Once in a while, a public figure makes a bold statement that tears away the veil of gentility and exposes what one might call “deep thoughts.” Steven King of Iowa has done us the favor of voicing the sort of thinking that lies just beneath the surface of a good many people in the U.S. – lots of people, not just White ones.
The star-studded act was juxtaposing White supremacist, white nationalist and Western Civilization. He made clear what happened to him, he either misunderstood what went on in his classes……. as he said: ” “Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?” or his professors offered up such gems themselves. I had a professor with a substantial academic reputation who wrote a book with one chapter devoted to explaining how White men there could have possibly engaged in sex with Black women. He should have talked to me as I had already, at that time (1965) been married to a Black woman for a year with two previous years of sweaty attempts to do exactly that with her – engage in sex.
King goes a step further than most cryptoracists by decrypting himself in tying Western Civilization to being White. So here is an open letter to Rep. Steven King of Iowa, setting forth the Basics of just how he messed up.
Dear Rep. King
The key word in ” “Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?” is “our.” Who is “us”? In the U.S., us is all of the citizens. All of us, no matter our origin, even the Native Americans, owe a massive amount of our culture to Western European civilization. Even non-religious people like me acknowledge the debt to Christianity we all carry. No question about that as long as you recognize the streams flowing into American civilization from the indigenous people, those who came as slaves, and those who came as immigrants from countries outside the orbit of Western Europe.
But you entangle that with the word “White.” By “White,” we assume you mean people who are publicly identified as “White.” I am White, my wife is Black or African-American. And here is the simple mistake in logic that you make: confusing the people among whom the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, and the Industrial Revolution took place with the genotype of that population. It is an understandable mistake for people who do not have an understanding of people. A White American in the 19th century went to the Sorbonne in Paris. He noticed to his surprise a number of Black Africans among his fellow students. Used as he was to Black people in the U.S. being in only servile roles and status, uneducated, poor, etc., he was surprised even more to find that the White Frenchmen treated those Africans no differently from other students and the Blacks performed at the same level as everyone else. He went home and sided with the Abolitionists.
The French had a different approach: become a Frenchman and we will accept you (this all disregarding plenty of French racism but also recognizing French culture handled the matter differently from the English and Americans); just speak French, dress French, get a French education and read French literature, and eat French food, i.e. turn yourself inside out and your “race” is not a matter of importance. Most White Americans can at least look at TV and see Blacks now in ways that were not available to us back in the 50s, taking every role society has to offer. No more Ebony magazine articles about the first Black Coastguardsman, or the first Black millionaire, or the first Black major airline pilot, or the first Black professor of physics at a major university, etc. As they say in the movies, “They’re everywhere! They’re everywhere!”
Yet guys like you, Mr. King, still can’t quite buy it. There has GOT to be something in the blood – oops, I mean genes – to account for all that European success. The history you supposedly studied should have included the fact that writing was not invented by Europeans nor in one place, nor was agriculture, and that Persia has more literature than all the Western European countries combined. That the Renaissance was spurred by Arabs and Jews, the Arabs being those Muslims you want to exclude, who had preserved and translated Classical writings from Greece and Rome as well as adding a great deal of their own scientific work. So much of our great literature comes from the Troubadour tradition which was based on Middle Eastern and Indian models. Once the British bought into science, the Industrial Revolution followed. That all of this was concentrated in a small area is no surprise, just as agriculture developed in a relatively small area in the Middle East and China, amazing civilizations grew among the 5 rivers of northern India, and the exploration that opened up Africa and the New World came out of a tiny country, Portugal, joined by Spain. A pope even saw fit to divide the whole earth between the two. Eventually they were overcome by the North Atlantic peoples who still dominate the world stage – but for how long?
NONE OF THIS IS RELATED IN ANY WAY TO THE PHENOTYPE, the appearance, of those participating in these great achievements, let alone their GENOTYPE, what your folks call “blood.”
Science destroyed this decades ago. Only cranks and uneducated people hold on to this idea that the accomplishments of Western civilization are tied to their genes. Since you sat in so many classes, you are obviously educated, so what does that make you?