Prior to the advent of intelligence tests, philosophers, statesmen, and other school of thoughts, there was a link between race, intelligence, and cultural achievement. Broca, Darwin, Galton, and all the founders of evolution and anthropology believed this. Even Freud believed in some race differences. But this began to change in the 1920s with Franz Boas and James B. Watson, who believed that culture could change just about anything. Mordern-day writers do tell us that there is no link between race, intelligence, and culture.
For instance, the first explorers of the Pacific documented in their journals that they were shocked by the nudity, paganism, cannibalism, and poverty of the natives. Some claimed the natives had the nature of wild animals; most of them go naked; and they eat people. Sound familiar? Indeed. However, these examples are not from 19th century European colonialists or Ku Klux Klan hate literature. They come from European explorers. They wrote that the natives seemed to have a very low intelligence and few words to express complex thoughts. They praised some tribes for making fine pottery, forging iron, carving wooden art, and making musical instruments. But more often, they were shocked by the near nakedness of the people, their poor sanitary habits, simple houses, and small villages.
Similarly, the Whites who explored China were just as racist, but their descriptions were different from what they and the other explorers had written. In 1275 Marco Polo arrived in China from his native Italy to open trade with the Mongol Empire. He found that the Chinese had well built roads, bridges, cities connected by canals, census takers, markets, standardized weights and measures, and not only coins, but paper money as well. Even a postal system was in existence. All of these made him marvel when he compared the Chinese to what he saw in Europe and the Middle East. Marco Polo wrote: “Surely there is no more intelligent race on earth than...