In the only book to date to explore the period between the 1859 publication of Darwin’s Origin of Species and the discovery in 1900 of Gregor Mendel’s experiments in genetics, John S. Haller, Jr., shows the relationship between scientific “conviction” and public policy. He focuses on the numerous liberally educated American scientists who were caught up in the triumph of evolutionary ideas and who sought to apply those ideas to comparative morality, health, and the physiognomy of nonwhite races.
During this period, the natural and social scientists of the day not only accepted without question the genetic and cultural superiority of the Caucasian; they also asserted that the Caucasian race held a monopoly on evolutionary progress, arguing that “inferior races” were no more than evolutionary survivors doomed by their genetic legacy to remain outcasts from evolution.
Hereditarians and evolutionists believed that “less fit” human races were perishing from the rigors of civilization’s struggle and competition. Indeed, racial inferiority lay at the very foundation of the evolutionary framework and, remaining there, rose to the pinnacle of “truth” with the myth of scientific certainty.
The fiction was never the truth, regardless of who told us white folks it was. Where I grew up Native Americans didn’t exist even though place–names and roadside histories said otherwise. Who then existed that did not enjoy the same privileged color identity as me?
Well, Injuns, Mexicans and those whom my grandmother called Negroes and my grandfather niggers.
Who to blame for how I learned to see the world?
Community of white farm folks.
Church that taught scripture and doctrine regarding Nephites and white, fair and delightsome and Lamanites as dark, loathsome, wild, savage and unworthy?
Family, community, church, county, state, and nation all of them contributed to my social domestication. They dished it out, but I ate it.
What got promoted in the name of whiteness as good and non-whiteness as less-than got became a fiction-turned-into-fact in my young mind.
I bought it, internalized it and lived as if the fiction were the truth.
Own what you say and do. Don’t point at someone else for what you believe and do.
Scott Peck in The Road Less Traveled recounts the Myth of Orestes:
The Myth of Orestes and the Furies
… Orestes’ mother, Clytemnestra murdered her husband, Orestes’ father, Agamemnon. This crime in turn brought down the curse upon Orestes’ head, because by the Greek code of honour a son was obliged, above all else, to slay his father’s murderer. Yet the greatest sin a Greek could commit was the sin of matricide (killing one’s mother).
Orestes agonised over his dilemma. Finally he did what he seemingly had to do and killed his mother. For this sin the gods then punished Orestes by visiting upon him the Furies, three ghastly harpies who could be seen and heard only by him and who tormented him night and day with their cackling criticism and frightening appearance.
Pursued wherever he went by the Furies, Orestes wandered about the land seeking to atone for his crime. After many years of lonely reflection and self-abrogation Orestes requested the gods relieve him.
A trial was held by the gods. Speaking in Orestes defense, Apollo argued that he had engineered the whole situation that had placed Orestes in the position in which he had no choice but to kill his mother, and therefore Orestes really could not be held responsible.
At this point Orestes jumped up and contradicted his own defender, stating “It was I, not Apollo, that murdered my mother!” The gods were amazed. Never before had a member of the House of Atreus assumed such total responsibility for himself and not blamed the gods.
Who taught you and pushed, pulled or dragged you into this unconscious conspiracy to consider a lie the truth?
Do you go along with those of inferior minds who consciously or unconsciously attempt a social coercion to conform with the conspiracy?
If you still haven’t taken a stand either way regarding the myth of racial superiority …
If you hide behind the gaslight slogan “All Lives Matter” …
Then it’s time for your personal and civic maturity. Tackle your own version of believing the fiction. Think about your active and passive reactions.
Do you actively or passively participate in ridicule, demeaning ideas, persecution or exclusion?
Is it easier to look the other way rather than accept maturity in thought, word and deed?
Does the implication of white hypocrisy regarding white privilege bring you to self-righteous and self-conscious alligator tears?
Well, grow up my friend.
Change is upon us.
It’s long overdue.
It’s time has come.
I myself am not sure how to proceed other than speaking up even when my voice shakes;
I know my indignation is real whether I’m courageous about it or not;
I never again want to give in to the temptation to remain silent when supposed white friends, white authority figures and pretend drugstore patriots shit all over our national dignity and honor.
They’re doing in in cowardice – based on a fiction we can no longer accept as real.