Shooting The Messenger

Posted on May 17, 2013


They’ll character assassinate the messenger in order to take down the message.

Within a few days of my post, “An Ounce of Prevention”, came the quite predictable response to the Heritage Foundation’s  promotion of their policy paper on the fiscal cost of providing amnesty for 11 to 15 million migrants in this country illegally.  The response from the media and advocacy group proponents of amnesty, is not to credibly deconstruct the findings of Heritage Special Report 133, but rather to character assassinate one of the authors.

This despicable, anti-intellectual tactic is the stock and trade of the Obama cheerleading media, but is also being disseminated by Washington special interest groups that have a skin in the game to push Comprehensive Immigration Reform through the Senate on a fast track.

Their target in this spiteful media assault is one of the Heritage report’s co-authors, Dr. Jason Richwine.  Before I venture my opinion, I’m just going to go ahead and let you take a look for yourself at the quote that has the amnesty advocates frothing at the mouth and as is their regular (every sixteen minutes) habit, screaming racism and bigotry:

“The statistical construct known as IQ can reliably estimate general mental ability, or intelligence. The average IQ of immigrants in the United States is substantially lower than that of the white native population, and the difference is likely to persist over several generations. The consequences are a lack of socioeconomic assimilation among low-IQ immigrant groups, more underclass behavior, less social trust, and an increase in the proportion of unskilled workers in the American labor market. Selecting high-IQ immigrants would ameliorate these problems in the U.S., while at the same time benefiting smart potential immigrants who lack educational access in their home countries.”

So, do you think this is the smoking gun that should discredit Heritage’s contention that amnesty will cost us $6.3 Trillion dollars in the coming decades should the Gang of Eight’s bill become law?  Is this quote from a Doctoral Dissertation of Richwine’s at Harvard, the rantings of an out of control bigot with a special animus towards Hispanics?  In my opinion, it doesn’t even peg the meter.  More on that in a moment, but the Washington Post seems to read some sinister motive in Dr. Richwine’s past writings:

“Richwine’s dissertation asserts that there are deep-set differentials in intelligence between races. While it’s clear he thinks it is partly due to genetics — “the totality of the evidence suggests a genetic component to group differences in IQ” — he argues the most important thing is that the differences in group IQs are persistent, for whatever reason. He writes, “No one knows whether Hispanics will ever reach IQ parity with whites, but the prediction that new Hispanic immigrants will have low-IQ children and grandchildren is difficult to argue against.”

It would be one thing if Dr. Richwine’s conclusions could be read as some sort of intellectual ‘tea leaves’, but there isn’t much here that is subject to interpretation.  What this is instead, is a desperation move on the part of the ideologues within the media, who are championing Comprehensive Immigration Reform, to poison the well and cause those of us who are intrepid enough to argue the consequences of the proposed legislation to slink away and lapse back into silence.  It’s not going to work.

Just a moment on the substance of Dr. Richwine’s contentions.  He makes a general statement based on socioeconomic research that has scholarly merit, that generally speaking, the prime candidates for amnesty – low skilled Hispanics from Central America, are culturally disposed towards a lower esteem of education and assimilation. That’s not even disputable – it’s statistically true.  No credible voice on the topic denies it.

As a matter of fact, liberals have been the very culprits in the popular meme of educational and social deficiencies of Hispanics and Blacks, for over 60 years now. There’s even a phrase widely in coinage that describes it – “the racism of low expectations”.  If the Democrats take a paternalistic posture towards Hispanics and Blacks and hover over them like adult guardians or covering angels, not an eyelash will flicker.

An example of this from today’s news is Michelle Obama’s comments at Bowie State University, where she received an honorary degree.  The first lady said education was a lifeline to the first students at the nearly 150-year-old school. Its founding “was in many ways an act of defiance, an elegant rebuttal to the idea that black people couldn’t or shouldn’t be educated,” she said. “Back then, people were hungry to learn.”  But Obama said too much of the black community has lost that desire.  One in 3 African-Americans are dropping out of high school, she said, and only 1 in 5 between the ages of 25 and 29 has a bachelor’s degree.

If the First Lady makes a racial observation – fine, no problem – not a peep from the Washington Post.   However, let a conservative scholar point out a virtually identical conclusion which is not subject to debate, and the double standard is invoked and the race card drawn without a microsecond’s hesitancy.

There are clear, determining factors behind the enculturation of immigrants from Mexico and elsewhere in Central America, to display a low degree of interest in educational values and growth.  The society in Central America is structured along the lines of the poor and the wealthy, with a paucity of inhabitants in the Middle class.  The peasant class in these countries, living a hand to mouth existence, cannot be faulted if their prime day to day concern is acquiring the sustenance of life and not prioritizing education.

That’s simply the reality.  I don’t see where Dr. Richwine is advancing a White Supremacist narrative of any sort, but merely underlining the case that since we are not able to sustain large numbers of low I.Q. and low skilled migrants into our economy, we need to evaluate our priorities on who is admitted and who isn’t.  It’s pretty simple – it’s certainly nothing we need to drag this man’s character through the mud about.  That is unless, the point of the attack is to drop a smoke bomb on the merits of the conservative argument against a path to citizenship, using the politics of personal destruction as the means.

This hysterical attempt at waving the bloody shirt and trying to link a distinguished scholar with the likes of Bull Connor, is not going to work.  It is too transparently false and disreputable. I appreciate the moderated and focused response of the Heritage Foundation:

“This [Jason Richwine’s dissertation] is not a work product of The Heritage Foundation. Its findings in no way reflect the positions of The Heritage Foundation. Nor do the findings affect the conclusions of our study on the cost of amnesty to the U.S. taxpayer.”

It’s a fairly standard disclaimer that states the simple facts, with the underlying reality, that it is not in the best interests of Heritage to get into the weeds of something that will not be treated with anything that resembles objectivity and fairness from the Obama Media Complex.   For my part, however – I take the position of a self-appointed proxy in defending Dr. Richwine and I say in response to this cowardly and unconscionable media lynching – BS!