We Didn't Have Saucers

I won’t go much into research statistics and methodology but I do want to hit you with this. Many of our famous standarized tests, whether it be IQ, Aptitude, SAT, GRE, etc. were at a point and maybe still are are largely based on a white standard. This means that well to do white people, men probably, came up with the questions, determined what the right answers were, and the tiers of achievment on these assessment were/are largely based on the scores of white participants. The result of this is having a test that is centered on white cultural norms and experiences. 

This leads me to a clip from the television show Good Times. Please watch, only 2 and half minutes long and pertinent to this post.

What white people think is a mark of intelligence is largely representative of the knowledge and skills they have and what they think is important in society. The knowledge and skills necessary or relevant to the poor, immigrants, and people of color are definitely different.

I want you to check out the B.I.T.C.H test (Black Intelligence Test of Cultural Homogeneity). it was an assessment created by Dr. Robin Williams to illustrate the cultural and thus racial biases that could be imbedded in a test. Because these tests check to some degree how much you align with the sample demographics and how much you align with the test creators, they are then also gatekeepers that check for middle class whiteness. They weed out those that do not allign with this. So much class and culture imbedded in these standardized tests. It’s all very Jim Crow. Ridiculous and impossible assessments were given to Black & Brown people to prevent them from voting.

So, Let’s talk about Scientific Racism for a bit. The function of it was to convince folks that people of color were innately intellectually inferior and thus deserved and were fit for subjugation. These "scientific" studies went on for quite some time and even influenced legislation. It’d be foolish to think that they still don’t today. It’d be doubly foolish to think that the legacy of this kind of work doesn’t live on and contribute in subtle ways to contemporary forms of oppression. Do you remember that Psychology Today piece from Dr. Satoshi Kanazawa titled "Why Are Black Women Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women?" WOW!

If/when you get the opportunity, if you care enough, you should check out the phenomenon of Scientific Racism more. Maybe I’ll share specific resources later but research was done to "PROVE" that Africans and Black/Brown people were meant to be enslaved. Edit: Check this summary out for starters. It lists 9 iterations of this. The one I've always been shocked by was Drapetomania.

"Drapetomania," which cast as mental illness black slaves' efforts to run away and escape servitude. Because Cartwright believed that Africans were mentally unfit for self-determination, he argued that they only try to escape when they go crazy."

If/when you get the opportunity, if you care enough, I highly suggest looking into the phenomenon that is Scientific Racism, the legacy of older attempts and the modern iterations of it. To start, I say check out this piece on Vox that is an extended and detailed account. It's a longer read but great insight. Take your time with it, schedule some time to digest.

In conclusion, racism has occured and does occur under the guise of scientific research and data compilation. Racist policies still exist and are still being created. Mechanisms, like intelligence, aptitude, and achievement tests are in place to covertly limit the achievement and development of the poor, black, and brown.


Accepting It