How do I dispute this statement, made by a fellow student, that says African Americans are genetically inferior?Despite federally funded programs Blacks continue to lack in intelligence and...

How do I dispute this statement, made by a fellow student, that says African Americans are genetically inferior?

Despite federally funded programs Blacks continue to lack in intelligence and academic achievement vs whites. blacks must be genetically inferior to whites.

Asked on by theld

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

There are lots of ways to dispute this.

First, you can argue about the validity of intelligence tests.  The idea that a test can determine how smart you truly are (as opposed to how much you've learned or how good you are at one kind of intelligence) is difficult to credit.

Second and more importantly, it is a huge stretch to go from lesser academic achievement to genetic inferiority.  The student's statement assumes that the federal programs are enough to make up for all other disadvantages African Americans have and therefore all that remains is to say that they are genetically inferior.

But this is ridiculous (in my opinion).  There is no way that government programs can make up for things like the differences caused by poverty or by lack of family support for education or things like that that are not genetic.  They cannot make up for the fact that school districts with low-income students don't tend to attract the best teachers and don't have the best facilities.

It is undeniable that African American educational achievement lags, but there is no reason to chalk it up to genetics.  African Americans are poorer on average and less likely on average to live in 2-parent homes.  These and other non-genetic disadvantages are a more likely cause of their inferior academic performance.

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