larry Summers – who was still found insufficiently feminist by some of the true loons who were apparently in charge of the situation – was just a scary thing to observe for people like me who are still much more rational than Larry Summers when it comes to the issues of group differences.

Let me tell you something about the history. During communism, some of our teachers were rather brave anti-communist pundits, some of them were enthusiastic communists, some of them just did what was expected without showing strong opinions in either way. Still, the official propaganda had the goal to convince us that the capitalist countries sucked. We were constantly told that they had to pay tuition and healthcare and similar things – those things were always viewed as an advantage of socialism by pretty much everyone, not me, however.

Also, capitalism was being (irrationally) linked to racism. So in the early 1980s, we would often see pictures of Ku-Klux-Klan members in their costumes. We were told (by some of the teachers who weren't afraid of looking ludicrous from the viewpoint of the eternity; but I am not talking about the most hardcore communists now) that this was how everyday life looked like in South Africa and pretty much in the U.S., too.

However, some of the teachers also offered us an "update". I am not sure whether they were instructed to do so (a new spice in the propaganda machine) but several of them offered the "twist" seemingly independently. They said that the textbook material on racism was pretty much obsolete because the old racism was pretty much replaced by the reverse racism which is structurally analogous to the old one but which puts the blacks to the privileged spot. You might say that in order to maintain its hostility against the capitalist countries, the communist countries observed that there was no racism in those countries anymore and decided to make a U-turn when it comes to the declared main injustice that penetrates the capitalist world.

Only decades later, I realized how accurate this observation was. Among other things, America is suffocating under the influence of taboos. And the disadvantage of these taboos is not only that they invalidate the claim that the Americans enjoy the freedom of expression when it comes to important social and political matters. In this case, these taboos will lead to the loss of human lives and other negative consequences because Derbyshire's recommendations are clearly helpful to avoid some very tough situations.

Let me say once again that I don't know what exactly happened before Zimmerman shot Trayvon. It's plausible we will never have a reliable and accurate enough picture of the events.

And I find it plausible that Zimmerman was shooting earlier than he would shoot if he were threatened by a white guy. But don't try to hide it: if this difference in the timing existed, it would be totally rational. Statistics makes it unambiguous that the degree of threat one faces when meeting an average black teenager in an otherwise analogous situation is significantly higher than if one encounters a white teenager. So if a guy like Zimmermann is hardwired to press the trigger once his perceived degree of threat surpasses a fixed and well-defined threshold (and this is a totally sensible strategic algorithm to control a gun), it should be expected that he will shoot a black potential aggressor before he would shoot a white potential aggressor.

Of course, the judges may still decide that people in the same situation as Zimmerman are required to raise the threshold if the color of the threat is black. But even if you "codify" these color-dependent threshold of danger that people are obliged to undergo, it won't change anything about the fact that the "shoot the black guy earlier" has a rational justification, at least if you consider your immediately threatened life more important than the amount of legal hassles you will face later.

Whether you like it or not from some aesthetic viewpoint, it's just common sense. We are also more likely to allow the doctors to amputate our leg if it threatens us with a serious risk of death than if the leg carries a less harmful infection for which the risk is much lower. You can't really change such things unless your goal is to make the people's behavior utterly irrational which might be extremely dangerous. At most, you can do things similar to what John Derbyshire recommended; to use the actual real-world data to rationally adjust the behavior of the people who are adjustable in order to improve the life for everyone.

Unfortunately, people like John Derbyshire aren't allowed to improve the society in the rational way because a system of racial prejudices that put one group in an advantage is the only socially acceptable way to approach these questions in the contemporary America.

Hat tip: Jason R. (who is not responsible for any opinions written above)

Add to del.icio.us Digg this Add to reddit

snail feedback (7) :


reader Morgan said...

I follow your blog pretty closely because it's very educational and interesting for a physicist who works in a different field now. I always liked your views and articles but today you lost me as a reader. That a person who's seemingly so intelligent can be so ignorant and racist is simply stunning.

This post is highly racist and offensive:

-So if a black person is intelligent and polite then they're a "cultural white"?
-You shouldn't befriend a black person because you like them or because they're but just so nobody can accuse of racism?
-The 5%-50% statistic surely is because "the blacks" are an aggressive bunch and not because people like Derbyshire and you promote racism and encourage people to see them as a potential threat. No, of course not.
-Teaching your children to stay away from blacks is of course another good way to promote the end of racism and bigotry.
-And how unfair and dumb is affirmative action when black people never experience racism in hiring and pay. No that never happens and there also aren't any studies to confirm this.

-And poor you couldn't even enjoy the perks of affirmative action? It sure sucks to be a white European male. You've to fight against all the bigotry that gets hurled towards you. You've to deal with the fact that not only 35years ago you couldn't even use the same restaurants/shops/toilets/schools as the other races, right?

-And of course there isn't free speech anymore. He wrote the article and got fired...gasp. Just like the Jews in Hitler Germany. Hence their famous saying:"Never again......will we be fired". This monster Hitler just fired all of them. Oh the humanity.

-Black people call each other the n-word so you,Derbyshire and everybody else should have that right too. It's not like the black youth is using it to take away the sting and humiliation that that word all carries. No, that would be too easy of an explanation.

-It's not like the under Summers the number of female tenure appointments sank every single year. Or that his argument was scientifically pain wrong. No, that wouldn't fit into your narrative of the fascist America.

-Take away the white hoods and that's exactly what life looked like in the South of the US and in parts of SA. But lets not let that bother us.

-Of course there's reverse racism in the US. "The blacks" who are in the majority and have all the power and money and dictate to us that we can't call them "niggers" and can't promote segregation. Those bastard racists.

-Yes, Zimmermann was rational in shooting before thinking because the kid was black. After all the statistics prove he acted rational and sound, right. It's not like 86% of White murders are
committed by Whites, right? No, again, lets not let facts get in the way of a good argument.

-Man, America sure would be great if there wasn't this "system of racial prejudices that put one group in an advantage". Yeah, sucks that those blacks get to live in those ghettos, get stopped 10 more often by police than us whites, have much lower average income, get much higher prison sentences for the same offenses, are less likely to get a job even when they have the same qualifications.

You, my friend, are a racist. Don't try to use statistics to justify your bigotry, just admit it to yourself. You hate black people and judge them only based on the color of their skin.

Really amazing how a seemingly rational and bright person can be so ignorant and bigoted.


reader Luboš Motl said...

Dear Morgan, thanks for the suggestion that this was our last exchange over here because it's really unpleasant for me to listen to your lies that are moreover trying to be highly offensive.

The main difference between the two of us is that you live outside the reality, you live a dishonest life in a lie, while I live a life of truth. You're trying to hide the truth which doesn't really work in a society that isn't completely totalitarian, and is impossible in the age of the Internet, and you're nervous because it doesn't work.

I didn't write that those blacks were cultural whites just because they were peaceful and intelligent. Being a "cultural white" is a much stronger condition which implies the peacefulness and intelligence in that sentence of mine.

Being a cultural white is a self-explanatory phrase that means that the person has internalized things like enligtenment, modern democracy, disciplined work, the rule of law underlying capitalism, and all these things which were invented by societies of white people whether you like it or not. It's a historical fact that you're trying to deny. It's not just they were invented by white nations; the process of import of these things into black nations doesn't really work so far.

When I wrote that rational people see an elevated threat while facing an unknown black, I was describing just statistics, a basic truth you also want to deny. Check e.g. these basic data on the crime in the U.S. (click for Wikipedia). The graph shows that homicide attacks by blacks per capita exceed those by whites by a factor greater than 7 in 1978-2005. I am not sure whether you understand how large the number 7 is but it does make a difference in planning and expectations as long as one is acting rationally. Figures describing other kinds of crimes are analogous.

"Black people call each other the n-word so you,Derbyshire and everybody else should have that right too. It's not like the black youth is using it to take away the sting and humiliation that that word all carries. No, that would be too easy of an explanation."

This is just another proof that your life is all about lies, pretending things that aren't true. The word or its variations simply means "black" in Spanish and Portuguese and represents and always represented black people and it carried negative connotations because they were carried by the black people. I can't change those things. You can't do it, either. And yes, it's a violation of equal rights if some people can't use some word that others can.

The only reason why the word "black" carries fewer negative connotations is that it is more often being used for IWSBs.

"It's not like the under Summers the number of female tenure appointments sank every single year. Or that his argument was scientifically pain wrong. No, that wouldn't fit into your narrative of the fascist America."

Under Summers, Harvard was largely a meritocracy. If the number of female tenures during a year dropped to zero, it would mean that there was no woman who was no woman who deserved this status at Harvard during that year, whether you like it or not. Summers is a feminist who was persistently buying trucks to his twin daughters to educate them as boys. It still didn't work. It's amazingly preposterous to criticize him as a man who is prejudiced against women.

And so on, and so on. It's just impossible to agree about anything because everything you write is a lie that you are trying to force upon others.


reader Luboš Motl said...

Morgan, I read your comment in more detail and you're a complete lunatic.

"And poor you couldn't even enjoy the perks of affirmative action? It sure sucks to be a white European male. You've to fight against all the bigotry that gets hurled towards you."

It's especially hard being a right-wing white European male in America's Academia (and similar sectors of the society). Of course it wasn't that hard in the past; this set of people had enough freedom or comfort that they have built 90+ percent of what we call the civilization. But as your comment shows, there's clearly a fanatical backlash.

"The 5%-50% statistic surely is because "the blacks" are an aggressive bunch and not because people like Derbyshire and you promote racism and encourage people to see them as a potential threat. No, of course not."

Right. So you're saying that Derbyshire and I are the *cause* of the 7-times-elevated homicide rate among blacks, right? Why don't you just sue us for those homicides we have caused (most of which occurred before I was born)? I would happily attend the trial, to show how totally insane those PC people like you have become.

The actual facts are that the differences between the groups are the primary things and Derbyshire recommendations as well as differences in the roles that the groups tend to play in the society are the consequences.

"Take away the white hoods and that's exactly what life looked like in the South of the US and in parts of SA. But lets not let that bother us."

Surely not in the 1980s when I was taught those things. In the 1980s, reverse racism and politically correct individuals like you were already all over the place. There hasn't really been any significant institutionalized racism in the U.S. since 1865.

"Of course there's reverse racism in the US. "The blacks" who are in the majority and have all the power and money and dictate to us that we can't call them "niggers" and can't promote segregation. Those bastard racists."

A country doesn't have to have a majority for a certain group to be privileged. Blacks are privileged in the U.S. even though they are not a majority. In the same way, whites were a minority in South Africa but they still enjoyed some special rights, at least in practice, which is by the way one of the most important reasons why SA is the wealthiest country on the African continent, something that both whites and (especially) blacks benefit from today.

"It's not like 86% of White murders are
committed by Whites, right?"

This percentage is only high because the communities are (still) largely segregated. The amount of interactions one does with people of the same race is significantly higher than the interactions with other races.


reader Jason said...

Luboš, I wish I could thumb up your slow-comment responses.


reader rn said...

Lubos, you kick ass.


reader ahanam said...

Any time a white person complains about not being able to use the word "nigger," one has to wonder 'how exactly would they use that word?' and 'in what context would they use that word?' Words have cultural history, from which comes their meaning. We cannot avoid the history: The word "nigger" comes from the language of slave owners and their descendant segregationists - it's a word crafted and used to be demeaning and against the golden rule.

Blacks use the word differently, in the way that victim groups often take an oppressor's words and use them against them. It depends on how the word is used, and how the word is used to some degree depends on who uses it.

The one incontrovertible fact that liberals do not fear confronting, and which conservatives all too easily omit, is that racism has a genuine negative effect on people's lives.
Blacks still suffer from the legacy of slavery and the racism that slavery promoted. Note that slavery came before racism, not the other way around - particularly the virulent kind of racism found in the US developed out of slavery and segregation.

Note its also true that Africa is a mess, but its also the oldest, most diversified and tribalistic place on the planet. Its linguistically, culturally, and ethnically all over the place. Its hard to grow crops there, and most people are dirt poor. The diamonds and other material wealth goes to European cartels. Many have to spend three hours a day just to get water. Anyway, Jared Diamond did a decent job of explaining why Eurasians were able to accomplish more than javascript:;Africans could, for very simple reasons - domesticable animals, agriculture, cities, free time, industry etc.


reader Luboš Motl said...

Dear ahanam,

in the natural state of affairs, the word would surely be used when a person would be discussing his or her encounter with a threatening individual of black skin on the street who looks intimidating but whose IQ is visibly below 80 if not 70.

I am not suggesting any rewriting of the history. Quite on the contrary. The word was used with certain meanings during the years of slavery – it surely does indicate that the black person in question is unsophisticated – and most of these underlying things haven't changed because they're about the human nature.

America has abolished slavery and we may say the system was unethical but that doesn't imply that everything that the slaveowners saw and understood was unreal. They lived with the blacks and understood them vastly more so than you do. So if you are suggesting that the slaveowners didn't have a clue what was the potential of a typical black slave etc., you're just terribly wrong.

"Blacks use the word differently, in the way that victim groups often take an oppressor's words and use them against them."

If they were using the word "against other people", that would be a good reason to ban the word among the blacks, wouldn't it? Or do you think it's right for people to hurt people of other races? Well, I know that your answer is Yes: reverse racism is the main thing you want to promote. I just caught you.

Fortunately, this is just a rhetorical exercise because the "oppression" was abolished in 1865, about 150 years ago. Get used to it. Since that time, the blacks and others may only blame themselves for their failures and people who prefer conspiracy theories that "all of our failures are due to another race" are folks who can't or don't want to see reality. Unfortunately, this delusion has spread from many stupid blacks where it used to belong among many increasingly stupid whites.

"Note its also true that Africa is a mess, but its also the oldest, most diversified and tribalistic place on the planet. Its linguistically, culturally, and ethnically all over the place. Its hard to grow crops there, and most people are dirt poor."

This is a set of irrational ideas. Europe is at least as linguistically and culturally diversified but that doesn't prevent it from being reasonably wealthy. Those things have really nothing to do with each other. Moreover, it's not even true that the wealth arises when agriculture becomes too easy. It's surely difficult to grow plants in Scandinavia which didn't prevent those nations from getting wealthy. Some of the nations arguably got sophisticated *exactly* because the life was hard enough.

And it's not really true that the African climate is too bad for agriculture. Africa isn't just Sahara, where no one lives anyway, you know. Much of Africa resembles Brazil which is an agricultural powerhouse.

Not sure what you want to claim by the chaotic list taken from "Jared Diamond". It makes no sense because the underdevelopment in these aspects is a consequence, and not a reason, of the "different" way how the folks approach these things over there.

Cheers
LM