Tuesday, April 29, 2008

White brains & black brains

When Rev. Wright’s sermons first became a subject of public controversial, various members of the political left and religious left defended his statements. I wonder how many of them are still prepared to defend statements like the following:


European and European-American children have a left brained cognitive object oriented learning style and the entire educational learning system in the United States of America. Back in the early '70s, when Dr. Hale did her research was based on left brained cognitive object oriented learning style. Let me help you with fifty-cent words.

Left brain is logical and analytical. Object oriented means the student learns from an object. From the solitude of the cradle with objects being hung over his or her head to help them determine colors and shape to the solitude in a carol in a PhD program stuffed off somewhere in a corner in absolute quietness to absorb from the object. From a block to a book, an object. That is one way of learning, but it is only one way of learning.

African and African-American children have a different way of learning. They are right brained, subject oriented in their learning style. Right brain that means creative and intuitive. Subject oriented means they learn from a subject, not an object. They learn from a person.



If white brains are logical, then black brains must be illogical. Since Barak Obama is mixed race, he must be very disoriented. Does he have a time-sharing arrangement between left brain and right brain?

What about Indian brains and Asian brains? Are they right and left, or up and down? What about Arab brains and Eskimo brains? Maybe they’re forward and backward

Frankly, what’s the difference between Jeremiah Wright and David Duke? When the NAACA becomes indistinguishable from the KKK, isn’t it time for the civil rights establishment to go back to the drawing board?


  1. Steve, I confess I am unfamiliar with this particular topic, but is it not a generally established fact that the left lobe of the brain deals largely with logic and analytical thought, while the right lobe deals largely with intuition and creative ability? If this is so, then it seems reasonable to hypothesize that someone who is "right-brained" will learn differently than someone who is "left-brained". That hardly seems controversial in itself. But this doesn't mean that right-brained people are "illogical". They still use logic; they just don't tend to think in the sorts of analytical ways that left-brained people do. Isn't it an accepted fact that something like this is actually the case, generally, with men versus women? No one is saying that women are illogical (not seriously; not unless they are misogynists), but that doesn't mean that we cannot say that they might learn in a different way that men do, or think in a different way that men do.

    So, if it is true that black people tend to be right-brained, and white people tend to be left-brained, then what is the difficulty with recognizing that they will learn differently? It doesn't mean that they are "illogical", as you seem to infer. It just means that they are different. Is there a distinction, in principle, between recognizing a difference in brain chemistry and a difference in skin color?

    Note that I am not saying that black people are different in the way suggested. I'm just bemused at how you have responded to the suggestion.


  2. Are these exact quotes? I ask because these statements are almost incoherent. Maybe the problem I am having in understanding these statements is related to his speaking style.

  3. Yes, these are direct quotes. I listened/watched that speech myself, and I remember this verbatim.

    I think the point that Steve is making is that liberals try to play both sides of the fence with respect to race. On the one hand, they say there is no difference, we're all the same. Yet, on the other, they play up the differences, this being a prime example.

    The problem here is the way Wright chose to frame the right/left brained issue. If the left is "logical and analytical" then saying that the right is "creative and intuitive" is just window dressing, a substitute for "irrational, illogical." He was trying to create a dichotomy, but that's the logical outcome of the dichotomy, as he has chosen to frame it.

    It's true that people learn differently. What Wright went on to do is talk about left brained white learning from books - visual learning. Blacks, right-brained and "intuitive" learn from "people." It was unclear to me if he was trying to say they learn in an auditory fashion or interactive fashion.

    Most learning tests with which I am familiar will test for visual, auditory, or tactile learning. And it is by no means certain that whites all learn visually and by no other means. So the issue is by no means black and white.

  4. left brained cognitive object oriented learning style

    He's against orthodox software engineering principles! Burn him at the stake! And use green wood.

  5. The basic problem is that Jeremiah Wright is trying to shift the blame for the fact that many white students outperform many black students.

    Now, the explanation is obvious. It’s bound up with a dysfunctional subculture. With pernicious lifestyle choices.

    But that’s not a politically correct explanation in the circles that Rev. Wright moves in. When it began, the civil rights movement had legitimate grievances, but it continues to blame “the system” for social ills afflicting the black underclass.

    So, instead of addressing the real source of the problem, Rev. Wright blames the system. The educational establishment discriminates against blacks because its pedagogy is adapted to white brains rather than black brains. The system is rigged against blacks.

    Now, even if there’s some basis for the right brain/left brain dichotomy, that doesn’t fall along racial lines. And the way that Rev. Wright has drawn the lines plays into the notion that blacks are intellectually inferior.