Franz Boas

AZL flag holder TransparentFranz Boas (July 9, 1858 – December 21, 1942) was a Jewish anthropologist who achieved American citizenship. Boas was born in Minden, Westphalia and his grandparents were observant Jews. Boas argued that the environment has a significant influence on physical features, which is expressed through change over time. This work was central to his influential argument that differences between races were not immutable and forms the basis for Marxist fallacy that race is a social construct. A more searing criticism of Boas is that his politicization of anthropology was primarily self-serving in that it supported primarily ethnic Jewish group interests. Boas was accused of nepotism by being principally receptive to Jewish students and prejudiced against American gentile scholarship. It was also contended that Boas’s political leanings served two primary purposes: to combat ‘anti-Semitism’ and to ensure that Boas and other Jews from Europe achieved domination of anthropology in the United States. Like many of his tribe Boas talked loudly of emancipating blacks and other minorities from perceived oppression but was essentially using Africans and other dark-skinned people as pawns in a game against non-Jewish scholars to obtain Jewish hegemony in the discipline of anthropology.

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