Let's say I think white people are smarter on average than black people, but I don't think white people are better because black people have other worthwhile skills that many white people lack, such as the ability to jump high and have a very good sense of rhythm.
1. In answer to your worries about the consequences of a potential 'scientific basis for racism'. I do obviously understand the issue, but I believe that a society that treats people as children who can't be trusted with unbiased information is exactly the sort of society where you couldn't trust people with information. It's kind of a self fulfilling societal geshtalt.
2.I never said that black people are dumber than white people. I just said we should look at the data. Also I merely hinted at the fact that iq, in western culture at least is correlated with what is generally recognized as intelligence, but I also pointed out some of the ways in which a clear societal bias can be created. And this bias clearly exists just looking at the estimated iqs of historical geniuses as they are statistically unlikely given the lower population and very limited access to education in these days or self reported iq scores.
3. Lets not forget that bias can go both ways. Often at the same time. And distort the data. Getting emotional about the issue as some people do certaintly does'nt help to resolve anything.
Oh sorry, I did not say you thought that "black people were dumber" That was just a made up hypothetical on my part to illustrate my point.
Racism is the belief that the genetic factors which constitute race, ethnicity, or nationality are a primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that ethnic differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.
I believe it is important to distinguish between this technical definition, and the colloquial term which has connotations of ignorance, hate, and vitriol. If one were to come to a particular conclusion, through observation, that a particular race was on average superior at performing a particular task by virtue of their genetics (blacks seem to be faster runners, whites better swimmers, etc), but this wasn't extended to make claims about an individual of that particular race, even in the face of contrary evidence, this person would still be considered a "racist" given this technical definition.
The problem with applying the term racist to such individuals is that, it associates with those individuals all the other negative connotations of the term, which in the aforementioned case would be quite unwarranted. A racist is more than a person who believes one race is superior in some circumstances. A racist is someone who believes that one race is superior overall, and that in fact an arbitrarily chosen member of the superior race will be superior to an arbitrarily chosen member of the inferior race.
It has been conclusively established that the physical structure of an observed organism is the product of two things: the genetic composition of that particular organism; and the environments wherein that organism has developed preceding the point of observation. If one were to believe that the brain is a physical structure, and that intelligence is inextricably linked with the brain, then he would also be lead to believe that intelligence of an observed organism is the product of two things: The genetic composition of that particular organism; and the environments wherein that organism has developed preceding the point of observation.
Let us consider an intelligence level A, loosely defined to be approximately the U.S. average and surpassed by approximately 50% the U.S. population. Let us also consider the genetic condition known as Klinefelter's syndrome, which refers to an individual (specifically a man) who has an extra X chromosome. It has been observed that, as a direct result of this genetic variation, the population of individuals with Klinefelter's syndrome have an average intelligence level B, where B < A.
We can clearly see the impact that genetic variation can have on intelligence. And, since through casual observation one can conclude that there is genetic variation between races by virtue of variations in skin color, the epicanthic folds of the eyes, noses, hair, etc., it isn't unreasonable to suspect that unseen variations in genetics might lead to different average intelligences.
However, just because something might be, doesn't mean that it is. The task of designing an experiment or parsing observable data whereby environmental factors are properly controlled for seems insurmountable. Furthermore, the knowledge gained by the success of such an analysis would be essentially worthless, since a properly functioning society focuses on valuing an individual based upon characteristics observed in that particular individual, rather than general stereotypes.
Regardless of the cause, there is an observed difference in average intelligence and socioeconomic success by race. However, since we cannot easily affect genetic change (not even considering that we cannot conclusively prove that genetic variation between races affects intelligence), the focus for improvement must be on the relative failure of certain cultures to produce "successful" individuals. Mainly, the focus should be on eliminating those cultures that propagate violence, ignorance, hate, selfishness, sloth, etc., regardless of the correlation with any particular race.