THEY SAID WE WERE SAVAGES
As long as history has been written by Europeans, Blacks have been written out of history. Black people have been described as primitive savages, an inferior race that has given nothing to humankind in the way of the arts, the sciences, or civilization. Hell, I don’t have to paraphrase what they said; I can give you some direct quotes. So, here’s what they think about you.
In 1768, European “Enlightenment” philosopher David Hume said:
“I am apt to suspect the Negroes to be naturally inferior to the white. There never was a civilized nation of any other complexion than white, nor even any individual eminent either in action or speculation. No ingenious manufactures amongst them, no arts, no sciences.”
In 1837, German philosopher Hegel said in his History of Philosophy:
“At this point we leave Africa, not to mention it again. For it is no historical part of the World; it has no movement or development to exhibit.”
In 1902, John Burgess wrote in his history of Reconstruction that American slavery was the consequence of nature:
“A Black skin means membership in a race of men which has never created a civilization of its own kind. There is something natural in the subordination of an inferior race, even to the point of enslavement of the inferior race…”
In 1934, historian Arnold Toynbee concluded that “the only primary race that has not made a creative contribution to any civilization is the Black race.”
As recently as 1965, Professor Trevor-Roper, Royal Professor of History at Oxford University, wrote:
“Undergraduates…demand that they should be taught the history of black Africa. Perhaps, in the future, there will be some African history to teach. But at present there is none, or very little: there is only the history of the Europeans in Africa. The rest is largely darkness, like the history of pre-European, pre-Columbian America. And darkness is not a subject for history…The new rulers of the world, whoever they may be, will inherit a position that has been built up by Europe, and by Europe alone. It is European techniques, European examples, European ideas which have shaken the non-European world out of its past – out of barbarism in Africa, out of a far older, slower, more majestic civilisation in Asia; and the history of the world, for the last five centuries, in so far as it has significance, has been European history. I do not think that we need to make any apology if our study of history is European-centric.”
I can imagine you didn’t find any of that particularly pleasant, so I’ll stop there, as I’m sure I’ve made my point. The bottom line is: They argued, without a shadow of a doubt, that you were made to be less than them. They taught the world that you have given the world nothing, and are thus owed nothing…not even respect.
Notice, however, that I didn’t say they actually believed this. They just taught this to the world, and the rest of the world spit it back in your face. But the true scientists among them didn’t believe much of what they said and wrote about you. As you’ll see throughout the book, they knew better.
Reading texts like [the ones quoted above] turn the stomachs of those of us who know better. It makes you want to scream, cry, lash out in defiance, and – perhaps after you’ve had enough – you just tell yourself “Well, it’s not true, and their ignorance can’t hurt me.” This is, truthfully, a coward’s response.
Teaching Us that we’re Stupid
It’s like knowing your child’s kindergarten teacher is telling them that they’re stupid on a daily basis, and you – instead of doing something about it – just tell yourself “Well, it’s not true, and their ignorance can’t hurt my baby.”
But it can! And this IS what our children learn in schools! Not necessarily in THIS language of course, because it’s not 1910 anymore, and no one would word it this way. But the SAME ideas are being fed to our children. Even at Black college and universities, many professors are so entrenched in the “old school” that they don’t know how much of the world was authored by Black people – or they’re simply too scared (even at HBCUs) – to really talk about it.
And this history MATTERS, because there’s a reason why they lied! These fools weren’t ignorant, they LIED. And there’s still a reason why they still lie