Outsourced to Matthew Yglesias:
Matthew Yglesias: Racists Polluting My Race Science!: I'm a little bit confused by Will Saletan's mea culpa here:
For the past five years, J. Philippe Rushton has been president of the Pioneer Fund, an organization dedicated to "the scientific study of heredity and human differences." During this time, the fund has awarded at least $70,000 to the New Century Foundation. To get a flavor of what New Century stands for, check out its publications on crime ("Everyone knows that blacks are dangerous") and heresy ("Unless whites shake off the teachings of racial orthodoxy they will cease to be a distinct people"). New Century publishes a magazine called American Renaissance, which preaches segregation. Rushton routinely speaks at its conferences.
I was negligent in failing to research and report this. I'm sorry. I owe you better than that.
Saletan, basically, is apologizing for having cited a racist's work in penning his column. Which would be a reasonable thing to do, except that the thesis of Saletan's column was that one of the key empirical claims of white supremacism is true. In particular, calling on whites to "shake off the teachings of racial orthodoxy" is exactly what Saletan was doing in his own article. Similarly on the crime front. It's well known that African-Americans commit violent crimes at a higher rate than do white Americans. And if the Saletan Thesis of intrinsic African-American genetic intellectual inferiority is true, extending the analysis to explain the observed gap in violent crime rates seems like an obvious move.
Saletan was busy trying to have his cake and eat it, to, and when confronted with Rushton's rhetoric suddenly finds himself choking on it. But of course the research "proving" blacks' genetic inferiority to whites is shot through with racism; what else would the race-science paradigm possibly be infused with? Somehow, Saletan was so busy with his counterintuitive pirouettes that he didn't notice what side he'd landed on.