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Does Nancy Scheper-Hughes' bias on recent shooting incidents cast doubt on her other work? by Jay Knott (02/07/13)       ⇌ (South Africa)       

Nancy Scheper-Hughes is an anthropologist at UC Berkeley. She researched and publicized the role of Israelis in illegal trafficking in human organs. Alison Weir subsequently repeated Nancy's findings, and was, of course, accused of stirring up age-old anti-semitic slurs. The web pages at UC Berkeley which used to contain the details of the organ-trafficking scandal have disappeared.


Recently, Nancy has written a wide-ranging analysis of violence and gun ownership:


The article isn't scientific research - her political opinions direct her conclusions. For example, when discussing the Columbine school shootings of 1999, she claims that it led to a media focus on "black youth". Nancy argues that, after the more recent Sandy Hook shootings,

"the blame was attributed to another sacrificial scapegoat, the mentally deranged mass murderer".

First, she dismisses the idea that a "mentally deranged mass murderer" really did carry out the Connecticut killings.

Second, though she claims there was a political bias after the 1999 massacre - the idea that black youth are more likely to be violent - she misses the bias in reporting this latest one -  the media made a big deal out of "survivalists" - right-wing, mostly white, conspiracy theorists who collect guns. The evidence consisted of one rumor about the shooter's mother, that she was a survivalist.

She concludes

"The NRA is telling Americans that they need to fear the government. Perhaps the time has come to give freedom from fear a chance."

In other words, she blatantly selects the evidence which backs up her liberal bias and ignores the rest. Perhaps her reports on organ trafficking should be re-examined.


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