As we mentioned yesterday, Dawkins has been on a racist tear lately. One of his most batshit tweets fights the tyranny of cultural appropriation — meaning the people criticizing cultural appropriation are tyrannical, not the other way around. I know. Stay with me.
The meme assumes that without Europeans, life would be a living hell because the world would be missing the following items:
Al-Biruni invented the first mechanical geared lunisolar calendar astrolabe and Ismail al-Jazari from Turkey created what is considered to be the first programmable analogue computer in the Middle Ages but there are too many milestones like these in the history of computers to mention every one. So instead I’ll just point out that the device you’re reading this one was most likely assembled in Asia and when something goes wrong you’ll inevitably talk to a person in Asia to fix it.
One of the earliest attempts at flight may have been Abbas ibn Firnas, an Arabic inventor. He was Andalusian, which for the purposes of this racist meme I’m assuming he’ll be considered “European.” But let’s all just take a moment to acknowledge the wishy washy nature of that word.
Yep, trains are pretty Euro.
The first steam-powered “car” was designed and possibly built by a European — who was living in China, working for the Chinese emperor.
Yep, bikes are also pretty Euro.
Coca Cola and Pepsi
The kola nut comes from the tropical rainforest of Africa, where it was consumed by ancient Africans for its caffeine.
Mmm, deliciously Euro!
Originated in West Africa, brought to the US South by slaves.
Hot dogs and hamburgers
Wrapping meat up in a carb comes to us courtesy of the ancient Jews.
Definitely European! British, to be exact.
Yes, Western architecture is a product of the West (i.e. Europe). This is known as a tautology.
Prada, Cartier, Chanel, Polo
Yes, these European fashion designers would not be possible without Europeans. Tautology #2!
Every culture throughout history has had its own philosophy. I assume you wanted to say “Western philosophy” but three tautologies would be too many for one racist meme.
Greece is known as the birthplace of democracy, but the US system of governance was heavily inspired by the Iroquoian League of Nations.
Thanks to everyone behind the scenes at Skepchick HQ for chipping in and helping turn an ignorant, racist meme propagated by an ignorant, racist man into a delightful history lesson! The most important thing to take away from all this is that we should all give thanks to ancient white people while riding our bikes to the pizza parlor this week.