I guess I should be pleased by this, but somehow it just seems irrelevant. I thought Will Saletan's certainty and his clarification on this issue, were lacking. I don't much care what David Duke puts on his website. I think Gates is shockingly simplistic in some of his analysis. His "If black kids studied calculus like the studied basketball, we'd run the world" is just stupid. Virtually all kids would want to study basketball more than calculus. Some are lucky to have parents with time to push them in the right direction.

Anyway, my reasons for not engaging in this debate are basically emotional. I went to public schools all my life, surrounded by black kids who kicked my ass when it came to school work. I don't know if they were smarter, or if I was smarter. I know I saw the world in ways that they couldn't. But I also know that, in terms of the intelligence that mattered, the intelligence that sends kids to good colleges, many of them had me beat, flat-out. I've since gone out into the world, and worked in a profession where an Ivy League degree is damn near a prerequisite. No disrespect, and certainly no nod to the populist anti-intellectualism, but I'm not impressed. In my childhood I knew too many sharp black kids, and in my adulthood, I've known too many dumb white folks, to fiddle with this argument. I know that's not a solid argument. But it's where I'm at, and about all the mental energy I'm willing to expend on this. Maybe I need an IQ test too.

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