Showing posts with label Black. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Black. Show all posts

Black Athena Debate

Martin Bernal said that the Greek culture has been misrepresented as Indo-European in origin when in fact it is largely African or Semitic. His explanation for this which has been discussed is that history was revised in order to flush out the African contribution to Greek Culture. Bernal contends in the late 1700's the anti-Semitic and anti-African sentiments of the time, resulted in those cultures being eliminated from establishment history. To prove his thesis Bernal defined three models of accepted history. Furthermore Bernal also legitimated his thesis by showing distinct links or borrowings of religion from the Egyptian civilization. Specifically he connected the Cretan Bull Cult of Minos and the Minotaur to origins in the Egyptian god Min who frequently required bovine sacrifices.

The Three Models of History Referred to By Martin Bernal

1. Ancient Model
The Ancient model was the one that was held by the Greeks, citizens of the Mediterranean and Egyptians in ancient times up until about 1790. Essentially he contends that previous to the restructuring of history by German scholars in the late 18th century Greeks recognized their roots in Egypt. The Ancient Model is that previous to the Institution of The Aryan Model Greeks felt that their culture had its roots in Africa. Essentially this model holds that Greece was settled about 1500 B.C.E. by Egyptians and Phoenicians. The supposition is that Greeks directly borrowed their mathematics, governmental system, language, writing, philosophy, and religion directly from African and Semitic sources.

2. Aryan Model
The Aryan Model had its genesis in Protestant North Germany between 1790 and 1830. At this time the new discipline of "Altertumswissenshaft" (Science of Antiquity) was born. The model is rooted in German nationalism and feelings of repugnance concerning the French Revolution. This model holds that Greece was settled by Indo-European stock. The focus of the new model was on the Greek ideal. The Greek ideal was reflective of German nationalism. The constant cultural borrowing and at times thievery of culture inherent to the Ancient Model were inconsistent with the assertions of the German intellectuals. In order to justify a German purity the Greek ideal was modified to show it an exemplar of sorts. By limiting the apparent influence of outside cultures and races in the Aryan Model neatly accomplished its goal. This model also gives faulty Aryan Invasion theory.

3. New Ancient Model
Bernal says that the racism and Anti-Semitism that characterized The Aryan Model are increasingly unacceptable. He proposes that Greek culture in general was heavily influenced by Northern African (specifically Egypt) and Phoenician culture. He also allows for the Indo-european element in the form of periodic invasions. In essence he restores the image of ancient Greece as a culture that has its roots in Egypt but also shaped many of those cultural icons in a fashion that is distinctly Greek. He sees it as a midpoint between the Greek idea of interaction but not origin in Africa, and the racial purity and anti-African tendencies of the Aryan Model.

Not out of Africa Model
Martin Bernal’s book, Black Athena, provoked much discussion ranging from simple academic debates to heated disputes on Afrocentrism, racism and Euro-centrism in classical scholarship. The principal figures in this debate are Bernal himself and Mary Lefkowitz. Lefkowitz published a response to Bernal’s book entitled Not Out of Africa, which was nearly as controversial as the original. Later on, Lefkowitz also published Black Athena Revisited, a collection of responses to Black Athena. The scholarly world was fairly evenly split, in terms of being for or against the argument proposed in Bernal’s book and by many Afro centrists. However, they often disagreed about exactly how one side or the other was wrong. These are a few of the issues raised in the reactions to Black Athena and how scholars responded to them.
Essentially, the argument is that both advocates and opponents of Afrocentrism have used faulty techniques to prove their points. Bernal clearly accuses Lefkowitz of errors , and at the same time acknowledges that the Afro-centrists have made similar errors.

Origins of Ideas
Another interesting idea raised in the aftermath of Black Athena is that of the origins of ideas. This idea was first presented in G. James’ Stolen Legacy in which James proposes that Plato, Aristotle and other major Greek philosophers "stole" their ideas from Egypt. Lawrence Tritle mentions the Afro-centrists’ take on this concept in his review of Not Out of Africa: "[Afro-centrists] adhere to a diffusionist understanding of culture, that ideas are created or born in one place and radiate outward. The idea that cultures in different parts of the world could develop similar ideas independently and contemporaneously seems regarded as an unlikely occurrence: someone must have first ‘created’ the idea which was then ‘given’ to someone else". Tritle says Lefkowitz asserts that ideas cannot actually be "stolen."

The most important reaction to Black Athena is the political opinions generated by its publication. Afrocentrism was a little more political correct than Euro-centrism, and criticizing the Afrocentric point of view was to put oneself at risk of being labeled a racist, as Bernal points out: "Mary Lefkowitz believes that another and more significant reason why her colleagues let her down, was the fear of being labeled as racist." Perhaps in an effort to assure readers of her book’s unbiased nature, Lefkowitz says in her preface to Black Athena Revisited, "the authors of the essays in this book are young and old, black and white, male and female, European and American, and within the United States, from all parts of the country."

In Black Athena Revisited, Kathryn A. Bard gives reason as to why the subject of race might be irrelevant after all: "Ancient Egyptians were Mediterranean peoples, neither Sub-Saharan blacks nor Caucasian whites but peoples whose skin was adapted for life in a tropical desert environment.... Egyptians were the indigenous farmers of the Lower Nile Valley, neither black nor white as races are conceived of today." The modern ideas about race and the stigma often attached to one race or another simply did not exist in ancient times. The Egyptians may not have even been what we consider today to be "black people." Furthermore, as Lawrence A. Tritle notes, why should Egypt "stand for the rest of Africa?" He says, "Just because people lived on the same continent as the Greeks and Romans does not mean that they shared in the cultural achievements of either antecedent."
Martin Bernal argues that Euro-centric archeologists in the 18th and 19th centuries failed to give credit to what he believes was the extensive influence that Egyptian and Near Eastern cultures had on classical Greek culture, specifically in the context of mythology.
Before we can examine he origins of the Cretan Bull cult, we must first go over the evidence which proves it existed in the first place. It is commonly accepted among archaeologists that a bull cult did exist in Crete and had rituals concerning fertility; a ritualistic practice consisted of young women "proving" their fertility by jumping over the horns of a charging bull. In addition, according to Bernal, "the use of explicitly bovine Egyptian religious symbols in Crete in the early 2nd millennium can be seen in the 'horns of consecration', a sacred motif used so frequently that its function sometimes seems merely decorative in Cretan palatial culture".

Bernal hypothesizes that the Greek god Pan is the counterpart of the Egyptian God Min.
"The great god of flocks and shepherds among the Greeks, usually called a son of Hermes, was originally an Arcadian God; and Arcadia was always the principal seat of his worship. From the country his name and worship after wards spread over other parts of Greece; but at Athens his worship was not introduced till the time of the battle of Marathon. He is described as wandering among the mountains and valleys of Arcadia…Pan…was dreaded by travelers, to whom he sometimes appeared, and whom he startled with sudden awe or terror. Hence sudden fright, without any visible cause, was ascribed to Pan, and was called a Panic fear. In works of art Pan is represented as a sensual being, with horns, puck-nose, and goat’s feet, sometimes in the act of dancing, and sometimes playing on the syrinx."
Bernal establishes early associations between Egypt and Crete, before the existence of the bull cult, by examining the ways in which Min and Pan could be connected.

Evidence that Bernal presents for this connection is as follows:

  1. "Diodoros Sikeliotes, an ancient historian, named the gods of the Ethiopians of Meroe…as Isis, Pan, Heracles, and Zeus" . He says that the ancient geographer Strabo also confirmed that they worshiped Pan.

  2. Min was associated with fertility and growth in Egypt, unlike his cult as a divinity of the desert. His dual aspects of a desert deity and fertility are a result of his worship having traveled from Punt to the Eastern Desert to Upper Egypt, and in Upper Egypt he became assimilated to the ancient fertility god of Koptos ( which means Bull of his Mother). Thus, Min became associated with the bull through his assimilation with Koptos.

  3. He explains that the god Min, whose token animal is the bull, became associated with the god Amon, whose token animal is the ram/goat, who then became associated with the god Pan, whose token animal is also the ram/goat. Bernal says that "Pan's derivation from Min would seem to be confirmed, not only by his great phallus, his association with the fertility of stock and his living in the wilderness and the negroid blackness with which he, like his attendant satyrs, was often portrayed". Thus, Min--Amon--Pan.

"[King Minos was]….king and legislator of Crete, and after death one of the judges of shades in Hades…He was the husband of Pasiphae. In order to avenge the wrong done to his son Androgeos at Athens, he made war against the Athenians, and compelled them to send to Crete every year, as a tribute, 7 youths and 7 maidens, to be devoured in the labyrinth by the Minotauros. The Minotaur was a monster, half man and half bull, and the offspring of the intercourse of Pasiphae with a bull."
Furthermore, King Minos was the son of Europa and Zeus, a maiden who was kidnapped and seduced by Zeus when he assumed the form of a white bull.
Bernal's evidence for Minos' origin in Min is as follows:

  1. Minos' role as the judge of shades in the afterlife is consistent with the role of the Egyptian god Osiris, also the "judge of the dead man" (Bernal 170). Minos can be connected to Min through Osiris because of Osiris' connection with Amon, who, by the 7th century B.C. , was "assimilated with Osiris", and then, through Amon's 'fundamental affinity' with Min, can be connected further to Min. Min and Amon "were associated at Thebes since the 11th Dynasty and by the New Kingdom. Amon and Re seem in many cults to have been fused with Min as a single massively endowed ithyphallic figure" . Thus, Minos--Osiris--Amon--Min.

  2. The name "Mn" was used by "an important pharoah early in the 1st dynasty and in later times Mn was universally considered to be the founder of dynastic rule" . Diodoros, an ancient historian that Bernal cites elsewhere, connected the pharoah called Mn with King Minos by saying that "'according to the tradition he claimed that Hermes had given the laws to him…just as the Greeks they say that Minos did in Crete…[Minos] saying that he had received his laws from Zeus…'" . Bernal states that the connection between King Minos and the Pharoah Mn can be taken further to associate, again, King Minos with the god Min by establishing a connection between the pharoah and the Egyptian god, stating that "there were occasions in Egypt when [Mn] and [Min] were worshipped together" . Thus, Minos--pharoah Mn--god Min.

  3. As for the labyrinth of King Minos, Bernal makes a linguistic argument: he states that "from the earliest times, there has ben considerable confusion in Egyptian among the three biconsonantals mr, mn, and nm" All three sounds are associated with cattle, which is an obvious potential connection with the bull cult; in addition, the phonetic nm is also connected with the meaning of "winding wall" in Late Egyptian. Therefore, the biconsonantal nm is associated both with cattle and a "winding wall". Here, then, is linguistic evidence that indicates Egypt as being the origin of King Minos' labyrinth. Thus, mn--nm--labyrinth.

  4. Other similarities between Minos and Min: Minos was renowned for his lechery, which is a trait of the god Min; Min had a white bull consecrated to him, and Minos' wife Pasiphae was impregnated by a white bull; and finally, the depiction of the Minotaur as a man with a bull's head can be compared to the manner in which the Egyptians portrayed their gods as having men's bodies and the heads of animals.

We have seen the arguments, as we can see neither side will agree to the other. No place is an Island in the world as far as movement of people or movement of influences or movement of legends. More Independent view is required to ascertain the facts. But that is impossible now as both sides are not willing to give in on any neutral authority and cling on to their beliefs. Today the issue is more political one than Academic one.


Myth of Tutsi Invasion theory

Genesis of Hutu-Tutsi conflict

An Article by Saumitra Sen
The concept of Aryan Invasion theory being a handiwork of the German for the sake of proving the superiority of the European Caucasian races is not an isolated case. There exist a similar theory in other part of the world, involving other nations and other ethnicities and I wonder why hasn’t anyone yet given an attention over that.

If we see the map of middle Africa, we see two little countries named Rwanda and Burundi, bordering Zaire (or Democratic Republic of Congo). With the name Rwanda it suddenly flashes in our mind, the picture of ethnic violence, civil war, genocide and military juntas. Few Indians know the history of Rwanda or Burundi. These countries are inhabited by two different so-called ethnic groups, namely Hutu and Tutsi. The ethnic composition of these countries is as follows:

1) Rwanda – Hutu 84%, Tutsi 15%, Twa (Pygmies) 1%
2) Burundi – Hutu 85%, Tutsi 14%, Twa (Pygmies) 1%

Among these the minority Tutsis are believed to be the Hamitic people, a race which was often intermixed with the whiter races from North, particularly from Ethiopia and Egypt, which on their turn were intermixed by the Asiatic people, mainly Hittites, by the repeated invasions from the North. And these people are said to have arrived from North and thus not the native people of Rwanda.

The majority of Hutus are believed to be Bantu, the original African race which spilled out from the mid-Western African coast of Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Cote d’ Ivoire and the inland countries of Burkina Faso and some other parts of the neighbouring countries.

Tutsis are considered to be the foreigners, invaders or migrants in the Rwanda-Burundi region. Hutus are said to be a much older race but not the original one. The original inhabitants of the Rwanda-Burundi region are said to be the Pygmies, who consist only 1% of the population of the region. It is said that Tutsis despite being the minorities, consider themselves superior in race and constitute the reigning elite and aristocracy of Rwanda-Burundi and they have subjugated the more indigenous Hutus from centuries and have forced them to agriculture and to the inferior position. Now, the crystallization of the theory. Hutus and Tutsis are two completely separate races, with Black Hutus forming the oppressed majority and the more original inhabitants of Rwanda-Burundi, and the fairer Tutsis forming the oppressing minority and the foreign invaders.

This accounts for a Rwandan version of the Aryan Invasion Theory, namely the Tutsi Invasion theory.

Here we have some startling parallels with the Aryan Invasion theory here. Northern Indians, namely Aryans are said to be the ultimate foreign invaders or migrants. Southern Indians, namely Dravidians are said to be the much older inhabitants of Indian sub-continent who were invaded by the Aryans and were oppressed and driven in the interiors and to the South of the Indian continent, with the ultimate consequence of being incorporated into the Hindu fold of caste system and occupying the lowest rung of Indian society. And even these so-called Dravidians are not considered as the original inhabitants of the India. There is said to be a Dravidian migration into India long before that of the Aryans, and some so-called aboriginals (such as Santhals) are considered to be the originals of India, which were forced into the jungles by the invasions, migrations of Dravidians, followed by Aryans.

About Aryan Invasion theory and the cause of its origin much has been said in this debate, and will be said in future so here I go for the explanation of Tutsi Invasion theory, its cause and origin and its socio-political consequences.

Hutus and Tutsis never as such existed as two different ethnic groups or races and were never at war with each other. The history of ethnic violence in the region began with the advent of colonialism in Africa and Rwanda-Burundi. Rwanda-Burundi was a part of German East Africa but after the World War I, it was occupied by Belgium and made a Belgian colony. It was these colonial Belgian masters of Rwanda-Burundi who started entertaining strange ethnic differences and racial differences between the two so-called different groups Hutus and Tutsis, and created the Hutu-Tutsi rift. They invented two separate races, the racist Tutsi Invasion theory and invented the divide between them, labeling Tutsis as aristocratic rulers and Hutus as the oppressed masses.

It seems that skin colour superiority is so deeply embedded in the psyche of West that they rarely get out of it.

While the Hutu and Tutsi are often considered by the followers of this Tutsi Invasion theory, as two separate ethnic groups, scholars point out that they speak the same language, have a history of intermarriage, and share many cultural characteristics. Traditionally, the differences between the two groups were occupational rather than ethnic. Agricultural people were considered Hutu, while the cattle-owning elite were identified as Tutsi. Supposedly Tutsi were tall, thin and fair, while Hutu were short, black and square, but it is often impossible to tell one from the other. (as reported by the Time Almanac)

This distinction was increased and racialized in 1933 by the Belgian government requirement that everyone carry an identity card indicating tribal ethnicity as Tutsi or Hutu, in order to play the power politics between the inhabitants of the nation and thus letting them bogged down in civil war.

Since, independence, repeated violence in both Rwanda and Burundi has increased ethnic differentiation between the groups. Some 2.5 million Tutsis and Hutus are massacred in mutual ethnic cleansing, and genocide. The usual opportunist African leaders are much common in Rwanda-Burundi and they have exacerbated the ethnic tensions of their countries by inciting the hatred between the two groups on the basis of the supposed ethnic difference between the two. Hutu leaders have described Tutsis as cockroaches and they used to telecast their views on radio during the 1994 Rwandan genocide of Tutsis, which inspired the common Hutus to massacre the Tutsis, in a bid to annihilate them completely.

So a peaceful, placid nation with a common populace was destroyed and annihilated by the colonialist, racist view of the Tutsi Invasion theory.

But why are we learning this? Because Tutsi Invasion theory has ominous parallels with Aryan Invasion theory as explained above. The cause of the origin of TIT is also the same as that of AIT. And the ethnic tension and violence was also incited between the North Indians and the South Indians. The DMK, AIADMK and all the other anti-Hindu, anti-Brahmin movements (namely the Periyar movement) were the consequence of this racist Aryan Invasion theory. If not for Hinduism and its cultural ethos, India would have gone the way of Rwanda and Burundi. (Remember, Rwandans and Burundians have been converted to Christianity) But anti-Hindu leadership of India, and the Marxist academia and media is bent on defending the Aryan Invasion theory/AMT, in league with their traitorous aims, and anti-Hindu, anti-Indian designs. By keeping the various sections of Hindu society at war with each other they can maintain their political hold over India, and AIT is a proven tool for their designs.

The opposition of AIT is derided as an emotional, chauvinist handiwork of Hindu nationalist or fundamentalists. But the difference between Tutsis and Hutus is denied by the modern genuine Western scholars (non-Witzels). Is it also a handiwork of an emotional, chauvinist Tutsi nationalists?

The answer lies in the correct reading of the indigenous history through various new tools of Science and Archaeology and the deconstruction of the colonial edifice which has so far promoted the racist theories in order to prove the White supremacy.
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