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February 2020

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Subject:
From:
Phil Gasper <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Date:
Mon, 17 Feb 2020 22:53:25 -0600
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https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/feb/17/no-10-refuses-to-comment-on-pms-views-of-racial-iq
<https://www.theguardian.com/politics/boris-johnson>
No 10 refuses to comment on PM's views of racial IQ

Move comes after hiring of new adviser who said black people have lower
average IQs

Rowena Mason <https://www.theguardian.com/profile/rowena-mason> Deputy
political editor

Mon 17 Feb 2020 12.40 GMT Last modified on Mon 17 Feb 2020 13.22 GMT
[image: Boris Johnson and Andrew Sabisky composite]
Boris Johnson and Andrew Sabisky. The PM’s adviser has suggested the use of
‘enforced contraception’ to avoid the creation of a ‘permanent underclass’.
Composite: EPA/BBC

Boris Johnson’s spokesman has refused to say whether the prime minister
thinks black people have lower IQs on average, or agrees with eugenics,
after No 10 hired an adviser with highly controversial views.

In a tense briefing with the media, the prime minister’s deputy official
spokesman declined several times to distance Johnson from the views of his
adviser, Andrew Sabi
<https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/feb/16/tory-aide-wants-enforced-contraception-to-curb-pregnancies>
sky
<https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/feb/16/tory-aide-wants-enforced-contraception-to-curb-pregnancies>,
who has suggested “enforced contraception” be used to prevent the creation
of a “permanent underclass”.

Labour has called on No 10
<https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/feb/16/tory-aide-wants-enforced-contraception-to-curb-pregnancies>
to sack Sabisky
<https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/feb/16/tory-aide-wants-enforced-contraception-to-curb-pregnancies>,
who is believed to be contracted by Downing Street under Johnson’s de facto
chief of staff, Dominic Cummings, to work on special projects.

Johnson’s official spokesman refused to comment on Sabisky, his
controversial views, or whether the prime minister agreed with them.

“The prime minister’s views are well publicised and well documented,” the
spokesman said more than 10 times, when asked to give Johnson’s views on
the intelligence of black people and eugenics, the study of methods to
selectively breed people to improve the human race.

Sabisky, 27, has claimed black Americans have a lower than average IQ than
white people and are more likely to have an “intellectual disability”. He
also tweeted: “I am always straight up in saying that women’s sport is more
comparable to the Paralympics than it is to men’s.”

In an interview from 2016, Sabisky said he was interested in the narcolepsy
drug modafinil, which also reduces the need for sleep in healthy people by
two-thirds and potentially helps brain function, although there is evidence
of a higher risk of people getting Stevens-Johnson syndrome
<https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stevens-johnson-syndrome/>, a
life-threatening skin condition.

Sabisky said: “From a societal perspective the benefits of giving everyone
modafinil once a week are probably worth a dead kid once a year.”

He wrote on Cummings’ website
<https://dominiccummings.com/2014/08/19/standin-by-the-window-where-the-light-is-strong-de-extinction-machine-intelligence-the-search-for-extra-solar-life-neural-networks-autonomous-drone-swarms-bombing-parliament-genetics-amp/#comment-432>
in 2014 that in order to get around unplanned pregnancies in the UK,
long-term contraception should be legally enforced.

“One way to get around the problems of unplanned pregnancies, creating a
permanent underclass, would be to legally enforce universal uptake of
long-term contraception at the onset of puberty,” he wrote. “Vaccination
laws give it a precedent, I would argue.”

Ian Lavery, the Labour party chairman, said: “It is disgusting that not
only has No 10 failed to condemn Andrew Sabisky’s appalling comments but
also seems to have endorsed the idea that white people are more intelligent
than black people.

“Boris Johnson should have the backbone to make a statement in his own
words on why he has made this appointment, whether he stands by it, and his
own views on the subject of eugenics.”

Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, tweeted
<https://twitter.com/NicolaSturgeon/status/1229375167601815558?s=20>:
“These are really not acceptable headlines for any government to be
generating (or allowing to be generated). They need to get a grip fast and
demonstrate some basic but fundamental values in the terms of our public
debate.”

The geneticist Dr Adam Rutherford also criticised the comments. He tweeted
<https://twitter.com/AdamRutherford/status/1229310805189054464?s=20>: “Like
Cummings, he appears to be bewitched by science, without having made the
effort to understand the areas he is invoking, nor its history.”

He said the “moral repugnance” of the remarks was “overwhelming”, adding:
“I am all for scientifically minded people advising government. In fact I
am all for scientists advising government. From this perspective, Sabisky
and indeed Cummings look bewitched by science without doing the legwork.

“Instead this resembles the marshalling of misunderstood or specious
science into a political ideology. The history here is important, because
this process is exactly what happened at the birth of scientific racism and
the birth of eugenics.”

Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, said over the weekend that Sabisky’s
comments were “not my views and those are not the views of the government”.

However, the prime minister’s deputy official spokesman said Shapps was
speaking only for himself when he made that statement.


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