When Talent, Ability, Content Of Character Matters More Than Skin Colour

Submitted by Charles Knighton

As I have now been labeled, among other slurs, a “pathological racist” for questioning the inclusion of Egypt in the study of Black History in my July 20th Editorial letter, I had decided to let discretion be the better part of valor and refrain from further comment on this issue. This tendency to impute racist motivations to anyone having the temerity to question Black orthodox thought is reminiscent of the mid-twentieth century tactic of labeling as anti-Semitic any who questioned the orthodoxy emanating from the Jewish state of Israel. Any group practicing such ad hominem responses over dispassionate discussion is generally protecting a fragile orthodoxy. With maturity, Jews eventually became more circumspect as they came to see that claiming anti-Semitism at every turn cost them their credibility. Perhaps others might benefit from their experience.

Having said all that, I find it necessary to again walk into the minefield of race to reply to Mr. Anthony L. Reid’s Guest Column of August 3rd, “The Peopling of Ancient Egypt”. My reference to Egypt as a historically non-Black civilization lead Mr. Reid to read between lines of his own fashioning to assert that non-Black must translate into a Euro-centric or “White Egypt”. This binary predisposition to view things as either “Black” or “White” tends to make invisible the majority of Earth’s people, who might cry “racism” themselves at such treatment. I was very careful in my choice of the adjective non-Black.

From the beginning Egypt was a genuine crossroads of people and their cultures, and its people were multiethnic and multiracial, coming from as far away as Southwest Asia and Nubia in the upper Nile Valley. Fragmentary evidence from as early as the Naqada Culture (c. 3500-c.3000 BCE) and more complete evidence from all dynastic works of art plainly indicate Egypt’s racial heterogeneity from Pharaoh to peasant.

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