July 19, 2014

"'The Ideal Head': Bizarre Racial Teachings From a 1906 Textbook."

"A hundred years ago, American geography students learned about a world in which 'the brown people raise rice,' 'the black people … have no books,' and 'the red men are savages.'"

35 comments:

Gahrie said...

According to this textbook, the white race is the most advanced in the world. Most other races, schoolchildren were taught, tended to have a “savage” character, living in remote areas without industry and Western-style education

In 1906, this was pretty much true. Certainly for everyone except the elites.

Lyle said...

Adolf Hitler was alive too. Austrians, ha!

Ambrose said...

Hmm, truth is funny, isn't it.

Terry said...

Truly vicious racism is a post-Darwin phenomenon. Darwin gave the progressives of the era an excuse to ignore religious teachings about equality before God and a mechanism that allowed them to be believe that negative (or positive) attributes were hereditary, or at least in born.
Progressives haven't changed. Today they have a fetish about a made-up thing called 'sexual orientation' that is a vital part of every human being's nature.
Funny that there is no biological test for it.
Still, they all seem to believe that race is a social construct, while you are born with a 'sexual orientation' that cannot be altered.

chuck said...

Old anthropology books are interesting in the same way. They contain the science of the time, the progressives of the time considered themselves science realists, and there was consensus!

Some things don't change.

n.n said...

I wonder what The Atlantic hopes to gain from their bizarre racial exploitation.

Gahrie:

In 2014, it is still pretty much true. Although, perceptions have changed, if not the actual reality in welfare-ridden societies. To be fair, peoples' opportunities are severely limited by corrupt governments, violent rebels, greedy social activists, and irrational environmental restrictions.

The Crack Emcee said...

Gahrie,

"In 1906, this was pretty much true. Certainly for everyone except the elites."

In 2014, Gahrie was pretty much an idiot. Certainly for everyone except the elites,...

broomhandle said...

The science was settled.

fivewheels said...

One might say that a turn-of-the-century American is as much a savage to us as a pre-industrial Indian was to him.

He might seem too harsh and judgmental toward those he saw as less civilized, but I bet a lot of people today will react that way to this book. And wouldn't that be much worse behavior from an advanced people such as ourselves?

T J Sawyer said...

I have a collection of a dozen or so similar Geography and other texts with similar text. This is clearly not bizarre in the sense of unusual. Wander over to your university library and peruse a few of the older geography and social science texts from 1900.

This was "settled science" from the experts at Princeton and other major universities. My parents likely used these or similar texts in the 1920s.

St. George said...

"During the research for my book, Scalp Dance: Indian Warfare on the High Plains, 1865–1879, I had a chance to study at random the ordeals of some dozen young women captured by Indians, including Catherine German and her sisters. With little variation, the accounts told the same sad story—rape, enslavement, brutality, beatings, abuse.For good reason I named their chapter in the book, “A Fate Worse Than Death.”

Being captured and enslaved by Indians happened a lot in early America, though, frankly, to be fair, white people did the same to blacks.

What a world.

rhhardin said...

That's why they had Indian Red in Crayola boxes.

Tarrou said...

The science was settled, denier.

Curious George said...

Crackapalooza in 5...4...3...2...

Steve said...

This shows how changeable, or subject to fashion, science often is especially in social sciences. In the upper gallery of Chicago's Field Museum there are dozens of lifesize busts of persons from various tribes and races. The busts were teaching tools to help scientists correlate behavior with appearance. Science that is a slave to fashion should therefore not be the predominant factor in guiding our moral thinking. How can we determine right or wrong if the basis varies so much. Yes, in a while it will be even harder to set categories of races and appearance and origins, as the writer says. But even now the behavior of people should only be partially explained by race or geographic origin; the majority of our judgments, if they are to be useful and not ephemeral, should use a more permanent guide as to what is right and wrong. Dare I say moral precepts should be founded on unchanging truths as in religion? The science is unsettled.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...


And yet even with that, I bet Zinn's "A People's History of the United States" contains, cover to cover, more untruths. And has caused more national harm.

T Rellis said...

Was the author Sanger? W Wilson? Or some other "progressive"

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

Terry said...
Truly vicious racism is a post-Darwin phenomenon. Darwin gave the progressives of the era an excuse to ignore religious teachings about equality before God and a mechanism that allowed them to be believe that negative (or positive) attributes were hereditary, or at least in born.


Seriously dude, you truly think they AREN'T born in? Amazing.

And I think you are inappropriately using the phrase "religious teachings", by implying that there is such a thing regarding the subject matter of the hard sciences. It is an oxymoron in that domain.

The only proper use of the phrase is to refer to the "religious teachings" in the subject area of a particular religion's dogma and beliefs.

And sexual orientation IS at least partially, and maybe wholly genetically determined. 'Partially' would mean something like having a predisposition in one way, but still needing some sort of 'nurture' event(s) to fully trigger it.

In any event, since Man's nature is and has been determined by Natural Selection forces, operating (in conflict, often) at both the individual and group levels, there must be some group level benefit to homosexuality, otherwise it would not be present, as it has been, in all places and times.

Perhaps the alleles that determine it also bring with them other useful things to the group/tribe. In the Arts? Aesthetics and creativity generally?

Anyway, I am quite glad for them. A society that oppresses them does so at it's own detriment.

Vive la différence.

Gahrie said...

In 2014, Gahrie was pretty much an idiot. Certainly for everyone except the elites,...

Give it up Crack....the truth shall set you free....your own ignorance is enslaving you.

Fernandinande said...


Article:
What does race have to do with geography? Plenty, it seems, especially when places and races are associated with one another, as they were in Frye’s First Steps in Geography.


And as they still are, quite rightly, since races are the result of geographic, and therefore genetic, isolation.

Yet in the U.S., Mexicans are classified as Latino and Papago as Native American.

Only by politicians; to normal people they're both Amerindians or Mestizos.

I’m more or less white, for instance, but I have a Jewish father, and I know many Jews who fill in “Other: Jew” on forms asking for racial identification.

Which is quite reasonable.

If you find it hard to believe that racial paradigms could change so drastically in 100 years, ...

The author seems to think they've changed drastically, but if the Yanomamo aren't (still) savages, nobody ever was.

Fernandinande said...

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...
And sexual orientation IS at least partially, and maybe wholly genetically determined.


It's almost impossible that homosexuality is mostly or largely genetically determined because
"It’s too common to be mutational pressure (and we don’t see syndromic versions, as we would in that case), it’s not new, identical twins are usually discordant (~75% of the time), and it’s hell on reproductive fitness.
There is no way it is adaptive: the helpful gay uncle notion, group selection, compensating advantage in females, etc: these range from impossible to bloody unlikely. It doesn’t exist in most hunter-gatherers: you have to explain what it is you’re even talking about when you ask them. Presumably with diagrams."

Browndog said...

Interesting discussion over there in the comments. Very civil. The race baiters are having a hard time CRACK ing through. Maybe someone should head over there and show them how it's done.

Anonymous said...

'the brown people raise rice,' 'the black people … have no books,' and 'the red men are savages.'"

In 2013-2014:

How much of the world's rice production is carried out in Asia?

How many people were beheaded in the Mexican drug wars?

What percentage of the world's literature was written and published in Africa?

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

Fernandinande said...
SomeoneHasToSayIt said...
And sexual orientation IS at least partially, and maybe wholly genetically determined.

It's almost impossible that homosexuality is mostly or largely genetically determined because
"It’s too common to be mutational pressure (and we don’t see syndromic versions, as we would in that case), it’s not new, identical twins are usually discordant (~75% of the time), and it’s hell on reproductive fitness. There is no way it is adaptive: the helpful gay uncle notion, group selection, compensating advantage in females, etc: these range from impossible to bloody unlikely. It doesn’t exist in most hunter-gatherers: you have to explain what it is you’re even talking about when you ask them. Presumably with diagrams."


Edward O. Wilson, perhaps the foremost living social biology scientist and scholar, would disagree with you.

And though that is an 'appeal to authority' argument, it's a pretty damn good one.

The Crack Emcee said...

Ambrose,

"Hmm, truth is funny, isn't it."

Yep - these are the foundation of white's beliefs.

White's totally still-bizarre beliefs.

n.n,

"I wonder what The Atlantic hopes to gain from their bizarre racial exploitation.,…"

Let's see - a magazine, started by abolitionists before the Civil War, that's still pressing black's case?

I'd say, like me, they're trying to be good Republicans - as opposed to the white supremacist mob we got now,...

Fernandinande said...

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...
"And though that is an 'appeal to authority' [O.E. Wilson] argument, it's a pretty damn good one."


True, that. The problem with Wilson's ideas of homosexuality, group selection and altruism is that there's no evidence for them.

n.n said...

I wonder what surviving generations will say in one hundred years when they look back at the height of libertinism and discuss the voluntary genocide (i.e. abortion of several million "whites" annually) and other dysfunctional behaviors undertaken by "whites", "blacks", "browns", "yellows", etc.

The Crack Emcee:

A simple assertion, really? Why do you bother? What motive do you have for denigrating individual dignity? I think I'll leave it here. There is nothing substantial (i.e. consistent) to discuss in your posts. You are doing exactly what you project or displace on others.

Terry said...

"Seriously dude, you truly think they AREN'T born in? Amazing."

I should have specified that I was thinking of behaviors, not the physical characteristics we associate with race. Behavior is always the tricky part.
It is traditionally religious people, these days, who say that you are free to choose your sexual behavior and sexual identity, and progressives who say you can't.
It's a hair's breadth away from saying that from birth a person has been inclined to be a thief or other criminal, and this inclination cannot change.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

Fernandinande said...
The problem with Wilson's ideas of homosexuality, group selection and altruism is that there's no evidence for them.


OK. I've read the stuff at your 'link'. Have you read what Wilson has written on this subject?

Here is a relevant part of the article you linked to. It is easily dismissed.

"Some people have suggested that human homosexuality is an adaptation produced by group selection. I can’t see how this could possibly work. They would have to do stuff for close relatives – lots of stuff. This is a quantitative question: if they concentrated on the closest possible relatives, nephews and nieces, they’d have to cause four more to survive than would otherwise. We’re talking a behavior stronger and more effective than mother love. It doesn’t exist. And how would being homosexual help?"

I agree that the writer "can't see how it would work". But I and many others, can. Fairly easily, actually.

First, the "close relatives" conjecture is just wrong.

All that would have to be the case is that EVERYONE (or huge majority) carries the gene potential to create homosexual children.

And all that would have had to have happened is that, in the ancient past, especially if during a population bottleneck period, tribes with members who have homosexuals and homosexual child possibilities, 'won' over tribes that didn't.

The farther back this happened, the smaller would be the required incidence.

We are their decedents.

The group selection "rule/law" is not that hard to understand. If a particular genetic trait persists in all times and places AND that particular genetic trait is self-canceling at the individual level (people with the trait leave few or no offspring themselves), then the trait MUST give the group a fitness advantage, and its potential must be wide-spread in the gene pool.

It can be no other way.

Of course, we are left to speculate just WHAT that group fitness advantage is, but THAT it exists, is quite obvious to those unencumbered with religious or other agendas.

But like all scientific explanations, it awaits, and in fact would welcome, a 'black swan' to refute the theory.

Do you have one?

Of course Wilson's explanation is pretty new.

Newton's laws held out a long time against black swans, until Einstein, whose theories are now awaiting theirs.

"I can't see how", however, is decidedly NOT a black swan.

Wilson's explanation stands until someone can up with one that explains everything that it does, plus something else that it cannot.

Thanks for playing, though. :)

Fernandinande said...

And all that would have had to have happened is that, in the ancient past, especially if during a population bottleneck period, tribes with members who have homosexuals and homosexual child possibilities, 'won' over tribes that didn't.

Why in the world would that happen, and what's the evidence that it did happen?

Of course, we are left to speculate just WHAT that group fitness advantage is, ...

If you don't know what it is, you don't know it exists, and again - "how would being homosexual help?"

... but THAT it exists, is quite obvious to those unencumbered with religious or other agendas.

Altruism exists, sure, along with group/relatives' interests taken into account. What's it got to do with homosexuality, and where's your evidence that homosexuals are more altruistic - toward people they're related to, else no group selection - than other people, etc? FAR more altruistic, since they're not passing along nearly as many of their own offspring 'n' genes as non-homosexuals.

Do you actually know of a single case of a homosexual taking care of his relatives and his relatives' children FAR more than any other relative might?

But like all scientific explanations, it awaits, and in fact would welcome, a 'black swan' to refute the theory.

It also awaits evidence to support the theory.

Do you have one?

Most likely infection, the cause of most conditions that negatively affect reproduction. Read more at the links...genetic problems are far rarer than problems from infection.

Many of these issues are also shared with "what causes schizophrenia?", which is also more common than purely genetic problems, and also negatively affects reproduction.

Of course Wilson's explanation is pretty new.

1978 isn't new in this field.

FWIW, and appeal-to-authority, the authors of that blog are also authors of a 2009 book about recent human evolution, and discussion leaders at a conference on "Human Capital, Genetics and Behavior" at the University of Chicago. Etc.

Thanks for playing, though. :)

Please insert 25 cents and try again! Evidence would be nice.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

Fernandinande said...

Why in the world would that happen, and what's the evidence that it did happen?


Jesus, just how ignorant are you?
The 'why' and the 'evidence' are that homosexuals exist in all times and places, despite not reproducing themselves, and I've already given you the explanation from the laws of genetics.

I am powerless, however, to furnish you an understanding, and won't be trying further. I have better tings to do with my time.
When (and if ever) the student is ready, the teacher will appear.


If you don't know what it is, you don't know it exists, and again - "how would being homosexual help?"


Jesus you are dense. The 'homosexuality' perhaps doesn't help. But do you not know what an allele is? Do you not know that groups of several disparate traits can always appear together, e.g. red hair, pale skin, and freckles, and be caused by the same set of genes?

Perhaps you don't WANT to understand.

I'm done with you on this subject. You don't try to comprehend what I have written, so what's the point.

Drago said...

Crack: "I'd say, like me, they're (The Atlantic) trying to be good Republicans..."

The Atlantic, Republicans.

LOL

Crack isn't even trying.

Yet he continues: "... as opposed to the white supremacist mob we got now,..."

Says the black supremacist!

Face off at center ice: Crack the black supremacist against the KKK white supremacists!

Who will win?

Who cares?

They are all exactly the same.

Exactly.

Terry said...

"SomeoneHasToSayIt" seems to have missed that there is no biological basis for homosexuality. You can do all the tests you want, but you can never say 'this person is homosexual' unless you look at behavior.
Back in the middle of last century the U.S. military was very interested in weeding out the homosexuals in the ranks. They spent a lot of time and effort attempting to come up with testing methods. None of them worked reliably.
"The 'why' and the 'evidence' are that homosexuals exist in all times and places"
I do not know if this istrue, but even if it were true, you could say the same thing about virtually any sexual behavior, including those that disgust us modern, 21st century types.
Or you could say the same thing about thieves. Or murderers. Or kind, generous people.
Progressives tread on dangerous ground when they consider a human behavior to be biological in origin.

William said...

White people had lots of stupid beliefs one hundred years ago. So did all the other racial groups. What makes stupid white beliefs more evil and pernicious than those of other racial groups? This is a kind of inverted white supremacy. Only white people are clever enough and have enough free will to do evil. Those other races are too benighted to merit such discussion......On a recent John Oliver show there was a discussion on homophobia in Uganda. It was Oliver's point that it had been introduced into Uganda by a white, Christian missionary. I venture to say that Christian missionaries have also preached against adultery but without the same success. Pity those poor Africans. Too dumb to be homophobic without the assistance of white people.

Rich Rostrom said...

Is there a genetic basis for homosexuality? Of course. There are genetic roots for all human (and animal behavior.)

Why has it persisted, despite its negative impact on reproduction?

Well, first, all populations carry a burden of reproductively damaging traits; they never get weeded out completely unless they are dominant single-gene traits with very strong effects.

And homosexuality is clearly not a dominant single-gene trait.

Maybe several traits, each individually beneficial, all occurring in the same person, combined with some moderately uncommon environmental effects, result in the actual observed 1%-2% occurrence of homosexuality.

Maybe there are several such genetic/environmental combinations, which produce different forms of it - each combo contributing a fraction of a percent of the incidence. (It seems highly unlikely that a single cause produces drag queens, chicken hawks, bears, and leather boys.)

In which case, selection pressure against the traits in these combinations would be weak.

Furthermore, many homosexually inclined males can still father children. (Oscar Wilde had two.)

Homosexual women are less receptive to sex with men, but historically, few women have been able to refuse it. And lesbian tendencies are no more sexually discouraging than the brutal genital mutilations inflicted by some African tribes which nonetheless have high fertility.

So that diminishes the selection pressure further.