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  • Writer's pictureartgainz

Truth, Hyperbole, and the Appearance of Certainty

Photograph of Elijah McCoy (1844-1929), black inventor and engineer, founder of the Elijah McCoy Manufacturing Company.

"A World Without Black History":

A few years ago, a video appeared on the internet celebrating the contributions of African innovators to modern technology. This video, produced by MTV, painted a rather startling picture, recounting how African innovators were involved with the development of various modern technologies, contributing some widget or optimizing some component---and then concluding that these modern technologies would not exist at all without the contributions of these African innovators.

This conclusion was presented in a comical manner, and I of course presumed it was meant to be hyperbolic, but shortly afterwards, response videos from lesser Youtube channels appeared criticizing people of European descent for thinking they had anything at all to do with the development of science and technology. The attitude adopted by these YouTubers could be characterized as, “White people are actually idiots and would still be living in caves if they hadn’t stolen African brainpower.”

I am uncertain whether MTV intended people to take their conclusion literally, but given the prominence of Cultural Marxist attitudes today, it was almost inevitable that some people would. After all, the internet is full of black supremacists like Gazi Kodzo who make very bizarre claims.

I suspect that the folks at MTV did not initially believe the black supremacist nonsense, but somehow rationalized their way into justifying the hyperbolic nature of the skit by thinking, “Sure, this isn’t strictly accurate, but those white oppressors need to be taken down a peg or two!” Then ignorant and low-intelligence people saw the MTV video and were not able to comprehend that it was hyperbole, leading to the Twilight-Zone scenario of fat black women on Youtube yelling at white people to go back to their caves.

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