According to a new nationwide survey conducted by Discovery Institute, 85% of American adults believe “it is important that students learn about the history of scientific racism in America.” Young adults under age 30 are even more supportive, with 93% of them saying it’s important for students to learn about America’s history of scientific racism.
Most Americans also think that two leading scientific institutions in New York City should apologize for their notorious actions promoting scientific racism in the past.
In September 1906, the Bronx Zoo put African Ota Benga on display in a cage in its Monkey House as an evolutionary “missing link.” Nearly a quarter of a million Americans flocked to the Zoo to see the demeaning spectacle. Some 67% of survey respondents say the Zoo should apologize having sponsored the display.
The American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan, meanwhile, hosted two international conferences promoting eugenics, the effort by scientists to breed a better race by applying the principles of Darwinian biology. The Museum also mounted virulently racist museum exhibits to go along with the conferences. Again, 66% of Americans surveyed said they thought the Museum should apologize for its role hosting the eugenics conferences.
“Most Americans realize we need to learn from the past,” said Dr. John West, Vice President of Discovery Institute. “But we can’t learn from the past if we cover it up.”
West is the writer and director Human Zoos, a new award-winning documentary that tells the shocking story of how thousands of indigenous peoples were put on public display in America in the early decades of the twentieth century. The documentary also investigates the history of the American eugenics movement, and it exposes how the contemporary “Alt-right” movement is seeking to resurrect the arguments of scientific racists and Social Darwinists from the past.
“Scientific racism is still with us,” said West. “If we don’t confront those trying to promote it, we are asking for trouble. Human dignity needs to be defended in every generation.”
Human Zoos is available on DVD, Blu-ray, and Amazon Prime video. More information about the documentary is available at a multimedia educational site, www.HumanZoos.org.