Was Darwin’s racism purely a function of his time and place, Victorian England? Historian Michael Flannery says no.
“Scholars have wasted their time trying to exonerate Darwin of responsibility for Social Darwinism, for he was a Social Darwinist.”
Darwin was unquestionably a racist, arguing that civilization would advance even at the cost of inevitable racial extermination.
“There can’t be any question about what they meant. Remember, this is a zoology class. Evolution is taught.”
One takeaway is that, despite assurances to the contrary, modern evolutionary theory is not easily separated from malign currents in American history, currently exemplified by the Alt-right.