Jackie Mason vs. James Watson: Jews, IQ, and ‘Shvartzers’
The truth can never be racist.
In the Watson Affair (read this, this, and this), 79-year-old, Nobel Prize-winning geneticist James Watson was forced, in late October, to recant his statement that blacks are, on average, less intelligent than whites and that there are genetic reasons for this inequality, and to resign his position as chancellor of the world-famous (due to Watson’s 40-year leadership) Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Since then, ever more rats have been jumping ship, including some I hadn’t even known were on board.
Two such rats are the authors of Schmucks!, comedian Jackie Mason and “celebrity divorce attorney” Raoul Felder. Mason and Felder, politically neo-conservative, Ashkenazi (European) Jews — the kind that were raised as liberals, but changed through experience — joined the anti-science, leftwing-dominated mob denouncing Watson.
In “Race and Intelligence,” Mason and Felder pile on, lying like Persian rugs, not only about the science, which backs up Watson in spades, but at least in Mason’s case, about his own beliefs as well.
Apparently a subject that has attracted scientists is the question of the correlation between race and intelligence. Now don't get us wrong. We believe that basically this is an area of wasteful analysis. In our lives, we don't deal with “races,” we deal with individual people. For instance, if science has determined that Jews are smarter than Buddhists, the fact is if we needed an operation, we would rather have a smart Buddhist picking up the scalpel than a dumb Jew. But if scientists want to explore a particular subject for what they believe is a search for the truth, and want to waste their (hopefully, not the public's) money on a particular piece of nonsense, so be it.
A worldwide uproar occurred because Nobel Prize winner James Watson made a racist statement about the supposed lower intelligence of Africans. “All our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours,” according to the London Sunday Times, but then he added, “Whereas all our testing says, ‘Not really.’” Who cares? Even if true — which we believe it is not — it is basically an irrelevancy. Does that mean, if Watson is to be believed, that Africans should not be entitled to an equal share of the economic pie, the right to be equally educated, or the right to have all the protections and benefits that government can offer? In short, even if it were true — again, which we do not believe it is — who cares? Might not centuries of exploitation and denial of the benefits of education and health facilities cause testing to be skewed?
Watson's position is eerily similar to that of Professor Arthur Jensen, who wrote an article in 1969 in the Harvard Educational Review wherein he postulated that racial differences in intelligence test scores may have a genetic origin. He suffered the same fate as Dr. Watson.
Mason and Felder also speak of Watson’s remarks on African IQ as “pseudo-science” on a par with “global warming and the Loch Ness monster.”
Mason and Felder don’t deal with “races”? “Who cares” whether one group is smarter than any others? A black with an IQ of 67 or 85 has the same right as a Jew with an IQ of 112 to get admitted to a prestigious university or get a high-paying, intellectually demanding job? “Centuries of exploitation and denial of the benefits of education and health facilities”? (In the latter case, are they talking about blacks or Jews?)
As for Arthur Jensen, he may have been vilified and assaulted for his work, but that work endures scientifically, and Jensen did not suffer the same fate as Watson. Jensen was not suspended, much less forced to resign by his employer, UC Berkeley, and he never repudiated his research on intelligence. And there is nothing “eerily similar” about the common points between Watson and Jensen; based on the known facts of psychometrics and genetics, the two scientific giants simply agree. It happens.
(Jensen’s classic, 1969 article, “How Much Can We Boost IQ and Scholastic Achievement?” was published as a stand-alone volume (No. 39) of that notorious lunatic fringe publication, The Harvard Educational Review. I heartily recommend it to Mason and Felder, should they ever wish to learn something about the science of intelligence.)
As for Watson having made “a racist statement,” the truth cannot be racist.
It is a scientific fact that African blacks have radically lower average IQs than whites, and that American blacks also have considerably lower average IQs than whites. One may curse a scientific fact, as one may curse the rain, but one cannot wish it away. The average group IQs are: white Americans, 100; black Americans, 85; blacks in sub-Saharan Africa, 67. It is likewise a scientific fact that at 105, East Asians (including Red China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan) have the highest average IQ of any identifiable racial group. (Richard Lynn, Race Differences in Intelligence: An Evolutionary Analysis, 2006, 23, 37, 44, 128, 130.) Ashkenazi Jews’ IQ has been estimated to average from 112-115 (PDF).
The genetics behind group IQ differences is based — as Watson was intimately aware — on the alleles (“alternative forms for genes”) for intelligence that developed in those groups that left Africa 50,000 years ago, as opposed to those that stayed. Some of Watson’s tormentors knew this, and were thus traitors to science; others were scientific illiterates who lied out of ignorance, spite, and the will to power.
Due to Jackie Mason’s distinctive public track record on race, I am going to focus on him. But first, a quick history of the loving community of blacks and Jews.
No group has done more for blacks than Jews. As a result, urban blacks have long hated Jews even more than they hate every other group, including blacks. As my mom always says, “No good deed goes unpunished.” The Jewish machers (big shots) got the glory, while encouraging ever more of the already robust black racism (PDF) that destroyed and continues to destroy the lives of countless Jewish kleine pishers (“little nobodies,” literally, “little pissers”).
(In addition to the machers’racial pandering, two myths get in the away of appreciating the historical relationship of blacks and Jews: 1. ‘All Jews are rich and powerful’; and 2. ‘As a people that must dwell alone, Jews exhibit an incredible solidarity, which they developed as an “evolutionary strategy,” in order to destroy gentile host societies.’ The second myth, in particular, is the expression of people who know absolutely gornisht (nothing) about Jews, who engage in intermarriage at a higher rate than any other religious or ethnic group in America.)
In his 1963 essay, “My Negro Problem–and Ours,”Commentary editor Norman Podhoretz reflected on how he and other working-class and poor white, especially Jewish boys he grew up with in 1930s and ‘40s Brooklyn were brutalized by racist black boys. And that was in the “good old” days!
Honest Jews have for generations been increasingly bitter about black anti-Semitism. After all, Jews don’t target blacks for muggings, assaults, rapes, murders and riots, or ethnically cleanse them from neighborhoods and workplaces. And John Podhoretz notwithstanding, unqualified Jews don’t get affirmative action jobs in place of qualified blacks. (Blacks have long terrorized white gentiles as well, but there is no phony history of a loving community uniting those two groups.)
The “Ambassador” Gets Recalled
During the 1989 New York City mayoral race, Jackie Mason served, in historian Chris McNickle’s words, as Republican-Liberal candidate Rudolph Giuliani’s “unofficial ambassador to the Jewish community.”
Following on the heels of the second of his many wildly successful, one-man Broadway shows, the Tony Award winner was on top of the world. In August 1987, even dour, pc New York Times theater critic Frank Rich wrote, “I hereby confess that I was the last drama critic in New York to catch Jackie Mason's act on Broadway - a full six months after the comedian's opening night.” Rich had been certain he would be immune to the comic’s crude charms, but had to admit that, “for all the familiarity of his [Borscht Belt] attack, Mr. Mason was very, very funny.” Among other things, Rich also praised Mason’s lack of pretense, refusal to pander to the audience, and honesty.
Mason’s success and honesty have always been of a piece with his volatility. Considering that his hair-pin-trigger temper had led to powerful TV host Ed Sullivan exiling him to show business limbo a generation earlier, Mason knew exactly what the stakes were. And yet, he risked a long, hard fall with some blunt talk on race.
One month later, during an interview with the radical leftwing New York weekly, the Village Voice, Mason argued,
There is a sick Jewish problem of voting for a black man no matter how unfit he is for the job. They feel guilty for the black predicament, as if the Jews caused it…. The Jews are constantly giving millions to the black people. Have you ever heard of a black person giving a quarter to a Jew?”
(Mason reportedly also used “shvartzer” during the Voice interview; I could not determine whether that interview was on the record.)
When the Newsweek interview somehow came out within the Village Voice story, the four Newsweek staffers were severely reprimanded for failing to report what Mason had said. (But the interview was off the record!)
Forget what “journalistic ethics experts” say; most scribes routinely either suppress or report impolitic remarks made to them in private by public figures, based solely on feelings of political, ethnic, sexual and/or racial loyalty or enmity. In this case, however, rank opportunism was also at work. In violation of Newsweek policy, Jonathan Alter had pitched an article on the Mason interview, playing up the racial angle, to Adam Moss, the editor of New York’s short-lived, lefty political magazine, 7 Days. (The Voice article also somehow — see below — exposed the 7 Days affair.)
Newsweek responded to the Voice story by reporting on the off-the-record luncheon, quoting Mason’s “shvartzer” line, and saying, “Giuliani joined in the nervous laughter, making no effort to rebuke Mason.”
Not only did Jonathan Alter violate Newsweek’s ethics rules, by not asking his editors’ permission to peddle to another media outlet what they considered to be “proprietary” material, since he had recorded Mason while on assignment from them, but he violated the trust of Charles Leerhsen and Jyll Rosenfeld, without whom he would never have gotten the interview. And then, for good measure, he lied about the whole thing.
Although Newsweek’s honchos reportedly only refrained from firing the four reporters after they privately showed proper remorse, Alter shamelessly spun the story in public, calling the matter “Much ado about nothing,” because the story had never run in 7 Days. That’s like a street punk insisting he’s a good guy, because his intended victim somehow managed to slip his sucker-punch.
As NYT media reporter Alex Jones wrote on October 14, 1989,
Mr. Alter said yesterday: “We all regret that the remark was not printed in Newsweek in a more timely way. As for the 7 Days business, I never wrote a word of any article for 7 Days, though discussions took place, and I think the rest of it is much ado about nothing.”
The reason Alter never wrote the story for 7 Days is because after he pitched it to Adam Moss, he asked Jyll Rosenfeld for permission to quote Mason. When Alter confirmed to Rosenfeld that Mason had used the “s” word, and that Alter planned on quoting him doing so, she refused to grant him permission.
Alex Jones tried to have it both ways. He sought to help Alter and hurt Rosenfeld, by emphasizing that there was no “explicit” agreement that the interview was off the record. Jones doth protest too much. That Alter would call Rosenfeld to ask her permission to use the material left no doubt that both understood that the interview had been off the record. But Jones also noted, “The situation was doubly charged regarding Mr. Alter, who has often chastised news organizations for journalistic and ethical lapses.” (Perhaps Jones told himself he was being balanced, or perhaps he felt constrained by Times press room politics to spin things the way he did.)
Alex Jones also misrepresented what Mason had told the Village Voice, writing “The comedian later was forced to leave the campaign after being quoted as saying that some Jews would vote for a black candidate out of guilt.” But Mason had said an “unfit” black candidate, which is considerably different.
Mason proved prescient: Due to over 30 percent of white voters — including 23 percent of white Catholics and almost 40 percent of Jews — pulling the lever for Dinkins, while less than three percent of blacks voted for Giuliani, Dinkins, who had promised to be a “racial healer,” won by only 47,000 out of 1.8 million votes cast the closest mayoral race since the five boroughs were joined in 1898 to create modern New York City. (Source: McNickle.)
(In 1992, Alex Jones would leave the Times to co-author with his wife, and with the paper’s cooperation, a history of the Times. Upon the book’s 1999 release, the paper promoted it, which led to Jones and his
wife being named the following year to share an endowed journalism chair at Harvard, where Jones was also named to run the school’s Shorenstein Center on the Press. When 7 Days folded in 1990, after only two years in business and $10 million in losses, pc featherweight Adam Moss landed at the Times, where he would eventually be entrusted with the radical dumbing-down of its Sunday Magazine. Since 2003, Moss has run the already pre-dumbed-down, New York Magazine. At Newsweek, Jonathan Alter is more powerful than ever. And lest I forget, the Village Voice, which broke the 7 Days affair, was then owned by Leonard Stern, who simultaneously owned 7 Days. Big Journalism — which includes “J-schools” — is a small world, after all.)
A Bissl Yiddish
In German, which has no “n” word, “Schwarzer” simply means “black man”; “Neger” simply means “negro.” (“Schwarzer” is the German spelling; “shvartzer” is the Yiddish version phoneticized using the Roman alphabet.)
But Mason wasn’t speaking German. He was speaking Yiddish, the roughly thousand-year-old dialect born in the Rhine River Valley, that pairs the ancient Hebrew alphabet with a vocabulary that is approximately 67 percent Middle High German, 17 percent from various Slavic tongues, and 17 percent Biblical Hebrew. And on top of that, Mason was using “shvartzer” as a New York Jew would, even if he was born and raised in Wisconsin.
Growing up in Long Beach, Long Island, from 1965 until circa 1974, I lived in a Jewish building. Old Jewish ladies sat on beach chairs in front of our building, bundled up in their winter coats, no matter how hot it was outside. (“Aren’t you cold?” they’d ask me.)
I grew accustomed to three ways they would occasionally pepper their English with “shvartzer”: 1. Meaning innocent and non-threatening, as in ‘He’s black, but he’s o.k.’; 2. Meaning borderline, as in ‘Maybe good, maybe bad, who knows?’; and 3. With an entirely pejorative meaning, the same as the “n” word, instantly recognizable through the drawn-out first syllable.
Notwithstanding Mason’s tendency to cut short his syllables in his trademark now mumbling, now staccato delivery (or so it was, when I saw him on the Broadway stage in the late 1980s), I’ll leave it to the reader to conclude which meaning of “shvartzer” he had in mind.
While Mason was stupid to call Dinkins a “fancy shvartzer,” he showed great courage in emphasizing Dinkins’ unfitness for the office of mayor, and “liberal” Jews’ craven racial paternalism.
After David Dinkins’ inauguration as New York’s first black mayor, he immediately proved to be so incompetent, that even Jewish socialist staffers who loved him almost immediately began seeking to escape his administration.
Bury My Heart in Crown Heights
The amazing thing is not that some Jews complain about “shvartzers,” but that more don’t. The only time I recall my late, Hungarian-born Nana (1893?-1976) mentioning race was circa 1970, when she referred to a “nice colored man.” (“Colored” was the respectable term used by ordinary whites and blacks alike until the early-to-mid 1970s. “Negro” was in parallel use by white and black elites until the same period. Circa 1918, when my Nana left her parents’ Lower East Side home, she also quit the Hungarian and Yiddish of her childhood. I never heard her say a word in either tongue.)
The last time I heard anyone say “shvartzer” was in 1992. I was visiting a Chabad-Lubavitch Chassidic friend in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, one year after a racist black mob had engaged in a four-day pogrom against the Chassidim. At one point during the pogrom’s first night, a black man, Charles Price, yelled “Kill the Jew!” and the mob lynched visiting Australian rabbinic scholar, Yankel Rosenbaum.
Mayor Dinkins ordered the NYPD to let the mob have its way. When the rioters threw bottles and rocks at New York’s Finest, the policemen ran away. On day three, Mayor Dinkins addressed the mob, but the rioters threw bottles at him, too! He only ordered the NYPD to stop running away and end the pogrom, out of anger at the lack of racial loyalty the rioters showed him.
When we were alone during my visit, my inconsolable Chassidic friend repeated, “Shvartzers, shvartzers, shvartzers.”
I no longer recall whether my visit was before or after the juror-accessories aided and abetted Nelson.
Already at the time of the pogrom, the socialist MSM sought to rationalize it and the lynching of Yankel Rosenbaum, using the same pathetic boilerplate that leftists always use to rationalize racially-motivated, black-on-white violence. As my old philosophy teacher, Hans Joachim Kramer used to say, “Gründe lassen sich immer finden.” “Reasons can always be found.”
The 1993 election was even closer than its immediate predecessor, with Giuliani winning by a mere 44,000 votes. The Times’Sam Roberts employed desperate sophistry, in an effort to diminish the significance of a Republican (and a former prosecutor, no less!) winning election in a city where registered Democratic voters outnumbered registered Republicans 5-1, and where the municipal unions and the TV and print media were, with rare exceptions such as Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post, rabidly leftwing.
Giuliani got his revenge, and Mason got a measure of vindication … but Yankel Rosenbaum was still dead.
Intelligence and Integrity
Ashkenazi Jews have a well-earned reputation for being the smartest group around, a reputation they have long been extremely proud of. And why not? What are they going to brag about, Jewish basketball stars? If you think a couple of brilliant Ashkenazim like Jackie Mason and Raoul Felder actually believe that all races are intellectually equal — you know, the races they say they “don't deal with” — and that a typical African with an IQ of 67 (or 85, for that matter) has the same right to admission to a selective university and to an intellectually demanding job as a typical Jew with an IQ of 112 or higher, I have a great deal for you on a slightly used bridge.
Note too that typically, every group obsessively talks privately about, and feels superior to every other group it comes into contact with.
And Ashkenazi or no, virtually all educated people, Left or Right, care about intelligence. As Steve Sailer has often wryly observed, in his Sailer Law of IQ,
Liberals tend to believe two things about IQ:
• First, that IQ is a meaningless, utterly discredited concept.
• Second, that liberals are better than conservatives because they have much higher IQs.
Mason and Felder each stomps on Watson with only one foot. While telling a “noble lie” about race and IQ, they defend scientists’ right to pursue “racist” research in peace. Apparently each thinks he can thereby divert attention from himself, while buying a little peace from the forces that mugged Watson.
At 76, Jackie Mason is almost as old as James Watson. There is a cowardly symmetry to Mason taking a cheap shot at Watson, in the course of implicitly recanting his own beliefs. How can Mason live with himself? (How, for that matter, can Watson?)
As John Stuart Mill observed in “On Liberty,” all the intelligence in the world is worthless, without intellectual courage. In other words, Felder and Mason may be smart, but they’re still a couple of schmucks.
Award-winning, New York-based freelancer Nicholas Stix founded A Different Drummer magazine (1989-93). Stix has written for Die Suedwest Presse, New York Daily News, New York Post, Newsday, Middle American News, Toogood Reports, Insight, Chronicles, the American Enterprise, Campus Reports, VDARE, the Weekly Standard, Front Page Magazine, Ideas on Liberty, National Review Online and the Illinois Leader. His column also appears at Men's News Daily, MichNews, Intellectual Conservative, Enter Stage Right and OpinioNet. Stix has studied at colleges and universities on two continents, and earned a couple of sheepskins, but he asks that the reader not hold that against him. His day jobs have included washing pots, building Daimler-Benzes on the assembly-line, tackling shoplifters and teaching college, but his favorite job was changing his son's diapers.