An Asian California high school student comparing race and IQ levels for an elite science project, has resulted in fury and outrage and his project being scrapped.
The Sacramento Bee reported on Saturday that the science project, titled “Race and IQ,” was put together by a CK McClatchy High School star student, and displayed in the fair on Monday.
The Asian student is part of the school’s elite Humanities and International Studies Program.
For his project, he compared intelligence levels to ascertain whether particular races were intelligent enough for the school’s magnet program to justify the racial disparity present.
The student’s work linking race with intelligence “has outraged teachers, students and parents at CK McClatchy High School in Sacramento’s Land Park neighbourhood” the newspaper reported..
“If the average IQs of blacks, Southeast Asians, and Hispanics are lower than the average IQs of non-Hispanic whites and Northeast Asians, then the racial disproportionality in (HISP) is justified,” the hypothesis stated.
HISP, according to The Bee, is a star program at the school, but the program has reportedly been criticized for its lack of racial and ethnic diversity. The program is made up mostly of white and Asian students.
The student claimed that certain races like African Americans and Hispanics simply lack the intelligence to handle the program’s academically challenging coursework.
The project was to be judged by a team of community members as part of the fourth annual Mini Science Fair at the school situated in a mostly Asian neighbourhood.
To test his proposed theory, the student had unidentified teenagers with different racial backgrounds take an internet IQ test and reportedly found that “the racial disproportionality of HISP is justified”.
Students, parents and faculty complained and the project was removed from the science fair on Wednesday. Alex Barrios, the spokesman for Sacramento Unified district, said the district was currently investigating the incident.
“We are looking into the appropriate response to a situation like this,” Barrios told The Bee. “We understand it concerns a lot of people and doesn’t reflect our culture here.”
The school’s principal Peter Lambert – who is African American – said in an email to parents on Thursday that they were taking the “incident very seriously” and noted that the school strived to “promote and embrace an inclusive environment and way of thinking which excludes any form of discrimination”.
It was reported that the students of colour were very “upset” with the findings in the science project because it included a bibliography and quotes from five books, one a text from 1904 called “The Essential Kafir” that argued South African blacks were intellectually inferior to whites.
The term “kaffir” has since evolved into a racial slur in South Africa, but the Arabic word is currently widely used in Africa by Muslims to denote the “unfaithful”.
In the United States, the notion of intelligence being tied to race gained notoriety in 1994 with the book “The Bell Curve” by Charles Murray.
In 2013, the director of the Heritage Foundation was forced to resign over his Harvard PhD, in which he argued that American born “Hispanics” were less intelligent than American-born whites, after researching their IQ scores.