Weekend Read: Intellectual Racism
In February, the American Historical Association’s official scholarly journal published a book review written by Raymond Wolters on a new study of school segregation and inequality.
Wolters, a professor at the University of Delaware, has all the credentials of an accomplished scholar — but he has also been published by the white nationalist American Renaissance and the National Policy Institute, the latter being alt-right figurehead Richard Spencer’s deliberately anodyne-sounding “think tank.”
In apologizing for publishing Wolters’ review, the editor of American Historical Review cited his seemingly respectable credentials as the reason why his debunked scholarship had been given credence. Wolters’ ability to fool even the most mainstream academics is part of a long history of racist pseudoscience passing for the real thing, as Nicole Hemmer, an assistant professor at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center, recently unpacked.
Writing for US News & World Report, Hemmer ties together a string of recent high-profile incidents involving proponents of long-debunked theories of race science.