Whiter Privilege

In spite of what your typical leftist nutjob argues (1), the abolition of White people and the “restoration of the natural laws of breeding” will not usher in a global egalitarian utopia — it won’t even usher in national “post-racial” socioeconomic proportionality.

Villarreala, 2010. Stratification by Skin Color in Contemporary Mexico (Click on the upper left corner to view)

Boundaries between the remaining ethnic or racial categories were further blurred in the twentieth century following the Mexican revolution (1910 to 1920). A new generation of Mexican intellectuals and policymakers promoted a nationalist ideology that defined Mexico as essentially a mestizo nation (Bonfil Batalla [1987] 1996; Brading 1988; de la Peña 2006; Knight 1990; Lomnitz 1992). Writers such as José Vasconcelos ([1925] 1997), who served as Secretary of Education, glorified the mestizo as the only agent capable of leading Mexico into a new era of progress and modernization. In this new racial ideology of mestizaje that emerged in post-revolutionary Mexico, no further ethnic or racial categories were recognized within the majority mestizo population. Moreover, the difference between indígenas and mestizos was defined primarily in cultural terms, not by skin color or ancestry (Brading 1988; Doremus 2001; Gamio [1916] 1982; Marino Flores 1967). Policymakers viewed indigenous cultures as inherently backward and inferior; however, the fact that indigenous identity was culturally defined meant it could be changed through educational campaigns. As Knight (1990) argues, government “acculturation” programs constituted an attempt to “mestizo-ize” the indigenous population…..

Research on race in Latin America has focused almost exclusively on countries in the region with a large recognized presence of individuals of African descent such as Brazil. Racial categories in these countries are based on skin color distinctions along a black-white continuum. By contrast, the main socially recognized ethnic distinction in Indo-Latin American countries such as Mexico, between indigenous and non-indigenous residents, is not based primarily on phenotypical differences but rather on culture and language. A state-sponsored ideology explicitly denies the existence of any further racial or color distinctions among the Mexican population. Yet many Mexicans today express a preference for whiter skin and European features, even though no clear system of skin color categorization appears to exist. The Mexican case may therefore be described as one of extreme ambiguity in skin color classification.

Despite this ambiguity, I found evidence of profound social stratification by skin color in contemporary Mexico. Individuals with darker skin tone have significantly lower levels of educational attainment and occupational status, and they are more likely to live in poverty and less likely to be affluent, even after controlling for other individual characteristics. Differences in socioeconomic status between Mexicans of different skin tones are indeed large. Although measurement differences preclude precise cross-country comparisons, the differences between Mexicans in the three color categories used in this study, and particularly between individuals classified as white and non-white, are comparable to the differences between African Americans and non-Hispanic whites in the United States…

Educational attainment

Results of the first set of regression models presented in Table 4 indicate a very strong association between respondents’ skin color and their educational attainment. Individuals with darker skin tones have substantially lower education levels even once other sociodemographic characteristics, such as their age, gender, and indigenous background, are taken into account. Using the top educational category as an example, the regression coefficients for Model 4 indicate that the odds of having a college education or more are 29.5 percent lower for respondents who are light brown compared with those who are white (1−exp(−.350)). Similarly, the odds of having a college education or more are 57.6 percent lower for respondents who are dark brown compared with those who are white (1−exp(−.857)). The difference between the coefficients for light- and dark-brown respondents is statistically significant at the .01 level, suggesting that the non-white population should be disaggregated into two separate categories. Nevertheless, because I found a greater consensus about who is white than about who belongs to either of the two other categories, I also compare the educational attainment of whites versus non-whites in Model 5. White respondents have 68.2 percent higher odds of having a college education or more compared with non-whites (exp(.520)−1). The coefficient for the skin color scale in Model 6 is also statistically significant in the expected direction.

These differences in socioeconomic outcomes are, of course, insufficient to demonstrate the persistence of discriminatory practices against individuals based on the color of their skin. However, the fact that differences in occupational status across skin color categories cannot be fully explained by other factors, such as respondents’ age, gender, education, or the region of the country in which they live, suggests that Mexicans with darker skin tones may in fact face discrimination in the labor market.

Apparently, “White privilege” is readily replaced by “whiter privilege (2).”

(1) According to Noel Ignatiev, “the key to solving the social problems of our age is to abolish the white race [indoEuropean identity]” and “[t]reason to whiteness is loyalty humanity.” For him and other anti-race-ists, the New Jerusalem is to be obtained through promoting ethnic and national Mestizaje between Europeans and “the other,” thereby negating indoEuropean ethnoculture coherence, and so destroying the perceived Great Satan.

2) “Whiter privilege” is the alternative interpretation that Wendy Johnson is referring to in her reply to Lynn.

From: Johnson, 2009. “The global bell curve: Race, IQ, and inequality worldwide, Richard Lynn, Washington Summit Publishers, Augusta, GA, USA, ISBN: 978-1-59368-028-2 (pbk) Pages: xviii, 298 pp. body text, 360 including references.”

Pages, even volumes, could be and have been written questioning the methods and assumptions that underlie the innate race differences in intelligence thesis. Major points include the shaky validity of some of the tests used in some of the studies Lynn cites, the issue of the population representativeness of many if not most of the samples, the appropriateness of the assumption that IQ tests measure intelligence to the same degree in different cultural and racial groups, the oversimplification of the concept of race as dependent on skin color, the appropriateness of the assumption that the presence of substantial genetic variance in intelligence indicates that intelligence is innate and relatively fixed, the appropriateness of the assumption that conformance to western work ethic reflects intelligence, the misattribution of causation to correlation, etc. These questions are all relevant and important, but at least to my mind the ones that question the basic data are rather nit-picky. Lynn’s data are essentially correct and do reflect the general state of the world.The science involved in Lynn’s causal attributions is, however, another matter. What is the optimal scientific experiment that would test the theory of innate race differences in intelligence as the causal explanation for social hierarchies correlated with race? There is no question that both intelligence and social outcomes such as educational attainment, earnings, and occupational status develop within a cultural framework as individuals grow from birth and well into adulthood. Frankly, however, at this point our understanding of how this occurs is really poor, the high heritability of intelligence notwithstanding. I think most would agree that this means that the optimal scientific experiment to test Lynn’s causal attributions would involve being certain that cultural environments (keep in mind which cultures developed the IQ test) and educational and social opportunities are equal across race in infancy and even before, and ensuring that those environments and opportunities remain equal throughout at the very least childhood and adolescence and likely much further in the lifespan than that.

Pluralitas non est ponenda sine neccesitate!

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2 Responses to Whiter Privilege

  1. Pingback: Righteous Human Biological Diversity « Occidental Ascent

  2. Pingback: An Idiot’s Guide to the Hereditarian Hypothesis « Occidental Ascent

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