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

Sunday, October 27, 2019

From Shockley to Winegard - race science keeps recycling the same old arguments

I recently came across the full text of the William Shockley interview in Playboy - it can be seen here in PDF format. The interviewer, Syl Jones, recounts connecting with Shockley by phone and then in person:
... Never once did he ask my race or make any kind of racist remark, and he had no idea I was black. I didn’t tell him, because I was hoping for a confrontation. In October 1974, I got my wish.  
When a white photographer and I showed up at Stanford for the interview, Shockley instinctively reached to shake the photographer's hand with the greeting, ‘Hello, Mr. Jones.’ It was a wrong guess that seemed almost to stagger him. Obviously stunned by my blackness, he insisted that I submit to one final test, concocted on the spur of the moment concerning the application of the Pythagorean theorem to some now-long-forgotten part of his dysgenic thesis. Somehow, I came up with a satisfactory explanation, and Shockley had no choice but to grant me the interview. Since that day, he has consistently viewed me as ‘the exception that proves the rule’ of black inferiority, a designation that he, in all innocence, believes is true.

The interview is also posted with approval on the web site of Emil O. W. Kirkegaard, contemporary hereditarian.

Several statements by Shockley sound exactly like the race science gang associated with Quillette:

Comparing human races with dog breeds:
"It might be easier to think in terms of breeds of dogs. There are some breeds that are temperamental, unreliable, and so on."

Jews and Asians are the most superior:

...American Jewish scientists are an outstanding fraction of the scientific community and on a per-capita basis are represented, I think, at least ten times higher than is the population as a whole. American Orientals are also overrepresented.

Although Shockley does introduce his own term "raceologist" that appears to be a synonym for race science.

And one that astounded me:
SHOCKLEY: ...My research on statistics shows that the spouse-killing-spouse it—then, certainly, widespread mortality rate is about thirteen times higher per capita for the blacks than for whites. I don’t believe the same thing occurred with the American Orientals at the time the power structure was saying that they couldn’t buy houses in the same area as other back during World War Two. people in California, 
PLAYBOY: Certainly, you’re not comparing that of black Americans. Blacks have been exploited in America for generations.

Demonstrating that race science arguments never change, they just get recycled generation after generation. Because the argument between Shockley and Jones in Playboy sounds almost exactly like the exchange on Twitter that I had with Quillette's favorite race science monger (with brother Bo), Ben Winegard, who has since blocked me:


It couldn't be any clearer that the only way that race science can succeed is to erase all knowledge of African American history. To compare what happened to them to any other mistreated group is absurd.