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Pet Sins August 2001

European American gives credence to fabricated white genealogies while scoffing at blacks' Egypt claims

I was talking to this white co-worker and the topic somehow got onto a claim that blacks were key in building ancient Chinese civilization. The white guy said "Many blacks fabricate histories of being involved in great civilizations, just as in the theory of black Egypt. They need to believe histories which are not true in order to feel better about themselves. Actually all this doesn't even matter now, because even if it is true, because it does nothing in the fight against racial inequality today."

Now I don't know for sure whether blacks have been in ancient China or not because I didn't live there/then. But it is not impossible, considering black-skinned populations still thriving in India and other Asian countries today. Anyway even assuming I don't believe in black China or black Egypt, I found it ironic that this white guy was also insisting that European royal families were descended from Jesus' brethren. When I asked him how it can be proven, he said, "Genealogical records of European royal families are carefully maintained. And they have traced their lines back to Jesus' brothers."

I have read works by white academics who said European royal houses' Jewish roots were fabricated by European kings in order to claim God-given right or legitimacy, just as kings in other parts of the world trace their descent to various gods.

I am not here to argue about black China or black Egypt or Jewish European kings. But it is worth noting that this educated white guy bestows a lot more respect on discredited (by whites themselves) European claims that are false in the opinion of some scholars, than on black Egypt claims, which are perhaps even more credible.

And he used that typical white way of dealing with this kind of controversy. He actually said again, "Even if black Egypt claims are true, it is not even worthwhile talking about them because they are not relevant to racial inequalities today."

To that I have to say, if people started weeding references to white civilizations out of American history books, and only teach about civilizations of color, I wonder how he would feel. Would he still be pretending it doesn't matter? The sword cuts both ways, you know. Since history really doesn't matter, I'm sure it doesn't matter if we cut Europeans out of U.S. history books and replace them with non-Europeans. It will make no difference for whites living in the U.S. today.

Maybe having ancient black civilizations taught in history books now does not directly impact discriminatory lending practices by banks. But I think it does make a difference in the quality of life of people of color, even if not materially. White people just take certain things for granted, like having their history and their culture taught to the world as the default "norm" while other people's own cultures are processed, distorted and sold back to non-whites themselves as exotica and minor curiosities.

That white guy is a self-proclaimed non-racist liberal who goes around telling other people not to say racist things. He thinks as long as he is polite and soft-spoken and sounds reasoned, he is on the right PC track. He is always trying to downplay the privilege of his whiteness. But I guess we humans don't always seem to notice our personal double standards.