What Ways Have Darwinist Theories Encouraged Racist Thinking?

1353 Words May 25th, 2015 6 Pages
1. In what ways have Darwinist theories encouraged racist thinking?

Darwinist theories saw that the human race is similar to the animal species, in terms of “the survival of the fittest”: the rising of the superior creatures and eventually inferior others will become extinct (Jeynes, 2011). In Darwin’s observation of other races around the world, he concluded that some races are savage and cannot be civilised. Therefore, through the process of natural selection, the superior white race will survive and other races will struggle as time passes, as they are the weaker human race (Jeynes, 2011). Darwin’s ideas helped emerge social Darwinism; a theory to justify the impact of European colonisation with arguing that all coloured people were considered inferior to Europeans as a matter of “scientific fact” (Jeynes, 2011). These Darwinist ideas contributed to understanding race and crime with biological genetic determinism and the ‘criminal type’ (Webster, 2007). Darwinist theories have enforced racist thinking of difference and protection of the superior races from those who are deemed as biologically inferior (Jeynes, 2011). This is echoed in the contemporary era with the handling of Duayne Brooks in murder of Stephan Lawrence. Brooks was a victim of racial stereotyping as police arrested him for Lawrence’s murder, because he was being "aggressive, anti-police, distressed and unhelpful” (The Telegraph, 2012). However, Brook was simply distraught from witnessing the murder of…

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