The white inventor argument says that we know white people are better than everyone else because of all their wonderful inventions.
The argument has three main uses:
- To prove that whites are better – and the world better off despite whatever racism they may have practised.
- To change the subject. It is a great way to derail any argument about white racism: blacks hate this argument and will jump on it, quickly forgetting whatever they were talking about before. This is why trolls love this argument.
- To point out that x would not even be possible without white people. For example, when arguing about how racist a film is, whites will sometimes try to end the argument by pointing out that it was whites who invented film in the first place!
What is wrong with this argument:
- Doing something good does not excuse doing something bad. More particularly, inventing x does not give you or anyone else the right to misuse x. The invention of film, for example, does not excuse using it to push stereotypes about blacks.
- If inventions “prove” one part of mankind is better than all the rest, then the Chinese and Egyptians have a way better claim than whites.
When people point out the bad that whites have done, whites are quick to point out how other people have done it too, how it is “natural”. Like with the slave trade they quickly point out that Africans and Arabs did it too. Historical Context suddenly matters. But when it comes to the good things, like inventions, white people act like they are the only ones. It is no longer so “natural” anymore. Historical Context goes out the window.
Yet white people would be nowhere without four Chinese inventions: gunpowder, the compass, paper and the printing press. Their rise to world power was built on these.
In fact, before 1500 there were very few white inventions but plenty of Chinese and Egyptian ones.
The Egyptians invented civilization itself along with stuff like writing, calendars, irrigation and so on. They made huge pyramids that no has been able to match since. Egypt was the most advanced part of the world for over 2,000 years – twice as long as even China, much less the West.
True, most important inventions of the past few hundred years were made by white people. But that is only because they have been on top during that time. If it was because white people are born with more brains, then white people would have been on top all throughout history – not just a fifth of it.
If you assume that the largest city will tend to be in the most advanced part of world, then you can say how many years different people have been on top:
- 2072 Egyptian
- 974 Chinese
- 364 Roman
- 360 Sumerian/Babylonian
- 359 Persian
- 285 Greek
- 281 Arab
- 140 Anglo
Anglo power – British and American – is fresh in our minds, but it is merely the latest chapter in the book of history. And that is the Historical Context that this argument forgets.
- Largest cities through history
- human history: the last 6,000 years
- How to argue like a white racist
- Mighty Whitey – where would people of colour be without those good, kind white people?
- white people
- white gaze – which puts whites at the centre of history, even during their dark ages!
- bits of history