“The greatest hope for the immediate future lies in a lessening of the contrast between Negroes and whites. … Intermixture will decrease the contrast between extreme racial forms. … In a race of octoroons, living among whites, the color question would probably disappear. –Franz Boas 
Over at Evo and Proud, Peter Frost has a good post on the colorism paradigm. He was commenting on Hersh (2008)’s questionable reasoning (in “The new immigrant worker: the effects of skin color and height, Journal of Labor Economics.”) Briefly, Hersh (2008) found direct evidence of an immigrant skin color-wage association . Hersh concluded that these findings are consistent with the colorism hypothesis — a hypothesis posited to explain the intra-African American (and South and Central American) color gaps:
Thus, discrimination against immigrants with darker skin relative to those with lighter skin remains a possible explanation for the ﬁndings of this article. The results indicate that any such discrimination is not merely ethnic or racially based nor due to country of birth. Wage equations controlling for ethnicity, race, and country of birth, as well as for family background and extensive labor market characteristics, including characteristics that may themselves be affected by skin color discrimination, show that gradations of skin color affect wages. Skin color is not merely capturing the effects of ethnicity, race, or country of birth but also has an independent effect on wages.
The immigrant findings should not be unexpected. Skin color correlates with national IQ [3,4]. National IQ predicts total national productivity, national economic performance, national savings rate, etc — from which we can infer “unmeasured workers skill” [5,6]. National IQ also predicts immigrant wages just as well as US psychometric tests predict native wages . Hersh (2008) just confirmed what is implied when the findings of Templer (2010) and Jones (2008) are read simultaneously: an immigrant color-skill association.
None of the above implies an ultimate cause to the association. The color-skill association could be a function of the immigrants’ home culture and environment. Moreover, it could simply be a reflection of the skill level of the particular types of immigrants immigrating, though the findings of Rindermann (2007) and Jones (2008a) seem to suggest otherwise. When Hersh (2008) controlled for numerous market factors such as home occupation, home education, father’s years of education, grasp of English, the correlation became non-significant (reducing from 0.021 (p-value<.01 ) to 0.008 (p-value =.11). What about other factors? Hersh (2008) considers two but dismisses the most important one:
Because inclusion of additional observables reduces the magnitude of the estimated skin color effect, it is worthwhile to consider what might be missing from the wage equations. Two possible omitted variables are attractiveness and some measure of ability as embodied in test scores.
The oddity is that she dismisses the possibility of an immigrant IQ mediated association — not much of one is needed — on the basis of a lack of association (according to her) amongst African Americans. This is peculiar because she clearly is trying to use the immigrant data to bolster and extend the color hypothesis beyond Mulattos and Mestiza. She writes:
The possible connection between skin color and ability has been examined using the 1982 GSS, which includes a 10-item vocabulary test as well as a measure of skin color for a sample of about 500 African Americans. Using these data, Lynn (2002) reports a positive correlation between lighter skin color and higher test scores.
However, using the same data, Hill (2002) demonstrates that controlling for education and family background eliminates the relation between skin color and test scores. [Chuck: Actually, doing so reduces the relation (warning: sociologist fallacy) to statistical non-significance; controlling for market factors, likewise, reduces the immigrant color-wage relation to statistical non-significant.] Available evidence in the scientific literature does not support a link between skin color and intelligence. In addition, the correlation between skin color and ancestry varies considerably, with low correlations in many populations of mixed ancestry (Parra, Kittles, and Shriver 2004). In the absence of genetic evidence or a high correlation between skin color and ancestry, it seems unlikely that inclusion of test scores as a measure of ability would greatly alter the skin color effects found in this article
Let’s ignore the Non sequitur and take a closer look at her reasoning with regards to African-Americans.
She contends a) that the available evidence doesn’t support a color-IQ correlation and b) the color ancestry correlation is too low, anyways, to allow IQ to mediate the African American color-wage correlation.
As we know, the low (.17) intra-African American skin color-IQ correlation is consistent with the genetic hypothesis; and the skin color-ancestry correlation is what allows for this consistency . (Hersh likely mistakenly reasoned that since color only weekly correlates with IQ and since color only moderately correlates with ancestry amongst African Americans, the correlation between IQ and ancestry, if any, would be very weak at most.)
Moreover, we know that controlling for IQ reduces the Black-White wage gap (and somewhat reverses the SES gap); the findings of Murray and Herrnstein (1994) have been replicated a number of times [9,10, 11, 12]. So the question is, does controlling for IQ reduce the intra-Black (color)-wage gap? Doing so reduces the gap found in the 1982 GSS data . Otherwise, this question has yet to be tested. Until it is (I wouldn‘t hold my breath), one can not know if the “inclusion of test scores as a measure of ability would greatly alter the skin color effects found.” (The effects don’t need much reducing [see: 22]). Of course, including test scores, wouldn’t alter the relation. It would just tell us if it, like the race one, is mediated by general intelligence. As it is, there are indirect reasons for concluding that it is:
Presumably, IQ is intercorrelated with the color- wage gap. As Harris (2008), Hill (2000), and Hochschild and Weaver (2008) point out, the gap is not just a wage gap but an SES, education, and prestige gap [13, 14, 15].
Dark-skinned blacks in the United States have lower socioeconomic status, more punitive relationships with the criminal justice system, diminished prestige, and less likelihood of holding elective office compared with their lighter counterparts.– Hochschild and Weaver (2008)
Were Hersh (2008) right and were it true that there was no “link between skin color and intelligence,” then, for African Americans, IQ would have to be unassociated with SES and education. We know, however, that it is associated . Since IQ correlates with African American SES and education, it correlates with African American color. And since we know that IQ is predictive and unbiased [16, 18, 21] within the African American population, we can also conclude that IQ mediates the color-wage relation. We are then left in search of the ultimate cause of the intraAfrican American disparity, IQ being a proximate one.
We are also left with the real color paradox: some factor is behind the low African American psychometric intelligence, which is a proximate cause of wage, SES, education, etc. disparities; and this factor impacts African Americans in proportion to their African appearance, which, on the population level, correlates with African genotype. Since intelligence is the proximate cause, the factor can’t be contemporaneous education and work etc. “discrimination”; the massive discrimination for African-Americans [see for example 19, 20], in the name of proportionate equality, undermines this hypothesis further. And since the factor impacts African Americans in proportion to their African-ness, it can’t simply be the legacy of racial discrimination acting by way of intelligence affecting environmental effects. As Hill (2000) has shown, “culture” fails as an explanation for the intraAfrican American gap, a gap which was present at least since the early 1900s. Likewise, family circumstance fails (i.e. Sowell’s intergenerational explanation), since the gap has been found even after controlling for family origin (14,15).
The proponents of the “colorism” paradigm have done a good job at establishing the inadequacy of “cultural” explanations. In doing so, they have unwittingly painted racial egalitarians into a corner.
 As quoted in Roger Sanjek, “Intermarriage and the Future of Races in the United States,” in Race, ed. Steven Gregory and Roger Sanjek.
 Hersch, 2008. Profiling the new immigrant worker: the effects of skin color and height, Journal of Labor Economics.
 Templer, 2010. IQ and Skin Color: The Old World Reexamined and the New World
 Templer and Arikawa, 2006. Temperature, skin color, per capita income, and IQ: An international perspective
 Rindermann, 2007. The big g‐factor of national cognitive ability
 Jones, 2008a. Cognitive Ability and Technology Diffusion: An Empirical Test
 Jones, 2008b. IQ in the Production Function: Evidence from Immigrant Earnings
 Shuey (1966) reviewed 18 studies relating IQ and skin color. In 12/18, lighter colored African Americans scored higher on all tests; in 4 studies, lighter colored African Americans scored higher on the majority of the tests (3/5, etc.). In 2, there was no evidence of a relation. The correlations found by Herskovits (1926) = .17, Klineberg (1928) = .12, Peterson and Lanier (1929) =.18/.30, and Scarr, Pakstis, Katz and Barker (1977)* = .155 for g, Lynn (2002) = .17. Average = .17, N = 1130.* Nisbett concurs with this in "Race, genetics, and IQ," stating that "the typical correlations with skin color are around .15.” If the African American Skin color -Ancestry correlation is .44 (Parra, Kittles, and Shriver 2004), a .17 IQ -skin color correlation would predict a .39 African American IQ-Ancestry correlation. Since no one has modeled it, no one knows what magnitude of a genotypic IQ gap this .39 correlation would predict. *Scarr et al.’s Ns varied. I could not locate the N for the color-IQ measure.
[As for the IQ-Ancestry correlation, I’m just reversing an equation that I already discussed:
“The expected mean correlation between IQ and skin color (SC) would be the square root of the product of the reliabilities (i.e square) of the correlation between IQ and individual ancestry (IA) and SC and individual ancestry (IA), assuming some between group heritability (BGH) of IQ. The average SC-IA correlation for African Americans is around .44 (ranging from .34 to .54); the reliability of skin color as a predictor of African American Ancestry is, therefore, .19. The average IQ-IA correlation obviously has yet to be determined. Assuming a BGH of 1, the IQ-IA correlation could range anywhere from .25 to .50, giving predictive validities of .05 to .25. (The IQ-IA correlation would most certainly be less than 1; consider that siblings who share the same ancestry (and half their genes) only have an IA- IQ correlations of ~.50!) Using .44 as the SC-IA correlation, the maximum and minimum expected IQ-SC correlations, assuming a BGH of 1, would be around 11% and 22%, respectively.”
 Herrnstein and Murray, 1994. The bell curve
 Darity and Myers, 1998. Persistent disparity: Race and economic inequality in the United States since 1945
 Johnson and Neal, 1998. Basic skills and the black-white earnings gap
 Kanazawa, 2005. The Myth of Racial Discrimination in Pay in the United State
 Harris, 2008. From color line to color chart?: Racism and colorism in the new century
 Hill, 2000. Color Differences in the Socioeconomic Status of African American Men: Results of a
 Hochschild and Weaver, 2008. The Skin Color Paradox and the American Racial Order
 Sacket, et al, 2001. High-stakes testing in employment, credentialing, and higher education:
Prospects in a post-affirmative-action world
 Schmidt and Hunterm 2004. General Mental Ability in the World of Work: Occupational Attainment
and Job Performance
 Viswesvaran and Chockalingam, 2002. Agreements and Disagreements on the Role of General Mental Ability (GMA) in Industrial, Work, and Organizational Psychology.
 Gottfredson, Racially gerrymandering the content of police tests to satisfy the U.S. Justice Department: A case study.
 McDaniel, 2009. Gerrymandering in personnel selection: A review of practice
 Sackett, et al., 2008. High-Stakes Testing in Higher Education and Employment Appraising the Evidence for Validity and Fairness. page 222-224
 While the .17 IQ-color correlation is low, the intra-African American gaps in need of explanation are small. For example in “When Do People ¬Not Protest Unfairness? The Case of Skin Color Discrimination,” Hochschild (2006) notes:
Consider some illustrative evidence. The Multicity Study of Urban Inequality (MCSUI) was conducted in 1992-94 in four cities — Boston, Detroit, Atlanta, and Los Angeles (Bobo et al. 2000). There were almost 9000 respondents, including over 3000 blacks. In the MCSUI data, just over a quarter of African Americans had earned college degrees. But light-skinned blacks were more likely to have a college degree than were medium- or dark-skinned blacks; conversely, dark- and medium-skinned members were less likely to have completed high school. Put another way, dark-skinned blacks received on average 12.2 years of schooling; medium-skinned blacks received 12.5 years, and light-skinned blacks enjoyed 12.9 years of schooling. The results are highly statistically significant. Although these are not huge substantive differences, the gap between finishing high school and achieving a year of college education is very meaningful for one’s life chances. (For similar results using different data sets, see Keith and Herring 1991; Hunter 2002; Allen, Telles and Hunter 2000; Seltzer and Smith 1991; and Krieger, Sidney and Coakley 1998).
The same pattern holds for income. Mean family incomes range from about $23,200 for the dark-skinned, to $24,800 for the medium-skinned, to $25,900 for the light-skinned. Put another way, families of dark-skinned African Americans enjoy about nine-tenths as much income as families of light-skinned African Americans. This too is not a trivial difference; in 1994, the mean family income for blacks was almost two-thirds that of whites. (For similar findings, see the articles cited above, as well as Edwards 1972; Keith and Herring 1991; Murguia and Telles 1996; Cotton 1997; Hill 2000; Gomez 2000; Bowman, Muhammad and Ifatunji 2004).