Life at № 42
Just as the late Stephen Jay Gould updated Charles Darwin by arguing that humans evolved through fits and starts—“punctuated equilibrium”—social progress also is less steady than we would like. Even amid a positive trajectory, there are breakthroughs, plateaus, and setbacks. Sometimes, what seems like a step back actually helps propel society forward. The short unhappy life of Ota Benga—the human being exhibited in the Bronx Zoo—demonstrates how one big example of racist ugliness may have resulted in at least one small step toward racial progress.
And this is not fake news. A glimpse into the real world. Real history. Real mindsets.