The Final Call Online Edition


WEB POSTED 06-12-2001
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The Mummy Returns-and so does white supremacy

by Kwaku Person-Lynn, Ph.D.
Guest Columnist

An interesting thing occurred in May. When the original story regarding how the movie "The Mummy Returns" was extremely demeaning to the great ancient African multi-genius Imhotep, most of the papers owned by Black people published the story. What makes this unique is not one white-owned paper would touch the story or even respond to e-mails, which includes the editor of the Los Angeles Times.

Now we donít always want to jump to the race card, but there seems to definitely be some white supremacist action going on here. This is not based on the fact that they did not publish the story, but on some other issues of grave concern.

One only has to look back at the controversy prior to this yearís Oscars. When Denzel Washington was nominated Best Actor for the film "Hurricane", articles began to pop up all over the country about historical accuracy of the movie. Writers had done research and included all of their discovered facts in their articles. Of course, we know the veiled strategy for all of that was to spread a negative light on the film and deny a man of African descent the award. Real professionals know that Washington gave the best male performance of that year, but the ugly head of white supremacy struck again.

Here is where the present irony comes in. When the white press was alerted about the historical inaccuracy, or the misrepresentation, of a very famous and notable ancient African figure such as Imhotep, not one word or sentence has been written about it by them. We do not have to speculate on why; it is a consistent pattern among the white media and Hollywood. It was the same philosophy that allowed apartheid to last so long in South Africa. The same philosophy that operated in the segregated South. The same philosophy Hitler used to rule his nation. Executives in Hollywood and much of the white press operate within that philosophy.

Just recently, after reading my original article on the above-mentioned movie and how it characterizes Imhotep, one of my sons, Jaaye, told me that the same thing was done in the movie "The Prince of Egypt." Imhotep was a villain in that movie also.

We get bombarded every Christmas and Easter with the same epic religious movies that clearly perpetuate this philosophy. The big lie is spread by making Jesus, Mary and everybody else in those films white. Any honest biblical scholar or historian would tell you, with verifiable evidence, that the people in that part of the world, during those time periods, would have had to be people of color, but certainly not white, especially Jesus. Even the Bible tells us that. Remember the description of his skin as "burnt brass" And isnít that supposed to be the word of God?

Every time we see ancient Egyptian movies, all of the main characters are always white, and the only Black characters are usually slaves, which in reality was just the opposite.

Over and over, wherever Rameses II, one of the greatest pharaohs to ever rule in ancient Kemet (Egypt) is depicted in a movie, he is always portrayed as a man of European descent, when Europe didnít even exist at that time, not even ancient Greece. If a child looked at the pictures of his statues or the Temple of Rameses, they could determine that he was an African man.

So again, we can only conclude that there is a conscious and deliberate white supremacist effort to demean great African figures for all eternity. This, we cannot allow to happen within our own sphere of influence. The white press is just a co-conspirator, so why even consider them?

When Black-owned publications print the true stories of our great historical figures, we must pass the story on to all our family and friends; e-mail everybody we know; make copies and spread them everywhere; sit down at the dinner table and discuss this with our children; talk about it at the job and in the classroom; call in to whatever talk radio programs that we can and express our outrage; and call and write the movie companies to let them know we are aware of what they are doing (in this case Universal Pictures 818-777-1000). It is our responsibility to do this, not someone elseís.

Right at this moment, we cannot allow this movie, "The Mummy Returns" to get away with the assassination of one of our great historical figures. If you do, then donít complain or say one word about it. You have also become an assassin, and our young people have you to blame for their warped perspectives of themselves.

(Kwaku Person-Lynn is the author of "FIRST WORD: Black Scholars, Thinkers, Warriors." E-mail address:

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