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Afrocentrism as “therapeutic mythology”

Over the past years the outlandish claims made on black history month have been declining. This is due largely to fact that the most outrageous claims can be debunked in five seconds with Google.

However, with the rise of the aggressively confrontational, and sometime violent, #BlackLivesMatter protest movement, we believe we are in for the most outrageous Black History Month ever.

The two classics are “a black man invented peanut butter” and the Tuskegee Airmen were invincible fighter pilots superior to their white counter-parts. Peanut Butter was first made by the Aztecs. The were already numerous patents for commercial peanut butter making processes before George Carver, a black botanist took out his own patent. Carver’s patent was never used in the commercial industry.

The performance of the Tuskegee Airmen can now be obtained online. Their performance was not spectacular. In fact they were so unspectacular that many US Congressman wanted to discontinue the program. It was argued on the floor of the US Congress that the Tuskegee Airmen program should be continued to provide role models to young black men.

web_trafficClarence E. Walker, a black history professor at UC Davis, called the the Afrocentrism movement a form of “therapeutic mythology.” In 2001 he published a book called “We Can’t Go Home Again: An Argument About Afrocentrism.”

Walker wrote this about Afrocentrism…

Afrocentrism is like “therapeutic mythology”, a way to promote the self-esteem of African Americans “by creating a past that never was.” The origins of Afrocentrism lay in black nationalism and is NOT factual history. Were Afrocentrism a means of creating African American community and thus empowering a minority, it would be comparable to such mythologies used by other minorities. Such mythologies, however, have been grounded in historical thought, while Afrocentrism is factually errant and theoretically flawed.

By urging black Americans to seek empowerment in a misconstructed Egyptian history, Afrocentrists not only mislead, opening their students to ridicule, but they also assert that culture is “transhistoric”–that is, it can be transferred through time and space intact. Culture is always changing and will be different as a result of any transfer, willing or unwilling, on the part of those living it. African Americans have created a culture of their own – a culture of which to be proud, but not an Egyptian or African culture. Afrocentrism turns African Americans into helpless victims whose ancestors created a glorious culture and then for thousands of years accomplished little. They became the dupes and victims of Europeans, enslaved and exploited, and now their descendants must look to a mythical African past for purpose and meaning.

Given the popularity of Afrocentrism and its spread through the academic community and popular culture, anyone teaching history or otherwise interested in the nature of historical methodology should take the time to educate themselves. The manipulation of history to create a particular attitude or support a political point of view is sometimes a way of creating unity and gaining power for political gain.

Afrocentrism in a nutshell: The ancient Egyptians were black, Cleopatra was black, the ancient Greeks stole Africa’s culture (philosophy, medicine) and claimed it as their own, Africans invented writing, had many architectural achievements, developed electricity and “early planes.” They believe that Africa is one homogeneous culture, despite the fact that many cultures exist on the continent, and that all ancient civilizations were either black or stole ideas from blacks.

Here’s the kicker: Jesus was black. Yes, despite the fact he was born in the Middle East of a Jewish mother, he was in fact a black man. Therefore, Jews and Christians hijacked Judaism and Christianity from Africans.

Afrocentrism is currently taught in some government-run (taxpayer-supported) schools. Every subject, even mathematics, is taught from an afrocentric perspective. Its utter foolishness may render you speechless.