Heritage Foundation Cuts Ties to Jason Richwine

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Jason Richwine, co-author of a controversial report from the Heritage Foundation that criticized the potential cost of immigration reform, has resigned from the organization. The resignation follows revelations that Richwine's college dissertation argued that Latinos (and other ethnic groups) were by nature intellectually inferior. Slate's Dave Weigel has a terse statement from the organization: "Jason Richwine let us know he’s decided to resign from his position. He’s no longer employed by Heritage."

Richwine's dissertation focused on differences in IQ scores and what they suggested for immigration policy. Mother Jones describes how he explained his findings at a public event in 2008:

"Race is different in all sorts of ways, and probably the most important way is in IQ," he said. "Decades of psychometric testing has indicated that at least in America, you have Jews with the highest average IQ, usually followed by East Asians, then you have non-Jewish whites, Hispanics, and then blacks. These are real differences, and they're not going to go away tomorrow, and for that reason we have to address them in our immigration discussions and our debates."

Revelations about Richwine's previous work put the Heritage Foundation in a serious quandary, one which it sought to resolve by potentially hiring a high-priced public relations firm. Yesterday, a spokesperson for Heritage defended Richwine's work on its behalf while distancing itself from any previous statements. The Heritage spokesperson said that Richwine was only a secondary "number-cruncher," and not the lead author who developed the methodology.

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Such defenses were unsustainable given Richwine's long record of similar racism. Over at The Atlantic, Garance Franke-Ruta outlined the various previous instances in which Richwine maligned the intellectual capabilities of non-whites. "Richwine's belief that intelligence is determined by biology and genes," she writes, "is something he's been peddling around conservative institutions in Washington, D.C., for years." Slate's Weigel noted Richwine's colleagues often worked to dissuade him from doing so. Clearly, it didn't work.

None of the outcry has stopped those who embrace the findings of the report (which received its own ferocious dismantling, Richwine's beliefs aside) from rising to his and its defense. Conservative commentator Michelle Malkin wrote a blog post entitled, "The crucifixion of Jason Richwine."

The smug dismissal of Richwine’s credentials and scholarship is to be expected by liberal hacks and clown operatives. But a reckless and cowardly pile-up of knee-jerk dilettantes on the Right — including former McCain campaign co-chair Ana Navarro and conservative Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin – have joined the character assassins of the Soros-sphere, MSNBC, and Mother Jones in deeming Richwine a “racist.”

Charles Murray, author of The Bell Curve which met with similar critiques of its racial analysis, tweeted his support for Richwine.

Should you need it, our Elspeth Reeve explained why Richwine's IQ arguments are incorrect.

Photo: An immigration protestor in Georgia. (AP)

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.