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I talked with Rutgers University professor of anthropology R. Brian Ferguson about Steven Pinker, Napoleon Chagnon, Marvin Harris, anthropo...

Friday, June 14, 2019

The IDW & the Trump administration mainstream race science

Lee Jussim, like Betsy DeVos, is a fan of @cjprofman
I missed an article in US News and World Report from March of this year reporting that Betsy
DeVos, Trump's extremely controversial choice for Secretary of Education, used the work of John Paul Wright, author at Quillette and guest of Stefan Molyneux to justify recent actions:
In making the latter point, DeVos' commission cited several times a study in which researchers argued that the discipline discrepancies between black and white students are "likely produced by pre-existing behavioral problems of youth that are imported into the classroom, that cause classroom disruptions, and that trigger disciplinary measures by teachers and school officials." 
"Differences in rates of suspension between racial groups thus appear to be a function of differences in problem behaviors that emerge early in life, that remain relatively stable over time, and that materialize in the classroom," researchers wrote in a 2014 paper that counters the concerns about inequitable discipline that caused the Obama administration that same year to enact its guidance. 
"Early misbehavior is tied to later misbehavior and, in turn, that misbehavior is tied to school suspensions," the researchers concluded. "These findings highlight the importance of early problem behaviors and suggest that the use of suspensions by teachers and administrators may not have been as racially biased as some scholars have argued." 
The research was published in the Journal of Criminal Justice by John Paul Wright, a professor at the School of Criminal Justice at the University of Cincinnati, and four others.
Later on in the article Wright is quoted as saying:
"I would never say that black children are, categorically, more of a discipline problem than other students," he says. "That said, any number of studies show that problem behavior, including juvenile delinquency, is not uniformly distributed across racial groups. In general, African-Americans have the highest comparative rates of problem behavior – a fact that shouldn't surprise anyone given many African-American youth remain socially and economically disadvantaged."

But that's not what Wright believes is the fundamental problem with African Americans as he explained in his chapter "Inconvenient Truths: Science, Race, and Crime" in Biosocial Criminology: New Directions in Theory and Research edited by Anthony Walsh and Kevin M. Beaver, he wrote:
Page 149:
...Areas afflicted by crime and other social pathologies are more frequently black than white, and even less frequently Oriental. Part of the reason for these visible and dramatic differences may have to do with the differential abilities of races to organize socially.
 
Page 150:
From the available data it would seem ludicrous to argue that "race" is a construct devoid of a biological or evolutionary backdrop. That evolutionary forces have produced biological variance across races is now scientifically undeniable. That many of the characteristics that define races appear to be universal and time stable is also undeniable. Evolution can produce many forms of adaptations, but it cannot produce equality. 
The connection between race and criminal behavior is clearly complex and involves a range of historical, social, psychological and individual variables. Evolution however, provides a powerful mechanism to understand the development of human races and the distribution of traits and behaviors within and across races. It helps explain why races would appear and under what conditions races would appear. It helps to explain why certain traits would be beneficial and why these traits such as higher IQ, would be unequally distributed across races. Moreover evolutionary theory helps explain why race-based patterns of behavior are universal, such as black over-involvement in crime. No other paradigm organizes these patterns better. No other paradigm explains these inconvenient truths.
Betsy DeVos is not the only fan of John Paul Wright in mainstream academia. Lee Jussim, acting head of the Rutgers Psychology Department recently tweeted his dream team for a hypothetical university. In addition IDW member Claire Lehmann, Jussim listed John Paul Wright, by his Twitter account handle cjprofman, to lead his dream Criminology department.

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