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Monday, October 13, 2014

Why I feel free to be honest about race

This blog is obviously blunt about racial issues, more so than is generally considered good manners. In polite society, people simply do not speak honestly about race and IQ, or race and crime, and so on.

This is particularly true of people who come from my type of background. I went to an extremely liberal secondary school, and attended an Ivy League college where the vast majority of professors were liberal. I'm half-Japanese and half-white, so it would be silly for me to subscribe to any sort of racialist ideology due to ethnic loyalty. And, as a halfbreed, I'm less naturally inclined towards racial partisanship.

But a good part of the reason I feel free to speak honestly on such matters is that I've had black friends, one in particular, and I've found that they are generally far more outspoken about race than most whites would ever dare be.

A lot of white people will claim to have had black friends. You know, the fellow on their soccer team they're friendly with at the games. The congenial coworker with whom they've had a couple of meals and with whom they've shared a few jokes. The buddy from high school with whom they smoked marijuana. But the odds are they weren't quite comfortable enough with each other to be completely honest about their opinions on race.

I had a close black friend, let's call him George Smith, for 31 years, from 1981 to 2012. We even roomed together for two years back in the mid-80's before we each got married. I've written about him before, in The coolest guy I ever met. Every word in that post is true: he was, unquestionably, incredibly cool. To this day, if George's name comes up for some reason, I tell people, you'd have to see him to believe him. And the people who've met him never disagree.

But, in a sense, the post linked above was also a whitewash: I didn't mention his attitudes about race and politics. (I suggest you read that post before you read this one.)

What I will say in this post will make him sound worse than he is (just as the post linked above probably made him sound better than he is). You may even wonder why we stayed friends. But he was a good friend over the years, extremely enjoyable company, and he did me many favors -- more on that later.

When I first met George, he said several charmingly self-deprecatory things about race. But I learned fairly quickly that that was something he did for whites he first met, and that he was in fact quite partisan on all matters racial and political. Looking back, I should have called him on some of the things he said. But, while never a liberal myself, I had always been taught that "racism" -- only possible in one direction, of course -- was the worst sin one could commit. So I was always careful, especially early on, to watch what I said.

George felt no such compunctions. He would uninhibitedly say whatever came into his mind about race or politics. He wasn't the kind of guy who would constantly invoke racism as an explanation for every black dysfunction. But he said all sorts of things that he would undoubtedly have construed as despicably racist had the equivalent sentiments come out of a white person's mouth.

Once when we were watching television in 1982, a couple of Reagan Cabinet members were shown walking into the National Cathedral. George said, "I hope a bomb goes off." My guess is, were George to hear a similar sentiment voiced about Eric Holder or Barack Obama, he would immediately think, what an ugly racist.

One time, referring to Castro, he said, "Fidel's okay by me." I'd heard pro-Castro sentiments from some of the knee-jerk liberals I'd gone to secondary school with, but was surprised to hear it from George. I wondered, but did not ask, what he would think if Reagan had put his political opponents in jail for criticizing him.

Once, shortly after I met him, he said, "I know if I ever met William F. Buckley, he'd beat me in an argument. But still, I'd know I was right." At the time, it occurred to me that George was giving away more than he intended with that statement: it was essentially a confession that with him, politics was less a matter of logic and more one of belief -- of being a True Believer, so to speak.

Later on, when we were rooming together, I would occasionally hear him yell out while watching a boxing match on TV, "Come on, beat that white boy!" I didn't say anything at the time, but years later, when I no longer felt obliged to censor myself, I asked him what his reaction would have been had I yelled out, without knowing anything about the boxers other than their races, "Come on, beat that black boy!" He replied, "I don't know. You should have done it, it would have been an interesting experiment." I said, "We both know exactly what your reaction would have been. You would have bristled and thought, what a horrible racist."

George always rooted for blacks over whites. In 1999, we went to Seville to watch the world track and field championships. While there, we happened to meet Roger Black, the great (white) British 400 meter runner. George, in public mode, told Black that he had been rooting for the British 4 x 400 runners over the boastful Americans in 1996. As we walked away, I scoffed, "What a bunch of crap -- when was the last time you actually rooted for a white guy over a black guy?" George just shrugged, tacitly acknowledging the lie.

George liked to bet, and I had one big advantage over him: I knew he would always be willing to place a bet on a black over a white, regardless of whether the black should be favored.

Once, when we were rooming together, he came back from a business trip to Tokyo, and remarked, "I don't find Japanese women attractive. Flat chests, flat asses, bad teeth.....nah, not attractive." (I suspect part of the reason he said this was because by this point it had become painfully obvious, after all the time we had spent chasing girls together, I had pretty much zero interest in black women, and he was, at some level, getting back at me.) My initial reaction to his statement was, well, tastes are subjective, I can't blame George for not finding Asians attractive, especially since I don't find black women attractive.

But, it's one thing to not chase after a racial group, another to spell out exactly why one finds them unattractive. I never would have dreamed of saying to George, "You know, there's something about that really dark skin that I just find sort of alien. And frankly, those wide nostrils and thick lips and prognathous faces don't do a thing for me."

One time when we were at a party in the mid-80's, someone told George that the Japanese were really racist against blacks. Upon hearing this, he muttered, "Pin dick motherfuckers." I don't really blame George for saying this: lots of people, when insulted, lash out with the most scathing physical insult they can think of.

But I also don't really blame angry whites who -- after, say, witnessing the latest riot -- use the most scathing physical insult they can against blacks: calling them chimpanzees, or gorillas. But George, of course, would have been horrified and infuriated to hear any white refer to blacks that way, no matter the circumstance. In fact, I remember him once bitterly explaining to me that calling black people monkeys was an insult whites sometimes used. (As if I might not have realized this.)

In 1988, we got together for dinner one night with our wives in Manhattan. The subject of politics came up, and both George and his wife said they planned to vote for Jesse Jackson. This was after it had come out that Jackson had boasted to a black audience that as a young man he used to spit in the food of white customers, and after he had referred to New York as "Hymietown." This didn't seem to trouble George or his wife.

Four years later, when I said to George and his wife that I was going to vote for Pat Buchanan, his wife said, "That's racist." It occurred to me later that Buchanan had, to my knowledge, never said -- or done -- anything nearly as ugly as Jackson had. But both George and his wife seemed blind to this double standard.

In 2001 I introduced George to a friend of mine who's a famous sportswriter. One of the first questions George asked was, "Why doesn't someone write a book about racial differences in athletic ability? Take the NBA, for example, it's 75% black. Now I've heard all the explanations for why that's so -- blacks aren't allowed to succeed elsewhere, basketball is a big part of their culture, and so on -- but that gets me to maybe 25, 30%. But 75%? There are just obvious differences in ability."

I agree with George completely on this: how could anyone with an open mind look at track, or football, or basketball, and come to any other conclusion? And that's the right way to examine any the issue: look at the facts first, and then come up with a theory to fit those facts. The wrong way, of course, is to come up with some politically correct theory that attempts to explain away group differences, and then scramble for the few facts which buttress your theory while willfully ignoring the vast majority of evidence.

But if looking at the facts is acceptable when it comes to racial differences in athletics, why not for differences in intelligence, propensity for violence, and everything else? Yet I remember George on occasion bristling when I would broach these topics. (In fairness to him, there were also times I would broach those topics and he would discuss them calmly.)

Some might say that athletics are one thing, but intelligence is a more sensitive topic which should be handled delicately. But even there, George had no inhibitions about voicing his opinion, as long as he was on the winning side. Once over the phone he gave me a two minute speech about how women were less logical than men. He said, I'm not saying this about all women, and I'm certainly not saying all men are logical, but all my life I've noticed that women are just on average less logical.

Again, I agree with George completely; that's been my experience as well. But if one is willing to express an opinion on such differences between the sexes, then one shouldn't object if others notice -- and talk about -- similar differences between the races.

On a couple occasions, George seemed mildly offended if I hadn't heard of somewhat obscure black cultural figures from the past, like bandleader Cab Calloway. There are plenty of cultural figures I'm not familiar with; but George would never have been touchy about me not remembering, say, white bandleader Artie Shaw. And if a name like Lena Horne or Paul Robeson came up, I knew I could always count on George to talk about how great they were.

Recently, I wrote a post about who I thought the greatest composer of the twentieth century was. I asked various people, including George, their opinions. I knew ahead of time that George would name a black: sure enough, his choices were Stevie Wonder and Elton John.

Once during that trip to Seville in 1999, he pointed out Regina Jacobs, the 1500 runner, who was standing on the track across the stadium. When I said I couldn't recognize her, he shook his head and said, "White people always have a hard time telling black people apart." I replied, "It's not racism, it's eyesight. Here I've been asking you what the scoreboard says all evening long, but when I can't make out someone's facial features from a hundred yards away it's racism?" George immediately acknowledged that I was right. When I added, "Stay vigilant though. You're doing a good job," he laughed. But similar statements would crop up from time to time.

It wasn't as if George lacked a sense of humor, or couldn't take a joke. Once, when we were rooming together, he came back from the dry cleaner and said something to the effect of, those stupid Chinese launderers lost the button on my shirt. I replied, "Just be thankful the dry cleaner wasn't black. You'd have gotten your shirts back still dirty." He laughed at that too.

But the spin was always there. George actually referred to New York's pestilential squeegee men as "entrepreneurs" once. Technically, what he said was true: these guys did have their own "businesses." But the same could be said about any other variety of panhandler. Calling them "entrepreneurs," a term which usually evokes the likes of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, was typical spin.

One time George expressed the opinion that it was unfair that black guys got sentenced to 15 years for robbing a bank of a few thousand dollars, while white guys who embezzled millions would only go to jail for five years or so. I pointed out the big difference: a bank robber threatens to shoot people if they don't hand over the money, whereas embezzlers don't employ violence. George replied, but what if a guy went into a bank without a gun? I said that's ridiculous: bank robbery doesn't work without the threat of violence, otherwise, why would the tellers hand over the money? At the time, I thought, but did not say, how typical of the way George views such issues: he sees only what he wants to see.

Another time George grumbled, all the white people who are for equal rights now [i.e., are against affirmative action], where were they back in the 50's? I thought, but did not say, you could just as easily say, all the black people who were for equal rights back then, where are they now?

George had a tendency to take every argument we ever had about race back to the 1950's, and would somehow always end up relating it to Jim Crow. Even if it had nothing to do with that.

Once I suggested to George that he might consider moving to Connecticut; I knew he wouldn't do it, but I figured it was a friendly gesture. He replied no, that he would never move there, since it was "too white bread." That, of course, just means "too white." It's perfectly understandable that he would not want to live somewhere where he'd feel out of place. But I can't imagine ever saying to him that I would never move to his particular neck of the Hamptons because it was too black.

In 2001, we went to Las Vegas and stayed at the Bellagio (George was a "whale," and treated as such by the hotel staff.) At one point we were chatting with one of the hosts there, a black man, and George casually mentioned that he used to be a card counter. Later on I asked George if he thought it wise to tell a Bellagio host that he had been a counter, given that all of the major casinos guard vigilantly against them. He replied, almost scornfully, "No black guy would turn in another black guy for card counting."

He was right, of course. But if blacks have such racial solidarity, to the point of almost being conspiratorial about it, why shouldn't whites feel the same way?

George was quite successful, and was a generous donor to a number of causes. But, as you might guess, those causes followed a distinct pattern. He gave $50,000 to his mother's alma mater, a historically black women's college. He gave $200,000 to his children's prep school, but made sure the money was earmarked for minority scholarships, which, in the area he lived, meant black kids. He gave money to his own college, but that money too was earmarked for minority scholarships. George would never have given similar sums to, say, Indonesian tsunami victims, or to poor whites in Appalachia.

I have nothing against anybody wanting to help his own people, and I applaud George for his generosity. But again, if this is your attitude, you shouldn't object if whites want to help their own, too. I have no doubt that if anyone suggested we honor Cecil Rhodes' original stipulation, that the scholarship he endowed be exclusively for young white men, George would be appalled.

I remember thinking, way back in the late 80's, if George were white and he thought the way he does, he'd be the most racist guy around: he believes in his race's superiority (at least on the issues he brings up), he spins every racial situation he discusses, he gives money only to causes that benefit blacks, and he even vocally roots for his own. I couldn't think of a single white person I knew who did all four of those things. It only gradually dawned on me that George was the most racist person I knew.

And, if you do or say all of those things while simultaneously accusing others of racism, it seems particularly hypocritical.

The examples I've used make George sound worse than he is. We were friends for 31 years, and these are some of the most egregious examples of his hypocrisy that I can recall. If you know anyone for 31 years, you're bound to see some misbehavior, no matter how decent they usually are.

In fairness to George, I brought up things he didn't like on a number of occasions, and he usually took them in stride. If I talked about race and IQ, he wouldn't get angry. (Generally he would just shift the subject slightly, or talk about how IQ wasn't the main criterion for such and such a job.) Once I mentioned to him that I had read in a book (Race, by John Baker) that of the hundreds of traits in which either blacks or whites were closer to gorillas, on only one of those traits (hair) were whites closer. He didn't even act offended at that.

But I never had the consistent, overweening animus that George did. And I would generally only bring up these things in response to an argument he would start.

And again, I should emphasize, if that "coolest guy I ever met" post was a compilation of the best of George, this one is a compilation of the worst -- and makes him sound far worse than he was. He was generally a very pleasant guy. I knew him for 31 years, and never once heard him raise his voice. He was unfailingly polite to waiters, hotel chambermaids, and taxi drivers (and tipped them all lavishly). At times I thought he was on a one man mission to prove to white people how wonderful blacks could be. (I just happened to know him well enough to know what his real attitudes were.) I knew George from the time he had no money to the point where he was extremely successful, and then during the period where he lost much of his fortune. Throughout it all, his personality never changed one iota (and I know no one else about whom I can say that).

And George was in fact an extremely good friend to me. He went out of his way to give me stock advice, sometimes staying on the phone for an hour at a time explaining the merits of various investments. Some of the advice he gave me was good, some of it bad, but it was always given in a spirit of friendship, and I was always very much aware of that.

When we were younger, George was a great wingman: he would always talk me up to girls, and even set me up with several women. I've never had, and obviously will never have, a better companion in that regard.

At various times he invited my family to stay with his family at his brownstone in New York City, at his house in the Hamptons, and at his apartment in Europe. He was always nice to my children, always solicitous of my wife, and unfailingly friendly and respectful to my parents.

He was also more fun than anyone else I've ever known. He was witty, handsome, urbane, and charming, and I always knew that wherever we went would be a party, simply because he was there. No one has ever been better company.

He was, in many ways, the best friend I ever had. And I'm honestly sorry that we're no longer friends.

Our friendship ended two years ago, because of this blog. In particular, he took offense at the post about Obama being gay, though I'm sure if he looked around more he'd find plenty of other things he'd object to.

But, if you refer to Japanese as "pin dick motherfuckers," you ought not to complain when people refer to blacks as "gorillas." If you describe exactly why you find the women of another race unattractive, you ought not to be offended if someone does the same to you. And if you are willing to analyze why blacks are better at certain sports than white, and even suggest to a sportswriter you just met that someone write a book about that, you ought not to be offended when others analyze cognitive and behavioral differences the same way.

I never considering ending the friendship because of the various things George said. But he ended it because I became almost as outspoken as he is.

When a white mentions racial differences, the media invariably attributes it to "ignorance" or "racism." Of course, no one would ever attribute the kinds of things George has said to "ignorance." And in fact, there's nothing ignorant about George, who is far, far smarter than most whites I know. If you doubt that, consider his pre-1995 adjustment SAT scores of 722 verbal and 774 math. And his Chemistry AT of 800 at age 14, and his Physics AT of 800 at age 15.

But even though George's test scores and intelligence were way above average, his basic attitudes about race were similar to those endemic in the black community -- even if he generally expressed them in a more sophisticated manner.

I occasionally ask myself, how would I feel if I were black? What if I knew that the majority of people who met me automatically viewed me as potentially dangerous and probably stupid before they even knew me? What if the burden were constantly on me to prove otherwise? I have to admit, I'd probably become resentful too. But I think -- I hope -- that I'd be honest enough that part of that resentment would be directed toward those of my brethren who made whites feel that way about blacks.

I don't blame George for being resentful. But I also don't blame whites for being resentful about the double standard which says it's okay for one group of people to speak their mind, but not another.

Bear in mind, George isn't some uniquely hypocritical guy. He's just a creature of his time, and can't see past the double standards encouraged by our liberal media, with their constant, unrelenting focus on white racism, and their willful blindness towards any other kind.

I'm not a liberal. So, back in 1981, I didn't enter the friendship thinking, how wonderful that I now have a black friend. I merely thought, wow, is this guy cool. I also never saw our friendship as being affected by this country's long and complicated racial past. As far as I was concerned, we were simply two guys with overlapping interests and similar senses of humor, and neither of us owed the other anything but friendship. Which meant that the same rules applied to him as to me.

Had I never known George, I wouldn't have thought much differently about race; my knowledge of race and IQ was gained way back when I was 18 and 19, reading about the subject in the psychology section of my college library. It quickly became apparent that the nature camp had the facts on their side, and the nurture camp was composed mostly of wishful thinkers. (Which made it all the more amazing to me when I met a black as brilliant as George.)

In the end, George's net effect on me was to make me every so slightly more open to the possibility of high-IQ blacks. And to make me far more outspoken.

Before any white liberals who happen to be reading this accuse me of being "racist," please ask yourself this: have you ever had a black friend who was comfortable enough with you to be as unguarded as George was with me?

And to any blacks who happen to be reading this, ask yourself this: are George's attitudes all that different from your own? If not, please take a hard look at yourself before you accuse me --  or anyone else -- of racism.

I came by my attitudes the honest way: by hanging out with people with opposing attitudes, listening to them with an open mind -- and then seeing their hypocrisy up close, repeatedly. I saw it from a close friend, I've seen it from acquaintances, and I've seen it in society at large.

And now I'm too old not to be honest about it.


Steven said...


its a shame your friendship came to an end. I wonder if he'll see this.

You did allude to some of this stuff in the original article I think btw.

You also said was you had never caught George telling a lie...I guess you meant to you.

Gorillas also have thin lips, which is more like white people.

There are high IQ black people of course.. A black person who is a 1 in 1000 would be 1 in x among whites. I imagine x is quite a big number. Then what about the 1 in 10,000 black person, the 1 in 100,000, 1 in a million. 1 in 100 million in Africa. There must be potential eminent scientists and so on there.

I'd like to know that actually... what is a 1 in 100 African American amongst whites? Maybe 1 in 40, 1 in 60??

John Craig said...

Steven --
Yes, too bad.

Yes, George never lied, but he did spin, which is what this post is all about. And one can be honest yet still hypocritical, if one only wants to bring up one side of the truth.

Yes, I'd noticed that too, all of the primates have thin lips. Not sure why Baker didn't include that among the criteria.

I've never been clear on that last question. I know that one standard deviation from the white average is 15 points, so that it's easy to figure out what percentage of the population falls outside one, two, three standard deviations, etc. But I'm not sure what one standard deviation from the black average of 85 is. If it's 15 points, that would mean that 16% of the black population falls below 70, which is the cutoff for retardation. So I'm guessing it's less than 15 points. But I don't know.

Steven said...

He lied to the 400m runner...that's what I meant.

I also wonder how much less intelligent is somebody with an IQ of 85 than somebody with an IQ of 100 really? I don't have a good grasp of this...just a sense of how much intelligence varies in my experience.
I know what a below average white person is like so that gives me a sense of what a average black person is like.

But how many less questions did the IQ85 person get correct on a certain test for example, and which ones couldn't they answer?

When I see Africans being interviewed, who apparently average at 75ish, they don't seem like near retarded. They actually don't seem a whole lot less intelligent than white people, to be honest. Granted they aren't usually being interviewed on complex topics but when talking about their everyday lives, what they say doesn't betray any obvious lower intelligence.

African Americans can seem stupider than they are because of ebonics. It sounds to us like they are too stupid to follow the rules of grammar. Its almost as if English has degenerated in their hands. This is extremely bad pr.

But this is the easy interpretation. What they are actually doing is following different rules consistently- those 'mistakes' aren't random. Their consistently different grammar proves they can follow the rules of a language perfectly well. When Africans learn English, they speak standard English.

John Craig said...

Steven --
Ah yes, you're right, that was a lie to the 400 meter runner. But, a small one, the kind we all make. I still say George was basically an honest guy, albeit a spinner.

You ask a lot of good questions about IQ, and I can't really answer them. I'm sometimes struck, too, by the lack of perceivable difference in an everyday conversation between different IQ levels. (And I've noticed the same thing with people who are very smart, often there's nothing that shows that in every day talk; but how much intelligence can you show, really, when talking about, say, the weather? I'm sure Albert Einstein made plenty of banal comments about the weather in his time just like everyone else.

But if you listen closely to people, they'll always give themselves away eventually, both character- and intelligence-wise.

You're right about the effect of Ebonics.

Steven said...

btw how much do you make per click on an advert? Any idea?

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry about the loss of your friendship. It's just unfortunate that "George" couldn't take your post about President Barack Obama in stride, recognizing that it was just your opinion being expressed. We all have a right to our own opinions, view points. President Barak Obama is a bi-racial man, actually representing two races, whites and blacks (although he definitely seems to favor blacks more than whites, something which I don't quite understand). Anyway, I'm sorry that your friendship is no more.


John Craig said...

Steven --
I've no idea. I do know I've been paid something like $120, once, over the life of this blog. given that i've been doing this for six year, with something like 1880 posts so far, it's not something I'm counting on to get rich.

Steven said...

oh I thought you only enabled adverts recently. I remember asking you and you said you had to get round to it.

John Craig said...

Birdie --
Thank you. But a friendship is one in which both sides are allowed to express their viewpoint. As far as the post he was offended by, there are actually other considerations there I can't really mention without giving his identity away, which I don't want to do. (People who know me well know who he is, of course, but I'm not going to "out" him otherwise.)

John Craig said...

Steven --
You have an excellent memory. (And that was a good catch on the lie by the way.)

I honestly don't remember when I enabled them, I'd like to say about a year and a half ago, but I certainly couldn't say for sure.

Steven said...

thanks I'm flattered. In some ways but not in others. I doubt I could remember all those swimming times like you and George...and I struggle to remember what I had for dinner 3 days ago!

My sister says she can remember some things bring up the image of the piece of paper in her mind that something was written on then read it off the image. That would be cool.

Come to think of it, this article shows a pretty impressive long term memory!

John Craig said...

Steven --
I don't think anyone can remember what they had for dinner three days ago! I know I can't.

I, like most people, remember things that made an impression on me. But my memory is not as good as it used to be. Strangely, one of the things I can't remember anymore is peoples' faces. Whatever piece of hardware or software in my brain that's in control of that has simply short-circuited. I can meet people, then, three days later, not recognize them. I've done this any number of times, and I know I've angered/hurt people by doing it, but there's nothing I can do about it.

People like your sister are called eidetikers. That's an amazing ability to have, and I've always been in awe of people who have it.

Spychiatrist said...

This was a very interesting post John. Thank you for being so candid.

I grew up in a small Appalachian town of about 2,000 people, mainly Scots-Irish. In my small town I know of four highly successful black folk. Two became computer scientists with degrees from Virginia Tech, another graduated from a different school in electrical engineering and yet another got a Harvard Law degree. Not bad for a small hick town in the middle of nowhere, huh?

I knew three of the four personally.

Blacks are quite capable of achieving great things when they set their minds to it.

Now having said all that, let me say that blacks are every bit as racist (more so) as any white that I've ever met. Not all blacks of course, but certainly many.

I think that blacks have been indoctrinated into thinking that they can't be racist by the establishment. Because of some arrested development, they believe that they're beyond pure racism. They think that because of hundreds of years of crappy treatment that they're above and beyond the fray. Blacks need to realize that their enemy is not the average white person, perhaps the white liberal elite, but not the average white-never has been. Our elite love it when we hate each other and they love stoking the fires of racial hatred, think Ferguson, MO.

Black folk are very often being hypocritical and double standard in their thinking and actions and they need to be called out on it.

John Craig said...

Spike --
Thank YOU.

That is impressive for a small town of 2000, of whom only a small minority were black. (I won't be so rude as to ask what role affirmative action might have played in their success.)

Yes, you've summarized it perfectly. there's no question there's more casual every-day racism among blacks than among whites. But they don't think of it as "racism," since they're black.

jova said...

it seems like it is more difficult to talk about race today than 30 years ago. Being labeled a "racist" is all too common today as the education system now seems to indoctrinate people and we have an educated elite which is always on the lookout to label deviation from the new doctrine as a "racist". In todays culture it seems few labels are worse than being deemed a racist.

John Craig said...

Jova --

jova said...

you are courageous to talk about race today.

growing up with black relatives (my Aunt married a black man in 1961 and had 5 children) did give me a different perspective. My town was 99% white in 1970, so our family stood out. My eldest cousin was the first black student at our elementary school. She was born in 1961. She fit in fine, and when she graduated High School in 1978 she was very popular and almost all of her friends were white.
her youngest sibling was born in 1977 and had many issues in High school, as the school was now 20% Black in 1985. and it actually made it more difficult for her to maintain her white friends. in addition i feel the encroachment of political correctness started to increase the divide between races, as it was no longer easy to have meaningful dialogue.

one of my black cousins was born the same week as me in 1969. He went to a private high school, they recruited him because of his basketball skills. 90% of his friends are white, and all his girlfriends have been white.

but their is a very noticeable difference in attitude between my cousins born in the 60s and those born in the 70s. my cousins born in the 60s act white, and have mostly white friends, while it is the opposite for the ones born after 1972. my cousins born in the 60s would be less offended by use of the N word and would rarely label someone a racist , while the younger 2 are more easily offended

Baloo said...

John Craig said...

Jova --
That's interesting, thank you. I hadn't been aware of that divide between those born in the 60's and 70's, but I guess standards of political correctness have gradually gotten more constricting. I'm old enough to remember the 60's myself, and it seems to me that it was already pretty strong back then, at least in the circles I was in.

Interesting that it became more difficult for your cousins to make and keep white friends once the school hit 20% black. I do think that once it does hit a critical mass, there's more pressure for individual blacks to show racial solidarity.

jova said...

I do think the changing demographics of our town are probably the biggest reason my elder cousins have had and continue to have mostly white friends. It was like you described, the younger ones felt pressure to maintain racial solidarity once the high school was 20% + black but the whites also became more intimidated by the increasing number of blacks.

My experience growing up was different in another way. Since my Black cousins were often at our house , I was sheltered from some of the racism which may have existed in our town. My childhood friends and neighbors knew my uncle was black, so they probably kept their "racist" beliefs or prejudices to themselves when in my presence.

I realized this when in high school some of my new friends or classmates would sometimes make racist comments. One classmate was shocked when he discovered who my cousins were, as he knew them independently of me. He then stopped referring to blacks as N!@gers around me.

it is interesting, as many people react differently when learning I have black cousins. I don't remember when I told my wife, but she was shocked when she first visited my family and seeing all the black faces at christmas dinner. She told me later she had expected them to be more "white" looking Derek Jeter and less like Charles Barkley. But growing up with my black cousins i realize I am more comfortable with black people than most whites...but I still would not have the courage to discuss racial issues as you do.

John Craig said...

Jova --
I think a background like yours makes one more well-rounded. I'm sure you have a more balanced perspective on things, having seen them from, in a sense, both sides.

I far prefer it when people start out in life less sure of their opinions. I seem to have known an awful lot of people who got set in their opinions back when they were in high school, long before they ha enough life experience to have come to any sort of truly informed view.

My sense, listening to you, is that you didn't start off with any preconceptions about race or politics, and that given your family background, started off with an open mind. I guess that was what I was referring to as coming to one's viewpoint "honestly."

Anonymous said...


John you failed to mention the size of your friend. Was he physically larger and more imposing than you. If it came to an altercation of some sorts, based on issues, would you be able to protect yourself?
Your African friend is, based on IQ, one in ten million. maybe he can go to Africa and help all those down trodden people. But he will not of course because he is a parasite, living off succesfull societies until his kind out breed and kill off the host. Biology 101.
Once any area goes above 20% African then the downward spiral accelerates and we have Detroit and any number of cities in the USA and the world(Africa Haiti etc, etc. etc..)
BTW the projected Sub Saharan population is projected to be 4 billion in the next 30 or 40 years( currently at one billion.
more later.

John Craig said...

Europeasant --
George is 6' 1", 180. He's dabbled in boxing. I'm 5' 11', 163. I'm a black belt in karate, though I'm no longer a believer in karate as an effective martial art. In a fight, I suppose I'd favor him slightly, but I never felt as if he was any sort of physical threat. He's an extremely civilized guy, and we were good friends.

I agree about him being one in ten million (or, at least, a million, literally). He's personally no more of a parasite than anyone else who lives here, no more than I am. He's worked hard at the jobs that he's had.

I agree with you about areas that go above 20%, or at least 30% black, and I too worry about the sub-Saharan population explosion, as well as the demographics of this country.

Anonymous White Male said...

I am not trying to invalidate your belief structure, but no one is "cool" that disposes of a friendship based on opinions. You need to recognize that he was never really your friend. You were one of his token 'whites" he could pull out when necessary;. Blacks are highly racist and will ALWAYS support their own kind, while hypocritically blame you for doing the same.
I do have a question, though. What percentage of Wight DNA did George have? I know you can't know, but was he black, milk chocolate, Obama, or could he pass for White. If his IQ is truly as you say, I would say he had White admixture. And as such, ;you should not use the description of him being "black". He is a mixed breed. This always skews things because it increases his intelligence while allowing him to be "oppressed" by da White man.

John Craig said...

Anonymous White Male --
I agree with you in principle. And there's no question George was an incredible hypocrite, fully subscribing to the double standard you describe. But you'll have to take my word for it, he was a friend. He did me plenty of favors over the years, actually more than anyone else I can think of. And he certainly didn't need me as a token white.

He's actually pretty dark-skinned, and his build is black as well. But he has a big skull, and his forehead was large and squarish, more like a Caucasian's. I agree that black IQ's generally vary with the amount of white genes, but that wasn't the case here.

Lucian Lafayette said...

Elton John and Stevie Wonder??!?!? Your ex-friend definitely needs to expand his horizons: Bartok, Ravel, Copeland, Gershwin, etc. But then again, as you noted, his answer shows how race unapologetically colours everything for those who identify as black. Whites are certainly not blameless since we let them get away with it.

Pointing out lies is not "racism".


John Craig said...

Luke --
I couldn't agree with you more, both about the composers and about pointing out lies. When I first met George, back in the 80's, when I was in my late 20's, I didn't see all this clearly (I had been brought up in Cambridge, after all), but knowing George was an eye-opening experience. In retrospect I was weak not to speak u right from the very start, but it took me a while to fully comprehend how much racism runs both ways. And the fact that so many still seem blind to it is why whites let them get away with it all the time.

bluffcreek1967 said...

Hey John, I just read your article on the American Renaissance website and was glad they had it made it available to their readers!

I suspect that for most of them, it was their first time being exposed to your blog. I'm sure some of them at least are going to be regulars after reading it.

Good article by the way and full of insight (as usual). Keep it up!

John Craig said...

Ambrose --
Thank you, good to hear from you.

I suspect a lot of people have seen their thinking go through similar evolutions, and for similar types of reasons.

Bantu Education said...

Hi John,
I also read your article on AR and all the comments too, many of which were critical of you for keeping George's "friendship" for so long. However I found your honesty refreshing - your story reminded me of the white teacher who wrote a long essay about his experiences teaching blacks.

OK, found it here -

I was going to ask the question about how "black" george really is but someone beat me to it.

My other question is to question his (self-reported?) SAT score which someone on Amren said was equivalent to an IQ of 158. From everything you said about George - sorry but I haven't yet read your original article - I wouldn't put his IQ any higher than 120 (which is, or was when I was younger, about my level). And I think I'm being generous at that because IMO its virtually impossible for a black to have an IQ above 140, as I also suspect their IQ range is narrower than 15. And I also suspect their average IQ is not the oft-quoted 85, but more like 80.

I also know that many "smart" and "cool" blacks come across as sounding much more intelligent than they actually are - they are very fast talking and quick with off-the-cuff clever remarks, which in white people implies higher IQ, but not it seems in blacks. Muhammad Ali (IQ 79) springs to mind.

John Craig said...

Bantu Education --
Thank you. I'd seen that article before, and I think actually put a link to it in my blog a while back, though I can't find the post now. That was the most honest account of life at a black high school I'd ever read, and it all rang true.

I read some of the comments on AR, and am steeling myself to read the rest of them later today or tomorrow. One thing the commenters aren't taking into account is that once you been friends with someone long enough, you sort of learn to accept them, warts and all. And George WAS a friend; he did me more favors than any other friend I've ever had. He's just, as I said in the essay, a creature of his time. But, having known him and having seen his hypocrisy up close, I no longer feel any qualms about being honest about racial matters myself. (And the whole point of the essay was to explain how a guy like me, from my background, who started out observing the usual pieties 30 years ago, turned into a "racist.")

I don't doubt his self-reported IQ scores for a second; he was a spin artist, but he wouldn't have lied to me about those. His LSAT's were only 698, a score he didn't hesitate to disclose, and he freely admitted that he wouldn't have gotten into the law school he did if it hadn't been for affirmative action.

But I agree with you, there's no way those SAT scores necessarily equate to an IQ of 158, which is almost four standard deviations above the (white) norm. There are plenty more who get those kinds of scores on SAT's than there are who legitimately score a 158. George told me once he'd been tested at 140; I actually wouldn't be surprised if his IQ were higher. In any case, he's by far and away the smartest black person I've ever known. Again as I said in the post, you'd have to see him to believe him; he was just incredibly well-versed on a wide range of subjects. I often didn't trust his judgment, but I never doubted his knowledge. He could talk to anybody about whatever THEIR interests were, and carry on an informed conversation. (Trust me, I was dumbfounded when I met him too, by that point my views on race and IQ were already fully formed.)

I agree with you completely on the fast-talking, glib bit. I've met many blacks who are quick and witty, but when you get to know them, you find their powers of logic and conceptual thinking are lacking. They also tend to be more expressive with the intonations in their voices, which usually connotes intelligence, but can be misleading.

I have to wonder about Ali though: how did you come by that IQ score? I'd heard that he was illiterate (which made his autobiography somewhat of a joke), but I always figured him to be a case of uneducated rather than just plain old dumb.

Anonymous said...

Reading this story as an outside observer, it sounds to me like you fooled him. He accepted you and brought you into his inner circle of friends. He let his guard down because he thought you were part of his group. E.g. you're not white.

But you're not a black person either. So you started picking up on his inconsistencies, secrets, how he really thought, his true beliefs. You finally realized the truth about him. Another black guy wouldn't have cared, because he probably thinks the same way too. These are secrets blacks know, and they are fully aware how other blacks think, but they never explicitly tell anyone outside their group these secrets.

- James

Bantu Education said...

Re; Ali's IQ -

it apparently comes from his conscription induction test which he may well have deliberately dumbed down so as to avoid being drafted - which, if true, would indicate a much higher IQ. Nevertheless reportedly he was also the dumbest in his (black) school class, so I suppose we will never know the truth.

I also wanted to ask whether you had ever managed to get George drunk which, from my own experience with a similar "hip" and outwardly "highly intelligent" black lawyer would seem to be the acid test. All the barely-repressed hatred and their inferiority-complex then spills out.

John Craig said...

James --
You're right, it was almost as if I had fooled him, though it certainly wasn't by design, and I never pretended to be anything other than what I was. A few times when I heard him insult both Asians and whites, I'd think what does he think that I am? Maybe because I'm a halfbreed, he thought of me as somehow race less.

You're also right about their racial solidarity. That's one of the reasons it's much easier for me to believe there was extensive voting fraud in black areas in 2012 than most whites are to believe it. To me, anyone with an ounce of common sense would look at those reported 99% turnout rates for all those wards in Philadelphia and it would immediately raise a huge rad flag for them. But a lot of whites seem to feel, oh no, they wouldn't do that.

I remember talking to one particularly idiotic liberal during the OJ trial and arguing that with the makeup of that jury, OJ would get off. She said, oh no, they're WOMEN! They'll never let him get away with that! I thought at the time, gee, you have no idea how black people think.

John Craig said...

Bantu Education --
My guess is that Ali did purposely do poorly on that test, in an effort to disqualify himself. But I hadn't heard that about being the dumbest in his high school class before. I wouldn't be surprised if he had some form of undiagnosed ADD or ADHD, he had that sort of personality.

George basically didn't drink, he was too health-conscious for that. I did see him have a glass of wine or two on a few occasions, especially when he was playing host, but that never changed his personality.

All those comments about what a puts I am for having stayed friends with someone with his attitudes have made me wonder a bit. The parallel I would draw is that in a way it was like being with a beautiful woman: you put up with more. He was, honestly, probably the most charming guy I've ever known, and it was fun to be his friend. (AND he did me many favors.) Also, keep in mind, the quotes I used are a compilation of the most extreme things he said over the 31 years I knew him. I'm sure he could come up with a list of things I said to him that most blacks would find offensive. (Among them, what I said in the post about telling him that factoid about closeness to gorillas from John Baker's book.) And his black friends would be horrified that he would have actually been friends with a racist like me for so long.

Of course, the nature of what blacks find offensive and what whites find offensive are quite different, and really, that's what the post was all about.

Anonymous said...

John Craig,

You're right about the voting fraud issue. I have researched the 1960 presidential election. Kennedy won that election by very slim margin possibly due to voter fraud in democrat controlled cities. Blacks as a group, were used by the democrat party starting with the coalition forged by Franklin Roosevelt. From the time Abraham Lincoln until the first World War, African Americans consistently voted Republican. When did this flip occur I wonder, and why?

Democrats created many myths about our history. Yet many African Americans migrated to industrial cities starting in the 1910s for good paying jobs with no problem and no one stopped them. So obviously they were free to move about the country and it wasn't as bad as we are led to believe. This included the migration to northern industrial cities and California for industrial jobs. If there really were massive discrimination from say, from 1900 until the 1960s, Blacks would have been prevented from moving to all these big cities like Detroit, LA, Chicago, Cleveland. Yet they were not, and they were obviously free to migrate and settle in new cities because they live there now. No one prevented them.

Back in those days there indeed segregation in many cities. But not because it was government enforced. Rather, because of individual preferences and the freedom of landlords to rent to whom they wished. Many neighborhoods were indeed segregated. Was this bad? Compare with similar events occurring in other countries, between competing ethnic groups, at the same time. The USA was a far better place to live.

It was nothing like the Gulags of the Soviet Union in the 1930s or Mao's Cultural Revolution in the 1960s, where millions died. The evils of Communism was far worse than any of these trivial complaints about segregation in the USA at the same time.

- James

John Craig said...

James --
There's no question that the US has been a better place to live than Mao's China, the Soviet Union, or anyplace in Africa. But there's also no question that there was discrimination, some of it from the state and local governments, and blacks didn't get the same opportunities as whites.

As far as segregation, what do people do when left to their own devices? Obviously, just about everybody prefers to stick with their own kind. To me, the most interesting question is, is there any difference between white liberals and white conservatives in terms of the areas where they choose to live? The answer, as many have noted, is no. To my knowledge, there's never been a single Senator who's sent his children to school in the public school system in Washington DC. Until white Democratic Senators start sending their children to those public schools, they're all just a bunch of hypocrites.

Personally, I don't think the government should be in the business of enforcing either segregation or integration.

Anonymous said...

Spartan said,

John, great blog. I just stumbled on it yesterday, and I've been pressing through it all day today. You really hit the nail on the head when you mention the double standard when it comes to an honest talk about race. Blacks are very open on their feeling and in this country, they're given a forum. If a white even says a fraction of what blacks say, they're quickly denounced.

Quick story. I teach in Chicago, and I became acquainted with an elderly black man when I would attend conferences or teacher meetings. He's a fine guy, but he's outspoken when it comes to race. One day i saw him shopping in a store in my neighborhood, which is overwhelmingly white. We got to talking and he confided in me that he doesn't feel safe shopping in his own neighborhood ever since the city razed the housing projects and dispersed the natives throughout the city. His area was hit pretty hard with new residents who, for the most part, are stupid and violent. He was complaining that they weren't dispersed evenly in white neighborhoods. I couldn't take it anymore. I told him that I'm glad my neighborhood wasn't blessed with these violent subhumans because I have two little kids and i have a rather expensive house which I don't want the value to plummet. He was taken aback at my rhetoric. He shot me a look from hell and told me to have a nice day and walked off. Ive seen him a couple times since, and we just pretty much nod heads. Oh well.

John Craig said...

Spartan --
Thank you very much, both for the compliment and for taking the time to read some of the older posts.

All you did was essentially agree with that guy. Yet for that, you're now persona non grata with him. Things that are okay for them to say, whites can't say.

Eric Holder, hypocrite that he is, did say one true thing at the beginning of his term as AG: that we're a nation of cowards who need to have an honest dialogue about race. But who can afford to be honest when anyone who tells the truth becomes a pariah? (And yes, I know, that's not how Holder meant it, he just wanted another opportunity to lecture whites about how racist and evil they are.)

But if I had the opportunity to name this blog again, I think i'd call it: Making Eric Holder Happy.

Anonymous said...
There is 3 times more diversity in a group of 55 chimpanzees in a clan than the entire human population. A pair of chimpanzee siblings has more genetic differences than any two humans. There are probably dozens of races in them and many other animals too but they don't even touch that!

John Craig said...

Anon --
Interesting, thank you.