The Washington Post continues it’s depressing dissection of Ales Hrdlicka. I wish we could say he was a forgotten relic of a benighted time, but no, some anthropologists were still celebrating his life in more recent years.
Rachel Watkins, a biocultural anthropologist, worked at the Natural History Museum in the early 2000s after the Smithsonian had reckoned with what he had done in Larsen Bay. She recalled when employees at the museum gathered around a cake to commemorate the anthropologist’s birthday more than 50 years after his death.
“He was … deified,” said Watkins, now an associate professor and department chair of anthropology at American University. “It’s like Thomas Jefferson at [the University of Virginia].”
Ugh. The old ghoul should be treated as a shameful embarrassment, but instead he’s lionized by some now as much as he was in life (he died in 1943). This newspaper article from 1926 is incredible, not only for how credulous the journalist was,but for how smugly and confidently Hrdlicka makes predictions about the future evolution of the American population — don’t worry about the flappers, they’ll be strict parents.
(You can click on this to get an enlarged article that is marginally readable.)
The modern white nationalists and racists didn’t just appear out of thin air. They’ve been here all along, provided with pseudo-scientific support from establishment scientists like Hrdlicka.