NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Apologizes for Pictures of Naked Natives
March 13, 2018, 07:46 AM
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From National Geographic:

For Decades, Our Coverage Was Racist. To Rise Above Our Past, We Must Acknowledge It

By Susan Goldberg, Editor in Chief

This story is part of The Race Issue, a special issue of National Geographic that explores how race defines, separates, and unites us. Tell us your story with #IDefineMe.

… I’m the tenth editor of National Geographic since its founding in 1888. I’m the first woman and the first Jewish person—a member of two groups that also once faced discrimination here.

But now … vengeance is mine!

Great-Grandfather, for all those miserable rounds of golf you had to play at the Century Country Club instead of at Winged Foot, I shall make them pay.

It hurts to share the appalling stories from the magazine’s past. But when we decided to devote our April magazine to the topic of race, we thought we should examine our own history before turning our reportorial gaze to others.

Race is not a biological construct, as writer Elizabeth Kolbert explains in this issue, but a social one that can have devastating effects. …

Meanwhile it pictured “natives” elsewhere as exotics, famously and frequently unclothed, happy hunters, noble savages—every type of cliché. …

Some of what you find in our archives leaves you speechless, like a 1916 story about Australia. Underneath photos of two Aboriginal people, the caption reads: “South Australian Blackfellows: These savages rank lowest in intelligence of all human beings.”

Of course, today, 102 years later, there are numerous pure-blood Australian Aborigine Nobel Laureates, like … uh … But, everybody knows that the problems of Aboriginal Australians are over. Oh … they’re not? Well that must be due to the lingering psychic emanations of all the white racists in Australia. Just let in some more Afghan undocumented migrants and deeply caring and culturally sensitive Guangdong millionaires and life will be wonderful once again for the Aborigines.

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