Re: Race, Science, & Political Correctness

Bob Whitaker (
Fri, 06 Dec 1996 20:09:00 -0500

Phil Nicholls wrote:
> Recently, on sci.anthropology, Bob Whitaker <>
> wrote:
> >Phil Nicholls wrote:
> >>
> >> Bob Whitaker <> wrote:
> >>
> >> > As I keep repeating, you are saying that the fact that Scientific
> >> >Antropoly at any moment is ALWAYS politically correct just happens to be
> >> >one of the great happy perfect coincidences of human history. I think
> >> >that's absurd.
> >>
> >> Well, Bob, the fact that you continue to repeat something does not
> >> make it more true. You seem to regard any kind of critique of
> >> western culture as "political correctness, " rather than the more
> >> narrow usage of that term popularized by D'Souza and others.
> >> Scientific Anthropology is always engaged in cultural critique because
> >> that is one of the two things it is supposed to do.
> >
> > "Cultural critique", my ass!
> Ok.
> Your an ass.
> End of cultural critique.
> > You're trying to get his back into the cliches you're used to. I didn't
> > say a damned thing about "cultural critique". I said the whore
> > "anthropology" goes along with absolutely anything the establishment
> > wants to believe about race, when the establishment wants to believe it.
> In 1911 Boas published _The Mind of Primitive Man_. One of the ideas
> put forth in that book was that the range of cultures associated with
> any one "race" demonstrated that it was impossible to link together
> race and culture and that it is impossible to speak of inferior and
> superior races. Please note that this was not an attack on the
> concept of race itself but an attack on racism.
> In 1911 racism was deeply ingrained on "the establishment," in the
> United States. Legal segregation existed in the North and South and
> popular authors wrote lengthy essays on the "yellow peril" and touted
> the superiority of western civilization and culture.
> Please, Bob, tell he, in what way was Boas sucking up the
> establishment.
> >>
> >> > As I keep repeating, Franz Boas went from a bit a joke to
> >> >anthropologists in 1939 to The Only True Anthropologist in 1945. By a
> >> >happy coincidence, there was a war in that period, which made the Boas
> >> >conclusion de rigeur if Scientific Anthropology was to reamin
> >> >Politically Correct.
> >>
> >> Again, repetition does not improve truth content.
> >>
> >> Franz Boas established the first department of anthropology in the
> >> America in 1888. In 1892 he was the chief assistant in anthropology
> >> at the Chicago Exposition. The Field Museum in Chicago grew out of
> >> that exposition. Between 1901 and 1905 he was curator of
> >> anthropology at the American Museum of Natural History. In 1910 he
> >> established the Internation School of Amercian Archaeology and
> >> Ethnology. By 1936 he had retired and he died in 1942.
> >>
> >> By 1945 American Anthropology had moved well beyond Boas. Boas shaped
> >> the early years of anthopology in this country. At no time was he
> >> regarded as a joke nor was he every regarded as the ONLY
> >> anthropologists. By 1945 Alfred Kroeber, Robert H. Lowie, Edward
> >> Sapir, Ruth Benedict, Ralph Linton and Leslie White AND MANY OTHERS
> >> had all made their marks on American anthropology with ideas very
> >> different from those of Boas.
> >
> >The pressure hadn't been put on yet. I knew Carleton Coon and his
> >descriptions of your Polticial Correctness in action were most
> >enlightening.
> Interesting. When was this "pressure" applied, Bob? Why is there no
> explanation the error in your chronology about Boas.
> Bob, I have actually read much of Coon's work and as far as I am
> concerned Coon was ill-treated by anthropology and by some
> anthropologists. Milford Wolpoff's multi-regional hypothesis of
> human origins is based in no small part on Coon's work.
> I will go even farther. I can remember the backlash against
> sociobiology by cultural anthropologists and only a fool would believe
> that this was not about the politics of cultural anthropology and it's
> rejection of anything it say as biological determinism.
> I remember being part of the graduate student faculty search committee
> and how any physical anthropologists whose work suggested any sympathy
> to sociobiology was immediately rejected.
> I can also tell you about Vincint Sarich's class at UC Berkeley being
> disrupted by individuals who are uncomfortable about the questions he
> asks and being labeled a racist for asking them.
> Bob, what you are doing is exactly the same as what those students and
> anthropologists did. They label anyone who disagrees with them a
> bigot, a racists, a biological determinist.
> You label everyone who disagrees with you a "PC Clone."
> How very sad that you have become the thing you hate.
> Phil Nicholls
> "To ask a question, you must first know
> most of the answer." Robert Sheckley

You're making excellent points, but I am afraid that the allowance
given to heresy early in the centruy is simply no longer the case in
anthropolgy. What you say about the suppresion of sociobiology and of
Carleton Coon has been repeatedly and loudly denied by the PC clones in
this newsgroup.
If I had not kept shouting, you would not have said what you said in
this newsgroup.
The simple fact of the matter is that in this day and age, one must
call the PC clones repeatedly, because there is no countervailing force
inside the academy.