Affirming Ancient and Modern Black Egyptians

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I visited Egypt around 1995, and saw with my own eyes a two-tier system of racism and discrimination in effect. The people who rule Egypt today, are of Middle Eastern descent, and the product of Islamic expansionism. These people are light-brown skinned, and look very different from what I was told are the ‘indigenous’ Egyptians – i.e. the descendants of ‘ancient’ Egyptians (i.e. those culturally magnificent people who built the pyramids), who have black skin and typical African (i.e. ‘negroid’) features. The problem was that these ‘black’ Egyptians now live as second class citizens in the country of their ancestors, and are trained from birth to think of themselves as ‘subordinate’ to their Middle Eastern (i.e. ‘Asian’) over-lords. These indigenous Egyptians are not stupid – despite the oppression they are forced to live under. Although forced to be manual labourers, and never to aspire to anything beyond this banal existence, many still retain the collective memories of their culturally great ancestry, which is reinforced continuously by the presence of their tombs, temples, statues and pyramids (which are thousands of years old). I visited Egypt with my Chinese family, and cruised the Nile. I became so ‘tanned’ in colour due to the heat, that Asian Egyptians mistook me for an (Asian) Egyptian tourist guide, showing around a group of Japanese tourists! The sense of ‘race’ is so pronounced in Egypt, that I assume it to be a vestige of British imperialist rule. The British controlled their colonies by strictly demarking each ethnic group by skin-colour, and ascribing a sub-ordinate position on a scale of assumed ‘racial fitness’. Of course, the ‘White’ British were always at the top of this scale, with others descending in worth – with lighter skin being perceived legally as being more ‘valuable’ than darker skin, etc. As a Socialist (i.e. Marxist-Leninist’) and Internationalist, I acknowledge the crimes of my European ancestors – and reject such ‘racialist’ thinking entirely. However, just after our flight touched-down in Cairo, both myself and my partner (who is ethnic Chinese), were taken aside by (Asian) Egyptian immigration officials, and asked why it was that we had a ‘mixed’ marriage! I explained that in the UK such marriages were allowed, and besides, I am of Anglo-Chinese descent. The Egyptian officials looked dumb-founded and said that in Egypt ‘race mixing’ between two ‘different’ ethnic groups is not allowed. They then checked with the British embassy about the validity of what I had said, and after a brief delay, we were escorted (by armed guards), to a waiting bus (which took us to our hotel – and not a prison!).  Later, whilst on board the cruise ship, I would wake-up early and head atop deck to practice qigong and gongfu. As it was around 5am – no other passengers were up. One-day, whilst practising my martial arts, I noticed two or three ‘black’ Egyptians carefully peering at me from below deck (the engine room, to be precise). I waved and went over to them. They were very friendly and told me that they were the ‘true’ Egyptians and that the Asian Egyptians were invaders and usurpers. They lived lives of oppression and repression, and had been warned not to talk to any foreigners. I found it ironic that Asian Egyptians made ample tourist money out of extraordinary ancient monuments that were built by ‘black’ Egyptians, and not by their own ‘Middle Eastern’ ancestry. It seems that after the British left Egypt, they handed over the political and economic power to the lighter-skinned Asian Egyptians, these ‘Egyptians’ now ensure that the indigenous ‘black’ Egyptians are kept in a subjugated position within contemporary Egyptian society. This plays into the hands of ‘White’ racism, and leads to all kinds of pseudo-science which (falsely) claims that the ancient Egyptians were not black! It seems a product of insanity to me, to suggest that ancient Egyptians were not black!

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