My guest today requires a longer-than-normal preamble. I’m speaking with Charles Murray, who is a Political Scientist, Writer, and W.H. Brady scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. Murray has been a controversial figure throughout his whole career, but especially since the publication of “The Bell Curve” in the ’90s. The most controversial claim in that book was that the mean IQ gap between black and white Americans is partly genetic in origin, meaning it cannot be fully closed by changing the environment in which black kids grow up. As you’ll hear in the podcast, I suspect Murray is wrong about this and that huge cognitive changes are possible in the long run for black America by means of environmental interventions.
But I did not have Murray on to rehash the empirical claims he made in The Bell Curve. I had him on to discuss his new book, “Facing Reality: Two Truths about Race in America”. This is Charles’s upcoming book. This book has a slightly different emphasis than The Bell Curve. In facing reality, Murray argues that we have to face two truths about race in America, or else the American experiment is doomed. These two truths, according to Murray, are that different races have different mean levels of cognitive ability and that different races have different crime rates. Murray believes that the only way to fight back against the idea that America is a racist nation and to fight against the proliferation of race-based public policy is to bring his empirical claims from The Bell Curve into the mainstream.
Now, I strongly disagree with Murray about this, as you’ll hear….