By David Taub
The pernicious mythology of human races and its malicious twin, racism, has a long, evil and complicated evolution in human history. It has persisted longer than any other misunderstanding about the nature of the human critter.
Over the last millennium, several dominant culprits contributed to this mythology: false bio-evolutionary science and zoology; early faulty principles of Physical Anthropology, fallacious religious orthodox theology, the Eugenics movement, government and its malignant laws and policies, and malevolent cultural ethos.
The faulty Eugenics movement has been laid asunder. Now, Physical Anthropology, evolutionary biology, genetics and psychology have all been exculpated (found innocent) in the lost war on racism. Indeed, these sciences have dropped the nuclear bomb (DNA) falsifying this myth. The Truth of Science has laid asunder the untruth of Eugenics.
However, we are left with a few additional villains to conquer.
Driven by irrational fears, our early 20th century government embedded racism into our laws and policies. Contrary, “enlightened” government can eliminate such race-based laws, biased policies and discriminatory regulations just as prior unenlightened government gladly welcomed Jim Crow to the table.
This will require progressive and open-minded members of Congress to repudiate the obvious flaws in policy and law, hopefully once and for all time; reform of immigration policy should be at the top of that list. Given the crippling partisan political divisions that alienate our political environment today, this may take longer than we might wish.
The paramount villain, and most difficult to change, is our “culture.” Anthropologists will tell you there are basically two ways by which cultures change: externally and internally.
Externally, a subordinate culture can be overthrown by a dominant one, by colonialism or by force of arms, such as was the case with Japan after World War II, from authoritarian monarchy to dynamic capitalist democracy; or in most of Britain’s colonial empire, changing indigenous tribal societies that worshiped other gods, into Christian democratic nation states. This can happen relatively quickly, usually in one generation or so, even though a few vestiges of the original culture may continue in an abrogated form. What government cannot do is legislate “morality.” Their moral code belongs to the people themselves.
The more difficult way to change a culture’s inbred ethos is that which comes from within. It requires changing the mindsets of a large majority of the members of that culture, and involves addressing all factors that have contributed to the inclusion of racism into the cultural belief systems of that society.
Today, the myth of “white supremacy” is buried deep and wide in the foundational cultural ethos of the United States, an inheritance from Western Europe. Even though America has recently become more aware of racism’s false mythology, some, but too little, progress has been made in changing such defective long-held views.
Regrettably, President Trump has embraced and resurrected the malevolence of “White Supremacy” in our society. We’ve a very long and difficult trail to emancipating our culture from its racial DNA. But we can remove the mutations in those damaged genes; it is hard but not impossible.
I propose a pervasive approach: the polar opposite of the once successful Eugenics movement. Recently, I pointed out that a small group of very wealthy and influential men were the driving force in injecting Eugenics’ racial principles into our legal and social order. We can do the same by using a system of “reverse engineering.” Some of this has already begun. Let the “Best and Brightest” among us plus the wealthiest and most revered of our citizens create varied organizations dedicated to eradicating the myth of “White Supremacy” and bring to life Thomas Jefferson’s most profound observation in our Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men [* and women] are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Let us call this the “American Enlightenment Movement,” the AEM. Some of the obvious choices for membership in these organizations would include: Oprah Winfrey, Jeff Bezos, Bill and Melinda Gates, former President Obama, E. O. Wilson, LeBron James, Elon Musk, Warren Buffett, Albert Gore, Michael Jeffrey Jordan, Stacey Abrams, MacKenzie Scott, just to mention a few.
If the powerful Eugenics’ machinery can inculcate racism into our society, then its reverse, the “AEM” can eliminate it. Racism is such a deeply-ingrained mythology, it will take an entirely different and creative approach to erase this malevolency, such as I suggest, by establishing the “AEM.”
Let us commit ourselves now, as a nation, and as individuals, dedicated to the best in our culture, so that we might eliminate the worst.
“Well, all I know is what I read in the newspapers.” – Will Rogers.
David M. Taub was Mayor of Beaufort from 1990 through 1999 and served as a Beaufort County Magistrate from 2010 to 2015. You can reach him at email@example.com.