Stop Racism With A Brain Pill

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With the European Football championships diverting attention from racism at home to racism in eastern Europe, it may be time to take another look at this most illogical of human prejudices. The bad news is that it might not be as easy to stop racism as we thought.

In January 2012, a little reported but major Scientific study found distinct links between low intelligence, prejudice, and social conservative ideology. The research team was led by Gordon Hodson, a psychologist at Brock University in Ontario. The main conclusions were published on January 5th, 2012 in the journal Psychological Science and then reported on the Science website LiveScience.com, which is where most of my quotes come from.

It doesn’t take a genius to see that racism is invariably highest among the least well educated. Putting to one side the problem of well-educated racists (Mosley, Powell, Irving and so on), stereotypical racists include the British skinhead from the council housing estate, the American red-neck, and so on. After all, as someone much cleverer than me said (it might have been Elmore Leonard), a cliché only becomes a cliché because it’s probably true. Anyway, as previous studies also concluded that racism is more prevalent among the poorly educated, Hodson decided that studying intelligence was the logical next step.

He and his researchers turned their attention to the findings of two British studies. One has followed a group since their collective births in the spring of 1958, and another that repeated the process for babies born in April 1970. Both sets of children had their intelligence assessed at around their 11th birthdays. When they’d reached 30, another study look at their levels of racism and social conservatism.

One problem (for me) with the study is that it concentrated on what the people said their views were. I wish they’d managed to find a way to examine their unconscious levels, but they didn’t. Instead they asked questions to define how socially conservative the subjects were. The results were based on their answers to whether they agreed with vaguely right-wing statements such as ” Schools should teach children to obey authority” and “Family life suffers if mum is working full-time.” Attitudes toward other races were captured by measuring agreement with statements such as “I wouldn’t mind working with people from other races.”

In practically every case, low intelligence in childhood matched up with racism in adulthood. Surprise, surprise. The most interesting finding was a link with political thought. Basically they found that people socially aligned to the right (i.e. Republicans in the USA and Conservatives in the UK) are more likely to be racist than the left-leaning. That’s something I’ve known since I was in my teens. I’m grateful that someone has finally found scientific backing for my gut feeling.

{ 4 comments }

Frank Castle December 20, 2012 at 7:06 pm

Sorry mate, but I’m a British Skinhead from a council estate as well as a Conservative, and racism is NOT something I stand for. True Skinheads listen to black music (mainly Ska & Reggae) alongside Oi! and Punkrock, the Skinhead movement would in fact not exist without black culture. Yes, most of us, including myself, are very patriotic and fly the Union Jack with pride, but we also cherish the Jamaican flag, because Jamaican immigrants introduced white Brits to everything that created the Skinhead movement. I personally combine more recent Oi! Skin style with the old Rude Boy style. We even have a nickname for White Power ‘Skins’: BONEHEADS! The “Skin = Nazi” crap is the result of the mainstream media using, after a few incidents involving bald heads, the term ‘Skinhead’ for just about every racist, whether or not they actually had any connections to the Skinhead scene. I can assure you, TO THIS DAY, true Skinheads find racism revolting, and I’m not talking about crap like ‘Redskins’ or ‘SHARP’ (the latter having started out as a good idea, but taken over by far-left nutters who turned it into something highly political, with the Skinhead movement as a whole actually being apolitical and individual Skins having their individual views) and last, but not least, Oi! music is NOT Nazi music, that would be RAC (“Rock Against Communism”), Oi! music by its very definition generally takes an ANTI-EXTREMIST (left, right, whatever) stance. That being said, I agree that stopping racism is a rather Herculean task, the basis for it are instincts that were crucial for the survival of our cave-dwelling ancestors, but are nowadays completely unnecessary. It depends on the individual whether they choose to let those instincts dominate their thinking, and way too many people still do.

admin December 21, 2012 at 7:36 am

I take your point and I wish that everything you say applied to every skinhead I’ve ever met. Sadly, the “muscle” of the extreme right still tends to be shaven-headed, and big-booted. Whether they are bona fide Reggae-loving skinheads is another matter.

Frank Castle December 22, 2012 at 1:29 pm

That was exactly my point, we call them Boneheads, because they are too stupid to realise that every time they call themselves ‘Skinheads’, they’re actually calling themselves ‘white niggers’, proving to the whole wide world just how braindead they are. That does not mean I’m not aware that they are the intentionally most visible presence among the far-right, they even insist that they are ‘the real Skins’, which evidently they CAN’T be, because everything real Skins love has been introduced to the likes of me by those Boneheads hate because of their appearance. What I was trying to say is that you help perpetuating the myth by continuing to use our name to refer to them, that’s how the media got us into the trouble we’re in, some getting jumped by people whose side we would actually take if we were around to see them being assaulted by racists. I’m asking you to make the first step and help us clear that up, maybe even make once again the black Skinhead a familiar sight in British streets again. Other than that, I’m completely with you (despite wishing to point out once more that I’m a Conservative), I do fully agree that racism is an issue that needs sorting out urgently, but it would be naive to think that repeatedly telling people to “stop being racist” will achieve that, most racists I’ve ever encountered find that something between amusing and encouraging, so far no-one could work out what we could actually do about it, one problem being the widespread low intelligence levels found in most far-right nutters.

Acrox January 23, 2013 at 4:52 pm

When race and intelligence show a link – then they can’t measure intelligence.
When so call prejudice is linked to intelligence suddenly intelligence can be measured.
Tosser

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