In some traits one group will have a "better" distribution than another -- if the trait has a positive or negative value, e.g., the incidence of some disease, or IQ. In other traits it will have a "worse" distribution. There will also be some traits, e.g., the incidence of shovel-shaped incisors where differences can't be interpreted as either "positive" or "negative".
These are just the facts about group differences. People have different ways of approaching these facts, and I distinguish four basic attitudes:
- Pure Racists claim that group A is better than group B without qualification. Racism can be summarized as the belief in the essential superior value of one group over another.
- Selective Racists claim that group A is better than group B for a particular set of traits. Selective racists may be justified in claiming group differences in value, however they exhibit bias in their subjective choice of traits. If for example group A is taller and smarter (on average) than group B, but also fatter and more prone to cancer, then a selective racist who belongs to group A may assert the value of A based on height and intelligence, subjectively preferring these traits over fatness and tendency to cancer.
- Realists acknowledge group differences equally and do not bias their thinking in favor of a set of traits in which their group seems to do better than other human groups.
- Selective Egalitarians acknowledge group differences over a particular set of traits, especially those that do not have an obvious value, such as curly hair or shovel-shaped incisors, but refuse to acknowledge such differences over other traits, especially ones with a clear value, such as intelligence.
- Pure Egalitarians refuse to accept any differences, or to talk about differences, or even -in extreme cases- to acknowledge the very existence of separate human groups.