Friday, March 23, 2007

Friday Dead Racist Blogging: Equilibrium Edition

Victorian ladies had to fear education because their poor, inferior brains might overheat if subjected to such subjects as math and physics. But their woes are as little compared to blacks, who if educated would be unable to stand up.
The negro is incapable of an erect or direct perpendicular posture. The general structure of his limbs, the form of the pelvis, the spine, the way the head is set on the shoulders, in short, the tout ensemble of the anatomical formation, forbids an erect position. But while the whole structure is thus adapted to a slightly stooping posture, the head would seem to be the most important agency, for with any other head or the head of any other race, it would be impossible to retain an upright position at all.

The form or figure of the Caucasian is perfectly erect, with the eyes on a plane with the horizon, and the broad forehead, distinct features and full and flowing beard, stamp him with a superiority and majesty denied to all other creatures, and relatively to all other races of men. On the contrary, narrow and longitudinal head of the negro projecting posterially, places his eyes an angle with the horizon, and thus alone enables him to approximate to an erect position. Of course, we are not to speculate on what is impossible or to suggest what might happen if the negro head had resemble that of the Caucasian, for the slightest change of an elementary atom in the negro structure would render him an impossible monstrosity. But with the broad forehead and small cerebellum of the white man, it is perfectly obvious that the negro would no longer possess a centre of gravity, and therefore those philanthropic people who would "educate" him into intellectual equality or change the mental organism of the negro, would simply render him incapable of standing on his feet or of an upright position on any terms. Every one must have remarked this peculiarity in the form and attitude of the negro. His head is thrown upwards and backwards, showing a certain though remote approximation to the quadruped both in its actual formation and the manner in which it is set on his shoulders. The narrow forehead and small cerebrum—the centre of the intellectual powers—and the projection of the posterior portion—the centre of the animal functions—render the negro head radically and widely different from that of the white man. This every one knows, because every one sees it every day, and the universal and all pervading law of adaptation which God has eternally stamped upon the structure of all His creatures enables the negro to thus preserve a centre of gravity and comparatively an upright posture. But were it true that men can make themselves, can push aside the Almighty Creator Himself, as taught by certain "reformers" of the day, and vastly improve the "breed" and, as the "friends of humanity" hold, that the negro can be made to conform in his intellectual qualities to those of the white man, then it is certain that their difficulties would become greater than ever. That the cerebrum or anterior portion of the brain is the centre, the seat, the organism, in fact, of the intellectual nature, is as certain as that the eye is the organ of sight, and that in proportion to its size relatively with the cerebellum—the centre of the animal instincts—is there mental capacity, however latent it may be in the case of individuals, is equally certain. And should these would-be reformers of the work of the Almighty change the intellectual nature of the negro, they would necessarily change the organism through which, and by which, that nature is manifested, and thus enlarging the anterior and diminishing the posterior portion of the brain into correspondence with their own, it is perfectly evident that they would destroy the harmony which exists between the negro head and the negro body, and instead of a black-white man, or a being with the same intellectual nature as ours, they would render him as utterly incapable of locomotion or of an upright position at all as if they had cut off his head, instead of re-creating it on the model of their own!

--John H. Van Evrie, White Supremacy and Negro Subordination, pp. 93-95, 1861. Referenced in Thomas F. Gossett, Race: The History of an Idea in America, p. 263, 1963.

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