“Despite its apparent toleration of the offensive practices of other cultures, the Boasian paradigm promoted a peculiarly harsh condemnation of American customs and mores. This double standard became evident in the way American social scientists insisted that the practices of other cultures were exempt from moral criticism, yet these scholars did not prove reluctant to condemn Western practices that they considered repugnant.

Relativism did not seem to protect domestic American cultures, such as the culture of evangelical Christians who condemned homosexuality, or of Southerners who celebrated the antebellum era. Why this moral asymmetry? Were these groups not also adapting to their unique environments and did not their rage, like that of the Illongots, require empathy and understanding? On the contrary: these cultures were held to full moral accountability. Yet in holding them responsible for their actions, American scholars seemed to judge them by a higher standard than that applied to nonwhite peoples, thus granting to white groups a kind of implicit claim to moral superiority…

Relativism also seemed problematic at the deepest philosophical level. Insisting that Europeans could not understand other cultures except through Western ideological spectacles, Theodosius Dobzhansky reached the approved Boasian conclusion: ‘No one culture’s way of life is better than another; people live differently and that is all.’ How did Dobzhansky know this? Either he had discovered a universal truth, in which case it was possible for a westerner to objectively understand other cultures and the Boasian premise was false, or alternatively, all knowledge was truly local and relative, and this applied to Boasian relativism as well.” – Excerpt from The End of Racism by Dinesh D’Souza