Evil white supremacist Sam Francis, toiling in obscurity, in 2004:
The social science invoked by Brown was equally fraudulent. The Court relied on a psychology experiment that supposedly proved that segregation gave black children feelings of inferiority. The experiment involved all of 16 children in South Carolina. But the psychologist who conducted it, Kenneth Clark, never disclosed that the same tests given to “hundreds of black children who attended segregated schools in Arkansas and unsegregated schools in Massachusetts” showed the opposite result.
If the test “was a valid means of indicating what sort of schooling enhanced black self-respect,” writes Professor Wolters, “the data tended to favor segregated schools.”
Moreover, the test failed to distinguish the impact of school segregation from that of other kinds of segregation and thus proved nothing about the issue before the Court in Brown. Nor did segregated schools seem to harm other minorities. “The educational success of Asian, Catholic, and Jewish students also casts doubt on the contention that `isolation inevitably impaired educational development`,” Professor Wolters writes.
Famous, wealthy bestselling mixed race author Malcolm Gladwell, 2017:
It’s a re-examination of the Brown decision, which is formally a legal document but famously relied on social science to reach its conclusions. [In the episode,] I’m really examining the social science at the core of it and saying that the social science argument that the court made was wrong—or at least was painfully and tragically incomplete. There’re are million really important questions that arise out of the general re-examination of Brown that’s gone on, and one of them is that social science arguments are incorporated into public policy often at social science’s peril.
It’s really easy for public policy people to get it wrong, or to misunderstand what the science is telling them, or to twist the findings of researchers. To me, the great appeal of social science has always been that research is not definitive. It’s always posing a proposition to be debated. That’s not the way the rest of the world is; the rest of the world wants very definitive answers. And Brown is a really good example of this. Let’s face it: The social science that the court used in the Brown case is pretty flimsy social science—it is not psychology at its best.