The Quest for Pride

Charles Blow is a regular op-ed writer for the NYTimes, presenting a liberal African American point-of-view.  The other day he wrote of a White sophomore at Columbia University who was caught on video interrupting a protest on campus that demanded a more non-Western curriculum.  Loudly proclaiming his love of Europeans who “built the modern world,” the video disturbed many people at Columbia as well as Mr. Blow.

The sophomore’s sin was revering White people regardless of their sins.  As Blow sees it, White supremacists deem all attacks on Euro-American tradition as ingratitude.  It is so true that we have been raised in a Euro-Caucasian world – from our Greco-Roman foundation to the grit and wonder of our explorers, scientists, inventors, entrepreneurs, philosophers, and artists.  Just as Columbus changed the globe, the West changed humanity.

Those minorities that suffered from our expansion and makeover are overtaking us in population.  They don’t see themselves in our history, in our faces, in our culture.  They want their children to have the same pride as that White Columbia sophomore.  The problem is that it’s hard to compete with our vast accomplishments.  So, the first step is to knock us down a few pegs as enslavers, imperialists, and agents of genocide.  This dark side must reach into our educational system to trickle down to the future generations.  We already see the results of this as young White people are denouncing their own heritage.

Step two is convincing society that all the accomplishments of Euro-Caucasians were at the expense of others, and that all our “discoveries” and “breakthroughs” were accidental or easily done by others.  This takes the glow off Columbus and 3,000 years of Western Civilization.

Step three is replacing all the heroes and history of Euro-Caucasians with that of their victims.  And there are plenty of victims to go around.  To paraphrase an old saying, Whites broke quite a few eggs to make the omelet we call modern society.  Yet, even the so-called “victims” often exterminated lesser cultures before them.  Earth is a jungle!

But, replacing White heroes and history is a difficult challenge for minorities.  Elevating victims to heroic status is not always intellectually satisfying.  You need a deeper well of accomplishments to fully glorify your race.   Both south and east Asians have ancient civilizations to fall back on, but sub-Saharan Africa is problematic.  I’ve watched all six episodes of Dr. Louis Gates’s PBS series Africa’s Great Civilizations, and I’m not convinced that he found greatness in sub-Saharan Africa – either above or below ground, in archeology.

The reason Arab and Western slave traders purchased Blacks from other Blacks was that African civilization was primitive – its people living a Stone Age existence.

The reason Black Panther was a huge Hollywood success was because it created an African mythology, far removed from the real Africa and from  the victimhood that the African American community portrays itself as today.  I once wrote of the great strides African Americans have made in politics, the media, and academia, but I don’t know exactly how Africa fits into the quest for Black pride.  How many American Blacks study in Africa or even visit it?  Is it really a source of pride?  Or have “oppressed” American Blacks already outshone their Africa past and Africa present?

I once had to listen to an African immigrant limo driver lecturing me on how “lucky” American Blacks were to have come over here, even as slaves.  For him, Africa was a place to escape, and he berated any Black who thought America was racist.  (Haven’t we heard similar stories from Italian Americans lauding their grandfathers’ escape from impoverished Italy?)

The conquistadors sought but never found Eldorado (the legendary City of Gold) in the Americas.  It seems the various anti-Euro movements are looking for their Eldorado in the destruction of Euro-American traditions instead of achieving their own.  They will continue to tear us down, shame us, and manipulate the minds of our children until they Africanize  our values and replace our Euro-American pride with all-consuming guilt.

It took Europeans 3,000 years of trial and error, religious strife, and ideological conflict to make the modern world – sins and all.  It wasn’t just built on non-white victims.  We can be ashamed for many crimes committed in the realization of this modern age, but we can be credited for sharing that age with all races. -JLM

3 thoughts on “The Quest for Pride”

  1. The author of the article states : “Haven’t we heard similar stories from Italian Americans lauding their grandfathers’ escape from impoverished Italy?”. I believe that many of you assume that Southern Italy was an extremely poor “uncivilized” place and that most of the Italian immigrants were unskilled desperate workers. This is not correct for the most part.

    Southern Italy had been a civilized place with cities, bridges, roads, railroads, public transportation, functioning institutions and rule of law. It was not just poverty and Mafia.

    A significant number of workers were actually skilled workers with significant experience. My second degree uncle came in 1921 at the age of 35 and worked as a stone cutter/sculptor in NYC leveraging his previous experience in Bari making saints status in local churches.

    Don’t let those few pictures taken in the slums of New York or at Ellis Island make you think that all Southern Italians were unskilled desperate people escaping the worst place in Europe.

    1. Even with the skills you noted, southern Italy was not a land of opportunity. Then, there was fear of the military draft, which between 1865 – 1917 did not exist in the USA. Despite discrimination and oppressive jobs, most Italian Americans now look back approvingly of their ancestors’ escape from Italy.

  2. Well said, assuming your anecdotal thoughts about African American views of Africa are valid. In these tumultous times, it would be wise for all Euro-Caucasian leaders in America to respect the circumstances of African American heritage, but to also resist the urge to patronize BLM and other activists whose agendas may also seek to undermine Western values and culture, and the civil society.

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