Are Anthropologists just bigger jerks than other people? Do they just have an especially hard time considering other points of view? Did they all go to those kindergartens where they were encouraged to express their unique personalities rather than take turns and share?Stories: I took half-a-dozen anthro courses at college. I liked the professors better than average. But I now recall only in retrospect how much of course time was devoted to attitude-training and political training. There are no races, only clines, plus an extended discussion of how white people were actually more like apes** than black people were. Just so you knew. Same professor - a bit ironic, that. The Caribbean Cultures course was very much a colonial exploiters vs. peaceful, complex dark people exercise. At the time, as a northern boy at college in the suspect South, I rather approved of their taking the time to make darn sure than none of those rural hillbillies left W&M with any ignorant political ideas.
Don't get me wrong, there was a lot of very cool stuff, and the Mesoamerican and linguistics courses carried no hint that I recall of any modern political or social implications - though when I provided one in a discussion of pottery decoration it was warmly received. But one of the central values of the discipline, I believe, is to understand different-looking people and cultures and try to see them in context. Other anthropologists seem to not be included.
Perhaps this is only because these are the academic debates I know about.
*I don't remember the actual site sneered at. I am guessing it was Cactus Hill
**More hair, similar skin color