February, by presidential decree, is Black History Month. That means, more than anything else, that schoolchildren all over America are being given special materials and special lesson assignments designed to raise their consciousness of the great artistic, political, literary, scientific, and philanthropic contributions to human progress made by Blacks throughout recorded history — contributions which need to be emphasized over and above those of Whites and the members of other races, because White racism has distorted and minimized the treatment of Black achievements in the standard history curricula heretofore used in America’s schools. That is the official rationale behind the school-centered activities of Black History Month, and most teachers and school administrators have accepted it without even blinking.
It is a fact, of course, that prior to the civil rights revolution two decades ago, school history texts said very little about Blacks, outside of their role as slaves in the U.S. South prior to the Civil War. But there was a very good reason for the omission: one can’t squeeze blood from a stone or make a silk purse from a sow’s ear — at least, not if one plays by the accepted rules — and one can’t teach schoolchildren about non-existent Black achievements.
Blacks left to their own devices in sub-Saharan Africa prior to contact with Whites and other races simply didn’t do anything worth noting: they never discovered the wheel or the axle, developed writing, learned to smelt metals, or domesticated animals for food. Introduced to the cultures of other races, they adapted some tools and crafts to their own needs, but they showed remarkably little ability to improve them or invent new things on their own. Enslaved, brought to America, and later freed and integrated into White society, they have continued to show as little aptitude for invention as they did in their natural environment.
Those Whites — and others — with a vested interest in the cause of political, social, and economic equality between Blacks and Whites, and those Whites with an emotional or religious need to believe in the intellectual equality of the two races, have made up for this deficiency in recent decades by the simple expedient of deliberately concocting a fraudulent history of Black achievement.
The counterfeiting process began in a relatively innocuous manner with a desperate search for every genuine Black who actually had done something creative or otherwise noteworthy, and then magnifying his achievements to the limit of credibility: Matthew Henson, Admiral Robert Perry’s Black man-servant and valet who accompanied his master on the latter’s Arctic expeditions, was magnified to co-discoverer of the North Pole; George Washington Carver, an agricultural researcher of modest talents who developed several new uses for the peanut, was magnified to a scientific innovator of the first rank; Crispus Attucks, a mulatto who incited a Boston mob against the local British troops in 1770 and was killed in the resulting riot, was magnified to a leader of the American Revolution. This, at least, gave Blacks a few role models of their own race and a source of racial pride, even though the latter was somewhat ill-founded.
Magnification was not enough for the egalitarians, however. They began labeling as “Black” everyone whose ancestors had ever had a passing acquaintance with the tarbrush. Charles Drew, a U.S. physician who served with the Red Cross Blood Bank during the Second World War and is given credit for helping to develop the technology of blood and plasma transfusion, was one of them. Drew, a man of mixed race, had so little Negro ancestry that he was easily able to pass as White.
When Blacks themselves began getting into the counterfeiting act, the results became ludicrous. They discovered, for example, that both Ludwig van Beethoven and Joseph Haydn were Blacks, whose true ancestry had been concealed by White racists; why they failed to claim Mozart and Bach as well remains unknown. One might have guessed that such excesses would embarrass the White and Jewish inventors of Black history, but apparently they didn’t; the counterfeit Black achievers continued to increase in number, but the counterfeiters looked further back in history to find their candidates for a dip into the tar pot — back to an era from which portraits and other tell-tale evidence were less likely to have survived.
And they looked to the continent of Africa, where they might more plausibly claim that various historical personages were Black. Actually, they usually have been more indirect and devious than that: instead of making explicit claims, they simply have implied that “African” is synonymous with “Black” — a trick which has not been particularly hard to pull off before America’s credulous school-children. Thus, the African civilizations of ancient Egypt and Carthage have become the achievements of Black culture-creators in the lesson materials distributed in the schools during Black History Month.
The hoax reached a new level of effrontery and mendacity recently with the publication of a series of “educational” Black history posters by Anheuser-Busch, Inc. Titled “Great Kings of Africa,” the large, colorful posters, each featuring an African ruler of the past and a few paragraphs of biographical text, have been distributed in thousands of schools all over America. Each ruler is portrayed as a Black, with fully Negroid features and coloring. Among them are Hannibal, the great Carthaginian general, and Cleopatra, the queen of Egypt who won the love of Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. The text on Cleopatra’s poster informs the reader that she is “often erroneously portrayed as Caucasian.”
Yes, indeed. One such portrayal of Cleopatra (who, of course, was not Egyptian at all, but Macedonian, and a direct descendant of Alexander the Great’s general and successor, Ptolemy) is her contemporary portrait statue, now in the British Museum.
The real Cleopatra had her image preserved in a portrait statue, now in the British Museum. She was Macedonian, a descendant of one of the generals of Alexander the Great, who conquered Egypt in the fourth century B.C. Unfortunately, America’s school children aren’t taught enough genuine history to know that.
Perhaps we should not be surprised that America’s big businessmen — Anheuser-Busch is only one of many large corporations which have sponsored Black History Month — have become participants in the fraud. After all, they have never been noted for a sense of social or racial responsibility. Their aim in life is to make money and avoid trouble with the government, and they have learned that catering to minorities at least helps with the latter.
What is deeply disturbing is the abject cowardice of the academic establishment. Every historian worth his salt knows that neither Hannibal nor Cleopatra had the least trace of Black ancestry; and even though the educational level of America’s educators has declined sadly, there are many high school principals and high school history teachers who also know it. Their silence is shameful.
It may seem a small thing, this caving in to the counterfeiters of history, but think what it means: all over America, in every school district in the land, those who have been entrusted with the education of our children have said, in effect, that they will teach lies rather than risk being labeled “racists.” It is a national phenomenon, part of a long-term national trend, and it tells us that the nation is dying. It also tells us that, regardless of the methods we personally may choose to use, we must be on the side of those who have been imprisoned or given their all for our race; we must take up their fight, and, one way or another, we must destroy the evil against which they struggled.