Hambo Explains Racism

For the last couple of days we’ve slogged through the Discoveroids’ opinion of racism — see, e.g.: Discoveroids Say Darwinists Must Be Racists. Now it’s the turn of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else.

This just appeared at the website of Answers in Genesis (AIG), Hambo’s creationist ministry: Is Racism a “Major Problem”? Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

Is racism still a major problem in America? According to a 2018 poll, 64% of Americans answer this question with a “yes!” An additional 30% say it still exists, but it’s not a major problem. Only 3% believe it no longer exists in this nation. Why is racism so tenaciously clinging on?

Is there anyone out there who doesn’t know what Hambo says is the answer to that question? We have one spoiler for you. He will not offer anything from the bible, such as slave owners used to cite. For example, the Curse of Ham, about which Wikipedia says:

The explanation that black Africans, as the “sons of Ham”, were cursed, possibly “blackened” by their sins, was advanced only sporadically during the Middle Ages, but it became increasingly common during the slave trade of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The justification of slavery itself through the sins of Ham was well suited to the ideological interests of the elite; with the emergence of the slave trade, its racialized version justified the exploitation of African labour.

So if he ignores the bible, then how does ol’ Hambo explain racism? You already know, but let’s hear it from him. He says:

People point to many different issues, such as political or socioeconomic differences, in an attempt to explain what is, ultimately, a spiritual problem. Because the ultimate reason racism exists is simple — sin.

Ooooooooooooh! Then he tells us:

We’re all sinners in rebellion against our Creator. Sin clouds our thinking in every area—including how we see other people. That’s why we can see racism, in one form or another, all throughout history, right into the present. Sin affects every individual and every society.

What’s he saying — that racism isn’t Darwin’s fault? No, he’s not saying that. Here it comes:

A lot of the kind of racism that exists in many places in the US today is a legacy of Darwinian ideas. Many could still recall old high school textbooks, such as the 1914 version of A Civic Biology by George William Hunter, where students were taught that there are five races, “the highest type of all, the Caucasians, represented by the civilized white inhabitants of Europe and America.” Such ideas flow directly from an evolutionary view.

He’s just getting started. The creationist version of history continues, enhanced by a bit of quote-mining:

Such ideas flow directly from an evolutionary view. After all, Darwin, in his book The Descent of Man, wrote,

[Hambo quote-mines Darwin, with his ellipses and italics:] At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes . . . will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilized state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian [aborigine] and the gorilla (emphasis added).

Ghastly creationist trash! We quoted the full passage from Darwin and debunked the chopped-up version here: WorldNetDaily — Worthless Creationist Rag! Let’s read on:

If we don’t understand that racism is a spiritual problem, rooted in the wrong worldview (evolution) and the wrong kind of thinking (based on man’s fallible word), we ultimately won’t properly combat or defeat racism. It will just continue to rear its ugly head.

Then he goes on for several paragraphs, talking about Adam & Eve, the Flood, and the Tower of Babel, which leads him to this:

So God confused their language into many languages, forcing them to spread out and fill the earth (Genesis 11:7–9). This broke up the human gene pool and isolated families from one another. Soon, certain genetic characteristics that each group took with them became prominent within their group. This resulted in different people groups and cultures reflecting minor genetic variations such as skin shades (all the same basic color from a pigment called melanin), eye shapes, etc. But we’re all one race, descended from Adam and Eve.

All that diversity, including Pygmies, Eskimos, Vikings, Japanese, and Australian aborigines, comes from one little family that lived only 4,000 years ago. And were it not for Darwin, there would be no racism in the world.

That’s it, dear reader. Now you understand racism. Hambo doesn’t have quite the same approach as the Discoveroids, but they’re all opposed to evolution — and that’s what’s important.

Copyright © 2019. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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14 responses to “Hambo Explains Racism

  1. Michael Fugate

    Are you surprised that Ham doesn’t understand cause and effect?

  2. Karl Goldsmith

    Never forget Ken Ham is a white man who claimed not to be white.

  3. Michael Fugate

    This is a variant of the Creationist Scientific Method:

    1. Select something in modern society that is deemed bad (racism, murder, rape, poverty, etc.).
    2. Blame it on evolution, Darwin, materialism, atheism, etc.
    3. Ignore all other evidence (such as whether the problem existed before Darwin published, before science developed, before the Enlightenment, etc. or if it was much worse in the past when almost all were theists).
    4. That’s it.

    Perhaps we can call it the Creationist Social Scientific Method.

  4. @Karl Goldsmith, do you have a link or reference for that?

    Re Ham; to be fair, he *does* downplay racial differences and says that the Curse of Canaan was specific to the geopolitics of the Ancient Near East: https://paulbraterman.wordpress.com/2019/04/01/creationism-noahs-flood-and-race/ Henry Morris, ofc, was another story.

    I will let other readers judge whether filling out the full text of the Darwin quote really does get him off the hook, as you claim. But enlightenment conferred no protection against racism. Even Hume in Of National Characters) used gross national stereotypes, and said that he was “apt to suspect” on the basis of history that Negroes were inferior to whites.

  5. Ham conveniently overlooks the links between European colonialism and Christianity, and the consequent irony of his paternalism towards aboriginal Australians. He’s claimed they simply forgot or turned away from their Hebraic roots, and adopted a faux-spirituality. If they could just get with the program and accept that they’re miserable sinners who need Jesus to save them — like the rest of us — the problem of racism would be solved.

    Next week: watch Ken solve the crisis in public school funding by simply asking “Who needs public schools, anyway?”

  6. Michael Fugate

    All manner of us are racist. I grew up in very segregated circumstances and l developed implicit biases. I try not to act on them. I also try to work to not just not be racist, but to be anti-racist – to help work against the racism inherent in society.

    Evolution has nothing to do with any of this – it is not a cause, but has been used as a justification.

  7. @Michael F
    “All manner of us are racist.”

    Does this include black/brown people? And how does it differ fundamentally from theists saying we’re all sinners?

  8. Michael Fugate

    Much of how it works is power – do I abuse my power. If a power imbalance exists and I use that to my advantage, then it is a problem.

  9. Non-white people perfectly can be racists as well. For once I do not dare what the correct explanation could be, though it’s obviously connected to Homo Sapiens’ aggression that made him/her so successfull in evolutionary terms that it has resulted in another mass-extinction event.
    The fundamental difference is that sinning means “doing something not approved by God”. An only slightly less fundamental difference is that none of the traditional sins includes racism. People who considered themselves sinners were perfectly OK with owning slaves and maintaining apartheid. Imo here lays a big problem with christianity and Ol’Hambo is a fine illustration.
    Many christians preach(ed) humility and practice vanity, to use christian terminology. Lots of theology even predicts it. It’s because humility and special creation/being chosen don’t go together very well. Now unbelievers face a similar problem; however “we are all sinners” often means that any effort to do something about it is pointless at beforehand.
    That’s not to say that all unbelievers automatically do their best to make the world a better place and themselves a better person. Neither do I mean to deny that there are christians who are inspired to do so. This may explain why opposition against the abolition of slavery and similar stuff tends to come from christians rather than from unbelievers.
    While I do not contradict PaulB’s “Enlightenment conferred no protection against racism” still freethinkers referring to it tend more strongly to speak up against it. So do christian freethinkers (that’s totally possible too) but there are relatively less of them. This in my eyes make christian freethinkers all the more admirable.

  10. Seems apropos to repeat the comment I made on the Curmudgeon’s previous post:

    “It can be argued that all humans are racist, in that we tend to associate with those who are more like ourselves. However, to be labelled “a racist” should require overt actions or words indicating one’s feelings of superiority over “others”. Racism will most likely exist as long as there are discernible differences between the peoples of the world. Perhaps racism will lessen as we as a species become more homogeneous over time, with the genetic mixing that is made possible by the rise of mobility between the continents.

    As to which group exhibits more racist attitudes today, at least in the United States, IMO that would be the creationists. The Southern Baptist Convention is fundamentally creationist. And the Southern Baptist Convention churches are almost all white.”

  11. Eric Lipps

    Ham apparently does not understand the difference between will and should. Darwin was anticipating that at some point the “civilized races” would “exterminate and replace” others, but at least in this quote he gives no indication that he approves. Recall that during Darwin’s lifetime the Native Australians and the Native Americans were both being subjected to campaigns of eradication (including, in the latter case, primitive germ warfare taking advantage of Native Americans’ vulnerability to European diseases).

    As for racism originating with Darwinism, is he kidding? (No; unfortunately, he’s apparently serious.) Racism was routine centuries before Darwin: Linnaeus, who in the 1700s gave biology its system of binomial nomenclature for species, drew up a “tree of life” which unambiguously showed Africans as “lower” than whites. Going back further, it took a papal edict affirming that the natives of Mexico had souls to get the conquistadors to start treating them (somewhat) as (more or less) human.

  12. @Eric Lipps
    Yes, of course, the idea of certain people being lower than others because of their ancestry is an old, old idea. Surely, nobody needs reminders of that. That there are people who are noble because of birth is still around today.

    What is not well known is that the idea of evolution – change without direction. or random change – could only make sense when it was realized that evolution doe not mean improvement. Dinosaurs, for all of their power, went extinct!