In “A Wall Between Science & State?” (New Oxford Review, March 2012), Anne Barbeau Gardiner, reviewing Dennis Sewell’s The Political Gene: How Darwin’s Ideas Changed Politics, recounts,
In 1906 a Congolese pygmy named Ota Benga was put on display in the Bronx Zoo in a cage with an orangutan. Ota’s family and tribe had been wiped out, and a “keen Darwinist” from South Carolina had purchased him and exhibited him at the World’s Fair two years earlier.
When Ota was shown at the Bronx Zoo, Rev. J.H. Gordon, a black Baptist minister, complained to the mayor about “this exhibition of one of our race with the monkeys.” The New York Times printed a reply from the Darwinist camp the next day, September 12, 1906: “The reverend colored brother should be told that evolution, in one form or another, is now taught in the textbooks of all the schools, and that it is no more debatable than the multiplication table.”
It all gives us a whole new level of respect for William Jennings Bryan …
See also: Why some black people hate Darwinism
Darwinian racism: The other writer who just got dumped from National Review
DNA: More than one percent of Scottish men are direct descendants of the Saharan Berber and Tuareg tribes?