I am an excited learner when it comes to the effects of racism and the great minds who could state the very foundations of the ideals we now hold or question. I find it truly fascinating to see how our forebears managed to give an account of the way they viewed their ever-changing world and how future generations would come to rely on their wisdom when trying to enhance current points of view. However, we can only come to stress the effects of social theories such as New Darwinism when we look back on past events in our history which tend to highlight the beliefs of the author who in this case, is Charles Darwin.
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While I progressed in my reading of the text “The New Darwinism”, I find myself becoming a time traveler, drifting into the era of World War II Europe. This was the time when Hitler and his purification of the German scheme involved the genocide of millions of Jews. All of his heinous acts at the time was meant to highlight the weakness of a particular race of people, in this case, the Jews, and how allowing them to continue to lay claim to German history allowed Hitler to raise an issue about how their continued existence would ruin the future capabilities and social structure of Germany.
The theories that Darwin presented in 1859 by Darwin’s Origin Of The Species allowed certain sectors the then your society to dwell on an issue of concern which led to them to express their concerns about the possible intermixing of races and ethnicity within the young American society. New Darwinism supporters force us to examine the very foundation of racism in our country’s history. How could a great country such as ours be able to express the sentiment of being a new world offering a new chance at life to anybody willing to take it alongside the claim that the very people whom we are to rely on to help us create a progressive society, would also come to embody the fear that interracial relationships may bring?
In my opinion, the followers of Social Darwinism created their ghosts because they chose to believe that the Origin Of The Species theory pointed towards the demise of a race due to blood intermixing instead. How silly of them to believe that social mixing would bring about the mongrelization and biological defeat of the White Man! In opting to support the belief that racial superiority depends solely on social classes, with those on top being more superior to those at the bottom ( the inferior race), racial discrimination was finally born with the force of natural law seeming to back it up.
Reading such outrageous statements led me to sit back and contemplate on the issue of race superiority. Hitler believed that the Aryan race was superior to any other race in Europe and that only by controlling the mix of the bloodline will the ultimate superior race be created. Leading me to ask the question “who has the right to determine the capabilities of any race or ethnic group simply based upon the theory of hereditary determinism”? Who are we to play god? What man-made power trip allowed the Social Darwinists and Nativists to determine the effects of immigration from the northern and western European areas on the founding race of America? It was at this particular point that I came to remember something that my now deceased grandfather used to tell me all the time, “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing”. I fear that is exactly what these early social theorists did, they took what little they understood of a complex scientific theory and shaped it to work with their demons.
How lucky are we that Mother Time and social experience managed to eradicate the very basis of racial discrimination in our modern times? The biggest fear of our forebears was that the dilution of the bloodline would result in what has become the common stereotype for some races and ethnic groups like African Americans, Asians, Hispanics, and Latinos? The Jews, those long-persecuted people, are the biggest victims of all in terms of stereotyping.
Human biology and the intermixing of the bloodlines successfully disproved the Social Darwinist’s beliefs. The fact that our society is now 80 percent composed of mixed races proves that society will continue to evolve for the better as the best capabilities of each race are highlighted, and their mixed weaknesses just do not matter. Any weakness that the mixing of the races may have had can never outshine the fact that the mixing of the races was a good deal, to begin with.
After completely reading and comprehending the section of the book that we had as required reading for this course, I concluded that the Social Darwinist movement of the 19th century must have been composed of some of the most simple-minded people on the planet at the time. Thinking that culture is something that can be inherited made me snicker upon reading it. Such kind of thinking could only have come out of the mouths of simpletons!
I believe that I have come out of this reading as a much more well-rounded individual whose understanding of the basis of racial and ethnic discrimination now has a solid foundation thanks to the Social Darwinist society of the 19th century. I already knew that social and racial discrimination was wrong before reading the article. Now, I know where all of the confusion, illogical beliefs and unfounded fears that have been passed on from generation to generation comes from. It is not a pretty place and I do not intend on passing on these misguided beliefs and misinformation to my next generation.