Society

Citing Decades Old Research, Jason Richwine Claims Blacks, Hispanics, Gentically Less Intelligent Than Others

| by Jonathan Wolfe
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In 2009, Jason Richwine earned a PhD in Public Policy from Harvard. After graduating, he got a job with the Heritage Foundation writing about immigration.

But earlier this year, Richwine was fired from his position with the Heritage Foundation after the organization discovered that Richwine suggested that Hispanics and blacks were genetically less intelligent than whites and Asians in his doctoral dissertation.

The abstract section of his dissertation sums up his position on race and IQ pretty efficiently:

“The statistical construct known as IQ can reliably estimate general mental ability, or intelligence. The average IQ of immigrants in the United States is substantially lower than that of the white native population, and the difference is likely to persist over several generations. The consequences are a lack of socioeconomic assimilation among low-IQ immigrant groups, more underclass behavior, less social trust, and an increase in the proportion of unskilled workers in the American labor market. Selecting high-IQ immigrants would ameliorate these problems in the U.S., while at the same time benefiting smart potential immigrants who lack educational access in their home countries.”

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After being fired by the Heritage Foundation, Politico got in contact Richwine. They published an op-ed by him today, in which Richwine defends his position as scientifically honest despite claims of racism from his critics.

But as Think Progress Zach Beauchamp writes in his response to Richwine’s stance, Richwine is repeatedly citing dated research while ignoring new research that dispels his narrative.

In his piece, Richwine cites four pieces of research, one from 1988, two from 1994, and one from 1996, while ignoring hundreds of more recent and relevant studies. In fact, the authors of the 1996 American Psychological Association report cited by Richwine released a statement on their 17-year-old research last year.

Not surprisingly, they said that several “of the findings we reported have been widely contradicted” by more recent research. The updated findings take down several of Richwine’s arguments. The authors say new findings show that poverty and education are much more accurate indicators for a persons IQ than race. You would think this update would cause Richwine to stop citing the original study, but he continues to do so while ignoring the new information.

With this in mind, it’s no surprise that the Heritage Foundation decided to release Richwine. If you continually cite the same dated research that supports your narrative while ignoring new research that contradicts it, people will start to become suspicious of your true motives.

For a further look at Richwine’s position, check out this Think Progress piece in which Richwine’s op-ed is posted followed by a rebuttal from another writer.

Sources: Think Progress, Washington Post