I appreciate the effort and spirit of Theodore W. Allen’s work, as his position about the “White Race” formed in America is correct. However, the concept of “White Race” preceded its implementation in the America’s and is historically traced to Moorish [Ancient Aethiopian] Society.
“When the first Africans arrived in Virginia in 1619, there were no ‘white’ people there, nor according to the colonial records, would there be for another sixty years. ‘White’ identity had to be carefully taught, and it would be another, sixty years before the word would appear as a synonym for European American.”
Allen’s points as noted in the videos above are as follows:
“The “white race” was invented as a ruling class social control formation in response to labor solidarity as manifested in the latter (civil war) stages of Bacon’s Rebellion (1676-1677).”
“A system of racial privileges was deliberately instituted by the late 17th early 18th century Anglo-American bourgeoisie in order to define and establish the “white race” and establish a system of racial oppression.”
“The consequence was not only “ruinous “to the interests of the African Americans but was also “disastrous” for European-American workers. Their “position vis a vis the rich and powerful was not improved but weakened by the white skin privilege system.”
“White Race is no part of genetic evolution”
“White Race is A ruling-class social control formation”
“The White Race must be understood, not simply as a social construct, but as a ruling class social control formation.”
“White Supremacism: “the Achilles heel of the labor democratic, and socialist movements in this country”.
“White Race Has served as “the principal historic guarantee of ruling-class domination of national life” in the United States.”
“Invention of the “white race” was “political” no part of genetic evolution.”
“Amongst the Whites there are entire populations, whose skin is as black as that of the darkest Negro. I shall only quote the Bishareen and other tribes inhabiting the African coasts of the Red Sea, the black Moors of Senegal, etc. On the other hand, there are yellow Negroes, as the Bosjesmans, who are the colour of light mahogany, or of cafe au lait, as Lingstone tells us.”
“Most Marka identified themselves as ‘white’ (the black were the recently converted). The Dyula were a long-distance merchants, called Marka on the Niger bend…” They called themselves the whites due to their faith – Islam. “
“In this country as in the east, a word meaning white is attached to the ruling class and black is synonymous with dependency and servitude.”
“The Moroccan system of racial definition was clearly “racialist” and was in fact a curious inversion of the Western racist model. Whereas in the western model “one drop” of black blood identifies one as black, in the Moroccan model, “one drop” of white blood identifies one as Arab (i.e., privileged).” “This process helped create a “nationalist” Moroccan Arab majority and at the same time subjugated black ancestry (i.e., those without the “one drop” of Arab blood), seen as having more bearing on the historical antecedents of slavery.”
“In the Virginia code of 1705, for example, the term sounded much more like a definition of race than of religion: “And for a further Christian care and usage of all Christian servants, Be it also enacted, by the authority aforesaid, and it is hereby enacted, That no Negroes, mulatto, or Indians, although Christians, or Jews, Moors, Mahometans, or other infidels, shall, at any time, purchase any Christian servant, nor any other, except of their own complexion, or such as are declared slaves by this act.” By this time “Christianity” had somehow become intimately and explicitly linked with complexion.”
“According to Lewicki, in fact, Bavares is also thought to be the name of the people that came to be called the Bafour. “According to some traditions Bafour were whites … belonging to the Berber group of the Zenata. “Clearly it seems that the “Barbares” or Soninke of the Sahel and Sudan were the “Mauri Bavares” or Babars of Mauritania in what is now Morocco and Algeria possibly pushed down by the Tuareg “the second race of Berbers” and/or Arab Sulaym/Hilal peoples like the Trarza or Hassaniya. They were direct ancestors of the black merchants known as Soninke, Sughai (Isuwaghen or Zawagha) or Wangara who are called “whites” in early African manuscripts.” Quoting Dana Reynolds Marniche
“One anthropologist who did fieldwork in the 1960s in a village along the Nile near Merowe, for example, noted that the village’s continued to have social obligations toward families who had owned them or their forebears. Since those of higher status frowned upon intermarriage with them, the group had remained largely endogamous. Slave descent, therefore, “blackened” an individual in social terms. Skin color was no index, since in the years before the nationalist transformation that would make Sudanese-ness acceptable, a person of high status could have had dark skin without being regarded as “Black,” or “Sudanese,’ by his community. Such an individual would most likely have identified himself instead as “Arab,’ which conveyed not simply his use of the Arabic language, but, more importantly, his claim of distinguished parentage. Good parentage derived from membership in a patrilineally reckoned tribal group (e.g., the Sha’iqiyya or Baqqara) that claimed a distant Arabian progenitor. The father’s line was paramount, though high status on the mother’s side enhanced social position.”
“Ultimately, “Arab” and “Black” were both more important to the Northern Sudanese as labels of status and class rather than of ethnicity or color. The British appear to have absorbed some of these attitudes, in the form of an “Arab”/”Black” classification system that easily dovetailed with their own prejudices and notions of race. The system was also reinforced by their partnership with the Egyptians in the Condominium, since Egyptians tended to carry their own racialized stereotypes about Sudanese slavery and servitude. The result, by and large, was the promotion of policies that favored Arabs over Blacks–high status over low—for the finest academic educations and the most lucrative office jobs. A British soldier, D.C.E. Comyn, provided an insight into this rough classification system in his memoirs, publishd as follows: “Of the 150 men, 50 were pure, straight-haired Arabs; 70 were Kordofan Arabs, who, by intermarriage with the Nubas, tc., have the curly hair of the latter. The remainder were Sudanese.”
“The word “Caucasian” is in scarcely better repute. It is at best a conventional term, with an altogether fortuitous origin, which, under scientific manipulation, has come to include far more than the unscientific mind suspects. According to Keane, for example, . . . It includes not only the Hindu but some of the Polynesians, (that is the Maori, Tahitians, Samoans, Hawaiians, and others), the Hamites of Africa, upon the ground of the Caucasic cast of their features, though in color they range from brown to black. We venture to think that the average well informed white American would learn with some degree of astonishment that the race to which he belongs is made up of such heterogeneous elements.” U.S. v. Bhagat Singh Thind (1923)
The South Carolina District Court thus determined that Albanians, Spanish, and Portuguese “Moors” are white, while “all inhabitants of Asia, Australia, the South Seas, the Malaysian Islands and territories, and of South America” are not unless they can show European descent. Ex parte Shahid, 205 F. at 814–16
“The word Negro comes from the Latin word niger, meaning black. Hamites, Kushites, and Moors were also black, but they have been inducted into the white race. The word Negro was manufactured during the Atlantic Slave Trade; or to put it another way, there are many species of small fish in the ocean; when put into cans they are called sardines.”
“Ibn Mandour says that the expression The Red People applies to the non-Arabs because of their whiteness and because of the fact that most of them are fair-skinned. He says that the Arabs used to call the non-Arabs such as the Romans and the Persians and their neighbors, The Red People. He also says that when the Arabs say that someone is white, they mean that he has a noble character–they don’t mean that he is white. He says that the Arabs call the slaves The Red People. This is because most of the slaves of the Arabs were white (red).”
Λευκαιθίοπες ; Leucæthiopes (White Aethiopians) is a term found in ancient Roman literature.
Both Herodotus (Herodotus. History VIII:70.) and Strabo (Strabo. Geography XV:21.) “speak of two Ethiopias, one eastern, the other western”. Strabo also said that the ancient Greeks “designated as Ethiopia the whole of the southern countries towards the ocean”, not just a region near Egypt. Ephorus asserted that the White Ethiopians came from the Far East. Philostratus claimed that “The Indians are the wisest of mankind. The Ethiopians are a colony of them”.
“Speaking of the difference between modern thought and ancient times, Richard Smith warns that even apparently well-defined categories “like ‘race’ can be confusing”. According to him, Ptolemy placed two peoples, the Leukaethiopes and Melanogaetulians (‘Black Gaetulians’), in the far west of North Africa; namely, in southern Morocco. Smith suggests that the Leukaethiopes, “literally, ‘white Ethiopians'”, could also be described as “white black men” since in ancient times “the term ‘Ethiopian’ referred to skin color”. He further asserts that Pliny the Elder places the Leukaethiopes south of the (Sahara) desert, between the white Gaetulians and the black Nigritae; the closest neighbours would then have been the Libyaegyptians, “literally the ‘Egyptian Libyans’, another oxymoron”. However, Smith indicates that Pliny does not mention any black Gaetulians.”
Source: What happened to the ancient Libyans? Chasing Sources across the Sahara from Herodotus to Ibn Khaldun. Journal of World History, Vol 14, No 4, pages 459–500. Smith, Richard (December 2003). page 475
“Louis Vivien de Saint-Martin posits that the Leucaethiopes were early Berbers, who had penetrated southward into the desert.”
“Edmund Dene Morel, writing in 1902, confirms that both Ptolemy and Pliny speak of the Leucaethiopes, but believes that Ptolemy places them “in the neighbourhood of the Gambia”, whereas Pliny places them “a couple of degrees farther north”. Morel concludes that the Leucaethiopes may have been early Fulani since the first record on West Africa (ca. 300 AD) describes an Empire governed by “white” rulers, which was established by a king whose name contains a Fulfulde affix. According to Morel, this Fulani connection was first made in 1799 by Major Rennel in his Travels in the Interior of Africa, a notebook on Mungo Park’s travels.”
Pliny the Elder wrote in section 5.8 of his Natural History that:
“If we pass through the interior of Africa in a southerly direction, beyond the Gætuli, after having traversed the intervening deserts, we shall find, first of all the Liby-Egyptians, and then the country where the Leucæthiopians dwell.”
“Oric Bates [fr] notes that Ptolemy wrote of the White Aethiopians and the Melanogaetulians, and compares this to the mention by Orosius of the Libyoaethopians. Bates places the White Aethiopians in Morocco and the Melanogaetulians just to the east of them, claiming Ptolemy’s authority for this, and arguing that “These descriptives are good evidence of the ancient opposition of whites and blacks in the Sahara, and of their fusion. Bates further compares these claims with what he argues is the “marked xanthochroid element of foreign (Nordic) origin” in Morocco, i.e. a mixing of light-skinned people from Northern Europe.”
“Pomponius Mela wrote, in Frank E. Romer’s translation, that “On those shores washed by the Libyan Sea, however, are found the Libyan Aegyptians, the White Aethiopians, and, a populous and numerous nation, the Gaetuli. Then a region, uninhabitable in its entire length, covers a broad and vacant expanse”
Francis Champollion was the scholar credited with deciphering the hieroglyphs (Medu Netar which meaning language of the Gods) with the Rosetta Stone. The information that he was said to have unraveled about the origins and true history of the “Tamahu” (which literally translate into the words “created White people“) devastated him and he wrote about what he found in the letter to his brother below. ” ‘The Tamahou Is The European’ – Said Champollion. Champollion affirmed this in his letter to his brother and wrote:
“…Right in the valley of Biban-el-Moluk we admired, like all previous visitors, the astonishing freshness of the paintings and the fine sculptures on several tombs. I had a copy made of the peoples represented on the bas-reliefs. At first, I had thought from the copies of these bas-reliefs published in England, that these peoples of different races led by the god Horus holding his shepherd’s staff, were indeed nations subject to the rule of the Pharaohs. A study of the legends informed me that this tableau has a more general meaning. It portrays the third hour of the day, when the sun is beginning to turn on its burning rays, warming all the inhabited countries of our hemisphere. According to the legend itself, they wished to represent the inhabitants of Egypt and those of foreign lands. Thus, we have before our eyes the image of the various races of man known to the Egyptians.
“And we learn at the same time the great geographical or ethnographic divisions established during that early epoch. Men led by Horus, the shepherd of the peoples, belong to four distinct families. The first, the one closest to the god, has a dark red colour, a well-proportioned body, kind face, nose slightly aquiline, long braided hair, and is dressed in white. The legends designate this species as Rt-en-ne-Rme, the race of men par excellence i.e. the Egyptians. There can be no uncertainty about the racial identity of the man who comes next: he belongs to the Black race, designated under the general term, Nahasi. The third presents a very different aspect; his skin colour borders on yellow or tan, he has a strongly aquiline nose, thick, black pointed beard and wears a short garment of varied colours; these are called, Namou. Finally, the last one is what we call flesh-coloured, a white skin of the most delicate shade, a nose straight or slightly arched, blue eyes, blond or reddish beard, tall stature and very slender clad in a hairy ox-skin, a veritable savage tattooed [see my article on European Goths] on various parts of his body, he is called, Tamahou.”
“I hasten to seek the tableau corresponding to this one in the other royal tombs and, as a matter of fact, I found it in several. The variations I observed fully convinced me that they had tried to represent here the inhabitants of the four corners of the earth, according to the Egyptian system, namely;..”
“The inhabitants of Egypt which, by itself formed one part of the world. The inhabitants of Africa proper: Blacks, Asians…”
“Finally [and I am ashamed to say so, since our race is the last and the most savage in the series]. Europeans who, in those remote epochs, frankly did not cut too fine a figure in the world. In this category we must include all blonds and white-skinned people living not only in Europe, but Asia as well, their starting point. This manner of viewing the tableau is all the more accurate because, on the other tombs, the same generic names appear, always in the same order. We find there, Egyptians and Africans represented in the same way, which could not be otherwise; but the Namou [the Asians] and the Tamahou [Europeans] present significant and curious variants. Instead of the Arab or the Jew, dressed simply and represented on one tomb, Asian’s representatives on other tombs [those of Ramases 11 ect] are three individuals, tanned complexion, aquiline nose, black eyes, and thick beard but clad in rare splendour.”
“In one, they are evidently Assyrians, their costume, down to the smallest detail, is identical with that of personages engraved on Assyrian cylinders. In the other, are Medes or early inhabitants of some part of Persia. Their physiognomy and dress resemble, feature for feature, those found on monuments called, Persepolitan. Thus, Asia was represented indiscriminately by any one of the peoples who inhabited it. The same is true of our good old ancestors, the Tamahou. Their attire is sometimes different; their heads are more or less hairy and adorned with various ornaments; their savage dress varies somewhat in form, but their white complexion, their eyes and beard all preserve the character of a race apart. I had this strange ethnographical series copied and coloured.”
“I certainly did not expect, on arriving at Biban-el-Moluk, to find sculptures that could serve as vignettes for the history of the primitive Europeans, if ever one has the courage to attempt it, nevertheless, there is something flattering and consoling in seeming them, since they make us appreciate the progress we have subsequently achieved…”
Slide Presentation/Talk by Jeffrey B. Perry on
The Invention of the White Race (Verso Books)
by Theodore W. Allen
with special emphasis on Vol. II: The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America.
Hosted by “The Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen Society”
Filmed by Fred Nguyen on January 31, 2013
Brecht Forum, New York City