Posts tagged politics
Posts tagged politics
Inspired by this post, in which Stephen Colbert comments on Jason Richwine’s claim that “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.” Putting aside Stephen Colbert’s hitting-the-nail-on-the-head-perfect response that white people are not the native population of the United States, I have some bones to pick with Richwine and those elements of the blogosphere that have defended him.
Much of the writing in defense of Richwine’s dissertation has focused on the over-politicization of academia, which is a legitimate phenomenon, but, to my mind, ancillary to the discussion at hand. Richwine and his associates made what they knew to be a radical and socially incendiary set of claims, for which they would need extremely persuasive and empirical evidence. Frankly, whether or not Richwine’s study reflected his claims is less important than the way in which he interpreted that data.
A group of people tested lower on IQ tests. What does this tell us? Does it tell us the objective intelligence level of test-takers? The cultural leanings of the test-takers or the exam itself? The data only supports the provocative conclusions if we take for granted the premise that IQ scores are capable of accurately reflecting the objective intelligence level of the test-takers, a premise which has already been undermined if not entirely disproven by previous, peer-reviewed, and scientifically sound studies. Richwine’s publication suggests that they controlled for language proficiency and cultural biases—and even if that were entirely possible to do with any guaranteed amount of accuracy (of which I’m not convinced), that still presumes that the IQ test is capable of objectively determining intelligence, with a definition of intelligence that is more or less universal and stable over time.
Yet several factors undermine this assumption, such as the fact that many individuals’ scores change vastly over time, or the fact that socioeconomic status often predicts IQ results. Many scientists, from paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould to psychologists Peter Schönemann and Denny Borsboom to cognitive scientist Reuven Feuerstein, have pointed out that the fundamental methodology of the IQ test is outdated. It ignores some of the most significant advances/expanded schools of thought within the fields of psychology and cognitive science in the past 50 years—structural cognitive modifiability, mediated learning experience theory, neuroplasticity, differential susceptibility, complexity neuroscience (conceiving the brain as a complex adaptive system), etc. And that’s not even going into the genetic and anthropological studies disproving the concept of race as a stable and biological trait, although that is obviously relevant in this case.
So, long story…less long: yes, academia is politicized, and yes, un-PC claims get a lot of flak. But Richwine and like-minded academics can’t expect to make extreme claims without an extreme preponderance of evidence, and the very basis of Richwine’s study—the idea that IQ scores are accurate representations of objective, genetically-determined intelligence—is faulty. Don’t write provocatively and then complain when people are provoked; and above all, don’t use outdated methodologies to support outdated claims, and then cry “liberal witch hunt” when your peers and the public call your work, in a word, outdated.
Just so we’re all clear on what we just read. Black people make up 22% of the poor but only 14% of the government benefits. Meaning, 8% of poor Black people are not taking government benefits when they need them.
While, white people make up 42% of the poor but receive 69% of the government benefits. Meaning, there are white people who are classified as middle class who are receiving government benefits.
…but welfare queens and stuff.
that first paragraph up there—the stuff about investing in after school activities and keeping the schools open until 9pm, etc. —I’m thinking about that in context to of the Emergency Managers in Michigan. And how if they were *really* invested in fixing economic problems rather than privatization, they’d be figuring out ways to do *exactly* what she is suggesting. Making the schools an essential part of the community means that youth don’t drop out and people don’t transfer to other districts. it means that people *move into* that district.
another example, what would happen if community groups were trained and paid to go to houses in the community and clean up lead? not only would it provide jobs, but when there’s a proven correlation between lead levels and low achievment in school—what effect would it have on student’s test schools and ability to focus and stay in school if their bodies aren’t being poisoned? there are seriously NO foundation grants for this sort of thing? why aren’t city mayors, councils, EMs, etc working their asses off to find foundation grants and corporate investment in cleaning up lead so that public schools can stay open—instead of building a whole new building to stick a charter school in?
“people on his block he knew would rather pay to keep somebody incarcerated than to support music lessons or soccer team memberships or basketball team uniforms for kids in poor neighborhoods.”
Next time I hear that we should fight racism with cool, calm logic, I will be thinking about this.
What really bothers me about contemporary U.S. “libertarians,” besides almost everything they believe, is the fact that they call themselves “libertarians.” It’s a gross misappropriation of a concept and a movement that has existed for over two centuries—with a completely different agenda than that which U.S. “libertarians” espouse.
So what is libertarianism? It’s a political philosophy based on the idea that individual freedom is the single most important political goal. All other political stances and processes should serve this ultimate end. If you research the political beliefs of pseudo-libs, you will find that the two are actually mutually exclusive.
Those that believe in libertarianism would be in favor of the following:
They would be against the following:
But, Enamoratrix, they say, these are ideals. Most people who identify as supporters of any given political movement/party actually support a more pragmatic version of those ideals because we live in a less-than-ideal world. Perhaps so. But what that argument fails to acknowledge is that the entire point of libertarianism is that it is not pragmatic. It is the idea that you have the right to do anything… right up until it infringes upon the rights of others. It is by nature and by design a radical philosophy.
Ultimately, this is about more than semantics. This is about an ultra-conservative movement co-opting the title and historical associations of a movement that is practically its opposite.
To call pseudo-libs libertarians is a bit like adopting Loki’s worldview from The Avengers: they offer a world made free… from freedom.
Why yes, Yes I do.
Indeed I do!
I do! I do support it!
This might actually be the worst ad I’ve seen.
these are everywhere in my city and I laugh every damn time I see them.
OMG I THOUGHT THIS WAS AN AD FOR OBAMA. THIS IS A REPUBLICAN AD. I CANNOT BREATHE
Apparently this picture (top) is currently circulating Facebook. This is some racist bullshit. Immigrants are dangerous? Is that the message?
Well clearly these people don’t know about the man in the cowboy hat from the Boston Marathon Bombing (bottom pic).
His name is Carlos Arrendondo. He has been a peace activist since 2004, when his son was killed serving his country in Iraq.
Carlos is an immigrant from Costa Rica. At first, he was an undocumented immigrant, but is now a US citizen.
When the bombs went off in boston that day, Carlos ran towards the carnage. He found Jeffery Bauman (the man in the wheelchair) lying on the ground in a pool of blood, both his legs blown off. He picked up Jeffery and carried him to a wheelchair, all while pinching shut his exposed artery to stop him from bleeding out.
Later, from his hospital bed, Jeffery described the bombing suspects to the police. Without Jeff, the police wouldn’t have been able to identify Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his brother so quickly. And without Carlos, Jeff probably wouldn’t have lived to talk to the police.
Preventing legal immigration won’t stop massacres like this from occurring (just ask natural born US citizens like James Holmes, Adam Lanza, Jared Laughner, Eric Harris and Dylan klebold, and Timothy McVeigh).
But it will make it harder for the Carlos Arrendondos’ of the world to save more lives.
Rob Borbidge, former Premier of Queensland, put his political career on the line in order to take a stand for gun control in Australia.
Meanwhile, American politicians bow under the pressure put on them by the NRA.
“Look, there are Australians alive today because we took that action. I mean, how much is a life worth?”
This says it all.