The circular logic of conspiracy theories (the bizarre idea that Black people are indigenous to the Americas or our continued flight from being African)

I was attempting to explain to a brother who insists that African Americans are indigenous to the Americas that if this was true, our DNA would as dissimilar to continental Africans as the DNA of Blacks in Asia and Australia. I don’t know if he understood my point, which is that a separation of tens of thousands of years would have occasioned mutations that would have greatly differentiated us from our counterparts in Africa. We wouldn’t take DNA tests and have shared DNA with people from places like Ghana or Nigeria for instance.

Of course there are other elements of these arguments that are deeply flawed, but I found his perspective to be consistent with that of most people who I’ve encountered who believe all manner of conspiracy theories–1) documented evidence is fabricated by some seemingly omnipotent and hidden malevolent force, 2) unreliable and anecdotal sources are regarded as concrete evidence, and 3) a circular logic posits that a lack of evidence in support of the theory is evidence of the existence and scale of the conspiracy.

Forgetting

In this society forgetfulness is encouraged. Forgetting serves several ends such as severing the ties of ancestral remembrance, an erasure of cultural identity, and the disruption of an intergenerational struggle for freedom.

When we forget we are given new memories, histories, and lineages by those who profit from our loss of memory. Some of us, sadly, revel in this erasure, while others seek to ameliorate such loss and its destructive consequences.