By Annalee Newitz
Former New York Times science writer Nicholas Wade has just published a book about race and genetics that has stirred up debates over scientific racism that go back over 250 years. Where did his ideas come from? Here are nine major works of scientific racism that are still influencing thinkers today.
First, a definition. By “scientific racism,” I mean any argument that relies on allegedly scientific ideas — whether genetics or phrenology — to claim that some racial groups are naturally superior to others. Often the scientific ideas of one generation are discovered to be racist dogma by the next. But scientific racism has persisted for almost 200 hundred years in the way we frame debates over race, with terms like “eugenics” replaced by new ones. Here are some major works that have helped create a scientific frame for racist ideas.
When women used to be depressed or were not “taking care of their men” properly their husbands could send them to the psych ward for attitude adjustments. This was part of conditioning them to always wear a smile. They believed that if a woman saw herself smiling that it would become natural practice and that she would be “cured”. This often went along with shock therapies.
Capitalism, by its nature, cannot resolve the peasant question: the only prospect it can offer are a planet full of slums and billions of ‘too many’ human beings… I thus conclude that capitalism has entered into its phase of declining senility: the logic of the system is no longer able to ensure the simple survival of humanity. Capitalism is becoming barbaric and leads directly to genocide.
Keep Hoods Yours, KHY, revolutionary movement/crew with a strong focus on anti-gentrification, decolonization and anti-capitalism. Oakland, CA.
I hadn’t realized how much I’d been needing to meet someone I might be able to say everything to.
—Talk Before Sleep, Elizabeth Berg (via fuckyeahliteraryquotes)
What is a poet? An unhappy man who hides deep anguish in his heart, but whose lips are so formed that when the sigh and cry pass through them, it sounds like lovely music. And people flock around the poet and say: ‘Sing again soon’ - that is, ‘May new sufferings torment your soul but your lips be fashioned as before, for the cry would only frighten us, but the music, that is blissful.
All politicians, no matter how sincere (if such an anomaly is at all thinkable), are but petty reformers, hence the perpetuators of the present system.
—Emma Goldman (via intellectuarium)