Race or culture? Either way, the left are wrong

When Patrick Gower interviewed Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux, one topic that had him clutching his pearls with particular horror was Molyneux’s temerity in discussing the fact that there are distinct differences in average IQ between different racial groups.

I’m not entirely convinced that Molyneux understands this topic as well as he pretends, nor that his motives are necessarily as disinterested as he claims: nevertheless, he is correct on the basic facts. As Sam Harris has pointed out, this is about as well-established a fact as there can possibly be. Nor does it particularly suit any supposedly “white supremacist” narrative: several non-white groups consistently score higher than whites. But such “hate facts” are anathema to leftists, who simply pretend that not only doesn’t IQ matter (it does, a lot), but that race doesn’t even exist (it does, and so what?). Instead, it’s supposedly a “cultural construct”.

Unfortunately for the left, simply calling a spade a manual rectangular earth-moving implement doesn’t change the basic fact: some groups just do a whole lot better academically than others.

A student’s cultural background has been found to have a significant impact on their academic ­results, sparking calls for an overhaul in the way educational ­advantage in school communities is measured.

Groundbreaking analysis of NAPLAN results from more than 120,000 students has identified large differences in students’ average scores linked to their specific cultural background and language spoken at home — more so than socio-economic factors.

It’s almost like the leftist dogma of cultural relativism is just so much hogwash.

Students who reported a ­Chinese, Japanese or Korean-language background have been found to score, on average, up to 65 points higher on the numeracy test compared with students who speak English at home.

Conversely, students who ­report an Aboriginal, African or Polynesian-language background score as much as 40 points lower.

Which, oddly, almost exactly parallels the data on average IQ, where East Asians surge past Europeans (Ashkenazi Jews top everyone), and Africans, Polynesians and Australian Aboriginals battle for the wooden spoon.

Data like this is “hate speech”, according to the left.

But Gower was almost onto something, when he wagged his finger at Molyneux: such data is often used (or abused) by people with an ideological axe to grind. In this case, getting their claws on more of that sweet gubmint money.

The research, which has been seen by The Australian, was conducted by the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria and has underpinned its call for the cultural background of students to be considered when assessing school advantage or disadvantage, alongside other influential factors such as parental education and occupation and school location…

It found a distinction between “advantaged-LBOTE” students — such as those with Chinese backgrounds — and “disadvantaged-LBOTE students”, including those from African-language backgrounds, many of whom are the children of refugees who have been affected by trauma, even after accounting for other socio-educational factors.

It’s just a coincidence, no doubt, that shifting the funding goalposts like that will almost certainly benefit Catholic schools.

According to the commission’s submission, Catholic schools did not typically attract great numbers of Asian students. Most Catholic schools had higher proportions of students from “disadvantaged LBOTE” groups, which would affect a school’s ­NAPLAN score.

theaustralian


Yet, despite the obvious self-interest at play, the data is useful. If certain groups are struggling academically, that is worth knowing. The biggest debate in this issue is: race or culture? Often the answer people prefer says more about their personal prejudices than anything else. Leftists who deny the very existence of race will, by definition, prefer the cultural explanation. Yet, even a “race realist” like Thomas Sowell argues that culture – and geography – matter far more than race.

As Sowell points out, Japanese in Japan score roughly the same IQ as whites in the US, yet Japanese Americans score far higher. Jews in “small separate countries in cultural backwaters” lag far behind Jews in other places. In the early 20th century, Italian and Irish Americans scored as badly as African Americans, yet both the former groups have lifted their performance dramatically, while blacks have stagnated or even declined.

But the cultural explanation is hardly a win for leftist Multicultural dogma which insists on the uniform equality of all cultures. Despite the obvious self-interest in the NAPLAN analysis, it shows an important fact: culture matters. Some cultures are clearly superior to others.

“Assimilation” has been a dirty word for the multi-cult left for decades. It’s time for them to admit that they were wrong.

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