I find Cornel West, a black professor, complaining of White Supremacy, which he believes our black President needs to remedy. Obama, he says, is “niggerized.”
“A niggerized black person is a black person who is afraid and scared and intimidated when it comes to putting a spotlight on white supremacy and fighting against white supremacy,” West said.
I would like to explain to Professor West a few things about this dread supremacy:
We have White Supremacy, Professor, because for 2500 years we, whites, have produced the best minds on the planet, the greatest flourishing of the arts and sciences ever seen, the most complex and organized societies. We have White Supremacy, whatever exactly it may be, because we have been the earth’s most successful race. No other has come close. Deal with it.
We put probes on Mars and invented the thousands of technologies needed to do it. We developed the symphony orchestra, the highest form of musical expression. We invented the airplane, the computer, the internet, and tennis shoes. Putting it compactly, we invented the modern world. A degree of privilege, however you may conceive it, goes with the territory.
Blacks may not have the background to grasp the extent of our achievements. Still, permit me a brief and very incomplete list of things white people have done or invented:
Euclidean geometry. Parabolic geometry. Hyperbolic geometry. Projective geometry. Differential geometry. Calculus: Limits, continuity, differentiation, integration. Physical chemistry. Organic chemistry. Biochemistry. Classical mechanics. The indeterminacy principle. The wave equation. The Parthenon. The Anabasis. Air conditioning. Number theory. Romanesque architecture. Gothic architecture. Information theory. Entropy. Enthalpy. Every symphony ever written. Pierre Auguste Renoir. The twelve-tone scale. The mathematics behind it, twelfth root of two and all that. S-p hybrid bonding orbitals. The Bohr-Sommerfeld atom. The purine-pyrimidine structure of the DNA ladder. Single-sideband radio. All other radio. Dentistry. The internal-combustion engine. Turbojets. Turbofans. Doppler beam-sharpening. Penicillin. Airplanes. Surgery. The mammogram. The Pill. The condom. Polio vaccine. The integrated circuit. The computer. Football. Computational fluid dynamics. Tensors. The Constitution. Euripides, Sophocles, Aristophanes, Aeschylus, Homer, Hesiod. Glass. Rubber. Nylon. Roads. Buildings. Elvis. Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. (OK, that’s nerve gas, and maybe we didn’t really need it.) Silicone. The automobile. Really weird stuff, like clathrates, Buckyballs, and rotaxanes. The Bible. Bug spray. Diffie-Hellman, public-key cryptography, and RSA. Et cetera.
As a race, Cornel, we are happy for you, for anyone, to enjoy the benefits of our civilization, but that is exactly what it is—our civilization. It has become a global civilization because others among the competent—again, Chinese, Japanese, Indians, Koreans—have found it to be in technical matters superior. It came from us. They, I note, do not complain of White Supremacy or White Privilege. They are too busy making computers and money.
Now, Cornel, I have often heard blacks demanding reparations for slavery. All right. I agree. It is only fair. I will pay a half-million dollars to each of my slaves, and free them immediately. I am not sure how many I have, but will try to give you an estimate in even dozens. Further, I believe that all blacks are entitled to a similar amount for every year in which they were slaves.
However, I think you owe us royalties for the use of our civilization, which can be regarded as a sort of software. There should be a licensing fee. After all, every time you use a computer, or a door knob, you are using something invented by us. Every time you sharpen a pencil, or use one, or read or write, you infringe our copyright, so to speak. We have spent millennia coming up with things–literacy, soap, counting–and it is only fair that we receive recompense.
The accounting burden would be excessive if we tried to distribute royalties in too fine a granularity, such as three cents per use of a boom box or a Glock, so we should probably use a bundled approach–so much per year for use of the wheel, refrigerator, and television. The amount could be deducted first from reparations payments and then automatically from EFT cards.
Now, Cornel, it isn’t that we whites want to be supreme. It is just that we haven’t been able to help it. It isn’t our fault that we produced Newton, Archimedes, Einstein, and all those mutants. They are just birth effects, things that happen to even the best families. You have to play the hand you are dealt. A little sympathy would be appropriate.
What I think, Cornel, is that if you want the advantages of success, you have to succeed. We have. It is chic to say that whites are now headed for the dust bin of history. Maybe. If so, historians of the future will say, “Damn! That was some really fine dust, wasn’t it?”