NEW YORK (Jul. 16)
Sixty-six per cent of 166 textbooks used in the study of the social and biological sciences in this country, it was revealed today, misuse the concept of “race” in one way or another and 22 per cent in the same group teach what amounts to Nazi doctrine about superior and inferior races.
The disclosure was made in a pamphlet, “Can You Name Them?” just published by the American Committee for Democracy and Intellectual Freedom, of which the noted anthropologist Prof. Franz Boas is the chairman. The pamphlet was prepared by a panel of experts under the direction of Prof. Boas, set up to examine the way in which race questions are treated in school books. The panel’s study was declared to be part of a broad educational campaign to be conducted by the committee against unscientific teaching of race problems in American schools.
“We can go a long way towards destroying the effectiveness of demagogues like Father Coughlin or General Moseley if we conquer the widespread ignorance which exists on matters of race,” Prof. Boas said in a statement. “The myth of 100 per cent Aryan and similar nonsense be reached such proportions, even in our own country, that the fight against race prejudice is not a major problem for educators.”
Prof. Boas said the committee has issued a call to school administrators, teachers and publishers to support its drive for a thoroughgoing revision of all textbooks dealing with race questions. The call has already been endorsed by more than 30 leaders in the fields of government, education, science, religion, and book publishing, headed by Secretary of Agriculture Henry A. Wallace. Three outstanding publishing houses have already given their endorsement: Farrar & Rinehart, Harcourt, Brace and Company, and Houghton Mifflin Company.