By Zainab Kperogi, Daily Trust (Abuja, Nigeria), October 29, 2007
When I read James Dewey Watson’s THESIS, I knew that he had not only stirred the hornet’s nest, but has actually ripped through it. Instantly, I knew that reactions will come in torrents and sure they came in thick and fast. Among the tonnes of articles that have been written, two articles written by Simon Kolawole in the This day of Sunday, October 21 and Idang Alibi’s column of Thursday, October 25 in Daily Trust, made interesting reading. For those who have not read it, Watson put his foot in the mouth when he said that black people are less intelligent than their white counterparts.
Mark you, Watson is not your run-of-the-mill knee jerk ideologues who make baseless statements either for the fun of them or to court controversy just to be in the news. Over the statement, James Dewey Watson is not only a Nobel Prize laureate, but the man who contributed immensely to the discovery of the structure of DNA. So, a man of Watson’s scientific stature can’t be dismissed out of hand. However, his statement is not only controversial but it is generating debates across the globe. More so, it has re-opened the never-ending theory of white supremacy and black inferiority.
While Alibi agreed almost totally with Dr Watson… Kolawole agreed in part and disagreed in another. The Nobel laureate was reported to have stated that he was “gloomy about the prospect of Africa . . . all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours—whereas all the testing says not really”. He went ahead to give example of black employees under white employers, saying that the latter have found it hard working with the former. This assertion is a loaded one and it opens a whole gamut of debates which are too broad to accommodate here. However, the beauty of the ongoing discourse is that many of Watson’s colleagues, especially the whites, have not only condemned the statement, but Watson himself. Before we get carried away by emotions and become enmeshed in the theory of black pride, we should ponder awhile and do some soul-searching. When we do that objectively and look all around us, we will not disagree too much with Watson.
Over several years, almost every other race in the world has evolved from the animalistic level, but the black man is rather descending further into it. Whenever debates like this crop up, instead of us to pull back and reflect on the reasons why such a statement is made, our first and instinctive reactions are misdirected indignation and denial.
We’re very good at putting blames for our underdevelopment at the doorstep of any other person’s, but not at our doorstep where they squarely belong. We often blame slavery and colonialism for our backwardness but we were not the only ones that have so suffered. India was also under British rule but unlike us, they are not only a nuclear power but one of the world’s leaders in Information Technology. Again, their population is much higher than ours, and they’re also multi-religious like most Black societies. The same goes for China. I’m not comparing these countries with Nigeria alone; I’m talking of the whole Black race. >>keep reading HERE
Update On Story: HERE