Rushton Has Supporters at U.S. Book Launch

Race, intelligence theory: Seeking to break 'the taboo, media censorship,' he says

National Post  
by Jonathon Gatehouse
National Post (July 11, 2000)
Don Mills, Ontario, Canada

J. Philippe Rushton, the University of Western Ontario psychologist whose controversial theories linking race and intelligence have made him a scientific outcast, is launching bid to win over the American public and media.

Professor Rushton, accompanied by three American academics who have also been criticized for their colour-based research, will give a press conference at Washington's National Press Club this afternoon, to promote the latest abridged edition of his book Race, Evolution and Behaviour.

Rushton "We've all written on race, crime, IQ and AIDS, and we've all suffered in one sense or another from the sensitivity that exists in these areas," Mr. Rushton said from his London, Ont., offices yesterday. "We want to break the taboo, the media censorship."

Last fall, Mr. Rushton, who is frequently branded a bigot, caused a furor in academic circles by sending out more than 40,000 copies of the 106-page synopsis of his racial hierarchies theories to social scientists around the world. The American-based publisher has refused to produce further copies, so the psychologist has printed the 100,000 booklets under the auspices of his Charles Darwin Research Institute. He plans to mail thousands more sample copies to universities in the United States and abroad.

Mr. Rushton said several donors, including the Pioneer Fund, an ultra-conservative U.S. organization that provides million of dollars each year in funding to researchers seeking to establish a link between genetics and behaviour, underwrote the $16,000 cost of the second edition.

"They only cost about 16� each," he said of the slim green volumes, which sport a cover price of $5.95. "We're hoping that the Institute will turn a profit on it."

Today's American launch of the book will feature testimonials from Robert A. Gordon, John Hopkins University sociologist who has written on the faults of affirmative action, Michael Levin, a professor of philosophy at the City College of New York, who has written extensively on race differences and in support of torture, and Jared Taylor, head of the New Century Foundation, a group that regularly issues studies on the "Colour of Crime."

Mr. Taylor is also editor of American Renaissance magazine. The July issue of his Virginia-based publication contains such articles as "The War on White Heritage" and "Blacking the Profession: When History Goes Afro-Centric."

Barry Mehler, an expert on eugenics and founder of the Institute for the Study of Academic Racism at Ferris State University in Michigan, said he isn't surprised to see Mr. Rushton in such company. Groups such as the Pioneer Fund have embraced Mr. Rushton's work.

"They're investing a lot of money into his career," said Mr. Mehler. "He has been chosen to be the face of the movement."

Mr. Mehler, who also runs a Web site tracking racist groups and holocaust deniers, said coalition has been forming in the United States to promote scientific ideas that can be used to support far right-wing political philosophies. Even though the research is regularly debunked by mainstream academics, the strategy does pay dividends, he said.

"You just keep repeating the same lie over and over and over again and before you know it, people begin to believe it," said Mr. Mehler.

Andrew Winston, a University of Guelph psychologist, who specializes in the history of racism in the field, said the idea of mass mailing of contentious scientific material is not new one.

In the mid-1960s, Henry Garrett, former president of the American Psychological Association and former chairman of psychology at Columbia University, fought a battle against school integration by mailing treatises on race to thousands of American teachers, said Mr. Winston.

Mr. Winston disputes Mr. Rushton's claim that his theories have been censored south of the border, noting that the UWO researcher is still regularly published in academic journals.

"The cry of censorship seems to be one way for people to increase their profile," said Mr. Winston.

The booklet, like Mr. Rushton's other work, will find a ready audience among followers of racist politics, predicted Mr. Winston.

"I'm not saying it's his plan," said Mr. Winston. "But it will find a wider audience of people who already hold extreme views on race, and wish to have a sophisticated way to justify it."

Gatehouse, Jonathon. "Rushton has supporters at U.S. book launch." National Post. 11 Jul. 2000.