Immigration Researcher Jason Richwine: I’m Not Racist

Immigration researcher Jason Richwine, who resigned from Heritage last Friday in the wake of controversy over a Harvard dissertation he wrote that discouraged various non-white groups from immigrating to the United States because they have lower IQs, denied public accusations of racism in an interview published Monday.

“The accusation of racism is one of the worst things that anyone can call you in public life,” Richwine told the Washington Examiner‘s Byron York. “Once that word is out there, it’s very difficult to recover from it, even when it is completely untrue.

“It still amazes me that it would be me who is portrayed this way,” he added. “I have a pretty good educational background, I have a good background in doing very good quantitative work. The idea that I am some sort of foaming-at-the-mouth extremist never even crossed my mind.”

Richwine also contributed articles on Hispanic carcaration rates for AlternativeRight.com, a white nationalist wbsite, and again spoke about his dissertation at an American Enterprise Institute panel in 2008. He told the Examiner that his remarks there lacked “nuance” and were therefore misconstrued.

“I don’t apologize for any of the things that I said,” he said. “But I do regret that I couldn’t give more detail. And I also regret that I didn’t think more about how the average lay person would perceive these things, as opposed to an academic audience.” 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Igor Bobic is the assistant editor of Talking Points Memo, helping oversee the site’s coverage of politics and policy in Washington. While originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Igor feels best at home on the beaches of Southern California. He can be reached at igor@talkingpointsmemo.com.

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