Our VoiceCulture

Flocking Together: Jason Richwine & the Legacy of the Pioneer Fund’s “Race Realism”


Aaron Patrick Flanagan • May 15, 2013

Jared Taylor (top) & Jason Richwine (bottom)

In the fall of 1990, Jared Taylor wrote to John Tanton, father of the established anti-immigrant movement, in search of advice regarding the launch of the New Century Foundation (NCF)–a group that, under his own leadership, Talyor hoped would eventually serve as a catalyst for a more “academic” white nationalism.

In his packaged solicitation of Tanton, Taylor included “the first five pages of the rough typeset” of American Renaissance, NCF’s magazine. As a man accustomed to being rightly branded a bigot, Tanton’s response was prophetically tinged with empathy for the younger Taylor:

“You are saying a lot of things that need to be said, but I anticipate that it will be very tough sledding.”

By 2005, Taylor was stating such “things” explicitly: “When blacks are left entirely to their own devices, Western civilization — any kind of civilization — disappears.”

Beyond a variance in tone, the pair bears commonalities; not the least of which is the sustained level of financial support that each has received from the New-York based Pioneer Fund. Since the late 1930s, the virulently racist foundation has sought to fund the work of “race realists” invested in proving the genetic superiority of white-European Americans and promoting eugenics.

According to Pioneer’s tax documents, between 2002-2008 Taylor’s NCF received $135,000. Between 1985-1994, Tanton’s various efforts–including the Federation of American Immigration Reform (FAIR)–had received $1.2 million. And with such donations, Pioneer has sought for the better part of a century to inject racism into the collective mind of the American public, and it is with Pioneer’s donations that Tanton and Taylor have contributed to such a legacy.

And it is from this legacy, without question, that the beliefs and writings of Jason Richwine have emerged.

Last Monday, as the co-author of the Heritage Foundation’s much hyped immigration study, Richwine took his place alongside former Sen. Jim DeMint, Heritage’s President, and Robert Rector, the study’s other author, at a press conference announcing its release, all three impressing upon those gathered the immense damage S.744 will inflict upon Americans. On Wednesday, though, Dylan Matthews of the Washington Post sparked a conflagration that threatened to surround Heritage when he exposed Richwine’s 2009 Harvard PhD dissertation, “IQ & Immigration Policy.” In that work, Richwine argues:

“The average IQ of immigrants in the United States is substantially lower than that of the white native population, and the difference is likely to persist over several generations.”

By Friday, Richwine was unemployed.

What Matthews and others have yet to explore is the poisoned well of “experts” whose works Richwine used to build his dissertation–sources like Jared Taylor.

On its website, Pioneer writes, “The researchers associated with Pioneer tend to be ‘race-realists’,” a term Taylor has long promoted. From this, a careful scan of Richwine’s list of references reveals many such “realists”:

  • 22 publications penned by past Pioneer grantees and/or Directors (e.g. Arthur Jensen, Jean Phillipe Rushton, Richard Lynn);
  • 13 publications that Pioneer directly funded;
  • all of which contribute to a total of 19 authors and 37 works sourced that are “about the Pioneer Fund” itself and/or the foundation directly funded the writing for.

Acknowledgment of these influences leads one to recognize that, until recently, the ascending arc of Richwine’s career has been transparently steeped in a legacy of individuals personally indebted to Pioneer’s millions.

Angered by the “tough-sledding” the Ivy League alum is presently enduring, Taylor extended Richwine an empathy similar to what Tanton offered him in 1990. In a piece posted last week on American Renaissance, Taylor positions Richwine in a lineage of fellow “race-realists” who have been banished to the extremist fringes of American politics:

“Because you [Conservatives] are lapdogs, Jason Richwine joins a distinguished group of men fired by ‘conservatives:’ Joe Sobran, Sam Francis [of Council of Conservative Citizens], Scott McConnell [on FAIR’s Advisory Board/President of Neil A. McConnell Foundation], John Derbyshire [now of VDARE], Robert Weissberg [speaker at American Renaissance conferences], Kevin Lamb [who works for Tanton], Frank Borzellieri, Leif Parsell [….] John O’Sullivan [former Director of VDARE], Peter Brimelow [founder of VDARE, who received funding from Tanton & Pioneer], James Watson, and Patrick Buchanan have also gotten some form of the ax for excessive truth-telling.”

And so, if Richwine’s dissertation is to be remembered as anything beyond a moment of “excessive truth-telling” that has wrought deserved havoc for Heritage, “IQ & Immigration Policy” must be regarded for what it is–a serious academic meditation on the belief that one’s genetic make-up predetermines one’s worth to society.

The culturally-biased practice of IQ testing–not unlike how poll taxes and literacy tests were once used to bar so many from voting booths–has been used throughout our country’s history as a Swiss Army knife by “race-realists” and anti-immigrant activists seeking to carve out proof that some immigrants and minorities (“high-skilled”/high-IQ) are purely more desirable than others (“low-skilled”/low-IQ). Richwine’s work, for Harvard and Heritage, captures the aforementioned legacies of bigotry in the same opaquely codified ivory of elite academia and political expertise that Pioneer’s Directors have long imbibed and hoped to more widely imbue.

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