The Heritage Foundation policy analyst who resigned his post last week amid disclosures that his doctoral dissertation said that Hispanics had lower IQs than non-Latino whites –and that their children and grandchildren were destined to lesser intellect– is defending those assertions.
The former analyst, Jason Richwine, was quoted by Byron York of The Washington Examiner as saying: "I do not apologize for any of my work. I'm proud of it. But I do regret the way it has been used."
"I don't apologize for any of the things that I said," Richwine 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."
Richwine seemed bewildered over the portrayal of him as a racist.
"The accusation of racism is one of the worst things that anyone can call you in public life," he said. "Once that word is out there, it's very difficult to recover from it, even when it is completely untrue."
Last week was intended to be a positive one for Richwine, at least from his view and that of the Heritage Foundation, which had just released a report by the analyst and Robert Rector, a senior research fellow at the organization, that said the price tag of comprehensive immigration reform would be roughly $6.3 trillion.
The think tank released the report as hearings were beginning in the Senate on a bipartisan bill and some 300 amendments regarding an overhaul of the country’s immigration system.
One of the most objectionable parts of the bill for conservatives calls for allowing millions of undocumented immigrants to be able to obtain legal status, first on a provisional basis, and eventually permanently.
Opponents of legalizing undocumented immigrants say that would be “amnesty,” or rewarding lawbreakers.
Several people on both sides of the issue criticized the Heritage report conclusion about the cost of the reform, and said that it failed to take into account the financial contributions that newly legalized immigrants would make.
But the revelation about Richwine’s past writings quickly eclipsed discussions about the Heritage report.
Then there was a 2008 panel discussion in which he said: "Decades of psychometric testing has indicated that at least in America, you have Jews with the highest average IQ, usually followed by East Asians, then you have non-Jewish whites, Hispanics, and then blacks.”
He continued: “These are real differences, and they're not going to go away tomorrow, and for that reason we have to address them in our immigration discussions and our debates."
"It still amazes me that it would be me who is portrayed this way," Richwine said, according to The Washington Examiner. "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."