The Funding of Scientific Racism: Wickliffe Draper and the Pioneer Fund
University of Illinois Press, 2002 - 286 pages
The Pioneer Fund, established in 1937 by Wickliffe Preston Draper, is one of the most controversial nonprofit organizations in the United States. Long suspected of misusing social science to fuel the politics of oppression, the fund has specialized in supporting research that seeks to prove the genetic and intellectual inferiority of blacks while denying its ties to any political agenda.
This powerful and provocative volume proves that the Pioneer Fund has indeed been the primary source for scientific racism. Revealing a lengthy history of concerted and clandestine activities and interests, The Funding of Scientific Racism examines for the first time archival correspondence that incriminates the fund's major players, including Draper, acting president Harry F. Weyher, and others.
Divulging evidence of the Pioneer Fund's political motivations, William H. Tucker links Draper to a Klansman's crusade to repatriate blacks in the 1930s. Subsequent directors and grantees are implicated in their support of campaigns organized in the 1960s to reverse the Brown decision, prevent passage of the Civil Rights Act, and implement a system of racially segregated private schools.
Tucker shows that these and other projects have been officially sponsored by the Pioneer Fund or surreptitiously supervised by its directors. This evidence demonstrates that any results of genuine, scientific value produced with the fund's support have been a salutary, if incidental, consequence of its actual purpose: to provide ammunition for what has essentially been a lobbying campaign to prevent the full participation of blacks in society and the polity.