Student commentaries – on how science has attempted to justify racism

Some very good research and writing from Daniel and Caleb from 1T20.

You can read Caleb’s Research on Discrimination,  in particular, the section on how various branches  of ‘science’ has tried to explain innate differences, and hence water down the act of discrimination is worth reading (probably clearer than mine!). Daniel sets the context below, thoroughly explaining how science has been perverted to explain discrimination – and it’s place in the natural order.

Only until the last century, over the last half of a millennium, openly blatant and public racial discrimination has been shamelessly justified by calling it science – resultantly defiling the practice of science and all the works scientists had contributed along with it. This highly repugnant behaviour leadsone to wonder how a heinous atrocity of such a magnitude could exist for so long in Man’s history. ‘Credit’ is either due to the perpetrators’ excellent job of masquerading their distasteful practices or the victims’ fear (or genuine inability) of speaking out for themselves. Hence, the notion of science itself – an abstract incorporeal notion – is merely a tool or means utilised by past men belonging to the ‘upper echelons’ of society to justify racism and other forms of prejudices; it cannot attempt to “justify racism” per se, and any failed attempts would be due to the perpetrators. With regard to the success of the perpetrators-of-prejudice, it should be jarringly obvious from the disregard for this notion today that it has ceased to be an acceptable reason for discrimination. Although racism is pervasive, this fact should not be attributed or associated to the success of justification of discrimination by scientific means. Racism has long existed before scientific racism set in – anti-semitism is said to have existed since 300 BC – muddying our early perceptions of what is truly ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ and the demarcation between them, so the existence of racism today is not due to scientific racism efforts in the past. Few can refute if one were to say that scientific racism propagated discrimination and contributed to its longevity, but the crux of this discussion is whether science has been successfully used as a means to justify racism, and it most definitely has not been convincing to the victims even during the eras of when scientific racism was a commonplace, and the so-called scientific racism was seen a legitimate field.

This anecdotal case study may be overtly hackneyed and tried by an unknown number of people to discuss about ‘learned prejudice’, but it is nonetheless a very effective one – Adolf Hitler’s initiated holocaust of a then unprecedented scale towards the Jews epitomises extreme racism. It failed to bring about genuine agreement and there was a common unspoken understanding that Hitler’s actions against the Jews were wrong but no one within Nazi Germany dared to commit any acts of sedition lest they or their family face severe repercussions by Hitler’s notorious SS. However, there were prominent subversive actions against Hitler – not all were willing to swallow their beliefs. The simple fact that there were numerous attempts to assassinate Hitler clearly indicates the underlying protest against his scientific reasoning for his anti-Jew campaigns. Notably, Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, a Roman Catholic, harboured  a vehement  personal aversion to Hitler’s policies. On top of this, the growing systematic ill-treatment of Jews and suppression of religion had offended Stauffenberg’s strong personal sense of Catholic religious morality and justice. Stauffenberg’s organised operation to abdicate Hitler was loosely depicted and portrayed in the popular Hollywood blockbuster “Valkyrie”.




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