The Root of Racism 

By Kenneth Crenshaw Jr. / Delta Opinion Editor

‘Survival of the fittest’ is a phrase used to describe those who possess essential qualities to have a prosperous life. Those who are unfit are supposed to live a life with less chances of surviving. This can include physical deformities, sickness, and several environmental factors that may affect how “fit” a person is in their society. 

Fitness is important when it comes to what the next generation of offspring inherits. There are many genetic traits that are undesired. However, this is a subjective stance that one group may view over the others. Ultimately, one side will always say those who possess similar traits are fit while others are less valued. 

According to historical research done at the University of Missouri, eugenics is the practice of improving the human species by selectively mating people with desired hereditary traits. It aims to reduce human suffering by “breeding out” disease, disabilities, and so-called undesirable characteristics. 

Given it’s history, eugenics is fundamentally wrong in its practice. It doesn’t matter if the intention behind the act is positive or negative, it still strips away human rights. In fact, it included so much coercion, discrimination and racism. It creates stigmas for those who are disabled and others who are unfit. People who are unfit can lose the ability to reproduce and even their lives. 

Eugenics derived from practices started in England from the upper classes feeling the danger of being diluted when expansion would happen. The lower classes and races outside of Anglo-Saxon were deemed unfit. Eugenics started with breeding those of the upper class to pass down desirable characteristics. From then, the idea grew into full on discrimination against others groups or those who one particular group deem as unfit. 

Nazi Germany is the ultimate of extremes when it comes to eugenics. Their genetic “breeding” came from the wholesale extermination of millions of Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, mentally retarded, epileptics, and mentally ill. Adolf Hitler felt they were unworthy of life and reproduction. This was characterized as “the ultimate cleansing of the gene pool.” 

However, there is a thin line between the extremes found in Nazi Germany and the modern eugenics found today. Countries all over the world including the United States are active in their methods of eugenics. There are restrictions on who’s allowed to be married. There’s methods of preventing the mixing of races together to prevent the diluting of recessive genes. Racism is actually institutionalized and is banded together by a system of oppression. Those who are unfit are sterilized and castrated. Immigrants are often put through hoops to feel inadequate in foreign land. 

There are countless stigmas and discrimination upon those who are unfit. The only difference between what happens in the world today is active genocide. The methods used in the world today are majorly the same as Nazi Germany. The difference is there’s no plan for extermination.

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