Today’s Question, Number 1: Is Joe Biden a Racist?

A few days ago the President of the United States derided several governors as "neanderthals" because they decided to relax the restrictions on social life that had been imposed in a panic-response to COVID.  What has he got against that  extinct race of human beings?

Neanderthal men, so far as I have been able to gather over the years, were a crude lot but capable of speech and, from the guesses I have read, endowed with an IQ range in the 70's and 80's.  Since they interbred with members of Homo sapiens, it may be unfair to refer to them as a species.  They should be regarded, instead as a subspecies--if such distinctions mean anything any more.  Wolves, dogs, and coyotes not only share many common traits, but they also interbreed freely.  I am not sure what the numerical taxonomy boys would say about either canines or hominids, but some would probably pooh-pooh the whole idea of rigid species classification.

Can we be frank?  There are lots of people in the USSA who have IQ's in the  70's and 80's--and they are not all in Congress or working for government.  If, as it now seems, the IQ norm is about 90--not the 100, which is the European norm--there are racial and ethnic groups where the norm is closer to 80 or below.  Are we to treat those people as subhuman, simply because they cannot learn Classical Greek or work out calculus problems?   Such a position would rightly be condemned not only as racist but as downright unAmerican.

Joe Biden--or rather one of his speechwriters--would undoubtedly respond that the President meant no disrespect to Neanderthals or other human groups with underperforming IQ test results.   That's like saying that some athlete who uses the N-word meant no disrespect to black Americans but was merely using conventional language for comic effect.

If the latest scientific researches are correct, then I too must have some taint of Neanderthal blood, probably through a great grandfather who was Norwegian Sea captain.    On behalf of my people, abused, exploited, and genocidally exterminated, I demand from the President an immediate and abject apology for his offensive racist outburst.

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Thomas Fleming

Thomas Fleming is president of the Fleming Foundation. He is the author of six books, including The Morality of Everyday Life and The Politics of Human Nature, as well as many articles and columns for newspapers, magazines,and learned journals. He holds a Ph.D. in Classics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a B.A. in Greek from the College of Charleston. He served as editor of Chronicles: a Magazine of American Culture from 1984 to 2015 and president of The Rockford Institute from 1997-2014. In a previous life he taught classics at several colleges and served as a school headmaster in South Carolina

4 Responses

  1. Dom says:

    How else is one to correct a child’s poor handwriting or table manners? “Barbarian”? Neanderthal similes are so much more fun!

  2. Vince Cornell says:

    I feel like the title of this article is one of those rhetorical questions like, “Does a chicken have lips?” “Does a one-legged duck swim in a circle?” “Does a bear *ahem* defecate in the woods?” “Is the Pope Catholic?” er, scratch that last one . . .

  3. Sam Dickson says:

    There is a professor at Harvard who regards the extinction of the Neanderthals as perhaps the earliest genocide perpetrated as an expression of racial superiority.

    Modern America and progressive thinking in general believe in social and racial uplift.

    Liberals essentially view working people as a pathology to be cured. In their eyes to perform manual labor is to be demeaned and humiliated. The necessary foundating for such a view is contempt for those who dig ditches, drive bull dozers, work in a factory, make up beds, etc. To fahionable opinion the lives of those who perform such tasks are without meaning.

    The ultimate goal seems to be a society in which no one will have to stain his hands doing manual labor. Everyone will be a Harvard professor, the only job that matters and gives fulfillment and dignity instead of degrading people.

    Since we are to dedicate ourselves to the task of social and racial uplift, the question arises:

    What about monkeys and baboons?

    The genetic difference between baboons and homo sapiens, I have read, is very slight. Only about 8 tmes greater than the genetic distace between people of European race adn people of African race. Monkeys are a little more distant genetically but not that much.

    We are fast mastering the genetic modification.

    Don’t we owe it to baboons to use this scientific breakthrough to genetically modify baboons and monkeys, to genetically and socially uplift them so that they too can be homo sapiens?

    And why stop there?

    My guess is that cats and dogs are probably 99% genetically the same as humans.

    I love my cat, a fact that has caused some gleeful goading and ridicule from our leader and mentor Dr. Fleming.

    Is it kind for me to exploit my cat for my own psychological needs by petting im and rubbing his neck and making him purr?

    Don’t I owe it to my cat to modify him genetically and uplift him to homo sapiens status?

    Don’t we as decent human beings have a duty to do this for all cats and dogs so as to give them equal opportunity?

    These are questions of conscience that cry out for an answer.

  4. Raymond Olson says:

    Thank you, Sam! It’s always bracing to see that H. G. Wells’ Dr. Moreau is still understood.