Page:Harlem Shadows (1922).djvu/18

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xiv
Introduction

justify them in placing the whole of one of these races in a position of inferior esteem. The same fallacy is committed in the discussions of sex-inferiority, and it is worth while to make clear the perfect folly of it. If any defined quantitative difference is ever established between the average abilities of such groups, it will be a relatively slight one. The difficulty of establishing it, is a proof of that. And a slight difference in the general average would have no application whatever as between any two individuals, or any minor groups of individuals. The enormous majority of both races, as of both sexes, would show the same degree of ability. And so great is the factor of individual variation that we could not even be sure an example of the highest ability might not arise in the group whose average was "inferior." This simple consideration of fact and good logic should suffice to silence those who think they can ever appeal to science in support of a general race or sex prejudice.

But in so far as the problem arises between a dominant and a subjected race, it is impossible for science to say anything even as to averages. For a fair general test is impossible. The chil-