Thursday, May 3, 2007

Auster gets a megaphone from David Horowitz

One year ago, conservative activist David Horowitz (pictured) seemed convinced that an occasional contributor to his FrontPage Magazine website – Lawrence Auster – trafficked in “racist” ideas. And he seemed to cast Auster out.

I take credit for that.

I had sent Horowitz and Jamie Glazov (FrontPage’s managing editor) an 11-page letter detailing Auster’s views on race, as expressed on Auster’s blog. (For example, his description of black people collectively as “the savages.”)

Concerning my letter, Horowitz emailed Glazov and myself on May 14, 2006. He wrote: “I think it’s a persuasive argument for not running Auster unless he publicly repudiates these positions which are racist and offensive.”

Sure enough, Auster’s essays didn’t appear in FrontPage Magazine after that.

Until today.

Yes, Lawrence Auster is back at FrontPage, alerting Horowitz’s readership to an epidemic of black-on-white rape.

Pulling from U.S. Justice Department data, Auster makes the following declaration in boldface type: “[E]very day in the United States, over one hundred white women are raped or sexually assaulted by a black man.”

Auster slams the media for ignoring “the fact that white women in this country are being targeted by black rapists.”

(Auster seems unconcerned about the 136 white women per day raped or sexually assaulted by men classified as white. Just as he’s not losing any sleep over the 100 black women a day raped or sexually assaulted by black men, according to the same statistics.)

Lawrence Auster’s thesis – pegged to the Duke lacrosse-team fiasco – concerns “the truth of interracial rape in the United States.” White-on-black rape is a rarity; black-on-white rape happens every day.

Fair enough. The disproportion of black violent crime is a problem confronting all Americans. I think it needs to be talked about.

But Auster doesn’t deal in good faith. David Horowitz knows that Auster doesn’t deal in good faith. Because Lawrence Auster’s record of bigoted horseshit reaches back to the mid ’90s.

I introduced you guys to Auster’s brand of political commentary two weeks ago, after the Virginia Tech massacre. Now let me take you deeper.

His assessment of “black inferiority” was spelled out in an essay originally written in 1995 but published in 2003 in The Occidental Quarterly, a racialist journal. (The essay is archived on Auster’s blog.)

Convinced of “an inherent, dangerous weakness in black ways of thought,” Auster argued that blacks are profoundly different from white people. To wit:

“Through numerous experiences and observations, I started to have the sense that blacks are more ‘non-objective,’ they understand things in a much more personal, subjective way than whites. They seem to have much less interest in knowledge or beauty for its own sake.”

Which means that “blacks are in fact less endowed with the qualities that make civilization possible,” Auster wrote, “particularly Western civilization.”

Auster went on to discuss the “moral passivity of blacks,” their “demonstrably lesser orientation toward the common political good and a moral and stable social order.”

Granting that “there are many decent, upright black people,” Auster asserted: “The personal decency of individual blacks does not translate into the ability to resist public evil, the aspiration to enforce social order. Those things require a degree of moral will, intelligence, and organizing energy that blacks, collectively, do not possess.”

These deficiencies are, in Lawrence Auster’s words, “inherent” and “intrinsic” in the black race. And “so long as the truth of racial differences is not recognized, whites will always end up being blamed… for a black inferiority that is not whites’ fault.”

He also had something interesting to say about David Duke in an August 2003 comment on his blog. “I had some respect for David Duke, prior to reading ‘My Awakening’ [Duke’s 1998 autobiography]; namely I felt his standing up in an activist fashion for European-American rights was a righteous thing to do, even though I knew he was a sleaze,” Auster wrote.

“But in that book he reveals himself as basically a Nazi. After he published the book, he got even more obsessed and made the Jews the focus of everything.”

Get that? David Duke is probably the most publicized white bigot of the last quarter-century. And Lawrence Auster isn’t embarrassed to say he respected Duke’s racial activism… until it targeted the Jews!

This is some of what I included in my May 2006 letter to David Horowitz. Horowitz replied this afternoon to an email from me; apparently my 2006 letter had “slipped my mind.”

Hey, it happens.

My thing is this: FrontPage Magazine has a sizeable audience – on the order of 400,000 unique visitors per month. Many more, I’m sure, than read Auster’s blog.

Horowitz can publish whomever he wants to on his website. But for a guy who resents being called a bigot himself, Horowitz should be more careful about the company he keeps.


Anonymous said...

If I recall correctly, we are talking about the same guy (Horowitz) who is not ashamed to state repeatedly that slavery was in fact GREAT for black folks. And it also appears that he still takes personally how he was affected by black victimization of white women during his Black Panther days. So color me unsurprised that he couldn't restrain himself.

SJ said... really is so disgusting.

The worst thing about these bigots is that they don't consider themselves to be bigots. At the very least be honest about it...

Is it just me or has there been a new wave of "white supremacism" sweeping the nation?

Anonymous said...

Given the politics of fear and mistrust fostered by our current administration, I'm not surprised, sj. Blech.

S.O.L. said...

The problem is that like with shit like "intelligent design," people can find a way to intellectualize anything and make it sound plausible to an American public that is increasingly less educated. That's not a value judgment but a fact.

UBM, I went to check out Auster's nonsense and it wasn't on Horowitz' site anymore. Do you think he took it down?

Undercover Black Man said...

S.O.L.: It looks like Auster's piece rotated off the front page of FrontPage... but the article link is still active.

Here it is.

By the way, Auster's piece got a glowing endorsement from David Duke.

Not that I'm trying to damn Auster by association. That's a bullshit way to argue. I'm just saying is all.

Plus, white racists aren't the only ones who should be upset by the disproportion of black rape. Black people need to be at the forefront of the public discussion... especially because the average black woman is three times more likely to be raped or sexually assaulted than the average white woman. (Which is not a statistic that Lawrence Auster or David Duke would choose to highlight.)

Anonymous said...

Greetings UBM,

I initially became acquainted with you and your writing after reading some of your well-reasoned, articulate, and thoughtful comments on the American Renaissance online forum (where I’ve posted on rare occasions as well). (After you mentioned your connection with “The Wire” on a thread at Amren, I tuned in to the first episode of the most recent season and became hooked. I now have the first two seasons of the drama on DVD, and I plan to complete my collection soon.) I’ve also read the earlier exchanges between you and Lawrence Auster on his "View from the Right" blog. I find you bright, funny, and engaging, and I was delighted when I found out you had created your own blog. I’m especially intrigued by your stance that it is fair to discuss the existence of quantifiable racial differences (i.e., the disproportionate nature of black criminality) in our society. I applaud you for your honesty. But, enough blowin’ smoke up your ass.

I, too, take issue with some of Auster’s pronouncements on race, but I also respect the man’s intelligence and perspicacity. Auster’s aims seem to be the exegesis of modern liberalism as a secular religion and the formulation of an intellectually consistent, workable political philosophy that can counteract modern liberalism as an ideology. This is no small feat, and I admire the man’s chutzpah. I think many of your readers are too eager to dismiss him as some kind of racist, lunatic buffoon, which he mostly certainly is not. If that were a true characterization of the man, I doubt you would have wasted your time engaging him in a dialogue in the first place. As you, yourself, admit, he is a serious thinker. He is a man who openly disputes the liberal trope that all groups of people are exactly equal in every way and that any observable differences in their behavior or outcomes is the fault of racism or prejudice. This facet of liberal or leftist ideology needs to be dissected and examined in the light of the day. Racism is festering underneath the surface of our pristine PC societal niceties because too many citizens refuse to confront such issues. I say this as a self-avowed liberal, as well as a black American.

You say Auster does not deal in good faith. I’m not sure I agree. He is not trying to hide his views on race and, as you note, devoted a full essay ("The Evolution of One Person's Views on Racial Differences in Intelligence") to the development of his thinking on the matter. (In truth, I find many of the conclusions he reaches in that piece nauseating. Nonetheless, as a whole, the essay is deeply fascinating to me because he does go to great lengths to demonstrate that he came to such views by analyzing the available “evidence.” Furthermore, I always find it interesting to watch “intellectuals” wrestle with ideas.) Moreover, Auster does not seem to believe that his take on the correlation between race and intelligence is the final word. He says at the opening of the piece in question, “The worst thing about the present racial situation is the silencing of needed discussion, and, even if my ideas are wrong or overstated on some points, one must start somewhere.” I agree. I say let’s all put our cards on the table and hash it out, because everyone thinks about this stuff, but no one wants to discuss it openly.

UBM, do you think that it is wrong to investigate the existence of racial differences in IQ? Also, do you think that those people (including social scientists, such as Charles Murray, Arthur Jensen, and Linda Gottfredson) who believe that racial groups (on average) have different levels of intelligence are of necessity racist? I’m not asking rhetorically; I am truly interested in your own thoughts on this issue.

Curious Bystander

S.O.L. said...

Just because a man has a high IQ or is open about his opinions does not mean his opinions are legitimate. I think it's admirable Curious Bystander that you have an open mind about Auster but make no mistake, he is not a serious thinker. He is a charleton. Auster manipulates facts to fit his twisted world view. He's not promoting dialogue because he denies objective truths willy nilly and then cloaks his blather by pimping himself as an independent un-PC thinker. He's not looking for answers, he's looking for converts. That is what makes him so disingenuous. I believe it was Twain who said there are liars, damn liars and statistics. Any reasonably intelligent person can fit any old statistic to fit their theory. Auster is a master at this you would think except almost none of his "theories" passes even the most cursory smell test.

Like blacks are rapists and murderers because more of them are in prison. Well, there's a lot of factors and variables and we need people who want to dissect and discuss them honestly, not blatant bigots bent on proving the inferioity of the black race. There is a point where one can be too open minded, a point where calling hate speech dressed up in fancy clothes what it really is - hate.

magawisca said...

Andrew Sullivan linked to this on his blog. He seems to have quite an interest in white supremacy, especially regarding intelligence. He cloaks it in posting images of black Christian women in fancy hats at church (which he coupled with The Wire episode on the same subject). Simple black folk loving the Lord juxtaposed with the image of black criminality--this is the same old stuff. He said nothing about Imus until most of the cards had been played. I guessed that this was because he basically agreed with Imus' assertion.

Anonymous said...

"...over one hundred white women are raped or sexually assaulted by a black man.”

Clearly, if they just find that one black man, everything will be okay.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Zing!

Anonymous said...

What a highly polished turd from Curious Bystander. CB, start with SJ Gould's _Mismeasure of Man_ if you want to get a sense of why the premises of race science are bogus. Surrounding this crap with a lot of intellectual words , at repetitive length, and pulling the passive-aggressive bit that you're not saying that black folks are inferior but you think their possible inferiority ought to be discussed more thoughtfully -- these are the dodges of the educated bigot.

The Siren said...

From Auster's essay on black intelligence vs. white intelligence:

The only time when there was a relatively high quality black leadership in America was when America was under the influence of a white bourgeois Christian elite who set decent standards for the whole society including whites and blacks. Black communities and churches (just like white ethnic minority communities) tended to replicate the authoritative moral standards of the larger society. Thus the upright black leaders of the mid-twentieth century were themselves indirect products of a virtuous white majority culture. But as blacks have thrown off white influence and cultural standards (and as whites have cast off their own standards), black public society, as everyone is painfully aware, has become radically cruder and less ethical.

What magical time was this? Is Auster referring to this Golden Age of bourgeois white morality?

The man has rocks in his head. If that is clean, logical thinking, I'm Rene Descartes.

Anonymous said...

Eh, Rene Descartes was a drunken fart who said, "I drink; therefore, I am"!

Undercover Black Man said...

^ You told me you were gonna break out the Monty Python at some point, didn't cha, Dez? ;^)

Unknown said...

Sigh. A prolix concern troll. The effusive compliment. Always find[s] it interesting to watch “intellectuals” wrestle with ideas. (Spoken in a deep voice, with a slight reverb, from Olympian heights). Hee - those li'l intellectuals wrasslin'.

And then the "we're juss sayin' whut y'all are thinkin'" crap.

Oh, and I loved the "exactly equal in every way" strawman the troll slips in this dog's breakfast of a post. I picture the troll flapping his hands and rolling his eyes like Jack Benny.

s.o.l., you handled it great, thank you.

Undercover Black Man said...

Alma, I have to say, you're wrong about Curious Bystander. She's not a troll. She's a black woman who seems to be sincerely drawn to the most taboo subjects in America's racial discourse (judging by my quick refresher on some of her American Renaissance comments).

I intend to respond to her fully... but it's going to take time, because she's brought up the taboo of taboos, and I want to deal with it.

Anonymous said...

You told me you were gonna break out the Monty Python at some point, didn't cha, Dez? ;^)

I'm a woman of my word :-D

I broke it out in another thread and no one seems to have caught it, judging from the serious responses I got, heh.

Anonymous said...

UBM, I appreciate your willingness to respond to “the taboo of taboos,” as you so rightly put it. I know well-enough how uncomfortable people are with the topic of race and IQ to not be surprised by the ad hominem attacks from certain other posters. I purposely used the same moniker and mentioned that I’d commented on Amren so that you could ascertain my bona fides if you were so inclined. I’m glad you did.

For the record, I became interested in the subject of IQ and group differences therein almost by accident. Let me explain. I have been the custodian of my two younger brothers since our mother’s death five years ago. The younger child has been tested and classified as “gifted”; the older boy, unfortunately, is classified as mentally retarded and is diagnosed with PDD-NOS (an autism spectrum disorder). I began investigating resources for gifted children, about how best to cultivate a child’s intellect and instill a lifetime love of learning and reading. At the same time, I also searched for information about the degree to which IQ is fixed; I wondered whether there existed any scientific literature on the subject of increasing an individual’s IQ or at least maximizing a person’s innate intelligence. (I wanted to give my developmentally disabled brother a chance at a fuller, more self-sufficient life if it was at all possible.) Well, if you do a few Google or Lexis Nexis searches regarding IQ, it doesn’t take long before you run headlong into the debates on racial differences in IQ.

Like the anonymous poster above, I, too, long assumed that the credibility (or lack thereof) of intelligence testing (particularly the study of IQ differences between racial and ethnic groups) had been settled conclusively by SJ Gould in The Mismeasure of Man. I was stunned to find that, among mainstream psychologists and psychometricians, it was Gould who was considered the charlatan. The evidence indicated that Gould engaged in willful obfuscation, knowing full well that even the literate readers of high brow journals, such as the NY Review of Books and the NY Times, would be unfamiliar with the latest work in the field of psychological testing. Frankly, Gould’s thinking on evolutionary biology and evolutionary psychology is extremely suspect, especially in light of the work of Edward O. Wilson, Stephen Pinker, Daniel Dennett, and Richard Dawkins (not exactly rabid fundamentalist conservatives). To my mind, when someone trots out The Mismeasure of Man to refute the premises of intelligence testing and the existence of “g,” it’s the equivalent of proponents of “intelligent design” pointing to Michael Behe’s Darwin’s Black Box to argue against evolution.

I’ll close by saying that I’m equally interested in how people (no matter what side of the political spectrum they fall on) engage in intellectual discourse, rather than just the substance of their arguments. It’s funny, but the posters on conservative racialist sites (such as Amren) and the posters on liberal blogs often argue using the same tactics. They resort to name-calling, refuse to address the substance of a person’s argument, and hold tenaciously onto their belief in certain sacred cows in spite of any evidence to the contrary. (UBM gave up on posting on Amren because of this predilection among some commenters.) David Horowitz is a prime example; even though he switched ideological teams, his absolute certainty in his own righteousness and infallibility remains the same.

P.S.: Sorry for the length of my two posts. I won’t make it a habit. I generally like to sit back and just read what others have written. But, I thought I should explain myself.

Undercover Black Man said...

CB: No apologies necessary. I like your writing, and I like how you think. I hope to keep you interested in my blog.

I can relate to your feelings while delving into IQ. I'll say that "The Bell Curve," when that came out in the '90s, and all the hubbub around it... that's actually what began my disenchantment with liberal/egalitarian orthodoxy.

I forget which magazine ran an issue devoted to rebuttals on "The Bell Curve"... but I read those rebuttals, and they seemed less persuasive to me than "The Bell Curve" itself. And I'm thinking, If this is the best that the smart liberals can say against this book, they're in trouble.

So my intellectual curiosity was aroused on two tracks: an interest in psychometric research itself; and an awareness of the tactics used by leftist scholars and media types to discredit "The Bell Curve" and silence its supporters.

This isn't the full response, CB. Still working on that. Put just wanted to reply to your comment tonight.

Tom said...

"over one hundred white women are raped or sexually assaulted by a black man.”

Boy, whoever he is, that guy sure gets around!

Bing said...

Hot dog. Well done!

Batocchio said...

Ouch. What's painful is that there's still an audience for such drivel. "White women in this country are being targeted by black rapists" (emphasis mine). As with his writings on Cho, Auster is wallowing in paranoia.

Anonymous said...

Frankly, Gould’s thinking on evolutionary biology and evolutionary psychology is extremely suspect, especially in light of the work of Edward O. Wilson, Stephen Pinker, Daniel Dennett, and Richard Dawkins (not exactly rabid fundamentalist conservatives).

Some (perhaps all) of whom had an axe to grind with Gould, making their own criticisms "extremely suspect." Everyone's got their own agenda. Funny how that works.

pwrye said...

"do you think that it is wrong to investigate the existence of racial differences in IQ?"

I suppose not, were it for some reason a valuable academic research topic. However, I have never, ever, ever seen anything of the sort that didn't have an obvious a priori conclusion. As we see in Auster's work, once you get past the ol' "oh, I'm just intellectually curious" intro, we know the 'scientific' conclusions he'll reach long before he reaches them. Do you really suppose it was simply a keen mind, open to possiblitiy, that underwent whatever 'evidence' it is that he referenced? Going back to the quoted question, sure it's a valid question, and one that has been discussed many times. However, I personally would like to know why white people and their cultures have killed far more than any others in the last centuries: is it a genetic weakness? An 'evil' gene? The way in which the debate is framed, and the 'honest, tough questions' asked are every bit as important as the answers themselves.

Undercover Black Man said...

Greetings, Pwrye. Welcome, and thanks for the comment.

I absolutely agree that Lawrence Auster is on a neverending cherry-picking expedition for "evidence" to support his pre-set conclusions. On race matters he is driven, I believe, by a bigoted ideology.

But when you question whether race differences in intelligence constitute "a valuable academic research topic"... well, that's tricky. And I'd urge you not to give in to your own political pre-sets.

Theoretically, if it could be proven -- as a matter of science -- that black people as a class are less "intelligent" than whites as a class (and that both groups are less "intelligent" than East Asians) -- this would have public-policy consequences.

A big one, right off the bat, would be college admissions. Suppose that the incoming freshman class at Stanford is only 2 percent black. The liberal/egalitarian orthodoxy says this must be due to "racism," and that blacks are entitled to be judged by a different set of academic standards than whites in order to boost their presence on campus.

If racial differences in the manner of mental performance we label "intelligence" were proven, then perhaps that's why only 2 percent of Stanford's freshman class is black. Because that's how many black applicants were qualified to get in.

In other words, there would be no reason to suppose that 12 percent of Stanford's freshman class ought to be black merely because 12 percent of the U.S. population is black.

This is a minefield, I realize. But just because unreconstructed bigots are hung up on the topic of race differences in intelligence... that doesn't mean there aren't indeed race differences in intelligence.

I do not believe that researchers should be bullied and ostracized for daring to study a subject which does have real-world policy implications.

Anonymous said...

Having read Auster's article, I think it's unfair of you to accuse him of writing in bad faith. He clearly mentions rapes carried out by white males against white females and by black males against black females. The reason for focusing on black-on-white versus white-on-black rape is that it is done in the context of the aftermath of the Duke Lacrosse rape allegations, during which the notion was put forward by liberal commentators that sexual assault of black women by white males was common place and made the incident some kind of microcosm of racial politics and oppression. In that context it is perfectly legitimate to point out that such a view does not correspond to the reality.

Why is it that white males can be slurred and impugned, as they were during the Duke Lacrosse case (not just those specific white males, but white males in general), but when we defend ourselves from slander by showing that these collective generalisations are not only untrue, BUT THAT THE REVERSE IS THE CASE, we are painted as the racial aggressors? Auster's comments are certainly racist, but I think that's legitimate when done in self-defence against slander against white males. Turnabout is fair play after all.

Anonymous said...

So the answer to racism is to be more racist than the person you're arguing against? The who in the what now?

Undercover Black Man said...

The who in the what now?

Oooo Dez, where's that from?? It's right on the tip of my memory, but I can't fetch it...

But I will be adding that line to my snark arsenal.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Tina Fey?

Undercover Black Man said...

Anon, you say that “it’s unfair of you to accuse [Auster] of writing in bad faith” and that “Auster’s comments are certainly racist…”

Much as I don’t like to feed trolls, I must retort thuswise, for the sake of the young kids reading:

1. Do you know what “bad faith” means?

2. Do you know what “racism” means?

“Bad faith” means that Lawrence Auster did not seize upon, and then broadcast, statistics about interracial rape in a spirit of fair-minded truth-seeking. He had a bias.

“Racism” is when one’s biases – in this case, anti-black bigotry – are allowed to supersede one’s ability to reason.

Auster revealed the depth of his bad faith on his blog yesterday, after a few of his educated readers pointed out that the source of his data – The National Crime Victimization Survey – is a survey… that Justice Department statisticians have made projections and extrapolations.

So the figures cited by Auster – such as 100 white women a day raped by black men – aren’t hard numbers based on actual reported crimes, but estimates based on questionnaires sent to a sampling of random Americans. (Auster flat-out declared in his FrontPage article: “The Department of Justice statistics refer, of course, to verified reports.”)

Auster benignly titled yesterday’s blog post: “New Perspectives on the DOJ Data.”

New perspectives indeed.

When Auster stated in his essay that “there were under 10 incidents nationally” of white-on-black rape in 2005, that was just ridiculously wrong. There were fewer than 10 incidents among the survey sample of 67,000 people; a reliable statistical projection couldn’t be made based on that, so it shows up in the results table as “0.0 percent.”

As one of Auster’s sympathetic commenters tried to explain: “We have to be careful… that our facts are actually, you know, factual. … While the ratios are significant and tell us something important, that point is going to get lost and our credibility will be significantly damaged if we make claims to the effect that not a single rape by a white man against a black woman took place in this country last year…”

But how did Auster react to these “new perspectives”? Does he now regret having made such a sweeping and incendiary declamation as “white women in this country are being targeted by black rapists”… based on statistics he didn’t even know how to read?

No. He blames the Justice Department. “I’ve gone back to the document in the National Crime Victimization Survey,” Auster wrote. “There is no way for the reader to know… that these figures are projections…”

So, you see, Auster did nothing wrong. It wasn’t his fault. “[C]learly,” he says, “the document should have been more clear in explaining that the ‘less then ten,’ on which the 0.0 percent figure is based, results from the fact that this is a survey, not hard numbers.”

This would be funny. If it weren’t so damn sad.

pwrye said...

I understand that any and all topics should, in theory, be available for honest academic inquiry. However, we don't live in a bell jar, and the actual subjects investigated tell as much about us as the conclusions reached. It would be of cultural import to know if Jews really do love money, etc, etc. - but this requires the first condition: honest academic inquiry. I don't believe that that condition has been, or is likely to be met. In the meantime, it functions in reverse - studies done to prove hypotheses. Though my anecdotal evidence would largely support it, for instance, I don't really need a study using these parameters to prove definitively if Canadians really do have an extra 'hockey bone' or not - clearly, stats would show that they do.

Anonymous said...

David, I first heard "The who in the what now?" on "The Simpsons" (Homer said it, natch).

I knew something was off about those stats. So the questions I raised about them (albeit sarcastically) in other thread were legit. Of course Auster won't admit he was wrong to fan the flames of racism based on his misreading of the survey. What a dick!

Anonymous said...

I just have one question:

Undercover Black Man said...

For all concerned, I have posted the complete text of my May 2006 letter to David Horowitz regarding Lawrence Auster’s oft-expressed racial animus. It is here, on my newly launched “text annex.”

Now this blog can get return to the fun stuff.