On September 26, 2015 I postedthe following on my www.facebook.com/harold.l.carter history and current envents websites including www.linkedin.com/ :
When I first started to write this book, The Human Odyssey: The African Odyssey: The African Heritage in World History and Human Biological and Cultural History, I was utterly devastated and totally frustrated, as well as humiliated and embarrassed (never ashamed even then – I was too “racially conscious” and “gung ho Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, for that! – having the previous year to receiving my undergraduate degree at Columbia University, and having delivered the Undergraduate Luncheon Address: “Alpha Phi Alpha: Yesterday, Today, and Forever” at the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity General Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio, as the Eastern Assistant Vice President. So full of pride and enthusiasm that I had submitted a ccopy of my speech along with my application for Columbia Law School and … that perhaps is the reason why I was denied admission to Columbia Law School [Note: On the Columbia University Law School Board of Trustees at that time was Carlton Putnam, author of a national bestseller that quoted extremely white supremacitst authors writing against the “Passing of the White Civilization” and the failure of Black People of African descent to have been a part of the early evolution of the human race or of contributing anything to “Western Civilization! See attached 1961 speech by Carleton Putnam and his views of Race, Reality, and Equality re: Races of Humankind !]]
It was during a meeting with the Admissions Officer, accompanied by two Columbia University Law School alumni, a White Columbia University Professor and Brooklyn Judge, Myles A Paige, then General President of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity
Forever embedded in my mind is the memory of that traumatic moment of unashamed, unapologetic racist statement as to why I was being denied admission despite a good grade record, social and academic background being highly recommended by the two very distinguished Columbia Law School alumni. The era of strict segregation had not fully ended and there was no hesitation o the part of some white college and university administrators telling you bluntly it was because of your race that you were being denied admission or housing on campus.
An earier example of university institutional racism was provided by African American Judge A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr., Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and Professor at Yale University, the University of Hawaii, and the Law Schools of the University of Michigan and the University of Pennsylvania, and Vice Chairman of the National Commission for the Causes and Prevention of Violence established by Lyndon Johnson in response to the murder of Senator Robert Kennedy,
and the author of In the Matter of Color: Race & the American Legal Process: the Colonial Period, entered Purdue University as a freshman in 1944. At the time, the student body was composed of approximately 6,000 white students, and 12 black students. Although eligible for admission, black students were not permitted to live in the dormitories. Higginbotham and the other 11 black students were placed in a building called International House, which was the only building that blacks could live in West Lafayette. The students slept in the attic, which was unheated. Higginbotham sought a meeting with the University President, Edward C. Elliott, to ask permission for the students to sleep in a section of one of the heated dormitories.
Elliot’s response was purportedly:
“[t]he law doesn’t require us to put you in those dormitories. The law doesn’t even require us to let you in. You take it or leave it.”
Higginbotham would later identify this encounter, and an incident where he was traveling with the Purdue debate team, but unable to stay in a hotel with the rest of the members, as the events that caused him to pursue a career in law.
With regard to myself, at the time I entered Columbia University as a freshman, I could walk across the campus to classes all during the day without seeing another Black student and even when I received my degree in 1960, I was the only Black student in all my political science and government classes.
Upon receiving my Bachelor of Science degree from Columbia University in 1960 and seatedbefore the Columbia University Law School Admission Officer, the following occurred.
I, Harold L Carter, was told by the Columbia University Law School Admission Officer, when the Admission Officer apparently noticed the Columbia University undergraduate class of 1960 ring o my finger, at that point stated: “you should be glad and be satisfied that you are wearing a Columbia University ring on your finger … and the communication between him, the Columbia Law School alumni, and myself ended on that statement!
(I suppose, thinking back on it, that had I been admitted, how different my life would have been, and I would not have become a history teacher and now be in the process of writing this history of people of African descent today! … Life’s vicissitudes! … As Rev Dr Martin Luther King said, to paraphrase it … Do what you can in whatever position in life that you happen to be in!
This comprehensive world history and human history textbook will trace the African heritage of all human beings on all three of the major continents, i.e. The three super landmasses: Africa, Asia, and Europe (or, more accurately, the two super land masses: Africa and Eurasia), and locate geographically and historically the earliest and most ancient civilizations and what led to the development of those civilizations over 5,000 to 3000 years ago and when those two geographical subdivisions: African and Eurasia were first inbhabited by humans, Homo sapiens sapiens, and when the earliest civilizations first appeared.
1961 SPEECH BY CARLETON PUTNAM: “Carleton Putnam Race and Reason Day Speech 10/26/61
After about seven minutes of introductions and congratulatory resolutions (starting with one by John Bell Williams, who would later become Governor) Putnam gave this speech:
I am grateful for this chance to refresh my point of view among people of your outlook. We obviously share certain ideals that we have inherited from the early days and which we intend to preserve. Those ideals are timeless. They’re not affected by winds of change. They’re as steadfast as our self respect, our independence of mind and our love for our homes and our families. Mississippi is the heartland of the struggle for racial integrity. You’re not an unkindly people, but you are and experienced people. You know your own conditions. Unlike some cities of the south, the news papers of Jackson are not controlled by northerners. [Applause]
You have not fallen victim to this ceaseless barrage of false science, false sentimentality and false political theory, with which, so many sections of the north, all of the north, and so many sections of the south, are being inundated. Your leaders are not selling your heritage or your children for a block of votes. [Applause]
Nor are you persuaded by the fantasy that in order to please everybody all over the world you must give away everything that your forefathers earned for you over a thousand years of effort and self discipline. You may be willing to give money within reason, to please the Congo, but you’re not willing to give your children. The capital of Mississippi is still in Jackson – it’s not in ‘Leopoldville’. [Applause]
For all this, as I say, I’m really grateful but at the same time, I can’t close my eyes anymore than you can close yours to the realities of the situation. In spite of the unassailable logic of your position you’re under harassment and attack from all sides. The dean of the Harvard law school fumes with fury at the mention of Mississippi. The kindly housewife in Wisconsin turns away at the name Jackson. I’m sure you often wonder why. And since there is an old adage, that to get anything done, you must first find the problem, I’m going to inquire ‘What is the problem, in this case?’
Some of you may answer ‘well, it’s or course, the Supreme Court decision of 1954.’ Others are wont to say that its power hungry centralists trying to destroy the rights of the states. Still others will say that its minority group pressure and infiltration of communism. Now, in my judgment, to some extent, all those things are true. All of them are problems, but they all exist because of something else. If you could correct the fundamental difficulty, these others will disappear. And I speak from an embroilment in this matter as you know, about three years now, from Seattle to Miami and from Maine to California.
To understand this basic problem, I must clarify one issue. For a long time, a running battle has been going on among scientists, concerning the race question. It can be put in a nutshell by saying that a cult has developed along the left wing school of political thought which tries to prove that environment is completely responsible for all differences between races. That nothing is due to inborn or inherent qualities. Now obviously, if this could be proved, it would lend support to a variety of social programs. It still would not, in my opinion, eliminate a man’s responsibility for himself, nor would it mean that social and cultural similarities are desirable ideals. But as far as races and sub-stocks are concerned, it would remove many obstacles. And it certainly is the sort of thing which our minority groups of every color and race would welcome.
The difficulty is that is has no foundation in fact. Almost everyone is ready to admit that heredity makes a difference in individuals within a single race; and to maintain that this process stops when we compare averages and qualities between races is a strange and forced bit of wishful thinking. Science of course, does not dismiss anything because it seems strange and forced. But the burden of proof is clearly upon those who would deny the obvious, and this burden of proof, no equalitarian scientist has been able to sustain. I can’t, tonight, go into full detail on this question. I can only summarize and refer you to the books and documentation. But in sum, the idea that all races are equal in their adaptability to our Western culture, took root in America in the classrooms of Franz Boas at Columbia University in the late 1920’s.
With Boas, as students or assistants, we find the names of: Otto Klineberg, Melville Herskovits, Gene Weltfish and Ashley Montagu. Gene Weltfish later became a member of certain organizations cited by the attorney general as subversive and publicly announced that she had evidence to prove that the United States used germ warfare in Korea. Some of the others were doubtless sincere or perhaps biased by their personal backgrounds. I’m not sure about all of them. After Boas died, Columbia brought in Ralph Lyndon who dismissed all the Boas employees who had no tenure. And the University finally dropped Weltfish on the grounds of too long tenure.
But the Boas group, in America at least, was the beginning of the environmental ideology as far science was concerned. Russia made its contribution in Lysenko, who claimed that wheat could be turned into rye and these men drew to them other scientists with leftist inclinations in Europe and throughout the United States. They built up quite a team, at Harvard, Columbia and other universities here and abroad.
As the New Deal came along and we went further left, in the United States, they fitted in with a client. In fact they became a dominant academic power. It wasn’t long before they were able to dictate policy. And eventually a whole generation of American young people were delivered into their hands.
Now persecution scientists who disagreed with them became one of their techniques. In Russia of course, this was easy: Scientists who contradicted Lysenko were simply arrested. In the so-called free world, the matter had to be handled a bit more subtly. It will be apparent to you that I can’t here tonight name names – I’ve proved my point by being unable, in this case, to prove it. It’s because there is a risk of persecution that I can’t call specific witnesses. But I can cite cases; and I can ask that you accept my word for their genuine.
So I’ll mention the southern anthropologist who wrote me using such terms as ‘avoidance’ and ‘suppression’ and ‘discouragement of research’.
I will cite from the northern sociologist who, having made a statement on the non-equalitarian side, went back to his university and was told: ‘We won’t fire you; that would be too obvious. But as long as you stay here, you will never get a promotion and you’ll never get a raise in pay.’
I’ll mention the Middle Western psychologist who wrote me not where in the United States could a psychologist, sociologist or anthropologist find work if he openly espoused the theory of racial inequality.
I’ll mention my experience with one the world’s most distinguished anthropologists who asked me, after I had seated myself in his living room, in a northern city, ‘Are you sure you haven’t been followed?’
And I’ll add still another scientist who’s said ‘I can’t commit academic suicide. I still have work to do. But, when I retire…’
Now, at his point, I’d like to turn to the northern press. To the northern radio and broadcasting networks and ask them now ‘What do you think, of this business?’ I’d like to ask Luce and Jackson and Time and Life and Dreyfus and Salzburg and The New York Times ‘How much longer are you going to vilify the South on the basis of evidence spawned under these conditions? You call this academic freedom? And if we don’t have academic freedom, what kind of freedom do we have?’ And what about some of you so-called “Southern” newspapers? Now I salute the Jackson press; but what of Alabama, what about Dallas, what about Memphis? How much effort have you given to studying the situation? I’d like to say to you who are the servants of northern masters, that I’d rather quit my job than to betray my people in my hometown. [applause] I’d rather die poor than mislead my neighbors about something that’s as important as this. I’d rather…do almost anything than corrupt the thinking of a father and mother across the street. Men who will do that are in the same class as the businessmen who favor integration because they fear resistance may hurt their pocket books. I wouldn’t want to sell my descendant’s future for thirty pieces of silver, but there’s no accounting for taste these days. [applause] I shall comeback to this subject later; but first, I want to explore a few other parts of the picture.
The followers of Boas had no difficulty, for instance, in capturing the United Nations; because it goes without saying, that at the United Nations, the wishful filling attraction of the environmentalist doctrine reached its height. You might expect committees to set up at the UN to prove all sorts of equalitarian doctrine and that’s precisely what you do find. You find it most notably, in the UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization) of 1950 and 1951 on the subject of race, signed by a long list of scientists which is flaunted in the faces of the north at all times.
The first statement, in 1950 was signed by Klineberg, Montagu and Myrdal, the Swedish socialist; we don’t find Weltfish, we find that man named Ginsberg from England and Levi Strauss from France. Juan Comas signed from Mexico, and there’ll be more to say about him in just a moment.
You may wonder why it was necessary to issue a second statement so soon after the first one. The published reason was that some of the contentions in the first statement and some of the terms used were “much criticized especially by physical anthropologists and geneticists.” Now they’re the ones of course who know the most about this subject. Then we read, “they”, (the scientific critics of the first statement) “also declined to acknowledge as a proved fact that there are no mental differences between racial groups, and stressed that there was insufficient evidence to support that view. “
So, they issued a second statement in 1951 which carried water on both shoulders a little better and made it possible to bring a few more signatures under the tent. Now let me give you an example. On one page we find this sentence, and I’ll quote it to you: “Available scientific knowledge provides no basis for the belief that the groups of mankind differ, in their innate capacity for intellectual and emotional development. “ Now on the page directly opposite, we read: “It’s possible, though not proved, that some types of innate capacity for intellectual and emotional responses are commoner in one group than another.”
Now it is surprising that the president of one of the scientific societies most concerned with this subject wrote me a few weeks ago the two contradictory statements invalidate the whole thing. The fact that a certain person signed it means little about his personal convictions.
Now remember that public opinion in the north doesn’t have a chance to analyze the situation as we’re analyzing it here. All they are given is the propaganda that they’ve gotten from this equalitarian statement. All they get is the general impression of agreement. Remember too, what I said at the outset about the burden of proof. A scientist can’t deny the obvious (what we see when we look at Africa, Haiti or our own crime statistics, plus all the evidence in history) without himself accepting the burden of proof. You don’t abandon all the experience of mankind, flaunt established tradition and annihilate the status quo on the basis of an ideological guess. You don’t crucify the south on a cross of wish fulfilling scientific fantasy. This propaganda, I must emphasize, has two parts. Its proponents are not satisfied with preaching a wish fulfilling gospel; they try to persuade you, and, particularly the north, that all other scientists agree with it. And let me show you how false that is.
You have, first of all, the four distinguished men who signed the introduction to RACE AND REASON. In July of 1961 one of these men, Dr. Henry Garrett, wrote an article from a non-equalitarian viewpoint for the Mankind Quarterly. Thereupon Garrett and the Mankind Quarterly were attacked by our friend Comas at the University of Mexico in an article in Current Anthropology. The editor of Current Anthropology, one Saul Tax, first submitted Comas’ article to 21 scientists for their comments. And these comments were published with the article. The selection of the 21 scientists by Saul Tax and the resulting cross-section of opinion, gives us a strange sort of a ballot on this issue; not a secret ballot, nor one in which the voters acted as free agents, greeting their remarks as a sort of interesting exercise in how to escape committing oneself. In fact, I had to scrutinize each opinion carefully (coupling at sometimes with what I knew about the voter himself) to find out what it implied.
Giving the benefit of the doubt in every case to the equalitarian side, I would estimate that 14 of the 21 would agree with Comas, which looks, off hand, like two thirds of endorsement to the equalitarianism. The trick here is that six out of the 21 voted from behind the Iron Curtain. They’re scientists living in communist countries where the party line requires strict conformity. Eliminate those six and you see what happens to the ratio – it becomes a settlement. And you started with a list of voters chosen by an equalitarian. I place only minor emphasis on this episode because I don’t believe that in the present climate a fear of reprisal and general timidity, we can get a count of scientists that means much. We laymen will have to read the books on each side understanding the background against which they’re written. And make up our own minds where the truth lies.
Having done this myself I would be willing to put the matter into the hands of any intelligent jury. I might say here, that RACE AND REASON has been in circulation for about six months. And there is yet to be any serious attempt to attack it scientifically – at least, none has come to my attention. There have been a few reviewers who have referred to my book as full of errors and contradictions; but unfortunately, none of these reviewers have had the time to point the errors or the contradictions out. The nearest attempt was an article in the EUGENICS REVIEW signed by a doctor in the public health service and the gist of his attack was as follows: “With respect to the sort of hereditary variations that might influence adaptation to civilization, an individual’s manifest traits are the best guide to his genotype. Thus, even when intermarriage is in question, science demands that each person be considered on his merits.”
Now, if that’s science then I’m speaking tonight in Italian because such a comment, in effect, negates the influence of heredity entirely except as it may express itself in one individual in one generation. It assumes that a brilliant son of a stupid father may not in turn have a stupid son – a position that no trained geneticist would accept for a moment. Perhaps the writer expects to give his assertion plausibility by his phrase ‘with respect to the sort of hereditary variations that might influence adaptation to civilization’ but I’ve got to point out that the fissuration of the frontal lobes of the brain which is the now recognized as an index of the higher forms of intelligence, is just as much a matter of heredity as skin color. The writer also makes the epigrammatic remark that marriages are contracted between individuals not between races, forgetting that when enough individuals marry the races in effect do marry, that much of the breeding is non-selective, and that the end result is a wide distribution of negro gene traits through the white race. alwaysfound in the result … ”
[CORRECTION – “caused him to pursue a career in law.