Monday, November 5, 2018

Le Conte

From a new article on 19th century UC professor Joseph Le Conte in Boom California, a UC Press publication:

...Throughout his works, (Joseph) Le Conte asserted that his racism is grounded in Darwinism and evolutionary science. “The laws determining the effects of contact of species… among animals may be summed up under the formula, ‘The struggle for life and survival of the fittest.’ It is vain to deny that the same law is applicable to the races of man also,” asserts Le Conte. White supremacy, therefore, is simply following the laws of nature. “Given two races widely different in intellectual and moral elevation, especially in the capacity for self-government, in other words very different in grade of race-evolution…the inevitable result will be, must be, that the higher race will assume control and determine the policy of the community.” Bigotry, in the view of Le Conte, is simply an extension of evolutionary self-preservation. “Race-prejudice, or race-repulsion, to use a stronger term,” writes Le Conte, “is itself not a wholly irrational feeling. It is probably an instinct necessary to preserve the blood purity of the higher race.” ...

Full article at

Streets such as Le Conte and Hilgard were named after prominent UC (Berkeley) faculty when UCLA moved to Westwood. Street name changes presumably would be within the authority of the City of LA, not the university. Although the Le Conte name has become an issue at UC-Berkeley, it hasn't been a concern (yet) at UCLA.

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