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Racism was elevated to the status of a pseudo-science in the 19th century thanks to Social Darwinism. The more 'scientific' and 'rational' we became, the more racist we became. The Nazis seized on this and used it to justify the attempted extermination of the Jews.

The racists who demonstrated in Charlottesville are the descendants of those social Darwinists. H. G. Wells wanted the human race to be improved, and he believed this was possible only if certain racial groups flourished and others waned. He believed in the survival of the fittest and the fittest, that is to say, white people, would inherit the earth.
Marie Stopes' eugenics is also a natural development of a ‘survival of the fittest’ mentality. ‘Eugenics’ and its supporters want only the ‘fit’ to breed. The ‘unfit’ must preferably be sterilised in order to prevent them from breeding. This is 'scientific' and 'rational'!

Racism was also given a strong veneer of respectability. Kant once said: “This fellow was quite black from head to toe, a clear proof that what he said was stupid.” David Hume wrote: “I am apt to suspect the Negroes, and in general all the other species of men to be naturally inferior to the white”. Voltaire was very anti-Semite.

The United States grew out of the Enlightenment. Jefferson and Washington, were  men of the Enlightenment. But they owned slaves and they could justify this by reference to their favourite thinkers, men considered to be ‘rational’.

The Catholic Church, inspite of its many faults, opposed social Darwinism and eugenics because it believes we are one human race, made in the image and likeness of God and equal in dignity. And it includes the unborn in the human race, which many people today fail to do.

But racism is a very stubborn idea.


yes. racism is stubborn!
it is rooted in the Us/Them mentality which existed in order to survive
there is a theory that groups of humanoids banded together for survival in harsh climate and had to compete with other groups for prey

the Jesuits were not above slavery on their Maryland plantations
they are giving reparations to the descendants of a large group of slaves they sent to market in Louisanna in order to pay the debt on Georgetown University