"Anti-racism campaigners called for Dr. Watson's remarks to be looked at in the context of racial hatred laws," said The Independent. Said Steven Rose, a founder of the Society for Social Responsibility in Science, "This is Watson at his most scandalous."
The Telegraph quoted Koku Adomdza, director of the black pressure group The 1990 Trust, as calling Watson a "complete dinosaur" and demanding he apologize to "Africa and all people of African origin."
Added Adomdza: "Dr. Watson is really a relic of the oldest stock and deserves to be made to account for his extremely offensive and ignorant remarks. ... His very poisonously racist opinions put students and the unsuspecting public at serious risk."
Of these thought police, almost all, it may be fairly said, are academic mediocrities or political hacks who could not carry Watson's microscope. Yet as the scrub stock piled on, the Nobel Prize winner appeared to buckle.
I am "mortified," Watson said, burbling this recantation.
"To all those who have drawn the inference from my words that Africa, as a continent, is somehow genetically inferior, I can only apologize unreservedly. That is not what I meant. More importantly, from my point of view, there is no scientific basis for such a belief."
Sad. Why, with all his honors, prestige and security, did Dr. Watson feel the necessity to apologize for what he wrote, said and believes? Why did he not play the man by flipping off the censors? If they were going to take away his chancellorship, why not go down fighting?
In the England of Henry VIII, heretics were beheaded and their heads put on spikes. Many men, like Thomas More, did not recant.
From the time of Tiberias to the 17th century, men gave up their lives rather than renounce a belief in God. Others gave up their lives rather than renounce a disbelief in the Church. Why could Watson not stand up for his disbelief in the ideological myth of the inherent equality of all men, cultures, creeds and civilizations?
In 1990, the respected journal Science wrote, "To many in the scientific community, Watson has been something of a wild man. ... Colleagues tend to hold their collective breath when he speaks out."
Too bad the wild man was denatured and domesticated.