Wednesday, December 8, 2004

Bad Research

Garance Franke-Ruta of The American Prospect blog TAPPED busts the source of David Brooks’s column yesterday.

…Brooks cited a recent article by Steve Sailer, a well-known promoter of quasi-scientific explanations for racial stereotypes who’s mixed up with a variety of right-wing eugenicists, white supremacists, and general all-around wack-jobs.

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Just listen to Sailer in his own words. On gays: “[M]ost of them were effeminate little boys.” “[A]n infectious disease itself could cause homosexuality. It’s probably not a venereal germ, but maybe an intestinal or respiratory germ. It’s radically unfashionable to call homosexuality a disease. But you can’t think rigorously about the gay gene theory without drawing straightforward analogies to genetic diseases.”

On immigration: “The more diversity, the more identity politics. If we didn’t want blacks to engage in ethnocentric politics, well, our ancestors shouldn’t have dragged them here in chains. We can, however, moderate the amount of diversity we import in the future.”

On the segregationist Pioneer Fund: “I can’t think of any general moral principle justifying [Pioneer Fund founder Wickliffe Preston Draper’s] critics’ presumption that, while black or Irish or Jewish ethnocentric foundations are hunky-dory, the early Pioneer Fund’s WASP ethnocentrism was the blackest sin imaginable….no organization has done more than the Pioneer Fund to develop scientific knowledge about human biodiversity.”

Next week, Mr. Brooks will cite David Duke on the benefits of owning rather than hiring farm labor in the South.