Weikart on the Buffalo shooter: Interestingly, the manifesto this white supremacist wrote confirmed my description of white nationalism in my recent book, Darwinian Racism.
West: Unfortunately, the Buffalo shooter’s evolutionary racism is not an outlier among recent mass killers. Arguments drawn from evolution have been prominent in the ideologies of many mass shooters in recent years, including Anders Breivik in 2011, a Norwegian mass murderer cited as a role model by the Buffalo shooter. Other shooters smitten by Darwinian evolution have included the Columbine High School shooters in 1999, Finnish shooter Pekka Eric Auvinen in 2007, the Holocaust Memorial Museum shooter in 2009, and the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooter in 2019.
Weikart: While researching my book, Darwinian Racism, I examined the websites and publications of many neo-Nazi, white nationalist, and alt-right individuals and organizations. What I discovered was that most white nationalists and white supremacists today embrace a social Darwinist version of scientific racism and vehemently oppose Christianity.
For reasons familiar to anyone who follows human psychology, our group was supposed to be the smartest. We were told to be nice to the others anyway. They couldn’t help their stupidity, nor could we. That was the view smart people had. Stupid Fundamentalists, by contrast, still believed in Adam and Eve…
At Quillette: Last fall, Fryer returned to Harvard. But he’s been stripped of his named professorship, banned from interacting with graduate students, subjected to constant Title IX surveillance, and demoted to teaching undergraduates.
Just think how many people make their living off Darwinism and we can see a motive right there for the kind of study that attempts to exculpate Darwinism.
But again, wait. Racism wasn’t an incidental, culturally conditioned element in Rushton’s work. It appears to have been the point of it. If the great E. O. Wilson couldn’t see that, the likely explanation is that elements in Darwinism blinded him to what was pretty obvious to most of Rushton’s fellow Canadians. And why IS that?
Reader’s comment on the study: The principle that isolation breeds prejudice against the “other” is a truism. And you could find evidence supporting this truism from very different groups. If you surveyed attitude of ivory tower types you’d find similar prejudiced against conservative religious groups you’d find similar discriminatory attitudes. Why? Because those evolutionary secular academic types who accept human evolution have very little contact with conservative religious people.
Aeschliman: “After the Civil War and the death of Lincoln, ‘those that stepped into the pathway marked by men like John Brown faltered and large numbers turned back,’ Du Bois wrote. ‘They said: He was a good man — even great, but he has no message for us today — he was a “belated [Protestant] Covenanter,” an anachronism in the age of Darwin, one who gave his life to lift not only the unlifted but the unliftable.'”
Aeschliman: “But Weikart has doggedly and rightly concentrated on the Darwinian intellectual bacillus as it inspired, affected, and accelerated the modern German tragedy of 1870–1945.”
Some have dismissed the findings but others say they fit a pattern. From Schulson’s story: “I don’t really care that Wilson had racist ideas, because I know pretty much all of the people that I dealt with, when I was coming up through the science system, had racist ideas,” said [evolutionary biologist Joseph] Graves, who in 1988 became the first Black American to receive a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology. “Wilson was just one of many.” Oh.
Weikart: “An 18-year-old white nationalist, Eric Harris, donned a shirt emblazoned with “Natural Selection” before heading off to high school. For weeks he had been preparing a special event in honor of the Führer. Together with a co-conspirator, Dylan Klebold, he planted a bomb in the Columbine High School cafeteria.”
Weikart is not trying to Cancel Goldberg; rather, he thinks there are some things she (and perhaps most people) don’t clearly understand about the Holocaust. First, to the Nazis — whatever anyone else may think — it WAS about race. Weikart goes onto explain in considerable detail that the on-the-ground interpretation of Darwinism underlay this development.
In connection with Weikart’s new book, Darwinian Racism: How Darwinism Influenced Hitler, Nazism, and White Nationalism.
Available for preorder