Think this is simple?

The subject is prejudice, of the racial kind. This article in the New York Times is well worth the time, for the subject is the differences between racial groups in genetic inheritance. Specifically, intelligence.

Back in the day, we were raised with the iron-clad assumption that all races were pretty much the same in their genetic heritage. At least insofar as intelligence was concerned. Where there appeared to be significant and enduring differences, as is the case when IQ is measured, we were told to simply assume that it was nurture, not nature that was the culprit.

The Times, and the studies it references, make it fairly clear that there are significant differences between racial groups. In intelligence as well as in other attributes. Differences that appear to be culturally-neutral and environment-neutral. The reasons why this may be so are beyond my knowledge of the science involved. The real question for me would be, “so what?”

What, exactly, should we be doing if those genetic differences are real? Should we stop affirmative action, since if blacks are inferior in their intellect, we would be promoting people who are not as smart as those left behind? Should we increase affirmative action, since blacks need even more of a boost to achieve equality?

And what do we say to racists who have made a claim, for centuries, that now seems at least partially validated by hard evidence? Hard questions, to which I would answer thusly: Let us treat every person as an individual. Let us reward those who can achieve; not reward those who can not. Let us make allowances for those whose environment has put them at a disadvantage, but not at the expense of providing equality of opportunity to all.

There are two key concepts that ought to be paramount. The first is that we are each of us made in the image of God, and entitled to human dignity as a unique individual. Not as a member of any race or other group. The second is we should, each and every one, get equality of opportunity. Not equality of results.


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