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Old Yesterday, 11:32 PM
Location: West Los Angeles
8,929 posts, read 9,046,116 times
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Newly translated into English, Albert Einsteinís private travel diaries from the 1920s reveal that he was racist in his early life, especially toward Chinese people.

The journals, published as ďThe Travel Diaries of Albert EinsteinĒ by Princeton University Press, reveal that Einstein, perhaps the most famous scientist of all time and known for his theory of general relativity and the equation e=mc2 [sic], was extraordinarily biased toward certain populations.
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Old Today, 01:37 AM
Location: on the wind
4,375 posts, read 1,642,234 times
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He's been dead a long time. Regardless of his views on race he still made made some remarkable discoveries. One does not diminish the other.
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Old Today, 01:48 AM
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i read that in the Smithsonian.

my opinion....it is like having a really good doctor who is an alcoholic.
the doctor can "cure your ills" but cannot cure his own.
people are not perfect, but extraction of the smallest perfection
within them continues to advance knowledge.
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Old Today, 04:51 AM
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These are the quotes in the article:

"The diaries were written between October 1922 and March 1923. In one entry Einstein wrote that the “Chinese don’t sit on benches while eating but squat like Europeans do when they relieve themselves out in the leafy woods. All this occurs quietly and demurely. Even the children are spiritless and look obtuse.”

Speaking about the “abundance of offspring” and the “fecundity” of the Chinese, he continued: “It would be a pity if these Chinese supplant all other races. For the likes of us the mere thought is unspeakably dreary.”

Einstein also derided the people of Ceylon, which is now known as Sri Lanka. In Ceylon, he wrote, the locals “live in great filth and considerable stench at ground level,” before adding they “do little and need little. The simple economic cycle of life.”

Einstein also gave his thoughts on Japanese people, who he viewed in a more positive light, calling them “unostentatious, decent, altogether very appealing.” However, he also wrote the “intellectual needs of this nation seem to be weaker than their artistic ones – natural disposition?”

Most of them are simple observations of a traveller. And not too dissimilar to observations still made today. After all, just go to India. I don't particularly find them racist.
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Old Today, 06:48 AM
556 posts, read 154,798 times
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The article says that he was publicly anti-racism later in life. Why not give him credit for changing?
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Old Today, 06:50 AM
307 posts, read 53,897 times
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It's history. A good deal of history is not pleasant.
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Old Today, 07:20 AM
Location: Under Moon & Star
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In other news, Martin Luther King, Jr, wasn't very good at theoretical physics.
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Old Today, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Exitus Acta Probat View Post

Watch some old videos of the Riots in major US cities. Read about the Chinese exclusion act and Japanese Internment. Relearn about the civil rights movement and why it was necessary and was resisted by many.

The world has been racist for a long time. Hell, most of the colonial settlers who came to the US did so because they were being discriminated against back home. Doesn't mean they themselves weren't prejudiced.
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Old Today, 09:10 AM
Location: Texas
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I don't support racist views at all, but this is irrelevant now that he's dead and his discoveries and achievements are lasting and cannot be credited towards anyone else or "taken" away from him. I'm sorry if that sounds horrible to say that but it's just true. I suspect that some are wanting to take his name out of history books but this doesn't help anyone. We'd have to take everyone out of the history books because overt racism was very prevalent back then.
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Old Today, 09:56 AM
3,095 posts, read 1,644,413 times
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I see nothing at all racist in his writings. He’s relating his observations of specific people in specific settings, not discussing all members of a ‘race’ everywhere.

Plus, stop trying to apply today’s ideas and morality to people of the past. Trust me, our current culture will be judged just as harshly a hundred years from now as we judge our past.
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