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An American Affidavit

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

137. Racial Suicide: The Underground History of American Education by John Taylor Gatto from archive.org

137. Racial Suicide: The Underground History of American Education by John Taylor Gatto from archive.org

Racial Suicide 

    Francis Amasa Walker, president of M.I.T., first declared in 1891 what was soon to  become an upper-class mantra: Anglo-Saxons were quietly committing "racial suicide."  The insult of competing with Latin/Slav/Celtic folkways
seemingly discouraged  reproduction among families of the old stock. After that bombshell, an orchestrated  campaign of scientific racism swept the United States and didn't flag in public energy for  forty long years. Racial suicide was the Red Scare, Fifth Column, and AIDS epidemic of  its day all rolled into one. In the long history of manufactured crises, it ranks up there  with the Reichstag fire, Pearl Harbor, the Gulf of Tonkin, the gasoline shortage of 1973,  the Asian economic miracle, and corporate downsizing as a prime example of modern  psychological management of public opinion. The racial suicide theme sounded at  exactly the moment public schooling was transforming itself into forced government  schooling.  

     The American campaign against racial suicide enlisted great scientists of the day to  produce a full library of books, scientific journal articles, popular magazine pieces,  legislation, lectures, and indirect school curricula. It caught the attention of the entire  civilized world, including Imperial Germany and Imperial Japan. Both sent official study  delegations to America to observe the resourcefulness of this new industrial Utopia in  purging itself of its original democratic character. It is as if there exists some tacit  understanding on the part of mainstream scholarship and journalism to steer clear of the     shoals of this period, but even an amateur like myself finds enough to indicate that racial  suicide provided a leading motive to justify the radical shift of American society toward  well-schooled orthodoxy. What is intriguing in light of the relative amnesia concerning  these connections is the sheer quantity of the damning data. Genetic experimentation,  once teased from its hiding holes, is revealed as a master political project of the twentieth  century with the United States, Germany, and England its enthusiastic sponsors. Data  gathered in school surveys and social experimentation with children have been important  sources of grist for this initiative. 

      M.I.T.'s Walker got an intellectual boost from activities of the influential American  sociologist Edward A. Ross, who explained to the American Academy of Political and  Social Science exactly how unchecked Asiatic immigration would lead to the extinction  of the American people. Higher races, he said, will not endure competition from lower  ones. After that, even Teddy Roosevelt was issuing marching orders to Anglo-Saxon  mothers, asking well-bred ladies to mobilize their loins in an effort to arrest the suicidal  decline. Breed as if the race depended on it, said Roosevelt. Eugenics had openly become  national politics for the first time in America, but hardly the last. 

      Harper's Weekly chastised Roosevelt, saying mere exhortation would have no effect as  long as immigration continued to reduce the native birthrate by insulting our best  breeders. From 1905 to 1909 at least one major popular magazine article on the subject  appeared every single month. Books warned that race suicide would "toll the passing of  this great Anglo-Teuton people," giving the nation over to Latins, Slavs, or worse, Jews  and other Asiatics.   Meanwhile, the long-ignored genetic work of monk Gregor Mendel was conveniently  rediscovered, adding more fuel to the fires of racial thinking. Here, presumably, a humble  man of God showed mathematically that something caused transmission of characteristics  from generation to generation, independent of any effect of nurture or education. Horse,  dog, and rose breeders had empirically derived these insights a thousand years before  Mendel, but credit passed to science for the "discovery."  

     Into the center of this racial excitement strode the formidable figure of Sir Francis  Galton, first cousin of Charles Darwin, in line of descent from Malthus, 5 possessor of  incredible intellectual ability and indefatigable energy, a man of great personal wealth, a  knight of the realm. Galton preached improvement of the human breed with evangelical  fervor, demanding a policy of biological positivism which would produce the same  genetic dividends that were being reaped by positivism in the hard sciences of chemistry  and physics. The "eugenics movement," as it was now called, would save us socially by  manipulating the best to breed (positive eugenics) and encouraging the worst to die out  (negative eugenics). School would have a major role to play in this. Race-improvement  was in the air, its method compounded out of state action and forced schooling. 

    Galton's inspiration and plenty of American money — much of it Andrew Carnegie's and  Mrs. Averill Harriman's — opened the first racial science laboratory in the world in Cold  Spring Harbor, Long Island, in 1904. And kept it open for thirty-five years, until Hitler's     invasion of Poland made discretion seem the wiser part of zealotry for the moment at the  Carnegie Corporation. In 1939, it was quietly shut down. The last president at the Cold  Spring Harbor facility was M.I.T. president Vannevar Bush, often called "The Father of  the Atomic Bomb." Eugenic thinking injected energy into the exploding "mental  hygiene" movement, too. Word went out to the recently erected national network of  hospitals that it was okay to begin sterilizing mental defectives. This green light came  complete with legislative licenses to decide who those defectives were — and freedom  from any legal jeopardy.  

     A scholarly book from M.I.T. created intellectual havoc in the year 1899 and long  afterwards, lending maximum credibility to the eugenicist agenda. The Races of Europe  was written by brilliant economist William Z. Ripley; it armed the racial-suicide crowd  and its companion group of enthusiasts, the racial-science crowd, with information that  Europe was divided into three races, easily distinguishable from one another by physical  measurements . First, a race of blonde long heads (the Teutons); second, a central race of  stocky round heads (the Alpines); and third, a southern race of slender, dark long heads  (the Mediterraneans). Here, finally, was a way to distinguish reliably among the qualities  of old immigration and new! Ripley took the 28-year-old Darwinian concept of  "reversion" and charged it with new energy.  

     Was it possible, Ripley asked, that promiscuous breeding of Nordic peoples with  Southern Europeans could doom the New England Anglo-Nordic stock? Incipient race  suicide could be dealt with only by legislation. Education should be employed to raise the  current immigrant's "standard of morality," making him more tolerable to society. That  would help. But nothing could be done about reversion. Subspecies of men could not be  allowed to couple with 100 percent American female breeding stock.  

     All the pieces were now in position for full-scale national hysteria to commence, an era  of sanctions buttressed by the authority of peerless scientific experts. American society  would require harsh discipline after the Prussian fashion in order to meet this challenge.  Thanks to men like Ripley, the experts could apply such discipline with an exalted sense  of mathematical righteousness. The first requirement would be to force the dangerous  classes into schools. Laws were on the books, time to enforce them.  

     A covert American sterilization program managed by trusted administrators in the brand  new hospital network took place during the same years that forced schooling was being  brought along. This sterilization initiative occasionally broke silence in highly specialized  journals whose reader discretion was taken for granted. Thus Charles V. Carrington,  writing in the Journal of Criminal Law, Criminology, and Police Science (July 1910),  reported on two interesting cases of successful involuntary sterilization. One involved an  "epileptic masturbator" who, after vasectomy, "ceased masturbating altogether." The  other was a black man also given to masturbation and general deviltry. After sterilization,  he became "a strong, well-developed young Negro, nicely behaved, and not a  masturbatory sodomist," Carrington reported. Surgical intervention as social policy was  given its precedents in America long before the Nazi era.    

     Advocates of Yaleman Gesell's "eugenic violence" offensive against the underclasses  swung from every point on the scientific compass. William McDougall, the eminent  social psychologist, announced himself a champion of Nordic superiority; Ellsworth  Huntington, prominent Yale geographer, wrote The Character of Races, showing that  only one race had any real moral character. Henry Fairfield Osborn, president and  founder of the American Museum of Natural History, gave the "Address of Welcome" to  the Second International Congress of Eugenics; Osborn's close friend Lothrop Stoddard  wrote The Revolt Against Civilization: Menace of the Underman; and psychologist James  McKeen Cattell, a force in the rise of standardized testing, wrote to Galton, "We are  following in America your advice and example." 

      The famous humanitarian anthropologist Alfred L. Kroeber remarked acidly to a  newsman that anti-eugenic protests came only from the "orthodoxly religious," rarely  from the enlightened camp of science. So there it was. Keep them all in mind: Kroeber,  Gesell, Ripley, McDougall, Huntington, Osborn, great scientific humanist names whose  work underscored how important a role forced schooling was designed to play. Scientific  studies had shown conclusively that extending the duration and intensity of schooling  caused sharp declines in fertility — and sterility in many. Part of school's stealth  curriculum would be a steady expansion of its reach throughout the century. 

      Two more examples will drive home the relentlessness of this long scientific campaign  against American tradition. J.B.S. Haldane, a distinguished Fabian geneticist from  England, issued a lurid warning about what might happen if blonde women bred with  human demi-apes like Italians, Jews, and other kinds of retrograde biology: "A new type  of submen, abhorred by nature, ugly as no natural product is ugly" would emerge. The  new hypothesis held that female offspring of such unions would be too repulsive to look  upon.  

     In Daedalus, or Science and the Future, Haldane said there were really only four  fundamental biological innovations of prehistory: 1) Domestication of animals; 2)  Domestication of plants; 3) The use of fungi for the production of alcohol; 4) The  invention of frontal copulation "which altered the path of sexual selection, focused the  attention of man as a lover upon woman's face and breasts, and changed our ideal of  beauty from the steatopygous Hottentot to the modern European, from the Venus of  Brassenpouy to the Venus of Milo." 

      All evolution might be in jeopardy if there were no more pretty faces to look at, this was  the thesis. Today, there is an aura of the absurd to these assertions, but it would be well to  reflect on the institutional world that emerged from the other end of this same forge, for it  is the new moral world you and I live in, a fully scientized and organized society,  managed by the best people — people who prefer to remain out of sight of the hoi polloi,  segregated in their own in walled villages and other redoubts. 

 5 Not quite as sinister as it sounds. Virtually all distinguished English names bear a family relationship toone another; its privileged classes, like  those of other nations like Germany (or Japan) constitute a protected breeding stock in which intermarriage is not just common, but de rigeur,  one might say with only a trace of mischief Indeed, in a genealogy text whose title I've long forgotten, I learned from the author (alas  forgotten, too) that two thirds of all American presidents stood in an easily traceable family relationship to one another. See Chapter Twelve for  more enlightenment on this score. Or simply ponder the meaning of this: After the 2004 presidential nominations have been decided, if Senator     Kerry of Massachusetts is the Democratic nominee and George W. Bush the Republican, then five presidential terms in a row will have been  served by men with a Yale degree when the eventual victor's term is complete! And three if those terms will have featured a president who was  a member, while at Yale, of a tiny secret society, Skull & Bones, which only accepts fifteen members a year. On this score, either Bush or  Kerry will serve equally well as both are Yale graduates and both Skull & Bones initiates.  

The Passing Of The Great Race 

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