“In order for us to move forward, we must look back.” -Sankofa proverb (A saying from the Akan people of Ghana)
“Black Lives Matter” -The Peoples Chant Against Racial and Police Violence
As many of us march in the streets of America and the world for justice for George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and all victims of racial and police violence in the Black community; I find it interesting that White hegemony (domination) is still adhering to their co-optation scripts. When analyzing racial and police violence amongst Black people in America, White hegemony selects Blacks, Whites, Latinos, Asians, Arabs, apologist intellectuals, protective gate keepers to the system, political opportunists, elected officials, Christians, Jews, Muslims, the clergy, Democrats, Republicans, and other members of the human family to give an analysis on the disease of White supremacy and the systematic institutionalization of racism. But unfortunately, the people the White power structure selects, particularly the White controlled media, have no deep analysis on why Black people are constantly murdered, assaulted, victimized, repressed, and oppressed. In fact, they have no clue that these things are happening to the masses of Black people because of White domination. Those of us doing the grassroots work of liberating the masses of Black people from White domination, understand that the root cause of Blacks being killed by White racists and police departments across the US is the disease of White supremacy and the systematic institutionalization of racism justifying White hegemony. We know that the ideology White supremacy is intertwined into every institution (i.e. the Protestant Church, the Catholic Church, the Synagogue, the Masjid, city hall, the state house, the White House, Congress, local council boards, corporations, the police department, the family, in human relationships, in the neighborhood, the media center, in rap music, the block, in Hollywood, in the music industry, in the streets, in the legal system, in the schools, etc) in America, in Europe, in Afrika, in the Caribbean, in the Jewish world, in the Christian world, in the Muslim world, and in the world’s societies; especially in the institutions of education on the planet earth. White people, Europeans, Arabs, Pakistanis, Asians, East Indians, indigenous peoples, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Latinos, bi-racial people, and Black people that matriculate through these institutions come out believing that Blackness is inferior and whiteness is superior. White supremacy is the idea that White people, and their culture, religion, language, philosophy, mores, norms, values, names, economic systems, and history; are inherently superior to all Black people and all people of color. And the scholarship that perpetuated these fictitious racist myths are White supremacist intellectuals passing off their research as facts for centuries that framed Black lives as subhuman.
Starting in 1400s, after most Europeans grew into strong centralized nations, developed capitalism, explored and took “news lands” in what we now call the Americas from Indigenous Peoples, established the system of chattel (property) enslavement of Black people; to exonerate their moral and ethical consciousness White people created White supremacist ideology in the world in the 1800s to protect White hegemony.
For example, as I research articles, documentaries, books, and materials to complete my graduate studies in history, I found a really good book in my library called- General History Collections: Types of Mankind: or Ethnological Researches… Illustrated by Selections from the Inedited papers of S.G. Morton…. and by additional contributions from L. Agassiz, W. Usher… H.S Patterson co-authored by two White men named Josiah Clark Nott and George Robbins Gliddon-to use as a weapon to give a proper analysis of White supremacy and the systematic institutionalization of racism. Although I have compiled many books written by White supremacist intellectuals, such as Dr. Arnold Toynbee’s book, ‘A Story of History’, Dr. George Botsford’s, ‘A History of the Ancient World’, and Dr. James Breasted’s ‘Ancient Times’; there is no need to quote these racist scholars right now. I have discussed them in detailed in my previously published commentaries. However, please read my previous articles on those books to understand how and why White domination is protected by “credible” and well educated White supremacists scholars. I will be revisiting these racist scholars momentarily. But for now, the book I want to delve into for this particular commentary is the Types of Mankind. It is window into the depth White supremacy and systematic racism will go to protect and justify Whiteness.
The book was published in 1854 in London, England. The title alone is a mouthful. But the background history of the authors are equally interesting.
Nott was from Mobil, Alabama. He was an American surgeon, anthropologist, and slave-owner. Nott lived from March 31, 1804 to March 31, 1873. He received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1827 and completed his post-graduate training in Paris, France.
Gliddon lived from 1809 to November 16, 1857. He was a British born racist American Egyptologist. Gliddon spent large portions of his time in Cairo, Kemet (Egypt) researching and documenting the history of this Nile Valley civilization. Gliddon’s was amazed at the genius of Kemet’s (Egypt’s) history. But his racism would not let him present the facts of Kemet’s (Egypt’s) Black origins. Therefore, he ignored the facts on the Kemet ( Egypt) being a Black civilization. He went on with life successfully lying to the world that the ancient Egyptians were not Afrikans, but were instead Europeans.
Both Nott and Gliddon believed in polygenism, which contends that humanity originates from different lineages especially Black and White people. They argued that White people are genetically different because they evolved from a superior human stream completely separate from Black people and the rest of the species of man. This research in and of itself is rooted in White supremacy. Nott and Gliddon tried to justify that Whites were born superior to Black people and all non-White people on the earth. In the twentieth century, seventy-nine years later, a very famous and powerful European world leader will emerge on the landscape of history to believe in the same racist pseudoscience nonsense as it related to justifying the holocaust and extermination of the Jewish people. His name was Adolf Hitler.
He led the White supremacist Nazi Party (the National Socialist Party) to German power in 1933. On Hitler’s quest for world domination, he initiated World War II. But his thirst to take over the world was built upon the scapegoating and subjugating of Jewish people. But Hitler and the Nazis regime did not come out of a vacuum. They were inspired by America’s brand of White supremacy and her racist policies that legally oppressed Black people for nearly one hundred years after slavery called segregation.
According James Q. Whiteman, the Ford Foundation professor of comparative and foreign law at Yale Law School, published an article titled, Why the Nazis studied American race laws for inspiration” on February 19, 2017 in the Business Insider magazine. He writes, “They [Nazis] debated whether they should bring Jim Crow segregation to the Third Reich. They engaged in detailed discussion of the statutes from the 30 US states that criminalised racially mixed marriages. They reviewed how the various US states determined who counted as a ‘Negro’ or a ‘Mongol’, and weighed whether they should adopt US techniques in their own approach to determining who counted as a Jew. Throughout the meeting the most ardent supporters of the US model were the most radical Nazis in the room.
The record of that meeting is only one piece of evidence in an unexamined history that is sure to make Americans cringe. Throughout the early 1930s, the years of the making of the Nuremberg Laws, Nazi policymakers looked to US law for inspiration. Hitler himself, in Mein Kampf (1925), described the US as ‘the one state’ that had made progress toward the creation of a healthy racist society, and after the Nazis seized power in 1933 they continued to cite and ponder US models regularly.”
Racism in America and in Europe was, and is, united in a world wide-movement to position White hegemony to force Black people and people of color down into the oppressed and exploited classes of the planet. This is why the Black nationalist and freedom fighter Malcolm X (Omawele El Malik El Shabazz) once said, “the Black revolution is the struggle of the nonwhites of this earth against their White oppressors.”
But enough of the world’s renowned White supremacist Adolf Hitler and his racist Nazi Party, we need to get back to the book called Types of Mankind.
This text was published to present to the world their racist findings about genetic differences of humanity. The book is very old. It is hard to find copies of it in a bookstores, but you can order it on line. Like with many typical scholars, they “documented” their superiority of Whiteness and “documented” their beliefs in the inferiority Blackness. If you are a person of Afrikan descent that respect Black humanity, and humanity in general; It is a hard book to read. The 738 page text is filled with pseudoscience research that “Intellectually justifies” White supremacy. However, despite the racist nature of the book, it is extremely important piece of work to read to understand the nature of White supremacy; the system of racism, and the necessity to the battle to exposed and end White hegemony plaguing Black lives in America, in Afrika, and in the world.
Their “scholarship” contributed to the creation of the ideology that perpetuated White superiority and perpetuates Black inferiority. But most importantly, White supremacy and the systematic institutionalization of racism has worked to justify the White domination of Black people throughout history to support the Maafa (slavery); dehumanization of Black people, the creation and usage of the n-word; the raping of Black women; the breaking up of Black families; the emasculation of Black men; the removal of Black people from our Afrikan culture and spirituality; the destruction of Blstk people’s own definition and concepts of God, removing Black people of their Afrikan names and languages; European colonialism; the destruction of Black Wall Street (Tulsa, Oklahoma’s Black community); race riots; lynchings of Black people; the cancellation of US reconstruction; segregation; the repression of the UNIA (the Universal Negro Improvement Association); the exiling of the Honorable Marcus Garvey; the co-optation of the US Civil Rights Movement; the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr; the assassination of Malcolm X (Omawele El Hajj Malik El Shabazz); the neutralization of the Black Power Movement; the imprisonment of Black freedom fighters, the destruction of the Nation of Islam; the discrediting of the Ideology of Black nationalism; the destruction of the Us Organization; the destruction of the Black Panther Party; the neutralization of Afrikan revolutionary movements in Afrika; the assassination of Original Black Panther Party member Fred Hampton, the assassination of Patrice Lumumba; the assassination of Steve Biko; the imprisonment of Nelson Mandela; the mass incarceration of Black people; biological warfare; the heroin epidemic; the crack epidemic; the criminalization of Black youth; the denial of reparations; racial attacks against Sistah Souljah; the attacks against Afrocentricity; the destruction of conscious Hip Hop; community violence, police violence, and the silencing of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.
(The Afrikan American community calls the enslavement of Black people the Black Holocaust. In Kiswahili, there is a term the Afrikan centered conscious community uses to describe this Black Holocaust. The term is called-Maafa. It means a great disaster that forced Black people from Afrika to the world. But the late Dr. Khalid Abdul Muhammad, a respected Black nationalist freedom fighter, who led the New Black Panther Party from the late 1990s until his passing in 2001 and the former national spokesman for the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam, used a stronger Kiswahili term as an addendum to the term Maafa to explain the horrors of the international American, European, and Arab slave -trading system of Black people. The Kiswahili term is Maangamizo. It means when someone, or something, intentionally works to annihilate a person or a group of people. Kiswahili is a Pan-Afrikan language spoken in many parts of the continent of Afrika. The Maafa and the Maangamizo are two conditions that happened to Black for nearly five hundred years during the Black Holocaust.)
In terms of history, the book gives credit to ancient Kemet (Egypt) as being the author of the world’s civilizations. The name Kemet means the land of the Blacks. It comes from the Medu Neter (Europeans and Arabs call it the hieroglyphics). Many well educated, highly self-educated, and researched Afrikan centered intellectuals have argued that Kemet (Egypt) was an autochthonous Afrikan civilizations in antiquity. Black scholars that argue this position are people such as, W. E. B. DuBois; Dr. George G.M. James; Dr. Jacob Carruthers; Dr. Chancellor Williams; Dr. John G. Jackson; Drusilla Dunjee Houston; St. Clair Drake; Joel A. Rogers; Alfred G. Sunstone; Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop; Dr. John Henrick Clarke; Dr. Yosef Ben Jochannan; Dr. Ivan Van Sertima; Dr. Asa Hilliard; Professor Jacob Carruthers; Professor Ashra Kwesi, Professor Tony Browder; Professor Dr. Runoko Rashidi; Professor James Smalls; Dr. Naim Akbar; Dr. Lenard Jeffries; Dr. Frances Cress Welsing; Dr. Marimba Ani; Dr. Charshee McIntyre; Dr. Amos Wilson; Dr. Maulana Karenga; and Dr. Molefe Kete Asante.
Even radical White scholarship argues that Kemet was an Afrikan civilization. These intellectuals consist of the following White scholars, such as Herodotus, JeanFrancois Champollion, Basil Davidson, Count C.F. Volney, E. A. Wallis-Budge, Gerald Massey, Leo Frobenius, and Martin Bernal, to name a few. Unfortunately, their works are not presented in the main stream because they debunk White supremacists fabricated and falsified notions of Kemet being a White or Arab civilization in ancient times.
Now back to Nott and Gliddon. Their racism would not allow them to accept the facts on Kemet (Egypt) being a Black civilization. However, they argued on page 461 the greatness of Kemet’s (Egypt’s) civilization. They said, “the earliest civilization known to us is that of Egypt; and from this foundation, it is commonly called said, all more modern civilizations derived…. from Egypt, the stream is supposed to have flowed steadily on, through Assyria, Palestine, Tyre, Persia, Greece, Rome, Gaul, Germany, Spain, Britain, until it crossed the Atlantic to our Federal Union.” These two White supremacists scholars argued that the great Egypt (Kemet) of the ancient world was a White civilization, not a Black civilization.
But on the very next page 462 of their book, Josiah Nott supports his racism by quoting another white racists historian named Theodore Parker in the text to justify Kemet (Egypt) Whiteness and the racial supremacy of White people. He writes, “the Caucasian race differs from all other races: he is humane, he is civilized, and progresses. He conquers with his head, as well as with his hand. It is intellect after all that conquers-not the strength of a man’s arm. The Caucasian has been often master of the other races-never their slave. He has carried his religion to other races, but never taken theirs. In history, all religions are of Caucasian origin. All the great limited forms of monarchies are Caucasian. Republics are Caucasian. All the great sciences are of Caucasian origin; all inventions are Caucasian; literature and romance come of the same stock; all the great poets are of Caucasian origin; Moses, Luther, Jesus Christ, Zoroaster, Buddha, Pythagoras, were Caucasian. No other race can bring up to memory such celebrated names as the Caucasian race…… To the Caucasian race belong the Arabian, Persian, Hebrew, Egyptian; and all the European nations are descendants of the Caucasian race.”
Now before the whitening of Kemet (Egypt) by these scholars, they argued on page 77 that God was even on the side of White hegemony. They argued, “the Caucasian races, which have always been the representatives of civilization, are those alone that have extended over and colonized all parts of the globe; and much of this is the work of the last three hundreds years. The Creator has implanted in this group of races an instinct that, in spite of themselves, drives them through all difficulties, to carry out their great mission of civilizing the earth. It is not reason, or philanthropy, which urges them on; but it is destiny.”
With all this being said, the murder of George Floyd is the culmination of White domination using centuries of White supremacy and the systematic institutionalization of racism to justify the inhumanity of Black people. Unfortunately, there will be more George Floyd deaths, and racial and police violence in the Black community. Why? Because White supremacy is at the core of America’s, and the world’s, institutions enabling it to reproduce itself for every generation. (On May 25, 2020, George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, died in Minneapolis, Minnesota after Derek Chauvin, a White police officer, knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes while he was handcuffed face down in the street. His death has inspired national and international demonstrations.) And racist thinkers helped to lay the foundation for White hegemony in America, in Europe, in Afrika, in the Caribbean, in the isles of the Pacific, in North America, in Latin America, in Central America, in South America, in the Jewish world, in the Christian world, in the Muslim world, and in Black America.
In a recent Facebook post dated on June 5, 2020, former US political prisoner Dhoruba bin Wahad, who was framed and unjustly sent to prison by the FBI’s racist cointelpro (Counter Intelligence Program) for 19 years for being a member of original Black Panther Party and a Black freedom fighter in Afrikan American community in the late 1970s to 1990s, gives us a passionate revolutionary Black political analysis of the death of George Floyd. He writes, “Make no mistake about it, George Floyd didn’t die a hero, as those in power would trick people in to sentimental belief, he was murdered as a helpless, hapless, apolitical, victim of institutional racist policing, pleading for his life, and crying out for his beloved mother. If he hadn’t been killed in such a brutal manner (on camera) few people on the streets now would ever know he even existed. Floyd was no freedom fighter killed struggling for the Liberation of his people. He was no “drum major” for freedom like MLK. He was no target of government assassination like Fred Hampton. He was just an ordinary human being callously murdered on the “suspicion of being suspicious because he was Black and poor. It is the system and its minions that killed Floyd and it is the destruction of this system any genuine anti-racist movement is dedicated too.” (Cointelpro a secret police policy created in the 1950s by the late FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover to destroy all Black nationalists and radical progressive leaders and organizations in America)
This is why all is not lost. As the elder Black nationalist, community activist, former radio talk show host on WBLS’ Open Line in New York City, and legendary music producer, James Mtume, constantly says to Black people when giving an analysis on Black freedom struggles during the high points of social upheaval. He says, “we as Black people must always be committed to the empowerment and the liberation of the Black community. We find our lane to play to help Black people. Our great Afrikan ancestor Imamu Amiri Baraka taught us unity without uniformity. However, we must be careful not to allow anyone to buy off our righteous outrage over racial and police violence from co-option and infiltration. If we fail to do these things, our outrage will just be a moment and not a movement for real justice.” (Mtume is famously known for creating the early 1980s song Juicy Fruit, which the late Biggie Smalls and music mogul Sean Puff Combs sampled to produce the Hip Hop classic ‘Juicy’ in the early 1990s) I am in total agreement with brother Mtume. We must continue to agitate for social justice and Black liberation in the Afrikan American community, but we must be careful of White hegemony buying off Black leadership and Black people. But on the other side of humanity, it is great that White people, and other cultures of humanity, are in solidarity with the Black community in rallies shouting “Black Lives Matter.” However, the real test and commitment to anti-racism is when White people, and other cultures of humanity find the leadership temerity to dismantle White supremacy and the systematic institutionalization of racism perpetuated in White America, and in the western world, by supporting police reforms and civilian complaint review boards, Afrocentric cultural studies and programs, promote open discussions with other Whites about their racist attitudes and behaviors towards Black people in the White community, and support equality and justice policies such as reparations for Afrikan Americans. If all this happens, they we will see the dawn of new fair and equal America for all people, especially for Black people. But if these things do not happen, White domination, backed up White supremacy and the systematic institutionalization of racism, will continue making Black people the justified group to be exploited, oppressed, and victimized by racial and police violence.
Hotep (Ancient Kemetic word for Peace)!!!
Asante sana (Kiswahili for thank you very much) for reading my commentary.
O Dabo (Yoruba for go with God until we meet again)!!!
Spelling Afrika with a k is not a typo. Using the k in Afrika is the Kiswahili way of writing Africa. Kiswahili is a Pan -Afrikan language. It is spoken in many countries in Afrika. Kiswahili is the language used in Kwanzaa. The holiday of Kwanzaa is celebrated from December 26 to January
#Hotep #afrocentricity #nationofislam #kemet #blacktheology #kwanzaa #blackstudies
Bashir Muhammad Akinyele is a History Teacher, Black Studies Teacher, Community Activist, Chairperson of Weequahic High School’s Black History Month Committee in Newark, NJ, commentary writer, and Co-Producer and Co-Host of the All Politics Are Local, the number #1 political Hip Hip radio show in America.