Thursday, April 15, 2021


Back in 1994 Kristen Clarke, now up for assistant U.S. Attorney General for civil rights, co-wrote a letter to the Harvard Crimson calling out defenders of Charles Murray's The Bell Curve, which famously posits that black people are intellectually inferior to whites using the old It's Just Science routine. Clarke's letter begins

In response to those who defend The Bell Curve ("Defending The Bell Curve," Opinion, Oct. 24, 1994), please use the following theories and observations to assist you in your search for truth regarding the genetic differences between Blacks and whites.

One: Dr. Richard King reveals that at the core of the human brain is the "locus coeruleus" which is a structure that is Black because it contains large amounts of (neuro) melanin which is essential for its operation.

Two: Black infants sit, stand, crawl and walk sooner than whites.

Three: Carol Barnes notes that human mental processes are controlled by melanin--that same chemical which gives Blacks their superior physical and mental abilities.

Four: Some scientists have revealed that most whites are unable to produce melanin because their pineal glands are often calcification or non-functioning. Pineal calcification rates with Africans are five to 15 percent, Asians 15 to 25 percent and Europeans 60 to 80 percent. This is the chemical basis for the cultural differences between Blacks and whites.

Five: Melanin endows Blacks with greater mental, physical and spiritual abilities--something which cannot be measured based on Eurocentric standards.

We can readily admit that an abused child is less likely to achieve academically than a child that has grown up in a supportive atmosphere. Black children, whether rich or poor, grow up with an added abuse which white children never have to face. Imagine the message that misguided information like The Bell Curve would send to a Black child who is trying to find her place in school. It's degrading, belittling and outrageously false....

As someone who can read and understand basic irony, even without reading the original Crimson defenses (but having read plenty such like) I can see that Clarke is pitching Murray's racism back at his defenders so they can see how they like it. It's a classic reversal.

Clarke explained this at her Senate hearing (using the term "satire"; "sarcasm" is probably more like it, but close enough) to the moron Senator John Cornyn, and rightwing soreheads like David Harsanyi sputter that it's all lies because they don't recognize it at satire -- which in their world involves Steven Crowder talking in Ebonics or selling "Socialism is for F*gs" t-shirts -- and claim Clarke is a "liar" and a who's-the-real-"racist"-now. I mean, how can Clarke's letter be satire -- she didn't even use an asterisk! 

The fact that object lessons in American racism are in the headlines every day is driving them nuts and, in addition to trying to ban drawing reasonable educational conclusions from it, they're desperate to portray the problem as black people being racist against whites.  But even people who don't read a lot of Juvenal and Swift can see through that.  

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