Conservative author Andrew Sullivan said in an interview published Monday that when he looks at the number of Jews who have won the Nobel Prize, he thinks “there’s something there.”
The interview for the New York Times homed in on Sullivan’s controversial views on race and IQ, specifically a 1994 edition of the New Republic that Sullivan edited titled “Race and IQ.”
According to the New York Times, Sullivan, who did not write an article for the “Race and IQ” package, is still “frustrated by the most extreme claims that biology has no connection to our lives.”
Sullivan, a famously conflicted gay Catholic, was then asked to clarify his views on the issue and if he would be open to data that would find that Black people are on average smarter than other groups.
“It could be, although the evidence is not trending in that direction as far as I pay attention to it. But I don’t much,” Sullivan said, later clarifying he’s “open-minded” on the matter.
“Let’s say Jews. I mean, just look at the Nobel Prize. I’m just saying — there’s something there, I think. And I’m not sure what it is, but I’m just not prepared to accept the whole thing is over,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan has in the past floated the idea of Jewish Americans being a “model minority,” along with Asian Americans, writing in a 2017 New York magazine column: “Asian-Americans, like Jews, are indeed a problem for the ‘social-justice’ brigade. I mean, how on earth have both ethnic groups done so well in such a profoundly racist society? How have bigoted white people allowed these minorities to do so well — even to the point of earning more, on average, than whites?”
Jewish New York Times columnist Bret Stephens drew fire late last year for writing an article titled “The Secrets of Jewish Genius,” in which he cited a paper by a researcher who promoted eugenics.
The reference to the paper was removed two days later, and an added editor’s note said that “Mr. Stephens was not endorsing the study or its authors’ views, but it was a mistake to cite it uncritically. The effect was to leave an impression with many readers that Mr. Stephens was arguing that Jews are genetically superior. That was not his intent.”
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.