By Max A. Joseph Jr.
History, as I understand it, consists of unmitigated facts. Though these facts can be manipulated or distorted for sinister purposes, history is not a speculative discipline as some people, every so often, mistakenly presume and demagogue scholars would want it to be. Having been on the short end of history’s greatest, most assertive and expansive civilization may have caused some lasting damage to the consciousness of Afrocentrists, whose romanticized version of history is harming the black race, given that the wrong premise inevitably engenders an erroneous conclusion.
In addition, history tells us that all civilizations shared this common denominator: a compulsive need to dominate peoples they considered barbarians, therefore needing to be civilized. Appropriately, barbarism (read: unfamiliarity with the customs of a powerful and aggressive neighbor or empire) rather than race has always been the primary factor in determining whether other groups were uncivilized barbarians. All that would change however with the ascent of the western civilization, which made use of the concept of racial superiority of the white race over all the others, the centerpiece of its domination.
At this juncture in the history of human evolution, the notion of a particular race’s superiority or inferiority in comparison with another, discredited by scientific studies, surprisingly endures, making it a subject that must be addressed despite one’s objection. The most prominent victims of this western fallacy (Africans or rather black people) are now resorting to a more illogical approach to dealing with the issue by reaching back into millennia to prove to their shameless tormentors that they, too, have experimented with greatness.
At issue is the pervasive notion, which by the way has become an article of faith among Afrocentrists, that black people built Egypt’s renowned Giza pyramid complex, widely considered the premier engineering marvel of the ancient world. Indeed Egypt is mostly located in the African continent, which makes the ancient Egyptians theoretically Africans. However, North Africa, where Egypt is situated, contains many ethnic groups that do not share the physiological characteristics of the Negroid race, the predominant inhabitants of Sub-Saharan Africa invariably associated with being black. Afrocentrists conveniently disregard this reality.
The western civilization’s pathological obsession with race, which is defined by a person’s skin color and other physiological characteristics, makes the topic a contentious one because modern Egyptians instinctively rejected the idea of being considered black. Furthermore many Afrocentrists scholars’ own obsessiveness with race is compounding the controversy, particularly with the utilization of Egypt’s glorious past as an integral part of their ancestral heritage. Moreover Afrocentrists blatantly ignore that perpetual migration of humans through millennia of evolution, which can be forensically explained through DNA analysis, somewhat invalidated geographical location as a reliable method for racial identification.
But assuming the ancient Egyptians were black, does it really matter at this point? Ancient history of a group no longer matters when subsequent generations fail to live up to the ideals of the ancestors. Reaching into millennia for past or alleged greatness causes more harm than good to the black race, as it does not address our apparent inability to build creative and powerful societies. Most importantly, you don’t challenge or emulate a domineering civilization by becoming obsessed with its most questionable institutional experiment. Like clockwork all civilizations are ultimately overtaken or made irrelevant by new and more powerful entities, which leaves the possibility that this race-based civilization would ultimately suffer the same fate that befell its predecessors.
Necessity rather than intelligence has always been the driving force behind human evolution, as societies generally progressed relative to their needs. That is why many are well-organized and creative while others remain disorganized and unimaginative. Hence social and physiological requirements rather than racial aptitude and differences govern creativity, the concept used to promote the superiority or inferiority of a race in relation to another. Perhaps these Afrocentrists or conspiracy theorists should reject the “savanna mentality” (foraging and living an uncomplicated existence) of their African ancestors and embrace the mastery of physics and other scientific disciplines as an alternative to romanticizing past greatness.
This infatuation with romanticizing past greatness or tacitly embracing fallacies about race is such that many blacks are now engaging in creating self-identify they hope would confer them a modicum of respectability in this white-dominated civilization. Cases in point: Nubia (present-day Sudan) whose history is intertwined with that of ancient Egypt has become the preferred point of reference for their grandiose theory. Others arbitrarily consider themselves Fulani, a hybrid ethnic group of North and Sub-Saharan Africans generally found in West and parts of northern central Africa, and incidentally Egypt and Sudan. Still others prefer Indio, an exotic and sub-racial category indigenous to the Dominican Republic, Haiti’s eastern neighbor.
As a rule, human migrations bring about counter migrations. Suffice to say, the early humans’ pathway from Africa to Europe and Asia eventually finds its way back to the Continent, which explains why Africa is home to the world’s most genetically diverse populations. Race is never an impediment to building and organizing powerful nations, given that western preeminence arose from the ashes of previous civilizations, not the omniscience or infallibility of the white race. Hence, the relevant question to the enduring racial theory is not whether a particular race is superior in comparison to others but where would black people be in the next geopolitical realignment because no singular race has a monopoly on creativity.