Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Cultural typecasting?

Reader Alex Bensky of Detroit, a frequent traveller in the blogosphere, writes us:

Assuming arguendo that the Nichols premises {by which I assume Bensky refers to those in the Alan Kors article that I quoted last Friday} are correct: wouldn't this mean that we shouldn't try to hire blacks to perform jobs that require white, lineal thinking, such as lawyer and computer programmer? If blacks are out pursuing interpersonal relationships and thinking in spirals, we can't expect them to be any good at "white" skills like logic and reason.
Yes, I suppose so. We're all familiar with the uproar over Murray and Herrnstein's The Bell Curve, and there is the case of Ed Miller, a professor of economics at U. New Orleans who has done research on biological reasons for racial performance differentials. One writer hysterically compares this to phrenology. But when Nichols does it, he gets larger contracts.