Eugenics II

Lead: From its start as an optimistic approach to improving the human condition, eugenics degenerated into a racist tool in the hands of bigotry and ultimately led to the gas ovens of the Third Reich.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The fundamental problem with eugenics, even as Sir Francis Galton articulated it in the 19th century, was that it focused primarily on inborn characteristics and almost completely disregarded social, environmental, educational, and physical factors when examining the human race. Basically, eugenicists advocated a form of genetic determinism. A person is born with a genetic imprint that determines the course of their lives. Not surprisingly these theories became a powerful tool in the hands of racists. It all depends on who is setting the standard. If society is to improve itself, it is said, it must eliminate genetic threats to racial purity. In the sad history of eugenics, a wide variety of groups have been singled out for social restriction, sterilization, or elimination. Feeble-minded or mentally ill people, habitual criminals, sexual libertines, Negroes, Native Americans or any non-whites, Jews, gypsies, and evangelical Christians have all fallen under the wary and sometimes fatal scrutiny of the eugenic mandate. They bore undesirable human traits.

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Eugenics I

Lead: In the 19th and 20th centuries, theories about the way to improve the human condition spawned the pseudo-science of eugenics. Unfortunately, optimism about making mankind better degenerated into the darkness of racism.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Sir Francis Galton confessed to having had a happy childhood. His upper-class parents gave him a Cambridge education though he never took his degree, and left him sufficient inherited funds so that he could avoid work and indulge his great love of travel. From 1845 to 1853 Galton explored parts of the Middle East and Africa, including a very careful but ultimately fruitless expedition from West Africa in search of Lake Ngami, which is in Botswana, north of the Kalahari Desert. After his marriage he turned to more scholarly pursuits producing books on a wide variety of subjects including fingerprinting, calculus, genetics and weather prediction. Galton is best known, however, for his advocacy of improving the human species through selective parenting, a process he called eugenics.

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Boxer Rebellion III

Lead: Chinese hatred of foreigners in 1900 exploded in the Boxer Rebellion.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Many Chinese resented the presence of western soldiers, diplomats, merchants, and missionaries. The weak Imperial government seemed impotent to face powerful outside forces and by the end of the 1800s bitterness became violence. Chief among those opposed to the foreign devils was a secret fraternity named I Ho Chuan, the Society of Righteous and Harmonious Fists, or Boxers. Part of their ritual was a set of physical and spiritual drills in which they would sink into a trance and there battle imaginary demons. Waking, they seethed with hatred for all things foreign.

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Boxer Rebellion II

Lead: In 1900 native Chinese resentment against foreigners boiled over in the Boxer Rebellion.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: During the 1800s diplomats in search of concessions, traders in search of profits, and Christian missionaries in search of souls aroused great resentment in China. To their credit, many of these westerners, particularly the missionaries, were seeking to reform a vast society markedly unconcerned about the plight of the poor and abused. They built schools and hospitals and championed the cause of human rights long before such efforts were fashionable, but many did so with ill-disguised scorn for Chinese civilization.

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Boxer Rebellion I

Lead: In 1900 native Chinese resentment of western culture, traders, and missionaries, boiled over in the Boxer Rebellion.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: China is an ancient society whose rich cultural heritage was already well-established when western or European civilization was in its infancy. Therefore, when western merchants sought to open trade with the Asian giant, they encountered deep suspicion of outsiders. The Chinese regarded the westerners with ill-disguised contempt, considering them little better than barbarians.

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Florence Nightingale

Lead: When Florence Nightingale and her fellow nurses arrived to care for British and allied soldiers in the Crimean War, the military hospital was a mess.

Intro.: "A Moment in Time" with Dan Roberts.

Content: From Constantinople the military hospital Turkish barracks appeared as magnificent as a Sultan's palace. Up close it was filthy and dilapidated. Food and drugs were running short and the facility was almost without decent medical equipment. Each week the arriving sick increased.

 

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Malaysia II

Lead: Emerging from a post-colonial crisis in the 1960s, Malaysia is on track by the mid-21st century to be one of the world’s great economies.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: After World War II, powerful Malaysian nationalist forces began pressing Britain to grant the archipelago its independence. Britain began the process, but beginning in 1948 mostly Chinese rebels led by the Malayan Communist Party conducted a bloody insurrection known as the Malayan Emergency. Commonwealth troops alongside Malayan nationals put down the rebellion, but it took a dozen years. With the end of the uprising Britain’s rule was over and a federated state was created which included Peninsula Malaysia, North Borneo, Sarawak and Singapore. Singapore departed in 1965 and the remaining government is a federal constitutionally elected monarchy made up of thirteen states and three federal territories. The capital and largest city is Kuala Lumpur though much of the federal administrative apparatus is located 25 kilometers south in the planned city of Putrajaya.

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Malaysia I

Lead: Assembled from various components of the British Empire, the nation of Malaysia has made great strides since achieving independence.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Malaysia occupies the severe southeastern point of the Eurasian continent and lies athwart some of the richest, most traveled shipping lanes in the world. The indigenous Malay population was supplemented through commercial connections with Indian and Chinese traders sometime around the first century CE. The result is that just over 20% of the population of 30,000,000 is of ethnic Chinese descent. Hinduism and Buddhism were adopted by the native population until the arrival of Islam in the 1300s and today, with Muslims constituting around 60% of the population, Islam is the official faith of Malaysia, though freedom of religion is a constitutionally protected right.

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