The Definitive List Of Contributions Made By Non-White People To Civilization
Start writing a post

On July 18, at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, Representative Steve King from Iowa told Esquire writer Charles Pierce and MSNBC host Chris Hayes, "This 'old white people' business does get a little tired, Charlie. I'd ask you to go back through history and figure out: Where are these contributions that have been made by these other categories of people that you're talking about? Where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization?"

Later that night, in the exact same building, Melania Trump spoke to the convention in what was to be the highlight of the night, using a speech that contained phrases identical to that of first African American First Lady Michelle Obama's address to the Democratic National Convention in 2008. According to Professor Patrick Juola of Duquesne University, the odds of this being complete coincidence are about one in 5 septillion.

I guess Ms. Trump is just lucky.

I'm afraid it seems the irony of this whole situation is lost on the likes of people like Representative King. So here's the definitive list of all the contributions made to civilization by non-white people:

Just kidding.

Unfortunately for Representative King, it is impossible to quantify and compare the contributions of non-white people to civilization to those of white people. Just deciding what exactly the words "contribution," "civilization," and "white" mean in this context would be a challenge in itself. But while mainstream media freaked out over what seemed like a blatant display of ignorance, if not straight up racism, I and many other people of color remained unsurprised.

Of course he thinks this way. How could he not think this way?

The reality is that debating who contributed more to civilization ultimately solves nothing. However, American history and the history of the West in general is full of examples of taking things from people of color and claiming them for their own, whether it be technological achievements like gunpowder from China or cultural developments like rock and roll from African American blues and jazz. And I'm sure that the cycle will continue as those in power continue to pick and choose what they like from various subcultures and minority groups while the reverse remains impossible. But to then go around and suggest that those groups have contributed nothing, despite their continued denial as valid creators, is simply outrageous.

What Representative King said on Monday was simply the verbalization of an essential part of the American mindset. And just like everything else, it can't and won't change until we talk about it openly. Until we feel able to have an honest discussion about the origins of some of the things we hold most dear, people will simply continue to believe that White, Christian, Western society is inherently superior to everything else.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Robert Bye on Unsplash

I live by New York City and I am so excited for all of the summer adventures.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

The invention of photography

The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.

68423

The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Exposing Kids To Nature Is The Best Way To Get Their Creative Juices Flowing

Constantly introducing young children to the magical works of nature will further increase the willingness to engage in playful activities as well as broaden their interactions with their peers

1556445

Whenever you are feeling low and anxious, just simply GO OUTSIDE and embrace nature! According to a new research study published in Frontiers in Psychology, being connected to nature and physically touching animals and flowers enable children to be happier and altruistic in nature. Not only does nature exert a bountiful force on adults, but it also serves as a therapeutic antidote to children, especially during their developmental years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

969789
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series

895605
Netflix

Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

582457
Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

370635
Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?

490258

Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments