Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and other bigots on the far right are nothing
new in American history. Rather, they remind us of the worst and most
shameful detours of the American Republic in the past. From the
mid-nineteenth century racial theory became prominent in European and
American discourse, in which peoples were conceived of as endogamous
(only marrying among themselves and so producing ‘pure’ and ‘less pure’
‘races.’) In contrast, in the 18th century most Western thinkers
believed the differences among peoples had to do with climate and diet.
The nineteenth century Romantic notion of race is a fantasy– people get
all mixed up over time.