Although they are presented as harmless, goofy explorations of inane historical side-notes, cable TV specials such as Ancient Aliens and The Lost History of Ancient America normalise expressions of racist intellectual attitudes towards native peoples.
Their basic premise remains: ‘These primitive brown people couldn’t possibly have contributed to our cultural history! It must have been [aliens / giants / prehistorical Europeans]’. Indigenous peoples in North America, Latin America and Africa were practical metallurgists, experimental chemists, civil engineers and urban planners - restoring native peoples to their factual place in human developmental history reveals a dazzlingly beautiful archaeological narrative which throws grubby crypto-fascist conspiracy loons into the shade.
Busting these absurd, revisionist ahistories is an anti-racist duty.
“And though the curved blade may seem silly, it made the entire thing aerodynamic so that the weapon itself could be thrown, meaning that it is…” Shao’laan stopped halfway through her excited rambling, surprised by Repard’s sudden gesture. She smiled softly to herself, and reached over to scratch his ears before returning to her explanation. “Versatile. And… Well, for a primitive weapon, it is still really fascinating.”
The British, referred to the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the Congolese people as ‘Primitive’ because they respected the land they lived on and understand the harmony that mankind and nature must abide by. In cultivating Palm trees, they only took what was needed for themselves to feed their families, and constructed a simple but efficient system of refining palms into oil and other products for many different purposes.
The British observed and studied their technique, in their greed they decided to make it into a mass production enterprise, one explorer stated “buried in their jungle, they were too backward to realise the vast inheritance it had to offer, the untapped resources of their vast continent…wealth lay wasting”
It is by this same so called ‘primitive’ invention that they sought out to make profit from Palm (Palm Trees only grow in Tropical climates so the English knew nothing on how to cultivate and process it) they took the invention of the Congolese and enforced their system of capitalism in their country to fund their industrial ‘revolution’, producing more than was necessary, raping the land, causing major issues such as deforestation, habitat degradation, climate change, animal cruelty and for the vast majority if not all of the profits to be enjoyed in their own countries.
They then spread propaganda worldwide; ‘the savages lived in darkness’ 'we found them swinging from trees’ 'we saved them from themselves’, 'we civilised them’ and etc
They made it larger scale, a little tweak there, a little alteration here, and the white man has the audacity to herald himself as an inventor.
Making alterations to a pre-existing system/product whilst keeping the core technique does not make you an inventor. Its called Plagiarism.