by Carleton Putnam

Address at the University of California at Davis
with subsequent questions and answers


by Carleton Putnam

A

~;TUDY I~

RACI ..\L RE ALITIES

.-\ddress at the t Tniversitv
of

( ~alifornia

at J)avis

\'ith suhsequent CJUest ions and answers

ORDER FROM

THE THUNDERBOLT, INC.
P. 0. BOX 1211

MARIETTA, GA. 30061

A Study in Racial Realities
by Carleton Putnam

Address Before the Students' Forum
of the University of California at Davis
December 17, 1964

Mr. Chairman, Members of the Forums Committee, Ladies and
Gentlemen·
This is the first <:hance I have had to talk to a California audience
on the race problem and I have been told that some of you may disagree with the position I am here to defend. The explanation may
lie in a feeling on your part that the con<:ept of racial integrity,
which is the opposite of racial integration, is in some way outdated,
unjust and inhuman.
The reason you may have this feeling is that throughout the
present centuxy and emphatically since 1933 and the beginning
of the New Deal we have witnessed a revolutionary change in the
social climate of our Western civilization. This century has often
been called the century of the common man and with it has come a
commendable concern about the under-privileged about social injustice, about everything th::tt is cruel or unfair to our fellow human
beings, whoever and wherever they may be.
In other words, compassion, humanitarianism, and love have become the watchwords of our time. This must appeal strongly to the
conscience of any decent man or woman. We rightly shudder away
from activities or ideas that challenge the gospel of love. Our religious heritage is one of love. We love our mothers and our families
and each other. I have no quarrel with love .
But I do have just one little stipulation, one flag of caution I
might say of warning here. There is a word which is more important
even than love. I shall not ask you to guess what it is. The word is
truth. We must face the fact that if there is a single item that is
closer to the core of wisdom than love, that item is truth, in any
situation where truth is vital to the issue.
We may lie to a child, or even to an adult, about an incurable

:~

disease because there the t r uth can solve nothing. \V e may not lie
about a canc:er where an operation will save a life. In the c:ase of our
subject this evening the truth is basic to wise so l ution~ of ou r
domestic diffkulties here at home and to our leade1·ship throu~h out
the world. In such a case, love, unless It operate~ in a framework of
t ruth, can only lead to disaster.
So let us set ourselves the task ton ig-h t of searchi ng for the t ruth
about the Negro problem. Let us do it dispassionately, and where
there may be areas of uncertainty about some of the facts let us
examine the balaiiCl' of the evidence in those areas. I shall be constantly r eminding you that because every item of evidence may not
be perfec:t is no reason for basin~ public policy or court dedsions on
the assumption that the opposite of the evidence is true.
Since the picture i~ l:llxe and the issues tomplex, it muy he helpful
to put the essentials before you in the form of four sho rt questions,
to each of which we will seek answers. I am ~oi n~ to mention all
four at the start, lest any of ~·ou become alarmed that in dcalin~
with the first I may be plannin~ to i~norc the others:
l. What is the performance record of the average Am eri-

can

Ne~ ro '!

2. To what extent is this record th e res ult of disnimination and poor envi ronment and to what extent does it derive
from inna te. biologi<:al fa<:tors?
3. S hould the e\.i:,.tente o f the ex<·eptional Negro (the fact
of what th e psyt·hologisb call "ovcrla1>'') alter puhlic policy
as it is applied tn th e race as a whole'!
4. What is responsible for the perversion of the l'OnteJ>t
of equalit y in the Unit ed States today . and for th e inclusion
in it of form s of equa lit y never t hought of h ~ the Founding
Fathers and totally unrdated to rea lit ~ '!
Starting \ ith number one, the question as to the averaJ,!e Negro's
performant·e-his behavior-the facts are unrontradktecl. Thi~ i ~
not an area where we need ue ton<:erned about weighing e\·idem·e Ol'
judgint~ disputes. The t·ausl..'s may· be in dispute but not the fadH. The
Ameriean !'\egro on the average produt·es JWr t·apita ten times as
many ille~itimate children.• six times as man~· feeble-minded <Hiults,
nine llnws as many rohhcri<>s, se,·en times as many rapes and t<'n times
as many munll..'rs as thl' Whitt• man.:.' Cml

t•rscly the Negro rat'e pro1

2

Nntionul Otlict• of

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ita ! Stalislit's.

Federal flureau of Im·c:;lii-:'Ution, Uuifvnu Cl'i1111'

-1

U!'}Jurfl{.

l!Hl:l.

duces one-sixth as many individuals with an Intelligence Quotient
over 130, that is, in the gi ftect person category. ' These are the undtsputect statistics concerning the performance and behavior of the Negro
race in the United States.
Overseas. in the only complt•tely .:-:egro republic in the Western
Hemisphere, the Republic of Haiti. where the Negro has been on his
own. so to speak, since 18-ll- that is 120 years-we have the foliO\mg situatton from a self-go,·ernment standpoint. After the Negroes
massacred the last of the Whtt(• population in 1~04. Haiti remained a
par t of Santo Domingo untillH 11 when it lwl'am(' a separate "republit."
Between lHl l and 1915 only one Haitian President completed his
term of ofltt·e. Fourteen wen• ousted by <trmed uprisings. one was
blown up, one was poisoned and a not her was hacked to pie<:es by a
mob.
Between 1908 and 19 15 the revolutions and as~assinations increased so rapidly that a Unitl'd States military occupation was needed to restore order. This lasted from 1915 to 1934. Thereafter followed twelve years of rule by a mulatto elite whit·h ended in the
resumption of <:ontrol by the black milita ry in 1946. Sint'e then
wholesale <:orruption and polltkal murder have been the rule.
Naturally, the next question is: Why'! Is this record due to the
fact that so many Negroes live in :-dum:-;, or have been t>ducated in
their own st'hools, or were :-;lnn•s a hundred years ago'! Or is there
some antt•u·d<·tll cause of whkh these other conditions are merel~ the
end re~ult '! In other worcls, is the an~rag-t.• Nc~ro the proclud of his
envir onment and history, or are his en

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ironment and history the
product of the average Ne~ro ., Are his pl'rformance and behavior the
accumulated effect of mistn•atnwnt, prejudice and diseriminatton or
are t h ey primarily a reflection of innate, biolo~kal limitations'? The
correct answer makes a clcdsi

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C diffcrencv to what we do about the
Negro problem at home and abroad.
Here. of t•ourse, is the point at whH·h the hlJeral. the well-meaninghumanitarian and all those whose hypnotit dt•

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otion to to

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(? makes
them careles:-; of truth ru:-;h in with their impulsi\·e, wish-fulfilling
r eply. Environment, they tell us. is the primar~· t'ausc of the Negro's
r ecord. Th ey wish that this were true bceausc it would nwan that
within a few years, or at most a few generations. by givinR everyone
the same envi rc,n ment, the populations of the world could all be made
equal , and cou ld live in lo,·c and happiness forever.
Th ese good and sineerc JWoplc are aided and cnl'nuraged h~· other s
who are not so good or sint'erc. Th e professional socialists. tht• col" Audrey Shuey, 1'11t: 1'N;ting uj .

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,·yru l utdlignH·f,

5

Lynchbur~r,

19:>8.

lectivists and the politicians who seek legal ways of stealing from
some to buy the support of others-all of these find in the environmentalist dogma a splendid justification. It is undoubtedly the ideal
platform for the demagogue. It doubles every man's chance to blame
his faults on society.
So we come at this point to the center of our problem, the task
of evaluating the evidence, of separating reality from hope, in the
face of powerful drives in the direction of one answer-drives motivated by the strongest influences known to mankind: by love, by
compassion, and by self-interest. It is in this kind of a setting that
we are forced to winnow the truth.
Each one of you must make your own decision regarding the pressures in your own case-and unfortunately also in the case of those
who teach you. I regret to say that my personal observation and
experience have convinced me that the educational establishment
in the United States, and especially its scientific hierarchy, are dominated largely by non-scientific motivations in this area. We find all of
the forces we have just been talking about acting upon them, and we
also find some additional force~'>. Those scientists who might like to
stand against the popular environmentalist fashion meet with discou raging experiences.
!<'or example, let me take the case of a professor of my acquaintance at a Northern university who published a statistical study of
the comparative mental-test scores of Negroes and Whites of similar
socio-economic status. Since his findings were that the Negro averages are consistently a nd significantly lower, even under conditions
of equalized environment, delegations from two racial pressure organizations-one Negro and one Jewish- requested his university to
fire him; the doors of other universities were closed in his face, and
a professional society in his field refused to admit him to membership on the grounds that his opinions might be offensive to its Negro
members.
As another illustration, I have in my filt>s a letter from the president of a certain scientific society concerning a young member who
had voted in favor of one of these no-difference resolutions at a meeting of that society. I quote in part: "As fot· X -- , he said nothing at
all at the meeting but just sat the~e like many others; he apologized
to me in advance for not voting on the [other] side on the grounds
that should he do so his job would be in danger. He was probably right.
1 don't see what else he could have done under the circumstances."
Or I can quote from a letter from a professor of anthropology at
a large Western university: ''It is with regret that I must decline
this opportunity to express again publicly my belief in this matter

6

I of genet it- rate diffen•rH·t•s 1. Letters, t('lephnrw ralls. and threats
after m~· statement in - - \'l'l'l' not fa' orahle uor t'nl·ouraging. Further expo:-;un.• in I hi' pres=- nnrld dl'Slro~ an~·

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:tlth• that might come
from my n·~t·arl'h no\' in progn•ss and that "hkh is planned for
the immediate futun•."
Final!~· let me rl'ad from a lettt•r l'l'l'ei

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