Sam Harris and Douglas Murray


Last night I listened to Sam Harris and Douglas Murray putting the world to rights. I really like both men yet I disagreed with at least one thing they said. They both agreed that racial differences are not a fit topic for discussion. Sam admitted to knowing about racial differences in intelligence (i.e. that black people on average have lower IQs) but he couldn’t see why you would ever want to bring up the topic unless you were a scientist working in the field of intelligence. Douglas claimed that he knows absolutely nothing about intelligence and consequently never talks about it. Quite why such a well-read person knows nothing about it is another matter.

I agree that one shouldn’t gloat about belonging to a racial group with a higher average IQ than another. However, if that lower IQ racial group starts blaming you for all its failures then the gloves are off and I think you are then within your rights to point out that black people’s lower IQ, high aggressiveness and low self-control are probably the principal reasons for the rubbishness of some black people’s lives.

So I would like to know, after ruling out of bounds any talk about racial differences, what Sam and Douglas would say to a Black Lives Matter activist who asked them why black men are incarcerated at much higher rates than whites, why they earn less money, why the jobs they do are generally lower status and why their unemployment rates are so high.

I suppose they could lay the blame on the destructive black culture that arose in America around 1965 and has never recovered. That surely must be part of the explanation. Yet you still have to explain why blacks and not Asians or Jews developed that dysfunctional culture. Could it be that genes and culture, nature and nurture are connected in some way. I think they might be.

Of course, what Sam and Douglas should say to the hypothetical BLM activist is that blacks are on average less intelligent and have higher levels of testosterone than other races. Less intelligent people turn to crime more often than intelligent people and high testosterone males get into trouble more often than Woody Allen types. Mix low intelligence with high levels of testosterone and little self-control and place them in a culture of aggrieved victimhood and there you have your wannabe young black gangster rapper, right there. No need to wheel on tired accusations of institutional racism and white privilege.

I find it odd that Sam and Douglas refuse to talk about the most likely explanation for black failure. Sam feels you shouldn’t talk about it and Douglas doesn’t even want to know about it in the first place. Polite but odd.