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Latest Letter to the Editor: Supporting city's choice to change Agassiz street sign

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It was gratifying to read in Sunday’s Daily Sun Sam McManis’ retrospective on the history of Louis Agassiz’s pernicious influence on American understanding of science, and the impact of his racism-grounded ideas on America’s social, cultural, political and religious ethos over the last century and a half.

In a course on Asian American history at NAU I was able to introduce to students the ways in which Agassiz and his ilk influenced the pseudo-scientific academic and social discourse in America that led inexorably to the Chinese Exclusion policy from 1882 through 1943.

What is especially problematic is the way in which such panderers of unproven “racial science” came to be celebrated in the United States in the period before and after the Civil War.

The controversial racial stereotypes that their celebrity sold to the American people in the 19th and 20th centuries within a cauldron of both domestic and international colonialism and segregationist apartheid systems brought about dire consequences before, during, and after both world wars.

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