Because the writer isn’t a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name. His first name is Don. Excerpts from his letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary, some bold font for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]. Here we go!
“Slavery” and “racism” have dominated many letters to the editor and conversations throughout Central Virginia for a few years. Both are horrendous. Slavery has been practiced by many nations throughout history and continues to exist today in various forms (e.g., human trafficking). Americans are now vilifying our ancestors who owned slaves, fought for the South or had segregationist leanings. Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Paul Cale, Paul Barringer are some of the recent targets in Charlottesville.
Where is Don going with this? Be patient, dear reader. All will soon be revealed. He says:
But wait: Was not the practice of slavery intellectually and scientifically justified — supposedly — by Charles Darwin after 1859, when he published “The Origin of Species,” with the subtitle “The preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life” and 12 years later with his second book, “The Descent of Man”?
Aaaargh!! That nonsense comes up all the time because creationists never read past the title of Darwin’s book. We’ve rebutted it over and over again. See, e.g.: Racism, Eugenics, and Darwin. The TalkOrigins Index to Creationist Claims also debunks it — see how they handle Evolution promotes racism
Okay, after that gigantic clunker, Don tells us:
John Dewey, father of modern public education in America, was an ardent disciple of Darwin: no God, Bible, prayer in public schools, nothing but evolution allowed — and human evolution promotes racism.
Oh — “human evolution promotes racism.” But what about the bible? See Curse of Ham, in 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.
Also, in Curse and mark of Cain, Wikipedia says:
At some point after the start of the slave trade in the United States, many Protestant denominations began teaching the belief that the mark of Cain was a dark skin tone … . Protestant preachers wrote exegetical analyses of the curse, with the assumption that it was dark skin.
The split between the Northern and Southern Baptist organizations arose over doctrinal issues pertaining to slavery and the education of slaves. At the time of the split, the Southern Baptist group used the curse of Cain as a justification for slavery.
Don isn’t doing very well, but his letter continues:
In “Descent of Man,” Darwin describes numerous dark-skinned people groups as “savages.” He makes a disturbing link between his belief in white supremacy and his theory of natural selection: “From the remotest times successful tribes have supplanted other tribes. … At the present-day civilized nations are everywhere supplanting barbarous nations.”
Regarding Don’s “savages” claim, the TalkOrigins Index to Creationist Claims has an entry debunking that clunker — see Charles Darwin was himself a racist, referring to native Africans and Australians, for example, as savages. Don’s letter goes on:
Here is part of our schizophrenia. We embrace Darwin’s work overall, while ignoring the implications of Darwin’s human evolutionary theory of ape-like creatures to dark-skinned “savages” to white Europeans.
Yes, Darwinists are indeed horrible people. Skipping a bit, Don ends his brilliant letter with this:
Think about it. Is not Darwin an “intellectual” and “scientific” father of racism and therefore the most influential white supremacist in history? [Groan!] Should we not expunge him and his racist theories about humans from all textbooks?
Wow — no Darwinism, no racism. Problem solved! That was a brilliant ending to a brilliant letter. You’re a great creationist, Don.
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