The IQ Research Fallacy

By: Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Commentary In the 1970’s a British researcher named Hans Eysenck carried out a study that linked IQ (Intelligence Quotient) to a person’s race and environment. According to Eysenck’s “research,” a person’s race and environment may determine a person’s “inferior” or “superior” IQ. Eysenck’s study paper, The IQ Argument, was funded by the Pioneer Fund. The Pioneer Fund alone was criticized as an organization trying to promote “scientific” racism, and Eysenck’s paper was widely ridiculed. Even now all serious research into the psychological differences of different human groups and races reject Eysenck’s work. Sadly, Eysenck’s work has been used by neo-nazi and racist groups ever since.

I bring this up because of another so-called “researcher” who has written a similar work. The person, named Jason Richwine, wrote a research doctoral dissertation paper for Harvard University in 2009 entitled “IQ and Immigration Policy. The paper, in a nutshell, states that overall Latinos have a lower IQ than non-Hispanic whites and that America’s immigration policy should be based on bringing in immigrants with “superior” IQs. To put it mildly the whole research paper WREAKS of racism. This type of pseudo-scientific research goes back to the dead-end so-called scientific studies conducted in the 19th and early 20th centuries that tried to prove that European whites were racially superior and far more intelligent than all other races. What is so alarming about this research paper is that a distinguished academic institution, Harvard University, approved it!

When many students at Harvard found out about this paper, they naturally protested and 23 student groups signed petitions calling for Richwine’s removal from the staff at Harvard. While I may not agree that this person should be removed, I do agree with these student groups that racist trash masquerading as “research” has no place in academia. One needs to only look at the diversity of the groups who find Richwine’s doctoral dissertation as objectionable. These include the Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy, the HKS (Harvard Kennedy School) Latin American Caucus, the HKS Latino Caucus, the Black Student Union at the Harvard Kennedy School, and Women’s Policy Journal. Why has this research paper come forward now? Because Heritage Foundation used it as part of their argument for why there should be no immigration reform.

But even the Heritage Foundation, which Jason Richwine once served at as a policy analyst, has backtracked on the report, and now seems to want to have nothing to do with it. I find it all sad that even in this century, we have certain individuals who are carrying out pseudo-science projects that should have been done away with like racial segregation and “separate but equal” laws that relegated African Americans, Latinos and Asians to a much lower quality of life and even death (since they were not even allowed to be buried in the same cemetaries as whites). That anyone or any organization would inject this kind of non-sense in an immigration debate in the U.S. Congress also speaks volumes about how racism is far from dead.

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