by Latoya Peterson and Thea Lim
We’ve received about five or so emails about Harvard Law Student Stephanie Grace, and her email “clarification” after a group dinner where she made some racist remarks that were not well received (predictably). At the time of the first email, her identity was shielded – as of today, outlets like Bossip, Jezebel, and Gawker have outed her identity and posted her photo.
Again, on its face, this is a fairly simple thing for the Racialicious audience – this woman was basically spouting the foundation to eugenics, the idea that some races are genetically inferior. This isn’t exactly new or revelatory – it’s the same logic used to justify the white man’s burden. So, after arguing that she could possibly believe that black people are genetically predisposed to be less intelligent than whites, she sent out an email clarifying her beliefs. As Above the Law excerpts from her email:
I absolutely do not rule out the possibility that African Americans are, on average, genetically predisposed to be less intelligent. I could also obviously be convinced that by controlling for the right variables, we would see that they are, in fact, as intelligent as white people under the same circumstances. The fact is, some things are genetic. African Americans tend to have darker skin. Irish people are more likely to have red hair. (Now on to the more controversial:) Women tend to perform less well in math due at least in part to prenatal levels of testosterone, which also account for variations in mathematics performance within genders. This suggests to me that some part of intelligence is genetic, just like identical twins raised apart tend to have very similar IQs and just like I think my babies will be geniuses and beautiful individuals whether I raise them or give them to an orphanage in Nigeria. I don’t think it is that controversial of an opinion to say I think it is at least possible that African Americans are less intelligent on a genetic level, and I didn’t mean to shy away from that opinion at dinner.
I also don’t think that there are no cultural differences or that cultural differences are not likely the most important sources of disparate test scores (statistically, the measurable ones like income do account for some raw differences). I would just like some scientific data to disprove the genetic position, and it is often hard given difficult to quantify cultural aspects.
Then, the email went national, leaving us with an interesting other situation that cropped up: those rising to defend Stephanie Grace. Read the Post Stephanie Grace, Ivy League Racism, and the Seeds of Institutional Bias