Been watching Netflix’s fantastic series Dear White People which depicts racial tensions at a fictional Ivy League college.  Although the show is trying to portray the black characters as super smart, in a weird way it’s causing me to believe more in Rushton’s theory and I think it’s because all the black male actors on the show have small heads (or maybe the fact that the sides of their head are shaved causes their heads to appear small compared to their white counterparts).

Blacks & the police

One especially poignant episode occurred when the police crashed a house party and pulled a gun on a small headed but super smart black guy.  The black guy was not a nerd and does extremely well with the ladies, but his extremely high IQ was revealed by him dominating a tipsy trivia contest.  What should have been a great night for him turned dark when he told the white character who was throwing the party not to say the N word, even though it was part of the lyrics to a song by a black artist that the black students were singing along to.

This led to the high IQ black getting upset and part of the racism the show was depicting was that a black guy can’t even get upset without some white panicking and calling the cops, who humiliated the black guy by demanding he show his school ID card to prove he was a student (something the white boys he was fighting did not have to do, even though they were much less qualified to attend the school from an IQ perspective).

And yes I realize shows like this are largely propaganda (or brainwashing as Philosopher would say), but it’s well written nonetheless.

Light skinned privilege

Another interesting subplot is the tension between a light skinned black girl (who wears her hair natural and is politically radical) and her dark skinned friend (who straightens her hair and acts like a white sorority girl).  I’ve long noticed that a lot of the most liberal (pro-black) blacks tend to be light skinned, and I’ve wondered if this was because of higher IQ (which is correlated with liberalism) or because they’re trying to prove their blackness.  But the show raised a third possibility: light skinned privilege.  They have the luxury of being politically provocative because they’re less threatening to whites.

Many whites scoff at the idea of white privilege and Steve Sailer has gone as far as to suggest that being black is an advantage in 21st century America.  It’s easy to see why Steve would think this when so many of the most powerful Americans are black (Oprah, Obama, Colin Powell, Condi Rice).  But a closer examination reveals something more interesting: with the exception of the dark skinned Oprah, all of these powerful black Americans are at least half white on the genetic level.  I suspect that if you separate light skinned blacks from regular blacks, there’s no net advantage to being black in America.  Yes blacks are more likely to get good jobs (controlling for IQ) but they’re more likely to be unemployed, in jail and in poverty (controlling for IQ).

Whatever benefits come from affirmative action and tokenism are likely cancelled out by racism (yes, it still exists), so being black is a wash (neither good nor bad), unless you’re a light skinned black where you get the benefits of affirmative action without having to deal with much racism.

Race vs social class

This is not to deny that black Americans (both dark and light) are oppressed in America, but they are currently oppressed because of class, not because of race (though race is what historically caused their class).  Descendants of slaves are the lowest social class in America because they were denied the ability to build financial and cultural capital for centuries.

Some blacks feel Obama was able to become the first black president because he enjoyed all the benefits of affirmative action, without the stigma of looking black or the cost of coming from America’s slave class (on the contrary, his pedigree was upper class)