posts 16 - 30 of 40
MeliodicBlueStories
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 7

Impact of Psudo-Scientifical Policies in the United States.

Once the pseudo-scientific ideas of race crept into policies and laws in the United States, White Americans seized the opportunity to use the alleged, “science,” to justify making their own circumstances better while negatively impacting the lives of perceived lesser groups. For example, the new ideas presented perfect justification for slavery supporters to continue their mistreatment. Despite its deceptive appearance, the Convict Lease System served as a continuation of slavery. Black people were disproportionately incarcerated and imprisoned as a result of criminalizing rules such as loitering or breaking a curfew. Under the Black Codes, Black prisoners were leased for profit, where they had to work unpaid. The pseudo-scientific ideas saying that Black people were more likely to commit crimes and benefit from unpaid work allowed for systems as such to be viewed as just. According to the White Man’s Burden, an ideology derived from a poem by Rudyard Kipling, it is the White Man’s responsibility to civilize, “ barbaric natives.” This ideology provided the United States an excuse to gain territory for economic and commercial objectives at the expense of the people living in these lands. Through the Spanish-American Wars and the Annexation of Hawaii, Americans exploited native peoples for their own benefit.

A pseudo-scientifical idea with a profound impact on the United States is the theory of Polygenism. This theory proposes that groups of humans evolved from separate species. Not only does this theory perpetuate the notion of a racial hierarchy based on supposed separate evolutionary paths, but it also provides a basis for the idea that the races should live life separately. Plessy v. Fergurson, a Supreme Court case that set the separate but equal doctrine, led to Jim Crow laws and the segregation of the South. In order to rebuild the American housing economy after the great depression, FDR’s New Deal called for the creation of the Federal Housing Commission and the Home Owners Loan Corporation. These groups were tasked with issuing economically sound loans to stimulate the housing market. However, loans were denied to qualified individuals because of their race. This policy, named Redlining for the marks that distinguished Black and minority neighborhoods on federal loan risk maps, had a long-term impact, contributing to the wage gap between White and minority families in the United States today, and even the segregation seen in many American cities.

Even though pseudo-scientific ideas have been disproven and race is said to be a social construct, the ramifications of the racist policies still reverberate in the United States today. These policies constructed a racist system, giving white people a head start in society. A Boston Federal Reserve Bank 2015 study even found that the median net worth for white households in Greater Boston was $250,000 dollars while for Black households, just $8 dollars. Even though it is less socially acceptable to be outwardly racist, people still use pseudo-scientific ideas to justify subtle racism. According to, “The Unwelcome Revival of ‘Race Science’,” by Gavin Evans, Steve Bannon suggested, “There are, after all, in this world, some people who are naturally aggressive and violent.” The presence of these horrific sentiments, especially coming from a prominent societal figure that would go on to be the Chief Strategist for an American President is concerning, and undoubtedly affirms that American society is still impacted by pseudo-science and has a long way to go in constructing an equitable society. To build upon the ideas expressed by Crazyarmadillo, a step in striving towards an equitable society is understanding together that race has to be viewed as pertaining to culture rather than biology.

Fig Leaf Tree
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 7

Race ‘science’ appealed to so many people in the 19th and 20th centuries because pseudoscience could be used to justify racist policies that benefited the dominant culture in a tangible or psychological way. Using this so-called science as justification also reassured the American government and population that the cruelties committed against minorities were backed by logic, or even good intentions. This reduced their cognitive dissonance. For example, the rise of the Indian Residential School System was backed by the idea that the white population of America was “saving” young children from a less civilized and less genetically advanced culture, and that the schools benefitted them. Rather than feeling guilty about splitting up families and abusing children, the people working in and being complacent in the school system patted themselves on the back for trying to assimilate other ethnicities to the mainstream culture. Those in power told themselves they were fulfilling a duty to change or eradicate those they perceived as inferior due to (false) genetic theories, and the creation of racist and xenophobic policy was a tool to fulfill that duty.

One of the reasons that pseudoscience was so pervasive was that the policies it supported resulted in territory, wealth, and feelings of superiority for the American government and white population. They therefore had no interest in exposing race ‘science’ as incorrect and harmful. Xenophobic policies such as the Chinese Exclusion Act and Mexican Repatriation supposedly cleansed America of minorities while opening more jobs for white Americans, while policies such as Dawes General Allotment Plan and the Annexation of Puerto Rico provided the American government with valuable land and resources derived from the land. The Convict Lease system boosted individual state’s economies with unpaid labor, and the Indian Residential School system did the same. The Jim Crow laws gave white Americans a sense of entitlement and in-group belonging, as well as comparatively higher-quality education, housing, and more. With pseudoscience justifying systems of oppression that were profitable to the dominant culture, many people found it appealing and did not question its legitimacy. Racist ideology was convenient to their economy and sense of superiority, and the human impact was disregarded or explained away with race ‘science’.

The persistence of race ‘science’ can also be attributed to the incomplete success of movements to eradicate pseudoscience in scientific and social communities following the Holocaust. As described in the article “Is ‘Race Science’ Making a Comeback,” after Nazi Germany used race science to claim the Jewish population inferior and worthy of inhumane treatment, institutions tried to eradicate race ‘science’ from policy and science. However, communities within the scientific and social world never fully let go of that pseudoscience, and not all of those policies were fully condemned. For example, the Chinese Exclusion Act was referenced in xenophobic policymaking as recently as the last few years. Once the cruelties of the Indian Residential School System were swept under the rug, it was reincarnated as a systemically racist foster care system that remains to this day. Additionally, the social environment created by such policies has been preserved from generation to generation. Mexican Repatriation, for example, promoted anti-Hispanic xenophobia, while the Jim Crow Laws institutionalized racism in a way that is still evident in education systems, law enforcement, and more. If the government and population had directly addressed and confronted the causes and effects of past racist policies, their impacts would not have been allowed to be as long-lasting. By not condemning those past policies outspokenly, many people were complacent in their ongoing effects. Although race ‘science’ books are not flying off the shelves and past laws and policies have been abolished, the echoes of them still impact communities across America.

boston123
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 7

Race 'Science' response

Race ‘science’ was so appealing to Europeans and Americans because it allowed them to justify colonialism, and validate their beliefs that certain races were superior to others. During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, European powers wanted to believe that colonization was a mission to “civilize” the rest of the world, and that it was a process that benefited every group involved. In 1884 at the Berlin Conference, European nations divided all of Africa and assigned each country an area to colonize as if it was land that was up for grabs. Race ‘science’ provided scientific proof that non-whites were less intelligent and undeserving of their indigenous land. They used this ideology to deny any rights of the indigenous Africans, revealing how the colonizer’s goal was purely to gain land and economic growth. During this process, they gave no regard to indigenous cultures and how their presence would impact indigenous society. In connection to our psychological unit, race ‘science’ helped to ease their cognitive dissonance by promoting racist ideas. The colonizers treated Africans as if they were animals with no feelings or emotions, and used racist ideologies as an excuse for their actions.


As pseudo-scientific ideas of race became popular in the United States, minority groups faced extreme discrimination and violence. For instance, the Chinese Exclusion Act, passed in 1882, prohibited Chinese immigrants from coming into the United States. Racist ideologies caused white Americans to fear that Chinese people posed a threat to American labor and job security. They also believed that Chinese people could tolerate poor labor and living conditions. This harmful stereotype further supported the idea that Chinese people were inferior and somehow undeserving of basic human rights. Another example of pseudo-scientific ideas of race is the Annexation of Hawaii. White missionaries on the islands highlighted ‘inferior’ races and labeled Hawaii as non-white. The United States seized indigenous land simply for economic and territorial gain. As a result, there was, and still is, a dramatic decline in Hawaiian culture.


Even though race ‘science’ has been thoroughly discredited and proven to lack any real scientific basis, pseudo-scientific ideas about race still come up in our society. Minority communities continue to face discrimination in education, healthcare, employment, criminal justice, and much more. In “The Unwelcome Revival of ‘Race Science,’” the author states, “In July 2016, for example, Steve Bannon, who was then Breitbart boss and would go on to be Donald Trump’s chief strategist, wrote an article in which he suggested that some black people who had been shot by the police might have deserved it. “There are, after all, in this world, some people who are naturally aggressive and violent,” Bannon wrote, evoking one of scientific racism’s ugliest contentions: that black people are more genetically predisposed to violence than others.” Bannon’s beliefs reflect some of the most offensive claims made by race scientists in the 19th and 20th centuries. This example just illustrated how race ‘science’ is still alive in modern society. In order to counter these beliefs, it is so important that schools educate students on the history of race ‘science’ so that we can effectively move toward a safer and more equitable future. Most importantly, to ensure that every person is treated with respect and basic human rights.
tulips
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 7

Lasting Impacts of Race 'Science' in the United States

The ideas of race science are rooted in years of racism, colonialism and generally the feeling of wanting to be superior to other races. Though racism has lived for a long time, race science hasn’t and when race science had begun to become more popular in the nineteeth and early twentieth centuries, it confirmed some people’s ideology towards certain races. It helped “justify” people’s wrongdoings towards people of color and make Europeans and Americans feel that they were scientifically the better “species” and that people of color deserved everything that happened to them because they were a different, more inferior “species''. However, these ideas were flawed, with no real explanation as to why some of us looked different as compared to one another, and no look into biological markers that may indicate that there is one gene that shows up in every African American person or every Native American person. Socio-psychological ideas that helped explain the appeal of race science is the idea of an In Group vs an Out Group bias. In group vs out group bias was a theory made by Henri Tajfel explaining how humans will create distinctions from other groups in order to build self esteem and affirm the beliefs they have. Back in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the in group was Europeans/Americans and the out group was everyone else. Europeans/Americans believed that they were the norm, that they were superior and believed the out group was inferior and inherently immoral. Because of this feeling, European/Americans felt the need to make people of color assimilate to their culture as seen in the Dawes Allotment Act and Residential Schools, where European/Americans had taken away lands from Native Americans in an effort to push Native Americans to assimilate to European/American cultural values as they believed their traditional beliefs were taking away the opportunity to do that. They used the residential schools to build this assimilation of American culture. Not only did they force “inferior races” to assimilate but they also felt the need to exploit people of color and treat them as if they’re less than in society as seen in Jim Crow laws and the Mexican Repariation Act. In these acts, African Americans are exploited and Mexicans are deported because of the belief that they will steal jobs from American families. This logic applied to acts like the Chinese Exclusion Act as well. In essence, the ingroup vs outgroup bias helped strengthen the appeal of race science which can be seen in various US policies that impacted minorities in the US during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

“Race is real in society. It’s real in politics. It’s real in the way we treat each other. It's visceral because we have made it visceral in our everyday lives” Race is present everywhere and the ideas of race ‘science’ and racial differences will still be with us in society even though we know the methods and findings used to prove these differences were so incredibly flawed. Though not everyone agrees with the ideas of race science, there are some people that still hold by these findings and feel like they align with them. Politicians may also be influenced by these ideas which can be amplified to a bigger audience because they are people in power. This can be seen in politicians that are running for the 2024 presiential election. In one of my classmate’s US Policy presentation about the Mexican Repariation Act, they stated that politicians running for the 2024 presidential elections want to deport American citizens of undocumented parents. Though race science is something not everyone may know about in particular, the feeling of being the superior race is and people will capitlize on that if it means they are portrayed in a better way than another person. To counter this ‘new’ racist ideology, we can push against it and push people to educate themselves on topics before they make statements and realize how flawed their reasoning is. “They play on these assumptions and stereotypes and the lack of education that we have around these issues, and they make us believe that identity is biological, when identity is cultural.”

bowlesfan#1
Charlestown, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 6

Learn to Question Post 3: Impacts of Race 'Science' in the United States Then and Now

The ideas of race ‘science’ were so appealing to Europeans in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries because it was beneficial to them. Throughout the many presentations we had in class, all of them had one thing in common. It was the fact that Europeans and white elitists of the U.S. exploited different races for means of power, money, or even their own validation. This can be seen with the Annexation of Hawaii. As Hawaii had a great number of sugar plantations and was a major location in Pacific trade it was enticing to France, Great Britain, and America. They wanted to make this land their own. The white missionaries who worked closely with the Hawaiian government later formed The Reform Party under Sanford Dole in order to later annex Hawaii. This forced the king at the time, King Kalakaua, to sign a new legislation called the Bayonet Constitution which took away Native Hawaiians rights. Other laws and policies created by white missionaries gave non-Natives voting rights while Natives did not. After King Kalakaua died Queen Liliuokalani would ascend to the throne. Fighting for Hawaii to go back to the way it was President McKinely and other government officials would sign for the annexation of Hawaii. Ultimately the U.S. were able to gain more global trade power and did not allow for other countries to go after Hawaii anymore. Whites took over sugar plantations and this wave of white influence spread onto the Hawaiians and killed much of their culture and language. Now Native Hawaiians are a minority on their own land as they make up a mere 10.1% of its population compared to the 25.5% that is fully white. They also live in worse conditions than most. Famous celebrities such as Mark Zuckerberg own acres of Native Land and Natives are unable to do anything about it. This cycle is constantly being repeated as humans are naturally selfish and will keep persisting to be the most powerful. Racism is very much a pervelant thing that occurs today as well. According to an NPR article called “Is 'Race Science' Making A Comeback?” It states, “I've read genetics textbooks on race that say race is all silly — we should all let it go and live in this kind of colorblind world. Well, no, because that's not the world that we live in. These things matter, because that boy when I was 10 years old did not throw rocks at me because of genetics. He threw rocks at me because I looked brown and he took exception to that. And that's not going to stop. … The thing is, race is real in society. It's real in politics. It's real in the ways that we treat each other. It's visceral because we have made it visceral in our everyday lives, and it has a biological impact because of that. Racism impacts people's bodies. It impacts people's minds. It affects how they live and how they grow.” Your race is something that is a part of your identity and you can not change that. I think it is important to teach the prevalence and the past of the idea of race. At the same time we should learn that people look the way they do because of adaptations to location.

Critical Thinker
Posts: 7

Race ¨Science¨ post

I believe that race science was so appealing to Europeans and Americans because it gave them a way to ease their guilt over the way they treated others. It eased their conscious when faced with slavery, concentration camps, relocation, and genocide that they used to better their own standings as world powers. The socio-psychological idea that comes to mind is cognitive dissonance. This is when people know on some level that what they are doing is wrong, and so they do everything they can including blatantly lying to themselves to convince themselves that they are in the right and others are in the wrong. The creation of race science was simply to ease the conscious of people having doubts about the wrongful treatment of others, and to allow them to “justify” horrible actions on account of others being lesser or even animals.


As shown in our class presentations, many american laws were formed from the prejudices of race science, and greatly affected the people they were used against even up to today. Many laws were used to push people out of the country, and to basically separate them from “Americans”, meaning white colonizers. This can be seen through the Mexican Repatriation, the annexation of the Philippines, and the Indian termination policy. All of these acts were meant to better the lives of white Americans, with zero regard for how it affected the lives of others as they were deported, abandoned or pushed into poverty. The government even shows how people find ways to work around systems to take advantage of race. The Convict lease system allows convicts, mostly black and wrongfully imprisoned, to be used practically as slaves. The Dred Scott decision ruled that slaves were not American citizens and as such had no rights in the face of the government. All of these have lasting impacts today, seen in the imbalance of who lives in poverty, and who is rich. Many of these pass through generations, and those who were caught in injustice in the past have descendants who are dealing with the aftermath now.


I don’t think that too many people still believe in race science, but racial differences still absolutely determine many many things in our society. Sometimes it is through pure ignorance, other times people are aware of their prejudices, but either way it is not something that will magically go away. These ideas still persist in how white people make up the immense majority of the upper class, and how black, mexican, native american etc. populations make up the majority of those in extreme poverty, or homeless. These ideas continue to persist because unfortunately, finding ways to group people together is human nature. The things associated with these groups are what has to change, along with the belief that there is something biologically different between people, which there isn’t. Another big factor in changing people’s ideas or underlying beliefs in race science is how professionals address it. According to a Smithsonian article, ““Mainstream scientists, geneticists and medical researchers still invoke race and use these categories in their work, even though we have been told for 70 years that they have no biological meaning, that they have only social meaning,” Saini says”. If our doctors and scientists continue to use race as an assumption or category in determining reasons for their work, how would the rest of society learn to move away from these categorizations? I think that to counter the growth of racist ideology is to keep people informed that there truly is no biological difference, and find new ways to define race that is culturally accurate rather than harmful and degrading.

crazyarmadillo
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 9

Originally posted by Gaius on October 20, 2023 20:04

The fundamental basis of race ‘science’ is the desire of Europeans and Americans to feel innately superior, no matter their socioeconomic status. This desire was exploited by rich lawmakers in an attempt to gain control over the vast population of poor white people, as a system to ensure they would support policies backed by racist ideologies that would provide little to no benefit for anyone other than the upper class. By adopting these ideologies, lower class white people were able to gain an air of superiority over another group, separating them from other groups of oppressed people, preventing them from rising up against the powers that be. This not only helped to calm the mass of poor white people, but also allowed them to find an easy support of colonial practices. While the benefit of colonialism to the upper class was obvious, the accumulation of wealth and an easily exploitable labor force, the benefit was barely seen by the average citizen. These pseudo-scientific theories allowed poor white people to see the imaginary benefit: caring for a group of people too unsophisticated to care for themselves. These theories also helped rectify the cognitive dissonance from the soldiers doing the work of conquering these people, causing them to see it not only as something that was necessary, but actually beneficial to the conquered people. Race ‘science’ is not used only as a justification to commit these acts, but a reason to.

When it comes to the idea of race ‘science’ as a fundamentally flawed and incorrect science, the issue with debunking it is that the current believers are unwilling to do their own research, or unwilling to listen to scientists. As said in the article by The Guardian, “‘That attack on my book was purely political,” Wade told Stefan Molyneux, one of the most popular promoters of the alt-right’s new scientific racism. They were speaking a month after Trump’s election on Molyneux’s YouTube show, whose episodes have been viewed tens of millions of times. Wade continued: “It had no scientific basis whatever and it showed the more ridiculous side of this herd belief.’”, the basis upon which most perpetrators of scientific racism stand on is that anyone who disagrees with their theories is simply doing so as a result of trying to be “politically correct”, not of science. The perpetuation of this belief allows followers of the ideology to easily discount the ideas of anyone who disagrees, without any thought to the point they’re making. The book that Wade is referring to was debunked by groups of geneticists, who accused him of misrepresenting their field of research. The narrative that he is pushing, that his ideas are being debunked on a social basis as opposed to a scientific one, gives him and those who agree with him a feeling of moral superiority over those who disagree with him. This is exacerbated by the fact that at the moment, theories of race ‘science’ are simply fringe theories, giving those who follow them a false sense of prosecution, making them more and more sure of their ideals each time they are questioned, because they feel able to simply dismiss it as another instance of them being silenced. These ideas persist largely because those who believe in them are so stuck in their convictions that any criticism only serves to egg them on, and they then in turn pass these ideologies onto their children. Theories of race ‘science’ are appealing to people who feel like they have been mislead by the system, so instead of taking it out on the powers that be, they take it out on people who are different than themselves, feeling like they deserved what these other people got for the simple virtue of being white. Race ‘science’ allows them to feel superior, no matter if that means putting other people down in the process. These theories can best be counteracted by more widely available resources to debunk these ideologies so that the average person can protect themself from proponents of these theories. It could be especially useful to teach in more common classes, such as US history, since those classes, as mandatory courses, would stop these ideologies from spreading to the younger generations. Education is the only method to end the perpetuation of racist ideologies, and making this sort of education more commonly available would lessen the commonality of these ideologies.

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I liked your idea of education because in history we always learn straight facts instead of the ideas and psychological phenomenons behind it. The last sentence of the first paragraph was a really good line and transitition to the point.

Watermelon
Posts: 7

Originally posted by shortdog on October 22, 2023 11:39

The persuasive ideas of race ‘science’ and racial differences are still very prevalent in society today. While in the past there might have been more specific and obvious policies against groups of people based on their race, the core of the ideas still stand today. No matter the number of people who recognize how flawed the methods and findings used to prove these differences, there will always be people who don’t see it. Racism has been ingrained into society for hundreds of years, and at this point, it would be almost impossible for it to be completely eradicated. To counteract this ‘new’ racist ideology, many steps would have to be taken, but no amount of pushing from the government or society can change what some people think, and their opinions may never change. A quote from The Smithsonian, The Disturbing Resilience of Scientific Racism, by Ramin Skibba, connects to the point that racism and racist ideas will never completely go away. Terms, policies, and the ways of discrimination can all change in their own ways, but at its core, racism will always be part of society. “They simply used different terms, Saini points out, as some continued with race-focused research while referring to ‘populations’ and ‘human variation’ rather than ‘races’ and ‘racial differences’ ” (Skibba). We can try to avoid using the wrong language to talk about things, however, nothing is perfect and it probably won’t ever be.

The impact of race ‘science’ ideas in the United States is very obvious within states, but also more generally in the whole country. Probably the most important and serious example of this happening is the ratio of people of color compared to white people who get arrested. As shown in one of the presentations, 1 in 3 black men get arrested, which is 2 or 3 times more compared to white men. This makes it very hard for people of color, especially men, to go about their lives without discrimination. They have more trouble getting jobs, being trusted, and generally just living. Another example is how hard it is for people to buy property. This has been an issue for hundreds of years, where people of color have an incredibly hard time getting loans and then buying houses. People of black neighborhoods of low income would be denied a loan that a white person of low income would be given. Over generations, this has forced people of color to live in more dangerous places with more pollution and poor conditions.

No matter how many people can recognize the flaws of race ‘science,’ it is almost impossible to completely eradicate racism and discrimination from society today.


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I hadn't thought about how race 'science' ideas impact things like loans and where you buy houses in modern day. I knew this was an issue, but I didn't think to include it in my response and I think the statistics you used to support your point are very interesting. Even though racism will likely never completely go away, is there any way to mitigate how many people practice and experience it?

vetoed UN resolution
Posts: 7

Originally posted by bowlesfan#1 on October 23, 2023 07:36

The ideas of race ‘science’ were so appealing to Europeans in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries because it was beneficial to them. Throughout the many presentations we had in class, all of them had one thing in common. It was the fact that Europeans and white elitists of the U.S. exploited different races for means of power, money, or even their own validation. This can be seen with the Annexation of Hawaii. As Hawaii had a great number of sugar plantations and was a major location in Pacific trade it was enticing to France, Great Britain, and America. They wanted to make this land their own. The white missionaries who worked closely with the Hawaiian government later formed The Reform Party under Sanford Dole in order to later annex Hawaii. This forced the king at the time, King Kalakaua, to sign a new legislation called the Bayonet Constitution which took away Native Hawaiians rights. Other laws and policies created by white missionaries gave non-Natives voting rights while Natives did not. After King Kalakaua died Queen Liliuokalani would ascend to the throne. Fighting for Hawaii to go back to the way it was President McKinely and other government officials would sign for the annexation of Hawaii. Ultimately the U.S. were able to gain more global trade power and did not allow for other countries to go after Hawaii anymore. Whites took over sugar plantations and this wave of white influence spread onto the Hawaiians and killed much of their culture and language. Now Native Hawaiians are a minority on their own land as they make up a mere 10.1% of its population compared to the 25.5% that is fully white. They also live in worse conditions than most. Famous celebrities such as Mark Zuckerberg own acres of Native Land and Natives are unable to do anything about it. This cycle is constantly being repeated as humans are naturally selfish and will keep persisting to be the most powerful. Racism is very much a pervelant thing that occurs today as well. According to an NPR article called “Is 'Race Science' Making A Comeback?” It states, “I've read genetics textbooks on race that say race is all silly — we should all let it go and live in this kind of colorblind world. Well, no, because that's not the world that we live in. These things matter, because that boy when I was 10 years old did not throw rocks at me because of genetics. He threw rocks at me because I looked brown and he took exception to that. And that's not going to stop. … The thing is, race is real in society. It's real in politics. It's real in the ways that we treat each other. It's visceral because we have made it visceral in our everyday lives, and it has a biological impact because of that. Racism impacts people's bodies. It impacts people's minds. It affects how they live and how they grow.” Your race is something that is a part of your identity and you can not change that. I think it is important to teach the prevalence and the past of the idea of race. At the same time we should learn that people look the way they do because of adaptations to location.

I think this post did a great job at focusing on one specific example; the tragic history of Hawaii's colonization. They centered on what could seem at first as plain political power-grabbing and tied it into the effects of race science, AND made important connections to the situation in Hawaii today, with the inequity between Settler and Native peoples and the decline of Native Hawaiian culture. It makes an important point; everything can be weaponized for politics.

tulips
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 7

Originally posted by universaldeclarationofhumanrights<3 on October 22, 2023 22:23

The ideas of race science were so appealing to Europeans and European Americans because they confirmed the sense of supremacy and superiority that they held over people of color. Race science told white people that they were biologically and historically better than people of any other culture, no matter how biased and untrue the research that was presented to them to back this theory up was. The idea that having a larger skull meant that white people were smarter and more intelligent than say Africans made white people feel a sense of responsibility to literally claim ownership over these people, as they were seen as lesser than and unable to care for themselves and others. Plus, the history of the world that was known by the researchers making these claims, at that time, was only the point of view of the Europeans. So, the Europeans thought that they were the oldest and most advanced societies in the world, which just added on to the feeling of supremacy that they held over other peoples. The Europeans also invaded many lands and caused many mass killings, so the history of other people were erased by the Europeans themselves.

Once pseudo-scientific ideals of race were integrated into laws and policies in the United States government, there was extreme violence and discrimination against non-white people. Society was physically and mentally segregated between white people and people of color, Mexicans, Chinese, and many other races were deported illegally and treated awfully. Propaganda against entire races was spread widely in the mainstream media, which perpetuated extreme acts of violence and hatred against them. White people felt the responsibility to almost “cleanse” the United States, to the point where it was unsafe to be a person of color living within the country. The impact of these laws and policies are seen in the extreme racism and xenophobia that are prevalent in our country today. When the coronavirus pandemic began, there was an extreme and saddening spike in violent attacks against Asian Americans, because the thought that the virus originated in China translated to a global hatred of all Asian people, even though they hold no responsibility for the pandemic at all. In 2020, there was a huge media spotlight on racist attacks by the police force in America. The brutal and violent murders of innocent black citizens were recorded and blasted all over social media, but little consequences were received by the racist and bloodthirsty police officers . The laws in place to protect police officers in this country end up with the officers having to take no responsibility for their actions, as they will be automatically protected by the federal government. Justice for these innocent individuals whose lives were taken for absolutely no reason has still not been achieved, and most likely never will.

The basic ideas of race science, like the biological ideas that different measurements of body parts mean different things may not still be prevalent in our society today, but the ideals perpetuated from that racist research are definitely still present today. The existence of white supremacy groups, and even just the racial wage gap, are all things that stem from race science. The idea that the white man is intellectually, physically, and biologically superior to the black man are all ideas that, although not outwardly accepted, are still ingrained in the way our society and even us as individuals function day to day. The small stereotypes that we keep inside our heads were perpetuated by race science, as much as someone being outwardly racist and even violent is perpetuated by race science. The way to counteract these ideals, though a lengthy process, is to start in education. Unlearning starts within the school system, and the idea that everyone can be the same, no matter their race or their biological makeup, needs to start being taught in kindergarten. The only way to create a big racist generation, is to educate a not racist generation.

"The idea that white man is intellectually, physically, and biologically superior to the black man are all ideas that, although not outwardly accepted, are still ingrained in the way our society and even us as individuals function day to day." The way you said this perfectly describes the current state of the present, I couldn't have described it in a better way. Despite it being 2023, where there are more and more people speaking out against discrimination and prejudice against colored people, racism is still ingrained in our society and affects the things we as individuals do daily as well as how things like institutions function. I also love how you encouraged education to start early like in kindergarten. In my response, I also wrote about education but I think it's important to highlight that this is something that should be known early in life so that it sticks with you and you learn from it.

HighAltitude
Posts: 7

Originally posted by universaldeclarationofhumanrights<3 on October 22, 2023 22:23

The ideas of race science were so appealing to Europeans and European Americans because they confirmed the sense of supremacy and superiority that they held over people of color. Race science told white people that they were biologically and historically better than people of any other culture, no matter how biased and untrue the research that was presented to them to back this theory up was. The idea that having a larger skull meant that white people were smarter and more intelligent than say Africans made white people feel a sense of responsibility to literally claim ownership over these people, as they were seen as lesser than and unable to care for themselves and others. Plus, the history of the world that was known by the researchers making these claims, at that time, was only the point of view of the Europeans. So, the Europeans thought that they were the oldest and most advanced societies in the world, which just added on to the feeling of supremacy that they held over other peoples. The Europeans also invaded many lands and caused many mass killings, so the history of other people were erased by the Europeans themselves.

Once pseudo-scientific ideals of race were integrated into laws and policies in the United States government, there was extreme violence and discrimination against non-white people. Society was physically and mentally segregated between white people and people of color, Mexicans, Chinese, and many other races were deported illegally and treated awfully. Propaganda against entire races was spread widely in the mainstream media, which perpetuated extreme acts of violence and hatred against them. White people felt the responsibility to almost “cleanse” the United States, to the point where it was unsafe to be a person of color living within the country. The impact of these laws and policies are seen in the extreme racism and xenophobia that are prevalent in our country today. When the coronavirus pandemic began, there was an extreme and saddening spike in violent attacks against Asian Americans, because the thought that the virus originated in China translated to a global hatred of all Asian people, even though they hold no responsibility for the pandemic at all. In 2020, there was a huge media spotlight on racist attacks by the police force in America. The brutal and violent murders of innocent black citizens were recorded and blasted all over social media, but little consequences were received by the racist and bloodthirsty police officers . The laws in place to protect police officers in this country end up with the officers having to take no responsibility for their actions, as they will be automatically protected by the federal government. Justice for these innocent individuals whose lives were taken for absolutely no reason has still not been achieved, and most likely never will.

The basic ideas of race science, like the biological ideas that different measurements of body parts mean different things may not still be prevalent in our society today, but the ideals perpetuated from that racist research are definitely still present today. The existence of white supremacy groups, and even just the racial wage gap, are all things that stem from race science. The idea that the white man is intellectually, physically, and biologically superior to the black man are all ideas that, although not outwardly accepted, are still ingrained in the way our society and even us as individuals function day to day. The small stereotypes that we keep inside our heads were perpetuated by race science, as much as someone being outwardly racist and even violent is perpetuated by race science. The way to counteract these ideals, though a lengthy process, is to start in education. Unlearning starts within the school system, and the idea that everyone can be the same, no matter their race or their biological makeup, needs to start being taught in kindergarten. The only way to create a big racist generation, is to educate a not racist generation.

I find it very interesting how you pointed out how “the laws in place to protect police officers in this country end up with the officers having to take no responsibility for their actions, as they will be automatically protected by the federal government” because the ideas that I’ve shared and heard about are all about the oppression that people face due to laws. However, I’ve never considered the opposite side; it also benefits people not directly involved in applying these pseudo-sciences as lawmakers. For example, police officers benefit from laws influenced by pseudo-sciences, showing that it’s a double-edged sword that can harm others who are persecuted while benefitting those that it ‘protects’ by turning a blind eye to their actions, which isn’t the legal action that should be taken to advance justice.

0_0
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 7

Originally posted by rica.junction on October 21, 2023 16:45

Scientific Racism unfolded from 19th-century Europeans' and Americans' desire to justify colonialism and the persecution of non-whites. Humans feel the need to preserve a stable and positive self-image, and ‘race science’ helped reduce their cognitive dissonance by justifying their actions. The new ‘science’ coincided with European expansion and colonization, and provided a perfect excuse for slavery, colonialism, segregation, genocide, and land acquisition. The idea of polygenism perpetuated the theory that humans were different species, and had biological differences in intelligence, morality, and so forth. Tajfel’s social identity theory explains the innate desire to categorize people---this is the desire that race scientists capitalized on to perpetuate their theories. It is important to note, however, that race is nothing more than a skin-deep phenomenon that white men morphed into a cruel lie that reinforced social hierarchies with them at the top. In their post, Gaius wrote, “Race ‘science’ is not used only as a justification to commit these acts, but a reason to.” This illustrates the change of race from justification to "The White Man's Burden,” the idea that white men being in power was not only beneficial but actually the morally correct action to civilize “savages.”

Pseudo-scientific ideas deeply influenced American policy and led to legislation that discriminated against racial groups. The Mexican Repatriation and Chinese Exclusion Act led to the current view towards Chinese and Mexican immigrants. The Mexican repatriation deported ~1.8 Mexicans from the US, regardless of their citizenship status, and the Chinese Exclusion Act blocked an entire ethnic group from entering the country. They set a precedent that these people were coming to “steal jobs,” and did not deserve to belong in the country. Impacts still reverberate today, as high-profile political figures such as former president Donald Trump go as far as to cite these acts to authorize restrictions on immigration to the US. To this day, the federal government has issued no national apology for the racist actions taken against Mexican and Chinese people, and it is doubtful that they ever will. The Indian Residential School System, Annexation of Puerto Rico, and Jim Crow laws set up Black people, Indigenous Americans, and the people of Puerto Rico to experience systemic inequalities. Indigenous Americans had their land, livelihood, and culture brutally ripped away from them. Puerto Rican people do not have federal voting rights and very weak support from the government---the same government that took over and made them dependent on the US economy. Black Americans were subject to enforced racial segregation, voter restriction, and violence. So many people experience inequalities in healthcare, housing, education, and more. Race science goes beyond simple theory, as it institutionally created and reinforced privilege for whites over anyone else.

America must acknowledge and learn from history, not celebrate it. The pervasive ideas of race ‘science’ and racial differences are still with us in society, even though we know the methods and the findings used to prove these differences were so incredibly flawed. This is especially evident in far-right groups, although not limited to them. In mid-2016, Donald Trump’s future chief strategist “wrote an article in which he suggested that some black people who had been shot by the police might have deserved it,” stating his opinion that “there are, after all, in this world, some people who are naturally aggressive and violent” (Evans 1). This cites the false and damaging opinion perpetuated by scientific racism that Black people are genetically predisposed to violence. The conservative-liberal divide has grown, exacerbated by people---especially right-wing supporters--- who deny the truth simply because others are not part of their “ingroup.” The social scientist Jonathan Haidt said liberals “reject the truth of inherited IQ difference between groups because of a misguided commitment to the idea that social outcomes depend entirely on nurture, and are therefore mutable, ” and political scientist Charles Murry claimed that liberal academic critics of his book “lied without any apparent shadow of guilt because…in their own minds, they thought they were doing the Lord’s work.” (Evans 2). Haidt’s actions mirror leading race scientists like Louis Aggasiz who believed that intelligence was inherited and that white people were naturally more intelligent. Both men help spotlight the problem that the United States is facing right now, not only regarding race. People in power do not listen to each other, and misinformation is rampant. In order to counter the legacy of racist ideology and persistent ideas of it, there must be open acknowledgment, communication, and discussion of the past and what the future will bring.

I really like how you structured the paragraphs and how you used all the terminology from class. They were used to give background information on the topic very well how it stemmed from physical features such as head size and skin color. On top of that you mentioned so many of the laws/policies from class but went into depth on how they affected the people specifically by naming situations such as education or housing. I can tell you put in a lot of academic thought because this was written very strongly. I also like your conclusion which was short yet firm about what needs to happen in order to avoid these racist ideologies in today's world.

boston123
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 7

Originally posted by HighAltitude on October 22, 2023 22:02

The idea of race ‘science’ was the exact ‘revelation’ that Europeans and Americans needed to further their development of imperialism, racism, and slavery. It convinced the general public about the necessity of race ‘science’ and its validity, which garnered massive amounts of support for these actions against other countries and races with little to no opposition. This can be compared to the propaganda used during the Holocaust and other race-based crimes to manipulate the public opinion while ‘justifying’ the choices made by those in power. A quote from the Smithonian Magazine supports this analysis: “Geneticist James Watson… has frequently been the subject of withering criticism for voicing racist beliefs, including that differences on tests of intelligence have a racial component, and arguing that Indians are servile and that Chinese people have somehow become genetically conformist” (Skibba). The presentations presented in class and discussed by many all mention the use of race ‘science’ in this way, most notably the Dred Scott decision and the Indian Termination Act where the federal government gentrified native territories and assimilation Native Americans into white society simply because they were viewed as ‘inferior’ and ‘savages’.


The impact of race ‘science’ in U.S law and government has lasted through the foundation of the country until now. As mentioned before, one of the most influential impacts of race ‘science’ was the Dred Scott decision, which hastened the civil war between states on the stance of slavery in the nation, leading to systematic discrimination and lack of action in some states towards blacks. However, these injustices have yet to be resolved after the thirteenth amendment because the U.S government implemented a system that continues indentured servitude in the form of the convict lease system that forced prisoners to labor. This is a clear sign of how race ‘science’ has not only remained, but is on the edge of rebirth through legal loopholes and racial discrimination as the people who are most subject to things similar to the convict lease system are minorities. Especially those of a darker complexion for no reason at all.


To answer whether or not if racial ‘sciences’ and differences are still apparent today, an article from The Guardian is needed. In his article, Gavin speaks on the fact that public discourse and political discourse has centered on the topic of race for centuries, never seeming to cease despite the work of countless. The reason that scientific racism hasn’t been completely removed from the field of science despite being proven wrong is that it’s a social construct that provides some with a sense of superiority and power over others that they don’t want to dismiss regardless of the lack of evidence. The quote, “It was a prime example of the rhetoric of race science, whose proponents love to claim that they are honouring the data, not political commitments” (Evans) sums up this explanation perfectly. The lengths that proponents argue over the use of these sciences are extensive, as they claim that it is only used for discussion without also mentioning the very apparent use of it in politics that decide on the wellbeing of citizens. Unfortunately, while there are no certain methods to combat the use and injustices caused by race ‘sciences’, the spread of awareness on the issue and the development of social justice actively contribute to the dissolution of this problem in our society.

I completely agree with your thoughts on the impact of race science in the world today. You mentioned the Dred Scott decision, which I think played a huge role in the development of modern systemic racism and criminal injustice.

Critical Thinker
Posts: 7

Originally posted by 0_0 on October 22, 2023 21:21

Race science is an ideology that still affects all colored people of America today. It may no longer be recognized as real science because it has been debunked but the laws and policies that were made due to it from many years ago still have many harsh effects on the colored people of today all over the world. The one most people are aware of but choose to ignore is the issue closest to us Americans today, which would be the native americans on the reservations. Back in the 1900s they were even used as entertainment in “museums” just to show how “savage” they were or how “uneducated” they were and how through brutal force whites could educate them. These museums were well known and a big part of history yet nobody acknowledges them and moves past as though it didn’t happen. As seen through the physical appearance of native americans they have a darker complexion than whites and this is what race science stems off of. The darker complexioned races are always seen as less human. This then starts the whole “white man's burden” of them feeling like they need to “civilize” these people of color. This kicked off the horrific boarding school that native kids were sent to in order to be made more American. In these schools they were hit with long thick rulers on their hands, they weren't even allowed to speak their own language, and had many severe punishments for acting out of line. It’s not just natives that have suffered through this but latinos, blacks, asians and other poc identifiers because race science still has its after effects in modern days through racism, mass killings and xenophobia. Just like how the article Is 'Race Science' Making A Comeback? It states, “The thing is, race is real in society. It's real in politics. It's real in the ways that we treat each other. It's visceral because we have made it visceral in our everyday lives, and it has a biological impact because of that. Racism impacts people's bodies. It impacts people's minds. It affects how they live and how they grow.” Due to the aftermath of white people thinking they are superior to all colored races the people have now had to make movements such as Black Lives Matter, Hear Latino voices and Stop Asian Hate just to spread awareness of their racial injustice. These movements came when lives were lost due to these racially targeted crimes. Even schooling and work fields are divided by race. Schools in white dominated neighborhoods get better funding, education and opportunities unlike the schools in redlining areas that are dominated by black and latinos. Even in the workforce higher paying jobs are given to the people who have opportunities. People of color need to work even harder for the high positions they get and sometimes they aren't paid the same. Of course things like affirmative action or reserved spots for people of color have tried to change the statistics of colored people in the workforce but it hasn't been a permanent solution, the only permanent solution would be to end racism. White supremacists still exist because their ancestors truly believe in race science that it made their race the better one. Race science over time has been used to justify the colonization, racism, and torture methods of europeans but despite it being science of the past it still has its after effects even years later.

I absolutely agree with you, and to your point of Native Americans being used as entertainment in museums, I actually have never heard of this before, and it sounds horrific. I think that so many things have just been swept under the rug and blamed on past ways of thinking as if we have moved on from them, but in reality we haven´t, which is exactly why all of the movements you mentioned have even needed to be formed. Race ¨science¨ can now simply be seen in new ways that are presented differently in society, but they are in no way gone and are still ingrained in our society.

crazyarmadillo
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 9

Originally posted by fridakahlo216 on October 22, 2023 13:47

The ideas of race “science” stemmed from a need to justify the political movements occurring in the world at that time. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Europeans and their descendants (ie. Americans) engaged in colonization, taking over many parts of Africa, Asia, and the Americas. In order to create a basis for their expansion, they had to come up with valid reasons for why they even had the right in the first place to take over the land of other groups and then oppress those said groups. The solution that these colonizers came up with was to create a factual basis for a concept that had existed for centuries: racism. By claiming that their prejudice against “others,” meaning peoples and cultures from other places in the world that they were unfamiliar with, was undeniable and simply biological, these colonizers declared that they and their descendants had been chosen to rule over the non-white world. White people were then able to weaponize this “science” since, as stated by rica.junction, it “provided a perfect excuse for slavery, colonialism, segregation, genocide, and land acquisition.”

The need to justify their horrifying treatment of people of color largely stemmed from the socio-psychological ideas of cognitive dissonance, Tajfel’s Social Identity Theory, and Latane and Darley’s Bystander Effect. Cognitive dissonance essentially comes from a person’s need to maintain a positive self-image, and when someone does something bad or immoral, contradicting their positive self-image, they try in any way possible to justify their actions and maintain their belief that they are a good person. In the case of colonialism, white people needed to justify their violence and oppression towards people of color, and they did so by claiming that people of color were either below them on a racial hierarchy or not even people at all, but animals, and that they were not, therefore, deserving of rights such as liberty and body autonomy. Additionally, Tajfel’s Social Identity Theory explains how humans develop a sense of membership tied to the group(s) that they are a part of and that they have a natural tendency to categorize people based on their group(s), thereby creating an “us versus them” mentality. This played into race “science” as these scientists took advantage of this concept and essentially created numerous divisions among humanity based on race, claiming that people of different races were entirely different “species” or “breeds” of humans. However, as NPR’s interview with Angela Saini explains, this is an extremely inaccurate way to describe humanity as the racial divisions that race “scientists” conjured up were often proxies for other characteristics, such as geographical location. Nevertheless, these concepts are still deeply ingrained in our society, and people will likely say how they feel they can relate more to or understand better members of their own race (or people who appear to be of their own race) when, in fact, these connections are based on other factors such as culture, language, or religion. Finally, Latane and Darley’s Bystander Effect can be seen in the lack of action taken by ordinary white people during the age of colonialism. Many working-class Europeans and Americans likely fell prey to the propaganda being used at the time, which justified the actions of colonizers. The influx of “science” and racist discourse coupled with Social Identity Theory resulted in many white people, even if they did not believe that their governments’ treatment of people of color was, being reluctant to speak out against it, maybe out of ignorance (ie. they did not know the full extent of how their governments were oppressing and murdering people of color), out of fear (ie. social pressure, could be reprimanded by their governments), or out of greed (ie. white people, at least indirectly, benefitted from the oppression of people of color).

Ways in which we can now work to counter racist ideology is to speak of it more. By this, I mean that it is important to acknowledge the racist ideology that is still extremely pervasive in society, despite our reluctance to admit it, since that is the first step in speaking out against it. In acknowledging racism it is also important for people who have benefitted from these oppressive systems, at least indirectly, meaning white people or multiracial people, to recognize that they have in fact benefited from them. However, this does not mean that they need to feel guilty for these systems, as they are not the ones who created them, but they must recognize that they have a responsibility to amend them and work in solidarity with people of color to create a better, more harmonious society.

Post your response here.

I liked how you focused more on the psychological effects it had when it came to using race science. Your essay opened up new understandings for me about it. The second paragraph was very consistent and I think it always kept relating to race science.

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