He's not being a 'dickhead'. Afrocentricism isn't taken seriously by most serious academics, and he's right in saying this particular blend of Eurocentricism does seem to be uncritically accepted by people who otherwise have a confident grasp of Chinese history, such as the man who heads the Warring States project. Afrocentricism is seen by most as a misguided, erroneous political movement, unlike this sort of Eurocentricism..............Mair appears to have got it wrong in this instance, and he does make more than the odd untenable claim about the Yuezhi or other Central Asians, such as the Tocharian homeland being located in Austria(!?!).
I have no opinion of Mair and assuming the charges are accurate I have not seen this line of reasoning about an Indo-European Zhou ethnicity (?) in any of my texts on material culture or the ancient dynastic period histories from Western sources. I don't know the 'evidence' but studies of material culture do not prove ethnicity, only a spread of technologies, so untill DNA is taken from a Zhou kings grave and declared 'Indo-European' any such speculative suggestions can be put to one side and not trouble anyone with an interest in fact based history. I have heard enough of Mair to assume me has some odd views, just like an otherwise respected scholar like Homer Dubbs can decide that Romans settled in China based on some flimsy (and since discredited) evidence.
I am not a fan of psuedo-history, as long-term CHF members would be aware.
My comments about Ren were clearly not for just expressing concerns over "Eurocentrism" (which is fine) but specifically that he called me a 'fear monger' because I made comparisons to the intellectual stupidity of both Neo-Nazis & Afrocentrics. (I thought I made my thoughts clear on this as saying one type of bigotry is not worse than another)
Considering I am more interested in discussing the history than the modern politics of a minority of nutcases it was a confrontation that was not nessecary over such a moderate concept.
Whether one choses to consider Eurocentrism racism a very great & pervasive evil and Afrocentrism racism just a bit of a laugh that need not be mentioned it does not make one any better or more acceptable than the other even if that were true. I would entirely disagree about the effect regardless, as the experiences of Prof. Mary Leftowitz illustrate with her Afrocentric students. Even if most academics aren't fooled the public is made of laypeople after all, not academics.
Why does this thread excite such emotion I wonder?
It is only a misleading Youtube title posted by a neo-Nazi, the actual documentary says nothing about who started Chinese culture. The title is controversial, but 4 pages of discussion over a title alone is giving far too much attention to something that never factored into anything I read on ancient China.
What a waste of cyberspace for something so lame.
About Afrocentrism, a new member only recently came onto the CHF thread about a 'Roman style column' in a Han tomb and said how white people stole civilisation from black people etc., and recommended some Afrocentric book on the subject. He didn't last long but he was not the first like this appearing on CHF, and I have seen such people on other forums too.
Despite what some people might hold as opinions about which 'centrism' is worse (a pointless kind of distinction) it seems I have encountered Afrocentric views in common internet discussion more than I have seen 'common' people claiming that whites started civilisations like Chinese......this Youtube links very silly title is a first, bought to my attention by being posted here. I am not niave enough to be surprised but neither would I consider this idea as representative of conventional wisdom.
Need I say again, that to unfairly claim the legacy of any other culture is a very tasteless exercise.
If anything these threads need to move beyond arguing over a ranking for which bigotry is worse.
Would you rather have cancer in the left lung or the right lung?
I certainly did get annoyed over being called a 'fear monger' for making comparisons with Afrocentrism and 'Eurocentrism' (while I denounced both).
I still feel the same about Ren, and I don't care for his pet peeves that would require me to elevate one form of racism above another in 'very bad-bad-badness'.
Luckily he picked too many verbal fights with too many other members on other threads and he left in a sulk not very long after he posted these comments here.
He stayed just long enough to hurl some abuse at the forum itself and the admin and accuse them of various charges in a thread started on just on how annoyed he was with CHF. We did not live up to his community expectations I suppose.
He seemed an excitable sort of chap with a big chip on his shoulder over something.
And, yes.....he was a ****head.