Campus, News

Teach-in denounces racism

By Peter Lowy

Seven members of the natural and social science community in Boston spoke against racism last night in Boston University’s Morse Auditorium.

Racism is fostered by social institutions and the theories of Arthur Jensen and William Shockly, which state blacks are intellectually inferior, they said.

Commenting on the state of racism in the natural sciences, William McLaurin, an associate in medicine at Harvard University, said “They’re really contaminated. It is literally disgusting.”

McLaurin reported scientific experiments with racial overtones. He cited a 1958 University of Texas study which attempted to determine the effects of a lack of lineolic acid on children. Lineolic acid is a fatty acid essential to growth in children.

The university experimented on wards of the state, McLaurin said, all of whom happened to be black or Spanish Americans. McLaurin said a similar study previously conducted on puppies had yielded conclusive findings.

Noting the word “Jensenism” has already entered English dictionaries, Prof. Louis Lowy of the BU School of Social Work, said everyone has to accept the dignity and worth of all human beings.

Lowy, one of two whites who addressed the racially mixed audience of 120, said universities and schools everywhere have to teach the falsehood of racist doctrine, eliminate the “consequences of such a half baked doctrine and the subtle and not so subtle racist overtones of textbooks.”

Unokanma Okonjo, a native Nigerian and a BU assistant professor of sociology, said racism is a disease and predicted it will last as long as “the white man continues to be a threat to people of every color in the world.”

Okonjo delivered a warning issued by all seven speakers; one must be aware and on guard for racist books and unsubstantiated racial theory.

According to BU assistant professor of psychology and former New York City public school teacher Russell Boxley, 82 percent of all American studies on blacks blame blacks “for having pathological family patterns and being prone to violence.”

Boxley said blacks are the victims of circumstances and poverty and are blamed for their misfortunes. He said psychological studies are in part responsible for this because, in studying black communities, psychologists often don’t consult the people they are investigating.

Harvard genetics professor Richard Lewontin denounced the concept of inheritability, which says an individual’s IQ is an inherited trait. Most of those who spoke at the gathering sponsored by the Student Union, Students for a Democratic Society, and the Black Caucus at BU, similarly rejected the use of the IQ as an accurate indicator of intelligence.

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