Queen of denial
To the editor:
Ericka Schiche says people should know the facts about black people, yet she does not even know the facts about black history.
First, she claims the legendary Carthaginian General Hannibal, who fought the Roman Republic in the second Punic War, was black. This is clearly untrue.
Carthage was in modern-day Tunisia. It was founded in 800 B.C. by Phoenicians from Tyre, a city on the Lebanon-Israeli coastline. The Phoenicians were a Semitic-speaking people. That means they would have looked like the Arabs and Israelis of the Middle East today, with dark hair and olive complexions, not black skin and African features.
Secondly, Schiche claims Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, was black. This is even more glaringly false, and needs correction. Cleopatra was a Greek, not Egyptian, not black.
When Alexander the Great (a Macedonian) died in 323 B.C., his generals divided his empire among themselves. Ptolemy, one of his Macedonian generals established himself as King of Egypt in 305 B.C. He founded the Ptolemaic dynasty of pharaohs. The dynasty staffed its administrative positions with Greeks and Macedonians so as to encourage the Hellenization of Egypt, or the spreading of Greek culture. This Greek upper class produced the pharaohs and their wives to rule Egypt, and excluded native Egyptians so as to keep a monopoly on government.
Cleopatra, who allied herself with Mark Antony against Octavian during the Roman civil wars in the aftermath of Julius Caesar's assassination in 44 B.C., was a well-educated Greek, not an Egyptian (and not black, either, because despite the current myth, Egyptians were not black, which means Isis, the Egyptian goddess of women, marriage and children, was not black).
The current theory of Afrocentrism is a perversion of history to suit propaganda needs. Afrocentrism offers distortions to serve two ends: to free the teaching of world history from its traditional Eurofocus and to give minority students pride in the achievements of their ancestors.
Noble as these goals may be, lying and perversion of history are no way to reach these goals. I know I am not alone in these views, and I encourage others to speak out against this Nazi-like bastardization of the past.