A nation filled with disparity: Divisions of race are everywhere

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  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    July 28, 2012 12:00 p.m.

    Re: "I don't see Dr. Williams attributing racial disparity to anything other than genetics . . . ."

    Actually, you didn't see him attributing disparity to genetics, either.

    A quick word search reveals Dr. Williams didn't even use the word "genetic" in his article. And, he spoke in glowing terms of Jewish people, most of whom are genetically indistinguishable from the populations within which they live.

    Dr. Williams, a black man who grew up in the Philadelphia projects during the Jim Crow era, has a well-established record, over a period of many, many years, of attributing poor performance among minority groups to race-based culture, NOT to genetics.

    And he has just as long a history of encouraging members of minority groups to celebrate their heritage, but discard culture-based bars to success.

    As did he.

  • John C. C. Payson, UT
    July 28, 2012 9:29 a.m.

    twinfallsid: No, I acknowledge that there is disparity among the races in the skills they ultimately end up with. I'm saying this: Racial disparity is based historic patterns of discrimination and prejudice, not genetics. I'm referring to the lack of opportunity facing every child born to an underprivileged minority group.

    All children should be offered the same quality of education regardless of the neighborhood or family they happen to be born into. Our school system is shamefully fragmented and unequal. We should not be condemning children to mediocrity based on how and where they are born.

    Equalizing opportunity for education is one step. The other is teaching each other to stop stereotyping others based on perceived racial traits.

    One thing I know is that no race is naturally superior nor inferior to another, for we are all equal in God's eyes


    I don't see Dr. Williams attributing racial disparity to anything other than genetics (I didn't say "eugenics"). He persistently shows that racial groups groups differ in their behavior, but never offers a reason why. That leaves the mere fact of their racial identity.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    July 28, 2012 7:47 a.m.

    Re: "Shame on Professor Williams for suggesting that current performance is driven by racial genetic superiority."

    Shame on commenters for suggesting Dr. Williams attributes performance differences to genetics.

    He doesn't.

    He's made it clear on numberless occasions that he attributes performance or underperformance primarily to cultural differences and expectations. And that was the clear thrust of this article, as well.

    Children raised with an expectation they will achieve academically and intellectually, tend to do so. Those raised with an expectation that their talents will lie along other lines -- be it sports, politics, relationships, even crime, tend to blossom in the direction of those expectations.

    Dr. Williams has spent a lifetime encouraging Americans of all races and ethnicities to break the bounds of low cultural expectations and to nurture and urge their children to excellence.

    Categorizing him as a throwback proponent of eugenics would be both ignorant and unfair.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    July 27, 2012 12:34 p.m.

    I agree that diversity should not mean strict proportionality. But too often the situation has meant no (or virtually no) representation of various minorities in certain fields and studies.

    Again, I am okay with more of group X studying this and fewer studying that. But if there is virtually no one from group X studying in an important field, then you need to start asking some hard questions. The answers may not be easy (and may not be due to discrimination) but you need to start asking the tough questions.

    BTW, Mr. Williams NEVER asks the hard questions. If he is this paper's attempt at diversity, surely it could do better. Someone with some academic rigor. Please.

  • twinfallsid TWIN FALLS, ID
    July 27, 2012 9:36 a.m.

    John C.C.: You are off the mark on what Mr. Williams is saying. Diversity in colleges, etc. has gone too far. Often ability is overlooked. Is it okay for a person who is more qualified to not get a position for based on needing to have "diversity"? Should a black person get a Nobel Prize not because he earned it, but in the name of diversity? Should a white man get a position on an NBA team over a more qualified black person? Should I be upset if there are more Jewish doctors and I'm not Jewish? .....

  • John C. C. Payson, UT
    July 27, 2012 7:01 a.m.

    Shame on Professor Williams for suggesting that current performance is driven by racial genetic superiority.

    If differences among the races in performance are grossly disproportionate, look first at how behavior is passed down by tradition and conditioning. One of the remarkable geniuses of our nation is that we honor the notion of all being created equal and that all deserve an opportunity to rise above our traditional limitations.

    Our weaknesses as a nation that still remain are based on our continued bad behavior. We'll have more success improving that than changing our genetic heritage.