What is the Source of Oppression, Division, and Racism?

A Talk with Jared Diamond.

Historians don’t get training in the scientific methods; they don’t get training in statistics; they don’t get training in the experimental method or problems of doing experiments on historical subjects; and they’ll often say that history is not a science, history is closer to an art.

Jared comes to this question as one who is accomplished in two scientific areas: physiology and evolutionary biology. The first is a laboratory science; the second, is never far from history. “Biology is the science,” he says. “Evolution is the concept that makes biology unique.”

“Most people are explicitly racists,” he says. “In parts of the world — so called educated, so-called western society — we’ve learned that it is not polite to be racist, and so often we don’t express racist views, but nevertheless I’ve given lectures on this subject, and members of the National Academy of Sciences come up to me afterwards and say, but native Australians, they’re so primitive. Racism is one of the big issues in the world today. Racism is the big social problem in the United States.”

Advertisements

2 responses to “What is the Source of Oppression, Division, and Racism?

  1. “Racism is the big social problem in the United States.”

    Not really – racism is a big media issue in the United States; that doesn’t really mean it’s a big social problem. What is so easy to claim as racism is more often classism.

  2. I never saw history as an art, All history we have usually derives from the victor’s side or principal culture of a certain area, and all too often viewed from a modern perspective rather than in context to that time period. And from a Euro-centric POV.

    We talk of the glory the developed nations brought to the rest of the world, but look how many cultures and languages we manipulated or destroyed as a result of ethno-centrism. Most of the time we hear of Europeans inventing something, like both paper and the printing press, the Chinese already beat us to it hundreds of years earlier. And my favorite thing to say: one people’s terrorists is another people’s freedom-fighters (think of the American Revolution, we cherish the American fighters, but the British they were terrorists so to speak).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s