In my previous post I expressed the view that race and cognitive ability are linked and that this link is important and can’t be ignored. But I want to make it clear what I, personally, in regular life, plan to do with this information.
The answer is “Very little”. If I see a group of black guys walking on the sidewalk with me, I might cross the street (see “the knockout game”). And in neighborhoods made up of mostly minorities I’ll be a lot more careful then I would, in general, in mostly white neighborhoods. And no, this isn’t exactly cognitive ability I’m talking about. But when it comes to how my beliefs would affect me, that’s about it.
I judge people as individuals. If I go into a class and meet a black person, I do not assume they’re stupider than me, or smarter than me. I judge them based on how they act and how they do in the class. I’ve met black men who were obviously more intelligent than me, and I wasn’t hesitant to admit it for a second – same for Hispanics. Though interestingly enough I don’t think I’ve ever met an Asian I was smarter than…but that’s just me.
I do not assume each individual black or Hispanic person I meet is a criminal. Granted, I work with statistics when it comes to protecting me or people I love, but if I were a judge and a black man was put before me in court it would not affect my decision making process.
I am in school to be a teacher. I will assure you that in class the race of my students will not affect my teaching methods. You get good grades and score well on tests, you get into honors. You get bad grades and poor test scores, you get remedial classes. Period. I will not go into a class expecting more from students.
The reason it is important to recognize cognitive differences between races is because by not acknowledging them we set up the school system in such a way that students who simply can’t handle higher level work are forced into those classes because people refuse to admit that the reason there are so many blacks in remedial Algebra might, in fact, not be due to white privilege. We need to start acknowledging that the best way to teach people might, in fact, be teaching to their actual level of cognitive ability, and denying reality isn’t going to help us along that path.