A BBC documentary, Race and Intelligence, asks if there is a racial* pecking order where white people are more intelligent than blacks. It seems unbelievable that this question continues to be asked in the twenty-first century, according to Rageh Omar of the BBC.
One of the matters that has amazed me personally in Finland and elsewhere is how entrenched in the nineteenth century are some people’s views concerning race or ethnicity.
Neuroscientist Steven Rose says that ”race” is basically a social construct since its definition doesn’t match the biological definition.
According to him, there are greater gene frequencies on average between northern Welsh and Southern Welsh people. ”You wouldn’t call Northern Welch a different race of people from the Southern Welch people,” he said.
Omar asks the neuroscientist why there has been such a debate for such a long time.
Rose takes a deep breath before answering the question: “Because we live in a racist society. It’s very simple. Differences in intelligence between white people and black people wouldn’t make any sense unless you live in a racist society.”
The documentary shows that IQ tests do not test innate intelligence but are a reflection of how you are brought up in society. “[That is why it is important that] all children have access to the same aspirations,” according to Omar.
If IQ is determined by economic and social factors, then we have nothing to be relived and comforted about, Omar concludes.
*Generally speaking, Europeans use ethnic group as opposed to the United States, where the term race is used. In the United States, people from Europe were referred to as ethnic groups while blacks and Asians were “races.” Blacks, like Latinos, consider themselves “a race.” Mexican-Americans call themselves la Raza, or “the Race.”