Friday, December 1, 2006

Friday Dead Racist Blogging: Down the Rabbit Hole Edition

I do not mean by the title of this post to imply that Lewis Carroll was a racist. Instead I shall be talking about Charles Carroll, whose bizarre racist worldview is rivalled only by those members of the Christian Identity movement who believe that "Jews" are literally the spawn of Satan and biologically incapable of being good.

Last Friday, I made cursory mention of the tendency to view race problems as black and white, ignoring other peoples. In most cases, this is just a lamentable oversight--or sometimes even intentional, simply because in a particular region the only significant percentages of peoples are blacks and whites. In fact, this was the defense Virginia used when asked why their anti-miscegenation law only made illegal marriages between whites and blacks. From the oral arguments of Loving v. Virginia:
MR. MC ILWAINE: ... As I say, the statistics show that all other races combined, outside of white and Negro, constitute less than 1/100th of 1 percent of Virginia's population, according to the 1960 census. And those figures have not varied more than 1 or 2 percent from the 1950 population figures. So that the problem of other types of interracial marriages which caused interracial marriage statutes of western states to consider the Oriental problem, just simply doesn't exist in Virginia.

Where some simply overlook the existence of other races, this was not the case with Charles Carroll. He truly believed that there were only blacks and whites. That is just the start of his lunacy.

Carroll was very prolific--I have read two of Carroll's books about "the Negro", and I know that there were more. I even bought one of his works: "The Negro a Beast" or "In the Image of God" (which I just found out is available on-line). When I first got this book, I was truly afraid I would be unable to finish the thing--I didn't even get to the first page before its mind-boggling ideas forced me to put it down. The Table of Contents alone was too much for me, when I found that the eighth chapter of the book was titled "It was not God's original plan that His Son should be crucified, but amalgamation and disobedience of the human family made it imperative." Yes, Carroll believed that miscegenation was responsible for the death of Christ, along with a great deal else.

Looking back on it now, though, the insanity begins with the title, for "the Negro [is] a Beast" is the book's thesis. Many people said that blacks were sub-human, and bestial, but still believed that they were a part of the human race--just a "lower", less-developed portion of it. Not so Carroll; he was a polygenesist, and believed that blacks were created before whites. They were in fact the "beasts of the field" mentioned often in the Bible, created by God to be the servants of the whites. Since God commanded Adam to have dominion over the earth, but he did not toil until after his expulsion from Eden, Carroll figured that he must have had a servant to do physical labor for him--one with just enough intelligence to understand his masters. Who else but blacks?

Carroll was not alone in this belief--there were many other polygenesists, who insisted that "Negroes" were the "beasts of the field", and that they were created before the white race, which began with Adam and Eve, and that they were a separate species from the whites. However, many of them believed that the other races, such as the Chinese, were also specially created before Adam and Eve. Carroll insisted that there was no biblical support for this notion, and that God created only two types: whites and blacks.

Whence then came the other races that clearly exist? According to Carroll, all other "so-called races of men" were formed by interbreeding between blacks and whites; in fact, he titles chapter six "Red, Yellow and Brown Skin Denotes Amalgamation of the Human Family with the Beast, the Negro." His support for this idea? Anecdotes of mulattoes looking like Native Americans, from which he lept to the conclusion that this is how the entire race was, and is, formed (The Tempter of Eve, pg 450):
Thus we find that we are producing Indians here in the United States, by amalgamation between whites and negroes. But this is merely the fullfilment of the predictions of the most competent observers. Referring to the writings of Mr. Reclus, and l'Abbe Brasseur de Bonbourg, Quatrefages says: "Both these authors seem to admit that at the end of a given time, whatever be their origin, all the descendants of whites or of negroes who have emigrated to America will become red-skins." (The Human Species, p. 255).

Also he finds important the fact that people of the same race can vary in skin tone (The Negro a Beast, pgs 171-172):
The so-called "brown, red and yellow races" have no characters peculiar to them. No anthropologist will assert that the classification of the so-called "human species" into "five races of men" was based upon what the atheist would term "racial purity," but that it was based solely on geographical divisions. In Europe, the complexions range from pure white to brown; in Africa, we find the complexions to be nearly white, brown, red, yellow and pure black; in Asia, they range from light yellow to black; the same is true of Oceanica, the home of the so-called "Malay race;" in America, previous to its discovery by Columbus, the complexions were nearly pure white, brown, red, yellow and black. Fontaine says: "If a congregation of twelve representatives from Malacca, China, Japan, Mongolia, Sandwich Islands, Chili, Peru, Brazil, Chickasaws, Comanches, etc., were dressed alike, or undressed and unshaven, the most skillful anatomist could not, from their appearance, separate them." [How the World Was Peopled.]

Prof. Winchell says: "The ancient Indians of California, in the latitude of 42 degrees, were as black as the negroes of Guinea, while in Mexico were tribes of an olive or reddish complexion, relatively light. Among the black races of tropical regions we find, generally, some light-colored tribes interspersed. These sometimes have light hair and blue eyes. This is the case with the Tuareg of the Sahara, the Afghans of India, and the aborigines of the banks of the Orinoco and the Amazon." [Preadamites.] It will be observed that these characters are identical with those presented by the offspring resulting from amalgamation between whites and blacks in our midst. We have demonstrated here in the United States that the way to produce these so-called "brown, red or yellow races" is to mingle the blood of the white with that of the negro.

He also decided that whites were the only race capable of civilization, but since other races had primitive forms of civilization, it was somehow evident that they inherited them from white ancestors.

All well and good, but hardly very disturbing, is it? Well, this is merely the launching point for his tirades. In the beginning of The Negro a Beast he says that there were a total of three "creations", by which he meant "the introduction into the material universe of some element, that had no prior existence there." On pages 12-13 he approvingly quotes:
"In the first verse [of Genesis] we are taught that this universe had a beginning; that it was created--and that God was its Creator. The central idea is creation. The Hebrew word is bara, translated by create. It has been doubted whether the word meant a creation, in the sense that the world was not derived from any pre-existing material, nor from the substance of God Himself; but the manner in which it is here used does not seem to justify such a doubt. For whatever be the use of the word in other parts of the Bible, it is employed in this chapter in a discriminating way, which is very remarkable, and cannot but be intentional. Elsewhere, when only transformations are meant, as in the second and fourth days, or a continuation of the same kind of creation; as in the land animals of the fifth day, the word asah (make) is used. Again it is a significant fact that in the whole Bible where the simple form of bara is used it is always with reference to a work made by God, but never by man."

And what are these creations?
The Mosaic Record teaches that there is just three creations. The first of these is described in connecetion with "the heaven and the earth, in the beginning." The second creation is described in connection with the introduction of animal life on the fifth day; and the third creation is described in connection with the first appearance of Man on the sixth day.

He extrapolated that these creations were: matter, mind, and soul. Thus all things were made up of matter; animals were made up of matter and mind; and Man was comprised matter, mind, and soul. And since blacks were not Men but beasts, they did not have souls.

Furthermore, he concocted a theory of reproduction. He posited that men's sperm held half each of their component parts: matter and mind in animals, and mind, matter, and soul in humans. Women's eggs held the complementary halves, and upon conception these halves would unite into a whole. But as blacks did not have souls, if a white bred with a black, the soul half from the white would not meet any other half to complete it, and so the child would also be soul-less. From The Tempter of Eve, pages 420-421:
The negro, like every other animal, being merely a combination of two creations--matter and mind--it follows that one side or part of the matter creation, and one side or part of the mind creation, exists in an imperfect state in the male negro; the corresponding sides or parts of these imprefect creations exists in the female negro. In the sexual act each side or part of these creations maintains its individuality, and acts as a magnet which attracts its corresponding side or part in the opposite sex; and when united and perfected in the female, conception and birth ensues, and the two creations--matter and mind--are reproduced in the young negro.

Thus, two creations--matter and mind--combine to perfect the negro. But it requires the combination of the three creations--matter, mind, and soul--to perfect man. Hence, while but two creations--matter and mind--exist in an imperfect state in the germs of the male and female negro, as mutually dependent sides or parts of the life system of the animal, the three creations--matter, mind, and soul exist in an imperfect state in the germs of the male and female man, as mutually dependent sides or parts of the life system of man; and so great is the attraction between the matter and mind creations as they exist in the imperfect state in the germs of man and the negro, that sexual intercourse between the two may unite and perfect these two creations. But the imperfect side or part of the soul creation as it exists in the germ of the man, finds no corresponding side or part in the negro; as a result the soul creation having no attraction, remains passive. Hence, if conception ensues from the union of the germs and the consequent perfecting of the matter and mind creations of man and the engro, this passive creation forms no part of the offspring of this unnatural union. Thus, neither the male nor the female side or part of man can transmit the three creations--matter, mind, and soul--to their offspring by the negro, in whom the matter and the mind creations alone exist. In other words, the male and the female can only transmit to their offspring such of these creations as are common to both parents.

This doesn't mean good things for those of mixed races. From The Negro a Beast, pg 129:
"But," says the enlightened Christian, "If a man is married to a negress, will not their offspring have a soul?" No; it is simply the product resulting from God's violated law, and inherits none of the Divine nature of the man, but, like its parent, the ape, it is merely a combination of matter and mind. "Then, if the half-breed marries a man, will not their offspring have a soul?" No! "Then if the three-quarter white marries a man will not their offspring have a soul?" No. "If the offspring of man and the Negro was mated with pure whites for generations, would not their ultimate offspring have a soul?" No!

He puts it more succinctly in The Tempter of Eve, where on page 423 he says "no mixed-blood has a soul." And given his very broad definition of "mixed-blood", there are an awful lot of soulless people out there.

You may have noticed his description of mulattoes as the product of "God's violated law". Yes; he, like so many, believed that God outlawed miscegenation. But again Carroll takes it a step further. From his assumption that God created only blacks and whites, he concluded that God's plan for creation did not include mixed-bloods:
The offspring of Man and the Negro is not upon the earth in deference to Divine will, but in violation of Divine law. Hence, it is not a part of God's creation.

He in fact had some rather harsh words for mixed-bloods. He interpreted Jeremiah 16:2-3 as saying "[t]hat, in the eyes of God, the offspring of Man and the Negro is only fit for dung on the face of the earth." And Ezekiel 29 he believed "shows that a country which is occupied solely by mixed-bloods is in the eyes of God 'waste and desolate' and not 'inhabited.'" And he concluded further, citing Leviticus 20:15-16 as support, that mulattoes have no rights--and he meant none. From The Negro a Beast pg 161:
Thus, the immediate offspring of man and the Negro--the mulatto--was doomed by Divine edict to instant death in the very moment of conception. Hence, neither the mulatto nor his ultimate offspring can acquire the right to live. This being true, it follows that these monstrosities have no rights social, financial, political or religious that man need respect; they have no rights that man dare respect--not even the right to live.

In Tempter of Eve, page 482, he repeats this charge and adds that there can never "be any peace between God and man as long as these monstrosities are allowed to defile the earth with their presence."

The fact that they do live continue to "defile the earth", and are granted rights, apparently makes God frumple.
Tempter of Eve, page 431:
Amalgamation is the sole charge recorded against the antediluvians, as shown by the following: "The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth and behold it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted His way on the earth. And God said to Noah: The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth." (Gen. vi, 11, 12, 13).

The Negro a Beast, page 159:
He specifically charges the Canaanites with lying with beasts, which, as shown in the case of the antediluvians, would result in corrupting the flesh of Canaan. In each case the penalty of death was visited upon this corrupted flesh and those who were instrumental in corrupting it. In the case of the antediluvians by a universal deluge; in that of the Canaanites by a war of extermination.

Page 287:
Our country, already laboring under the curse of God for its social and religious equality with the Negro, was further cursed for its amalgamation by being plunged in a civil war."

Page 234:
But in the course of ages they forgot God, descended to amalgamation, and this, in its turn, gave birth to idolatry. "Then was war in the gates." God in his wrath and disgust showered his curses upon them in the form of war, famine, pestilence and disease, and destroyed them from the earth, laid their civilizations in ruins, and transformed their once prosperous country into the abode of savages....

Pages 324-5:
This vain, criminal effort to elevate the Negro and mixed-bloods to the lofty plane of man and womanhood, in contempt of God's Plan of Creation and in violation of HIs law is what its modern advocates term an experiment. Experiment, indeed! This so-called experiment is very nearly as old as man. Its destructive results are demonstrated by continents shattered and torn from their foundations and hurled beneath the waves, under the curse of God; nations blotted from the face of the earth; civilizations laid in ruins; vast areas, once teeming with an intelligent, industrious, happy and prosperous population, transformed into barren wastes or made the abode of the barbarian or the savage.

Tempter of Eve, page 223:
These "beasts of the field" were servants of the Israelites; they owned tens of thousands of them. It was their criminal relations with these apes which led to the destruction of the Israelites as a nation, and their dispersion among the nations of the earth.

And finally in Tempter of Eve, pages 405-406, he simply says that treating blacks like people is responsible for all sin in the world:
We are taught by the modern theologians that Adam and Eve committed their first sin by eating the forbidden fruit; but to accept this theory we must disregard the narrative of creation, which teaches that the design of God in creating man, was that he should have dominion over the animals; and that when man was created he was assigned to this task. Inasmuch as the tempter of Eve was an animal, it follows that it was the duty of Adam and Eve to control it in common with the rest of the animals. But instead of controlling this negress, Eve accepted the negress as her counselor, and allowed the negress to control her, and induced Adam to do likewise; and she counseled them to their ruin. Thus, it is plain that when Adam and Eve accepted this creature as their counselor, they not only violated the laws given man in the creation to "have dominion" over the animals, but they outraged the very design of God in creating man. Their acting upon the advice of the negress by eating the forbidden fruit, was their second offense; when they accepted the negress as their counselor, they necessarily descended to social equality with her. This reveals the startling fact that it was man's social equality with the negro that brought sin into the world. This being true, it follows that man's social equality with the negro will keep sin into the world, and will bring upon man the just condemnation of God. Besides, man's social equality with the negro tends to political and religious equality; and these three, or any one of them, inevitably leads to amalgamation--itself the most infamous and destructive crime known to the law of God.

And on page 182 of The Negro a Beast, Carroll claims that amalgamation was responsible for every punishment God meted out:
This reveals the startling truth that, underlying all of God's arraignments, and punishments of Israel, and her surrounding nations, for their idolatry, was this loathsome crime, amalgamation.

He also concluded on page 476 of The Tempter of Eve that "strange as it may seem, amalgamation is not only the parent of atheism, which denies the existence of God, but is also the parent of idolatry with its worship of many gods."

Moreover, Carroll claimed that the entire Bible "is simply a history of the long conflict which has raged between God and man, as the result of man's criminal relations with the negro." Although two years later Carroll qualified this when he wrote "the Bible is largely a history of the long, destructive conflict which has raged between God and man, because of man's social, political, and religious equality with this beast, and the amalgamation to which these crimes inevitably lead" (emphasis mine).

Perhaps worst of all is that this work was fairly well-received, from all accounts. I recall reading one contemporary account that called the book the Bible of the poor man, it was so common; unfortunately, I cannot seem to find this quote (and I have spent quite a while looking). At any rate, this book was popular enough to warrant mention in the 1907 work, The Devil Between the White Man and the Negro, where it was lumped together with Thomas Dixon's infamous The Clansman. And even today, Carroll is cited approvingly (referred to as "Professor Carroll") by such racists as the Christian Party.

Page 185 of The Devil Between the White Man and the Negro

[Edit] I found the quote about the popularity of Carroll's works.


Penney File said...

I have a 1900 copy of 'Man and Negro' by Carroll. It is either a similar book or the same book by a different name, as that discussed here. I am trying to find out more about this charles carroll, as most online info is about the charles Carroll who signed the Declaration of Independence. Would be interesting if they were related. Do you have any info on the author? Would like to see how his background warped his belief system.

Unknown said...

Penney, are you still there? I am doing a video about the book. Please write to me at