“Race? It is a feeling, not a reality. Ninety-five per cent, at least. Nothing will ever make me believe that biologically pure races can be shown to exist today.”
That was Benito Mussolini in 1932. Â Â I suppose that the idea that some races are superior to others has never gone away. Â Just today, for instance, the New York Times seems to have hired a science columnist who thinks such a proposition worth pursuing. Â Here’s Gawker’s take:
Khanâ€™s writing elsewhere hardly rejects the doctrines on which these outlets are based. He merely treats what white racists taken for grantedâ€”that non-whites, and especially blacks, are intellectually inferiorâ€”as an open question worth exploring in the name of scientific inquiry.Â Still, Khan is careful with his actual words; he never says black people are less intelligent. But his willingness to treat black intelligence as a matter of debate has not hampered his career in the slightest. Heâ€™s written for Slate, The Daily Telegraph, and The Guardian. Indeed, heâ€™s already placed twoop-eds, about the evolution of cats and abortion politics, in The New York Times.
The accusation here is that Khan iron mans racist science: it’s worth looking into whether these (historically inferior) “races” are inferior because inquiry, or science.
I guess I thought we were beyond this (in part for the reasons Mussolini mentions), but then again, I’ve had more than one student who basically affirms old-fashioned racial theory.