Happy Throwback Thursday! Er, Flashback Friday as it were. This week we’re taking a look back at a speech by Michael Levin from the 1998 American Renaissance conference. Levin, a philosophy professor at the City University of New York, has been discussing and writing about racial differences for years, stirring up controversy as far back as 1990.
If you’re wondering why a person who believes so fervently in the inferiority of blacks could still hold a job at a respected university, don’t bother. CUNY (then known as City College) attempted to punish Professor Levin for writing things like “on average, blacks are significantly less intelligent than whites,” but ended up being smacked down by a federal judge.
At the 1998 AmRen conference, Professor Levin gave a talk, aptly titled “Is There a Superior Race?” (I’m sure at this point you can probably guess what Levin’s answer was, but there’s no fun in leaving it at that.) As Levin told his audience, “even egalitarians” — when discussing the relative superiority or inferiority of particular groups — use one or more of “four standards.” By these four standards, Professor Levin declared that “whites really are, in this sense, the superior race.”
I won’t be running through all four of these supposed universally accepted standards, but the first one he lists is influence. “Now it is just a fact, it is just a fact that by this standard — which 25 percent of the time people have in mind — whites are more important — superior by this standard — to blacks or Asians,” said Levin. “Had blacks never existed, well obviously Africa would have been different, but Asia and the United States would not have been very different at all.”
“If Asians hadn’t existed,” he continued, “well the world would have been quite different in a lot of ways, but I think still recognizable. If Europeans had never existed, the world would be unimaginably different.” To hammer this point home, Levin began listing numerous examples of achievements that never would have been accomplished had white people never existed.
“Imagine the world without Western science and technology,” he implored. “Imagine buildings without these things. Imagine trade or transportation or communication or education. Imagine a world without cars or bicycles. Uh, imagine, uh, transactions without checks…Imagine terrorism without guns or without explosives made according to the formulas of Western chemistry.” I don’t know about you but I’m glad John Lennon opted not to use these lyrics.
Now, skipping over to the fourth “criterion of excellence” (you didn’t miss much), Levin brings up military power. “But we know what would happen if a white army and a black army met,” said Levin. There would be “no question” that the “white army would always conquer.”
Bearing that in mind, Professor Levin attempted to assuage his white nationalist compatriots’ fears of an eventual takeover by black and Hispanic Americans, noting that because of white folks’ military prowess he is “not quite as worried about the demographic changes” taking place.”But until whites become, actually, quite a small proportion of the population I think they’ll still end up on top,” he predicted.