Rushton Has Supporters at U.S. Book Launch
Race, intelligence theory: Seeking to break
'the taboo, media censorship,' he says
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.
"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
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
"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
Gatehouse, Jonathon. "Rushton has supporters at U.S. book launch." National Post. 11 Jul. 2000.