July 14, 2005
Further Down The Road (Paved With Good
[Peter Brimelow writes:
We’ve said repeatedly that VDARE.COM is not a White
Nationalist webzine—but that we do publish White Nationalists
because we regard their focus on white interests as
at least as legitimate as Black Nationalism, Hispanic
Nationalism, Zionism, etc…and as an inevitable development
in the Brave New America created by mass immigration.
Jared Taylor, Editor of American Renaissance, is perhaps the most brilliant and accomplished
figure among White Nationalists. We post here a shortened
version of his Preface to the new edition of his 1992
book Paved With Good Intentions: The Failure Of
Race Relations In Contemporary America, which has
been out of print since 2001.
As Taylor says, he did not make
his full position clear in 1992. But his demonstration
that whites could not really be blamed for the plight
of blacks was still radical. More than a decade later,
he feels the debate has moved significantly his way.
This appears to contrast with
the pessimism Steve Sailer
and I expressed last year on the tenth anniversary of The Bell Curve.
We felt the scandalous treatment of Charles
Murray and Richard J. Herrnstein
has had a real chilling effect on discussions of race,
even—especially—in "conservative" publications.
I think that Taylor is right
about what might be called the "esoteric" debate—among
colleagues, in the technical literature. Indeed, Clint
Bolick, one of Taylor's Establishment conservative critics
made this point to me, ruefully, with regard to Taylor’s
influence on the movement to which we then both thought
we belonged, within months of writing a negative review.
The public debate has become
more constrained, if anything. But then, there is no
public debate anymore. Even liberals don’t make Kerner
Commission-type arguments about
the effects of "white racism" today. They don’t
make any arguments at all.
It almost seems to me—and I’ve
been following this subject since doing American Studies
at college in England several hundred years ago—that
everybody in the U.S., left and right, has just plain
flat-out gotten bored with African Americans and their
problems. That’s why no-one except VDARE.COM’s Ed Rubenstein
has pointed out that black unemployment has actually
risen during this recovery. It’s why immigrants in general,
and Hispanics in particular, are now the cause of choice.
You can buy Paved
With Good Intentions through
Amazon, but Jared makes more money if you buy it direct.
Why read a book that first appeared in 1992? I believe
there are two reasons.
First, it is still an eye-opening account of a
series of terrible mistakes we have made with regard
to one of the most sensitive and difficult aspects
of our nation’s history. Some of the characters
in America's continuing racial drama have changed
since 1992, but a surprising number have not, and
the empty sloganeering that passes for public discourse
has slackened only a little.
I made a number of compromises in order to have this
book published, but the compromises lie mainly in what
I did not write. I think most of what I did write stands
up well more than a decade later.
Many readers of this book have told me it angered them,
enlightened them, and in some cases shifted their thinking
substantially. I would like to think it still has that
The second reason: In its own modest way, Paved
With Good Intentions was part of a steady evolution
in what it is permitted to say about race in the
When it appeared in 1992, the obligatory "mainstream"
view was that white "racism"
causes black failure. If blacks are poor, commit crimes,
have children out
of wedlock, drop out of school, or
take drugs, it is due to the accumulated oppression
of slavery, lynching,
I wrote this book to refute this view, to show that
American society as a whole does not oppress blacks
and that, indeed, it often offers them race-based
benefits of the kind that go under the name of "affirmative action."
The method I used to make this argument was simple:
compare like with like. How does society treat similar
populations of blacks and whites?
For many people, for example, it is an article of faith
that blacks are more likely than whites to be in jail
because the criminal justice system is "racist."
However, black robbers
with three prior convictions do not get longer sentences
than white robbers with three prior convictions. Black murderers
do not get the death sentence more
often than white murderers. [Black murderers do not
get the death sentence more often than white murderers.
They get the death sentence considerably less often
because they are more likely than whites to commit murder
as a result of an argument or fight. Whites, though
they commit far fewer murders on a per capita basis
than blacks, are more likely to kill deliberately and
coldly, and premeditation is usually a requirement for
the death sentence.]
Nor do the police arrest blacks in unjustifiably large
numbers. The proportion of blacks arrested for robbery,
for example (about half of all such arrests), is almost
exactly equal to the proportion of robbers identified by
crime victims as black.
Other comparisons of like with like give the same results.
Blacks and whites who graduate from similar universities
grades and degrees get a similar number of job offers—blacks
may actually get more.
Blacks and whites with equivalent employment records
make about the same amount of money—blacks often make
more. Similarly-qualified blacks and whites are equally likely
to be granted home mortgages. Equally deserving
black and white candidates for organ transplants
are equally likely to get them.
In fact, whenever it is possible to study outcomes
for similarly situated groups of black and whites, the
independent effect of race is almost always vanishingly
small and may well favor blacks.
The reason blacks and whites do not enjoy similar outcomes
despite similar treatment by society is that the black
and white populations are not equivalent. Although I
expressed myself as gently and sympathetically as possible,
my conclusion was that black outcomes reflect black behavior
rather than oppression by whites.
A systematic, scholarly search for discernable effects
of "racism" should not have been controversial,
but it was.
No matter what the evidence may tell us, most whites
are almost as deeply convinced as blacks that "racism"
oppresses blacks and holds them back.
So ingrained is this conviction in the publishing industry
that this book almost failed to appear. My literary
agent Theron Raines spent almost two years trying to
sell the book, and continued long after I would have
given up. He finally got a contract with Carroll &
Graf, a small New York publisher that has since been
bought by the Avalon Publishing Group.
Carroll & Graf publicized the book as best it could,
but the press largely ignored it. With the exception
of the Wall Street Journal and the Baltimore
Sun (whose black reviewer called
it "the most scurrilous work about American blacks
since Thomas Dixon's The Clansman"),
It All On Blacks, November 23, 1992, Gregory
P. Kane] not one major newspaper reviewed it.
Probably the book's single most important boost came
from a favorable notice
in National Review by Peter Brimelow, back
when NR still welcomed contributions from the now-banned
Mr. Brimelow (his work continues on the Internet at
Paved With Good Intentions also became a selection
of the Conservative Book Club—but only after considerable
agonizing. Their publicists called it "the most outspoken
book the club has ever offered. And the most painful."
Talk radio also kept the book alive, with Carroll &
Graf arranging as many as three or four programs a day
during the summer of 1993.
This was exhausting work for me—not physically but
morally. At that time, radio audiences were not prepared
to hear that blacks had any responsibility for their
own failure. My book was a perfect example of "blaming
the victim," and hosts and callers heaped worse
abuse on me than they do for the considerably more subversive
things I am now inclined to say.
Times—and attitudes—are changing.
The question that remains with me, however, is why
whites so desperately want to believe that it is they,
rather than blacks themselves, who are to blame for
It is understandable why blacks profess to believe
this; it relieves them of responsibility and gives them
a very effective club with which to beat guilt-ridden
whites. The entire racial preferences industry is based
on the assumption that whites are guilty and must atone
for their sins. The benefits for blacks are both psychological
But what is in it for whites? Why are they so desperate to
believe the worst about their own group?
I have theorized elsewhere that whites have an unusual
inclination towards principles of reciprocity and equality,
and that this gave rise to peculiarly Western phenomena
such as rule of law, rights
for women, freedom of the press, and democracy. Everyone,
including blacks and other non-whites, has a point of
view that deserves a serious hearing. White guilt and
racial preferences are an unhealthy exaggeration of
an otherwise laudable sense of fair play.
[See The Real American Dilemma: Race, Immigration,
and the Future of America, page
Ian Jobling has added the complementary view that whites
are particularly devoted to "competitive
altruism," or the appearance of generosity and
philanthropy. There is much prestige in publicly ministering
to the unsuccessful, and non-whites are the most obvious
These theories are plausible but not sufficient. Nothing
entirely explains the savage joy of the
liberal with a "racist"
(or a "xenophobe"
in his sights. People who think only moral inferiors
could enjoy fox
hunting or bullfighting take a different view when
the quarry is human, as they bay for the blood of "bigots"
like hounds on the scent. It is wearying, on the radio
or off, to play the fox to liberal hounds.
I think it likely, though, that this book nudged the
debate about race ever so slightly in the direction
of sanity. A dozen years later, fewer whites are quite
so eager to take the blame for black problems that refuse
to go away.
A steady stream of other books has battered away at
the conventional view of race: The Bell Curve
(1994) by Charles Murray and Richard Herrnstein, The
End of Racism (1995) by Dinesh D'Souza, Race,
Evolution and Behavior (1995) by Philippe Rushton,
Why Race Matters (1997) by Michael
Levin, and The g Factor (1998) by Arthur Jensen. In
2000 Jon Entine wrote frankly in Taboo about the physiological
differences that explain black dominance of certain
sports, and by 2003, when Abigail and Stephan
Thernstrom wrote in No
Excuses about the persistent racial gap in academic
achievement, their systematic refutation of the usual
whites-are-responsible arguments met with some objection
but little outrage.
Since I wrote Paved With Good Intentions it
is has become possible to criticize "affirmative
action" not only for the treacly, liberal reason
that it hurts blacks by discrediting the accomplishments
of whose who can succeed without preferences, but for
the straightforward reason that it is unfair to whites.
In 1995 the Board of Regents of the University of California
voted to abolish racial preferences,
and two years later California voters approved Proposition 209, which
forbids the state to practice race or sex preferences.
Similar bans have been put to the vote in other states,
and although in June 2003 the U.S. Supreme Court
failed to find racial preferences in college admissions
many universities are scaling back and even eliminating
preference policies. Some progress is being made.
However, taboos and hypocrisies remain, and Paved
With Good Intentions afforded me opportunities to
In 1995, on the strength of the book, the famously
College invited me to participate in a series of
lectures on welfare. My subject was to be "Race Relations
Bell Curve author Charles
Murray was also a speaker, and the evening before
my talk he and I participated in a long private conversation
with several others about race and
IQ, and the implications of racial differences
for American society. Lissa
Roche, daughter-in-law of Hillsdale president George
Roche and one of the conference organizers, was present
and joined actively in the conversation.
The next day, in my talk, I spoke in some detail about
black-white IQ differences, which I offered as one of
the reasons blacks
are more likely than whites to be on welfare.
To my astonishment, during the question-and-answer
period, Mrs. Roche herself denounced me from the audience
for bringing up the IQ question.
I now regret it, but out of deference to my hostess
I did not describe from the podium the conversation
of the previous evening, in which she had taken such
a lively part.
The speeches given in that series were all published—except
for mine—in a volume with the ironic title Champions
Of course, my own book could be accused of hypocrisy,
or at least of a huge logical void.
My search for the effects of "racism" had turned
up very little. If comparable black and white populations
have similar social outcomes it must mean America does
not usually treat people differently on account of race.
What then explains black failure?
In conversations with my editor, Kent Carroll, I argued
that the book implicitly but very clearly raised this
question, and that it was disingenuous not to discuss
in IQ. He was adamant that such a discussion would
ensure that the book received no serious consideration.
I did not press him to the limit on this matter, but
I suspect he would have refused to publish a book that
discussed the 15-point average
black-white difference in IQ. I was unhappy about
remaining silent on such an important question, but
in retrospect I think Mr. Carroll was right: A more
explicit Paved With Good Intentions would have
sunk without a bubble.
Because I could not remain completely silent about
the causes of black failure, the book makes feeble arguments
about the debilitating effect of conventional
views of "racism." If, I asked, both blacks
and whites are always telling blacks their troubles
are caused by wicked whites, doesn't that mean there
is nothing they can do to help themselves? Do not constant
reminders of "racism" encourage blacks to give
up because whites will thwart them no matter what they
This was another argument designed to appeal to liberals,
and implied that if blacks could only throw off their
obsession with white oppression they might achieve at
the same level as whites.
This is an aspect of the book that troubled me in 1992
and continues to trouble me. Although it never says
so plainly, it implies that if racial preferences could
be abolished, if blacks could stop using "racism"
to excuse their own fecklessness, and if whites would
only stop encouraging this kind of excuse-making, race
relations might perhaps enter a new era of harmony.
I did not believe this in 1992, and I do not believe
it today. Neither Americans nor anyone else have managed
to build a harmonious multiracial society, and I cannot
foresee any policy or attitude changes that would make
At the same time, our government has permitted a huge
influx of non-white immigrants who threaten to reduce
whites to a minority by the middle of this century.
In their bones, whites know this will not be a good
thing. They know that an increasingly Third-World America
will slip into Third-World habits of corruption, poverty,
And yet, whites rarely oppose their own dispossession
in explicitly racial terms. They may complain about
overcrowding and environmental degradation, or suggest
that immigrants should be encouraged to assimilate,
but it is still unacceptable to state openly that whites
have the right to remain the majority in their own country,
their own institutions, their own schools, or their
To take this position requires an unconventional understanding
of the nature and importance of race, and views that
reflect this understanding have been banished from public
Every other racial group can freely advance its interests
at the expense of others, but whites are forbidden to
organize and work for their own interests as whites.
When I wrote Paved With Good Intentions I did
not attempt to challenge that ban. On page 356, for
example, I warned that if blacks continue to use race
as a weapon, to advance their interests as a race and
not as Americans, there are "disquieting"
signs whites will be tempted to forge racial weapons
of their own.
Of course, given the demographic and cultural challenges
they face, signs of racial awakening among whites are
not "disquieting." They are essential to survival
as a distinct people with a culture and heritage of
I did not take this position in Paved With Good
Intentions. I did not even propose it to my editor
Kent Carroll because he would not have published a book
that advocated racial consciousness for whites. He would
have told me—no doubt correctly—that the country would
not take such a book seriously.
Mr. Carroll took considerable criticism for publishing
the relatively mild book that he did, and I do not fault
him for his decisions. There are limits to what a publisher
may publish and still retain the respect of his profession.
Since even before the appearance of Paved With Good
Intentions I have been the editor of American Renaissance, a magazine
that goes considerably further into forbidden territory.
Some time after the book was published, I approached
my agent Theron Raines with a proposal for a scholarly
treatment of the subjects commonly raised in AR: the
difficulties of integration, the disadvantages of "diversity,"
the challenge to whites of non-white
immigration, and the long-term consequences if whites
fail to act in their own interests.
Mr. Raines, who worked tirelessly to help this book
see the light of day, spent more than two years before
he finally gave up on the new project. Mainstream publishing
is still not ready for open dissent from the myths of
multiracialism and diversity.
It is not yet ready to hear what I really think about
race. For that, readers must turn to American Renaissance.
Some day whites will throw off the self-imposed scruples
that require them to work for the benefit of every group
but their own.
Some day, there will be a just solution to the American
race problem that preserves the cultures and respects
the dignity of all races.
Those who bring it about will, I believe, have read
and reflected on books like this one.
Jared Taylor (email him) is editor
of American Renaissance
and the author of Paved
With Good Intentions: The Failure of Race Relations
in Contemporary America. (For Peter Brimelow’s
review, click here.)