Racial differences in “average personality.”
by Richard Lynn
For as long as official statistics have been kept, blacks in white societies have been overrepresented in all indices of social pathology: crime, illegitimacy, poverty, school failure, and long-term unemployment. The conventional liberal explanation for this is white “racism,” past and present, which has forced blacks into self-destructive choices. More clear-headed observers, however, have sought a partial explanation in the low average IQ of blacks.
Low IQ can lead to crime because less intelligent children do poorly at school and fail to learn the skills needed to get well-paid jobs, or even any job. Unemployment is therefore two to three times higher among blacks than whites. People without jobs need money, and have relatively little to lose by robbery or burglary, and may therefore commit property crimes. The association between low intelligence and crime holds for whites as well, among whom the average IQ of criminals is about 84.
Nevertheless, as Charles Murray and the late Richard Herrnstein showed in their book The Bell Curve, low IQ cannot entirely explain a black crime rate that is six-and-a-half times the white rate. When blacks and whites are matched for IQ, blacks still commit crimes at two-and-a-half times the white rate. This shows that blacks must have some other characteristic, besides low intelligence, that explains their high levels of criminality.
Prof. Herrnstein and Dr. Murray found the same race and IQ relationship for social problems other than crime: unemployment, illegitimacy, poverty, and living on welfare. All of these are more frequent among blacks and are related to low IQ, and low IQ goes some way towards explaining them, but these social problems remain greater among blacks than among whites with the same IQs. Low intelligence is therefore not the whole explanation. Prof. Herrnstein and Dr. Murray did not offer any suggestions as to what the additional factors responsible for the greater prevalence of these social problems among blacks might be. They concluded only that “some ethnic differences are not washed away by controlling for either intelligence or for any other variables that we examined. We leave those remaining differences unexplained and look forward to learning from our colleagues where the explanations lie” (p. 340).