June 16th’s episode of Tucker Carlson Today on Fox Nation featured a match made in race science hell. Tucker Carlson hosted Charles Murray, known for a career peddling pseudoscientific claims related to racial IQ in order to argue that social inequality is the result of the genetic inferiority of certain communities.
As described by Vox, Murray’s quintessential work The Bell Curve concluded that “America should stop trying to improve poor kids’ material living standards because doing so encourages poor, low-IQ women to have more children.” It also argued against immigration from Latin America and Africa (arguments that have been echoed on Carlson’s show).
Here’s how the Southern Poverty Law Center summarizes Murray’s view:
In Murray’s world, wealth and social power naturally accrue towards a “cognitive elite” made up of high-IQ individuals (who are overwhelmingly white, male, and from well-to-do families), while those on the lower end of the eponymous bell curve form an “underclass” whose misfortunes stem from their low intelligence. According to Murray, the relative differences between the white and black populations of the United States, as well as those between men and women, have nothing to do with discrimination or historical and structural disadvantages, but rather stem from genetic differences between the groups. The Bell Curve, which remains Murray’s most controversial work, firmly lays out Murray’s belief, shared with Herrnstein, that the groups that make up the “underclass” are there solely because of their genes.
Murray was also one of the most influential figures behind the conservative myths regarding alleged abuse of welfare programs. As Business Insider noted recently, in his 1984 book Losing Ground, “Murray posited that social welfare leaves society worse off, as it leads participants to rely on handouts instead of encouraging them to climb the socioeconomic ladder. As Insider notes, whatever its merits otherwise, that line of thinking is particularly troublesome in the wake of a pandemic that shut down entire swaths of the economy.
Murray appeared on Carlson’s show to promote his latest book, which Carlson stated he had not read.
Here are some excerpts of Carlson and Murray’s discussion:
Murray reiterated his long-held belief “that certain kinds of outcomes exist that are not explained by racism, let alone systemic racism. They are explained by differences that exist, for whatever reasons, between different ethnic groups.”
Murray argued that “the cognitive demands” of certain occupations mean that “a whole lot of more white people qualify than Black people.”
Murray lamented that “nobody wants to talk about differences in races” and that “nobody wants to believe that there are any differences that cannot be fixed by better education, better nutrition, less poverty and the rest of it.”
Murray argued that lower and middle-class white males were the least represented in universities and have the hardest time finding employment against women and minorities.
Murray discussed his perception that identity politics and critical race theory broke an unspoken agreement “whereby whites would be too polite to mention” the shortcomings of their Black colleagues, while “on the other hand, Blacks would not blame it all on whites, that they weren't making progress.”
Murray theorized that “whites are going to start adopting identity politics themselves” and the result is that “the possibilities for an undeclared civil war are greater than they used to be.”