It’s been a bad news day between SCHIP override failure, Turkey invading Iraq, Al-Qaeda or the Taliban or both or whomever attacking hundreds of innocent civilians in Pakistan, Sarkozy and Now-Ex Wife, etc. I should have know it would start off bad when this was the first story I read today on CNN:

Nobel winner in ‘racist’ claim row

A British museum has canceled a lecture by Dr. James Watson, co-founder of the DNA double helix, after he claimed black people are less intelligent than whites in a recent newspaper interview.

James Watson won the 1962 Nobel prize for discovering the structure of DNA.

Watson, who won the 1962 Nobel prize for his part in discovering the structure of DNA, provoked a storm of criticism after his comments were published in the Sunday Times.

The eminent biologist told the British newspaper he was “inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa” because “all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours — whereas all the testing says not really.”

Of course one is tempted to notch this off as an angry, frustrated, embittered old coot who admits to being socially inept in his youth. Which is certainly how the Sunday Times in London portrays him in a bafflingly affectionate sort of “our lovely old granddad still filled with vim, vigor and bigotry” way. By way of example, from the narrator, who passes on his hateful words without judgment or rebuttal:

As I motor back to New York, I reflect on a man who – at nearly 80 – is, and will remain, an immensely powerful and revered force in science. I wonder whether it’s possible, as his desire to shock seems so strong, that a fear of boring people really does play on his mind. Perhaps the best description of the man is from the driver. “Dr Watson’s so kind and still very young at heart,” he drawls as we leave the campus behind. “He’s got a lot of curiosity about everything and he’s always working. But to him it isn’t work: it’s a challenge to the mind. And if he runs into a problem, it’s fun time.”

The article also says:

His hope is that everyone is equal, but he counters that “people who have to deal with black employees find this not true”. He says that you should not discriminate on the basis of colour, because “there are many people of colour who are very talented, but don’t promote them when they haven’t succeeded at the lower level”. He writes that “there is no firm reason to anticipate that the intellectual capacities of peoples geographically separated in their evolution should prove to have evolved identically. Our wanting to reserve equal powers of reason as some universal heritage of humanity will not be enough to make it so”.

Still as a recognized, historic pioneer of science, his words are troubling and encourage the wrong sort of elements — such as the person who added the story to Digg and whomever is writing the Race and Intelligence entry in the Wikipedia. The Digg notes:

The Church of Political Correctness is burying facts and creating a 21st century Galileo. Dr Watson, A Nobel Prize winner who now runs one of America’s leading scientific research institutions drew widespread condemnation for comments he made. He claimed genes responsible for creating differences in human intelligence could be found within a decade

A Galileo? Please, honey. It simply isn’t true. Race is a social construct created to nurture inequalities and exploitation of an Other. Biologically speaking, there is no such thing as race and in fact, we are all human beings above all else. Did you know that some African slaves were imported to America precisely because of their culture’s technical knowledge of growing rice and other crops in warm, wet climates? And that the elaborate metal-working of places like New Orleans were imported by slaves highly valued for their technique? Did you know that African slaves imported medicinal knowledge such as the use of white clay (Kaolin) to prevent diarrhea (think about Kaopectate) and cherry tree bark to flavor strong-tasting medicine?

Do you have any idea how many inventions we rely upon daily were provided by poor, stupid African-Americans such as the traffic light, the carbon filament in light bulbs and refrigerated trucking? Did you know the phrase “the real McCoy” is derived from those who wanted the inventions of Elijah McCoy — black man — without substitute?
Here’s a top ten list of African-American scientists and inventors.

Stupid indeed. America owes a great debt to this long list of Black scientists and inventors and millions more people intelligent enough to thrive even under slavery and discrimination. This shiznit makes me so mad.

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