For those of you not on Twitter, today has seen Alan Turing become a trending topic. This is in response to a published apology by Gordon Brown, the UK Prime Minister. I’ve just been sitting here dropping tears on my keyboard. I’ve been a huge Turing fan since forever and like many have made his name part of my everyday vocabulary.
Clearly, not fan enough, how did I not know his life ended like that? I guess I just assumed he grew old with some guy safely ensconced in an English country cottage…
Gordon Brown’s apology uses language that makes our current freedoms an accepted fact which didn’t quite resonate as it was supposed to… This got me thinking about the assumptions we make and remembered a surprising thing I read when researching an American scientist. Basically, a San Francisco Gate article
sumarises it well:
The concept of a white, blond-haired, blue-eyed master Nordic race didn't originate with Hitler. The idea was created in the United States, and cultivated in California, decades before Hitler came to power.
Essentially, Hitler’s Nuremberg laws owe a debt of gratitude to the legislators of The Great State of California. Good source of info at http://www.csus.edu/cshpe/eugenics/sources.html