Should accurate facts be suppressed because stating them will “do a lot of harm”? Yes, writes the thoughtful William Saletan in The Weekly Standard, if the facts are about “racial differences on intelligence tests.”
Michael, appropriately, takes issue with William but he kindly identifies him as thoughtful. Michael is full of kindness. In that way it is similar to the memo James Damore wrote. We expect the same response. First, Michael says:
[William] seems to assume that if you just don’t write about the well-documented racial differences on intelligence tests, people won’t know they exist. This is just nonsense.
Nonsense is being kind.
[William’s] second assumption is that if people, even smart people, do somehow manage to learn this inconvenient fact, they’re necessarily going to use it to judge individuals. That they’re going to assume that everyone scores about the same as their group’s average, or that no member of the group scores above it.
And I think that’s just wrong too.
It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if smart people make the wrong judgments. It doesn’t matter if average people make the wrong judgments. It doesn’t matter if stupid people make the wrong judgments. It doesn’t matter if people with with poor math skills make bad judgments. It doesn’t matter if Neo-Nazis or Antifa members make bad judgments. It doesn’t matter that some folks are going to make judgments on their own. Once you start thinking your responsibility is to hide evidence from the public then you start to do all sorts of weird things and lose your standing. A general example is the the problems of MSM. A specific example is William. You now know that he thinks it is his duty to hide the facts from fools like us.
Michael concludes with the real problem:
What it does undermine is the case for racial quotas and preferences. That case relies on the notion, as I put it at the beginning of my Washington Examinercolumn on Damore’s firing, that “a fair society [would] have exactly the same percentage of men and women, of whites and blacks and Hispanics and Asians, in every line of work and occupational category” and “that any divergence from these percentages must necessarily result from oppression.” That’s nonsense, in my view, and ordinary people are not racists or sexists to reject it.
Yup, that would be the only reason to try to obscure the facts. And, as Michael kindly says, it is nonsense.