Many speakers are getting caught out by Black speakers rehearsing deep racists comments. Prof Stuart Smith (Note 1) was caught out by Skip Gates making points about skin colours that were quite racist. It must be quite difficult to accuse your influential host of being a racist. There is quite a difficult point here. Skip Gates like Appiah is obsessed with skin color and even stated that he is very dark for coloured person!!! For both Gates and Appiah their light skin is a marker of superiority and they won’t leave it alone. However the majority of whites will have no idea what is going on in the heads of Appiah and Gates.
Gates believes that the Egyptians because they distinguish between people using color must be racists. Their use of color coding is really a rorschach test for Skip Gates revealing his subconscious prejudices. Prof Smith could have pointed out that women were almost always coloured lighter than the men, but in the case of a warrior queen she was painted the same color as the male Pharaohs. Symbolic colouring. Anyone who studied the pigments available would know immediately that the choice of colours was restricted and the coloring of women was symbolic not factual. Skip Gates could not get his head around symbolic coloring and was obsessed with the idea that the colour painted represented actual skin tones. The available color palette did not allow for that.
Most astonishing is the depth of Skip Gate’s ignorance of the topic under discussion in particular and ancient Egypt in general and one wonders why he chose to chair such talks given his complete lack of knowledge. It was clear that the few questions he had were put up jobs fed to him by hard right scholars. Skip Gates did not fully understand the questions he was being prompted to ask and at several places drifted off topic making it difficult for Stuart Smith to understand his question. Gates had consulted his hard right colleagues so that he could bluff his way to sounding knowledgeable. Bluffing is a trait of Gates’ evidenced since his student days. Unfortunately for Skip Gates Egyptology as a topic is unforgiving and his ignorance was clearly showing. He could not make the appropriate qualifications and nuanced comments that a knowledgeable hard right scholar would have made. This is the heart of his false flag operation. Stuart Smith however was the height of tact and diplomacy
I had hoped that Skip Gates had encountered a conversion experience. (Hope springs eternal …) This is because he and Appiah were previously died in the wool against the African origin of Egypt. In particular Appiah readily and frequently ridiculed the idea. In an earlier Huggins lecture (Christopher Ehret) Gates asked how previous scholars (white) could so have avoided the truth. Prof Ehret was puzzled and repeated politely that it was prejudice and racism. The look of puzzlement on Ehret face revealed that he thought he had been clear but polite. In fact Gates was daring him to accuse his fellow academics of being racist. Ehret had no hesitation in making the clear accusation. It was only Gates who thought he would not dare, as Gates himself would never dare.
One of the absurd comments of Gates was that he had never heard until recently all this news. Actually in 1973 as fellow students at Clare College, Cambridge I took Gates through all this in detail. I was teaching African history at another university at the time (yes, I know ) and I took time to teach Gates African history every week for over 6 months including details of the African origin of ancient Egypt. Gates had arrived at Cambridge with zero knowledge of Africa. It was the teaching he received from me that gave him some credibility when he spoke about Africa as he no longer sounded like a painfully ignorant American. I even introduced him to Wole Soyinka. Perhaps I should not have bothered…
Skip Gates may be head of African American studies at Harvard but he, like Appiah, is fundamentally anti-African. I would have liked to forget the past and move on, but Gates’ false flag operations and entrapment of speakers gives me no choice. It is time for a reckoning.
- Stuart Smith, ‘Black Pharaohs? Egyptological bias, racism, & Egypt & Nubia as African Civilizations