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Richwine on Hispanic IQ comments: 'I don't apologize'

A version of this story was originally posted on NBC Latino.
richwine screengrab
richwine screengrab

A version of this story was originally posted on NBC Latino.

The co-author of the controversial Heritage Foundation immigration study, who resigned after theories published in a 2009 dissertation on low Hispanic IQ’s surfaced, says he doesn’t regret what he said, only that he was unable to go into further detail on a sensitive subject.

“I don’t apologize for any of the things that I said,” Richwine told the Washington Examiner. “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.”

In comments widely published from his dissertation last week, Richwine wrote that, “No one knows whether Hispanics will ever reach IQ parity with whites, but the prediction that new Hispanic immigrants will have low-IQ children and grandchildren is difficult to argue against.”

NBC Latino repeatedly reached out to Richwine for comment without receiving a response.

Youtube videos released by the American Enterprise Institute where he used to work, shortly after the dissertation surfaced, showed that he disagreed with the idea that all races and ethnicities are equally likely to assimilate. He said blacks, Native Americans and Mexicans have shown an inability to assimilate and that unlike the Irish and Sicilians, some groups have little chance of assimilating.

“We have blacks, we have American Indians and even early Mexican-Americans who have been living in the country for a long time and have not assimilated to the cultural mainstream as typified by white Americans,” he said.

In his first comments since resigning, Richwine said he regretted not going into the nuance of information regarding IQ’s. “”I am a much better writer than I am a speaker. 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,” he said.

“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,” he added.

In talking about how the controversy affected him, Richwine said the accusations of being a racist were the toughest to deal with.

“The accusation of racism is one of the worst things that anyone can call you in public life,” he said. “Once that word is out there, it’s very difficult to recover from it, even when it is completely untrue.”