The ‘We Need To Have A Conversation’ Malarkey

Ilana Mercer

You know just how scholarly a policy paper is when it is studded with a clichéd expression like “we need to have a conversation about …” The pop-phrase is familiar from these farcical usages:

“We need to have a conversation about race”—when, in reality, we do nothing but subject ourselves to a one-way browbeating about imagined slights committed against the pigmentally burdened.

“We need to have a conversation about immigration”—when such a “conversation” is strictly confined to a lecture on how to adapt to the program of Third World mass immigration. This particular “conversation” involves learning to live with a lower quality of life, poorer education, environmental degradation; less safety and security, more taxation and alienation.

In this mold is a policy paper by Jennifer Bradley, formerly of the liberal Brookings Institute. Bradley had a stroke of luck. Matt Drudge of the Drudge Report found fit to link her essay on his eponymous news website site. Titled “The Changing Face of the Heartland: Preparing America’s Diverse Workforce for Tomorrow,” Bradley’s Brookings Essay would have been more honestly titled “Get-With the Program, Middle American. Demography Is Destiny.”

Disguised as scholarship, the Bradley essay schools Middle America at length on how to prepare its diversifying workforce for tomorrow. Thus, for example, she states that “America is on the cusp of becoming a country with no racial majority, where new minorities are poised to exert a profound impact on U.S. society, economics, and politics.” The implication here is that this seismic shift is due to a mystic force beyond the control of the host population, rather than to willful policies in which the native population has never had a say and will likely never have one.

Bradley’s particular concern is with “two demographic shifts.” The one is the aging of the predominantly white (and presumably productive) generation of Americans born after World War II. Another is the concomitant influx of “Mexicans, Hmong, Indians, Vietnamese, Somalis, Liberians, and Ethiopians.”

“According to the Minnesota State Demographic Center, the Asian, black, and Hispanic populations in the state tripled between 1990 and 2010, while the white population grew by less than 10 percent. This trend will continue,” warns Bradley: “From 2010 to 2030, the number of people of color is expected to grow twice as quickly as the number of whites.”

There goes that mystic force again.

“As Minnesota and the region go, so goes the nation,” states Bradley, matter-of-fact.

As Bradley sees it, a feature of the diversity explosion in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul Midwest microcosm is a widening “race-based education and achievement gap” that will “become a drag on workforce growths unless something was done to reverse these trends.”

Translated, this means the immigrant population isn’t measuring up.

I can think of a few unexplored options to narrow the gap described. One is to welcome immigrants who’ll add value to the economy, rather than drain taxpayer resources. Bradley, however, is here not to strike up a true conversation—which would include exploring all options—but to dictate the terms of the “conversation.”

Indeed, the raiment of scholarship she sheds as quickly as a prostitute sheds her clothes (only less admirably; working girls deserve respect). Bradley brays about the need to “reframe the conversation about race-based education and achievement gaps in Minneapolis-St. Paul—turning what had been a moral (and insufficiently effective) commitment to its underserved communities into an economic necessity. Leading figures from the worlds of government, business, and academia, and public and private groups throughout the region [all stakeholders, but you] are now trying to figure out how to undo the effects of decades of neglect, tackling the problem from many perspectives and with an ever greater sense of urgency.”

Because the imported population is failing to achieve parity with the host population, Bradley has inferred that the newcomers are “underserved”; that they require more resources, when the fault could just as well lie in the kind of incompatible immigrant being privileged by policy makers. The essay’s premise is that America is “underserving” her immigrant population, when it is the other way round:

Averaged out, the immigrant population is underserving the American economy.

In this “conversation,” the social “scientist” recommends throwing everything but the kitchen sink at the causality quagmire. The mass-immigration imperative, moreover, is presented as the antidote to a declining birth rate and an aging population, when in fact mass immigration is the excuse statists make for persevering with immigration policies that are guaranteed to further undermine civil society and shore up the welfare State.

Demographics need not be destiny. The West became the best not by out-breeding the undeveloped world—not due to huge numbers—but because of human capital; people of superior ideas and abilities, capable of innovation, exploration, science, philosophy.

ILANA Mercer is a paleolibertarian writer, based in the United States. She pens WND’s longest-standing, exclusive paleolibertarian column, “Return to Reason.” She is a contributor to the preeminent libertarian site Economic Policy Journal and to Junge Freiheit, a German weekly of excellence. Ilana is a fellow at the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies, an award-winning, independent, non-profit, free-market economic policy think tank. Ilana’s latest book is “Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons For America From Post-Apartheid South Africa.” Her website is She blogs at


  1. Yes – we do not need a “conversation about race” (code for yet more government enforced “positive discrimination and so on”).

    It has been 50 years since even the Southern States had “Jim Crow” laws discriminating against black people, and States such as Minnesota (the State actually mentioned – the “Twin City” area is in Minnesota – an ultra Progressive State on the Canadian border) did not have such laws even back in the 1950s.

    If someone does badly in life this is sad – I can “empathise”, after all I have done badly in life myself.

    However, for someone in (say) St Paul Minnesota to blame their poverty on being black (or whatever) is just nonsense, and they only “conversation” they need is are the words STOP THIS – stop blaming your poverty on bad people discriminating against your skin colour.

    Black people from Africa tend to do very well in American schools (even the government schools – which tend to be dreadful places, in spite massive government spending on them), they are just as black as blacks born in the United States.

    The problem is not “racial” it is cultural – people who have been told all their lives that nothing that goes wrong in their lives is their own fault, that the “white man” is responsible for everything bad. Those evil “conservatives” who have controlled the Twin City area since…. well since NEVER actually (as the Twin City area has been Progressive for ages).

    The Progressive policies of big government do not seem to be helping non white people in the North (quite the contrary actually) – and (little secret here) the people responsible for the Jim Crow persecution in the South were also big government Progressive types (such as Governor Bilbo in Miss in the early 1900s) that is what the “Pitchfork Populist” race baiters were – they were not conservatives, they hated the big landowners and the northern “capitalists” (and “the Jews” – even when they were not any in the area). Big government types appealing to “white trash” voters – that is what they were, and that is what the KKK was also. The Progressive history that the KKK and so on was pro “capitalist” is nonsense – in fact it is nonsense on stilts.

    Turning back to the modern age…..

    These days more black people leave the wonderful Progressive areas to go back to the modern “evil” conservative South, than go the other way.

    As for other ethnic minorities.

    Why is it that Arab Christian immigrants to the United States do so much better than Muslims?

    There is no genetic difference – it is not “race”.

    But to examine the real reasons for poverty and so (the cultural reasons – and the welfare dependence, the negative effects of government schemes) is too difficult.

    The chant of “racism, racism, racism” is so much less difficult – it is the easy, and false, thing to do.

  2. Nor is government law enforcement biased against non white people – in spite of all the lies of Mr Obama and Mr Holder.

    Indeed in big cities such as New York most police officers are not white.

    Trying to turn people against each other on the basis of race is an old trick of Class War “progressive forces”.

    Whether it is the KKK from the 19th century (an ANTI “capitalist” organisation) and the Populist and Progressive politicians of South and North (with their race baiting and “scientific racism”) – also ANTI capitalists. Or people such as Mr Obama and Mr Holder now.

  3. I agree with the article. “We need a conversation” or “can we talk about..?” has for a long time been Proggie code for “I’m going to tell you what to think”.

  4. “What we need in this country is a debate…..” is a popular device in Irish media for avoiding debate.

  5. Genetics clearly does have an influence on intelligence and certain behaviours. It is not the only influence and may not be the most important one but “race” (whatever that means) certainly does influence culture. There have been so many studies corroborating this; obviously ignored by dogmatic, doctrinal, egalitarians: that to ignore this as a factor is just wilful, blind ignorance.

  6. The ineradicable obstacle that Ethnic White-Causasian leftoidGramscian Racist-Nazis face is this:-

    How do they explain how it was White North-West-European Christians(mainly), and principally those that were culturally-“English” and spoke varieties of “English”, got to suspect, find, own and dominate the crowning civilisational achievements of all humanity – (with the possible exception of the (ancient) Greeks)?

    This “race” – if indeed one can say Homo sapiens is divided into “races” – clearly possessed certain cultural traits that made this domination easier. I would say that these are “anti-tribalist”, and “nuclear-family-focussed”. The notion of a nuclear family I think arises from a belief that individuals knowbest what is best for them and their nearest relations, and tribes actively dis-know this thing. The more tribal a “society” looks, to me, the more it resembles a beehive or a termite-mound. The logic then of setting out in the night to slaughter the next-door-tribe especially its “Big-Man”, butcher and eat its males (to acquire their bravery and courage of course, goes without saying) and confiscate its females for shagging and breeding from, becomes unquestionable.

    But in a civilisation where everyone can make his own way, in which there’s lots of distributed knowledge, much of it rather new biologo-geologically, and in which one is left to think what he/she thinks is best for him/her, the more primitive sort of behaviour needs to go out of the window.

  7. Simon how are blacks from Africa in the United States “genetically” different from blacks born in the United States – if anything it is the latter (not the former) who have more “white” DNA in them.

    And how are Christian Arabs who emigrate to the United States “genetically” different from Muslim Arabs who emigrate to the United States?

    You may be right about genetics influencing average intelligence – but I do not see how this explains the above.

    Not that intelligence and educational or other achievement are the same thing anyway.

    For the record I have always been able to solve lots of these “IQ test” questions – it-has-never-done-me-any-good.

    It has not led to a better job or anything like that…..

    And many of the people I have met who are success in life (good job, nice family and so on) are clearly as thick as two short planks.

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