Economic inequality and race relations: Why Black people are poor

Economic inequality and race relations: Why Black people are poor

Nigeria Abroad

Without labels, if you are asked to rank the arms in the picture in descending order of economic privilege according to skin color, it likely that you will place the lightest at the top and the darkest at the bottom. The spectrum shows how skin colors of the human races correlate strongly with economic prosperity, science, and technological prowess. Hence, it appears that the darker the complexion of a race, the poorer and more technologically backward—and vice versa.

The darkest people in the world are the poorest and those with the lightest skin are the most technologically advanced and, in effect, the most comfortable economically. When you look at the geographical distribution of people across the face of the earth, this is evident. The poorest people as well the most technologically backward people are found in the tropics—Sub-Saharan Africa precisely. Even in tropical Africa, it appears that those with darker hues are poorer than the others who are not as dark. Conversely, those in the temperate region are “White”, relatively. There are variations but, compared to those in Latin America and Central Asia, they are much lighter.

We may not have any strong evidence to support the hypothesis that economic prosperity and technological and scientific advancement correlate strongly with race especially skin pigmentation, but lack of available evidence doesn’t necessarily mean there is no causal relationship. Those who have published works on racial differentials in mental abilities in the past have been tagged racist. It is and will remain a very controversial topic.

The difference in the human population is because of environment and evolution. In a way, I think maybe there are certain traits that some races picked up in the way they evolved. I mean, the White man’s curiosity, foresight, thirst for knowledge and inclination for adventure trump those of the Black man. The level of capacity for abstract thinking, without which it is impossible to understand the mystery of the universe, is very much developed in those races with relatively lighter complexion.

Also, there tends to be higher frequency of child prodigies among the fair races than the dark. There are far higher cases of extraordinarily talented people with bipolar, schizophrenic, and other psychological disorders among Caucasians. It is established that White people are more prone to mental and psychological disorders than Black people. Many studies have confirmed that the degree of association between mental/psychological disorder and creativity/high intelligence is quite strong too.

We may say those in Africa are poor due to colonialism and the current world order which the humanist Onyinye Gandhi described as “the prioritization of Africa for natural resources exploitation.” But then why is it that Black people in other places, even affluent societies suffer the same lot as their brothers and sisters in Africa?

In the US, African-Americans are at the bottom of the pecking order—some put it down to racism. Haiti, despite being surrounded by rich countries, is the poorest in the South American continent after Jamaica (another predominantly Black nation). Some analysts blame both countries’ situations on neocolonialism. In Australia, the Aborigines are the most impoverished. In Brazil, the Black population are of little political and economic significance. In India, they populate the lowest strata of the caste system.

There has been a not-so-surprising sentiment, of Black people bragging about excelling in top universities in the West. But the misconception thereof is the conflation between academic excellence and ability to produce new knowledge. Passing exams is easily achieved through rote learning and good study habits. It is harder to make contributions that provide better understanding of the subject or achieve an intellectual breakthrough. In advancing the frontiers of knowledge in the hard sciences, Black people are found wanting, which is why no Black person has ever won the Field Medal—the “Nobel Prize of Mathematics.” None has won the Abel award in Mathematics, or a Nobel in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology, or won the Turing award in computing; or the Godel award for logical reasoning.

Such profound intellectual accomplishment is very exceptional among Black people. Graduating with a first class does not signify high research and scholastic aptitude. This explains the shortage of Black people in the pantheon of elite scientists and mathematicians, even though some graduated as valedictorians.

Overtime, it has been proven that Black people rather excel in pursuits where physical strength is essential. Sports such as boxing, sprinting, gymnastics are well dominated by Blacks. Same for the arts. We have a comparative advantage in those sports, but when it comes to strategic games like chess, we have proportionately few grand masters. Out of the about 1,300 grand masters in the world, only 3 are Black.

With the UN convention on human dignity and against racial profiling, and the public pushback against racism, there is little motivation to research the above topic. If I were a White person, I would have probably been called a racist or a White supremacist. The world has moved on. Most works on genetic linkage to intelligence were done before the end of the second World War—especially during the days of colonialism—which also in way supported the view that those perceived to be of inferior intelligence should be colonized. Francis Galton even said we should be colonized by China.

Ability to unravel nature’s mysteries through knowledge, solve problems, conceive abstract concepts, and use imagination to create tangible and intangible systems are abilities, I think, Black people are not well endowed with. This partly contributed to Black people in general being the less prosperous of all the races. The subconscious perception of lower mental endowment of Blacks induces racism in people of other races. It is perhaps the reason Black people are targets for racism everywhere in the world. This is the root of the prejudice. It is either we blame evolution or God.

This is my opinion. If you like, you can crucify me. It is not in any way an endorsement of racism. I believe all people are different but equal and unique, and deserve to be respected and treated with dignity.

This article originally appeared in Nigeria Abroad.


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