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Podcast #13 - James Churchward and Race
Being that racial issues have been mentioned, discussed, and dissected in the news on a frequent basis, it seems like a good time to discuss James Churchward's theories with regard to race. This presentation expands upon an email exchange last year and is based solely on my thoughts and impressions.
One approach to the subject would be to detail a long litany of examples with the righteous mindset of today's sensibilities and take the opportunity to excoriate James and his theories. Hopefully, you did not come to listen to that here because it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that James was a product of his 19th century upbringing. No amount of analysis will change a single word in his written works or change the theories he espoused; it is all water under the bridge.
My approach is much more simple. Compared to any other person born in 1851, James was not an extremist and he did not use his books as a vehicle to spread hatred. Why blame it on malice when there is ample evidence that he operated with a 19th century mindset that we would consider ignorant today.
So, in my book, James gets a pass because he or anyone he knew is not around to tell his side of the story. However in the present world, some of the 'new' theories need a bit more polish instead of continuing to trot out patently false information based solely on race.
It is very hard to understand a bias against Polynesians when you know about the Hokulea and that the people of the South Pacific Ocean were sailing thousands of miles when most other folks were sticking close to shore (if they even ventured into the water.)
Another example of this bias is the belief that the earthen works spread across the United States were not built by the natives peoples; that other, more sophisticated folks actually built them and mysteriously disappeared. Cortez wrote about Etowah, the site near Carterville, Georgia while on his travels and witnessed first hand how the people lived. The same is true about Panfilo de Narvaez when he arrived in Safety Harbor, Florida. If the native people didn't build them, then how did they maintain them? Certainly if a less technically advanced people took over the mounds and repaired them for hundreds or thousands of years, then the excavations would plainly indicate the differences in the structure. There is no such evidence and obviously it is easier to make wild assumptions about the former residents than to give them credit for their hard labor and efforts.
These are but two examples of the theories of racial superiority that are floated about today and are rooted in the hundred years old or so works of authors that were stuck with a flawed mindset from birth. For instance, my great-grandfather James Churchward felt that Mongolians were barely more civilized than animals and from my experience that clearly indicates that he never even met a Mongol, much less spend any time interacting with them.
Another example would be some of the mailing lists that are 'out there' both literally and figuratively. Not all of them cater to racial theories about the alleged superiority of their culture, language, achievements, or skin color; the racial overtones are hidden under the surface and are masked by a connection to politics or religious fervor.
To sum up, I would like to quote a short section of a United Nations document, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, an agreement that has been ratified by every civilized (and some uncivilized) nation on the planet Earth:
Convinced that any doctrine of superiority based on racial differentiation is scientifically false, morally condemnable, socially unjust and dangerous, and that there is no justification for racial discrimination, in theory or in practice, anywhere,So, the next time that the 'people that hate' try to infect you with their casual dissemination of a broad and generalized statement or news, please ask for substantial evidence or find out what is their agenda. There certainly are individuals that commit all kinds of terrible deeds, but no ethnic or racial group has a monopoly on terrible deeds. Please feel free to call them out on inaccuracies and let them know the truth.
There really is only one race - the human race.
Thanks for listening to my two cents and have a great day.
"Realize the nature of our shared human existence," is a practical approach, or "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" is another way of wording it. I would imagine that all cultures and ethnicities have such intelligent individuals to point people to examine our similarities instead of our differences.
I completely understand that I have upset some folks with this presentation and these words are directed at you:
Unless you want your children and grandchildren to live in an increasingly violent, ethnically segregated world, you need to take a step back and reconsider the underlying rationale that forces you to hate. Don't your 'enemies' have mothers and fathers; families that are sometimes happy and sometimes suffering? Are all of them as opposed to you as you are to them? Look for the facts, not some mindless drivel vomited on email lists and 'news' sites.Also, I am not interested in your 'evidence' that shows one ethnicity is superior or inferior to another. From my own personal experience I know that to be false.