We are merely two days into Black History Month. As my streaming algorithms are telling me, it’s a time to “celebrate Black voices”. Do you know that one of these Black voices may actually be Joe Rogan? Shocking, I know. But an opinion piece published in the New York Daily News makes a pretty convincing case.
Recently on his podcast, Rogan spoke to Jordan Peterson (a Canadian like me, so I am feeling doubly represented by this pairing) about a time when author Michael Eric Dyson called Peterson a “mean, angry, white man.” This went into a discussion about race and how Dyson, who is African-American, is not really Black because, “unless you’re talking about someone who is 100% African from the darkest place where they’re not wearing any clothes all day, and they’ve developed all that melanin to protect themselves from the sun —” Okay, I think we get it. Ultimately, they both decided the term Black was “weird.”
To that, the author of the Daily News piece (who is also Black), gives us an argument I will never tire of:
Here’s the most important lesson for Joe Rogan: He himself can also actually be considered to be “Black.”
You see, all human beings — wherever they are today — trace their ancestry to Africa. Our ancestors first appeared and inhabited the Rift Valley region of East and Central Africa. One of the oldest fossil remains, dated at 3.2 million years old, was unearthed in Ethiopia in 1974.
Well, would Rogan still believe the term Black was weird if he knew he was, in fact, Black? Who knows. We are all African, and therefore all Black. The girl reading this? She’s Black.
But I also must give credit to my fellow brother (I guess) Richard Dawkins who first pioneered the idea that all of us are African, before it was a mainstream view expressed on Spotify’s number one podcast.
In fact, for a mere 15 American dollars you too can own your African heritage proudly with this shirt — it feels good to support Black-owned businesses.