- 05 Apr 01
Racism in an Irish University by Tracy Cullen, Secretary Derry Anti-Nazi League
NAZISM IS alive and well and living in Ireland. At least that is what members of the Anti-Nazi League in Coleraine and Derry have been forced to conclude, after investigating the “research” carried out by Richard Lynn.
Lynn is a Professor of Psychology at the Coleraine campus of the University of Ulster and head of the “Ulster Institute for Social Research.” In February 1992, he received $50,000 (£33,000) from the Pioneer Fund, an American trust fund which promotes the view that white people are genetically superior to other races.
Lynn hid himself and failed to deliver a lecture in Coleraine on Monday 21st February after about 40 Anti-Nazi League protesters turned up outside his class. The response to the information leaflets which the ANL protesters gave to Lynn’s students was amazing. A few students defended him. But the overwhelming majority welcomed the protest.
Some of them said they were sickened by the things he sometimes said in lectures. One woman student said she had dropped psychology altogether because one of the modules Lynn teaches is compulsory and she couldn’t handle his blatant racism and sexism.
Speaking to Tim Kelsey of the Independent on Sunday in January of this year, Lynn stated that “the difference in IQ between whites and blacks is about 15 points.” He also claimed that since the First World War, intelligence of all races had risen by 15 points but the difference between the races remained about the same.
Lynn attributes this “difference” to nutrition and claims that this means his research is not racist. But the very basis of the research is racist. There is now a consensus among most psychologists that all IQ tests measure is the ability to do IQ tests. Nobody has been able to devise a test which will operate in a balanced way across boundaries of race, gender, class etc.
IQ testing is a quack science, but there is nothing funny about the uses it has been put to. What makes it directly political and makes it into a tool for racists, sexists and reactionaries of all sorts is if you can “prove” that “ability” is innate or inherited, then all campaigns for equality between races and sexes are wrong-headed; all equality legislation is useless.
The kind of studies carried out by Richard Lynn are greedily devoured and regularly spewed out in the pages of fascist magazines and papers all over the world and thus Lynn’s research gives a spurious “scientific” legitimacy to the activities of bootboys and Nazi thugs.
For example, the National Association for the Advancement of White People magazine, edited by a former Ku Klux Klan leader, David Duke, praised the “research” of another Pioneer Fund supported academic, Prof. Linda Gottfredson of the University of Delaware. It reported: “Her voluminous research shows that Negroes who have a superior education . . . often rack up job-performance records as poor as their poorly-educated and poorly-trained counterparts.”
According to The Independent on Sunday, 4 March 1990, Richard Lynn is an honorary associate editor of a magazine called Mankind Quarterly which is bankrolled by the Pioneer Fund. As its name suggests, this magazine is dedicated to “race science” and “racial history.” American academics have called it “the mouthpiece of the New Eugenics.”
If you’re inclined to give Mankind Quarterly the benefit of the doubt because you haven’t read it, don’t. During the 1970s, one of its editorial advisors was one Otmar, Baron Von Verschuer. Verschuer was director of the genetics and eugenics programme at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute during the Second World War. He recommended his student, Joseph Mengele, as camp doctor at Auschwitz.
The Pioneer Fund’s president has attempted to deflect accusations of racism. But in a letter dated 13 November 1989, the Fund specifically proposes the abandonment of current social, education and housing policies geared towards mixing races, arguing that a better environment will not reduce differences between them. “Raising the intelligence of blacks or others still remains beyond our capabilities,” the letter says.
The University of Ulster is denying all responsibility for Lynn’s research. They say that because the Pioneer Fund’s money went to Lynn’s own “Institute”, it has nothing to do with them. But this does not stand up to scrutiny when one of their professors is propounding theories of racial superiority and associating himself directly with a clearly racist organisation like the Pioneer Fund – especially since at least one of his modules of compulsory, and students cannot therefore choose to avoid him.
The double standards being operated by the University can also be seen in their annually published register of publications. In the competitive ’90s, the number of articles published by a University’s staff can affect the size of its government funding. And all of Richard Lynn’s articles – like “Black/white differences in reaction times and intelligence” (in Social Behaviour and Personality, 1990), “The evolution of brain size and intelligence in man” (in Human Evolution, 1990) even those published in Mankind Quarterly are listed.
Students at the University of Ulster’s four campuses are taking up a petition to send to the University’s new Chancellor, Rabbi Julia Neuberger. They’re asking her to ensure that the University takes the same stand as did the University of London. When it discovered that one of its professors, Hans Eysenck, had received over $250,000 from the Pioneer Fund it prohibited any further contributions.
Anti-Nazi League students are campaigning for Lynn to be sacked, but even students who are against sacking him are determined to ensure that at the very least none of his modules will every be compulsory again.
This really points up the need for the biggest possible Anti-Nazi League march in Dublin on Saturday 12th. It shows that we in Ireland are not automatically protected from the rising fascist tide. We should never forget that this is the country where “The bishops blessed the Blueshirts at Dun Laoghaire/As they sailed beneath the Swastika to Spain.”
Buses are coming from Derry and Coleraine to the march on Saturday because we want to make sure that the ideas being spread by the Professor in an Irish university don’t help to raise the Swastika again in this country.