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.
“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.’