2/11/11

Maybe Egypt’s Youth won’t be Silenced, but Who’s Silencing Egypt’s Blacks; the Original Egyptians?

by Chris Stevenson
(This essay originally ran in blackcommentator 415)

The ambiguous Egyptian dictator actually stepped down. Egyptians will soon be free to vote for the wrong candidate just like we do here in the US. At least that‘s what I tweeted to the known universe. Hosni Mubarak waited ‘til the last possible micro-second before finally making his exit. It‘s not everyday that we witness an ouster purely based on demonstrations, but this is a man who survived 6 assassination attempts. Egyptians began their civil disobedience on 1/25 and hit pay dirt on 2/11/11 US est. Yes they are celebrating (even had the decency to clean up), but some of them must be kicking themselves. What in the hell took them so long?

Doubtless they would have tried sooner, if they knew it would be this easy. But then again, it wasn‘t easy, it was short and somewhat costly. Lives were lost (300), people were injured

Mubarak stalled as long as he could have in stepping down. Other countries-including the US-thought it was going to be sooner, but Mubarak began replacing his concessions made to quite the crowd, with outright historical revisionist platitudes. Once even inferring that he was the ruler of a kingdom that dates back 7,000 years, when it actually began in 1922. I understand, people make wacky statements when they are being rushed, but the 28th of this past February marked Egypt‘s 89th Anniversary as an independent state from British rule. If Hosni wants to start invoking ancient Egypt he needs to consult with some of the remaining black Egyptians. Conspicuous by their absence in the midst of all the unarmed and dangerous human WMDs over the past several weeks, and amazed and repulsed by the thoroughly effective methods western media has used to blank them out of our minds and sights, in a world that prays for their absence, I am more than obligated to acknowledge their presence.

These particular Egyptians certainly aren‘t the most popular, they are descendants of a people and time when pre-colonial Egypt meant black or African. They now live among a nation of brown or white Arab/Muslim with enough audacity to not want to be considered African, but refuse to move to Arabia. I keep wondering if they should be made to leave, and follow Mubarak. It‘s like someone finally breaking into your home after decades of trying, refusing to leave, and at the same time not wanting to admit what street they live on because they really don‘t like that side of town. Africa’s great history actually goes back tens of thousands of years. To understand this is to understand how Arab’s and upstart Europeans marginalized these tens of thousands of years, over just the last 500 years.

An article in the “National Geographic” (NG) says Egypt was ruled by black Pharaohs for almost 100 years but their roles and accomplishments were/are largely unknown due to racism. Compare this to how many whites today feel they must interpret President Obama: “For decades, historians flip-flopped; either the black Egyptians were actually ‘white,’ or they were bumblers, their civilization a derivative off-shoot of true Egyptian culture,” wrote Robert Draper.

For Draper and NG this was a major disclosure, a revelation. What they actually did was just took an increment of black Pharaonic rule and probably rocked millions of suburban coffee tables. Imagine if they told their readers the whole truth?

“The ancient world was devoid of racism. At the time of Piye historic conquest, the fact that his skin was dark was irrelevant. Artwork from ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome shows a clear awarness of racial features and skin tone, but there is little evidence that darker skin was seen as a sign of inferiority. Only after the European powers colonized Africa in the 19th Century, did western scholars pay attention to the color of the Nubian‘s skin, to uncharitable effect.” I noticed years ago how ancient African history was being carefully undermined and censored by modern American racism. One blogger even commented “the Boston Museum of Fine Arts as ‘replacement heads‘ in the middle of the museum floor, while the more important statues of black rulers and officials are off to the side of the room, or in the basement, safely away from tourists.”

Photo of Boof attending a mosque. Though half-Egyptian she is not a Muslim

One of today‘s most powerful writers is a friend of mine; the half Sudanese/half Egyptian Exiled author Kola Boof. Her mother was a jet-black Sudanese woman known as Princess Jiddi, and her father was an Arab Egyptian named Harith Bin Farouk. In her 2006 essay “Today‘s Black Egyptians: An essay through photos,” she really did something no major news TV reporter, commentator, or newspaper had ever done; she went to Egypt and directly sought out and met with the Nubians. She no-doubt felt compelled to visit Egypt after receiving a letter from one of her uncles who wrote to her, “people are so busy discussing and fighting over whether or not the ancient Egyptians were black, that they forgot we‘re still here, we still exist. The Arabs who claim to be Egyptians have not exterminated ALL of us yet.” According to Boof there are one million black Egyptians who still exist. But it‘s the Egyptians who resemble her father who get the most exposure and are portrayed as “real” Egyptians.

It would behoove the TV-One, BET, and even the Anderson Coopers to pay much more attention to these black Egyptians who come from such great lineage. Especially in such a pivotal time in Egypt‘s history as this because who can tell Northern Africa‘s story any better and more complete than them? Not the Egyptian Military, not most of the protesters, not the Muslim Brotherhood and certainly not the ousted Hosni Mubarak.

Chris Stevenson is a regular columnist for blackcommentator, Political Affairs Magazine, and a syndicated columnist. Follow him on Twitter, and Facebook, you don’t have to join any of them. Watch his video commentary Policy & Prejudice and The Network for clbTV. Respond to him on the link below.

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