As America increasingly concedes moral dominance to blacks, it’s time for a “1618 Project” to study where our new sub-Saharan overlords are coming from. Racial differences are not just nature but also nurture. African-Americans have some ways of thinking that go back to Africa.
A huge amount of anthropological research into Africa has been conducted over the generations, but almost nobody in America is aware of it. Further, the notion that there can be cultural connections between the way African tribespeople and America’s leading intellectuals, such Nikole Hannah-Jones and Ibram X Kendi, think seems subversive (and we definitely wouldn’t want to be suspected of being subversive about black people).
For example, an anthropologist named Van Rooy studying the Venda people of South Africa (from whom RSA president Cyril Ramaphosa comes) coined the term “limited cosmic good” to describe their basic worldview:
There is only a limited amount of good (that is: life force, good luck, prestige, influence, children, possessions) in the cosmos. Each person is allotted a fixed quantity of this good. It can only be increased at the expense of someone else, by way of black magic, ritual murder or theft.
It’s basically an extension of zero-sum thinking (“Limited Good” in George M. Foster’s 1965 coinage) from economics to the cosmos as a whole.
Although coined by an anthropologist studying the Venda, a friend from South Africa writes, “but talking with Africans the concept is held among most of the less educated africans and many educated (less so among those who are Christians and who are born again).” He goes on:
If I am doing well and you are doing poorly, its not because I am more intelligent, or hard working or even have some natural resource , or just luck, it is because I have stolen your goodness.
There is limited goodness that must be shared among the tribe equally and if I am doing better than the tribe its because I have gained excessive goodness by enchantment.
The remedy is go to the witchdoctor (sangoma) and ask him for an enchantment to hurt me, so that the cosmic equilibrium can be restored and that the ancestors will be pleased.
The witch doctor must first do his mumbo jumbo by throwing the bones or if in a group by sniffing out the culprits to see who is causing this wickedness.
That enchantment can be an occult spell but it can be something like poison to kill me or they could come and burn me and my household.
It’s a common fear among africans that they will be poisoned by other members of the tribe or even their wives. (Zuma accused one of his wives of poisoning him).
Its something W.E.I.R.D. people simply don’t understand, but people like Kendi are still into the idea even though they may never have heard of it. I.e. he believes Whites do well because of enchantment eg systemic racism.
As I pointed out in 2018, the late anthropologist Henry Harpending had been thinking about how fear of systemic racism sounds like an offshoot of African fear of witchcraft:
… a big difference between traditional European and contemporary African conceptions of witchcraft is that in Africa intent is not required to hex victims, just bad feelings toward them.
Emotions get projected over vast distances, so beware.
Indeed, the current concepts of “systemic racism” and “implicit bias,” as promulgated on campuses by African-American Studies departments, sound an awful lot like African tribal notions of witchcraft. In Africa, for example, white privilege protects whites from racism witchcraft. Educated Herero in Namibia explained to Harpending:
Even more interesting to us was the universal understanding that white people were not vulnerable to witchcraft and could neither feel it nor understand it. White people literally lack a crucial sense, or part of the brain. An upside, I was told, was that we did not face the dangers that locals faced. On the other hand our bad feelings could be projected so as good citizens we had to monitor carefully our own “hearts.”
A colleague pointed out a few weeks ago, after hearing this story, that if [this conception of witchcraft] is nearly pan-African then perhaps some of it came to the New World. Prominent and not so prominent talkers from the American Black population come out with similar theories of vague and invisible forces that are oppressing people, like “institutional racism” and “white privilege.”