Friday, November 09, 2007

Acting White: Window on America. Dog, The Bounty Hunter


So what’s to make of Dog – Duane Chapman, aka Dog: The Bounty Hunter. He got himself and A&E in one heck-a-spot with his very dumb use of the n-word, to say the least. Now for the record, I am not a Dog-hater. In fact, I grew up with poor white folks in Dog’s hometown of Denver and he and I are not that far apart in age.

I cannot say whether Dog deserves to be ‘put down’, so to speak. On one hand, I can live without his crude hypocrisy, but I understand it, the same way I understand Al Sharpton getting his hair straightened once a week, so as to look ‘good’ while hunting guilt-ridden white folks. I accept the window Dog gives on a whole group of people that are invisible in America – poor white people. With all the complaining that goes on, poor whites are largely left out of the picture. Why? Because to place their plight beside blacks completely screws-up the two opposing pictures people typically attempt to draw – that poor dumb blacks are, by virtue of race, either responsible or not responsible for what ails the group and this country.

Now it is one thing to infer, as did Dr. James Watson, that this country’s 40 million blacks are dumb compared to its 200 million whites, but quite another to say that there are 32 million whites with IQ’s below 85, or dumber than the average black. Damn! That’s right folks, 32 million! And remember, these poor dumb white folks have absolutely no excuse for their plight. They are not the ancestors of squatters in Africa. They were not stolen slaves, forbidden from education. They were not even red-lined out of housing in Detroit, or Cleveland. They are just dumb folks with no plausible excuse, except their own randomly inherited way-below average intelligence.

I say that if we are going to consider a Dr. Watson-esque foray into genetics, race and intelligence, then we should lay all the cards out on the table. Talking about relative stupidity and its impact on the future is okay by me, but lets include the 32 million Duane ‘Dog’ Chapman’s too. They deserve to be included in whatever labeling we do, and solutions we identify. Do they not bleed?

As I see it, bringing poor white folks out of the self-segregated shadows will place a completely new spin on acting white discussions of the black ‘problem’. It will stop a lot of the confusion and trickery. Associations and behaviors that are too conveniently considered black will show themselves to be white, as well. Perhaps then we can get on to what is acting ‘right’, where the emphasis is on teaching ourselves about advancing behavior, regardless of skin-color or ethnic origin.

Maybe Dog, and his big dumb mouth, did poor dumb white and black folks everywhere a favor. He made them a little less invisible and ignorable for the moment. Just maybe…

James C. Collier


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Anonymous said...

Great post, James.

I'd just like to add one thing. The people studying the relation betwen IQ and economic outcomes have looked at dumb white people. You wouldn't know this from the reviews of the book, but most of the the Bell Curve deals with how whites of differing intelligence fair.

The main point of the authors, which seems to have gotten lost in all the racial hoopla, was that intelligence matters and that a lot of anti-poverty programs might not work because they don't take into account the fact that a large fraction of every race is just dumb, as you say.

Another Conflict Theorist said...


You raise some interesting questions.

One of my best friends is a hand-to-mouth impoverished white dude. Since we've known each other for years we tend to discuss race rather easily. One of the things that he always tells me is that the only group that white America hates more than blacks is poor whites. "PWT" is the dirty little (poorly kept) secret that tends to distort eugenics-based arguments.

Good post.

Deocliciano Okssipin Vieira, aka Ochyming said...

I find it disturbing that people would go to this length to prove anyone humanity.

..... said...

You always speak my thought and your'e so accurate .

Deocliciano Okssipin Vieira, aka Ochyming said...

check this interesting article on ChickenBones by Chinweizu - Comparative Digests
Racism Arab and European Compared.

Link -

D.A. Davis said...

Good stuff sir! This whole concept in our community of “acting white”… absolutely absurd!(in most cases)
I have written something similar on my blog entitled “A “Culture” of Ignorance”.



Derrick said...

32 million, wow. That's a lot of dumb ass white folks. That explains some things. Below 85 is approaching Forest Gump mental capabilities.

Where'd you get this statistic from?

James C. Collier said...

Yobachi: Hold the celebration. First off, I used census and US Ed. Dept. Statistics. As a percentage of their respective total populations, more black folks fall into your described (not mine) 'dumb ass' category, below 85. Backing up to my numbers is easy. There are 200 million whites with an average IQ of 100, while the reported average black IQ is one standard deviation lower, at 85. If you use Normal Distribution attributes, which both races reflect, then approx. 16% of the 200 million whites (32M) have an IQ below 85, and 32% (64M) have IQ's between 100 and 85. Also 82% of blacks (33M) have IQ's below 100, or below the average white intelligence. Hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

What exactly is IQ? I am seriously asking this question because I would like to know whether it is based on educational standards (which I suspect it is) and if so what standards? Also, does it take into account lack of educational opportunities even if you were born as 'bright' as the sun?

The person who mentioned the character Forest Gump, may I just pause to add that Forest was mentally retarded 'NOT dumb ass' as you described and being mentally retarded is different from the PC mentally 'challenged', I suspect.

I am asking this question because if IQ is based on literacy then it could be a flawed method of measurement.
There are many illiterates who do very well at making a living and who have a good grasp (understanding) of life itself.

So what is IQ and what was the IQ of the person or persons who developed it as well as their educational achievements?
On what standard is this based?

My father's grandfather must have been the exception to the 85% rule. He was illiterate but not 'dumb ass'. He started out selling pottery in a market and would make signs on the undersides to denote the prices. Later, he moved to Bermuda where he became a big hotellier and landowner and was actually a millionaire when he died and never did learn to read or write.

Lastly, the recent experiment in Japan with the Chimps have put IQ buffs to shame. It is probably only a matter of time when these Chimps will disprove all these IQ tests and quotients. Then what?