Richwine: “I Don’t Apologize for Any of the Things that I Said”

May 13, 2013
2:12 PM

Jason Richwine, who resigned last Friday from The Heritage Foundation over his “IQ and Immigration Policy” dissertation from 2009, went on record today with The Washington Examiner to defend his work and speak about the reaction it received (for example, Google “Jason Richwine racist” and see the millions of entries you will get). Here are just are just some of the excerpts he told the Examiner’s Byron York:


“It seemed like that day lasted forever,” says Jason Richwine of last Wednesday, when he found himself in the middle of a media firestorm over his writings about Hispanic immigrants and intelligence. “I knew that this probably would not end well.”

Richwine knew he was in trouble the minute the first story broke. “The accusation of racism is one of the worst things that anyone can call you in public life,” he says. “Once that word is out there, it’s very difficult to recover from it, even when it is completely untrue.”

“It still amazes me that it would be me who is portrayed this way,” Richwine says. “I have a pretty good educational background, I have a good background in doing very good quantitative work. The idea that I am some sort of foaming-at-the-mouth extremist never even crossed my mind.”

“I am a much better writer than I am a speaker,” he told me. “I probably would have written those things differently than I spoke them. What I emphasized was that ethnic group differences in IQ are scientifically uncontroversial. That being said, there is a nuance that goes along with that: the extent to which IQ scores actually reflect intelligence, the fact that it reflects averages and there is a lot of overlap in any population, and that IQ scores say absolutely nothing about the causes of the differences — environmental, genetic, or some combination of those things.”
“I don’t apologize for any of the things that I said,” Richwine continued. “But I do regret that I couldn’t give more detail. And I also regret that I didn’t think more about how the average lay person would perceive these things, as opposed to an academic audience.”

“I’m not naive about that,” he said. But he wanted to make clear that he defends his work. “I do not apologize for any of my work,” he told me. “I’m proud of it. But I do regret the way it has been used.”

” What remains to be seen is how radioactive people consider me,” he says. “My goal right now is that people understand that I’m not someone who has to be avoided. I’ve always considered myself a mainstream scholar. If people associate me with these three days for the rest of my life, it will be very difficult.”

You can read the entire story here.