To see how the culture-based explanations for racial disparity are every bit as racist as biological arguments, consider the case of anti-Jewish bigotry. Although Hitler’s campaign of genocide against European Jewry was rooted in his beliefs about Jews being a biologically distinct and destructive force, would his efforts have been any less racist—and would we have failed to call him a racist—had he stuck with older, more traditional forms of anti-Jewish bigotry: such as beliefs that Jews are culturally clannish, greedy, or have religious beliefs that cause them to kill Christian children and use their blood for baking Matzo? Would the murder of millions of Jews, under these auspices deserve to escape the charge of racism, just because Jews were being inferiorized on the basis of cultural assumptions rather than biological ones? Surely not.On the political left:
Going back further we should recall that it was perhaps the nation’s most progressive president, Franklin Roosevelt, who not only OKd the internment of Japanese Americans, but who was also willing to cut out virtually all African Americans from the key programs of the New Deal so as to placate southern segregationists in his own party (1). Capitulating to racism, and even practicing it, has a sad pedigree on the left of the spectrum as with the right. And it is time we faced this fact honestly.
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