Connecticut state police yesterday morning arrested approximately 250 black students who had occupied the library of the University of Connecticut (UConn) overnight in protest of the allegedly racist theories of William S. Laughlin and Benson E. Ginsburg, professors in UConn's department of Bio-Behavioral sciences.
Christine Smith, a graduate student in Anthropology at UConn, told an audience of 35 in William James Hall yesterday that a coalition of white students would reoccupy the library at midnight. They expect to be arrested this morning, she said.
Smith said that the demonstrators resisted attempts to dislodge them by going limp and forcing police to carry them individually from the building.
"UConn is a model for what will happen elsewhere," Anthony S. Kroch '67 lecturer in Anthropology at UConn, said last night.
"The only reason it hasn't happened at Harvard is that the anti-racists aren't well enough organized to provoke repression of this type," he said.
Kroch said the UConn administration earlier this year divided the department of Anthropology into two departments, Social Anthropology and Bio-cultural Anthropology, in order to increase funding for and stifle criticism of attempts to explain cultural traits in terms of genetic differences.
the forefront of developing academic racism, racist theories are attracting increasing attention at universities nationally, including Harvard.
Jay O'Brien, UConn graduate student in Anthropology, called the theories of Laughlin and Ginsburg "more subtly racist and more plausibly scientific than those of Jensen, Shockley and Herrnstein."
"They contend that different human 'abilities' are the expression of different genetic combinations, and that the differences between cultures are reflected by different combinations of gene frequencies," he said.
O'Brien added that Laughlin and Ginsburg do not claim that the inherited genetic abilities of one culture are better than another, only "different."