A known quantity in the faking department is Rev. Al Sharpton. In a video that gets considerable play on TV, Sharpton informs a rapt audience that “white folks” were cave dwellers when blacks were building empires and pyramids; teaching philosophy, astrology and mathematics. “Socrates and them Greek homos” were mere copycats, aping black civilization.
As revealed in “Helping The Sharpton and Obama Afrocentrism ‘Fade to Black,’” this mythistory has a presence in America’s schools, tertiary and secondary.
By now we know that mass media and government under both national parties routinely generate fake news to achieve political ends. That our progressive pedagogues propagandize the youth: That’s well-known and passively accepted, too. Less known is the extent to which fabricated history has been incorporated into curricula.
In “Black Athena,” Martin Gardiner Bernal of Cambridge, England, suggested that “Ancient Greece” had been “fabricated,” and that chroniclers of “classical civilization” had concealed its “Afroasiatic roots.”
Ditto historian George G. M. James, whose “Stolen Legacy: The Egyptian Origins of Western Philosophy” claims that a rather large chunk of ancient civilization is fraudulent. The Greeks stole it from the Egyptians. The Egyptians were as black as Al Sharpton and Idi Amin.
The school tracts known as the “Portland African-American Baseline Essays” are another counterfactual abomination to have percolated into America’s anti-intellectual schooling system.
The Science Baseline Essay, in particular, claims that thousands of years ago, Egyptians-cum-blacks “flew in electroplated gold gliders, knew accurately the distance to the sun, and discovered the Theory of Evolution.”
According to Afrocentric academic Cheikh Anta Diop—a Senegalese with considerable celebrity in the US—Africans invented everything from Judaism, to engineering, to astronomy, including dialectical materialism (apparently Marxism is cause for inventor’s pride).
It’s easy to dismiss this mythistory as too ridiculous to swallow. However, mythical thinking thrives in a culture that eschews objective truth: ours.
Where once there was an understanding that a reality independent of the human observer exists; students are now taught that truth is a social construction, a function of the power and position—or lack thereof—of persons or groups in society.
Casting fact and objective truth as no more than a perspective is a handy bit of egalitarianism: If nothing is immutably true, then all positions are but a matter of preference and can claim equal validity. This vortex is the scaffolding for Afrocentric pseudohistory; the American academy its perfect foil.
When all is said and done, what are a few curricular concessions if they increase self-esteem among young Africans? What’s the big deal about making history palliative rather than factual, if, as Collin Flaherty would say, it makes the black kids less angry?
For this reason—and unlike the equally nonsensical Holocaust denial, which immediately raises establishment and media ire—remedial historical revisionism for blacks meets with little objection.
Refuting Afrocentric pseudohistory has fallen largely to Mary Lefkowitz, a brilliant Greek classicist. In “Not Out Of Africa: How “Afrocentrism” Became An Excuse To Teach Myth As History,” she asks: “If the Greeks had learned their philosophy from a large theoretical literature produced by Egyptian writers, surely some trace of that literature would have remained in Egypt?”
Alas, there’s no point searching for logic where there is only African chauvinism. Nor should one look for methodological coherence in the tracts mentioned. For scholars whose mission it is to promote a view of African superiority, Afrocentrists have done a poor job.
Their methodology consists in neglecting chronology, treating myths as history, and using citations fraudulently to support the crux of their argument. In Afrocentric works, hypothesis morphs into fact, authorities that don’t bolster a thesis are recruited in its service, and the absence of proof becomes evidence of conspiracy.
One example among many of a jarring deception is a reference to the “Egyptian Mystery System” whence the Greeks allegedly stole their philosophy. The reference comes not from an authentic historical text, but from eighteenth-century French fiction and Freemasonry.
As amusing is that the city of Alexandria was founded only after Alexander’s conquest of Egypt, and the library from which Aristotle allegedly pilfered his genius was founded after the philosopher’s death.
Accompanying the dogged repetition of the lies are the vicious ad hominem attacks leveled at scholars like Lefkowitz, who has dared to confront the evidence.
Of course, entire civilizations are not typically the kleptomaniac’s item of choice. Afrocentrists, moreover, look especially dimwitted in their incongruous claims, considering that, on the one hand, they blame the Great White and his wicked, linear thinking for practically every reprehensible event in history. On the other hand, they lay claim to his civilization.
If Eurocentric culture is so horrible, why would these fake historians want to claim it as their own? By coveting it, aren’t Afrocentrists providing the ultimate validation of Western Civilization?
* Part I is “Helping The Sharpton and Obama Afrocentrism ‘Fade to Black.’”