Charles Murray Was Just Putting it Out There

PathtoPoverty

When House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) cited the work of Charles Murray, author of The Bell Curve, while denouncing the shiftless lazy men of the inner city, it brought fresh scrutiny to the idea itself and the work of Murray.

Murray has now responded to critics and assured us all that he is not a racist, he was just putting the idea out there.

via TPM

“Our sin was to openly discuss the issue, not to advocate a position. But for the last forty years, that’s been sin enough,” Murray wrote in a piece published by the American Enterprise Institute.

Murray argues that in “The Bell Curve,” he and co-author Richard Herrnstein merely deliberated whether genetics had anything to do with racial differences without drawing a conclusion.

They’re innocent, he swears. They simply put the idea out there and let the reader decide if, you know, minorities are poor because of their genetics.

Judging by his post at the American Enterprise Institute, it appears that Murray had no intention of addressing his critics until Paul Krugman writing for the New York Times referred to his work and the words of Paul Ryan as an “Old-Time Dogwhistle.”

What’s curious though is Murray citing the following passage from The Bell Curve about poor genetics to disprove charges of racism.

If the reader is now convinced that either the genetic or environmental explanation has won out to the exclusion of the other, we have not done a sufficiently good job of presenting one side or the other. It seems highly likely to us that both genes and the environment have something to do with racial differences. What might the mix be? We are resolutely agnostic on that issue; as far as we can determine, the evidence does not justify an estimate.

“Both genes and the environment” includes genes, obviously. It’s eugenicist pseudo-science.

Murray is a dyed in the wool racist and no amount of hand-waving will erase the stink from him or Ryan.

As Paul Krugman said ‘it’s all they’ve got.’

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  • muselet

    Some people think minorities are inferior because they come from long lines of inferior people, while others think minorities are inferior because they live in the places inferior people live. We say it’s a combination of the two.

    What’s racist about that?

    Keep defending your ideas and your book, Charles Murray. All I ask is that you please do so in the most public ways you can. That way, more people will come to know just what kind of man you are.

    –alopecia

    • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

      If I had a nickel for every time some right winger cited The Bell Curve as indisputable proof that minorities are inherently dumber I’d be richer than Oprah.

  • Christopher Foxx


    Murray argues that in “The Bell Curve,” he and co-author Richard Herrnstein merely deliberated whether genetics had anything to do with racial differences without drawing a conclusion.

    I wonder if Republicans are genetically prone to smaller and less intelligent brains. I wonder if there is a genetic basis that determines that politicians from Wisconsin have smaller dicks. I wonder if, maybe, Murray and Herrnstein have stopped beating their wives.

    I’m not drawing any conclusions, I’m just putting it out there.

    • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

      “Is it irresponsible to speculate? It is irresponsible not to!”