[July 13, 2021] I have written about race and leadership in the past here in my leadership blog, but mostly I ignore the topic because I do not believe race is a significant factor. Leadership is learned; we are not born with it. Thus, I have always held that it matters not our race, gender, national origin, etc., whether we are a good leader or bad. An article by R. Shep Melnick in Law & Liberty takes on this subject and addresses some truths about race.
Mr. Melnick reviews some of the critical findings of a book by Charles Murray. Murray’s new book, Facing Reality: Two Truths about Race in America, published June 15, 2021, focuses on two facts that are largely ignored in today’s emotional debates (and conflict) over race, equality, and fairness. One is that there are fundamental and significant differences in violent crimes rates by race. And the second is that there are, again, major differences in cognitive ability test results.
Here are some exerts by Mr. Melnick:
Those seriously interested in taking practical steps to improve educational and economic opportunities for racial minorities cannot afford to ignore the “two truths” that he presents with overwhelming evidence.
Why is it particularly important to “face this reality” today? Because so many influential voices are dismissing it as unimportant. Current measures of cognitive ability, we are repeatedly assured, are culturally biased—symptoms of “white supremacy.” They don’t measure anything significant, but are merely a way to deny racial and ethnic minorities a proportional share of slots in prestigious schools and high paying jobs.
How should we react to the inconvenient fact of significant differences between group averages? We can ignore it, and dismiss any deviation from racial proportionality as evidence of racism. Or we can acknowledge the problem and take steps to improve the performance of minority children.
Murray offers this useful conclusion in his final chapter: “Many of the problems are systemic, but they will not be solved by going after racism. They will be solved, or ameliorated, by going after systemic educational problems, systemic law enforcement problems, systemic employment problems.” Murray makes a convincing case that we cannot begin to address these educational, economic, and law-enforcement problems without facing the two “truths” that he describes.
One could trace all these problems back to slavery, segregation, and discrimination. But that will not make them disappear. Eliminating exam schools, covertly reserving slots at selective colleges for racial minorities, and instituting de facto hiring quotas for high skill jobs will only paper over the core problems rather than address them.
Sadly, however, few are listening. Our political elites fight the emotional battles occurring in their face but ignore the guerilla in the room.