Ways in which white people aren’t better than black people [part II]

/, shtupidt people, South Africa/Ways in which white people aren’t better than black people [part II]

Ways in which white people aren’t better than black people [part II]

In Part I titled ‘Ways in which white people are better than black people [part I]’ i drew up a list of all the ways i think white people are better than black people.

Or rather i left a big chunk of empty space.

Because we are not better. We are different.

Although you wouldn’t think so if you read many of the comments in my blog or generally online. There is a fairly significant portion of the population of South Africa [and i believe the world] who really believe that they [as white people] are better in some way.

In some ways i guess this explains the kind of Entitlement so many white people feel, which i alluded to in these two posts. If i think i’m better than someone else then naturally i will think i deserve more in some way.

The absolute worst part of it all is, that to be completely honest, i think that in some ways i think like that too. How could i not? i was trained to think that i am better than black people, and anyone else who doesn’t look like me.

In my schooling – in the way stories were told, particularly history – the white people were always viewed as the saviours, the liberators [strange how even in that narrative the liberators left people of colour as slaves and servants somehow], those who brought higher western influence [you know like greed, more efficient ways of killing people and an individualistic society for starters, and don’t get me started on Crocs] and so much more.

But also in the media – if i went to watch a movie as a child [and let’s be honest, still most of the time today although it is slowly changing] – black people would be the bad guy, the third token-black-friend-guy killed in the teen slasher movie or the help which ranged from cleaner or nanny to servant or slave. But white people? Well we would be emperors and kings, rocket scientists and leaders of expeditions, we would be the love interest or the archaeologist, the hunter or the astronaut, the captain of the ship, the hero of the story , the wealthy businessman or the doctor. When i watched movies as a child we could even be Jesus… you know, guy born in the middle east to middle eastern parents [i remember one time we showed the Jesus movie in Malawi and this bright white Jesus of a man emerged from the waters of baptism and the crowd burst into laughter… because white people]. How could i not emerge from years and years of that not thinking that white was somehow better. It’s called conditioning and i have to admit it has been so completely successful.

Even when a white guy was the bad guy we managed to find ways of making him black:

darth vader

And when a dark-skinned Greek European became leader of Egypt we naturally went pale:

cleopatra liz taylor

People love to quote the IQ test thing on my blog as if that means anything even if it is true. But an IQ test [as someone who passed the MENSA test and is technically within the top X percent of the world blah blah blah – whole thing felt like a complete money scam to me to get me to join their club] tests one specific set of skills and scoring well on that means you are good at that particular thing, just as a baking test would show that you are the best at baking that particular thing on that particular day. IQ is not a sign of intelligence and you can go and do the research on that one.

The lists go on. We tend to like to compare different things. So we will look at a young white high school student from the suburbs and compare their marks/attitude/behaviour/sporting prowess and so on to a young black high school student who grew up in a township. There are just SO many factors of difference between the two things [access to knowledge, privacy to study, cultural experiences, parent proximity, connection to the internet, sufficient and healthy food…] that you really have to look a lot deeper before you compare them at all. If you find that you have a young white suburb student and a black township student arriving at the same place academically or in any of those other ways, then greater praise should be given to the black student as he has likely overcome a lot more.

i could go on. But the point is made.

To walk forwards confidently and healthily in South Africa today, i need to UNLEARN this racism that is in me. Which is one of the reasons why i see myself as a recovering racist. Not because i ever hated black people or actively was racist towards people of other races. But because in me there are things that i have been conditioned to think and actions i have learned from the society i grew up in [which, at age 42, started as an apartheid-embracing society] that are not true, that are not healthy and that are damaging to people of other races, and more significantly which are damaging to me.

UNLEARNing is the way to learn. And it is something i have to constantly be aware of and constantly be speaking to in myself, whenever i catch myself thinking a prejudiced thought or taking a prejudiced action. Whenever i find myself thinking i am better than someone else because i am white and they are not. Or expecting better treatment or anything else like that.

i do think it is important to say emphatically that i don’t think white people and black people are the same [if you look carefully you’ll notice that black people typically have a darker skin than white people who typically have a lighter skin so that’s a clue!] and how absolutely boring and uninteresting the world would be if we were. We are different, but we need to be equal. This is not the reality right now but it is what we are walking towards. And more and more of us need to be actively walking in that way. We have so much to learn and celebrate and experience to and with and from each other that the more bridges we manage to build the better. The more walls we are able to break down the better. The more UNLEARNing we are able to do the better.

i imagine that black people who have grown up in a world that constantly in so many ways told them that they were less than, need to UNLEARN the inferiority complexes that have been conditioned into so many of them. The inherent belief that was fed to them that white is better and that black is less than.

Hopefully i can find someone who can write something on that…


By |2016-05-19T07:17:54+00:00May 19th, 2016|inspire-ations, shtupidt people, South Africa|15 Comments

About the Author:

Brett Fish is a lover of life, God, tbV [the beautiful Valerie] and owns the world's most famous stuffed dolphin, No_bob (who doesn't bob). He believes that we are all responsible for making the world a significantly better place for everyone.


  1. Christo May 19, 2016 at 8:20 am - Reply

    The modern world does run on IQ so blacks should stick to art and paintings. I’ve seen many great paintings done by them and often purchase them. We should all support these works and go less after logical thinking as its not the only way.

  2. Christo May 19, 2016 at 8:21 am - Reply

    Whites are good at business, math, science and language. Blacks, art, Athletics and dancing. We must make all talents rewarded equally.

    • brettfish May 19, 2016 at 10:51 am - Reply

      That is not only racist, but ignorant as well. To say “the world runs on IQ” shows you have no idea what IQ testing is all about and your categories may show a historical and contextual bias but i don’t believe for a second that there is any merit in that. Whites are good at language? Most whites in this country can barely speak two languages whereas i know a bunch of black people who are fluent in 5, 6, 7 and some even all 11. Do some research.

  3. Christo May 19, 2016 at 8:49 am - Reply

    My iq is 90 which they call low. But I made it as a car mechanic and live a successful life. So iq is not that important unless you into puzzles.

    • brettfish May 19, 2016 at 10:52 am - Reply

      Now you are just directly contradicting yourself… so perhaps you should stick to the puzzles…

  4. Lorna Houston May 19, 2016 at 10:16 am - Reply

    Thanks Brett, I will share this with some white people I know who are trying to come to grips with this poignant moment in our her/history.
    On black people and needing to unlearn the inferiority complex, Toni Morrisson said it best in The Bluest Eye. Excellent book.
    Also check out this Ted Talk with Chimamanda Adichie.

    • brettfish May 19, 2016 at 10:53 am - Reply

      Thank you Lorna and thanks so much for the links – will definitely try and check out that TED talk.
      All the best [it’s a long and winding road]
      love brett fish

  5. Christo May 19, 2016 at 9:23 pm - Reply

    What is iq good for? So if yours is high then it’s no point to it? Sorry I’m not with you. I was just saying it seems whites and blacks are good at certain things. Whites are bad at sprinting. Blacks are good at it. We cannot argue this. Look at the Olympic games. Maybe iq and art and math and language as you say is maybe blacks actually better. Hey but it’s a thing we all talking about Soni really don’t want to sound racist I’m not just asking or classifying it. What do you think of this? I read my post and I did not mean to sound a racist maybe it might seem this way. Sorry. I have only friends mostly black actually and maybe 1 white friend. All from. Work. Okay so I think you miss understood me.

    • brettfish May 20, 2016 at 9:03 am - Reply

      hey Christo, i may have understood you, thanks for clarifying. It’s just that i get a lot of white people jumping on my blog being defensive and argumentative just for the sake of it so i can’t always tell. i didn’t edit your post at all – i don’t think i am able to – i can approve or delete is all. IQ tests measure a certain type of logic basically which just means you are good at that sort of thing. You might have a lousy IQ but be an excellent artist or swimmer or singer – there is absolutely no correlation. A lot of us grew up thinking a big IQ meant that you are more clever than someone else and it’s not that at all. Just better at taking a certain type of test.

      i also think you misunderstand what i mean when i talk about privilege – it is not simply that some people have more than others although if you are living in a garage then you are probably still more well off than so many black people who live in a township and have to go outside at night simply to use the toilet. Privilege talks about advantages you get simply by being white so access to certain things and sometimes wealth or opportunity for wealth can be part of that, but also not being looked on with suspicion just because of the colour of your skin or able to go watch a movie and expect that someone who looks like you will be representing the king or the hero or the love interest or the scientist where for so long [and it’s slowly changing] a black person would only be able to relate to the bad guy or the help because those were the only roles black people were playing. So privilege extends a lot further than just “has more stuff”.

      i actually did live in a township [Kayamandi] for 18 months before i got married so be slow to judge someone you don’t know. To say i know nothing feels a little extreme but we are all entitled to our own opinions. But i disagree with you on IQ equally jobs. Often it is taking the opportunities that are presented to you and working hard at them that gets you further and higher in life. i may have a high IQ but didn’t have a personality that worked well with the way academic studies are done and so i didn’t do super great at school which closed a bunch of doors for me although making a lot of money has never been something i’ve been super interested in. i am trying [with this blog and in other ways] to find ways to bridge those who have and those who don’t and especially the different races to see how we can live together better, that’s all.

      To say whites in south africa are better in swimming than blacks speaks more to me of opportunity than skill. White people typically had swimming pools or access to them or the beach. Black people didn’t. If white and black people both had the same access growing up then you could make a comparison and see if there is a trend but until then it might simply be because of the context.

      Have a great weekend
      love brett fish

  6. Christo May 20, 2016 at 8:24 am - Reply

    We can’t argue black are better at sprinting. Ben Johnson, Usain bolt. Whites are better at swimming. Backs better at rhythm. Whites Rugby. Blacks art. Whites science. I’m sure there are benefits to being one or the other. As a white guy who is lower income, I can say I am not privileged being white. I left school in St 6 as I had to take up apprenticeship. I can’t say I benefitted at all as we lived in a colored area and most of my friends are colored or black. So privilege is for those who are finished school and grew up in suburbs.

  7. Christo May 20, 2016 at 8:35 am - Reply

    Iq is important. Why can’t I get a job earning R100000? I am lucky to get 8 in a good month. Iq it seems makes you have opportunity. If blacks have low iq some say 80, I have 90 then we will never be wealthy like you. Not with our system that makes the iq high wealthy. High iq equals high salary. You can’t deny it. Unless you can sprint or play soccer or good looking model or singer, iq is the most important thing. You a lucky man to be genius

  8. Christo May 20, 2016 at 8:37 am - Reply

    If it were try that whites high iq for the most part and blacks low iq for the most part then maybe it’s that and not race that causes inequality. I know most blacks are richer than me as I live in a garage section. Do you think it’s a case?

  9. Johan May 20, 2016 at 9:27 am - Reply

    I know many “progressive” types are very keen on saying that there’s no such thing as race, or that race is a only socially constructed concept… but this is objectively false. Yes, humans DO exist on a genetic continuum, BUT, there are very clear bulges on that continuum. Those bulges are what we call “races”, and they correlate with groups who’s ancestors lived in the same geographical areas. Secondly… “progressives” are also very keen on quoting this ol’ ditty: “OMG don’t you know that there’s more genetic variation WITHIN ‘racial’ groups than between them?!”. However, that argument is so wrong that they actually gave it a name… “Lewontin’s Fallacy”. Basically, the point is that it doesn’t matter what percentage difference comes from where… what matters is what those differences are, and even if only .0001% of a difference is between “races”, if that .0001% is meaningful and descriptive… then it means something. Look it up if you want all the reasons it’s bunk. Here’s Richard Dawkins on why it’s nonsense: “However small the racial partition of the total variation may be, if such racial characteristics as there are highly correlate with other racial characteristics, they are by definition informative, and therefore of taxonomic significance.”
    Now… the IQ gap. For those who don’t already know, there absolutely IS an objectively measurable IQ gap between people with ancestors from different geographical areas (aka “races”, which is the term I will use from here on out).
    Psychologists don’t debate this fact. The gap is well known and has been well known for decades. IQ test scores break down like this: on average, East Asians score higher than whites, who score higher than hispanics, who in turn score higher than blacks. The average scores are:
    Asian-Americans -106, White Americans – 103, Hispanic Americans – 89, African-Americans – 85.
    This means more than one in five American blacks have an IQ below 75; whereas around one in twenty whites have an IQ below 75. An IQ of 70-75 is considered “borderline retarded” by psychologists.
    Studies also show there are some significant differences in what is called the structure of mental abilities. For example, if you took a sample of black and white children, all of whom had scored around 100 on the WISC-R (the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children—Revised) meaning the black kids in the sample were well above the black average — you would find significant black-white differences on six of the thirteen subtests. The average black child would do better on Arithmetic and Digit Span; where the average white child would do better on Comprehension, Block Design, Object Assembly, and Mazes.
    The gaps are not limited to the United States either. European whites average – 100, East Asians from Asia – 106, and Sub-Saharan Africans – 70.
    The difference in native Sub-Saharan African IQ scores versus American Black’s IQ scores can be explained by the fact that American Blacks have, on average, 20%-25% European ancestry. Lynn and Vanhanen’s books ‘IQ and the Wealth of Nations’ and ‘IQ and Global Inequality’ are a good start if you are looking for data concerning the average IQ scores of different nations.
    The intelligence gap was first noticed among psychologists in the early 20th century. In the 1960s and 70s, rigorous IQ testing of people of difference races began in earnest, and the IQ gap began to become undeniable. Throughout the 70s and 80s, liberal-minded scientists attempted to close the gap via alterations in the testing apparatus, since they believed that the tests must be biased in some way. They changed the parameters, made a whole slew of so-called “culture fair” tests, some were nonverbal tests (Leiter Scale), some changed the language of the questions, others were pure math, or pure reasoning, they even made questions that weren’t language based at all (like Raven’s Progressive Matrices or Kohs block design test)… they did twin studies, adoption studies (like the Minnesota Transracial Adoption study), everything to try to determine some reason (besides the obvious one) why this gap exists… and the studies consistently came back with the same sized gap: 15 IQ points, or 1 standard deviation (SD) between White and Black people no matter what version or type of IQ test was used.
    Eventually, in 1994, The Bell Curve was published. The book was extremely controversial, despite being filled with relevant data from valid and repeated studies. Ironically, the majority of the criticisms were aimed at the validity of IQ and general intelligence as meaningful measurements (a topic I will go over in a later section) and NOT on the results of the studies.
    Eventually, amid all the controversy about The Bell Curve in the media, a group of 52 well known university professors specializing in intelligence and related fields signed a public statement titled “Mainstream Science on Intelligence”. They saw there was a great deal of misinformation of unfounded criticism of The Bell Curve, so they wanted to set the media straight. The statement consisted of 25 conclusions:
    1.”Intelligence is a very general mental capability … it reflects a broader and deeper capability for comprehending our surroundings …”
    2.”Intelligence, so defined, can be measured, and intelligence tests measure it well. They are among the most accurate (in technical terms, reliable and valid) of all psychological tests and assessments.”
    3.”While there are different types of intelligence tests, they all measure the same intelligence.”
    4.”The spread of people along the IQ continuum … can be represented well by the … ‘normal curve’.”
    5.”Intelligence tests are not culturally biased”
    6.”The brain processes underlying intelligence are still little understood”
    7.”Members of all racial-ethnic groups can be found at every IQ level”
    8.”The bell curve for whites is centered roughly around IQ 100; the bell curve for American blacks roughly around 85; and those for different subgroups of Hispanics roughly midway between those for whites and blacks. The evidence is less definitive for exactly where above IQ 100 the bell curves for Jews and Asians are centered”
    9.”IQ is strongly related, probably more so than any other single measurable human trait, to many important educational, occupational, economic, and social outcomes … Whatever IQ tests measure, it is of great practical and social importance”
    10.”A high IQ is an advantage because virtually all activities require some reasoning and decision-making”
    11.”The practical advantages of having a higher IQ increase as life’s settings become more complex”
    12.”Differences in intelligence certainly are not the only factor affecting performance in education, training, and complex jobs … but intelligence is often the most important”
    13.”Certain personality traits, special talents, [etc] are important … in many jobs, but they have narrower (or unknown) applicability or ‘transferability’ across tasks and settings compared with general intelligence”
    14.”Heritability estimates range from 0.4 to 0.8 … indicating genetics plays a bigger role than environment in creating IQ differences”
    15.”Members of the same family also tend to differ substantially in intelligence”
    16.”That IQ may be highly heritable does not mean that it is not affected by the environment … IQs do gradually stabilize during childhood, however, and generally change little thereafter”
    17.”Although the environment is important in creating IQ differences, we do not know yet how to manipulate it”
    18.”Genetically caused differences are not necessarily irremediable”
    19.”There is no persuasive evidence that the IQ bell curves for different racial-ethnic groups are converging”
    20.”Racial-ethnic differences in IQ bell curves are essentially the same when youngsters leave high school as when they enter first grade … black 17-year-olds perform, on the average, more like white 13-year-olds”
    21.”The reasons that blacks differ among themselves in intelligence appear to be the same as those for why whites … differ among themselves”
    22.”There is no definitive answer as to why bell curves differ across racial-ethnic groups. The reasons for these IQ differences between groups may be markedly different from the reasons for why individuals differ among themselves within any particular group”
    23.”Racial-ethnic differences are somewhat smaller but still substantial for individuals from the same socio-economic backgrounds”
    24.”Almost all Americans who identify themselves as black have white ancestors – the white admixture is about 20% … research on intelligence relies on self-classification into distinct racial categories”
    25.”The research findings neither dictate nor preclude any particular social policy, because they can never determine our goals. They can, however, help us estimate the likely success and side-effects of pursuing those goals via different means.”
    Ironically, the vast majority of what was written in ‘The Bell Curve’ is now considered mainstream knowledge in the field, and no longer debated by experts.
    An important thing to remember is that the ancestors of all Sub-Saharan Africans separated from the ancestors of all other modern humans around 100,000 years ago. One group stayed in Sub-Saharan Africa, and the other spread out and populated the rest of the world. 100,000 years is over 5,000 generations. And yet there ARE still people today who believe that all races have the same exact brains, and same exact inherent intelligence.
    Despite the fact that so much time passed with those races apart, and such large number of observable traits evolved differently… like skin color, fat distribution, average hormonal levels, hair type and texture, dental layout (some Asian’s don’t ever develop wisdom teeth, and different races have differently shaped teeth), to the skeletal structure like the ratio of length of long bones or skull shape or any number of variations (a small example being some sub-Saharan Africans have fused triquetral bones in their wrists), to the many different blood types, and fat distribution and so many other traits… some people still refuse to accept the possibility of inherent biological differences of intelligence.
    However, it would actually be an amazing coincidence if there WEREN’T an average intelligence gap between different groups of humans who have evolved separately for many thousands of years. Think about it, given the facts that 1)evolution is true, 2)IQ is heritable, and 3)different groups of humans have been separate for more than 5,000 generations… it would be statistically improbable that all those groups have the same average IQ. The brain is a highly complex organ, it is extremely difficult to believe that that complex biological organ remained exactly the same over 100,000 years while nearly every single other biological trait diverged. An IQ gap is exactly what we would expect given the facts. Even if we didn’t have IQ test results and didn’t know there was a gap, all good scientists would hypothesize that one exists based on the other information.

  10. South Africa - Brett Fish May 30, 2016 at 12:59 pm - Reply

    […] Ways in which white people aren’t better than black people [part II] – a more wordier post. […]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: