Harvard acknowledges leadership in progressive racism and eugenics

Posted by ewv 8 years, 5 months ago to Education
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These are excerpts from a long article in Harvard Magazine (not Alex Jones). Nothing is said about European counter Enlightenment philosophy, collectivism and statism imported to this country beginning in the 19th century, or Harvard's own form of spawning Kantian and Hegelian irrationalism in the form of its own Pragmatism. and progressivism.

Harvard’s Eugenics Era

When academics embraced scientific racism, immigration restrictions, and the suppression of “the unfit”

by Adam S. Cohen, Harvard Magazine March-April 2016

"In August 1912, Harvard president emeritus Charles William Eliot addressed the Harvard Club of San Francisco on a subject close to his heart: racial purity. It was being threatened, he declared, by immigration. Eliot was not opposed to admitting new Americans, but he saw the mixture of racial groups it could bring about as a grave danger. 'Each nation should keep its stock pure,' Eliot told his San Francisco audience. 'There should be no blending of races.'..."

"The former Harvard president was an outspoken supporter of another major eugenic cause of his time: forced sterilization of people declared to be 'feebleminded,' physically disabled, 'criminalistic,' or otherwise flawed. In 1907, Indiana had enacted the nation’s first eugenic sterilization law. Four years later, in a paper on 'The Suppression of Moral Defectives,' Eliot declared that Indiana’s law 'blazed the trail which all free states must follow, if they would protect themselves from moral degeneracy.'”

"He also lent his considerable prestige to the campaign to build a global eugenics movement..."

"None of these actions created problems for Eliot at Harvard, for a simple reason: they were well within the intellectual mainstream at the University. Harvard administrators, faculty members, and alumni were at the forefront of American eugenics—founding eugenics organizations, writing academic and popular eugenics articles, and lobbying government to enact eugenics laws. And for many years, scarcely any significant Harvard voices, if any at all, were raised against it."

"Harvard’s role in the movement was in many ways not surprising. Eugenics attracted considerable support from progressives, reformers, and educated elites as a way of using science to make a better world. Harvard was hardly the only university that was home to prominent eugenicists..."

"But in part because of its overall prominence and influence on society, and in part because of its sheer enthusiasm, Harvard was more central to American eugenics than any other university. Harvard has, with some justification, been called the “brain trust” of twentieth-century eugenics,.."
"Eugenics soon made its way across the Atlantic, reinforced by the discoveries of Gregor Mendel and the new science of genetics. In the United States, it found some of its earliest support among the same group that Harvard had: the wealthy old families of Boston. The Boston Brahmins were strong believers in the power of their own bloodlines, and it was an easy leap for many of them to believe that society should work to make the nation’s gene pool as exalted as their own.

Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.—A.B. 1829, M.D. ’36, LL.D. ’80, dean of Harvard Medical School, acclaimed writer, and father of the future Supreme Court justice—was one of the first American intellectuals to espouse eugenics..."

"Galton declared that “what Nature does blindly, slowly, and ruthlessly, man may do providently, quickly, and kindly... Eugenics soon made its way across the Atlantic, reinforced by the discoveries of Gregor Mendel and the new science of genetics. In the United States, it found some of its earliest support among the same group that Harvard had: the wealthy old families of Boston. The Boston Brahmins were strong believers in the power of their own bloodlines, and it was an easy leap for many of them to believe that society should work to make the nation’s gene pool as exalted as their own."

"Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.—A.B. 1829, M.D. ’36, LL.D. ’80, dean of Harvard Medical School, acclaimed writer, and father of the future Supreme Court justice—was one of the first American intellectuals to espouse eugenics..."

"As eugenics grew in popularity, it took hold at the highest levels of Harvard. A. Lawrence Lowell, who served as president from 1909 to 1933, was an active supporter. Lowell, who worked to impose a quota on Jewish students and to keep black students from living in the Yard, was particularly concerned about immigration..."

"The Harvard faculty contained some of nation’s most influential eugenics thinkers, in an array of academic disciplines. Frank W. Taussig, whose 1911 Principles of Economics was one of the most widely adopted economics textbooks of its time, called for sterilizing unworthy individuals, with a particular focus on the lower classes...."

"Edward M. East, who taught at Harvard’s Bussey Institution, propounded a particularly racial version of eugenics... 'The simple fact, he said, was that “the negro is inferior to the white.'”

"East also sounded a biological alarm about the Jews, Italians, Asians, and other foreigners who were arriving in large numbers... There was a distinct possibility, he warned, that a 'considerable part of these people are genetically undesirable.'...”

"Another eugenicist in a key position was William McDougall, who held the psychology professorship William James had formerly held. His 1920 book The Group Mind explained that the 'negro' race had 'never produced any individuals of really high mental and moral endowments' and was apparently 'incapable' of doing so. His next book, Is America Safe for Democracy (1921), argued that civilizations declined because of 'the inadequacy of the qualities of the people who are the bearers of it'—and advocated eugenic sterilization."

"But perhaps no Harvard eugenicist had more impact on the public consciousness than Lothrop Stoddard, A.B. 1905, Ph.D. ’14. His bluntly titled 1920 bestseller, The Rising Tide of Color Against White World Supremacy, had 14 printings in its first three years, drew lavish praise from President Warren G. Harding, and made a mildly disguised appearance in The Great Gatsby..."

"... states continued to sterilize the 'unfit' until 1981..."

"As many as 70,000 Americans were forcibly sterilized for eugenic reasons, while important members of the Harvard community cheered and—as with Eliot, Lowell, and Holmes—called for more..."

"Also affected were the many people kept out of the country by the eugenically inspired immigration laws of the 1920s. Among them were a large number of European Jews who desperately sought to escape the impending Holocaust. A few years ago, correspondence was discovered from 1941 in which Otto Frank pleaded with the U.S. State Department for visas for himself, his wife, and his daughters Margot and Anne. It is understood today that Anne Frank died because the Nazis considered her a member of an inferior race, but few appreciate that her death was also due, in part, to the fact that many in the U.S. Congress felt the same way."
SOURCE URL: http://harvardmagazine.com/2016/03/harvards-eugenics-era


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  • Posted by $ jbrenner 8 years, 4 months ago
    And Margaret Sanger built Planned Parenthood upon Harvard president emeritus Charles William Eliot's ideals. I expect a downvote from you on this, ewv, but this post should prompt you to check your premises on Planned Parenthood. I am not criticizing your advocacy of abortion, just Planned Parenthood.

    I know your opinion of G.K. Chesterton, but you'll notice Eliot and Sanger in back-to-back sentences of the following link regarding eugenics.

    http://www.the-american-interest.com/...
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    • Posted by 8 years, 4 months ago
      I do not support Planned Parenthood and your false accusation has nothing to do with this thread. Even Planned Parenthood doesn't support eugenics, regardless of some of Sangers ideology of the early previous century. Your previous accusations that supporting the right of abortion is the same as Sanger's eugenics are false and libelous. Your screwy, personalized anti-abortion polemics are not a reason for anyone to "check his premises" except for yourself.
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