“Genetic Basis for Criminality” – Racism and Ableism

I’m always interested in tracking the ways that hatreds intersect and magnify. Here’s a classic one, still vibrantly alive among American racists. The New Yorker published a long article on the racists behind the mustard-based South Carolina BBQ sauce. The family that developed it has a long history of racism, and the man behind “Piggie Park” is pretty extreme. He died, can the family adapt? 

“High” is the founder of the Southern Carolina Barbeque Association and he thinks all that racism stuff was overblown. My emphasis:

High spoke favorably of the Piggie Park’s new management—“Paul and Lloyd, and he’s got a daughter whose name I forget, cute girl. They’re real dedicated.” He had also thought highly of Maurice, who, he said, was always friendly and insisted on top-of-the-line ingredients. “He and Strom Thurmond were talking about all-natural thirty years ago,” he said, which seemed a bit like remembering Oswald Mosley for his advocacy of brown bread. I asked whether he thought Maurice’s political legacy posed a problem. “It wasn’t nearly as bitter as modern day makes it seem,” he said. He went on to talk about the trouble with racially interbred societies, the genetic basis of criminality, and his belief that the South should secede. After a disquisition that touched on everything from slavery (“It’s been around since Day One, and they talk about it in the Bible”) to Trump (“I happened to see him speaking to a crowd before he declared, and I came into the kitchen and I said, ‘Lovebug, that man’s gonna be President’ ”), he returned to the Piggie Park. “This is the most taken-for-granted barbecue house in America,” he said.

The assertion of a genetic basis of criminality is a core principle of eugenics, used to discriminate against disabled folks everywhere. It also informs “scientific racism,” newly in vogue, but never really gone.

And here’s a recent appearance of twitter from a man who works for PA Corrections and used to work for PA Probation.

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