From American Thinker:
One hundred years ago, scientific racism dominated American elite thought. Inspired by Charles Darwin, American scientific racists like Madison Grant applied a hierarchy to human beings. Some cultures, those of hunter gatherers and peasants, were low and worthless; others were high and to be valued. Educated, atheist Anglo-Saxon males occupied the top of the human pyramid of value.
A day before yesterday everyone knew that Darwinism underwrote racism as a science-based belief. Not a cultural belief or a religious belief, or a “good old custom”, but – in the breathless tones of a pop science writer – science!
Franz Boas, the Father of American Anthropology, became a professor at Columbia University in 1896. Spurred by his own experience of anti-Semitism, Boas was determined to overturn scientific racism. Boas argued for the worth of all cultures.
The head-to-head confrontation between scientific racist Madison Grant and cultural relativist Franz Boas had high impact. Adolf Hitler declared that Grant’s 1916 book, The Passing of the Great Race, was his “bible.” Franz Boas died of a heart attack while speaking against Nazism. Today all American schoolchildren, whether they have heard of Franz Boas or not, are indoctrinated to repeat that to so much as question whether any aspect of American culture might be superior to any aspect of a Non-Western culture is racist and taboo. Even brilliant ideas from great men rot when they pass from the vivifying circulation of vigorous debate into the cloying closet of unquestioned dogma.
Which takes us into a different discussion.
For now, it is good to see someone situation the origin of the controversy accurately.
See also: Riveting 14 minute documentary on Darwinism as one of the root causes of WWI
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