Monday, April 09, 2012

(SWANS) Imperial Eugenics In Kenya

COMMENT - Today, you can find theory of eugenics, like the obsession with 'educable capacity', back in the idea of elimination exams, in the insistence by rhodies that 'Africans can't farm', and of course the whole 'bantu education' of South Africa. Outdated ideas have a tendency to survive in institutions and practices long after they have been discredited. Something to take into account when reforming the education system. I like the Malaysian education model - educate everyone, and pull along any students who fall behind. Letting children do tests and determining their future based on tests they do at age 9 or 10 is absurd and abusive, and entirely based on the notion of sifting out those with high levels of inherited intelligence, or the Factor G as the Bell Curve types like to call it. UPDATE: (REVIEWS IN HISTORY) Race and Empire: Eugenics in Colonial Kenya. This book review is very revealing with respects to for instance eugenic thought in colonial (Kenyan) literature, especially from the writer of "Flame Trees Of Thika".

Imperial Eugenics In Kenya
Part I of II
by Michael Barker

(Swans - March 12, 2012) In recent decades there have been a plethora of studies that have demonstrated the global application of eugenic ideas, (1) but close investigations of imperial eugenic movements have tended to be left by the wayside. Chloe Campbell's book Race and Empire: Eugenics in Colonial Kenya (Manchester University Press, 2007) helps fill this lacuna, providing a concrete example of how "eugenics served as a scientific bulwark that fortified the ideology of imperialism."

Formed in July 1933, the Kenya Society for the Study of Race Improvement (KSSRI) was the centerpiece of the colonial eugenic movement. Far from being a marginal affair," the majority" of the society's members "worked in colonial administration or were professionals based in Nairobi, or were the wives of men employed in these areas."

Dreams of applying eugenic solutions to the political problems facing colonialism were not, however, limited to the "most vociferously racially hostile members of Kenyan settler society"; and in fact, such policies were "supported by individuals who were considered progressive, and by some officials who were viewed as suspiciously 'pro-native' by local settlers." Support for eugenics by such progressives owed much to the "ultimately disingenuous" idea that the science of eugenics could "take the poison out of the debate on race"; (2) i.e., provide the means by which white "progressive" imperialists could promote "native development" and dominate Kenya without a reliance upon increasingly delegitimized racial ideological frameworks.

Two significant individuals who worked together to promote the cause of eugenics in Kenya and whose research carried much weight in Africa were Dr. Henry Laing Gordon and Dr. F. W. Vint. Gordon was an ardent propagandist for the immediate implementation of eugenically-based program of "scientific colonization." Vint, on the other hand, tended to be "more reticent about making social and political extrapolations, maintaining a position of scientific detachment." (3) Despite his outspoken approach to eugenics, Gordon was very much an accepted member of the colonial ruling class. To illustrate this point, in 1931, shortly after Gordon published an article in which "he argued that there was a high level of inherited, innate mental deficiency, or amentia, in Kenya, which caused inferior intelligence in the 'East African native'" he became president of the Kenyan branch of the British Medical Association. (4) Yet despite the high esteem his work received in colonial circles, the depression meant that substantial funding for his eugenic studies was not available in Kenya, thus:

At the end of 1933 Gordon was given special leave by the Kenya medical department to allow him to go to London and test his ideas on the more specialised scientific opinion there. An indication of Gordon's standing is given by that fact that he was granted three months' paid leave to make this trip to London and his passage to Britain was also paid for by the Kenya government. Paterson (Director of Medical services) argued that it was highly desirable that Gordon's research be communicated to a British audience, as the publicity would be valuable to Kenya and might lead to a serious research project. (p.56)

During this visit Gordon gave a paper to the African Circle at Chatham House (which was later published in their Journal of African Society), that made the case that African brains did not have the same cellular durability as European ones. Hence, this led him to the amazing conclusion (based on one dissection), that the demands placed on African minds by European education and religion led to a type of mental collapse (dementia praecox) that was not apparent in "raw natives." This outright dismissal of the potential of the African mind for civilization meant that the Kenyan eugenicists, contrary to their counterparts in the metropole, veered clear of the traditional "solutions" provided by negative or positive eugenics, because the "supposed incapacity" in this case was located in the entire African population rendering such policies impractical. (5)

Desperate to obtain support to launch a large research program in Kenya to research African mental backwardness, Gordon made the most of his limited time in London and also presented his work on amentia at a meeting of the Eugenics Society in London. Here, despite the fact that his research relied upon "crude correlations of head size and intelligence" -- an approach that used methods "that had largely been discredited by biologists in Britain" -- he still "received a warm response" from his fellow eugenicists. (6) But given the "fundamental flaws" in his research, not everyone left the legitimacy of Gordon's work unchallenged.

One prominent critic was Hilda Matheson, the secretary of the African Research Survey in Oxford. Campbell cites a personal letter that Matheson wrote to J.H. Oldham, secretary of the Conference of British Missionary Societies and the International Missionary Council, whereupon Matheson wrote that she had "spoken to Julian Huxley, who was of course fully aware of the [negative] implications" of Gordon's data, which if true (which Matheson thought unlikely) "could be used by interested people to make all kinds of unwarrantable deductions..." Other critics were likewise concerned about Gordon's "dubiously immaculate results," and Campbell argues that given the time and resource-consuming nature of Gordon's research, such critics certainly had good reasons for feeling that Gordon "was not in a position to conduct reliably a research project of the scale he described." (7)

Despite such significant reservations about the legitimacy of Gordon's work, the paper he presented to the British Eugenics Society was published the following year in Eugenics Review. In public too, the Eugenics Society was quick to rally to his cause, and in November 1933, leading members of the Eugenics Society proceeded to demand that greater resources be made available to follow up on Gordon and Vint's useful research on race and intelligence in Kenya. They did this by writing letters to The Times, the Colonial Office, and the Economic Advisory Council; and although Julian Huxley and Frank Crew ("who were both among the foremost British experts on genetics and critics of the mainline eugenic tradition") did not sign the "more temperate" letter to The Times, they did sign the two other letters. (8) In contrast to the letter sent to The Times, the two letters signed by Huxley "explicitly mentioned African inferiority." However, Huxley, no doubt with his reformist self-image in mind, was concerned with the initial draft of the letters and would only sign them if a qualification was added that there was some uncertainty about the exact causes of this inferiority -- a qualification that was duly added. (9) Following the publication of the Eugenics Society's letter in The Times, Gordon then had a letter published...

... in which he stated his and Vint's findings in a much more explicit manner than had been adopted in the Eugenics Society's letter of November 25. Gordon included a graph comparing the brain capacity in cubic centimetres of Europeans with "natives", which showed growth in African brain capacity gradually ceasing at adolescence. This was in contrast to the European brain, which was shown to rise steeply from about the age of sixteen. The peak of African brain capacity indicated in the graph was about that given for Europeans aged ten... In this letter, the extremity of Gordon's position on race and intelligence was made clear. (p.87)

Huxley's support for Gordon and Vint's research is particularly interesting given that earlier in the same year, in July 1933, Huxley had written the preface for Parmenas Mockerie's book An African Speaks for His People (Hogarth Press, 1934). Mockerie was "considered dangerously subversive in Kenya" as he was not only the founder of the Kikuyu Independent Schools Association, but also a delegate of the Kikuyu Central Association. (10)

In his foreword, Huxley argued that Mockerie himself was proof of the innate capacity of Africans and drew attention to the injustices felt under "the best-intentioned acts of paternalistic government," mentioning the kipande system (the certification system enforced under the Registration of Natives Ordinance, which required all adult African men to carry a registration pass at all times while outside the reserves), the restrictions on public meetings and political activity, and low wages. Huxley also mentioned in the foreword the belief in African mental inferiority and stated that it was impossible to say whether such a position was correct or not. He went on to say that the African was clearly far more capable of benefiting from education than believers in white superiority had held. (pp.84-5)

Huxley wanted to have his cake and eat it too, and as late as 1938 Huxley was "still supporting" Gordon, "long after many regarded him to be discredited in Britain..." Moreover, even though the British Eugenics Society's campaign to attain major funding for Gordon and Vint's eugenic research failed, Gordon "was elected to the Consultative Council of the Eugenics Society in 1939 and throughout World War Two he kept 'in close touch with the Society's head quarters'." Likewise, it is significant to note that the year after John Gilks, the former Director of Medical Services and Sanitary Services in Kenya, had retired from this position in 1933, he went on to become a member of the council of the British Eugenics Society. Having resettled in Britain, Gilk then "became an important part of Gordon's campaign" to attain support from British eugenicists. (11)

But in the end, despite the best efforts of British and Kenyan eugenicists, the campaign for renewed British support for eugenic research in Kenya proved unsuccessful, as even the "somewhat qualified support for the Kenyan eugenicists within the Colonial Office evaporated" as a result of the debate that raged in the British press in the winter of 1933/34. For instance, in 1934, Kenyan eugenicists attempted to push the Economic Advisory Council to fund research that examined the "influence of brain growth and other factors upon mental development among the indigenous races of East Africa" so that future research could be directly more effectively. However, although the terms of reference for this research were presented in a "fairly restrained tone," the British Prime Minister, Ramsay MacDonald, "had misgivings about the government being connected with the proposed research." MacDonald thus reluctantly agreed that this issue should be investigated by the British government's African Research Survey, against his preference that the work be undertaken by a "completely independent body," which in this case meant the Rockefeller Foundation. (12)

Eugenic concerns for Kenya were not, however, limited to undertaking dubious research on African intelligence. In fact, colonial educational policy toward Africa from the late 1920s onwards illustrates the "continuity" that existed between the ideas of the Kenyan eugenicists and the metropolitan movement for research into African development and education. This can be seen by a focus on the promotion of intelligence testing among natives, which by 1930 was being broadly recommended as a key part of systematizing education in the British colonies: (1) intelligence testing itself being a vital eugenic tool that the ruling class have, and continue to use, to rationalize the injustices inherent to capitalism. (2) Therefore, given these eugenic implications, it is appropriate that one of the leading promoters of both eugenics and IQ testing in the United States, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, then became increasingly involved in such enabling such educational priorities to be implemented in Kenya.

In addition to their interests in eugenics and IQ testing, the Carnegie Corporation had already gained much experience in the field of education, having helped create a tailor-made educational apparatus for African Americans in southern US states: tailor-made, that is, to ensure that humans with black skin remained relatively uneducated compared to their white-skinned counterparts. As Kenneth James King observed in his important book Pan-Africanism and Education: A Study of Race Philanthropy and Education in the Southern States of America and East Africa (Clarendon Press, 1971), following from their activities in America, throughout the 1920s the Carnegie Corporation had become increasingly involved in educational matters in Africa. Moreover, the aforementioned influential member of the international missionary community, J.H. Oldham, believed that the black educational institutes pioneered in the U.S. (both Hampton and Tuskegee), "provided a formula for combating the usual results of native education, 'the swelled head' and the openness to agitation, and if their principles could be firmly established in the new education of Africa, and the Jeanes School in particular, there was a chance that Africa could bypass the stage of Indian discontent.'" (3) (The first Jeanes School in Kenya was established in 1926 with the support of a grant from the Carnegie Corporation in Kabete.) (4)

Oldham's interest in educational solutions to colonialism makes particular sense as "Missionaries were the only European group engaged in public life in Kenya who appear not to have been won over by the eugenic, biological explanation for 'native backwardness'." (5) But although Oldham ultimately aimed to educate Kenyans in such a way that was compatible with continued imperial exploitation, hoping that intelligence testing "might help in the detection of racial differences in mentality," he was still "horrified by the extremity of Gordon's statements on race and intelligence." Like other foresighted members of the ruling class, Oldham was evidently more interested in supporting less overtly racist approaches to managing Africans. Therefore, in 1930, in order "to create appropriate educational material," Oldham and the president of the Carnegie Corporation, Frederick Keppel (1923-41) "agreed it was necessary to study African mentality; [and so] in 1932 the Carnegie Corporation sent Richard Oliver to perform intelligence tests at African schools in Kenya..." (6) Again, Oliver's educational focus "did not sit easily with the rhetoric" of the eugenicists campaign, but as Campbell points out, there is no doubt that beneath his "more tempered language... there was the same assumption of biological difference in intelligence." (7)

Openly eugenic arguments may not have been popular for all educational reformers, but one can see their attraction to many colonial authorities when one considers that educational inequality "was being increasingly disputed by the African population in Kenya" in the 1930s. And as Campbell points out, the activities of the Kenya Society for the Study of Race Improvement "can be seen as confronting this by making African educability central to the colonial eugenic problematic." Thus it is hardly surprising that eugenic arguments concerning the "educable capacity of the 'East African native' coincided with the emergence of the Kikuyu Independent Schools Movement." (8)

The Independent Schools Movement really took off in the early 1930s. The Kikuyu Independent Schools Association (KISA) was formed, which established its own schools that eventually accepted government inspection in return for grants in aid, and the movement was also closely associated with the formation of independent churches. KISA was less overtly political than another independent schools organisation, the Kikuyu Karinga Education Authority (KKEA), which was confined to southern Kiambu. ... It is striking that the Kenyan eugenicists started developing their theories on African educable capacity at a time when education was an important element of the Kikuyu political agenda and became associated with a political movement that profoundly threatened the colonial status quo. The independent schools movement connected access to education with access to social, political and economic objectives, indicated in particular by the KKEA's clear anti-colonial stance. (p.134)

One should note that at this time one of the founders of KISA, Parmenas Mockerie, had "attempted with [Jomo] Kenyatta to give evidence as a delegate of the KCA before the Parliamentary Committee on East Africa in Britain in May 1931," and had then gone on to study at Ruskin College, Oxford; while Kenyatta's own studies at the London School of Economics were eventually published in 1938 as the book Facing Mount Kenya. "This context of the well-known educational aspirations and achievements associated with Kikuyu political leaders who aroused so much hostility and fear among European settlers must be borne in mind when considering the assertions of Kenyan eugenicists about the educable capacity of East Africans." Gordon's work thus "legitimised and rationalised the settler suspicion of African education," and as Campbell observes, the coincidence of the Kikuyu's political demands and "the elaboration and success of the eugenic theories about African intelligence from about 1930 to 1937 is striking." (9)

In addition to rising concern about Kikuyu political activity during the 1930s, which resulted in a massive increase in their incarceration rates, educational issues tended to be connected "with youths who rejected the traditional, rural status quo." (10) The effects of rapid urbanisation were likewise considered to have contributed towards "a rise in the number of juvenile convictions" -- as in the minds of the settlers, the juveniles of Nairobi "seemed to represent a generation of detribalised and thus unmanageable natives." These racial concerns closely mirror similar ruling class worries with the growth of working class communities (and power) in Britain. Urbanization allegedly disturbed the African mind, and so "Kenyan and British eugenics converged in their imagery of a dispossessed, criminal and unproductive urban under class..." With the political stakes rising it should come as no surprise that the majority of the inmates of the Kabete Reformatory (which was just outside of Nairobi) were Kikuyu, and it was just here, in 1930, where Gordon undertook his first controversial intelligence studies. (11)

In 1932, the Kenyan government formed a Crime Committee to make recommendations for how to deal with what they deemed the juvenile problem. "The Chair of the committee was Armigel Wade (at that time Chief Native Commissioner) and among its members was Mary Shaw, who worked in the Child Welfare Department in Nairobi, was on the board of visitors of Kabete Reformatory and was also Secretary of the KSSRI." Shaw's husband also happened to be the Medical Officer in charge of Child Welfare; and other members of the committee also found much in common with Gordon's eugenic ideals. But while "law and order" policies were intimately entwined with eugenic policies, this is not to say that the committee's recommendation's necessarily had a eugenicist agenda. (12) That said, it is hard to tell the exact influence of eugenic concerns, and:

The negotiation of the roles of race and heredity in the post-war medical and psychiatric discourse of Kenya indicates some important continuities and discontinuities with pre-war science. Of particular interest to this study is the jettisoning of eugenic language, while retaining many of the assumptions and some of the biological interpretations. Between 1944 and 1946, several articles were published in the [East African Medical Journal] that returned to the issue of race and heredity. The first, written by Vint, addressed the question: 'Why has the African not developed a civilization of his own?' Vint used difference in skin colour as the starting point for elaborating more complex reasons for racial differences. (p.180)

Most interestingly, in 1946 O'Brien had published an article in the East African Medical Journal to attack scientific racism and "assist and defend the recently formed Race Relations Committee in Kenya and promote the establishment of a Race Relations Institute." (13) The "skeptical response" by the East African Medical Journal's editor was telling. As Campbell observed:

Of O'Brien's dismissal of the "biological conception of race" in favour of an environmental analysis of difference, an editorial commented: "This doctrine may well be regarded by many as so revolutionary as to require a good deal more proof before it is accepted." The editorial then went on to refer to the researches by Gordon and Vint on the African brain, concluding from them that "May it not be that the African while having a good brain has a different brain? Is it best to encourage educational and social progress along European lines or would it be better to evolve a different line of progress suited to a people with great though different intellectual possibilities?" (p.182)

Evidently not much had changed within the Kenyan medical profession, although admittedly they were beginning to make some concessions in line with the adoption of reform eugenics in the metropole. The editorial continued: "The solution was to locate the causes of African difference, whether in cultural development (a new concept that insinuated African intelligence), psychological stability, or physique, in the environment." "This response," Campbell continues, "enabled the doctors (in their own terms) to avoid accusations of racism, while leaving them free to pursue and emphasise the same interest in race." (14)

In this regard, the work of the "notorious" colonial psychiatrist who "had no training in psychiatry," J.C. Carothers, provides a "good example of the post-war attitudes to race and science" in Kenya. J.C. Carothers had retired from his medical work in Kenya (carried out in the 1930s and '40s) and returned to England, where influenced by the earlier work of Gordon and Vint he continued to write about Africa psychiatry. (15) Campbell writes:

The form of Carothers' scientific racism, for the purpose of analysing the role of eugenic thought in Kenyan science, was significantly different from that of the 1930s. The African mind was still treated as pathological, indeed often as psychopathological, by Carothers, but there was far heavier emphasis on the environmental effects, in the shape of social structure and physical environment, as an explanation of African psychology. The issue of nature and nurture was still addressed by Carothers, and he did not discount the role of heredity in racial differences. For example, in 1951 he published an article (again in the Journal of Mental Science) comparing the thinking of leucotomised Europeans with normal Africans. Interestingly, this article arose from an appeal by Vint for tests to find reliable Africans to work in the Medical Research Laboratory. (p.184)

In 1954, shortly after carrying out a major report for the World Health Organization, Carothers "was appointed to write a report on Mau Mau from a psychological perspective." With the Mau Mau war unfolding, this was a time of rising political tensions in Kenya; and it should come as little surprise that Carothers ignored the political context of the Mau Mau uprising, and chose to psychopathologise the African mind. To Carothers the actions of the Mau Mau were presented as owing to their "psychological inability to deal with modern life." Thus Carothers' "important and influential" work on the Mau Mau can be seen as a defense of the colonial power, (16) a defense that contributed in no small way to the brutal repression of the Mau Mau throughout the 1950s.

In fact, in many ways it is ironic that overt support for eugenic concerns were dropped as a result of the bad press Adolf Hitler had given them; as the racism undergirding such ideas never went away, and actually led to the creation of the British government's very own death camps in Kenya. A tragic history which is recounted in brutal detail in Caroline Elkins's book Britain's Gulag: The Brutal End of Empire in Kenya (Pimlico, 2005) where she chillingly acknowledges how the slaughter waged by the settlers against the Kikuyu people was accompanied by an important "shift in language and belief, from simple white supremacy to one that was overtly eliminationist." (17) It seems all too clear that, for the ruling class, the wrong lessons were learned from Hitler's Third Reich.


1. Mark Adams (ed.), The Wellborn Science: Eugenics in Germany, France, Brazil, and Russia (Oxford University Press, 1990); Nancy Leys Stepan, "The Hour of Eugenics": Race, Gender, and Nation in Latin America (Cornell University Press, 1991); Richard Cleminson, "Eugenics by Name or Nature? The Spanish Anarchist Sex Reform of the 1930s," History of European Ideas, 1815 (1994), pp. 729-40. (back)

2. Campbell, Race and Empire, p.3, p.6. Campbell adopts the misleading idea that leading eugenicists in the UK (associated with the British Eugenics Society), like their counterparts in the United States, became more interested in "reform" eugenics -- that is, eugenics minus racism -- during the 1930s. She highlights the significant reformist influence that Julian Huxley exerted over the British Eugenics Society in the 1930s and beyond, but points out that as "a liberal, in the 1920s Huxley espoused some extremely racist ideas that were in sharp contrast to his later well-known antiracist stance." (p.22) After his 1929 trip to East Africa, where he served as an advisor for the Colonial Office's Advisory Committee on Native Education in Tropical Africa, Huxley "wrote the book Africa View in which he began to question the biological validity of race." Later, writing with Alfred Haddon he coauthored the book We Europeans: A Survey of "Racial" Problems (1935), which "was a deliberate attempt to reveal the misconceptions of racism and the fallacy of Nazi racial theories." Campbell adds: "It was largely an attack on German racism and concentrated on racial questions within Europe. It argued that the notion of a genetically pure race was impossible and emphasised the importance of both nature and nurture in shaping human behaviour and characteristics; its argument was that the concept of race made little biological sense." (p.23)

"In 1980 [Elspeth] Huxley published a memoir of her mother which included her letters; significantly, she excised all the comments on eugenics and the KSSRI that Grant had frequently made in the original letters." (p.116) Elspeth Huxley (ed.), Nellie: Letters from Africa (1980). (back)

3. Campbell, Race and Empire, p.40, p.41. "The fact that practically all of Vint's work was concerned with race, and yet he avoided, except in his articles on the brain, the kind of dramatic generalisations that Dr Gordon was prone to, made him a more powerful ally in propagandising the supposed empirical reality of African mental inferiority. Thus, Vint's work was, for example, taken more seriously by the Colonial Office in London. As Flood said of Vint, 'He deals in observed facts'. In fact, Vint was not disinterested when it came to the question of African intelligence. This can be seen in his correlation of brain size and weight with intelligence." (p.52)

For a short time in the late 1930s Gordon served as Kenya's only mental health care expert at the Mathari Mental Hospital in Kenya. Although Campbell doesn't explore the politics of the incarceration of Africans in mental institutions, she directs her readers to Gail Beuschel's "valuable" study "Shutting Africans Away: Lunacy, Race and Social Order in Colonial Kenya, 1910-1963," Unpublished PhD Thesis, University of London, 2002. (back)

4. Campbell, Race and Empire, p.44. (back)

5. Campbell, Race and Empire, p.60, p.28. (back)

6. Campbell, Race and Empire, p.83, p.58. Critically, in private correspondence with influential reform eugenicist, Carlos Blacker -- who served as the General Secretary of the Eugenics Society from 1931 to 1952 -- Gordon made it clear "he was pursuing the question of amentia in Kenya from an objective point of view; [and] he was careful to distance himself from the settler perspective, which had become notorious in Britain in relation to native interests." "Both Blacker and Gordon were psychiatrists and it is clear that Blacker felt that on a personal and professional level, Gordon was an appropriate person for the Eugenics Society to support; [in November 1933] Blacker described Gordon to Julian Huxley as a 'charming man personally, and, in my opinion, entirely safe to back'." (p.82) (back)

7. Campbell, Race and Empire, p.58, p.59. (back)

8. Campbell, Race and Empire, pp.77-8. Scientists who joined the debate against Gordon subsequently included leading authorities include Louis Leakey, Cyril Burt, and J.B.S. Haldane. (back)

9. Campbell, Race and Empire, p.78. Thus with regards to this change demanded by Huxley, the part of the letter he signed that is cited by Campbell read: "The results arrived at so far tend to show the existence of a definite degree of inferiority in the average of at least certain native tribes as compared with the average European. It is, however, quite uncertain how much of the difference is truly genetic, and how much due to environmental conditions, notably nutrition and disease. It is obvious that the issues raised are of enormous importance, and will fundamentally concern the policy which will be laid down for the development of the East African territories, and for promoting the social advancement of the native." (p.78) (back)

10. Campbell, Race and Empire, p.84. (back)

11. Campbell, Race and Empire, p.85, p.86, p.61. (back)

12. Campbell, Race and Empire, p.103, p.105. Campbell adds: "The Prime Minister was particularly anxious that government involvement might have political ramifications in South Africa." (p.105) (back)



1. Campbell, Race and Empire, p.97, p.99. (back)

2. Long-standing eugenicist, Lewis Terman was the American inventor of the Stanford-Binet IQ test. As Clarence Karier writes: "Terman's tests were based on an occupational hierarchy which was, in fact, the social class system of the corporate liberal state which was then emerging. The many varied tests, all the way from IQ to personality and scholastic achievement, periodically brought up-to-date, would serve a vital part in rationalizing the social class system. The tests also created the illusion of objectivity which, on the one side, served the needs of the 'professional' educators to be 'scientific,' and on the other side, served the need of the system for a myth which could convince the lower classes that their station in life was part of the natural order of things. For many, the myth had apparently worked. In 1963, the Russell Sage Foundation issued a report entitled Experiences and Attitudes of American Adults Concerning Standardized Intelligence Tests. Some of the major findings of that report indicated that the effects of the tests on social classes were 'strong and consistent' and that, while 'the upper class respondent is more likely to favor the use of tests than the lower class respondent,' the 'lower class respondent is more likely to see intelligence tests measuring inborn intelligence.'" Clarence Karier, "Testing for Order and Control in the Corporate Liberal State," in Ned Block and Gerald Dworkin, The IQ Controversy: Critical Readings (Quartet Books, 1977), p.354. (back)

3. King, Pan-Africanism and Education, p.156. Additionally, for further details on the miseducation of African Americans, see James Anderson, The Education of Blacks in the South, 1860-1935 (University of North Carolina Press , 1988); and Michael Barker, "White Philanthropy for Black (Mis)education," Ceasefire Magazine, February 21, 2012. (back)

4. Campbell, Race and Empire, p.149. (back)

5. Campbell, Race and Empire, p.179. "The incompatibility of missions and eugenics in Kenya has various underlying causes, all of which contribute to our understanding of the role of eugenics in Kenya. For a start, eugenics was never accepted by the Roman Catholic Church; in December 1930 Pope Pius XI condemned eugenics in his encyclical Casti Connubii, in which he declared that the spirit was paramount over the body and the equality of human souls regardless of material defect. Other missionaries, although not doctrinally opposed to eugenics in the same way, were likely to be suspicious of eugenics because of a longstanding conflict between traditional Christianity and the modern, atheist, Darwinian ideological roots of eugenics. The division between these traditions was compounded in Kenya by the question of native interests; the education and development being encouraged by missionaries was of precisely the kind that the Kenyan eugenicists were warning might be unsuitable and even dangerous when applied to Africans." (p.119) (back)

6. Campbell, Race and Empire, pp.99-100, p.99, p.149. Oliver had been a student of the famed psychologist Professor Godfrey Thomson (at Edinburgh University), and then with the aid of a Commonwealth Fellowship, Richard Oliver had studied at Stanford University, California, with Professor Lewis Terman -- one of the founding fathers of eugenic IQ testing. "In his early publications, like his 1916 book, The Measurement of Intelligence, Terman emphasised the innate and immutable nature of intelligence and wrote of the need to curtail the fertility of high-grade defectives, located by intelligence testing. However, in his later work, as [Stephen Jay] Gould points out, Terman became more cautious in his attribution of intelligence purely to heredity and placed more stress on environmental factors." (p.148) Gould dates Terman's change in emphasis to 1937. One should note that between 1923 and 1935 Terman had served on the advisory council of the American Eugenics Society (a council that was disbanded in 1935), and he had acted as a leading member of the Human Betterment Foundation (which had been formed in 1928). (back)

7. Campbell, Race and Empire, p.153. (back)

8. Campbell, Race and Empire, p.132. In 1935, the average annual expenditure per African in Kenya was less than 80 pence per person; while for European students living in Kenya it was approximately 32 times greater per person. (p.132) (back)

9. Campbell, Race and Empire, p.135, p.136. (back)

10. Campbell, Race and Empire, p.135. "[I]n the 1930s there was a substantial increase in the total number of convictions in Kenya's subordinate courts (29,783 in 1929, rising to a peak of 50,465 in 1934)." (p.168) (back)

11. Campbell, Race and Empire, p.157, p.27, p.158. (back)

12. Campbell, Race and Empire, p.161. It is unfortunate to note that: "The proponents of the Kenyan research into mental capacity saw their eugenic approach as highly congruent with this application of science to public welfare and understanding." (p.33) "Gordon's theories about biological racial inferiority were not considered by him to be incompatible with progressive ideas on social policy." (p.172) One can only wonder what might have happened if the Kenyan eugenicists had been given enough resources to carry out their objectives, as the main problem they faced was "that the limited administrative and welfare infrastructure of the colonial state did not allow the implementation of the ambitious policies [they] envisaged for 'scientific colonization'." (p.174) (back)

13. Campbell, Race and Empire, p.181. (back)

14. Campbell, Race and Empire, p.182. (back)

15. Campbell, Race and Empire, p.183. (back)

16. Campbell, Race and Empire, p.182, p.184. (back)

17. Caroline Elkins, Britain's Gulag: The Brutal End of Empire in Kenya (Pimlico, 2005), p.48. "In the Rift Valley, for example, one settler who operated his own screening camp was known as Dr. Bunny by the locals. It was his experimental prowess when it came to interrogating Mau Mau suspects that earned the doctor his notorious nickname: the Joseph Mengele of Kenya. One settler remembers her brother, a member of the Kenya Regiment and a pseudogangster, boasting of Dr. Bunny's exploits, which included burning the skin off live Mau Mau suspects and forcing them to eat their own testicles. Another former settler and member of the local Moral Rearmament Movement also recalled Dr. Bunny's handiwork. He, too, remembered skin searing along with castration and other methods of screening he would 'prefer not to speak of.'" (p.67)

"There is little in the colonial record documenting what happened at the famous Mau Mau Investigation Center, the brainchild of the Special Branch. If there were records, they have been destroyed or are still to be declassified. 'This [Mau Mau Investigation Center] is where we liked to send the worst gang members when we captured them sent to the forests,' recalled one settler who had joined the ranks of the Kenya Regiment sent to the Aberdares. 'We knew the slow method of torture [at the Mau Mau Investigation Center] was worse than anything we could do. Special Branch there had a way of slowly electrocuting a Kuke -- they'd rough up one for days. Once I went personally to drop off one gang member who needed special treatment. I stayed for a few hours to help the boys out, softening him up. Things got a little out of hand. By the time I cut his balls off he had no ears, and his eyeball, the right one, I think, was hanging out of its socket. Too bad, he died before we got much out of him.'" (p.87) (back)

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home