I recall reading a blog many years ago that I wasn’t quite sure was serious or a parody. It was purportedly by an African-American who claimed to have a sort of “sixth sense” for “white racism.” He claimed to be able to perceive “anti-black thoughts” in whites as he walked down the street.
I had assumed that if this was sincere, it was likely schizophrenia. Recently I wrote about various personality types, such as the fabulist and the aspie. A few years ago the blogs were aflutter over a study showing that some people do not have “internal monologues” which birthed the “NPC” (Non-Player Character) meme. It’s also been said some people cannot really visualize things in their heads. Some of these cognitive differences are related to intelligence, but not all and not necessarily in a straight-forward way.
So imagine my interest when I came across Steve Sailer’s post “That Old Black Magic Has Got Me in Its Spell”.
A huge amount of anthropological research into Africa has been conducted over the generations, but almost nobody in America is aware of it. Further, the notion that there can be cultural connections between the way African tribespeople and America’s leading intellectuals, such Nikole Hannah-Jones and Ibram X Kendi, think seems subversive
… a big difference between traditional European and contemporary African conceptions of witchcraft is that in Africa intent is not required to hex victims, just bad feelings toward them.
Emotions get projected over vast distances, so beware.
Indeed, the current concepts of “systemic racism” and “implicit bias,” as promulgated on campuses by African-American Studies departments, sound an awful lot like African tribal notions of witchcraft. In Africa, for example, white privilege protects whites from racism witchcraft. Educated Herero in Namibia explained to Harpending:
Even more interesting to us was the universal understanding that white people were not vulnerable to witchcraft and could neither feel it nor understand it. White people literally lack a crucial sense, or part of the brain. An upside, I was told, was that we did not face the dangers that locals faced. On the other hand our bad feelings could be projected so as good citizens we had to monitor carefully our own “hearts.”
A colleague pointed out a few weeks ago, after hearing this story, that if [this conception of witchcraft] is nearly pan-African then perhaps some of it came to the New World. Prominent and not so prominent talkers from the American Black population come out with similar theories of vague and invisible forces that are oppressing people, like “institutional racism” and “white privilege.”
When I was growing up there was a huge controversy over how to teach children to read. There was a debate between “phonics” and “whole word” methods. I had a discussion with a former schoolteacher who said she was shocked when she discovered that many students were never taught to “sound out words.” She speculated that some, perhaps well meaning, educator had decided that it was easier teaching African children “whole word” as opposed to “sounding out the syllables.”
Some entrepreneur found an opportunity here and blanketed daytime television with commercials for “Hooked On Phonics,” a sort of home school curriculum that parents could use to teach their children to read if they felt the schools were miseducated them.
Many writers tend to focus on “IQ” or even g factor, and indeed we see differences. But it may be more complex than a scale from “less intelligent” to “more intelligent.” There have been various theories about “emotional intelligence” and even “styles of intelligence.”
Surely culture plays a large role in how people experience the world. But if an aspie can’t read other people’s emotions nor understand his own while nevertheless being highly intelligent, and a fabulist can easily pass a lie detector test because they aren’t really meaning to deceive, some people do not have an internal monologue or internal vision … is it plausible that there exists other types of cognitive diversity among racial groups?
Africans may call it “witchcraft” and African Americans may call it “white supremacy” but it is possible they are processing sensory input in a way foreign to European Americans.
It would seem a bad idea to base our “racial policies” on a feature of African cognition foreign to everyone else.