Harvard students, outraged over a doctoral dissertation arguing that Hispanic immigrants lack “raw cognitive ability or intelligence,” this week urged the university to investigate how the thesis came to be approved and to ban future research on racial superiority.
The students presented 1,200 signatures to president Drew Faust and the dean of the John F. Kennedy School of Government, David Ellwood.
“Academic freedom and a reasoned debate are essential to our academic community,’’ the petition said. “However, the Harvard Kennedy School cannot ethically stand behind academic work advocating a national policy of exclusion and advancing an agenda of discrimination.”
The thesis — “IQ and Immigration Policy,’’ by Jason Richwine, a former doctoral candidate at the Kennedy School — compared IQ scores of US residents, including immigrants from a variety of countries, and concluded that the scores of Hispanic immigrants were substantially lower than those of native whites. The paper argued that the United States should allow only immigrants with high IQs.
“Today’s immigrants are not as intelligent on average as white natives,’’ Richwine wrote in the thesis. “The IQ difference between the two groups is large enough to have substantial negative effects on the economy and on American society.”
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