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Sunday, November 14, 2021

Michael Shermer and Equalitarianism and the Citizens' Councils

Last time I wrote about Quillette author Michael Shermer it was to note his agreement with Quillette author Nathan Cofnas on the issue of "genetic diversity." 

Lately I've found that Michael Shermer is in agreement with racist Bo Winegard on the issue of the term "equalitarian." Both believe it would be a good term to use against those who oppose and criticize race pseudoscience and racism - the ideological enemies of Shermer and Winegard.


Shermer cites Thomas Sowell, a rightwing economist. From a Washington Post review of a book by Sowell:

Sowell’s central message is that the reason some people are poor — in any country, at any period in history — is not discrimination or exploitation or malicious actions on the part of the rich. Rather, people are poor because they don’t or won’t produce. For him, the only mystery is why.

Michael Shermer and his friends are ready to supply the answer to the mystery, via pseudoscience: they believe poor people have genes that make them poor. 

This belief isn't new of course, racist Charles Murray has made a career out of that belief since at least The Bell Curve. 

The term equalitarian is not new either. It was a favorite term of segregationist Carlton Putnam as noted by Neil R. McMillen in The Citizen’s Council: Organized Resistance to the Second Reconstruction:

Setting forth his ethnological assumption in an influential and widely circulated book, Race and Reason (1961), Putnam asserted that one need not have advanced scientific training to dispute theories of racial equalitarianism: “Any man with two eyes in his head can observe a Negro settlement in the Congo… can compare this settlement with London or Paris, and can draw his own conclusions regarding relative levels of character and intelligence…” That so few informed Americans saw things so clearly was compelling proof to Putnam that the nation had been victimized by a “pseudo-scientific hoax” popularized by such early exponents of racial equipotentiality as Franz Boas and several subsequent generations of like-minded anthropologists more devoted to “the demo-goddess of Equalitarianism” than to “the Goddess of Truth.”

Putnam's pro-segregation pamphlet "High Court's Arrogance is Viewed by Northerner" was published by the Educational Fund of the Citizens' Councils of Greenwood, Mississippi.

If you do a search for "equalitarian" you can see how popular the term is with racists:

  • The Equalitarian Dogma by HE Garrett · 1961 · 
  • The equalitarian dogma revisited by JP Rushton · 1994  
  • (PDF) Equalitarianism: A Source of Liberal Bias by Bo Winegard, Cory Clark, Connor Hasty, Roy Baumeister - Oct 30, 2020 
  • "Equalitarianism" and Progressive Bias - Quillette by Bo Winegard 2018
Garrett was a segregationist and briefly a director of The Pioneer Fund. J. P. Rushton was an infamous racist and racemonger.

Rushton's "The equalitarian dogma, revisited," is a defense of Garrett's "The Equalitarian Dogma."

Rushton is listed as a reference in "Equalitarianism: A Source of Liberal Bias" by Winegard, Clark, Hasty and Baumeister.

I don't believe any of these authors are ignorant of the use of "equalitarianism" by segregationists, racists and racemongers. I think that, more likely, this attempt to revive the term "equalitarian" by Shermer, Winegard, Clark, Hasty and Baumeister is a knowing homage to 20th century racists, and perhaps a dogwhistle to other promoters of race pseudoscience.

Cory Clark is affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania and co-author with Bo Winegard of this retracted paper; Connor Hasty is a professor at Florida State University; and Roy Baumeister was associated with Winegard at Florida State University and is now Emeritus professor at the University of Queensland.

Putnam's Wikipedia entry includes these passages from his book "Race and Reason: A Yankee View": 
In the next 500,000,000,000 years I would be quite prepared to concede the possibility the Negro may, through normal processes of mutation and natural selection within his own race, eventually overtake and even surpass the white race. [...] When the Negro has bred out his limitations over hundreds, or thousands, of years, it will be time enough to consider absorbing him in any such massive doses as would be involved in the South today.[6]: 53 

The mulatto who was bent on making the nation mulatto was the real danger. His alliance with the white equalitarian often combined men who had nothing in common save a belief that they had a grudge against society. They regarded every Southerner who sensed the genetic truth as a bigot [...]. Here were the men who needed to be reminded of the debt the Negro owed to white civilization.[6]: 117 

Contemporary racemongers must be so jealous of Putnam, who could get away with such blatant public racism and still have a career in business, serving as chief executive officer of Delta Airlines after he published his racist swill.

Winegard's career seems to be wholly supported by the racist wingnut welfare system via Quillette, but Shermer still has Skeptic magazine. I can only assume Skeptic is supported by racists and idiots who either don't know Shermer is a racist, or don't care.

Fun fact: Ruby Bridges, whose quest for desegregated education was supported by the "equalitarians" so hated by Shermer, Putnam, Garrett, Rushton, Clark, Hasty, Baumeister and Winegard, is 67 years old. The same age as Steven Pinker (within 10 days) and Michael Shermer (same birthday) and one year younger than Roy Baumeister.

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