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Louisiana HCR 74 Amended and Adopted
by Eric Meikle
House Concurrent Resolution 74 was introduced in the legislature in April 2001, and referred to the Education Committee. As introduced, this resolution opposed racism. It then asserted that Charles Darwin and his books promoted the justification of racism, and that Adolf Hitler ultimately exploited these same views to justify killing millions of people. In addition, the resolution deplored and rejected "... the core concepts of Darwinist ideology that certain races and classes of humans are inherently superior to others..."
It is claimed by some creationists that Darwin and/or acceptance of evolution are responsible for essentially all the ills (real and supposed) of modern society, from Marxism to Fascism, from racism to eugenics, from abortion to feminism, from homosexuality to school shootings. It is ironic in this case that Darwin, and his extended family, had very progressive views on race for their day and were fervent opponents of slavery. The sponsor of HCR 74 was quoted in a newspaper story as suggesting that a disclaimer for textbooks discussing evolution could be the next step following this resolution.
On May 1 the Education Committee considered the resolution, and after a one-hour hearing voted 9-5 to recommend passage to the full House. The proposed resolution provoked considerable discussion in the Louisiana press and was labeled "weird" by Governor Mike Foster, speaking to a convention of reporters. On May 8 HCR 74 was considered in the House of Representatives. By a vote of 65-28 the House adopted an amendment which removed all mention of Darwin and Darwinism, leaving a straight-forward condemnation of racism. The resolution was then passed without objection and sent to the Senate. On May 29 the Senate approved the amended resolution 29-3.