Allegations of racism leveled at House of Representatives hearing on coronavirus
WASHINGTON. Science writer Nicholas Wade arrived on Capitol Hill Wednesday to testify before a Republican commission on the origins of the coronavirus, but was instead asked questions about “Troubled Legacy”, his controversial 2014 book on race and genetics, which Democrats noted was endorsed by notorious racist and anti-Semite David Duke, as well as other white supremacists.
“I have nothing to do with white supremacist views,” Wade said at one point during the hearing.
“However, they love you,” retorted Rep. Kweisi Mfume, M.D., arguing that Wade’s presence was an affront to any legitimate inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus — the subject of Wednesday’s hearing.
Former NAACP head Mfume said he was “appalled that this hearing is now about race.”
Visibly trembling, Mfume told Wade that he was “absolutely offended that you will have the opportunity to take this platform and add something important to it.”
A tense exchange has cast doubt on whether inviting Wade to testify at the first hearing of the House Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic was an effective move by the Republican majority, which seeks to legitimize the notion that the coronavirus was the product of a lab accident in China.
Wade proponent of this hypothesisbut his past writings on genetics and race seem to have frustrated his attempts to focus the conversation on the pandemic.
The committee’s leading Democrat, Rep. Raul Ruiz of California, used his opening statement to discredit Wade. “His participation undermines the credibility of this hearing,” he said.
Briefly, Capitol Hill was plunged into a nearly decade-old controversy, though the topics understandably continue to stir deep passions today.
A native of England and a graduate of Cambridge, Wade has worked for the prestigious Science magazine. and nature in the late 1970s and early 80s, by which point he had settled in the United States. Hello joined the New York Times in 1982. and will remain in the newspaper for 30 years.
Wade has written several books in his career, but none have been as explosive as his 2014 foray into the connection between race and genetics—a connection that by then many came with a discount.
In an attempt to repair the disputed correlation, Wade ventured into some of the most obscene areas of what was once known as scientific expertise. (His supporters would say that he was dragged into this dangerous territory by detractors who had not actually read his book, but some of those critics appeared to be familiar with his arguments.)
Racial Science was a favorite pastime of the Nazis, who sought to collect evidence, such as the shape of the skull, to prove that Jews and other people of non-European descent were inherently inferior. eugenicists in the United States, similar arguments were used to try to restrict immigration or expand civil rights for blacks.
While racial differences may seem huge culturally and socially, genetic differences between populations are actually quite insignificant.
Wade objected to this prevailing view. Intending to “demystify the genetic basis of race”, he attempted to describe distinct racial groups that he claimed originated in Africa, Europe, and East Asia. He then attempted to explain how the three groups evolved different genomes and how these differences shape their respective cultures.
These explanations have led to some highly suspicious claims, such as that the Jews were uniquely “adapted to capitalism” – a classic anti-Semitic cliché. Meanwhile, people of African descent, according to Wade’s analysis, had a “violent propensity”.
The mainstream reaction to the book was harsh. IN his reviewThe Times called A Troubled Legacy a “deeply flawed, misleading and dangerous book” that gives racists license while accused Wade trade in “marginal racist theories masquerading as mainstream biology”. American conservative found the book unconvincing.
IN letter to the New York Times Book ReviewHe was accused by 139 scientists (including many whose work Wade cited) of “misappropriating” research results to advance discrediting arguments. They stated that “in the field of population genetics, Wade’s hypotheses are not supported.”
He hit the news again with the advent of the coronavirus, becoming one of the first science writers to speak out against the plausibility of the prevailing view that the pathogen originated from an animal before it entered the human population, most likely in the U.S. wildlife market. Chinese city of Wuhan.
Wade detailed the case for the so-called laboratory leak theory. Average post in May 2021. This article remains a milestone for other skeptics of the official Chinese version. However, many scientists believe that the virus originated in animals and then passed to humans.
Wade strenuously defended his record – and his book – on Wednesday. “It was a decidedly non-racist book. As far as I know, there are no scientific errors in it. It contains no racist statements. It emphasizes the theme of unity,” he told the deputies sitting in front of him.
But his Democratic critics remained unconvinced, while some supporters of the lab leak hypothesis expressed frustration on social media that the important question of the origin of the coronavirus is being obscured.