Steve Sailer

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Steve Sailer
Steve Sailer, Twitter.jpg
Born (1958-12-20) December 20, 1958 (age 64)
EducationRice University (BA)
University of California, Los Angeles (MBA)
Occupation(s)Journalist, columnist, blogger

Steven Ernest Sailer (born December 20, 1958) is an American paleoconservative journalist, movie critic, blogger, and columnist. He is a former correspondent for UPI and a columnist for Taki's Magazine and VDARE, a website associated with white supremacy,[1][2] white nationalism,[3][4][5] and the alt-right.[6][7][8] He has a history of making racist statements,[9][10] and writes about race relations, gender issues, politics, immigration, IQ, genetics, movies, and sports. As of 2014, Sailer ceased publishing his personal blog on his own website and shifted it to the Unz Review,[11] an online publication founded by former businessman Ron Unz that promotes antisemitism, Holocaust denial, conspiracy theories, and white supremacist material.[12][13][14]

Sailer has been credited with coining the pseudoscientific race theory known as "human biodiversity" in the 1990s, with the term later being used among the alt-right as a euphemism for scientific racism.[15][16][17][18] In his writing for VDARE, Sailer has described black people as tending "to possess poorer native judgment than members of better educated groups".[19]

Personal life[edit]

Sailer was an adopted child; he grew up in Studio City, Los Angeles. He majored in economics, history, and management at Rice University (BA, 1980).[20] He earned an MBA from UCLA in 1982 with two concentrations: finance and marketing.[21] In 1982 he moved from Los Angeles to Chicago,[22] and from then until 1985 he managed BehaviorScan test markets for Information Resources, Inc.[23] In 1996, he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and in February 1997, he was treated with Rituxan. He has been in remission since those treatments.[24] He became a full-time journalist in 2000[25] and left Chicago for California.[26]

Writing career[edit]

From 1994 to 1998, Sailer worked as a columnist for the conservative magazine National Review, in which he has since been sporadically published.[27]

In August 1999, he debated Steve Levitt at the Slate website, calling into question Levitt's hypothesis, which would appear in the 2005 book Freakonomics, that legalized abortion in America reduced crime.[28]

Sailer, along with Charles Murray and John McGinnis, was described as an "evolutionary conservative" in a 1999 National Review cover story by John O'Sullivan.[29] Sailer's work frequently appears at Taki's Magazine and VDARE, while Sailer's analyses have been cited by newspapers such as The Washington Times,[30] The New York Times,[31] the San Francisco Chronicle and The Times of London.[32][33] He has been featured as a guest on The Political Cesspool,[34] a far-right radio program which has been widely criticized for promoting antisemitism and white supremacy.[35][36] From 2000 to 2002, Sailer was a national correspondent for United Press International, reporting on sports, law, and politics, among other topics.

Sailer's January 2003 article "Cousin Marriage Conundrum", published in The American Conservative, argued that nation building in Iraq would likely fail because of the high degree of consanguinity among Iraqis due to the common practice of cousin marriage. This article was republished in The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2004.[37]

In 2008, Sailer published his only book, America's Half-Blood Prince, an analysis of Barack Obama based on his memoir Dreams from My Father.

Sailer was the founder of an online electronic mailing list called Human Biodiversity Discussion Group.[38][39][40]


Sailer's writing has been described as a precursor to Trumpism, seeming "to exercise a kind of subliminal influence across much of the right in [the 2000s]. One could detect his influence even in the places where his controversial writing on race was decidedly unwelcome."[17][41] Tyler Cowen has described Sailer as the "most significant neo-reaction thinker today."[17] After the 2016 election, Michael Barone credited Sailer with having charted in 2001 the electoral path that Donald Trump had successfully followed.[17][42]

Views and criticism[edit]

Sailer has often written on issues of race and intelligence, arguing that some races are born with inherent advantages over others, but that conservative socio-economic policies can improve things for all.

Sailer has been described as a white supremacist by the Southern Poverty Law Center[43] and the Columbia Journalism Review.[44]

Sailer cites studies that say, on average, blacks and Mexicans in America have lower IQs than whites,[45][46] and that Ashkenazi Jews and East Asians have higher IQs than non-Jewish whites.[47][48] He also considers that "for at least some purposes—race actually is a highly useful and reasonable classification",[49] such as for "finessing" Affirmative Action when that's "economically convenient",[50] and for political gerrymandering.

Rodolfo Acuña, a Chicano studies professor, regards Sailer's statements on this subject as providing "a pretext and a negative justification for discriminating against US Latinos in the context of US history". Acuña claimed that listing Latinos as non-white gives Sailer and others "the opportunity to divide Latinos into races, thus weakening the group by setting up a scenario where lighter-skinned Mexicans are accepted as Latinos or Hispanics and darker-skinned Latinos are relegated to an underclass".[51]

In an article on Hurricane Katrina, Sailer said in reference to the New Orleans slogan "let the good times roll" that it "is an especially risky message for African-Americans." He claimed that African-Americans tend to possess poorer native judgment than members of better-educated groups, and thus need stricter moral guidance from society.[52] The article on Hurricane Katrina was criticized for being racist by Media Matters for America and the Southern Poverty Law Center, as well as some conservative commentators.[53][54] Neoconservative[55] columnist John Podhoretz wrote in the National Review Online blog that Sailer's statement was "shockingly racist and paternalistic" as well as "disgusting".[56]

The "Sailer Strategy"[edit]

The term "Sailer Strategy" has been used for Sailer's proposal that Republican candidates can gain political support in American elections by appealing to working-class white workers with heterodox right-wing nationalist and economic populist positions. In order to do this, Sailer suggested that Republicans support economic protectionism, identity politics, and express opposition to immigration, among other issues. The goal of this is to increase Republicans' share of the white electorate, and decrease its minority share of the electorate, in the belief that minority votes could not be won in significant numbers.[17][57][58]

The strategy was similar to that used by Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election, and has been claimed as one of the reasons Trump was able to win support from rural white voters.[17][57][58]


  1. ^ Sam Frizell, GOP Shows White Supremacist's Tweet During Trump's Speech. Time, 21 July 2016
  2. ^ Arnold, Kathleen (2011). Anti-Immigration in the United States: A Historical Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. p. 89. ISBN 9780313375224. Retrieved 2017-08-30.
  3. ^ Holly Folk, The Religion of Chiropractic: Populist Healing from the American Heartland (University of North Carolina Press, 2017), p. 64: "the white nationalist website"
  4. ^ Robert W. Sussman, The Myth of Race: The Troubling Persistence of an Unscientific Idea (Harvard University Press, 2014), p. 299.
  5. ^ Kristine Phillips, Resort cancels 'white nationalist' organization's first-ever conference over the group’s views, Washington Post (January 26, 2017).
  6. ^ Heidi Beirich; Mark Potok (Winter 2003). "'Paleoconservatives' Decry Immigration". Intelligence Report. Southern Poverty Law Center.
  7. ^ Stephen Piggott (December 21, 2016). "Ann Coulter Attends VDARE Christmas Party – Her Second White Nationalist Event In Three Months". Southern Poverty Law Center.
  8. ^ Hannah Gais (December 11, 2016). "Cucking and Nazi salutes: A night out with the alt-right". Washington Spectator (republished by Newsweek.
  9. ^ "Anti-immigrant Website Uses Boston Bombings to Target Immigrants". Anti-Defamation League. 26 April 2013. ... Steve Sailer, a longtime VDARE contributor known for making racist statements ...{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. ^ Jason Richwine Has Ties To More Extreme Elements of Anti-Immigrant Movement Archived 2021-01-16 at the Wayback Machine. Anti-Defamation League, 2013
  11. ^ "Steve Sailer Blog Posts". Archived from the original on October 7, 2014. Retrieved September 27, 2014.
  12. ^ Harmon, Amy (7 October 2018). "Why White Supremacists Are Chugging Milk (and Why Geneticists Are Alarmed)". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 March 2020.
  13. ^ "California Entrepreneur Ron Unz Launches a Series of Rhetorical Attacks on Jews". Anti-Defamation League. October 4, 2018. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  14. ^ Sixsmith, Ben (September 15, 2018). "The curious case of Ron Unz". The Spectator. Retrieved April 19, 2019. In June, Unz published an essay saluting the 'remarkable' historiography of David Irving. In his legal fight against the historian Deborah Lipstadt, Unz wrote, Irving's work was analysed 'line-by-line, footnote-by-footnote' by historians who 'came up empty'. Readers of expert witness Richard J. Evans's report on Irving's scholarship will know this to be false. Unz followed this essay with an approving appraisal of the Nazis' treatment of France that never once mentioned their millions of murders in Central and Eastern Europe, long articles implicating Mossad in the killings of John and Robert Kennedy and a series of analyses of Jewish history which concluded that Judaism entails 'the enslavement or execution of all non-Jews', that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion is 'a classic of political thought', that the Holocaust almost certainly did not take place in a recognisable form and that anti-Semitism has in general been well-founded.
  15. ^ The International Alt-Right: Fascism for the 21st Century?. Routledge, 2020
  16. ^ Feldman, Ari (5 August 2016). ""Human Biodiversity": the Pseudoscientific Racism of the Alt-Right". The Forward. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  17. ^ a b c d e f Willick, Park MacDougald, Jason. "The Man Who Invented Identity Politics for the New Right". Daily Intelligencer. Archived from the original on 2017-05-02.
  18. ^ Human biodiversity as euphemism for scientific racism:
  19. ^ Weiss, Bari (17 November 2016). "Steve Bannon's Heart Doesn't Matter. His Actions Do". Tablet Magazine. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  20. ^ "The paradox of majoring in economics". 16 February 2007. Archived from the original on 2011-09-27.
  21. ^ "College rankings". 17 September 2009. Archived from the original on 2011-09-27.
  22. ^ "The Chicago Way". 28 August 2008. Archived from the original on 2011-09-27.
  23. ^ "Popper is my homeboy: a manifesto | Economics | The American Scene". Archived from the original on December 23, 2010.
  24. ^ Steve Sailer (May 7, 2007). "Presidential candidates with cancer". Archived from the original on March 9, 2013. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
  25. ^ "Canada Doesn't Want Me". Archived from the original on 2010-12-25.
  26. ^ "The Jewish Factor in Blue States « Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science". Archived from the original on May 10, 2011.
  27. ^ "Steve Sailer on Stephen Jay Gould on National Review Online". 2002-05-22. Archived from the original on 2006-08-22. Retrieved 2009-06-12. "Archived here". Archived from the original on January 18, 2012.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  28. ^ "Does Abortion Prevent Crime?". Archived from the original on 2008-10-14.
  29. ^ Types of Right Archived 2006-02-20 at the Wayback MachineNational Review
  30. ^ Galupo, Scott (June 16, 2007). "You go, Guv". The Washington Times. Archived from the original on August 28, 2008.
  31. ^ Tierney, John (October 24, 2004). "Secret Weapon for Bush?". The New York Times. Archived from the original on October 28, 2011.
  32. ^ Stillwell, Cinnamon (August 3, 2005). "Racism Rears Its Ugly Head in Mexico". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on May 11, 2011.
  33. ^ Hunt, Tristram (June 20, 2008). "Barack Obama should swap Chicago for Phoenix". The Times. Archived from the original on May 10, 2011.
  34. ^ "The Political Cesspool: Guest List". The Political Cesspool. Archived from the original on February 22, 2012. Retrieved Feb 1, 2012.
  35. ^ Conant, Eve (April 25, 2009). "Rebranding Hate in the Age of Obama". Newsweek. Retrieved September 2, 2010.
  36. ^ "Pat Buchanan Appears on Political Cesspool, a White Supremacist Radio Show". Anti-Defamation League. Archived from the original on August 6, 2010. Retrieved September 2, 2010.
  37. ^ Pinker, Steven (May 20, 2004). The Best American Science and Nature Writing. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
  38. ^ "Steve Sailer". Archived from the original on 2005-03-12. "I'm a [...] founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute, which runs the invitation-only Human Biodiversity discussion group for top scientists and public intellectuals."
  39. ^ Dreger: The Controversy Surrounding The Man Who Would Be Queen: A Case History of the Politics of Science, Identity, and Sex in the Internet Age (Arch Sex Behav (2008) 37:366–421): "Bailey indeed does belong to the HBI "private cyber-discussion group"—the sort of online discussion group usually referred to by the less thrilling name "listserv"—and Bailey acknowledges that some of the most active members of the HBI list could legitimately be called right-wing (Bailey, 2006a); this would include the list’s founder, Steve Sailer."
  40. ^ "Yahoo! Groups". Archived from the original on March 18, 2013.
  41. ^ Dougherty, Michael Brendan (14 July 2016). "How Trumpism hid in plain sight for 15 years". Archived from the original on 2 October 2016. Retrieved 3 October 2016.
  42. ^ Barone, Michael (2 December 2016). "Would Another Republican Have Defeated Hillary Clinton?". National Review. Archived from the original on 3 December 2016. Retrieved 3 December 2016.
  44. ^ The fascist next door: how to cover hate. Columbia Journalism Review, May 19, 2019
  45. ^ Sailer, Steve (2006-08-15). "Steve Sailer's iSteve Blog: The black-white IQ gap—has it narrowed?". Archived from the original on 2009-01-26. Retrieved 2009-06-12.
  46. ^ Sailer, Steve (2005-06-07). "Steve Sailer's iSteve Blog: Aversion to "Acting White" Worse Problem for Hispanics than Blacks". Archived from the original on 2010-02-19. Retrieved 2009-06-12.
  47. ^ Sailer, Steve (August 17, 2007). "Peter Frost's explanation for high average Ashkenazi Jewish IQs". Archived from the original on December 4, 2010.
  48. ^ Sailer, Steve (October 1, 2007). "New York Times on IQ". Archived from the original on December 4, 2010.
  49. ^ "Pondering Patterson [IV]: Why We Can't Get Beyond Race | Articles". Retrieved 2020-09-25.
  50. ^ "Who Wants To Be A Minority?". Archived from the original on 2011-05-10. Retrieved 2011-04-13.
  51. ^ Acuña, Rodolfo. U.S. Latino issues. Westport: Greenwood Press, 2003.
  52. ^ "The Most Disgusting Sentence Yet Written About Katrina…". National Review. September 5, 2005.
  53. ^ —S.S.M. "American Conservative reportedly to publish far-right columnist's baseless, racially charged claims about "wigger" Obama | Media Matters for America". Archived from the original on 2008-12-07. Retrieved 2009-06-12.
  54. ^ "Extremist Steve Sailer is Source for CNN's 'Black in America' Series | Hatewatch | Southern Poverty Law Center". Archived from the original on 2009-04-22. Retrieved 2009-06-12.
  55. ^ "John Podhoretz Says Hillary Clinton Can Already 'Measure The Drapes' — Thanks to Trump". Forward. October 20, 2016. Retrieved 2018-08-21.
  56. ^ Podhoretz, John (September 5, 2005). "The Most Disgusting Sentence Yet Written About Katrina…". National Review. Archived from the original on November 13, 2011.
  57. ^ a b Millman, Noah (August 10, 2016). "A Tale Of Two States". The American Conservative. Retrieved 2017-05-04.{{cite magazine}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  58. ^ a b Sabisky, Andrew (November 10, 2016). "I predicted Trump could win back in January 2015". International Business Times UK. Archived from the original on May 13, 2017. Retrieved 2017-05-04.

External links[edit]