Across the country today, people are celebrating the life and mourning the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who was assassinated on this date in 1968. The American Enterprise Institute, however, is marking the occasion in an unusual way: hosting a lecture by author Charles Murray on “The State of White America.”
Murray is best known for writing “The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life,” a study that sought to advance the idea that blacks registered lower scores on IQ tests because they were genetically inferior to whites. The book was roundly criticized and debunked as “bad science,” an advancement of scientific racism, and much of its research was discredited. Former New York Times columnist Bob Herbert sums up what Murray and “The Bell Curve” are really about:
Now, in middle age, Mr. Murray gets his kicks by thinking up ways to drape the cloak of respectability over the obscene and long-discredited views of the world’s most rabid racists. And so “The Bell Curve,” written with Richard Herrnstein, who died last month, promotes the view that blacks are inherently inferior to whites.
“The Bell Curve” cited sources and studies bankrolled by the Pioneer Fund, an organization whose original mission was to pursue “race betterment” for peoples “deemed to be descended predominantly from white persons who settled in the original thirteen states prior to the adoption of the Constitution.” In addition, many references cited in the book were contributors to “Mankind Quarterly,” an English anthropological journal that has been accused of supporting theories of the white race’s genetic superiority.