The birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., offers Americans an opportunity to reaffirm their commitment to eradicating racism in all its forms. A good place to start is with Ayn Rand’s 1963 article, “Racism,” which is available in full here. It starts like this:

Racism is the lowest, most crudely primitive form of collectivism. It is the notion of ascribing moral, social or political significance to a man’s genetic lineage — the notion that a man’s intellectual and characterological traits are produced and transmitted by his internal body chemistry. Which means, in practice, that a man is to be judged, not by his own character and actions, but by the characters and actions of a collective of ancestors. . . . Racism is a doctrine of, by and for brutes. It is a barnyard or stock-farm version of collectivism, appropriate to a mentality that differentiates between various breeds of animals, but not between animals and men.

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