We cannot discuss the failures of Black Americans without mentioning racial differences in intelligence and personality. Often we are led to believe by the mainstream media that disparities require correction in the form of diversity initiatives. To some, the obvious explanation for the shortage of Blacks in STEM is discrimination. Such a narrow outlook fails to account for the fact that on average, Blacks score lower on IQ tests, hence this could explain their reluctance to pursue difficult majors and why they usually drop out at higher rates than White students. Interestingly, researchers do not observe a similar trend for less demanding fields.
Unsurprisingly, data experts have identified physics, mathematical sciences, and philosophy as the majors with the highest IQs in America and Blacks are underrepresented in all three. These areas demand intellectual curiosity, so they naturally exclude dullards. And since curiosity is a function of intelligence — people with lower IQs will be less curious. As someone who has had countless interactions with Blacks, I am mystified by their disregard for abstract thought. Unfortunately, I have met too many formally educated Blacks who openly express contempt for research if it will not result in financial benefits.
Although money is a prominent motivator — high performance is driven by passion. So, considering that on average, Blacks have lower IQs and display less curiosity, their motivation to master complex subjects is relatively less. Affirmative action can never reduce the deficit of Blacks in fields like philosophy and the classics. People who study these subjects seek to unlock the secrets of life. Philosophers, for example, frequently debate the meaning of the good life. However, such theoretical matters are insignificant to Blacks.
Moreover, even though scholars assert that Blacks have made gains in IQ, Black culture is not conducive to learning. I am yet to fathom why Black acquaintances find my reading habits puzzling. Probably they think pondering the unknown will create a generation of misfits, though I suspect that this opposition stems from a dearth of curiosity. Attempting to understand Black people is truly a daunting task.
EXPLORING RACIAL DIFFERENCES IN SELF-CONTROL
Likewise, studies on racial differences in self-control offer fascinating data. Blacks score lower than Whites on measures of self-control—what personality psychologists label conscientiousness or effortful control. One’s level of self-control is a good predictor of academic success, wealth, and involvement in crime. People with higher levels of self-control are likely to plan for the future. Unlike their impulsive counterparts, they master the art of delaying gratification. Further, when we account for the role of self-control in fostering academic achievement, the lackluster performance of Black students appears less unusual.
Whereas people deficient in self-control are reluctant to plan beyond the present, their peers will waive luxuries today with the awareness that their hard work will allow them to reap future dividends. Clearly, students in the latter category will prefer partying to studying, and so earn lower grades. In addition, reviewing the data makes it easier for us to appreciate the prominence of Black students in delinquent activities. Researchers show that among adolescents, lower rates of self-control have been associated with participation in delinquent activities. Also, of great interest is the important relationship between self-control and patience. Patience is a function of self-regulation, so people deficient in self-control exhibit higher levels of impatience. As expected, studies demonstrate that higher rates of impatience are related to a greater degree of disciplinary referrals at school, lower graduation rates, and expenditure on alcohol.
SELF-CONTROL AND THE WEALTH GAP
On the other hand, mainstream pundits often invoke the wealth gap as an indication of racial discrimination. However, their analysis is indeed mistaken. IQ and academic performance differences in the usual direction have been found when controlling for social class—which is why social class-based college admissions do not accomplish the goal of admitting larger numbers of Blacks; lower SES Whites still score higher than Black of the same social class. We have shown that Blacks score lower on tests of IQ and self-control, so this vicious combination should logically produce impulsive people. Borgo (2013) in an assessment of ethnic and racial disparities in saving behavior argues that “African Americans have lower saving rates than Whites, even after controlling for income and socio-demographic factors.” The dominant profiles of Black people preclude them from developing long term plans. As Borgo notes in the study: “Black…households are less willing to take risks and have significantly shorter planning horizons than do other groups, even after conditioning on income, age, and education.”
DISCRIMINATION AGAINST BLACKS IN FINANCE IS JUSTIFIED
Meanwhile, we are regularly reminded that Blacks are denied loans at higher rates than Whites. Yet compared to Whites, Blacks report lower levels of creditworthiness. In fact, Blacks perform worse than other racial groups with similar credit ratings. Assuming that financial institutions are guided by data they cannot be faulted for discriminating against Blacks. Perhaps, if the evidence suggested that on average, Blacks had more self-control and longer planning horizons, we could accuse bankers of perpetuating racial discrimination, but the reverse is true, so they are justified in preferring Whites and Asians over Blacks.
SELF-CONTROL AND CRIMINAL INVOLVEMENT
Similarly, their disproportionate involvement in crime can be ascribed to lower levels of IQ and self-control. Intelligent people are capable judges of the implications of present actions on future opportunities, so in their world engagement in criminal activities can only result in a life of drudgery. To smart people responding aggressively to an insult is not worth the cost of a criminal record. Less intelligent people, however, are impulsive and may defend their honor by resorting to physical abuse. For example, some time ago, a Black woman nearly killed a cab driver because he complained that she was moving like a snail and he wanted her to get into the car, so he could continue with his business.
THE DYSFUNCTIONAL BLACK FAMILY IS INDICATIVE OF PERSONALITY DIFFERENCES
Invariably, after perusing the evidence on racial differences, we can conclude that the dysfunctional state of the Black family is a consequence of racial differences in personality. Forming a family requires self-control, but impulsive people lack the willpower to eschew promiscuity. Nonpoor Blacks, for example, are less likely than nonpoor Whites to oppose premarital sex. The promiscuity of Blacks is a barrier to creating stable families — even conservatives are unwilling to admit this truth. For too long we have expected people suffering from a paucity of self-control to generate respect for the sanctity of the family and marriage. Now is the time to wake up from our slumber.
Though in my younger years, I ignored race realists, becoming a researcher has taught me that many stereotypes pertaining to Black people are true. Liberals may ignore the evidence, but political correctness cannot change the fact that racial differences are real and must be taken seriously.
John Rand can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org