From The Nation:
In the age of Trump, believers of the once-popular tenets of scientific racism are feeling emboldened.
By Edward Burmila TODAY 12:52 PM
Nineties-relic Charles Murray (The Bell Curve) is popping up on campuses and in conservative media outlets, much to the delight of those who think his graphs confer legitimacy to their prejudices. Atheist philosopher and podcaster Sam Harris is extolling Murray’s highfalutin version of racist graffiti as “forbidden knowledge.” New York Times’ increasingly off-the-rails op-ed page gave genetics professor David Reich the opportunity to write that “it is simply no longer possible to ignore average genetic differences among ‘races.’” And Andrew Sullivan, as ever, is fervently repackaging Gilded Age eugenics for a 21st-century audience. …
Darwin’s theory of evolution was never intended by its author to explain outcomes in complex human societies.
Really? I guess that’s why he never wrote a huge book entitled The Descent of Man.
Yet it was inevitable as his ideas took the world by storm that they would be misinterpreted, intentionally or otherwise. The subtitle of On the Origin of Species—“Or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life”—was tantalizing to people who very badly wanted to see “favoured races” in the shifting world order of the era.
Darwin, of course, was a politically correct saint. Galton, however, was a politically incorrect demon. Everybody knows this.
It was Darwin’s half-cousin Francis Galton, who coined the term “eugenics,” and his theories of biological determinism that bridged Darwinian natural selection and human beings. …
The racialist and anti-immigration movements achieved their great victory with the passage of the restrictive Immigration Act of 1924, which effectively ended the era of mass European immigration. …
Edward Burmila is an assistant professor at Bradley University. He lives in Chicago and blogs politics at Gin and Tacos.