Bell Curve Author Charles Murray Talks White America on MLK Anniversary

The American Enterprise Institute doesn't shy away from high-profile, conservative speakers.

By Asraa Mustufa Apr 05, 2011

While many of us were commemorating the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination yesterday, the influential neoconservative think-tank, the American Enterprise Institute, decided to have scientific racist and AEI fellow Charles Murray deliver a lecture entitled "The State of White America."

Murray was billed to describe the evidence of "a new lower class and a new upper class that are different in kind from anything [America] has ever known" and its link to "the erosion of deeper sources of American exceptionalism."

Murray gained notoriety in 1994 as co-author of a bestselling book "The Bell Curve" which promoted the idea of racial differences in intelligence. His argument was premised on the idea that blacks are genetically inferior to whites. Murray further tried to make his case that most social welfare and affirmative action programs were futile, since intelligence, he argued, was hereditary. The book was widely criticized as racist and scientifically unsound. Former New York Times columnist Bob Herbert wrote that the "book is just a genteel way of calling somebody a nigger."

Much of the research Murray cited in the book was financed by the Pioneer Fund, a white nationalist foundation.

The Southern Poverty Law Center reported that AEI has sponsored several scholars in recent years whose views are seen by many as bigoted or racist. The think-tank also counts many Bush-era policy architects among its former and current scholars and fellows, such as Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, John Bolton, Lynne Cheney, as well as Newt Gingrich, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali.