From some correspondence with a friend:
Darwin was a racist, pure and simple. Why can’t people just accept that fact, and get PAST it?
I have become increasingly suspicious of efforts to excuse Darwin’s racism by saying that the old boy was also anti-slavery.
Lots of racists are anti-slavery. That was true thousands of years ago, by the way.
Slavery is a bad social institution because it disrupts the ties that hold a normal society together.
For example, a man can have two sons, one by his wife and one by a slave girl he rapes. He can lavish the best on the first son and sell the second down river to some horrible fate – without thinking he is doing anything wrong, and irrespective of their merit*
That unfits men for normal relations with women and children – which are (under natural human circumstances) always negotiated relationships.
[= Girl thinks: You want me? Why me? Why not my older sister? My cousin? Have you spoken to my father? What are you offering? And, have you ever been married before? What happened?]
Over time, slavery leads to stupid immorality, brutality, and the downfall of the societies that sponsor it. It is not hard to see why.
(*By the way, that fact alone pretty much disproves Dawkins’s “selfish gene” thesis. But I assume that no intelligent person believes Dawkins’s thesis anyway.)