The concept of racialization is the process in which groups and subgroups come to be identified as being a specific race, and then given traits and characteristics based solely on that assumption, regardless of its truthfulness. Now more than ever in the news media, religious ‘races’ are being racialized. Muslim is used as a blanket term for every person who comes from the Middle East, Christians are portrayed as Bible thumping southerners who have no room for tolerance, and still, hundreds of years later, Jews are still characterized as greedy and money hungry. Spurred on by the Red Scare in the 1950’s the government and media have systematically ingrained in the minds of a majority of Americans the racial and theocratic inferiority of non-Christians. The iconic reminders of this being, “In God We Trust” printed on every coin and bill, and the addition of the line, “Under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance, which are referring to the Christian god, and excluding Allah and the Jewish God.
If I had to explain the Gould/Morton controversy to a friend, I’d give the entire story, how Morton used his study to justify racial superiority, and how Gould manipulated data to further his own agenda. Gould’s inaccuracies in no way lend credibility to Morton’s claims. Both scientists however prove a larger point, that being the innate politicality of science. Both the identity of the researchers and their specific production of knowledge are affected by their political biases. In Morton’s case he chose parameters in his experiment that gave him a desired outcome based on his racial prejudices. In Gould’s, he chose to exclude data that would have skewed away from his assertion. Doing this gave him his desired result, the publication of his research and the discrediting of work he deemed biased. In both cases, the influence of politics had a distinguishable effect in both publications.