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Why the West isn’t racist The Enlightenment gave us individual freedom — yet Kehinde Andrews blames it for anti-black bigotry

Dismantling the West is not the answer. Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Dismantling the West is not the answer. Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images


January 28, 2021   5 mins

“This system can no more provide freedom, justice and equality than a chicken can lay a duck egg.” A few days after the death of George Floyd, the British academic Kehinde Andrews, who specialises in Black Studies, quoted Malcolm X in an interview. Fires burned across America, statues were toppled, problematic TV episodes were erased from history and L’Oréal removed the word “fair” from its beauty products. It all seemed so profound. Yet Andrews was under no illusions. “Today’s inequality,” he argued, “is the cul-de-sac we went down when we tried to reform racism out of a fundamentally racist system.” And there’s only one way out of a cul-de-sac.

Andrews’s book The New Age of Empire is an extension of that argument. In it, he cautions sympathetic readers not to get too giddy over the embrace of “anti-racism” by officialdom. As he sees it, it will only lead to “meaningless change” and “token gestures”. A self-proclaimed “black radical”, Andrews wants to attack the root of the problem: the West itself and the “logic of empire” that organises it.

Unsurprisingly, ground zero for Andrews’ critique is the Enlightenment — the “sacred foundation of Western knowledge”, as he sardonically puts it. All our modern ideas of freedom and equality are traditionally traced back to this Age of Reason. Andrews argues against that narrative. Kant’s racist anthropology and Hume’s polygenism, he writes, “provided the universal and scientific framework of knowledge that maintained colonial logic”, which is the central organising principle of the current “political and economic system and therefore infects all interactions, institutions and ideas”.

Kant et al placed white people firmly at the top of the racial hierarchy. And that codification of black inferiority was used to justify Western imperialism, which has gone through several mutations — from the relentless expeditions into the New World and Atlantic slavery, to 19th century European colonialism, to the present, in which the United States inherits imperial responsibilities. In our allegedly “post-racial” age, institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank continue to exploit Africa through unfair “structural adjustment” programs that force austerity and privatisation upon poor African nations, further crippling their economies. No matter how “the logic of empire” mutates, the premise is still the same: “The West is rich because the rest is poor”.

As an epigone of Malcolm X, Andrews is not interested in interracial allyship as a solution. “The white left”, as he calls them, are too in thrall to the “psychosis of whiteness” to recognise that racism and imperialism are baked into their own politics. Echoing Maoism-Third Worldism, he chastises the white Left for failing to see that the “true revolutionary class has always resided outside the West”. As far as he’s concerned: “If you have come this far and believe that White people offering a meaningful hand of friendship is the solution, then you have missed the point.”

His solution is revolutionary Pan-Africanism — and has been for some time. In a 2018 video he made for the BBC, Andrews outlined his African utopia, his own Wakanda, materially rich and technologically advanced, where the diaspora will eventually return to their “African promised land”. In his book, he states his purpose is to develop “the politics of black radicalism, which centres on uniting Africa and the African diaspora to create a true revolution … the only true solution to the problem of racism”.

Andrews’s tract is uncompromising. His re-telling of the history of Western violence and the chronically poor state of Africa is potent. Interestingly, he is also critical of China and other upstart powers for using Africa as a “stepping stone” for their own development, while continuing the systematic “looting” of the continent. But Andrews ignores a number of contradictions that might puncture this worldview.

Ironically Pan-Africanism, the ideology Andrews pledges fidelity to, is a bastard child of the West. It was westernised blacks that imagined a global black community with a common destiny transcending all nations, as a response to racial oppression (an idea rather similar to Zionism, a comparison Andrews wouldn’t be pleased with). Many of the icons of Pan-Africanism — Henry Sylvester Williams, Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X — hailed from the Americas, not Africa. Even native-born African adherents like Kwame Nkrumah were Western educated and very much influenced by the modernist impulses of Marxism.

But Andrews exhibits a common vice of contemporary radicalism: the idea that to be radical is to be disenchanted with all that is Western. It is rather fashionable, as the shrill calls to “decolonise” suggest, to believe that authentic radicalism regards the Enlightenment not as a resource in challenging imperialism but an imperial project itself. That narrative omits the fact that, while mainstream Enlightenment thinkers like Kant were rabid racists, the Enlightenment also provided the best tools to date for universal human liberation.

As Jonathan Israel has documented in his voluminous scholarship, there were two sides to the Enlightenment: a moderate and a radical wing. Funnily enough, all the individuals Andrews names in his galère of “dead white men” — Kant, Hume, Locke, Voltaire and Jefferson — were part of the Moderate Enlightenment, which was more elitist and conciliatory towards the old order. A different set of dead white men, inspired by Baruch Spinoza, made up the Radical Enlightenment — Diderot, Condorcet, D’Holbach . They applied reason consistently against old hierarchies and institutions, including slavery and colonialism, precisely because they were fetters on human freedom and equality.

For instance Condorcet, in 1795, observed that during the “Age of Discovery” a “stupid and brutal fanaticism governed the kings and robbers”, which meant the “unfortunate beings who inhabited these new countries were not treated as men, because they were not Christian”. He went on to argue that the advantages of the Age of Discovery meant nothing unless Europeans “acknowledge men of other climates, equals and brothers by the will of nature, have never been formed to nourish the pride and avarice of a few privileged nations”.

Indeed, anti-imperialist radicals of the 20th century such as CLR James recognised that Western thought was the wellspring of all progressive, emancipatory politics — especially the historical gains that emerged out of the Enlightenment. Secularism, individual rights, the scientific method, democratic politics, universal values, philosophical humanism and materialism have superseded earlier concepts — not because of white supremacy, but because they are, patently, improvements on what came before. Out of the seismic upheavals that formed the modern world — the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Scientific revolution and the Enlightenment — flowed superior ideas: ideas that still form the basis of human liberation.

These so-called “western values” are not western in any essential sense. They aren’t the property of white people; they are the birth right of all humanity. Which is why previous anti-imperialist radicals made a distinction between the good that stemmed from the most revolutionary elements of Western culture and the scourge of Western imperialism, which was a major obstacle to the realisation of these ideals around the world.

“The science resulting from all human knowledge has no nationality,” observed Sekou Touré, who lead Guinea to independence: “The ridiculous disputes about the origin of such and such a discovery do not interest us since they add nothing to the value of the discovery.”

Patrice Lumumba, a Congolese nationalist and Pan-Africanist himself, was known to have been inspired by the French revolution in his anti-imperialism, and studied French Enlightenment thinkers such as Voltaire and Rousseau. Moreover, CLR James, while detesting European colonialism, felt no shame in acknowledging the “learning and profound discoveries of Western civilisation” and made it his mission to “master the literature, philosophy and ideas of Western civilisation”.

Radical Enlightenment values are still the best tools humanity has crafted to create a better world. The challenge then is not to negate them but to build upon them, expand them, and ultimately raise them to a higher level never before seen. This still remains Africa’s path to liberation from tyranny and want — as opposed to Andrews’ nihilistic vision, which sees no place for interracial solidarity and finds a “glimmer of hope for true transformation” only in total collapse of the system. Dare I suggest it: “western values” are the real path towards black freedom.


Ralph Leonard is a British-Nigerian writer on international politics, religion, culture and humanism.

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Paul Tobin
Paul Tobin
3 years ago

One of the truely depressing aspects of this is that this racist ‘academic’ is being paid by our taxes to spread this divisive poison.

That this reprehensible bigot is a tenured Professor is a sorry indictment of the current state of the Academy.

The only hope for the West is a dramatic defunding of higher education; hopefully Covid19 will accelerate this

Hilary Easton
Hilary Easton
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Tobin

Can’t see anything remotely racist about this essay

David Owsley
David Owsley
3 years ago
Reply to  Hilary Easton

“psychosis of whiteness”..hmmmm

[edit] Harvey Johnson above makes the point that you may be referring to Ralph Leonard’s Unherd article, apologies if so.

Hilary Easton
Hilary Easton
3 years ago
Reply to  David Owsley

Yes I was. No need to apologise, I think it was me who got the wrong end of the stick.

Harvey Johnson
Harvey Johnson
3 years ago
Reply to  Hilary Easton

I think you’re misreading Peter’s comment – he’s referring to Kehinde Andrews, not Ralph Leonard.

For what it’s worth, although pretty strongly worded, I agree with the basis of what I believe Peter’s saying here. Andrews is nothing but a race-baiter, I’m afraid, using the real issues facing black people in Western societies and making incendiary claims about ‘white psychosis’ in order to boost his own profile.

Paul Tobin
Paul Tobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Harvey Johnson

I was indeed refering to Kehinde Andrews, I should have made this more explicit, thanks Harvey for clarifying this.

He is apparently Professor of Black Studies at Birmingham University, his bio mentions that one of his specialities is ‘Scholar Activism’: an oxymoron surely. I may be a little old fashioned but isn’t the whole ethos of scholastic pursuit intellectual neutrality?

I feel genuinely sorry for the youngsters on his courses getting themselves into debt in order to be indoctrinated with this hate-filled drivel

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Tobin

Along with much of the Liberal Left he’s just a nasty piece of work, with a racist view of the world that mere facts won’t alter.

If I were more old fashioned leftwing I’d beleive that the Capitalists were behind the reintroduction of racist thinking, but from a different angle. For them it’s a double bonus, it not only splits the plebs like good old fashioned rightwing racism – it also neuters the leftwing.

Previously the left could (with some moral justifcation) call upon all poor and good of the world to argue for redistribution from the tiny elite. Now the left is stuffed withh bigotted scum.

Pierre Mauboussin
Pierre Mauboussin
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

You’ve hit upon the essence of wokeism: radical rhetoric and the hiring of a few, token load-mouthed “persons of color” can shield hundreds of billions in assets and cover up the use of vicious labor arbitrage, abuse of Third World workers or even Chinese slave labor. Just look at Nike, who embraced BLM without having to relocate a single shoe factory to American black, inner city neighborhoods whose residents kill each other to get Nike sneakers.

Joseph McCord
Joseph McCord
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Tobin

But Africa is better than Europe, whose civilizations are vicious and a permanent moral failure – and in fact, everything was invented there, first – through the use of vibranium. Europe only advanced by stealing things from Africa, which now no longer has them – and so has to steal them back. Life is a zero-sum game, and it’s not fair that anybody else is succeeding.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

This argument will continue 50 years hence. Because playing the victim is an industry. Would anyone know Kehinde Andrews otherwise? When 13% of the population carries out more than 50% of the homicides – usually against its own people – calling everything ‘racist’ loses its punch. When the single parent birth rate hovers between 70 and 80%, same thing.

At some point, the very uncomfortable argument about culture must be had. There is but one culture in the US that actively celebrates the worst among it. There are people who have come to this country from some of the world’s worst spots, often not knowing a word of English, yet they manage to surpass the native-born in short order. What is it about someone from Ghana or Nigeria who can do well in this allegedly racist wasteland but someone born in America cannot? The actual Africans are no less black.

Simon Harris
Simon Harris
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

“13% of the population carries out more than 50% of the homicides..”
Actually it is more like 7% committing more than 50% of homicides – the 13% includes all black Americans including females. The >50% of homicides are committed overwhelmingly by black males.

Jim le Messurier
Jim le Messurier
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Or indeed black immigrants to the USA from the British West Indies, who have equal claim to a history of slavery, yet far surpass black Americans (and many other groups) in academic and economic success. This was a notable phenomenon as far back as 1970, when Thomas Sowell featured it in his studies, at that time.

Pete Kreff
Pete Kreff
3 years ago

Does Andrews’ book contain any musings on the tribalism that exists in parts Africa, dates back to pre-colonisation times and has resulted in bigotry, injustice and tribalism? Does he wonder about the existence of African empires, wars of conquest and enslavement of one tribe by another?

If he does give thought to these issues, does he explain why he thinks his pan-African project will be a) possible; b) so free from bigotry?

Would he disagree that the best societies for people to live in, whether those people are white or black, are the secular western democracies that were created by and large by white people?

Judy Englander
Judy Englander
3 years ago
Reply to  Pete Kreff

And hasn’t ‘Wakanda’ already been tried? It’s called Liberia, a country founded for freed African-American slaves, who then lorded it over the native tribes.

Jurek Molnar
Jurek Molnar
3 years ago
Reply to  Pete Kreff

A book that is mysteriously not translated into English is called “The Veiled Genocide” (2010) by Senegalese historian Tidiane N’Diaye. It covers exclusively the Muslim slave trade from around 700 to 1900.

The Arab and Muslim empires needed the slave labour and traded with African rulers who delivered men and women in exchange for gold and other resources. And since the Qur’an approved of slavery and encouraged the practice, there never was any kind of abolitionism in Muslim countries. The Muslim slave trade enabled the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, the latter would not have been possible without the former.

One particular feature of Sunni Arab slave policy was to castrate all men, to prevent future insurrections. The castration business was done by Christian copts, mostly. Children of enslaved women were killed as infants. This way Arab and Muslim societies stayed ethnically homogenous and only a tiny fraction of African descendants survived in these societies, which are still hotbeds of racism and anti-Black African resentments. (The Arab word for them is “Zanj”.)

When I posted the title and the content of this book on websites like “Vice” or “Politico” (and a few others) the post was either never published or deleted soon afterwards.

I ask myself why.

Andrew Best
Andrew Best
3 years ago

Black supremacist are just as racist as the white supremacist and can be ignored just as easily.
Racism is racism no matter what the colour of the target.
And these are the well educated middle classes who are just plain racists and will cause nothing but division.
Well done you racists for dividing us after years of progress.
What a world you will create

Andrew Best
Andrew Best
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

Cobblers
If you hate me because I am white do you think I care that because you are black it is a different kind of hate?

Andrew Best
Andrew Best
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

Good luck to you
I disagree with any idea of any one having a racist power be it white power or black power

Zach Thornton
Zach Thornton
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

I am not saying either is morally right. I am stating that there is a clear difference between the two. You can grasp this fact and reject both at the same time.

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

So both wrong but one more wrong than the other? And on what basis, exactly? You’ve been forced to concede or admit the existence of African tribal slavery, Islamic slavery, wider Arabian slavery; you’ve been forced to admit that it affected ethnic Europeans – so why do you pretend that the Africans are particular aggrieved? Oh yes – the anti-capitalist point – “chattel slavery” – but of course your puling excuses for the “non-chattel” form are nothing but eye-wash and wind! And they were connected to “chattel” slavery in any case; not to mention the gross cruelty of Islamic slavery which routinely emasculated its victims, hence the absence of European or African populations in heavily slave-dependent Turkey. You are the living embodiment of Bruckner’s “Tyranny of Guilt”. It might make you feel saintly but it casts you in the role of canting fool.

Joseph McCord
Joseph McCord
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

But does it require opposing Western civilization, altogether – and hoping for the collapse of Western societies, themselves? That doesn’t strike me as being a very positive-thinking sort of way to be “pan-African”.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

Black power comes from a position of being oppressed and enslaved for being black.
What’s it called when one black enslaves another? Because that happened in Africa and in the US, too. The slaves that were sent here got the least worst of the available options. And it’s been over with for more than 150 years. Today, someone born in Africa and immigrating here is far more likely to succeed than a native-born black.

Zach Thornton
Zach Thornton
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

A repugnant comment.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

A factual argument. Black people in the US once held slaves. Anthony Johnson was the first recorded slaveholder in the colonies. And African immigrants manage to do quite well.

Stop treating black people like pets and mascots. It does not help them.

Zach Thornton
Zach Thornton
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Please, just stop.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

I am sorry that reality offends you.

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

Do a little research before jerking your silly knee…

Jean Fothers
Jean Fothers
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

Yes Zach, that is what you keep doing, making repugnant comments

Zach Thornton
Zach Thornton
3 years ago
Reply to  Jean Fothers

Our moral compasses are located on different planets. It’s no wonder our society is as divided as it is.

Dave Weeden
Dave Weeden
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

True, though. If you find the truth repugnant, that may say something about you.

Theo Hopkins
Theo Hopkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Yep! Each and every Black man that was sold to passing Europeans was brought to the coast by black people.

William Cameron
William Cameron
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

The Uk has a Home Secretary Called Patel and a Hindu Chancellor of the Exchequer- a probable Prime minister. African/Indian and Chinese folk do better than white Folk academically and economically.
Afro Caribbean folk do not do as well.
So its not a batter of colour.

Zach Thornton
Zach Thornton
3 years ago

What does that have to do with me commenting on a false equivalence drawn between black power and white supremacy? I am really quite surprised at sheer volume of people just splurging random points at me in an attempt to dismiss racism, which is not even the discussion. To be honest, I am not even sure what people are trying to prove with such random points as the above. A jambouree of out-right racism, whataboutery, outrage, anger and insults. Go project on to someone else as you are so clearly desperate to do.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

To be honest, I am not even sure what people are trying to prove with such random points as the above.
Oh, give yourself more credit than that. You know full well what the point is. It’s just an inconvenient rebuttal to your argument.

Pete Kreff
Pete Kreff
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

What does that have to do with me commenting on a false equivalence drawn between black power and white supremacy?

As I commented earlier, it depends if you’re looking at the history of the movements or their goals.

I assume that Michael Reid was pointing out that it’s quite clear that white supremacy is something that doesn’t exist outside a handful of widely derided and abhorred extremists. To all intents and purposes, white supremacy does not exist as an obstacle or threat to people of colour in the UK.

And it hardly exists in the US either, despite the fact that “white supremacist” has become the new insult du jour for anyone who disagrees with Critical Race Theory or any aspect of the BLM movement.

Andrews’ arguments are based on an entirely false premise that black people can never thrive/be free/be themselves/achieve nirvana or whatever in white-majority countries.That’s patently untrue. White-majority countries are the best places to live for everyone: the most freedoms, the most rights, the most opportunities, the greatest wealth.

John Nutkins
John Nutkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

Oh, I see. Any argument dispelling your very limited and partial views (views, not facts) is regarded as ‘just splurging random points’. How convenient, and how arrogant your dismissals of differing opinions are.

Theo Hopkins
Theo Hopkins
3 years ago

Patel is probably racist against Black people. After all, her background is Uganda, not India,
.

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

Before blacks were sold into slavery by other blacks, all history was replete with slaves…mostly white.

ian.walker12
ian.walker12
3 years ago
Reply to  stephen f.

It was all about power. Those with it enslaved those they conquered. Coincidently I’m half watching Robson Greene walking Hadrians Wall.. He’s just talked to someone about a Syrian Roman soldier buried near the wall called Baratus. Baratus bought a Celtic slave to be his wife. It was ever thus until the 19th century when the Royal Navy started to enforce its prohibition and other countries began to move away from it.

Pete Kreff
Pete Kreff
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

But unless you think that is due to something innate in and specific to white people, it’s the supremacy that’s the problem rather than the whiteness, no?

After all, Islamic supremacy, Japanese supremacy and Han Chinese supremacy caused large numbers of deaths. And any African tribe thinking it was superior to other tribes and therefore had the right to conquer and rule over them was also supremacy.

Sure, it wasn’t white people being killed by these supremacists of colour (except in the case of Japan in WWII), but I don’t see what difference that makes.

Zach Thornton
Zach Thornton
3 years ago
Reply to  Pete Kreff

Black power only exists as a movement because of oppression. White supremacy is an ideology that was created in order to justify the economic exploitation and murder of other human beings as less than human. The two aren’t equivalent. This is not unique to white people as it’s a universal human behaviour. We dehumanise those we harm or exploit.

When someone says black power and white supremacy are equivalent the sub-text is that we don’t need to deal with after effects of chattel slavery and the idelogy that underpinned it because black people are just as bad. It’s just an attempt to derail the conversation by shouting what about this.

Alex Wilkinson
Alex Wilkinson
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

White supremacy is an ideology that was created in order to justify the economic exploitation and murder of other human beings as less than human

Largely, when apologists like you speak of white supremacy, you don’t really mean white supremacist as you have defined it. For you, white supremacism is an invention – a rationale for your indulgence in self-loathing and morally feeble guilt.

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Wilkinson

Precisely. It is the equivalent of the supposed “international conspiracy” touted by anti-Semites in the “Protocols”.

Jurek Molnar
Jurek Molnar
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

I love this joke. It never stops being funny.

Between 1500 and 1800 a Million Europeans were kidnapped from the Mediterranean coastal shores by Muslim pirates, sent by Muslim caliphs and Emirs to be sold at the slave markets of Northern Africa.

You have never thought to invent a term like Muslim supremacy, don’t you?

Are you aware that there never was abolitionism in Muslim countries? Or that there never was an abolitionism in China, or the Lamaist kingdoms?

There was only one abolitionism ever, the Christian one.

Simon Adams
Simon Adams
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

I guess you haven’t heard about the Zulus…

Jurek Molnar
Jurek Molnar
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

Europeans and Americans abolished slavery and criticized racism. There is no other culture in history that did that.

The fact that you make this statement and promote its content is a consequence that only Western peoples ever reflected about their racism and felt a moral obligation to change it. That was never the case in Muslim countries, which were the most important slave traders in the last 1400 years and enabled the transatlantic slave trade.

“žIn fact, the reason we focus on racism in the West and not elsewhere is because western societies are the most responsive to black opinion. As a general rule, the Chinese, Indians and Arabs don’t seem to care very much whether we consider them racist or not. Their societies are openly assertive of their felt superiority.” (Remi Adekoya)

https://unherd.com/2020/06/

Richard Marriott
Richard Marriott
3 years ago

Interesting, but no mention of Islam’s role in slavery. Looking at history, I guess Islam has been an equal opportunities slave owning culture, since it treated black and white non-believers captured by its pirates and soldiers equally as slave fodder. However, those who succumbed and became Muslims were treated a little better than the rest. Anyhow, for centuries, camel trains of soldiers and merchants would head south to capture or purchase black slaves for the slave markets of the Maghreb and beyond. Indeed, Istanbul boasts a prominent statue of a Barbary Coast slaver – slavery in the Ottoman Empire was a legal and significant part of the Ottoman Empire’s economy and traditional society.

Harvey Johnson
Harvey Johnson
3 years ago

In Qatar, judging by the conditions of those constructing the new stadiums, they still practice it to this day.

Jurek Molnar
Jurek Molnar
3 years ago

A good read is “Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters: White Slavery in the Mediterranean, The Barbary Coast, and Italy, 1500-1800” by Robert Davies.

https://www.amazon.de/Chris

Between 1500 and 1800 alone (because for this period reliable sources exist) around a Million people were kidnapped and taken from European coastal shores and sold into slavery by Muslim pirates. The ruling classes of Europe were unable to stop this for a long time. The defeat of the Tripoli pirates by American gunboats was one of the final nails into the coffin of Muslim slave trade.

That’s what the Kehinde Andrews of this planet do not understand nor want to address is: it has been Europeans and Americans alike that stopped the practice of slavery. Only Christian abolitionism was able to convince European and American powers of its moral obligation.

The reason the memes of “white supremacy” and “systemic racism” exist, is a psychological one, not a historical or even philosophical argument. Western societies, which abandoned slavery due to moral convictions are simply responsive to allegations and accusations of racism. Because they feel moral obligations, they listen and feel guilty. No Muslim country ever feels sorry for slavery and its part in it.

The Turkish Islam scholar Fetullah Gülen, arch enemy of president Erdogan, has once remarked that the great advantage of Muslim slavery is the fact that Muslim slaves were introduced to Islam, which he regards as a great opportunity.
And Fetullah Gülen was awarded to be the most important intellectual of 2008 by the Prospect Magazine.
https://www.prospectmagazin

stephen.cowley
stephen.cowley
3 years ago

The Barbary pirates came north as well. They captured white British slaves from ships and from a base off the Bristol channel.

Steve Gwynne
Steve Gwynne
3 years ago

Kehinde Andrews, Nesrine Malik, David Lammy.

Western Black Radicals preaching about a Pan African Revolution from Britain.

Isn’t Africa good enough for them?

John Nutkins
John Nutkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Gwynne

And the Rabble Party’s resident mathematician Diana Abbott and expert on genetics and gender Dawn Butler?

Theo Hopkins
Theo Hopkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Gwynne

Andrews and Malik only exist in their opposition to whiteness. Outside of this they would flounder.

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Gwynne

Khendie and co seem to have a view of Africa as nieve and simplistic as an English country bumpkin like me.

Except I’m fairly sure that beyond my basic understanding of Africans as stereotype poor, smiley people there’s dozens of countries and hundreds of distinct cultures.

I can’t keep but think Khendie and co prefer the fantasy of Africa as an exotic far way single entity

Daniel Goldstein
Daniel Goldstein
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Gwynne

Didn’t even know Nesrine was African.

William Cameron
William Cameron
3 years ago

Having been brought up in a colony (West Africa) I have some agency in this matter. Certainly there was no racism in West Africa where we were. I have happy memories of a peaceful place with good basic health services, roads, honest policemen, no corruption , plenty of food for all, but most of all I remember it as being a peaceful and happy place .
As a child I wondered far and wide on my own – perfectly safely. As a youngster my parents knew the dangers were from things like snakes, hippos and leopards- never the local folk who were kind and welcoming.
There were relics both of the slave trade and of the stopping of slavery by Britain. And Local folk were grateful to Britain for getting slavery stopped- not just by British ships but also all other countries.
The word colonialism has become a shorthand for bad today – but if Britain had not colonised would the ex British colonies be better or worse today ? Certainly in many of the things have got much worse for the people -which is very sad.

Simon Adams
Simon Adams
3 years ago

I had a similar experience in Botswana. But I think if you’d lived in the Congo, Rwanda, Somalia etc you would have had a very different experience. There are some very different colonial legacies… and not all are negative.

Kiran Grimm
Kiran Grimm
3 years ago

An interesting sleight of hand among race obsessed intellectuals is revealed by Ralph Leonard’s piece ““ probably unintentionally.

A switch from:
“White Western achievement is exploitive, oppressive and racist. The curriculum must be decolonised now!”
to:
“White Western achievement isn’t really White or Western at all. It belongs to all humanity. No need to decolonise the curriculum ““ just as long as White Westerners don’t try taking the credit for it”.

That should lay the ground for back-tracking academics who have overreached themselves in their anti-Western purge. Now they can keep the good stuff and still put white people in their place.

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago
Reply to  Kiran Grimm

I don’t think Ralph Leonard said that at all.

I think he said the likes of Kehinde Andrews spouted absolute hatred of the Enlightenment as some evil western racist blah blah…

Ralph Leonard makes the very good point the Scientific Method is not racist, it does not matter who invented it, it is excellent and univerally true. The Enlightenment and all of it’s discoveries belongs to everyone.

Ironically Kehinde Andrews has a very Eurocentric view of history. For most of human history Europe was a backwater or at least nothing special. The word Slave is derived from Slav because Slavs were captured and enslaved by Islamic Empires by the million, Islamic empires persisted within Europe for hundreds and hundreds of years. For a European to be enslaved either by other Europeans, Arabs or North Africans was nothing special. Whites were not powerful or special.

By little more than limiting corruption, using the scientific method, and bit of financial freedom the UK, then US and other European countries shot ahead in terms of wealth at an amazing speed. Other countries like Japan, South Korea and China have shown that there is nothing racially or culturally special about it.

Kehinde Andrews also dislikes the Enlightenment because some of the ideas were worked out by racists. This only makes sense if those ideas themselves were racist (some were), and as the author of this piece notes plenty of worthwhile Enlightenment figures disliked racism, indeed the critique of racism is one of thhe Enlightenments crowning achievements. Much like the British Empires century long fight against slavery, it is misrepresented and bent by fools. Every civilisation did slavery and racism, it was the British Empire and the Enlightenment that began stamping them out.

Kiran Grimm
Kiran Grimm
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

Thank you for that very interesting and well argued reply.

I did say that the “sleight of hand” was probably revealed unintentionally while Ralph Leonard was making a case against those who wish to reject all that is white and Western.

In the last year or two we have heard much about the activities of those whose “de-colonising” project goes further than just the curriculum. Given the nature of intersectionality that includes those who wish to discredit/destroy the white Western patriarchy too.

Wiser heads perhaps, now realise this would lead ultimately to a sterile dead end ““ temporarily satisfying (flattering even) to those who cherish the idea of a unique black identity with its legend of dispossession and suffering and who resent the developed world as white Western creation.

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago
Reply to  Kiran Grimm

I think I get your point, but I also believe Ralph is looking at out another way.

Just because people like Khendie are race obssesed doesn’t me we should all follow suit.

Even if the humans who had great ideas were also very racist or nationalist, I’m still going to make uae of those ideas.

A lot of Western Imperial power was built on paperwork and gunpounder (Chinese). That power was often used to spread the middle Eastern philosophy of a Jewish wood botherer.

Kiran Grimm
Kiran Grimm
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

There are quite a few typos and a literal error in your reply (Jewish wood botherer?). Are you using a hand-held device?

Imperial power requires a lot more than paperwork to build on! Essentially it is about the expansion of trade and the ability to exploit resources to generate wealth.

Anyway, the gunpowder reference is revealing. Only when that invention was taken up by European armourers was its potential fully realised. So much of the developed world’s technology has come to fruition as a result of the Western hunger for innovation and the power that can flow from it.

The West’s industrial achievements can be taken up and used with great success by peoples who arguably would never have originated them. The development of Japan following the Perry expidition of 1853 provides a particulary telling example of how quickly a nation can be transformed if the will and innate ability are both present.

Bill McCardle
Bill McCardle
3 years ago

Let’s understand one thing at the start, Kehinde Andrews is a 2nd rate academic at a made up 3rd rate academic institution. Kehinde saw a gap in the UK academic and media market for an (trope alert) “angry black guy” and managed to create a nice, lucrative role as a voice of British black oppression but has anyone checked who he actually speaks for? I’ve followed Kehinde’s increasingly strident polemic for years and his no compromise approach is inversely linked to the amount of media interest he attracts. The more outspoken the greater media interest. Nice gig if he can keep it up. The main failing in his academic work is he starts with his answer and then creates the argument to support it. Kehinde is no original thinker. His mind is closed as one would expect of a pound shop academic. Kehinde welcomes criticism because for him, and all critical race theorists, it merely confirms their opinions that white society is irredeemably racist. Kehinde’s approach to “black studies” or any serious academic study for that matter is a dead end which keeps him and his followers happy. But to think this guy is responsible for educating 100’s of impressionable young students each year is deeply concerning. But is it at worse than the old communist professor in the 60 and 70’s.

Stephen Tye
Stephen Tye
3 years ago

Kehinde Andrews is a black bigot who wants to reintroduce segregation in schools so the black pupils can be taught his version of history. He does not deserve the oxygen of publicity.

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago

Safe within the cozy society born of the enlightenment that he disparages, this racist rants about his ‘victimhood” , while collecting guaranteed income from his “oppressors”.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  stephen f.

Seems to be pretty lucrative.

Simon Harris
Simon Harris
3 years ago

Left to its own devices, how long would it have taken Africa to organise a successful moon landing? The irony of Kehinde Andrews’ back-to-Wakanda film is the future Utopian Africa it portrays looks very much like an Africa run and created by Europeans – apart from the communist bit. Mentioning Zimbabwe as the “bread basket of Africa” reminds us of a time when that was actually the case, rather than just the basket case of Africa it is today. High speed rail networks passing top tier universities, mines and modern cities… we are talking about a continent where most domiciles don’t even have a house number or street name, and imagining it as a modern European-style continent ironically sends the opposite message to what one would guess was Kehinde’s intended one – that Africa would be better off under colonial rule.

Kehinde exposes himself as a non-intellectual by positing an Africa where all poverty is magically eradicated, a feat one is left to imagine will be solved by Socialism, given Kehinde’s political leanings (“… cabinet packed with ministers with brown skin wearing Tory masks represents the opposition of racial progress”). Never mind reality, or the fact that capitalism has lifted millions out of poverty over the last few decades, while Socialist states perpetuate poverty.

Blaming famines caused by weather or African misrule on whites and hating us for the trillions we have donated to Africa to try to lift them out of poverty is a symptom of a deeply racist mind. Other nations were completely flattened by 20th century world war yet in a couple of decades became world-class players. Perhaps Kehinde could start a back-to-Africa movement by setting an example himself? I’m sure we’d all be happy with that outcome.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

A welcome article and I thank the writer. Of course, it is only a statement of the obvious, but to state the obvious these days is a heresy.

William Cameron
William Cameron
3 years ago

The funny thing is that in the UK the top three races in academic , economic and social measures are
Indian, Chinese, African – these three groups are streets ahead of most white British folk.
The group that seems to have an issue of underperformance is Afro Caribbean.
The point is its not a race or colour issue- its a cultural issue.

Dan Martin
Dan Martin
3 years ago

If you want a foretaste of Pan-Africanism shorn of Western enlightenment thought, look no further than Rwanda. The consequence of removing democratic institutions, developed and curated by the West, is strong man rule and unfettered tribalism.

Simon Adams
Simon Adams
3 years ago
Reply to  Dan Martin

Whilst I fully agree with the article, Rwanda is a really bad example. The Germans and the Belgians deliberately divided the Hutus and the Tutsis through all kinds of practices. It wasn’t quite as barbaric and macabre as what Belgium did in Congo, but was definitely a huge part of the tribal problems there.

The fact that different former colonies have different levels of stability now is obviously complicated, but there were very different types of colonialism and the lasting impact of the bad types can’t be ignored.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Adams

Could it also be the case that Hutus and Tutsis were ‘dividable’? Or already divided? The British often get blamed for the partition of India but the reality is after centuries of Muslim/Hindu conflict and demands for a separate Muslim territory the Brits simply did what was demanded of them?

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago

Interesting article – terrible headline. The piece doesn’t argue that the West isn’t racist, just that the West isn’t only racist.

Daniel Goldstein
Daniel Goldstein
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Yeah, I guess the headlines are created to get us clicking on the articles!

Bill McCardle
Bill McCardle
3 years ago

Kehinde is at the Birmingham City Uni (ex Poly) not The Uni of Birmingham. Probably tells you all you need to know about his academic status.

Josh Apieczonek
Josh Apieczonek
3 years ago

Hi Ralph,
Thanks for that article. I largely agree with your critique of the idea we can locate racism in the Enlightenment and thanks for the insight that pan-Africanism is a b*****d child of the West (one of many, I’m sure).

A genuine question: when you say, “Secularism, individual rights, the scientific method, democratic politics, universal values, philosophical humanism and materialism” were historic gains that emerged out of the Enlightenment, do you say that conscious of the large amount of scholarship that locates the genesis of most of these ideas in the Christian worldview? For example, Tom Holland’s “Dominion” (of these pages), Larry Siedentrop’s “Inventing the Individual”, Charles Taylor’s “A Secular Age”, etc.

I know your description is the classic brilliant Enlightenment mythology but surely it’s a bit quaint and naïve to believe all these ideas miraculously popped up when humanity tweaked it’s “starting point”, instead of realising the (to be honest) bleedingly obvious truth that they were inspired, kicked off and found their intellectual foundation in the Christian worldview. (eg Gregory of Nyssa’s 4th century sermon against the institution of slavery). (though in fairness, the church did a mighty fine job of muddying the waters with a mixed and bloody history of putting (or not putting) into practice the teachings of its founder)

I’m not trying to be annoying, just genuinely wondering whether this is a new idea for you or whether you’ve read and researched it and decided it’s bunk. If so, I’d like to know your thoughts on that.

thanks
Josh

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago

Hi, I have not done my research but you must be right because pre-Enlightenment there were no ideas at all – nobody could read except the clergy. Many scientific ideas died in the west and were only kept alive by Arabs through their religious systems.

Joseph McCord
Joseph McCord
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Not quite true. Aristotle at least was always highly valued by medieval scholars, most of whom were Church scholars. But was also valued, for a while, in the Islamic world. The Islamic world was a bit more creative about scientific ideas for a while, but the West also preserved them (although in a rigid way – that later sought to suppress original thinking like alchemy, the predecessor of chemistry – and astronomy) – and, certain Islamic mathematicians invented, not only the way of writing numbers that we still use but also, for the first time, algebra. Later – a rising new arrangement between religious authorities and state power, decided to suppress such things – apparently. At some point early in the Second Millennium – the West was also helped by the recovery of ancient philosophical texts in their original Greek language versions – which it had up until then only preserved in their Latin translations – and various later cultural developments are attributed to this. Scientific and mathematical thinking however were later suppressed in Islamic North Africa, where for a while they had flourished.

There is some truth to this comment, and to the preceding one – but all the same, it has to be admitted that the Enlightenment Era was an enormous turning point, in relation to a whole lot of things – above all in terms of understandings of politics, and of what the individual’s relationship to society should be…

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Ideas were ‘only kept alive by Arabs through their religious systems’? That’s a pretty bold claim, care to elaborate?

CL van Beek
CL van Beek
3 years ago

Great article, 100% truth, so there is not much to say or add.

I remember when Hirsi Ali was chased out of the Netherlands by trial by media and left wing / christian politicians, that the leader of the 2nd largest Christian party (Christen Unie) called here a follower of the radical enlightenment. It was not meant as a compliment. But actually, a greater compliment can hardly be given.

Mark H
Mark H
3 years ago

Whenever political energy is directed at destroying what exists, rather than constructive proposals to build something better, the outcome is bound to be a mess.

That’s why I have a soft spot for the pan-Africanists, and especially the Black Consciousness movement.

Also worth remembering is that European nations have not been truly democratic for very long, and 500 years ago the nobility were – in my view – nothing more than a bunch of warlords.

Jean Fothers
Jean Fothers
3 years ago

Anti-black bigotry is being augmented due to people like Kehinde Andrews forever telling white people that they and all their institutions are inherantly racialist. Then all boxes have to be ticked to ensure ethnic and other minorities are promoted (whether able or not), only blacks can be interviewed on tv and all tv adverts must be dominated by blacks, asians and or mixed families.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  Jean Fothers

It also helps Kehinde Andrews grow his bank balance

GA Woolley
GA Woolley
3 years ago

I wonder what Andrews would make of Ibn al-Khaldun’s opinions of sub-Sahel Africans, set out in his Muqaddimah 3 centuries before ‘white’ people set foot in Africa? al-Khaldun, an Arab, was the foremost philosopher of his time, and possibly the greatest Muslim philosopher ever.
‘To the south of this … there is a Negro people called Lamlam. They are unbelievers. They brand themselves on the face and temples. The people of Ghanah and Takrur invade their country, capture them, and sell them to merchants who transport them to the Maghrib. There, they constitute the ordinary mass of slaves. Beyond them to the south, there is no civilization in the proper sense. There are only humans who are closer to dumb animals than to rational beings. They live in thickets and caves and eat herbs and unprepared grain. They frequently eat each other. They cannot be considered human beings.’

lance.milburn.4351
lance.milburn.4351
3 years ago

All Utopias are a fantasy. Human beings are hard wired to be competitive. The colour of a person’s skin is irrelevant. Deconstructing the advances to human knowledge, prosperity and liberty that followed the Enlightenment will lead us to what Thomas Hobbes described;
“In such condition, there is no place for industry; because the fruit thereof is uncertain: and consequently no culture of the earth; no navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by sea; no commodious building; no instruments of moving, and removing, such things as require much force; no knowledge of the face of the earth; no account of time; no arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short”.

G Worker
G Worker
3 years ago

You seem very confused. How can you write, “All Utopias are a fantasy” and then proceed to “the colour of a person’s skin is irrelevant.” Make your mind up!

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  G Worker

We would not have utopia simply because skin color was considered irrelevant.

Pierre Mauboussin
Pierre Mauboussin
3 years ago

One criticism I would make is that the Enlightenment radicals were in love with the ideas of liberation and liberty, not so much with its reality. They gave us the French Revolution, Marxism, and Communism, and their murderous offshoots in post-colonial political movements such as the Khmer Rouge. I strongly suspect Prof. Andrews would only support political “liberation” of the Stalinist or Pol Pot variety, which would be needed for the elimination of “whiteness.” This also explains the Left’s otherwise odd embrace of Islamic extremists: ISIS, the Taliban or the Iranian regime are just Mohammed’s Leninist vanguard, fighting valiantly to overcome Western influence.

The other point I would make is that if you look at the Enlightenment theorists who had some real acquaintance with actual politics and successful political arrangements such as Jefferson, the American founders, and Burke, you can see that they were all keenly aware that the Enlightenment formula of limited government and respect for rights depended upon a populace that had already developed social and economic institutions that (in the main) respected such rights or at least could tolerate them. In brief, you needed some respect for bourgeois culture and a pluralistic distribution of political, property, and legal rights. The only major non-Western countries that more or less successfully adopted parliamentary systems of government were India and Japan, because in their histories they developed (or were forced to develop) notions of legal rights and fair public administration that made the creation of parliamentary democracies possible.

Tom Graham
Tom Graham
3 years ago

I agree that the enlightenment did in a way create racism in the west.

The enlightenment promoted Christian ideas of equality, individual freedom and human rights.
This was a problem for western countries that were building empires at the time: To justify the imposition of our rule over other peoples, which is inevitably part of building any empire, we had to come up with the concept of racism: If all humans are equal, then to justify our rule over people in Africa and Asia, we need to say that they belong to races who are not fully human.

Previous empires – the Romans, Mongols, Persians, had no concept of racial superiority, because they ha no concept of human equality. They did not have to justify conquest and slavery, because they knew that the natural and correct state of things is for the strong to rule over the weak.

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Graham

Have you not read Virgil’s Aeneid?
“humble the mighty and protect the weak”.

The Romans were obsessed by ideas of equality, and the legal status of an individual.

What was Pliny the Younger up to when he said “there is nothing more unequal than equality itself”?

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Graham

The justification for rule over others was driven by religious proselytising and exceptionalism not the Enlightenment. The Enlightenment was largely the rejection of such ideas, without it we would not have any concept of universal human rights. Christians either got on board with it – by finding common cause in their own texts by way of Jesus and New Testament – or they didn’t and stuck with a more Old Testament view of the world – which absolutely did justify slavery, and the superiority of the Christian god and its acolytes, over others. The idea that Christianity was all about equality and freedom is laughable. It BECAME more about that thanks to the Enlightenment, not the other way around, It definitely meant Christians in the West gradually giving up their power over society as one side won out over the other. The scientific method, as separate from the Enlightenment, is of course open to various human interpretations in terms of its focus and its results. Science brought us the atom bomb, and arguably Darwinism inadvertently brought about the ‘science’ of eugenics. But that is simply the result of human prejudice and evil which eventually engulfs any system. The Enlightenment could be seen as humanity’s first attempt at a more humanistic social system, not based on the divine or the supernatural. It could be argued that humans NEED a religious or pseudo-religious system to control its excesses and that is a valid argument but my main beef with religion is that it is empirically untrue and has observably and repeatedly abused its power in the name of a non-existent God because it is ultimately also subject to the whims of power-hungry humans who exalt themselves over others – which makes it really as earth-bound as the Enlightenment anyway. Humans are basically an evolutionary dead-end and will eventually destroy each other unless we get over ourselves. How we do that, knowing how corruptible humans and human systems are – I have no idea. It might just be a perpetual balancing act with some successes and some failures.

Zach Thornton
Zach Thornton
3 years ago

Interesting article.

Edit Szegedi
Edit Szegedi
3 years ago

Condorcet wal already dead in 1795, being executed in 1794 by the epigons of radical Enlightenment.

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
3 years ago
Reply to  Edit Szegedi

didn’t see this when I made the same point sometime later.

queensrycherule
queensrycherule
3 years ago

Kant formally ended the enlightenment, saying, in essence, that man’s mind was unable to know reality, that reality is unknowable to pure reason.

Joseph McCord
Joseph McCord
3 years ago

You’re actually entirely wrong about that. It’s more a statement on the limitations of absolutely-objective knowledge. In a way, although it’s not an identical matter – you could that on a purely conceptual level, it sort of almost pre-anticipates the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. Albert Einstein is on record as having stated that he thought that Kant must have been one of the greatest human beings who ever walked the Earth – and, Kant’s very very subtle thinking about the nature of space and time probably at least loosely inspired his enormous re-thinking of them, in relativity theory. The question is one about absolute, absolutely objective knowledge of what is absolutely non-subjective – not an kind of “dismissal” of the possibility of knowledge. If that had been Kant’s argument – he would never at any point have been regarded as a great and important thinker.

John Percival
John Percival
3 years ago

Thank you for this uplifting defence of the Enlightenment

Don Gaughan
Don Gaughan
3 years ago

The progressive left cancel cults dogma narrative takes events out of context , twists and exaggerates them to ” unprecedented ‘high crimes without due process or dissent , convict and sentence as their rationale to undemocratically unilaterally impose their racist marxist socialist power wealth transfer policies.
Take a good look, and they are verifiably more guilty of everything they false accuse than their targets for destruction …which include the free democracies of western civilisation and the peoples who built it.
The marriage of irrational neurotic self hating liberals and the obsolete discredited Marxism of the fallen Soviet tyranny has produced today’s left liberal progressive censor cancel cult ,along with the designated victim groups and race activists who originally fled and avoided the countries run by their ethnic group to choose and enter a society built by a different culture and race.
The progressive tyranny is the real vandal and threat to truth, freedom and democracy for humanity.
The road to liberate humanity from this tyranny starts with the first step ,and the British people have started, as they have stood against other tyrannies in our times.

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
3 years ago

Condorcet wrote nothing in 1795, because he was murdered by Robespierrists after the purge of the Convention in May-June 1973.

Simon Holder
Simon Holder
3 years ago

What a wonderful article! And, being black himself, he proves his points even more eloquently and persuasively. May his ideas abound and proliferate – a truly balanced mind unsullied by Weftist illogicality. (Weftist = Woke Leftist)

roofingag
roofingag
3 years ago

Andrews is deluded.

He recently stated that Jesus was a Palestinian!

George Thomas
George Thomas
3 years ago

Theories of racial superiority are wrong. They are scientifically wrong and ethically wrong.
In the development of human knowledge, at various epochs, positive contributions have been greater from certain geographical regions. At the present time, people who are white happen to be generally more powerful than any other skin colour. The world is still unequal.
The true causes of inequality do not lie in skin colour but in the complex web of social and economic relationships. Understanding this will help us to progress to a more humane society.
In my opinion, this is the argument that Ralph Leonard is making.
It is sad that there are so many personal attacks on participants in the discussion.
Two books that I have found extremely enlightening are Caste by Isabel Wilkerson and Medical Apartheid by Harriet Washington.
Neither virtue nor vice are the sole prerogative of any skin colour. At the present time, simply because white people are the most powerful, their ability to harm others is much more than any other skin colour.

G Worker
G Worker
3 years ago
Reply to  George Thomas

Vast differences in average performance between the human races arise through the evolutionary process, and the evidence is robust and clear. The psychometric evidence has been unchanged in over a century of testing. Of course, human difference was contested from the left, for the greater part by Jewish activist academics (Boas, Montague, Gould, Lewontin, Diamond, etc, etc). But that effort has subsided since the genome was cracked by Venter. The Sociology Study Group was retired. Rushton ran out of people to debate and his principal work on human difference stands unsullied. It was left to the unhinged anti-racist faction to shout a lot.

Not that shouting a lot hasn’t been successful. Those who have continued to argue from the evidence have often been most hatefully attacked for it. The left is anti-white. It is brain-diseased with racial self-contempt. I strongly advise you not to associate yourself with it, and never to repeat any of its tropes.

George Thomas
George Thomas
3 years ago
Reply to  G Worker

“Racial self contempt”. Indeed.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  George Thomas

The world has never been and will never be, equal. That’s pure fantasy.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  George Thomas

Racial superiority is wrong. But differences between races, gifted to us by evolution over millennia, are real. It is a positive for people of black African descent that they have some real advantages in some areas of life. Anyone who looks at sporting excellence would be in no doubt. Surviving the harsh North European climate will have endowed others with different advantages, same in Asia. To me there is nothing inherently wrong with acknowledging this. I just think it is a shame that we see it as ‘better’ or ‘superior’ when really if you put humans together what an amazing team we have.

Helen Moorhouse
Helen Moorhouse
3 years ago

I suggest, Ralph Leonard, that you read Inventing the Individual by Larry Siedentop. Progress towards equality has been a 2000 year struggle. Slow, messy but we are definitely better off than we were before it started. As Tom Holland points out in Dominion, Kehinde Andrews would have been laughed at (and then stamped on) in every century before the last one. Does that mean he doesn’t have a grievance? Not necessarily but he would encourage progress more effectively by acknowledging how and why it has come about.

Cabbo T.
Cabbo T.
3 years ago

Magnificent intervention about the Enlightment

chris carr
chris carr
3 years ago

No mention here of the Scottish Enlightenment. Would the inclusion of those thinkers have altered the balance of this piece?

Michael Dawson
Michael Dawson
3 years ago
Reply to  chris carr

Hulme was Scottish and is mentioned.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  chris carr

Why are Scots so absolutely obsessed with being Scots? Do you want to talk about the Scottish leading role in the British Empire, in the theory of capitalism, and many other things now considered evils by the left as well?