Posted On: Thursday - April 11th 2019 11:10AM MST
In Topics:   Race/Genetics  Books
(continued from previous post.)
An otherwise good book ends on a note of naive stupidity.
Out of America only gets stupid at the last chapter, #10, 90% of the way in. This chapter contains Keith Richburg's thoughts about leaving the dark continent and his summary of what is wrong with the place. His stupidity is in his belief in the (h/ts John Derbyshire and Steve Sailer) magic and tragic dirt of our various continents on Earth.
Let me first mention that, yes, Mr. Richburg was VERY glad to leave Africa, pretty much scared shitless by the end of his assignment, and ready to go to the Orient again. Here's the start of the 2nd paragraph in Chapter 10:
Africa. Birthplace of civilization. My ancestral homeland. ... [Yeah, these are not sentences, but I'll let that slide.]No, see, Mr. Richburg, Africa is NOT the birthplace of civilization. I'm no anthropologist, so I won't argue about where humans came from - Africa may be the best guess. It may the birthplace of the human race, but NOT the birthplace of civilization! Groups of humans hunting and gathering, killing each other like animals, wantonly birthing children with no regard for support, and inventing only one thing every 5,000 years, is not the definition of civilization, my esteemed Washington Post correspondent. Without understanding this, the author could never get to the heart of the matter.
In his conclusion, Mr. Richburg explains that, although he's a black man, he is absolutely not an African. The 400-odd years since his ancestors were brought to North America has made him part of a different "people", to paraphrase. He is thankful that his ancestors did get brought here, albeit under very adverse conditions, but now, the blacks in America are totally different people and should be accepted as such, just "black Americans". That'd be nice if it worked.
Nest, after that 225 earlier pages of description of the tribalism, violence, corruption, laziness, and unorganization seen everywhere on the African continent (oh, expect for anywhere left still run by the white man - S. Africa at the time of the book's writing), this guy still doesn't even try to get it. He goes on about, well, he's not optimistic for the near term, but perhaps more democracy, fairer election laws, end of government control of the media, re-written constitutions, voter education, oh, and NO MORE TRIBALISM (please!) will fix this continent up. Yeah, uhhh, that negates the whole book. The point is, nothing works there. Every single good thing in African society is a remnant of the colonial white rule*. That's gone, dude. Tribalism is all you're gonna get, along with every terrible, sad, depressing thing you just got done reporting on.
It's the "Magic Dirt/Tragic Dirt" theory here - the problem is not with the Africans, but just that their continent sucks. We have a better continent here in the US, being smack dab in North America and all. Yeah, it's the continent - don't get off the mother-fucking boat**! You'll be fine. Better get off the boat somewhere else, as your slave ancestors did.
Before his departure from Africa, Mr. Richburg longs for his home, yet has still got his grievances against the white majority (at least, at the time of writing) in America. People call the cops on him more, they don't trust him at the bank (funny story), and all that, as compared to other groups mixed up in the American "melting pot" (his obsolete words). Does he really think it's just that white Americans are prejudiced against blacks due to Africa?*** Hell, not 0.1% have ever been there, and most haven't read your book. Maybe there is a reason that the elder Mr. Richburg sent his kids to the white schools in the suburbs of Detroit. Is that just magic dirt again, up-river in Grosse Pointe, as opposed to inside the city limits, where the dirt just sucks?
Perhaps we don't just change the make-up of our inner selves, just due to 400 years of living among a different culture that has EVOLVED differently. As duly noted here, assimilation works pretty well for small numbers, 1 or 2 in a hundred, and even then, not 2,000 clustered together clustered within 100,000. Mr. Richburg, may have fit in OK as a 1% minority in Grosse Pointe, but how's the City of DetRIOT been doing over the last 5 decades, as no longer quite the "Paris of the West"? No, as anyone would say, these are just gang shootings and robberies and that, not at all the same thing as the horrific African violence. Yeah, there IS still some law-and-order left, as imposed by what's left of the Western Culture. Wait until the rest of the State of Michigan gives up on the place. There will be NOTHING stopping it from turning into one of the places nicely described from Keith Richburg's 3-year tour.
Keith Richburg is rightly glad and proud to have ditched his African roots. It's just unfortunate that his African roots have never ditched him.
Even with that last 10% of Out of America's stupidity, the book is an eye-opening good read. I doubt a book like this could be written without severe repercussions by a guy like this today, much less by a white man.
* It may be a good topic for another post, but the Chinese involvement in Africa is a good thing in my opinion. Good luck to them, and good luck to the Africans - I'm just glad that the next round of complaints and grievances can finally be directed against the Chinese instead of those white colonial oppressors. They ain't seen nothing yet!
** Sorry for the cussing, but that's the line in Apocalypse Now!.
*** Mr. Richburg also mistakenly thinks that the Orientals in Hong Kong and those locales don't have the prejudices that the American whites have toward blacks. Yes, there are "black devils" and "white devils", so what's the diff, right? Haha, I think by now (> 20 years later), Keith Richburg may have been disabused of this notion.