But many of the men taking the Army's mental tests during the First World War were the children of immigrants, and had grown up in homes where English was not the language used.
Mental tests in later years showed Jews scoring above the national average.
Every study I know of that compares the amount of time that black students and Asian American students spend watching television, and how much time they spend on schoolwork, shows disparities as great as the disparities in their academic outcomes.
When teaching at UCLA years ago, I once went into a library on a Saturday night, noticed how many Asian students were studying - and looked around in vain for any black students.
How surprised should I have been when Asian students did better in the courses I taught?
Professor Amy Chua of Yale caused a controversy when she wrote a book about Asian "Tiger Moms" who put heavy pressure on their children to succeed in school.
But a more recent book ("Gifted Hands") by black neurosurgeon Benjamin Carson shows that his mother was as much of a Tiger Mom as the Asians.
Not only did Carson rise from the ghetto to become an internationally recognized neurosurgeon, his brother became an engineer - both of them children of a poverty-stricken mother with only three years of education.
Tiger Moms get results.
Unfortunately, we are at a stage where the interests of race hustlers is to cry "unfair" at the tests - and they have a lot more political clout than black Tiger Moms have.
So long as the rest of us are silenced by political correctness, racial progress on that front is unlikely.
Put differently, whole generations of black young people can continue to go down the drain because their fate carries less weight than fashionable racial rhetoric.
Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University in California. His website is www.tsowell.com.