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“Africans sold their own people as slaves”

“Africans sold their own people as slaves” is a stock argument White Americans use when the subject of slavery comes up.

First, simply as an argument of fact it fails:

  • Africa was not a country. Africans were not selling “their own”, they were selling their enemies, just as the Greeks and Romans once did. Africa, then as now, was made up of different countries. They were no more selling “their own” than, say, “Europeans” were killing “their own” during the Holocaust.

And it overlooks a few other things:

  • Most African countries did not sell slaves and some even fought against it. But because Europeans back then could control the supply of guns there was little Africans could do to stop it.
  • The Transatlantic slave trade was on a much greater scale than anything the Africans or anyone else ever did in the history of slavery. Countries were destroyed and millions died. Over 12 million were sold in less than 400 years, something so huge that it changed the genetic map of the world.
  • The Transatlantic slave trade was racist. The African slave trade, for all of its other ills, was not that. Neither was the Greek and Roman slave trade. So slavery in places like Haiti, Barbados and America was much more cruel.

As a moral argument it fails too:

  • It uses what I call the Arab Trader argument: it excuses an evil of one’s own past by finding the same sort of evil done by others. Whites sold slaves, but Africans and Arab traders did too! Which, morally speaking, is at the same level as an eight-year-old saying, “He did it too!” when caught doing something bad. We do not accept this argument from eight-year-olds, nor from bank robbers or wife beaters. “Africans did it too!”  is no better.

But it is as a derailing argument that it comes into its own:

Its main purpose is to draw attention away from what whites did by turning the tables. That part of their past makes White Americans uncomfortable. But instead of facing up to it, they have built up defences against it:

  • Africans sold their own people as slaves.
  • Africans are still selling slaves.
  • Arab traders sold slaves too.
  • Slavery goes back thousands of years.
  • All races have practised slavery.
  • Whites stopped slavery.
  • My family never owned slaves.
  • That was Ancient History.
  • You are living in the past.
  • Get over it!
  • It was the times.
  • Slavery did not make economic sense.
  • Whites got to where they are by their own hard work
  • Blacks are better off in America than in Africa
  • Africans were savages.

And on and on.

Why not just face up to it? Because part of their sense of self worth is built on being white and how whites are better than everyone else, particularly blacks. But it is a huge lie, a lie that can only be maintained by not looking at their past – and present – squarely and honestly.

See also:

886 Responses

  1. Let’s take these points one at a time:

    1) Africa was not a country. Africans were not selling “their own”, they were selling their enemies, just as the Greeks and Romans once did.

    Sure, no doubt. And yet it was a sin for white people to sell folks who weren’t “their people”. If the argument is that you can sell political, religious and social “Others” as slaves, then that’s valid for both Europeans and Africans, isn’t it? And if it’s not valid for the one, it isn’t valid for the other.

    Secondly, both Europeans and Africans did indeed “sell their own”: criminals were routinely sold into slavery on both continents.

    Most African countries did not sell slaves and some even fought against it. But because Europeans back then could control the supply of guns there was little Africans could do to stop it.

    “Most”? Source, please. Slavery was VERY common throughout sub-saharan Africa, as it was in every single human civilization before the industrial revolution. Those few African peoples who DIDN’T have slaves mostly didn’t have cities or agriculture. The San peoples spring to mind.

    The Transatlantic slave trade was on a much greater scale than anything the Africans or anyone else ever did in the history of slavery.

    Actually, no. More slaves died enroute to slave ports than got shipped. The proper way to argue this is to say that without European buyers, the massive AFRICAN chattel slave trade simply would not have existed.

    The Transatlantic slave trade was racist. The African slave trade, for all of its other ills, was not that. Neither was the Greek and Roman slave trade.

    This is a bit of a red herring as “racism”, in the strict sense, only came about halfway through the slave trade’s existence. It’s also a bit of a nit to pick. African’s didn’t have a concept of race, but they most CERTAINLY had the concept of the degraded Other and the sense that they could do just as they pleased with the degraded other. I don’t think that slaves sacrificed by the King of Dahomé got any moral or emotional sustenance from the fact that the guy doing the killing saw them as impure scum, but not as a different subspecies.

    It uses what I call the Arab Trader argument: it excuses an evil of one’s own past by finding the same sort of evil done by others.

    But isn’t that what this whole attempt to recover African slavery as somehow “not as bad” as other forms of slavery is PRECISELY doing, Abagond? :D


  2. Nice post, I just have to note something about this:

    The Transatlantic slave trade was racist. The African slave trade, for all of its other ills, was not that. Neither was the Greek and Roman slave trade. So slavery in places like Haiti, Barbados and America was much more cruel.

    I am not sure if slavery being more cruel is a consequence of this type of slavery being racist. What I’m saying is, other reasons for slavery (ethnic difference, religious difference, seeing enslaved as barbarians, etc.) are no better (or worse) than race as a reason for slavery.

    So if this type of slavery was more cruel it wasn’t because the oppressors used (invented, in fact) race as a reason behind it. Using any other reason (ethnic difference, religion, etc.) would be the same.


  3. “If the argument is that you can sell political, religious and social “Others” as slaves, then that’s valid for both Europeans and Africans, isn’t it? And if it’s not valid for the one, it isn’t valid for the other.”

    Did I miss something or did abagond state that slavery on the continent of Africa wasn’t bad/awful/etc?

    “Secondly, both Europeans and Africans did indeed “sell their own”: criminals were routinely sold into slavery on both continents.”

    I read that as meaning they weren’t selling their those of their own ethnic groups. Of course, since there was no “African” or even “Ghanaian/Angolan/Senegalese” at the time, they weren’t selling their “own”. Either way, you’re right that criminals (even of the same ethnic group) were sold as well.


  4. To Thad^

    To the topic: I’d just tell the person to look up the origin of the word slave, if they want to play the tit-for-tat game.


  5. It was fairly common for Africans to keep other Africans (as in prisoners of war) as slaves, but this was nothing like the slavery that took place in the US, Caribbean, West Indies, South America. Slavery in Africa was more of an indentured servitude with a beginning and an end. Many slaves ended up marrying into the families they served. What’s important to note here is that slaves maintained their humanity and were not “born into” slavery. The child of a slave was born free.

    So flash over to the British, Americans, French and Portuguese coming to buy slaves. The slavery Africans know of has not included vicious brutality and dehumanization. The captives have the same idea of slavery and believe they’re going to be treated the same way they’ve treated their slaves. They will serve their time, and then they’ll get on with their lives. They believe they will go wherever they’re going, and they’ll work and live there. But that is not what happens, as we know.

    This information is something I’ve heard in my Black literature class, my African-American literature class, and I’ve recently read it again in a book called Jubilee: The Emergence of African-American Culture by Howard Dodson, Amiri Baraka, Gail Lumet Buckley, Henry Louis Gates Jr., and Annette Gordon-Reed.


  6. I don’t think what Abagond is saying that it is a sin for one race or people to sell folks who weren’t “their people” and not for another. I think he is saying that the white argument is always that, if Africans sold each other to the whites, then the slave trade in America was justified.

    But the outcome of that operation, which scale and magnitude has gone unsurpassed, has had a profound effect on 38 million people in America. Not just because of slavery, that was just the starting point. But because white supremecy would not allow themselves to see blacks as humans and it carried on long after the slave trade was abolished.

    Although the slave trade was abolished, slavery was not. So, those whites who wanted to do the “cool” thing at the time and be “progressive” said ” Sure, we’ll stop bringing slaves over from Africa, but I’ll be damned if I give up the ones raising my children and tending my land.”

    Had slavery been just slavery and halted when it was said to have been, i think the outcome would have been much different. But we all know how that story goes. Slavery ended in 1865. The oldest man alive is 114 ears old. He was born in 1896. Only a mere 31 years before that man was born were black people still “legally” considered slaves. I bet his memory is ful of amazingly shocking things.


  7. But the outcome of that operation, which scale and magnitude has gone unsurpassed, has had a profound effect on 38 million people in America. Not just because of slavery, that was just the starting point. But because white supremecy would not allow themselves to see blacks as humans and it carried on long after the slave trade was abolished.

    Although the slave trade was abolished, slavery was not. So, those whites who wanted to do the “cool” thing at the time and be “progressive” said ” Sure, we’ll stop bringing slaves over from Africa, but I’ll be damned if I give up the ones raising my children and tending my land.” (and don’t forget “the ones I serially rape and then call sluts and wh*res afterward even if she was only 11 or 12 at the time and I was 30 or 40″)

    Had slavery been just slavery and halted when it was said to have been, i think the outcome would have been much different. But we all know how that story goes.

    THIS. Interesting how many wish to obfuscate this.


  8. I think the retort to “Africans sold their own people as slaves!” is that “Africans didn’t write slavery into the US Constitution.”


  9. @ Claude.

    Word. Also, black people are over 50 million in America. And in 2008 the oldest man in the world recorded up until then died @ age 137. So when white people whine about slavery being over a hundred years ago, it’s really annoying.

    *sigh* ’tis why I developed fashion tips.


  10. Great post Abagond

    Nobody seems to ever mention how hard Africans fought to get white slave traders of their land, but who had the guns?

    As for the whole slavery was such a long time a go. puh-leezeee. Slavery was about 400 year give or take (depending where you lived and when your town/ country started acting right) Afro Americans/Carribean/Latinos have only been out of slavery for 100+ years not even half the time.

    It may seem so long ago becasue how far we have come but it is really not.


  11. Excellent Post.

    “Why not just face up to it? Because part of their sense of self worth is built on being white and how whites are better than everyone else, particularly blacks. But it is a huge lie, a lie that can only be maintained by not looking at their past – and present – squarely and honestly.”

    Truth!


  12. This is a common derail. It’s like the excuse you hear in school when kids say, “But they were doing it too! How come I’m getting in trouble?” As if morality is based on how many other people are doing the wrong thing.

    That said, I think it is important to remember that for all the evil that Europeans and Americans perpetrated through the slave trade and slave industry, that it wasn’t something white people just invented out of thin air. I get the idea here sometimes that some blacks think slavery is something that only white people were nasty enough to do. The fact that Africans were involved in slavery needs to be kept in mind; it shows that all races are capable of such things.
    White people just had the means at the time to take it to a much further level than Africans did. Which doesn’t excuse whites; it just shows that the potential for wickedness is a part of the human condition, and doesn’t discriminate between the races.


  13. Did I miss something or did abagond state that slavery on the continent of Africa wasn’t bad/awful/etc?

    Has he stated that somewhere? Because he certainly doesn’t state it in this post.

    To the topic: I’d just tell the person to look up the origin of the word slave, if they want to play the tit-for-tat game.

    Slav, AKA Mira’s people.

    Slavery in Africa was more of an indentured servitude with a beginning and an end. Many slaves ended up marrying into the families they served.

    First of all, that’s not necessarily true. Just like the Africans had no notion of chattel slavery, they had no notion of “indentured servitude”. Slavery was formally for life, but like in chattel slavery, there were ways of getting manumitted.

    Secondly, that “marriage” was FORCED. When that sort of thing happened in the context of European slave-owning, it was called RAPE. Let’s not gussy up sexual subordination, OK? I mean, I’m the guy here who normally says it’s hard to call 17th century mating customs “rape” by our current standards because women were not understood to own their sexuality.

    But if you define rape as a woman being forced, against her will, often violently, to have sex, then that is indeed what most of these “marriages” were. Neither in Europe nor in Africa did the masse marry for love in the 17th century. These marriages were business deals which basically meant owning a woman’s reproductive capacity.

    So please… if you’re the kind of person who thinks slave/master relationships in the Americas were necessarily rape because the woman had no choice, don’t try to make slave/master relationships in Africa into some sort of loving and peaceful ideal.

    [roll eyes]

    You need to stop reading so much lit, Victoria, and read a little more African history.

    As for the belief that slaves in the Americas lost their humanity, again, please read more history. One of the operative myths that Europeans used to justify slavery is that it saved slaves’ souls by making them Christian. Every Spanish and Portuguese slave ship that loaded in Africa had a priest baptizing the slaves that went in. When they got here in Rio, they were subject to catechism lessons while they awaited buyers in the Valongo slave mart.

    You don’t go through that sort of effort if you feel that the people you are enslaving AREN’T human, Victoria. You are projecting 21st century values back on the 17th century. there was no doubt in the slavers’ minds that their wares were human.

    And this “slavery in Africa was indentured servitude” is bulls**. Do me a favor, Victoria: read ONE history book on slavery in Africa. Just one.


  14. @ Thaddeus:

    As for the belief that slaves in the Americas lost their humanity, again, please read more history. One of the operative myths that Europeans used to justify slavery is that it saved slaves’ souls by making them Christian. Every Spanish and Portuguese slave ship that loaded in Africa had a priest baptizing the slaves that went in. When they got here in Rio, they were subject to catechism lessons while they awaited buyers in the Valongo slave mart.

    You don’t go through that sort of effort if you feel that the people you are enslaving AREN’T human, Victoria. You are projecting 21st century values back on the 17th century. there was no doubt in the slavers’ minds that their wares were human.

    The degree to which the slavers recognised the humanity of Africans varied among individuals and from place to place, no? White colonial attitudes were not monolithic. There were plenty of debates about whether or not Africans had souls. And while most probably would have recognised Africans as human, they weren’t recognised as “properly human” like whites were. More like the lowest rung on the human ladder.

    By the way:

    [roll eyes]

    And this “slavery in Africa was indentured servitude” is bulls**. Do me a favor, Victoria: read ONE history book on slavery in Africa. Just one.

    Do you really not realise why some on this blog see you as arrogant and condescending?

    I just point this out because you make so many intelligent points, but they get forgotten because everyone is too busy getting mad at you.


  15. @ Thaddeus: You really do make some snarky comments. Not to be rude, but I brace myself for one every time I see your name in the “Comments” section.

    But that’s not why I’m posting. This is a bit off topic, but slavery still exists. It exists in every country with a significant population (including all 50 states of America) in the form of bondage and human trafficking, and others. (E. Benjamin Skinner)


  16. The degree to which the slavers recognised the humanity of Africans varied among individuals and from place to place, no?

    Considering that about 8-10 of those 12 million slaves were brought over by extremely Catholic Portuguese and Brazilian and Spanish slavers, I think we’re safe in presuming that this was more the norm than the exception.

    The idea that Africans weren’t humans was believed by a very small minority of North American extremists in the late 19th century. It’s silly to project that group’s beliefs off on slavers across the Atlantic, over 500 years of history. “Race” as a concept really didn’t even get off the ground until the 19th century, four centuries after europeans began buying slaves in Africa.

    And while most probably would have recognised Africans as human, they weren’t recognised as “properly human” like whites were.

    ES, you’re presuming humanistic spirit among whites which just didn’t exist. You seem to think that whites believed in sort of an all-reaching humanity and brotherhood among themselves. It is quite clear that they didn’t until the post-Napoleonic period. The Irish are proof positive of this, but also the way in which the English and the Iberians saw each other: “heretic scum worthy of death by torture” was the least of it. And while you’re at it, why don’t you take a look at how England and France treated each others’ prisoners of war during the Napoleonic conflicts.

    Does it look like they considered each other to be “properly human” to you…?

    Do you really not realise why some on this blog see you as arrogant and condescending?

    It’s all in where you stand, ES. Frankly, I think it’s arrogant and condescending to qualify African slavery as a form of “marriage” and to presume, based on that, that it was somehow “better” than other forms of slavery. I think it’s arrogant and condescending to think that a class or two in literature suddenly makes one qualified to make blanket comparisons regarding different forms of slavery around the world. That sort of thing grates on my nerves just as much as my “arrogance and condescension” grates on other people’s nerves.

    The problem here is that I’m going against the dogmatic grain. If I weren’t, few people would have any problems whatsoever with my arrogance. If I were to post something like “Yeah, those white people were evil bastards and if you’re saying they weren’t basically devils in disguise, you’re either a fool or a villain”, more than half the posters here wouldn’t even blink. Certainly, the only person who’d call me out on my arrogance would be the odd white passerthrough. You wouldn’t hear word one from Abagond, Ank, Witch, Jasmin…

    So given the fact that arrogance seems to be the norm here, I’m just rolling with it. Mira’s probably the least arrogant poster here, along with yourself, but my patience for bulls*** isn’t as high as yours, especially when it’s BS wrapped in self-serving self-righteousness.

    I mean, let’s condemn the 18th century translatlantic slave trade. Ooh! What a bold and radical position to take, close to two centuries after Wilburforce. [roll eyes]

    I mean I sometimes wonder if the people who do this put half as much thought into, say, the wars in Iraq and Afganistan…?

    I just point this out because you make so many intelligent points, but they get forgotten because everyone is too busy getting mad at you.

    Haters gonna hate. It’s not like I’m getting paid to respect peoples’ fantasies, ES.


  17. I love when whites mention Arabs, because according to the U.S. census, Arabs are white and are classified as such. Lo!

    Saying an Arab sold slaves is put into context when you consider that the U.S. classifies Arabs as whites.

    While the kingdom of Dahome benefitted from slavery, it was the exception and not the rule.

    Abagond is right on point with these ones.


  18. Y’know, I don’t hear many white racists mentioning Arabs, though. The first time I heard that was here, in fact. Most white racists I’ve heard go right to the point: Africans bought and sold Africans. Check out a site like, say, Stromfront, and see if they’re using the “Arab” argument much on their boards. They don’t.

    By the way, Dahome was not the exception. Pretty much every coastal African city-state and nation benefitted from slavery at one point or antoher in its 500 years and many of the people of the interior as well. Dahomé actually started off OPPOSING slavery and then got into it later. Dahomé’s exceptionality comes from its exceptionally horrific forms of slavery in the 19th century. Let’s just say it was not a place the Teletubbies would have felt at all comfortable in.


  19. @Thaddeus: Attempting to put African slavery on the same level as White-European slavery won’t work, because they were never on the same level. It’s a fact that one was far crueler.

    Choosing between them is a lesser of two evils debate, and your attempt to make ‘white slave traders/masters’ more humane than they actually were is far past condescending, but aggravating, really.


  20. Also, Africans did not really benefit from the slave trade. The ‘benefits’ we’re talking about were very material at best. The loss of people, even from their own tribes, was very costly to them.

    So, even arguing that they ‘benefited’ from slavery is tricky.


  21. @ Thad:
    I hear ya. I’m just of the opinion that the message is being obscured by its method of delivery.


  22. @ES [shrugs] Hey, I’m not a political militant. The message is what it is: I’m not particularly trying to bend people to my way of thinking.

    @Mel
    Attempting to put African slavery on the same level as White-European slavery won’t work, because they were never on the same level. It’s a fact that one was far crueler.

    Fact, is it?

    Would you like to tell me how you’re m,easuring that, Mel? Because for the life of me I can’t see how you’re making these nice little distinctions between one form of rape, torture and murder and another.

    Now, where the Europeans really were DIFFERENT was in linking slavery to a proto-capitalist form of production. This changed the form and the scale of slavery and insomuch as a million people ebslaved is worse that 100,000, it made slavery worse.

    But “crueler”?

    Mel, seriously: READ some good histories about African slavery that are written by people without an axe to grind. It was bad enough, any way you want to cut it.

    Y’know, we talk about white people trying to “excuse” chattel slavery by bringing up the African variant, but it certainly seems to be an item of faith among many black people that African slavery was somehow a nice walk in the park. Rather like getting hauled off ina an elopement, according to some folks posting here. [roll eyes]

    Choosing between them is a lesser of two evils debate, and your attempt to make ‘white slave traders/masters’ more humane than they actually were is far past condescending, but aggravating, really.

    So why are you maing PRECISELy thata rgument then, Mel? You won’t see me here defending chattel slavery as “better”, and yet here you are, making the argument that the African form of slavery was less cruel somehow.

    I mean seriously, Mel, you’re the one making utopian distinctions between evil behaviors, not me.

    The ‘benefits’ we’re talking about were very material at best.

    As opposed to the Europeans, who somehow “spiritually benefitted” from slavery…?

    Mel, slavery is basically for one thing and one thing only, whether in Africa or Europe: it’s a way of forceably acquiring another person’s labor. One does this for MATERIAL gain. So claiming that Africans didn’t benefit from slavery because they only benefitted from it materially rather misses the enitre point of slavery in the first place.

    Now, if you want to argue that Africa LOST more than it gained from slavery, that I will buy. Bascially, Africa raised people to adulthood, using resources to do so, then saw those resources lost along with said people’s ability to work. So yeah, socially and materially speaking, there’s no doubt that slavery was a drain on the continent as a whole.


  23. Thad,

    Umm, yea, because everyone welcomed African Black Militant with open arms.

    You certainly seem to have a lot of patience for your own bullsh*t, but I guess someone has to, hmm? I find it mildly entertaining how often you forget to pick up your face (and creepy that you have some kind of obsession with Ankhesen), but otherwise, I skip your monologues.

    For someone who claims to hate “dogma” (is that your vocab word of the year or what?) and assumptions, you sure get a lot of pleasure making an *ass* of yourself. I guess the tumbleweeds rolling around your own blog get boring.

    I’ve played you enough times for one lifetime, but if you’re a sucker for punishment I’d be happy to do it again. :-)


  24. Almost forgot–maybe you didn’t get enough attention as a kid, but on a blog, people aren’t obligated to give a sh*t about what you think/say. For someone who feels so put upon and beaten-down, you sure seem to care whether people react to what you say. It’s a blog, not a roll call (duh). And since I don’t see you responding to every comment on every post as if your opinion is *crucial* to the topic at hand, it’s a logic fail to apply that assumption to other people.

    Really, at this point you should just invest in spatulas. I hear they’re good at scraping droopy flesh off linoleum. :-)


  25. @Mel, seriously: READ some good histories about African slavery that are written by people without an axe to grind. It was bad enough, any way you want to cut it.
    You mean books written by Eurocentric, white apologists with condescending attitudes like you?


  26. Y’know, we talk about white people trying to “excuse” chattel slavery by bringing up the African variant, but it certainly seems to be an item of faith among many black people that African slavery was somehow a nice walk in the park. Rather like getting hauled off ina an elopement, according to some folks posting here.

    You’re not getting the point (or you don’t want to.) You’re doing exactly what Abagond suggests white people do: bring in African/Arab slave traders in an effort to turn the conversation away from European slavery.

    ‘Excuse chattel slavery?’ Really? Let’s not stay here and pretend that you would’ve given a damn about ‘poor’ Africans enslaving each other in Africa.

    In the eyes of Europeans, especially 19th century Europeans, Africans were primitive, sub-human savages.

    This ‘it’s a human thing’ argument is nothing more than than an excuse to “avoid the guilt” and soften the blow to the African slave trader argument. It’s the equivalent of Dr. Laura, Don Imus and a slew of others who get caught using the n-word, turning around and saying “rappers use the n-word, too.” They don’t listen to rap music. The “rappers” argument is nothing more than excuse.


  27. Thad said:
    “Now, where the Europeans really were DIFFERENT was in linking slavery to a proto-capitalist form of production. This changed the form and the scale of slavery and insomuch as a million people ebslaved is worse that 100,000, it made slavery worse.

    But “crueler”?”

    Vin responds:
    Yes it was far more cruel!


  28. Thaddeus,

    For future reference, so you don’t waste your time making long comments directed at me, please note that I don’t even remotely respect your opinion. I scroll past your comments without reading, and have for quite some time, long before I began leaving comments myself. I saw my name mentioned in your post but since I don’t actually care what you have to say, as in the past it has been consistently irrelevant to me, I didn’t read it. I don’t make comments that I can’t unwaveringly stand behind. If you disagree, it really makes no difference.


  29. *headdesk* Was my comment seriously just twisted to boost an egotistical maniac’s agenda? I genuinely hate dealing with the willfully obtuse.

    My mentioning of marriage within the families of slave owners and slaves in Africa was to illustrate a) the truth, and b) that slave owning families in Africa still saw their slaves as human, to the extent to which they valued them as people and saw them fit to become part of their families if they wanted to. This does not make slavery better in Africa. Even being an indentured servant is terrible. The difference is that there’s an end to it.

    You have to be really interested in furthering your own agenda to say that is likening African slavery to a marriage. Reaching much? Unraveling an entire discussion based on that is really respectful to people who aren’t here to puff their chests up on themselves and their perceived knowledge. Give me a break. “Waa I can’t handle a discussion unless I’m dominating it and seen as the smartest! *flailing arms* “


  30. I think the thing here is to separate issues: are we talking about the slavery in the US and its history and the whites arguments to downplay that, or are we talking about the general history of the slavery?

    I think the topic here is the way these arguments are used to somehow make slavery in the US to seem less dramatic/terrible and how some whites are using them in such manner.

    I don’t think any sensible person can deny that some african tribes and/or nations participated in this trade. That is historical fact. As a matter of fact, some eastern tribes had been slave trading with arabs and romans and egyptians centuries before the first western european commercial slave traders ever showed up to the western shores.

    If you want some facts, visit the old slave trading stations in Sansibar etc. I’ve been there and nobody there says anything else than that the locals (africans) were trading slaves from the inner parts of the continent with the arabs and chinese and moguls and what have you. And the guys who will tell you this are local african historians, not white wiseasses.

    And about the soul saving measures, Thad: the holy inquisition and the holy spanish inquisition believed that burning a sinner on a stake was an act of mercy. It shortened the time spent in purgatory, see. Therefore some really humanistic inquisitors asked the executoners to roast the victims longer by less flames. It was so merciful to shorten their misery in the ever after.

    We can not look at these things from any other perspective than from our own. So even if the slave traders babtised african slaves, it was not necessary an act of mercy from the slaves point if view. Nor it is from ours. We can try to understand why those guys were thinking that way, how they were thinking at that time, but it does not give any excuse or lessen the crime from our own point of view.

    Otherwise we might say that the Holocaust was ok, because it was ok in the minds of the nazis. The Stalins reign of terror with its millions of victims was ok, because it was necessary in the eyes of Joe “The Big Boss” Dzugashvili.


  31. @Jasmin

    Umm, yea, because everyone welcomed African Black Militant with open arms.

    Yeah, I will admit that people who end up arguing about how Africans are biologically superior because the Space Brothers made them so tend to fall flat on their face here. But extremely arrogant comments get made here everyday and meet with less than a shrug, as long as they don’t violate any of the basic points people learned in their AfroAm 101 classes.

    For someone who feels so put upon and beaten-down, you sure seem to care whether people react to what you say.

    Jasmin, I hardly feel put upon or beaten down, though I’m sure you’d be happy to help make me feel that way. I am simply responding to ES’ question regarding why I’m not nicer here. And I think you’ve just given an excellent display of one of the reasons why I don’t bother.

    @Mel
    You mean books written by Eurocentric, white apologists with condescending attitudes like you?

    How about books written by African historians themselves? Or is anyone who does not come to your apriori conclusions about history understood to be “eurocentric”?

    Y’know Mel, the more I hang out here on Abagond, the more I’m beginning to think that “Eurocentric” is simply a weasel word used by young Americans which means “I do not want to read or think about Africa, I’d rather just fantasize about it”. If you really were concerned about eurocentric views of Africa, you’d be reading all you could in order to effectively critique it. But like most Americans, you seem to think that reading books which don’t agree with you will somehow taint your ideological purity.

    You’re not getting the point (or you don’t want to.) You’re doing exactly what Abagond suggests white people do: bring in African/Arab slave traders in an effort to turn the conversation away from European slavery.

    This is actually either a simple lie, or simply stupidity, given my repeated insistance that European slavery was as horrible and much more wide-spread than African slavery and so provably worse.

    Apparently, you can’t even adequately read what people are saying, Mel, for I have made no claims whatsoever to”turn the conversation away from European slavery”, even though I’d be fully justified in doing so, given that this topic is quite clearly about African slavery.

    Vin responds:
    Yes it was far more cruel!

    How so, Vin? I’d be interested in hearing how you’re measuring that. What pain-ometer are you using there?


  32. My mentioning of marriage within the families of slave owners and slaves in Africa was to illustrate a) the truth, and b) that slave owning families in Africa still saw their slaves as human, to the extent to which they valued them as people and saw them fit to become part of their families if they wanted to.

    This comment is an excellent example of the sort of historically ignorant, soft-thinking that surrounds this topic.

    Vickie seems to hear the word “family” and automatically think in terms of 21st century American nuclear families which are (ideologically at least) based on notions of love, reciprocity and mutual respect.

    “Marriage” in many societies means nothing of the kind. It can in fact mean “You ass is mine byotch, as well as any brats which you pump out” and that’s exactly what this meant in the case of much of the family and clan-based slavery that was going on in Africa. This is no more a proof of slave-owners belief in the essential humanity of their captives than a white slave-owner’s belief that if he raped a slave woman and got her pregnant, he’d have another fieldhand. Oh, and slaves in the Americas were routinely considered to be “part of the family” – especially houseslaves. Family property is like that, you know.

    So why Vickie thinks “marriage” is such a boon in this case is beyond me, given that marriage itself has generally meant a form of slavery in many cultures, with the woman clearly understood as her husband’s property. All marriage meant in the African context is that one guy got to rape the woman and was the legal controller of her kids. For the woman concerned, it was no ameliorating factor.

    And let me point out one thing that should be obvious, but which Vickie apparently doesn’t know or understand: these societies weren’t monogamous: a man could have as many “wives” as he wanted.

    In the Americas, Christian monogamy meant that there’d be no marriages to slaves. If it weren’t for that, I’m sure there’d have been many slaveowners who would have been quite happy to toss yet another yoke around slave women’s necks. A woman who was juridical property AND could be treated as the legal mother of one’s off-spring if one so wished? What a great deal!

    The proof of that particular pudding is here in Brazil, where slaveowners had a lot more social, economic and cultural freedom than in the U.S. In spite of the “no marriage” rule, many slave owners recognized their offspring with slave women, at least as far as it interested them. And why did it interest them? because absent a large class of poor whites, someone had to take over the intermediate role of slave manager: behold the Brazilian mulato.

    Ironically enough, Brazilian slave-holding was thus much closer to African patterns, which also used slave women to generate a class of people who were beholden to their fathers and no one else.

    Why did African slavery need to do this?

    Precisely because many African family patterns are matrilineal: the children follow the mother (and, more to the point, her brothers, their uncles). If you are a powerful male, then, your children are not yours but your brother-in-laws. If you have children by a slave woman, however, they are yours and only yours: their only way up in society is through YOU and your powerstructure.

    Why this is considered to be a more “human” and “less cruel” form of slavery is beyond me. The effects of this sort of system, as opposed to the effects of the more Europeanized system, can be seen today in the way Brazil and the U.S. deal with race. I certainly wouldn’t consider one or the other system to be better or more or less cruel: s*** stinks no matter what nuts and fiber is mixed in with it.


  33. I think the topic here is the way these arguments are used to somehow make slavery in the US to seem less dramatic/terrible and how some whites are using them in such manner.

    Fair enough, Sam. But look above: Vindicator, Vickie and Mel are all arguing that African slavery was less dramatic/terrible and their understanding about it is basically as shallow as the average white American’s views on slavery in general.

    So why is this a white thing?

    What seems to be the case is that both racist whites and self-proclaimed anti-racists will try to PLAY DOWN one sort of slavery in order to make the other look better. When Vickie, Vinny and Mel are here wailing and woeing European slavery while claiming that African slavery was somehow more “family values oriented” and thus “less cruel”, they are engaged in exactly the sort of thing they claim to get angry about when they see white people doing it.

    I mean, are we against slavery, or are we against only those sorts of slavery which conveniently fit our dogmas about our identities and heritage?

    I’m against slavery, period, and you don’t see me making up tales that one or another form of it was better or less cruel.

    Vickie, Vinny and Mel apparently are able to make that sort of distinction… EXACTLY as you claim white racists do.

    And this is a problem. For to say, as Abagond does, that African slavery doesn’t excuse European slavery is correct and proper. But as we’ve seen above, there are plenty of people who do just the opposite, using European slavery to excuse African slavery.

    And when that happens, why should any white guy who doesn’t have your prior knowledge of this debate conclude that European slavery was different or worse? He’s going to sit there and see Stormfront blathering away on one side, look over to the other and see Vickie claiming that African slavery was a rerun of “All in the Family”, and conclude that BOTH sides are ful of USDA-approved horses***.

    And about the soul saving measures, Thad: the holy inquisition and the holy spanish inquisition believed that burning a sinner on a stake was an act of mercy. It shortened the time spent in purgatory, see. Therefore some really humanistic inquisitors asked the executoners to roast the victims longer by less flames. It was so merciful to shorten their misery in the ever after.

    I think you’re confusing saying “they believed slaves were human” with “they were humanists”, Sam. I made the first argument, not the second. The whole “torture them to death” motiff has absolutely no logic to it unless you believe, beforehand, that the victim was human. That, of course, does not mean that these people believed human beings were born with certain inalienable rights as distinct individuals, which is what a humanist would believe.

    We can not look at these things from any other perspective than from our own.

    You better believe we can. In fact, you’re doing it RIGHT NOW.


  34. :D okay thad. But I still think that we can TRY to see their points of view but ultimately what we have on any subject it is our subjective opinion, albeit some are more studied and thoughed trough than others.

    Yeah, they believed they were saving souls of humans. That is true.

    And no, there is no excuse on any slavery, no matter hwre and by whom.


  35. But I still think that we can TRY to see their points of view but ultimately what we have on any subject it is our subjective opinion, albeit some are more studied and thoughed trough than others.

    Post-modern relativist mush which you don’t REALLY believe Sam. If you do, tell yourself that you can fly and jump off the roof.

    Go on.

    Or hell, why don’t you go fix your car’s brakes on your own? :D

    Yes, there are opinions and yes, there is variance but objective reality – or something very much like it – does indeed exist and we can make rational statements about it.

    “Slavery in Africa/the Americas was less cruel” is not a rational statement because it is not backed up by any objective evidence whatsoever, but simply by its proponents’ wishful thinking and ignorance.

    Now, I’m sure we could find some slaveries that were less cruel, if we really went at it, but you’re not going to be able to apply that adjective to continetal systems which worked over half a millenium or more.


  36. “But as we’ve seen above, there are plenty of people who do just the opposite, using European slavery to excuse African slavery.”

    I don’t think anybody here is trying to excuse African slavery. All that they are saying is that as they understand it, slavery as practised by Africans was not as bad as the way it was practised by whites. Not as bad, but still bad.

    I’m with Abagond on this one. Racism added an extra dimension to US/European slavery and set it apart from African slavery; the construction of race led to black people being dehumanized.

    “I don’t think that slaves sacrificed by the King of Dahomé got any moral or emotional sustenance from the fact that the guy doing the killing saw them as impure scum, but not as a different subspecies.”

    Yes, knowing that you’re about to be killed sucks no matter what the context, we all know that. But I would think that the emotional/psychological effects of slavery extend far beyond the trauma of being put to death. Heck, I’m a black person living in a black body years after slavery ended, and even I still feel the sting every now and then.


  37. Thad said:
    How so, Vin? I’d be interested in hearing how you’re measuring that. What pain-ometer are you using there?

    Vin Responds:
    Pain-ometer! Who says being cruel involves pain!?


  38. I think, the problem is that, as in all human institutions, you’ll find that there was a broad gradient of understanding and application of the institution. It really depended on the immediate environment, the customs, and finally, on the individuals who impose define slavery, in their particular sphere of influence.

    There were certainly slave owners on BOTH sides of the Atlantic, who dehumanized their slaves. Just as certain is the fact that there were slave owners, on both sides, who were relatively benign in their approach to the institution. History is replete with examples of both, sometimes living only miles apart from one another.

    “I’m with Abagond on this one. Racism added an extra dimension to US/European slavery and set it apart from African slavery; the construction of race led to black people being dehumanized.”

    Yes, but this opinion ignores the fact that say… religion, language, or tribe can be used JUST as effectively to dehumanize! Also, many people felt about tribes the way we feel about “race” today. People who were in your tribe where “your people” not anyone who happened to have brown skin.


  39. Snailly…
    I don’t think anybody here is trying to excuse African slavery. All that they are saying is that as they understand it, slavery as practised by Africans was not as bad as the way it was practised by whites.

    Sorry, but if a white made any similar statement at all, it would be understood as an excuse for slavery.

    You can’t have two weights and two measures on this.

    Now, I’m open to the idea that there might be “better” or “worse” slaveries, but that has to be really looked into and studied and I can’t see any way anyone could make that sort of blanket comparison between two halves of a system which functioned over half the globe for 500 years.

    I’m with Abagond on this one. Racism added an extra dimension to US/European slavery and set it apart from African slavery; the construction of race led to black people being dehumanized.

    Let’s break that down.

    1) The construction of race did indeed add a different dimension to slavery in the Americas, but that only happened CENTURIES into the game. In fact, if you’re talking about the specific variant of race ideology that cast blacks as sub-humans, that only occurred AFTER slavery.

    2) Race ideology, as a whole, doesn’t cast races as subhumans. Certain branches of the ideology does, but these only became popular post-Darwin with the idea of blacks as underevolved. Even then, very, very few people believed blacks were not human.

    3) You do not need the race concept to treat people as if they were degraded Others – which is by and large how black people were treated in slavery. Africans did this. Europeans did this. Everyone did this.

    If you want to argue the exceptionalism of the transatlantic slave trade, it has to do with scale and capitalism, not with some sort of exceptional dehumanization of blacks.

    The sad fact of the matter is you don’t need to dehumanize people to torture them. Very much the opposite, in fact.


  40. Vinnie:
    Vin Responds:
    Pain-ometer! Who says being cruel involves pain!?

    Oh, jeezis… [roll eyes] Talk about trying to weasle your way out of a losing argument.

    OK, then, Vinnie: t3ell us about your cruelty-o-meter.


  41. @King
    Yes, but this opinion ignores the fact that say… religion, language, or tribe can be used JUST as effectively to dehumanize! Also, many people felt about tribes the way we feel about “race” today. People who were in your tribe where “your people” not anyone who happened to have brown skin.

    Right on!

    This “ah, but it didn’t have race” argument is so much BS as it seems to presume that race is a necessary and sufficient component of dehumanization. In fact, it is neither.

    The vast majority of scientific racists had no doubts at all that blacks were human. The whole race concept is that of a SUBSPECIES, meaning that the HUMAN SPECIES is divided into several biological subspecies: white, black, red, what have you.

    You are going to have to search long and hard to find a racist during slavery who claimed that blacks weren’t human, let alone one who ahd any influence. About the only ones I can think of are a handful of extremely radical loons in the U.S. south in the years immediately before and after the Civil War.


  42. Thad says:
    “Oh, jeezis… [roll eyes] Talk about trying to weasle your way out of a losing argument.”

    Vin responds:
    Now isn’t this the pot calling the kettle black!


  43. Right, Vin, so tell us about how you’re judging “cruelty” there.


  44. Mel, slavery is basically for one thing and one thing only, whether in Africa or Europe: it’s a way of forceably acquiring another person’s labor. One does this for MATERIAL gain.

    Forced labor can be paid labor.

    Being a slave is being owned as property, regardless whether one thinks how human his slave is.

    The cruelty exist metaphysically, it doesn’t matter the slave was allowed the freedom of movement, never treated badly or beaten once a week on GP.

    The survival and response to physical cruelty in bad situations such as a prison camp, concentration camp or victim of atrocities of war are quite different from those who suffered from slavery. People like to point to the Jews as having been slaves and how they had overcome it, but there were several generations after slavery before they lost that slave attitude. That is why Moses had a hard time leading them. There is quite a different attitude after the Holocaust.


  45. @ Thad
    So I agree that the worst forms of chattel slavery did, and still do exist in parts of Africa. However, I also believe that the most benevolent forms of slavery never existed in the United States.

    Yes, in some cases, you might have found more fair or more kind-hearted masters, but you would never have found examples of slaves marrying into the family, of taking a fixed share of the family profits. You sometimes found slaves who were emotionally considered almost as family, and you sometimes had masters emancipate slaves as a reward, or in the event of the Master’s death. But of course, these were rare incidents.


  46. Forced labor can be paid labor.

    Being a slave is being owned as property, regardless whether one thinks how human his slave is.

    Right, but however one defines slavery, one enslaves people in order to appropriate their work value. That’s the point I was trying to make.

    But yeah, one can indeed pay a slave. In fact, many slaves bought their way out of slavery in the americas by doing paid labor whenever they could:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chico_Rei

    Chico Rei smuggled gold, but other slaves made money off of selling their labor value on their days off and the like.

    The cruelty exist metaphysically…

    Well, if it’s just that we’re talking about – the metaphysical pain of being owned – most Europeans had that throughout most of European history: serfs were property.


  47. @King
    However, I also believe that the most benevolent forms of slavery never existed in the United States.

    Hard to say. Genovese breaks this issue down pretty well in “Roll, Jordan, Roll”. It has a lot to do with how you a priori define “benevolence” and the like.

    Like say you think it’s a more “benevolent” slavery when slaves have access to more material goods. U.S. slavery was pretty good in that respect. But say you think it’s more benevolent when the physical and moral conditions of masters and slaves are not that far apart: Brazil would then win out in a lot of places over the U.S.

    Which would you rather? Have a longer, better and more comfortable life but be light-years away from the standards of living enjoyed by your owner? Or be pretty close to your owner in terms of material and moral conditions, but have a life expectancy measured in years instead of decades?

    That’s why the qualitative comparisons are ticky and mostly futile.

    You sometimes found slaves who were emotionally considered almost as family, and you sometimes had masters emancipate slaves as a reward, or in the event of the Master’s death. But of course, these were rare incidents.

    They were common enough that the pre-bellum south had to make laws against them.

    Actually, if you think about it, it’s in the master’s interest to free slaves on his death or as a “reward” for years of solid service.

    In the first case, his descendants might avoid property taxes and the like, plus he might feel better about rewarding a faithful slave than, say, a son-in-law he hates. But more to the point, as Abagond always brings up, these folks were Christians and Christianity increasingly came to look down on slavery as a sin. So releasing one’s slaves after they could no longer do you any earthly good could be seen as a way to buy some cheap credit with God.

    In the second case, after you’d sucked out the best working years of a slave, why not liberate him or her? It means you don’t have to pay to look after them in their old age.


  48. Thaddeus,

    What I said by forced labor did not include slavery. people are now force into paid labor by intimidation and threats. Such as a legal group of immigrants forced to stay on a job that is paying them, by an employer who threatens to fire them if they looked for other work. He belonged to a cartel of local employers who had an agreement to not hire the others employee. This covered a wide radius, which made it very difficult to find work outside. These people were not slaves. There are probably more examples, but I am describing one that personally know about.

    I was also not trying clarify anyone else’s definition of pain.


  49. “Like say you think it’s a more ‘benevolent’ slavery when slaves have access to more material goods. U.S. slavery was pretty good in that respect. But say you think it’s more benevolent when the physical and moral conditions of masters and slaves are not that far apart: Brazil would then win out in a lot of places over the U.S.

    Which would you rather? Have a longer, better and more comfortable life but be light-years away from the standards of living enjoyed by your owner? Or be pretty close to your owner in terms of material and moral conditions, but have a life expectancy measured in years instead of decades?

    That’s why the qualitative comparisons are ticky and mostly futile”

    I’m not sure it’s as simple as quality of life versus quantity. A minimum of either one results in tyranny. The same applies the Master/Slave standard of living gap. For instance, if a slave is living in a beachside condo, and the master is living in a beachside mansion, the gap between them may be quite large, buy both may be relatively comfortable and relatively happy. But if the master is living in a plantation house, and the slave is living in a filthy and drafty shack, then the gap (for the slave) will be quite miserable. This is because, it’s not so much a question of the difference between slave owner and slave, as it is the distance that the slave is kept from the minimal requirements for human well being.

    Therefore forms of slavery that makes allowances for the slave to have some control of his own destiny, some forms of privacy, of property, and at least some inalienable rights, and
    (of course) a mechanism for redress of grievances, is inherently more benevolent than forms of slavery that do not.


  50. Well, I think we can take as a given that both systems were based on tyranny. This was just one of the axises explored by Genovese: it’s just the one I remember off the top of my head. He spent the better part of a chapter trying to tackle this “which slavery is better?” question.

    This is because, it’s not so much a question of the difference between slave owner and slave, as it is the distance that the slave is kept from the minimal requirements for human well being.

    Genovese and a lot of other authors have remarked that North American slavery provided a lot more of those minimal requirements than any other slavery on record. For one thing, it’s the only slavery we know of where the slave population actually went through a natural increase. So that’s something in its “favor”, I guess.

    Therefore forms of slavery that makes allowances for the slave to have some control of his own destiny, some forms of privacy, of property, and at least some inalienable rights, and (of course) a mechanism for redress of grievances, is inherently more benevolent than forms of slavery that do not.

    However, Brazil was probably better here. Not because slaves had so many “rights” mind you, but because in the completely authoritarian and patriarchical Brazilian system, if a slave owner liked you and was your patron, well, the sky was literally the limit. No one had inalienable rights in colonial Brazil, but it was probably a lot easier to manipulate interpersonal politics in one’s favor than it was in the States, at least in certain places like Salvador or rio de Janeiro.


  51. on Sat 2 Oct 2010 at 22:27:46 Jerry W. Shirley

    Why do black people keep talking about something fourhundrend years ago. There way more to worrie about today the past is the past. The whole world and people in it are slaves to man. I am free from all men. I severe NO MAN and NO ONE. I am just in a world of slavement.


  52. @ThadY’know Mel, the more I hang out here on Abagond, the more I’m beginning to think that “Eurocentric” is simply a weasel word used by young Americans which means “I do not want to read or think about Africa, I’d rather just fantasize about it”. If you really were concerned about eurocentric views of Africa, you’d be reading all you could in order to effectively critique it. But like most Americans, you seem to think that reading books which don’t agree with you will somehow taint your ideological purity.

    You don’t know what my reading list looks like, so speculating is pointless, unless your arrogance has bestowed you with a superhuman ability that allows you to know everything about me.

    Second of all, I am not American, so your accusation is futile.

    Thirdly, Eurocentrism has an agenda that destroys its credibility. When you spend hundreds of years writing about the ‘dark continent’ and bringing nothing new to the table, you can’t complain that people turn away from your work.

    My ideological purity? And, what exactly is that…do tell?


  53. You don’t know what my reading list looks like, so speculating is pointless, unless your arrogance has bestowed you with a superhuman ability that allows you to know everything about me.

    I’ll speculate as I see fit, thanks. When I see Americans (and I’ll toss Canadians and plenty of Brits in here as well) using the word “eurocentric”, 9 out of ten times it means “I haven’t read a single history book about Africa, nor care to.”

    Perhaps you are the exception. I highly doubt that. It seems to me, however, that if you are well-read about Africa, you wouldn’t be wasting spit about eurocentrism, you’d use the historical record to mount some sort of defense of your views.

    When you spend hundreds of years writing about the ‘dark continent’ and bringing nothing new to the table, you can’t complain that people turn away from your work.

    And this is exactly the sort of ignorance I’m on about. Tens of thousands of people have written about Africa. At least a good half of them don’t buy the “Dark Continent” nonsense you’re on about. People like Jean and John Comarof (just to pull an example off the top of my head) are HARDLY eurocentric scholars.

    But really engaging with African history means that you’d have to poke about these authors and see who’s saying what and why. That means work. That means going down to a library, maybe taking some classes. It certainly means a lot of reading and thinking.

    It’s much, much easier to just declare that everything ever written by anyone who don’t like, black or white, is eurocentric.

    Thus, with a sweep of your hand, you’ve automatically authorized yourself to build whatever “history” of Africa suits your fantasies, electing this or that writer as an authority according to your tastes.

    Africa, then, has no history to you: it’s a convenient blank screen upon which you can project whatever dream image takes your fancy. Saying things like “The kingdom of Dahomé was the exception rather than the rule when it comes to benefitting from slavery”, conveniently ignoring the fact that pretty much every people on the Western coast of Africa bought into the slave trade at one point or another. Reams and reams of historical documents support this, many of them written by Africans themselves, but ignore all that: that’s “eurocentric”. “Afrocentric” is to believe in an Africa that never existed, where human beings were all noble savages and pristinely moral, only to be sadly corrupted by the fallen humanity living outside the continent’s bounds.

    My ideological purity? And, what exactly is that…do tell?

    Anyone who dismisses the entirety of written history regarding Africa because it’s “eurocentric” has some clearly ideological concepts of history in their head, friend. And givent hat everyone else in the rest of the world READS what their enemies print in order to dissect it, the only possible reason you wouldn’t want to do that is that you somehow feel that ideas that run contrary to your own will infect you.


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  55. Anyone who dismisses the entirety of written history regarding Africa because it’s “eurocentric” has some clearly ideological concepts of history in their head, friend. And givent hat everyone else in the rest of the world READS what their enemies print in order to dissect it, the only possible reason you wouldn’t want to do that is that you somehow feel that ideas that run contrary to your own will infect you.

    My god, you’ve got to be one of the most egotistical people I have ever met. What’s worse is that you believe your pseudo-intellectual rants/beliefs have merit away from the pedestal you put them on.

    Once again, don’t tell me what I have and haven’t read. You know nothing about my reading list. Don’t tell me what I know and don’t know about Africa.

    Furthermore, you are not African, and neither are you the ultimate authority on Africa, its peoples, customs and issues.

    What you are is an over-pompous, pseudo-intellectual, condescending over-active message board poster with a bone to pick.

    You’re a perfect example of everything that’s wrong with Eurocentrism. You get on this board to tell people what they should know (because in your head, they are a certain way and they know nothing); you spit your knowledge according to the Eurocentric literature you might have read, and claim it to be authentically true because it’s coming from ‘ppl who don’t have a chip on their shoulder.’

    I doubt you’ve ever been to Africa and I doubt you know more about Africans and Africa than I do. To tell me that I ‘fantasize’ about Africa and wipe away its reality, would be funny if it wasn’t so disgustingly condescending and presumptuous.

    It’s a classic case of the white hero who ‘becomes’ more native than the natives (see Dances w/ Wolf; the Last Samurai); and what makes you worse is that you’ve only read books about the natives.


  56. My god, you’ve got to be one of the most egostistical people I have ever met.

    Why, because I dare to claim that you apparently don’t know what you’re talking about?

    Don’t tell me what I know and don’t know about Africa.

    If you think 19th century Dahomé was one of the only African nations/peoples to get heavily involved in the slave trade, that’s obviously not much.

    Furthermore, you are not African, and neither are you the utlimate authority on Africa, its peoples, customs and issues.

    And neither are you. Know what’s the difference between us? I have made an attempt to read people who might plausibly be considered authorities. You don’t seem to have done that.

    What you are is an over-pompous, pseudo-intellectual, condescending over-active message board poster with a bone to pick.

    I think we can safely say that I’m an intellectual, at least. :D

    because in your head, they are a certain way and they know nothing)

    I don’t listen to voices in my head, Mel: I listen to what people say. So far, you haven’t said much which indicates that you know much about African history. I could be wrong, of course. But then, if I am, why are you bothering to spend all this spit on tossing ad hominems my way when you could just use your superior knowledge of Africa to put me in my place?

    I mean “Ooooooooh, you…. you… arrogant eurocentrist, you!” is pretty mean potatoes compared to what someone who really knows African history could do to me. I’ll cheerfully admit that I’m just a dabbler in the topic.

    So here you are, all hot and bothered because someone dares suggest that you’re wrong, and do you simply and smoothly show why you are right? No, you’re reduced to calling them names. And why is that, Mel?

    I’ll lay dollars to donuts it’s because you probably haven’t read more than a hundred pages of straight-up African history in your life. Names are thus the only rocks you have to toss.

    And you’re right: I am a white boy who doesn’t know all that much about Africa. That, unfortunately, only makes things that much sadder when it turns out that I know more about it than self-proclaimed afrocentrists such as yourself.

    I doubt you’ve ever been to Africa and I doubt you know more about Africans and Africa than I do.

    Oh, so let me get this straight: if I go to China on a two week tour, then, I’m allowed to claim that I know all about China, is that it? If I hang out with a bunch of fecklesss Brazilians, somehow an understanding of Brazilian culture and history is just going to ooze its way into my brain, osmosis-like? :D

    Actually, I have been to Africa and know many Africans. But let me give you a clue, Mel, for free: knowing people from a place doesn’t mean you know about that place’s history. Tell me you read its great works and authors, that you speak its language, that you’ve lived there for awhile, that you understand its politics… then I might agree that you know something deep about a place.

    Have you done any of that in Africa? If you have, why make assine comments like “African slavery wasn’t as cruel as European slavery”? I mean, I’d expect that statement to come out of the mouth of a Yank who’s only experience with life outside the U.S. has been at the Disney’s “It’s a Small World” ride. >:D


  57. See…this is the perfect example of topic which doesn’t require a “debate”.

    And yet….


  58. No debate at all is required as long as we toe the line and agree with everything you say, Ank.

    Yes, we get it. You wrote an entire article about it. In fact, you have an entire website dedicated to being suprised that anyone could dare disagree with your well-reasoned and polite opinions.


  59. Thaddeus,

    Over forty years ago I took an anthropology seminar in college about cultures of Africa. Most of the required reading was of studies done at least thirty years earlier. In many ways the the information was factual, but since this about culture, the term “female circumcision” was not defined and not defined in a cultural context. I had found a dictionary description, that made it seem no more serious or the intent very little different from male circumcision.

    The professor was a white male and so were most of the authors I had to read. Many years latter I find that genital mutilation is more descriptive of female circumcision and that it had extreme cultural implications. It was more than a little skin, the whole clitoris was removed (which is involve in the length of the vulva) then sewn up. This is used to prevent any sexual satisfaction, like a chastity belt. Women’s purpose was for work and procreation only.

    As a woman, even though I got the facts from the patriarchy, I didn’t get the cultural significance from them, because they didn’t see it as culturally important.

    This is why some Black people may be suspicious of Eurocentric studies of Africa.
    Perspective can effect representation of facts.

    BTW that professor was a Belgium immigrant and although teaching about Africa, had no understanding of the Civil Right movement of the time.


  60. Dear Hathor,

    While I agree that one’s identity may indeed filter the information which one takes or presents as serious, there simply is no “identity = truth” equation when it comes to science (and history is indeed a science).

    I’m sure you’ve noticed that now, 40 years later, white male anthropology professors who specialize in Africa are, indeed, quite informed about female circumcision. Many of them, in fact, fight against it and have done great service in bringing it to the the attention of westerners like you and me.

    In fact, I think you’d have a very hard time finding someone today in anthropology who’d come out in favor of female circumcision, though there are all sorts in the profession.

    So how can this happen if, as you suggest, the eurocentric patriarchy is so all powerful that it commands all men’s opinions? Shouldn’t all us white male anthropology teachers still be poo-pooing female circumcision if, as you suggest, our identity rules what we consider to be truth?

    This is the problem with conspiratorial thinking which believes that “they” (whomever “they” might be) don’t want you to have the facts: it just doesn’t match up with reality on the ground. Anthropologists (of all sorts) have been leading (but certainly not the only) figures in getting information regarding female circumcision out to the world.

    And this, of course, is why I’m always chary of people who use the “You are X, so you can’t possibly know” argument to wish away facts they don’t like.

    Fact, Hathor: there was no anthropological, patriarchical, Eurocentric conspiracy to hide or belittle female circumcision. In fact, the largest and most vociferous charges of “eurocentrism” on this issue have come from the mouths of Africans – mostly men but also some women – who believe that the west (once again led by those evil anthros, because Lord knows we just have so much power) is projecting its eurocentric cultural and sexual values onto Africa.

    Do any websearch you like about “eurocentrism” and “female circumcision”, Hathor, and you’ll see many non-white, non-eurocentrists who are upset with the fact that the West finds this to be such a huge problem.

    The largest number of people you are liable to find DEFENDING female genital mutilation today are, in fact, black and African and a significant number of them are even women.

    So how does that fit into your view that “identity = truth” on this issue, Hathor?

    BTW that professor was a Belgium immigrant and although teaching about Africa, had no understanding of the Civil Right movement of the time.

    The Civil Rights movement was going on in the U.S. I bet that prof had a pretty good idea of the anti-colonial struggle going on in the ex-Belgian Congo. Why? because that was probably his area of expertise, not the U.s. south.


  61. @ Hathor:
    part of that reason is that female circumcision is different in different places. In some places it has little actual debilitating effect (more of a token gesture), in others it is extreme and horrific, such as infibulation which you describe.


  62. I’m wondering if that Anthro you’re remembering wasn’t Johannes Fabian, by the way…

    It seems odd to me, though, that you seem to think that a specialist on Africa should know much about U.S. political movements, especially an immigrant.


  63. Good point, ES. I was going to bring that up, too, but I was afraid I’d then be accused of “belittling the crippling effects of female circumcision”.


  64. @Thad
    ad hominems my way when you could just use your superior knowledge of Africa to put me in my place?

    I never claimed I had a superior knowledge of Africa—YOU did. I simply said you DON’T know more about Africa than I do. And, I stand by that.

    So here you are, all hot and bothered because someone dares suggest that you’re wrong, and do you simply and smoothly show why you are right? No, you’re reduced to calling them names. And why is that, Mel

    Because I am wrong??? Once again, you are NOT the main authority of knowledge on Africa, and you do not get to determine who is and isn’t wrong about Africa. I called you exactly what you are; condescending and arrogant. What you fail to recognize is that your attitude overshadows whatever ‘knowledge’ you claim to have. I don’t think you realize that you’re not changing any minds here or there.
    Actually, I have been to Africa and know many Africans. But let me give you a clue, Mel, for free: knowing people from a place doesn’t mean you know about that place’s history. Tell me you read its great works and authors, that you speak its language, that you’ve lived there for awhile, that you understand its politics… then I might agree that you know something deep about a place.

    What facts or evidence have you provided to back up your claims about Africa. I hope you realize, though I doubt you can see past your own ego, that you’re just babbler on a message board. I highly doubt you speak any African languages, or practice an African culture, and claiming to ‘know’ Africans. Lol?!

    Have you done any of that in Africa? If you have, why make assine comments like “African slavery wasn’t as cruel as European slavery”?

    White-European slavery, and the aftermath of it, was far more vicious than African slavery.

    You will not change the minds of any black person on this topic. Your ancestors were never slaves but slave masters.


  65. PS. There’s this idiot on Youtube named Salassin who posts videos about ‘afrocentrics.’ When you challenge him on his claims, among other things, that slavery wasn’t that cruel, not all black people were slaves in the U.S., etc, he often responds by blocking your comment. He’s just as condescending as you. He also claims Latin American heritage. I have to wonder if you’re him.


  66. I never claimed I had a superior knowledge of Africa—YOU did. I simply said you DON’T know more about Africa than I do. And, I stand by that.

    If that’s the case, Mel, how come you don’t realize that Dahomé wasn’t some exception to the rule about African involvment in the slave trade?

    Hmmm…? :D

    Once again, you are NOT the main authority of knowledge on Africa…

    Never claimed to be, just claimed to apparently know a bit more than you.

    What facts or evidence have you provided to back up your claims about Africa.

    What claims would you like me to back up in particular, Mel? I’ll be happy to source them for you. Let’s go one at a time.

    I highly doubt you speak any African languages…

    And you do? :D

    Actually we both do, Mel: English is now an African language. And Portuguese, which I speak, is as well.

    …or practice an African culture…

    And you do? :D

    …and claiming to ‘know’ Africans. Lol?!

    It’s not like Africans are a rare species of practically unknown humanity, Mel. There’s around a billion of them you know. I have a few students from luso-speaking
    Africa, in fact, and several friends and colleagues from the continent.

    You will not change the minds of any black person on this topic. Your ancestors were never slaves but slave masters.

    First of all, I don’t care who’s opinion I change or don’t change. Secondly, I have no ancestors who were slave holders, but I do have several who were slaves. If you knew half as much about European history as you seem to believe you know, Mel, you’d realize that enslaved Europeans outnumbered slav-holding Europeans by a factor of about 1000 to one.

    Oh, but that’s right: you don’t DO history, do you? You do heroic fantasy. :D


  67. Thaddeus,
    You missed my point.

    I wasn’t describing today and I was speaking to the issue only how one interest or views can effect the context of facts. It was apparent they didn’t really concern themselves with women in the context of culture only when they discussed kinship, such as matrilineal descent.

    The professor wasn’t a recent immigrant.

    And you assume I’m too stupid to have read anything else in 40 years. I see misogyny is alive and well and from your statements why would I think a male anthropologist couldn’t be misogynous or racist?


  68. I got your point, Hathor. Think a bit on mine: if interest and views do indeed effect the context of facts to the point you imply (patriarchy misinforming you about female circumcision), how can it possibly be that these same white, male anthros are among the people ringing the female circumcision bell today?

    I mean what, has patriarchy been defeated while I was asleep or something?

    It was apparent they didn’t really concern themselves with women in the context of culture only when they discussed kinship, such as matrilineal descent.

    This is a valid enough argument, as far as it goes. the anthropology of the pre-1960s didn’t concern itself with much of anything other than kinship and social structure.

    However, my question remains: if this is an inevitable side effect of patriachy and racism, how is that we’ve apparently gotten beyond it now?

    And you assume I’m too stupid to have read anything else in 40 years.

    Wha….? I said “I’m sure you’ve noticed that now, 40 years later…” If I thought you’d not read anything new in 40 years, I’d have hardly said “I’m sure you’ve noticed”, now would I have?

    Rest assured, Hathor, if I want you to feel insulted, you’ll know. No need to go making up completely ficticious insults.


  69. Oh, and btw, Hathor, I’d appreciate it if you could explain one thing to this poor misogynist racist anthropologist:

    If indeed it’s eurocentrism that’s enabling female circumcision, why are the main defenders of clit-snipping Africans?


  70. Eurasian Sensation,
    The course cover many cultures in African, there was no elaboration to indicated any difference.

    And for me even the minimal invasive procedure is two much. The most I’ve heard of the side effects of male circumcision has been some loss of sensation. Women can easily have urinary track infections from being exposed to bacteria on a wash cloth and have to be extremely cautious after an Episiotomy. So, as you say, one which only has little debilitating effect, can result in infections.


  71. Thaddeus,

    If indeed it’s eurocentrism that’s enabling female circumcision, why are the main defenders of clit-snipping Africans?

    There is nothing I said that implied what you are responding too.

    You must be a hero in your mind.


  72. Hathor, let’s break it down…

    You claim – and I quote – “one’s interest or views can effect the context of facts” and you link that “interest or views” to the fact that my presumptive eurocentrism and maleness means that understand that female circumcision is serious business.

    So how does that view square with the fact that a significant number of female circumcision’s defenders are African and female?

    My point is that obviously, one’s identity labels are not enough to give one a certain view about a topic.

    The course cover many cultures in African, there was no elaboration to indicated any difference.

    None at all, huh? Well, gee, Hathor, that’s really strange, because when I look at classic works of anthropology from the 1930s, ’40s, ’50s and ’60s (such as “The Nuer” or “Kalela Dance” or what have you), I see anthros who are positively frothing as they explain how radically diverse African cultures are. I mean, classic author after classic author does this. So this seems to me to indicate one of two things: either that prof was a very poor prof and thus not a good example of anthropological views on Africa or 40 years have taken some of the sharp edges off your memory.

    It’s gotta be one or the other, Hathor, because anthropology in 1970 certainly didn’t see Africa as a homogenous “Dark Continent”.

    And for me even the minimal invasive procedure is two much. The most I’ve heard of the side effects of male circumcision has been some loss of sensation.

    Never heard of a botched male circumcision? Then you haven’t really looked into it.

    You must be a hero in your mind.

    You mean I’m not supposed to be? Oh, gosh, I’m now staring into an existential abyss because some anonymous poster on the internet doubted my relevance…. Guess I’ll just go slit my wrists in the bath, now.

    Sniff.


  73. Thad,
    Yes I’ve heard of botched male circumcision.
    But a botched procedure is just that, it is not a side effect.

    I did say my references were much older and the class was in 68. I have no way of judging his credentials, only he was a full professor and had a PhD at a state university.

    I was only referring to females in reference to the diversity.

    The problem with academics they over analyze, when arguing and go off on tangents and see implications that are not actually there. Your premises are wrong so the conclusion you get are wrong, even though the logic is sound.
    As IT people say,” garbage in, garbage out.”


  74. Hathor, while I agree that messing around with the female genitals probably causes more side effects, male circumcision is being increasingly criticized for its side effects, such as decreased sensitivity, infections and etc. It’s kind of a toss up in my mind, however, if male circumcision is actually so harmless or if it is just believed to be so because so many cultures naturalize violence towards men as “necessary” or “character building”.

    But fine. Circumcision bad. I get it and generally agree.

    I did say my references were much older and the class was in 68. I have no way of judging his credentials, only he was a full professor and had a PhD at a state university.

    Yeah, well for reference, “The Nuer” is from the 1930s and “Kalela Dance” from the ’50s, IIRC. By the 1920s, at least, anthropology had “discovered” African diversity. So if 50 years later, an Africanist anthropologist was giving you the impression that Africa was one big homogenous mass, he either wasn’t very good or you are misremembering things.

    The problem with academics they over analyze, when arguing and go off on tangents and see implications that are not actually there.

    The problem with non-academics is that they think a bit they learned in a freshman class decades ago or something they barely remember from the telly yesterday qualifies as “an informed opinion” and they see implications in their often-conspiratorial understandings of the world.

    So now we know that you despise people for spouting off when they have an informed opinion and I despise people for spouting off when they don’t.

    That was fun.

    Your premises are wrong so the conclusion you get are wrong, even though the logic is sound.

    So let me see… Your knowledge of how anthropology treats Africa comes from an undergrad class more than 40 years ago. Mine comes from a PhD I got 4 years ago after more than a decade of study. But my premises on how anthropology treats Africa are unsound because… Because of what, exactly, Hathor?


  75. Thad said:

    “I don’t listen to voices in my head, Mel: I listen to what people say.”

    I wish you did. It would make talking to you so much easier. Instead commenter after commenter keeps saying “that’s not what I meant!” in one form or other. You PRESUME what people are thinking instead of reading just what they wrote and that gets you into disagreements.


  76. Thad:

    The point of this post was not to prove that Western slavery was worse than African slavery – that was like an aside in the post and would need a post of its own. It was to point out how white Americans make an issue of African slavery to draw attention away from their own practice of slavery and how bad it was.


  77. Thad,

    Then you should stay in academic circles and not deem us mere mortals as your adversary.

    FYI it wasn’t a freshman course.


  78. Thad,

    Maybe you would find good company here


  79. @ Victoria:

    Thank you for your excellent comment.


  80. Abagond, everyone here presumes to one degree or another. Take a look at the current hissy fight going on between some of these same complaintants over on the Bethany Storro thread. It’s hard to take their complaints seriously when they do the same stuff themselves and do it constantly.

    But let’s talk about a huge and often unchallenged presumption that often raises its head here: the presumption that someone can’t possibly know jack about topic X because they’re not a member of identity category Y.

    That’s a HUGE motherf***ing presumption, but because it fits the overriding dogma of the Anglo myth of identity, few people challenge it here but yours truly.

    And this is PRECISELY what pisses many folks here off, not my presumptions.


  81. The point of this post was not to prove that Western slavery was worse than African slavery – that was like an aside in the post and would need a post of its own.

    No doubt, but that wasn’t my argument, was it? That’s the argument of Victoria, Mel and Vindicator, so maybe you should be talking to them about that.

    My original argument was that the attempts to portray african slavery as “not really that bad”, engaged in by many people (and you can see examples of it above), are the same sort of phenomenon as the one you describe.

    Victoria’s comments, which you find to be excellent, are exactly such an example of this. She seems to think that rape is basically “more human”, as long as it’s covered by the term “marriage” into a polygamous family where the married woman is considered her hsuband’s property.

    I mean that is really the long and the short of it, Abagond, and it’s precisely the sort of crappy falsely moral argument which your original post decries.


  82. @Hathor

    Then you should stay in academic circles and not deem us mere mortals as your adversary.

    That’s right, Hathor: I’m not telling you to go anywhere, nor am I slagging you for your education or lack thereof. I’m the arrogant one simply because I’m an academic.

    Do you know what a load of absolute crapola that is?


  83. Thad:

    Some points:

    1. I took it for granted that everyone reading this would assume that slavery is evil and cruel no matter who practised it. I said:

    “So slavery in places like Haiti, Barbados and America was much more cruel.”

    Meaning that the Roman and African slavery I was comparing it to was cruel too, just not as much. So, no, I do not think African slavery was “somehow a nice walk in the park”. And seeking to excuse slavery is the very last thing I would do. That whites even attempt to do it just blows my mind.

    2. The beliefs of the Catholic Church is not a good guide to what the man in the street or the rich in a largely Catholic society believe. Catholics are not ideological robots who have rented their brain to the pope.

    3. You said:

    “Slavery was VERY common throughout sub-saharan Africa, as it was in every single human civilization before the industrial revolution. “

    That is just not true. For Africa I will get you the source and quote. China and Christian Europe through most of their history did not practise slavery on a large scale. If you want to count serfs and peasants as slaves, then where do you stop? Were black sharecroppers slaves too? What about the millions of debt slaves in America? If you do not draw the line the word becomes weak and useless.

    4. I agree that racism is the effect not the cause of slavery, but it got going soon enough – you see it in Shakespeare by 1603 and in the laws of Virginia by the 1660s. You do not have to be a Social Darwinist or agree with the people at Stormfront to be a racist.

    5. The material lives of slaves in America was better than in the West Indies, Brazil or Africa, but what makes being a slave so terrible is not being poor – it is having no rights, no freedom. And on that score America was way worse than the others. And racism most certainly is the cause of that.


  84. Distilling the current bafafá:

    Abagond: White people often point to African slavery in order to derail discussions about how bad the Atlantic slave trade was.

    Thad: Yeah, but many people also try and act as if African slavery was no big deal a’tall, as if the Atlantic slave trade just erased it from history.

    Victoria, Vindicator and Mel: African slavery was family based and thus more human and less cruel than European slavery.

    Thad: The hell it wasn’t! You can’t meaningfully qualitatively compare mass human suffering and, besides, your notions of the African family as some sort of rebdout of human liberty and justice are seriously ethnocentric and ignorant. Go read some books about what happened back then: slavery was very, very bad, in both cases.

    V,V,M: Evil white man, you are misogynist and sexist and, above all, elitist for telling us to read history in order to understand it.

    Thad: Yeah, well if you don’t read about another people’s history, you can’t hope to understand it and that’s why you’re making these weird presumptions about African history: you’re fundamentally ignorant about it.

    V,V,M: Don’t presume that we’re ignorant simply because we have nothing of any substance to say about a topic.

    Hathor: Yeah, you presumptive, arrogant scumbag. who are you to say one person’s ignorance isn’t better than another’s informed opinion?

    Thad: It ain’t. Ignorance is just that: ignorance. If you’ve got an informed opinion, I’m all ears: bring it on.

    ALL: You evil, presumptive, misogynist sexist, elitist arrogant jerk!

    Abagond: Thaddeus, quit presuming things. It’s not nice.
    :D


  85. @Abagond:

    1) First of all, you know that race was only invented late on in the Atlantic trade. Secondly, you know that other qualifiers of human essence – such as religion or nation or identity – can easily reduce people to degraded Others as quickly as race can. Thus the idea that race necessarily made the Atlantic trade worse simply doesn’t hold water. We’re supposed to believe that it was “better”, for example, during the period stretching from 1400 to at least 1700 when the race concept simply didn’t exist as such?

    2) Regarding Catholicism, your point is…?

    3) That is just not true. For Africa I will get you the source and quote.

    Please do. I would very much like to see it.

    China and Christian Europe through most of their history did not practise slavery on a large scale. If you want to count serfs and peasants as slaves, then where do you stop?

    Abagond, it’s the same damn root word in Latin. “Slave” ultimately meant “serf brought in from a foreign nation” and serf meant “domestically raised slave”. Sure, these terms shifted over the centuries, no doubt, but the stone cold hard fact of the matter is this: serfs were property, they weren’t free and they had little to nothing in the way of rights.

    Period.

    4) Regarding racism, “othering” behavior and the treatment of despised others as s*** is a human constant. I have no doubt that the English thought the Africans were scum in Shakespeare’s time, just like they thought the Irish and the Spanish were scum. They also used the word “race” to describe those two peoples. The idea that race in 1603 was somehow excluesively applied to black Africans and other people of color is simply false.

    5) The material lives of slaves in America was better than in the West Indies, Brazil or Africa, but what makes being a slave so terrible is not being poor – it is having no rights, no freedom.

    No doubt. And yet European serfs also had no freedom, correct? So if it’s lack of freedom that makes a life terrible, why are you insisting that there was this huge abyss between, say, the life of a French peasant in 1600 and the life of an African slave? I think we can agree that the lack of freedom isn’t what makes the slave different than the serf.

    Lack of freedom isn’t the problem: it’s the presumed lack of social reciprocity in early slavery, which is later codified into a caste system based on race in later slavery.


  86. I think the best counter to the African slavery thing is that we aren’t in flipping Africa (usually) so who cares? And yes, it’s also not 1864 but we have plenty of sh#t here and now to deal with because of American slavery. The point is recognizing how slavery made us who we are now and how it’s still relevent.


  87. Thad said:
    “Victoria, Vindicator and Mel: African slavery was family based and thus more human and less cruel than European slavery.”

    Vin responds:
    Does your intellectual dishonesty know no ends! I never said that statement or even implied that statement.
    And you wonder why people think you are ignorant and arrogant!


  88. \Thaddeus said:
    First of all, that’s not necessarily true. Just like the Africans had no notion of chattel slavery, they had no notion of “indentured servitude”. Slavery was formally for life, but like in chattel slavery, there were ways of getting manumitted.

    I say:
    Here I need to state that I’m not American so I’m woefully ignorant about how a slave could get manumitted in the US of A. Could you throw some light on it?

    Thaddeus said: Secondly, that “marriage” was FORCED. When that sort of thing happened in the context of European slave-owning, it was called RAPE. Let’s not gussy up sexual subordination, OK? I mean, I’m the guy here who normally says it’s hard to call 17th century mating customs “rape” by our current standards because women were not understood to own their sexuality.[/i]

    I say: I believe slaves included males too, right? So when a male slave was married into the family it was for a woman to rape him? Hahahihihehe. That’s absurd.

    Here’s what wiki says about African slavery:
    Slavery in African cultures was generally more like indentured servitude: “slaves” were not made to be chattel of other men, nor enslaved for life. African “slaves” were paid wages and were able to accumulate property. They often bought their own freedom and could then achieve social promotion -just as freedman in ancient Rome- some even rose to the status of kings (e.g. Jaja of Opobo and Sunni Ali Ber).

    I say: Seems pretty different to me than the form of slavery that existed in the USA, Haiti etc.


  89. @ Thad

    this is how you post…

    Random poster: I like wafflez.
    Thad: so what your REALLY saying is that you can’t stand pancakes! Admit it, the thought of pancakes makes you want to vomit, they disgust you! Why would you say that you hate pancakes When they are clearly delicious? Here’s 15 examples of why you are wrong to hate pancakes as you have so clearly stated.

    Random poster: actually I never said that, I like pancakes too.
    Thad: ha! So you admit it.


  90. jasOnburns

    LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!


  91. WTF happened with this thread while I was away? How many derailments do we really need here?

    Honestly, the point of this thread was achieved in the 4th line: “Africa was not a country. Africans were not selling “their own”.

    I must admit I know next to nothing about slavery in Africa, so I don’t have anything smart to add here.

    On the other hand, I do agree with Thad about racism- racism was hardly what made this type of slavery the worst. They could have used another criteria: religion or ethnicity (other common reasons) and it would be the same. Hey, they could have used anything (eye colour, height, language) it it would be the same.

    PS-Discussing slavery as a phenomena would be interesting, no doubt. But this is not an appropriate thread, I think (and I hate derailments). We can also discuss other issues raised here (mostly by Thad): “you don’t understand X if you’re not X yourself”, or caring about your people (whatever you define them), their destiny and suffering more about the others, but I don’t think this is the appropriate place.


  92. I think the best counter to the African slavery thing is that we aren’t in flipping Africa (usually) so who cares?

    “We aren’t in flipping Europe, so who cares? Mass chattel slavery doesn’t exist any more, so who cares?”

    If you’re going to go that route, Jason, you’ll find it to be quite slippery. And you’ll also quickly find yourself preaching to the choir.

    It’s hard enough to get people to think about history and what it means today without waving one’s hand and trying to get them to think about history while simultaneously ignoring all the little nasty bits that don’t fit into your ideology.


  93. Thad said:
    “Victoria, Vindicator and Mel: African slavery was family based and thus more human and less cruel than European slavery.”

    Vin responds:
    Does your intellectual dishonesty know no ends! I never said that statement or even implied that statement.
    And you wonder why people think you are ignorant and arrogant!

    @Vindicator
    I stand corrected, Vindy. You of course are correct.

    Vicky claimed that African slavery was less cruel and gave a reason to support her belief (she thinks that the family had an ameliorating effect on slave/master relations).

    You, of course, just claimed that African slavery was less cruel than European slavery without giving any reason whatsoever for your opinion.

    Please forgive my presumption that you were attempting to argue rationally, as Vicky and Mel were. :D


  94. I thoughed that this subject was about how some whites use these other slavesystems as an explanation to make american slavery seem not so bad.

    But I guess this is about Thad and his excellence or lack of it. I don’t know. Maybe I’m wrong :-D


  95. Random poster: I like wafflez.
    Thad: so what your REALLY saying is that you can’t stand pancakes! Admit it, the thought of pancakes makes you want to vomit, they disgust you! Why would you say that you hate pancakes When they are clearly delicious? Here’s 15 examples of why you are wrong to hate pancakes as you have so clearly stated.

    Random poster: actually I never said that, I like pancakes too.
    Thad: ha! So you admit it.

    So you think I’m made a HUGE presumption when I tossed Vindy’s blanket and unattributed statement (“European slavery was crueler than African slavery”) into the same bucket wiuth Vicky’s claim that African slavery was less cruel because the slaves were part of the family?

    Pick many nits, do you Jason? :D


  96. Thad, I have never suggested that blacks were believed by most whites to be not human. Neither did I claim that race ideology cast races as subhuman. Neither have I implied that you need to dehumanize people to torture them.

    You are putting words into my mouth, and deliberately being patronising by rattling off simple truths and acting like you’re so clever for knowing something we don’t. You latched onto a single word I use and interpret it in the worst possible way, so you can show off your “intellectual” prowess. Chillax, dude.


  97. “I thought that this subject was about how some whites use these other slavesystems as an explanation to make american slavery seem not so bad.

    But I guess this is about Thad and his excellence.”

    LOL!


  98. sam,

    But I guess this is about Thad and his excellence or lack of it. I don’t know. Maybe I’m wrong.

    Same here. *confused*


  99. ““We aren’t in flipping Europe, so who cares? Mass chattel slavery doesn’t exist any more, so who cares?”

    well broadly speaking one can care about whatever one chooses to. However, discussing the comparative evils of African slavery is not as relevent to the issue of modern day racism as American chattel slavery I don’t think. I didn’t mean nobody should care about it literally.


  100. @D
    Here I need to state that I’m not American so I’m woefully ignorant about how a slave could get manumitted in the US of A. Could you throw some light on it?

    For most of the history of the colonies that now make up the U.S., a slave could be manumitted at his or her master’s will. Towards the mid 19th century, as the African slave trade shut down and abolitionism ramped up, many southern states passed laws prohibitting manumission.

    Manumission generally tended to happen for three reasons: the slave in question had some intimate personal connection to the master (i.e. was their lover or child); the master suddenly got a conscience regarding slavery (usually on their death bed); the master wished to avoid supporting a slave that was too old to generate much useful work.

    In Brazil, slaves could also buy themselves out of slavery, but that’s not manumission. I’m pretty sure they could do so in Louisiana under the French, too, and perhaps in Florida under the Spanish. IIRC, the “buy yourself out” deal was a bit of Catholicism at work, but I’d have to go and look that up to be sure.

    I believe slaves included males too, right?

    Sure, but two things there:

    1) In African slavery, females were much preferred for the reasons I gave above. this is why women were tha majority of the slaves in early Africa.

    2) Male slaves, AFAIK, typically weren’t “married into the family”, as Vicky claims. If someone has information to the contrary, I’d like to see it.

    There were many types of slavery in Africa, by the way, and family-based slavery was only one of these types. Chattel slavery also existed and was fairly widespread, even before the Europeans showed up (especially in Islamic Africa).

    So what Vicky is doing is taking one type of African slavery and making it stand in for thw whole. She then, erroneously, claims that this slavery was based on marriage and thus somehow “better”. The type of slavery she’s talking about, however, usually involved women and children, not grown men.

    Regarding your wiki comment, that’s odd, because when I look up “slavery in Africa” on the wiki, it quite clearly states that there were different types of slavery on the continent, including chattel slavery. And that quote from the “African slave trade” íece on the Wiki that you give us is followed by a DIRECT quote from an African scholar, Dr. Akurang-Parry, which quite clearly states that Africans sold Africans in the same way that Europeans sold Europeans: i.e. as members of other peoples/nations.

    Furthermore, whether or not early Africa had a notion of chattel slavery (and, like Europe – as your wiki points out – it probably didn’t), it quickly developed one through intensified contact with the outside world. If you’d like to argue that Europeans brought intensified chattel slavery to Africa, go right ahead: I’ve argued that above. But for 400 some years, it was very definitely practiced on Africans by Africans as well. Why? Not because Africans were innocent little creatures contaminated by evil europeans. African leaders took to chattel slavery in the same way that they took to gunpowder weapons: it allowed them to accrue more power to themselves.

    So yeah, both slavery in EUROPE AND AFRICA was non-chattel before capitalism came around. As in Africa, slaves in Europe could buy their way out and often rise to the top of society. IIRC, there was even a Roman emporer who was once and ex-slave. What changes the game is CAPITALISM, not Europeanism or Africanism. And capitalism, while it may have reared its ugly head in Europe first, is a trans-human development: wherever it goes, people take it up, just like they take up firearms and leave off bows and arrows or take up automobiles and leave of ox-wagons. They do it because it’s a POWERFUL TOOL. And when capitalism hits slavery, you get CHATTEL SLAVERY.

    This was the case in Africa and all across Asia, just as it was in Europe. I have a friend who did basic researchn on this, btw, checking out how many native terms for forced servitude, across the 16th century Portuguese diaspora, became simply transformed into “slave” as time wore on.

    So it’s a bit of a red herring when you compare, say, 14th century Songhai to 19th century Haiti. You’re comparing a non-capitalist system to a capitalist system. A better comparison would be 14th century Songhai to, say, 6th century Rome, or 19th century Haiti to 19th century Dahomé.

    It seems to me, D, that your evidencing a rather subtle form of the “Africa is a country” myth, whereby one sort of slavery among one people during a specific time period becomes ALL of Africa, always. And you’re also evidencing the “Africa is timeless” myth, whereby Africa and African cultures stand apart from the general flow of human history, as if they continet wasn’t a crucial component of the construction of capitalism.


  101. Here’s a decent reading list on slavery in Africa for people who aren’t book-shy:

    The Slave Trade – Thomas

    Transformations in Slavery – Lovejoy

    Slavery in Africa – Koytoff and Miers

    Slavery and African Life – Manning


  102. @Mira
    WTF happened with this thread while I was away? How many derailments do we really need here?

    I’ll bring it back to my main point, then:

    While whites do indeed derail discussions about slavery by saying “Hey, Africans sold their own”, as we’ve seen above, many other people also derail discussions of slavery by claiming that slavery in Africa “really wasn’t that bad”.


  103. Snaily
    Thad, I have never suggested that blacks were believed by most whites to be not human. Neither did I claim that race ideology cast races as subhuman. Neither have I implied that you need to dehumanize people to torture them.

    OK. Here’s what you claimed:
    I’m with Abagond on this one. Racism added an extra dimension to US/European slavery and set it apart from African slavery; the construction of race led to black people being dehumanized.

    Forgive me for mys presumptions here, Snailly, but when you say “the construction of race led to black people being dehumanized”, how is that substantially different from saying an ideology was constructed that casts the black race as subhuman?

    Race is an ideological construct, correct? And when you dehumanize someone, you claim they are less than human, correct? So when race leads to people being dehumanized, it’s an ideology which casts people as subhuman, correct?

    So how is what I said substantially different from what you said?

    My point is that one doesn’t need race to create that “extra dimension” to European slavery. In fact, European slavery got along just fine for centuries without a cohesive notion of race. Capitalism is what creates chattel slavery and it’s european slavery’s chattel nature that sets it appart from most early African forms, not its racism or its necessary cruelty.

    The dehumanization doesn’t come in with race, Snailly: it comes in with treating humans as expendable cogs in a profit-making machine. Race comes along centuries later to justify the caste distinctions built by chattel slavery. And race REALLY doesn’t hit its stride as a popular and determinitive ideology until AFTER abolition.

    So to claim that it’s race which sets European slavery apart is, to me, simply ahistorical.


  104. well broadly speaking one can care about whatever one chooses to. However, discussing the comparative evils of African slavery is not as relevent to the issue of modern day racism as American chattel slavery I don’t think. I didn’t mean nobody should care about it literally.

    Yeah, well, I didn’t bring up the comparative evils bit in the first place, did I, Jase? You can thank Vicky, Mel and vindy for that.

    My oeiginal point, once again, is that while it’s true that “Africans sold their own” is a dogma that’s used to avoid looking at what slavery really was, the “African slavery wasn’t as bad as other types of slavery” is another sort of dogma which serves a similar purpose.


  105. @Jen
    But I guess this is about Thad and his excellence.

    Why, thank you Jen. :P


  106. I JUST WANT TO SAY 1 THING TO THAD THADEAU….I AM COMPLETELY WITH YOU AND YOU ARE CLEARLEY VERY INTELIGENT ON THIS MATTER IN PARTICULAR THIS IS A CASE OF A LOT OF PEOPLE GESSING WHAT THEY FINK ARE PROBABLY FACTS AGAINST ONE PERSON WHO ACTUALY KNOWS WELL DONE MATE ITS FAIR TO SAY YOU DOMINATED THIS ARGUMENT


  107. great post there were oraganized armies in central africa against the slave trade…they gave them a great butt kicking to say the least.


  108. i missed the entire point of Thaddeus’s first post to be honest…


  109. Hi, for what it’s worth I have spent some time in W. Africa and as far as de-humanisation of slaves goes try googling human sacrifice .A Ghanian friend of mine told me it was traditional to ‘send ‘ a few Hausas along for company when an Ashanti royal was buried.


  110. *shrug* My uncle once told me our ancestors “sent” the mukala into the volcano of Mt. Cameroon.

    FYI, the mukala are white-skinned people born to black hair. They often have reddish-blond hair and blue or grayish blue eyes.

    Modern rites – supposedly – involve simply shaving the head of a mukala and tossing their hair into the volcano.


  111. @Peanut

    great post there were oraganized armies in central africa against the slave trade…they gave them a great butt kicking to say the least.

    This was the Kingdom of the Congo which you’re referring to…?

    i missed the entire point of Thaddeus’s first post to be honest…

    It’s quite simple, Peanut. It’s that there are many political uses of African slavery other than the one pointed to by Abagond, above. While certain people will bring it up in order to avoid thinking about how bad the Transatlantic slave trade was, others will bring it up as a supposedly superior, “kinder”, or “less cruel” form of slavery precisely in order to dismiss it as not really slavery at all.

    The fact of the matter is, neither of these groups is really interested in what slavery actually was: they are more interested in using a few decontextualized facts about it in order to support their current political and ideological arguments.


  112. My uncle once told me “sent” the mukala into the volcano of Mt. Cameroon.

    Those Phoenicians did get around.


  113. So let’s say for arguments sake that slavery is slavery. Does anyone have any other suggestions on how to center the discussion around American slavery and it’s relevence when someone brings up the African slavery thing? Since clearly just arguing that it was “worse” isn’t going to stop a determined derailer.


  114. Why would you want to “center” it anywhere, Jason, given that as a historical phenomenon it wasn’t “centered”? You’re looking for men in black hats in a sea of men in black hats.

    I think you need to draw back and ask “What do I want this guy to do? Do I want him believing in my political dogmas at a snap of my fingers? Or do I want to get him to THINK about what slavery really was in the hopes that this will lead him to further revelations on his own?”

    I think the second strategy gets you more.

    So when I get a student who says something like “But the Africans sold their own”, I’ll respond with something like, “OH, yes, very true. Just like the Europeans sold their own. Anyone was grist for the mill for slavery. Of course, they didn’t see it as ‘selling their own': they saw it as selling criminals and prisoners of war, much like the Romans used to do. Africans became the preferred victims for transatlantic slavery not because they were better at selling their own than the Europeans were, but for a series of reasons…”

    At that point, you can build into a history of transatlantic slavery which shows who was mainly benefitting from it: a small class of wealthy Europeans and a much, much smaller handful of African nobles. And you can show where the capital accrued and how it was used and what this means in terms of Africa’s economic development relative to Europe’s today.


  115. But that kind of a strategy doesn’t allow you to paint an entire grouping of people as “baaaaaaaaaaaaaad”, which is what both the “damned Africans” and “damned Europeans” factions of this debate want – including yourself, apparently, Jason.

    You want history to resolve itself into a nice, simple, easily understood morality play so that you can choose the right side and claim that you’re a saint.

    I always wonder what most of the people posting here would think about slavery back in, say 1750. Frankly, I think most commentators would be spouting the popular dogmas of THAT period just like the spout the popular dogmas of today. Some few would be abolitionists for religious reasons, not because they believed in anything like human rights. Many more would probably just shrug slavery off as a necessary evil or the way of the world, as they currently do, say, the U.S. empire’s illegal wars in Iraq and Afganistan.

    People who look to dogma to give them their moral compass don’t tend to be the folks who change history.


  116. @ Thad

    According to the Amazon review, Slavery in Africa – Koytoff and Miers the reviewer seems to be supporting the “Kinder, gentler” idea of African Slavery, at least in the first part of the book.

    “The first part of the book deals with how African slavery is different than “Western” slavery. Westerners have this image of a slave who is unhappy and seeking freedom but Miers and Kopytoff are quick to point out that in most African societies it was common to find a “slave” working alongside his “master” and earning the same living.”

    It also seems that there were many more varied forms of slavery in Africa, owing to the diversity of custom there.

    “Overall, the reader can be awestruck by the amount of information that can be obtained from this book. Learning about the diverse societies that spread all over Africa, one can take the assumption that African slavery is indeed different from society to society. Finally, a clear analysis from this book is that Western slavery is nowhere near as complex as African slavery.

    Interesting, I think I’ll pick up a copy.


  117. Hmmm… the Comaroffs, Miers and Kopytoff. This is like being in African Studies again.

    Re: Miers and Kopytoff — they reject the idea of slavery in Africa in general; you’ll notice they put the word slavery in quotation marks to stress that it shouldn’t be pre-defined or compared in modern terms. They call “slavery” just one of many dependent relationships that existed in Africa.


  118. Yes, that’s true. However, for our purposes here (which seem to be more political/moral rather than anthropological), that’s pretty much a semantic argument. Miers and Kopytoff aren’t making any sort of argument, at all, as to which sort of “dependent relationships” are better or worse, crueler or nicer. They just have a very precise definition of “slavery” because they are interested in charting out what other sorts of forced and power relationships exist in the world.

    (By the way, note that when I make these sort of preicse anthropological arguments, they’re roundly criticized as “semantical BS”. Mostly, commentors here are the “toss all the cats in one bag” kind of people.)

    Furthermore, Meirs and Kopytoff don’t “reject the idea of slavery in Africa in general”: they reject the idea that it existed before the Arabs and Europeans started showing up. After there was contact with these proto-capitalist economies, slavery – like the use of steel swords and firearms – spread across Africa because it was a very useful social technology to the people whu ruled the African proto-states. Meirs and Kopytoff are very aware of this.


  119. By the way, there were several places in the Western hemisphere where “it was common to find a “slave” working alongside his “master” and earning the same living,” the northern tier of the southern U.S. states being one of them.

    This is the point Genovese brings up when he asks how are we to define whether or not slavery was better or worse in one area?

    One of the axises which he stipulates is the socio-economic difference between masters and slaves. If they are basically eating the same food and doing the same jobs and living the same sort of material existence, Genovese (and Meirs and Kopytoof, apparently) see this as “better”.

    However, a couple of commentators above claim that this is no issue at all: the real issue is whether or not a person is FREE. If that’s our only axis of describing slavery, then Meirs and Kopytoff are incorrect and any sort of dependent, forced relationship is slavery.

    That’s why one can’t be an absolutist on this issue. There’s a lot of things that need to be taken into consideration. Freedom, for example, is a wonderful thing UNLESS it means freedom to slowly starve to death, which may indeed have been the fate of slaves who were manumitted in their ’70s and ’80s…


  120. They don’t believe “slavery”, as it is currently defined, can be applied in any meaningful way to the systems that existed in Africa, in other words they reject the idea of “slavery” in Africa.

    But Miers and Kopytoff contradict themselves, and others contradict them. I don’t think there is any way someone can say “this is what slavery in Africa was like” because first they would have to define it, which is hard enough, then they would have to find elements that were common in all parts of Africa which is even more difficult.


  121. “However, a couple of commentators above claim that this is no issue at all: the real issue is whether or not a person is FREE. If that’s our only axis of describing slavery, then Meirs and Kopytoff are incorrect and any sort of dependent, forced relationship is slavery.”

    But according to them “slavery” and freedom were not dichotomous; there were several instances where a “slave” had certain rights we attribute to freedom.


  122. Putting my Cameroon cap on, here’s my declaration, not least as a reply to the infamous “my family never owned slaves”.

    Well… my family never sold slaves. And they never purchased any either.


  123. Why am I not surprised that Thaddeus is promoting Eurocentric books that he has read on Africa to help push his point?


  124. @Natasha
    They don’t believe “slavery”, as it is currently defined, can be applied in any meaningful way to the systems that existed in Africa, in other words they reject the idea of “slavery” in Africa.

    Natasha, first of all, you’re missing a key point of this book: it was not written by Meirs and Kopytoff, but ORGANIZED by them. There’re 20 odd authors in the book and a wide diversity of opinions of African slavery.

    I happen to have read the book and I can tell you, sincerely and seriously, that Meirs and Koptytoff’s pieces make an ANTHROPOLOGICAL and not moral/political argument about slavery. One which I happen to agree with, by the way. I think that there are many forms of forced labor and service which are not “slavery” in the chattel slavery sense of the term. That said, if one were to apply the absolutist definition of slavery that Meirs and Kopytoff use, one would be forced to conclude that slavery during pre-modern times in Europe “wasn’t really” slavery either.

    M&K are part of a particularist minority when it comes to discussing slavery. They basically take the position that the only “real” slavery in the world was thransatlantic chattel slavery. In this, they are somewhat the equivalent of certain Jewish scholars who claim that the only “real” genocide was the holocaust. Both positions are well-argued but are far from consensual. And P&K’sposition claims – as the posters above here are claiming – that forced forms of dependence in Africa were “less cruel” or “nicer” or what have you.

    So if you want to take the P&K position, that’s fine. What you’re saying then is that slavery doesn’t really exist without capitalism and that other forms of forced labor haver their particularities which need to be understood and respected. What you’re NOT saying, at leasy if you hew to their argument, is that these forced forms of labor were “less cruel”.

    I don’t think there is any way someone can say “this is what slavery in Africa was like” because first they would have to define it, which is hard enough, then they would have to find elements that were common in all parts of Africa which is even more difficult.

    Oh, I dunno. Their book gives one a pretty good basis for proceeding with a classification of slavery/forced labor and captivity in Africa. You’re right that there’s no “one” African slavery form but many and that these develop over time.

    Read the book and think about what it says. It’s even available on Kindle! :D

    But according to them “slavery” and freedom were not dichotomous; there were several instances where a “slave” had certain rights we attribute to freedom.

    Natasha, you’re making a classic mistake: you’re trying to understand an author’s position based on reading a paragraph or two out of context. READ their articles. It’s been some time since I read M&K, but IIRC, they make no attribution regarding “freedom” in the systems they describe. One was DEFINITELY not free. Also, I would point out that slavery and rights are not contradictory. In the Catholic diaspora, slaves also had some rights which we attribute to freedom. That didn’t make them any less slaves, even in M&K’s view of things.

    Also, I’m interested in where you’re picking “rights” up in their article. what they’re saying is that the economic conditions of slaves weren’t that different from their master’s, being that they did the same work: that has nothing at all to do with rights.


  125. @Mel
    Why am I not surprised that Thaddeus is promoting Eurocentric books that he has read on Africa to help push his point?

    Mel, Mier and Kopytoff’s book is as Africa-centered as anyone could care to wish and many of the authors in it are very concerned with looking at what happened from an African perspective. As Natasha points out, the organizer’s articles themselves – if taken at face value as you are wont to take things – can be understood as perceiving a solid difference between African and European forms of slavery. If even a shallow thinker were to read this book, they’d find at least SOME proof for the claims that you are trying to make.

    But the fact of the matter is, Mel, that even when I point you to a book that could be used to support your position and shove it right under your nose and say “Here, look at this. This is where you can find some stuff to back up your views that European and African slavery were qualitiatively different”… Even when I do THAT, you’re such a broken record and so allergic to actually READING WORDS ON A PRINTED PAGE that you disparage your intellectual allies as “Eurocentric”.

    You’re playing the fool, Mel. And a very ignorant fool at that. It’s becoming increasingly obvious to me that you just can’t be bothered to read any history of Africa at all, even when it supports your views. :P


  126. @Femi
    Well… my family never sold slaves. And they never purchased any either.

    Great! But my question to you, then, would be why you think it makes a difference to history what your family did or did not do? After all, no one here is claiming that all Africans, today, are somehow morally responsible for slavery 500 years ago.


  127. Thad,

    “Natasha, first of all, you’re missing a key point of this book: it was not written by Meirs and Kopytoff, but ORGANIZED by them. There’re 20 odd authors in the book and a wide diversity of opinions of African slavery.”

    They used references to form their own argument, yes… this is widely done. This doesn’t make it not their book. They presented plenty of their own arguments in the book. But we’ll agree to disagree on that one since it’s not extremely relevant.

    “Read the book and think about what it says. It’s even available on Kindle!”

    Are you implying that I didn’t read the book?

    That’s very presumptuous of you, but not really surprising since you are presumptuous as a rule. I wouldn’t have entered this discussion if their names (and the Comaroffs) hadn’t come up. Actually, I read all of their works, and Paul Lovejoy’s, in order to write a comprehensive paper on this very topic. It wasn’t very enjoyable reading, but eh.

    However, in this case, I’ll just let that pass as I can tell you are only saying this in order to discredit my position since your rhetorical BS doesn’t impress someone like me that is familiar with the authors you are discussing.

    Note: I never stated that I agreed with Miers and Kopytoff. So the rest of your comment is kind of moot.


  128. Actually, I really want to know, since you’ve continued to push that point in further comments: why do you always presume that you are the only one who is informed on EVERY topic? Or do you not actually believe that, but you simply argue that to automatically refute the other side?

    I mean, really. I was actually thinking you and I could agree on this since we’ve read the same works. But I guess I was wrong: if there is a single sentence that disagrees with The-Great-Professor-Thaddeus-Teacher-of-the-Universe, then it’s all downhill from there and a 50 comment back and forth of debate. My fault! I should’ve let you reign over this post and remain unchallenged, as you like to have it with every post.

    Abagond might as well make this a private blog for just you, Thaddeus. Since everyone else’s thoughts, informed or not, are irrelevant.


  129. What if African slavery was discovered to be far more cruel than American slavery? would the “Africans sold their people as slaves” argument be more valid then? no. so why all the chatter?

    It only matters which was worse if you want to point the finger and say “your people are bad.” (anyone doing so on either side of the debate isn’t worth listening to imo.) Many white people seem to think this is what is happening when someone brings up slavery. The “my family didn’t have slaves” argument is a form of self defense. It’s a way to say “stop attacking me i’m a good person” but of course it isn’t personal even if your family DID own slaves. It isn’t about going around blaming individual WP for slavery. Having privilege doesn’t automatically make you a bad person. What matters is that WP take an honest look at how we continue to benefit from the advantages bestowed upon us by slavery and Jim Crow


  130. Are you implying that I didn’t read the book?

    Forgive me, but it didn’t sound like you had, given that it seemed you’d been implying that the book had been written by them. It seemed as if you’re saying “their” book made one definition of slavery when, in fact, there are many conflicting definitions of it being presented in the book.

    why do you always presume that you are the only one who is informed on EVERY topic?

    First of all, because I only write serious posts on things which touch on my areas of expertise. You don’t see me, for example, spouting off on the whole Bethany thing because, frankly, I know little about white people who claim black criminals did bad things to them.

    I DO know a bit about the Atlantic slave trade and Africa.

    Secondly, because most of the people who post on these topics – let’s say 19 out of 20 – have never got beyond wikipedia, one book by their pet author on the topic and maybe vague memories of an undergraduate class which touched upon it years ago. Hell, even Abagond gets a lot of the info which he writes about straight off the wiki.

    In the discussion above, the vast majority of posters really have no notion of what they’re talking about. They’re repeating some pop opinions that they picked up here and there without really thinking them through. It’s so bad that Mel thinks she’s being righteous when she claims that M&K are “eurocentric” – precisely the two authors who have the most to teach her if she wants to really claim there’s a huge difference between African and European slavery.

    I COULD presume the other way and then be wrong 19 out of 20 times.

    Why bother?

    But I guess I was wrong: if there is a single sentence that disagrees with The-Great-Professor-Thaddeus-Teacher-of-the-Universe, then it’s all downhill from there and a 50 comment back and forth of debate.

    [Shrugs]

    You’ll notice that I’m not slapping folks with ad hominems, nor being outraged by their opinions, something which many of the posters here engage in. That’s pretty odd behavior for someone who’s supposedly so intellectually arrogant, especially in on-line culture where flaming is considered de riguer but logical argument and dialogue is considered condescending.

    Abagond might as well make this a private blog for just you, Thaddeus. Since everyone else’s thoughts, informed or not, are irrelevant.

    How does what I write block – in any way, shape, or form – other peoples’ thoughts, Natasha? this isn’t a dinner and I’m not shouting and drowning out other people. I could write a 10 page screed and all you’d need to do is page down over it. So it’s simply rhetoric – and not very intelligent rhetoric at that – to claim that my thoughts somehow prevent other peoples’ thoughts from being expressed.

    And if I thought they were irrelevant, would I bother to respond to them in the first place?


  131. @Jason,

    What if African slavery was discovered to be far more cruel than American slavery? would the “Africans sold their people as slaves” argument be more valid then? no. so why all the chatter?

    Apparently, some people think it would.

    But the driving force behind this debate isn’t a concern with what slavery was, Jason: it’s a concern with making “white people” accountable for what’s presumed to be exclusively – or almost exclusivey – “their” sin 250 years ago.

    That’s why some people feel it’s so important to “correctly” situate slavery: today’s politics, not what really happened way back when.

    The “my family didn’t have slaves” argument is a form of self defense.

    And sometimes it’s a needed defence. When someone says it to say “Forget about racism and slavery, it dosen’t need to be discussed,” then it’s a bullshit political maneuver. When someone says – as happens to me about once a week here – “Your people enslaved my people and that makes you a worthless human being who has no right to a political opinion of any sort on any tpice which I deem off limits”, then one is quite justified in saying it.

    It isn’t about going around blaming individual WP for slavery.

    A significant part of today’s political rhetoric does precisely this. I cans how you several examples in the comments of this blog, if you like.

    What matters is that WP take an honest look at how we continue to benefit from the advantages bestowed upon us by slavery and Jim Crow.

    Perhaps, but what “we” is this to begin with, Jason? Those privileges were not handed out in anything like a homogenous or equal fashion. Without an analysis of how other factors come into play, it’s pretty useless.

    Also, the whole “privilege” thing is rather rhetorical screaming at the skies. We’ve been tossing this ball back and forth for awhile here and still no one has been able to give us a decent definition of “privilege”. Most of the time it gets used here, it means “Something which I presume you and all people like you have which I don’t”. It’s what Mira calls “The Oppression Olympics”.


  132. Thaddeus

    “It seemed as if you’re saying “their” book made one definition of slavery when, in fact, there are many conflicting definitions of it being presented in the book.”

    There is an overarching definition, which is no clear definition, due to a variety of factors. I thought I’d said that earlier…

    “First of all, because I only write serious posts on things which touch on my areas of expertise. “

    I guess 95 percent of the topics here are your area of expertise then.

    “Secondly, because most of the people who post on these topics – let’s say 19 out of 20 – have never got beyond wikipedia [...]“

    You never even gave anyone a chance to clarify their position here, without being snarky. One comment, and *bam* you reply, with the know-it-all-o-meter turned up to its loudest. That’s not very conducive to discussion; at least save the meter for after discussion has actually taken place. But I guess he who shouts the loudest is the right-est.

    Abagond, that’s what this is supposed to be, right — a discussion? Just to clarify; I’m somewhat confused because 75 percent of the comments are Thaddean monologue.

    You’ve used plenty of ad hominems here, Thad; your arguments seem irrevocably tied to them, so I have no idea where you’re going with that one.

    “And if I thought they were irrelevant, would I bother to respond to them in the first place?”

    In order to make sure everyone else knows how irrelevant, misinformed, and plain stupid the rest of the comments are. You know, because someone might actually read them and think they’re relevant — horrors.


  133. @ Natasha W:

    Yes, this is supposed to be a discussion.


  134. Jason said:

    “What if African slavery was discovered to be far more cruel than American slavery? would the “Africans sold their people as slaves” argument be more valid then? no. so why all the chatter?”

    Because Thad wanted to derail by talking about African slavery. But I do not mind since it only proved the point of the post better than I ever could.


  135. Thad:

    When you make everyone feel like ignorant scum because you assume they have not read as many books as you have on a subject THAT IS an ad hominem. Because you are attacking not their statements but them. I forget where you said it, but even according to you that is the sign of someone who does not know what they are talking about.


  136. I guess 95 percent of the topics here are your area of expertise then.

    Of the top 15 posts here, I wrote large comments on the following six (25%):

    * Africans sold their own people as slaves
    * American privilege
    * Mothers are the reason there are so many single women
    * How to talk to white people about racism
    * John Brown
    * Tim Wise

    Two of these are on the history of slavery. Three are in regards to white people and slavery/racism. One is in regards to gender conflict. One is in regards to the U.S. and how it’s seen in the world. Given that race and gender are pretty much what I study, within a post-imperial context, with the U.S. and Brazil as my primary areas of interest, I’d say I’m keeping my focus fairly tight.

    The FBI/COINTELPRO stuff is also within my area of study and I wrote a bit about it, but there’s really not much to say as everyone seems to agree about the basic coordinates of what went on.

    You never even gave anyone a chance to clarify their position here, without being snarky.

    I admit that I’m snarky, but it’s generally when someone’s doing their own posturing or otherwise being a jerk. And I give people every chance in the world to clarify their position. I’ll happily listen to someone who says “You’re not getting what I’m saying. This is what I mean”. Most people choose not to clarify their positions here because they really don’t have a position to clarify, just a general feeling about things backed up by some warmed over rhetoric and an infinite capacity to be offended.

    You’ve used plenty of ad hominems here, Thad; your arguments seem irrevocably tied to them, so I have no idea where you’re going with that one.

    Take a look at the above and show me where you think I started tossing ad hominems first. About the worst that you can say I did was claim that Mel was under-read.

    As for this being a monologue, practically every single post here has been a direct response to something someone has said.

    Why don’t you just claim that I’m a witch, a devil-worshipper and a thoroughly evil man, Natasha? It seems to be your point, regardless of evidence, so just get on with it.


  137. Thad:

    When you say, in so many words, “I know more than you so STFU”, that is not a discussion. In effect it is an ad hominem since you are making it about you and them, not about statements and why they are wrong or right.


  138. When you make everyone feel like ignorant scum because you assume they have not read as many books as you have on a subject THAT IS an ad hominem.

    Yeah, it would be if I ever did anything of the sort.

    I have never claimed that people are “ignorant scum”, Abagond, and you damned well know it. I have never or even IMPLIED that a person is “scum” because they haven’t read a book I’ve read or whatever.

    I HAVE said that some peoples’ claims are ignorant, yes, and that’s a simple opinion based on what they were saying.

    “Scum”? No way. Be honest.

    I forget where you said it, but even according to you that is the sign of someone who does not know what they are talking about.

    Sorry, I DO think that someone who’s trying to engage with complex historical phenomena and who does not bother to read anything about what they are trying to engage with is indeed being willfully ignorant. This is presuming that they CAN read and have access to books. Someone who thinks “Gee, I can learn the history of Africa off of wikipedia” is being ignorant. No, you can’t. Sorry.

    You have another opinion there?


  139. “Because Thad wanted to derail by talking about African slavery. But I do not mind since it only proved the point of the post better than I ever could.”
    :D


  140. When you say, in so many words, “I know more than you so STFU”, that is not a discussion.

    Yeah, it WOULD be if I ever said STFU to someone who disagreed with me. The only person I’ve every said STFU to here was J when he was involved in a largescale ad hominem attack. And even then, I appologized.

    I HAVE said “Ferchrissake, if this is important to you, then READ about it. Here’s some stuff you can look at.”

    That is hardly telling people to STFU.


  141. Whoops! 6 out of 15 is of course 40%, not 25. Durrr.


  142. Thad:

    I do not want to get into a long debate about this, but on this very thread you presumed you knew what Natasha W and Mel have read. You presumed to know how much experience Mel has of Africa. You discredited both Mel and Victoria by belittling the state of their knowledge. Those are ad hominems. They are also completely unnecessary. If someone is wrong you simply point out why. Someone can drop out of high school and still be right. Someone can have a PhD and still be wrong.

    Some commenters have said unkind things about you, like Jasmin and Ankhesen, so I can understand you being not so nice towards them. But Victoria has NEVER crossed you before this thread as far as I can remember. So the way you acted towards her was completely uncalled for.


  143. I don’t even want to be bothered to do this since I’m certainly no stranger to ad homs myself, but since you asked:

    Ad hominems by Thaddeus —

    To Mel:

    “But like most Americans, you seem to think that reading books which don’t agree with you will somehow taint your ideological purity.”

    Using a persons country of origin (even though it’s not actually their country of origin…) to discredit a view. [Abusive ad hominem]

    To Ankhesen:

    “No debate at all is required as long as we toe the line and agree with everything you say, Ank.

    Yes, we get it. You wrote an entire article about it. In fact, you have an entire website dedicated to being suprised that anyone could dare disagree with your well-reasoned and polite opinions.”

    Bringing in irrelevancies (a website) in order to discredit a view. [Circumstantial ad hominem]

    To Mel:

    “Have you done any of that in Africa? If you have, why make assine comments like “African slavery wasn’t as cruel as European slavery”? I mean, I’d expect that statement to come out of the mouth of a Yank who’s only experience with life outside the U.S. has been at the Disney’s “It’s a Small World” ride. >:D”

    Abusive ad hominem

    To Mel:

    “Oh, but that’s right: you don’t DO history, do you? You do heroic fantasy.”

    Abusive ad hominem

    To Hathor:

    “The problem with non-academics is that they think a bit they learned in a freshman class decades ago or something they barely remember from the telly yesterday qualifies as “an informed opinion” and they see implications in their often-conspiratorial understandings of the world.”

    To all:

    “I always wonder what most of the people posting here would think about slavery back in, say 1750. Frankly, I think most commentators would be spouting the popular dogmas of THAT period just like the spout the popular dogmas of today.”

    To Mel:

    But the fact of the matter is, Mel, that even when I point you to a book that could be used to support your position and shove it right under your nose and say “Here, look at this… Even when I do THAT, you’re such a broken record and so allergic to actually READING WORDS ON A PRINTED PAGE that”

    “You’re playing the fool, Mel. And a very ignorant fool at that.”


  144. Natasha,

    I’d add that he presumed to know the thoughts of people who didn’t even comment on this thread–apparently Thad is related to Miss Cleo.


  145. Thad also presumed that I thought African slavery was not all that bad when I said no such thing.

    @ Natasha W:

    Thanks for the compilation.


  146. “When you make everyone feel like ignorant scum because you assume they have not read as many books as you have on a subject THAT IS an ad hominem.”

    It’s not about feeling like scum because we have actually read the exact same books. I wasn’t following along on this discussion, but I happened to click on King’s comment and saw Kopytoff and Miers and thought I’d add to it. When Thad later showed that he’d also read it, I thought “Great, maybe we’ll agree on something; this doesn’t happen often”. But nope.

    It was only when I was looking back just now for ad hominems that I saw Thad had made this comment:

    http://abagond.wordpress.com/2010/09/22/africans-sold-their-own-people-as-slaves/#comment-66665

    All of those works, except the first, I’ve read thoroughly and some I own. I mentioned Lovejoy without even knowing Thad commented about him, since one of my undergrad advisors was a colleague of his. Yet Thad still managed to pick a nit from the bit that we disagreed upon. I should’ve seen that coming.


  147. Thad,

    “Why don’t you just claim that I’m a witch, a devil-worshipper and a thoroughly evil man, Natasha? It seems to be your point, regardless of evidence, so just get on with it.”

    Huh?

    Just relax. I only think you’re being unnecessarily presumptuous and arrogant when you could easily not be. Discussion was effectively shut down due to the way you’ve engaged people here, and for some reason I think that’s not what you wanted. Am I right?


  148. lol I’ve only been commenting here for a few weeks and I could compile a decent compilation myself if I felt like scrolling through old threads. I do remember something about me being a college student or recent grad which is not only way off, it’s an irrelevant ad hominem.


  149. I do not want to get into a long debate about this, but on this very thread you presumed you knew what Natasha W and Mel have read.

    I presume that Mel hasn’t read much because she apparently hasn’t. She has, as you can see from what I’ve written above, an open invitation to prove me wrong.

    I presumed that Natasha hasn’t read the M&K book because it seemed that she was claiming it was something it wasn’t. And look at my arrogant, presumptive, non-dialogic reaction when Natasha said she HAD read it:

    Forgive me, but it didn’t sound like you had, given that it seemed you’d been implying that the book had been written by them.

    That’s telling someone “STFU, you ignorant scum?”, Abagond?

    Go on…

    You discredited both Mel and Victoria by belittling the state of their knowledge.

    Where, exactly did I do this? I claimed that they obviously hadn’t read a damned thing about African slavery and it’s very apparent that they haven’t if, as they imply, they feel it was a “kinder, gentler” slavery.

    That’s not an ad hominem: it’s a frank appraisal of their opinions.

    If someone is wrong you simply point out why.

    I did, at length.

    Someone can drop out of high school and still be right. Someone can have a PhD and still be wrong.

    No kidding. My grandfather was a truck driver and knew more about history than most college graduates I know. but then again, he read widely about the topics which interested him. People who try to judge history without reading it are rarely right, whether or not they have PhDs.

    But Victoria has NEVER crossed you before this thread as far as I can remember. So the way you acted towards her was completely uncalled for.

    Vicky was claiming that slaves in African slavery maintained their humanity and one of the keys to this was that Africans married their slaves. She was so emphatic about this that she put it in negrito. And she said she got this info through her readings in literature. Now let’s look at my totally incidiary, ad hominem response to her, shall we?

    So please… if you’re the kind of person who thinks slave/master relationships in the Americas were necessarily rape because the woman had no choice, don’t try to make slave/master relationships in Africa into some sort of loving and peaceful ideal.

    [roll eyes]

    You need to stop reading so much lit, Victoria, and read a little more African history.

    As for the belief that slaves in the Americas lost their humanity, again, please read more history.

    Wow! How brutal and uncalled for! Snarky, yes, perhaps. Calling someone “scum” and telling them to STFU? WtF?

    Yeah, that’s really telling someone to STFU, Abagond and calling them scum.

    And if you feel my “snarkiness” was “uncalled for”, Abagond, I invite you to contemplate what kind of responses I would have gotten if I had suggested that sexual contact between masters and slaves in the EUROPEAN context “proved” that white people saw their slaves as human beings. “Snarky” isn’t half of what I would have gotten in return and you damned well know it.

    And poor, defenseless Vicky responded to this utterly evil “ad hominem” with two entire posts saying that I’m not worth listening to because I disagreed with her. Did she bring up any information to back her claims up? No. She simply said, basically, “They’re true because I say they are”, EXACTLY the sort of STFU-I’m-the-ultimate-authority-here crap you’re accusing me of promulgating.

    Abagond, why the are you white-knighting a person, who’s hardly been mortally insulted and who has hardly been polite in her response? Is she a RL friend, or what?


  150. @Abagond
    Thad also presumed that I thought African slavery was not all that bad when I said no such thing.

    Did I? Where?

    What I said is this:
    MIRA
    Did I miss something or did abagond state that slavery on the continent of Africa wasn’t bad/awful/etc?

    THAD
    Has he stated that somewhere? Because he certainly doesn’t state it in this post.

    And you haven’t. Have you somewhere else?


  151. @thad: Hey man, you need to chill out. Take it easy a bit. We all know you have studied and read a lot and you are smart and so on, but take a breather once a while, bro. No need for overkill. This is just some people talkin about something.

    Sometimes it feels like you’re on speed or something? :-D


  152. Natasha, how would you like a compilation of the comments those posters have made regarding myself which provoked those impolite remarks of mine?

    For example, you think that it’s an outrageous ad hominem for me to say, of Mel: “But like most Americans, you seem to think that reading books which don’t agree with you will somehow taint your ideological purity.”

    Before this, Mel accused me of being an “Eurocentric, white apologists with a condescending attitude” and “the equivalent of Dr. Laura, Don Imus and a slew of others who get caught using the n-word, turning around and saying ‘rappers use the n-word, too’.”

    I most CERTAINLY did not start tossing around the ad hominems there, Natasha. MEL started tossing around the ad hominems, not yours truly and MEL upped the ante on every occasion that you’re listing here.

    In fact, this is the same sort of behavior that you’re accusing Mel of on another post, so please don’t try to cast this commentator as a poor, innocent person who was blindly and visciously attacked by evil, old Thad. :P

    Regarding Ank Mié, she and I have had repeated run-ins on several occasions and she rarely responds to a post I’m on unless it’s to make a snarky cut at myself. I just return the favor and I’ll be happy to stop this game whenever Ank does. The comment she makes above, that I respond to, is quite clearly an example of this.

    Regarding Hathor, you are so wrapped up in your little “let’s roast Thad” crusade that you apparently don’t even realize that my comment to her (“Abusive ad hominem

    To Hathor:

    “The problem with non-academics is that they think a bit they learned in a freshman class decades ago or something they barely remember from the telly yesterday qualifies as “an informed opinion” and they see implications in their often-conspiratorial understandings of the world.”) was nothing more than a repeat of her previous comment to me, with the roles switched.

    So here’s my question to you, Natasha, and I repeat it:

    Can you give me an example of where I started tossing ad hominems at people without their having started it first?

    None of the stuff in that “compilation” fits that category.


  153. Dear Sam, I have six people above who are basically taking the piss for whatever reason and I should calm down?

    As for what I’ve read or not, what possible relevance does that have to the fact that folks have basically decided to make me Monday’s piñata?

    I have no problems with ad hominem attacks and stupid crap like that. I DO have problems with lies and arrant hypocrisy.

    When Natasha makes claims to the effect that I attacked poor lil’ old Hathor when all I did was fire her original comment right back at her, then Natasha is simply trying to stir up shit and I’m happy to give it back to her.


  154. I do remember something about me being a college student or recent grad which is not only way off, it’s an irrelevant ad hominem.

    Yeah, Jason, because “college student” and “recent grad” are well known viscious insults.


  155. Thad:

    Ad hominem is not the same as slander. An ad hominem can be perfectly true in and of itself but it is still a logical fallacy – and it still gets people angry and screws up discussions – because it attacks the person and not the statements made.


  156. @Natasha

    Yet Thad still managed to pick a nit from the bit that we disagreed upon. I should’ve seen that coming.

    What nit?

    You didn’t say a damned thing about having read the book and, if you read your comments, you can easily see why I could believe that you haven’t. And when you said you HAD read the book, did I tell you “STFU, you don’t know s*** about it?”

    No. I appologized, explained why I thought you hadn’t read it and said what I thought about M&K’s argument.

    Hardly nit-picking, Natasha. And CERTAINLY not cutting off dialogue and refusing to discuss things.


  157. Abagond, an ad hominem is attacking the person themselves instead of their ideas. In every case above, I have very carefully explained why I disagreed with a person’s ideas. I have not in a single instance said “You don’t know crap because you are an X-type of person, so STFU.”

    I made NO ad hominem attack against your friend Victoria. I made no attacks of the sort against Mel until she started tossing names at me.


  158. Thad,

    “…you think that it’s an outrageous ad hominem for me to say, of Mel: “But like most Americans, you seem to think that reading books which don’t agree with you will somehow taint your ideological purity.”

    Before this, Mel accused me of being an “Eurocentric, white apologists with a condescending attitude”

    This was in RESPONSE to you saying:

    “Mel, seriously: READ some good histories about African slavery”

    Which I forgot to include on the ad hom list. Thanks for the heads up.

    “In fact, this is the same sort of behavior that you’re accusing Mel of on another post, so please don’t try to cast this commentator as a poor, innocent person who was blindly and visciously attacked by evil, old Thad.”

    The debate with Mel on the other post didn’t have anything to do with ad homs, but her actual argument.

    And I never said no one else threw out ad hominems. Pretty much everyone here has (on this blog, not necessarily this post). But they didn’t ask me to “show” them because they know they have.

    “Regarding Hathor, you are so wrapped up in your little “let’s roast Thad” crusade that you apparently don’t even realize that my comment to her … was nothing more than a repeat of her previous comment to me, with the roles switched.”

    Yes, I did notice. But again, none of them asked me, more than once, to point out their ad hominems. Only you did.

    The originalpoint of contention was not whether “s/he did it first” but whether you used ad hominems in this post: “You’ll notice that I’m not slapping folks with ad hominems…”. Which I’ve showed you have, numerous times.


  159. Thad:

    http://abagond.wordpress.com/2010/09/22/africans-sold-their-own-people-as-slaves/#comment-66790

    In your opinion. Which it should be very obvious by now I don’t think very highly of, so you can stop offering.

    I guess we’re done now, right? Anything else?


  160. Mel, seriously: READ some good histories about African slavery.

    Oh, yeah. That’s a viscious, evil ad hominem, no doubt. ESPECIALLY as it was embedded in a context where I explained in detail why one can’t presume that African slavery was “less cruel” or “more human” than European slavery. You’re right, Natasha. Those are CLEARLY fighting words which attack Mel’s being instead of her ideas. That’s a real good ad hominem there. [roll eyes]

    Come on, give it up: you know very well what an ad hominem is and telling someone to read a book, after you’ve explained why their ideas are incorrect, is NOT an ad hominem. You’re not a fool, so quit playing the role.

    The debate with Mel on the other post didn’t have anything to do with ad homs, but her actual argument.

    EXACTLY as my argument above. But Mel certainly seems to think you’re dissing her, simply for disagreeing with her, doesn’t she? EXACTLY as she does above.

    Yes, I did notice. But again, none of them asked me, more than once, to point out their ad hominems. Only you did.

    No, I did not ask you to point out my ad hominems. Here is EXACTLY what I said:

    Take a look at the above and show me where you think I started tossing ad hominems first. About the worst that you can say I did was claim that Mel was under-read.

    And now that we’ve got back PRECISELY to the point which I’ve already taken responsability for – i.e. claiming that Mel was under-read – can we agree on the simple fact that there’s not a single instance of me firing off an ad hominem without having received one first?

    Or would you like to answer my original question and show me where I do that in the post above?


  161. @Natasha
    The originalpoint of contention was not whether “s/he did it first” but whether you used ad hominems in this post: “You’ll notice that I’m not slapping folks with ad hominems…”. Which I’ve showed you have, numerous times.

    I’ll admit to firing back a few ad hominems when people toss them my way, just like you. Even when I do, however, I try to focus on why I disagree with the person’s ideas and not their person.

    This is outrageous and unacceptable behavior in your book?


  162. Africans sold their own people as slaves

    so did Europeans. . .


  163. @Natasha
    In your opinion. Which it should be very obvious by now I don’t think very highly of, so you can stop offering.

    I guess we’re done now, right? Anything else?

    How about if I act JUST LIKE YOU when responding to comments, Natasha?

    I mean, seeing as how you’re so high-minded, noble and all, right?

    Right…?

    Presumptions:
    Hence why it is fundamentally dishonest for him to present himself as trying to see both sides of the situation; he already made up his mind before he entered the discussion as to what black women are and how they feel.

    Calling people under-read (an ad hominem, according to you:
    No, you came in here agreeing with one side of the argument; you didn’t even fully read the discussion, as you admitted. Do yourself a favor next time and actually read the whole thing before you decide to offer your opinion.

    Being upset with other commentator’s arrogant presumptions:
    You’re not the “police” yet you feel the need to go around to posts telling commenters whenever their comments, directed at other people and not yourself, are “inappropriate”, “arrogant”, etc.

    Ad hominems:
    Thanks, Captain-Save-A-Lot, but we’ve got this under control.

    Telling people to STFU:
    Unless you’re going to be fair — Mind your own business.

    Being respectful of other commentators’ feeling:
    No one cares how you “felt” about anything. ,/em>

    Accusing other posters of whining:
    Furthermore, you have some nerve to be whining about misinterpreting comments since you obviously misinterpreted mine.

    More presumptions:
    No, you’re obsessed with thinking that because you live a few miles away you’re leaps and bounds better than other people. It’s actually quite pathetic that you always feel the need to bring others down to prop yourself up. Isn’t that one of the symptoms of low self-esteem?

    Specific admonitions that Mel doesn’t apparently know how to read:
    Mel, read carefully.

    More presumptions:
    But this a pattern for her. She tends to always say something stereotypical and/or negative about black American people or black American women. Not Africans, not West Indians, just black Americans. She clearly feels superior as a black Canadian.

    Insulting other countries:
    This is why Canada will forever be the U.S.’s hat. Lol.,

    Calling female commentators b*tches:
    I’m sorry, I’d usually never say this: but b*tch please!

    …then claiming that you did no such thing:
    And once again, I did not call her a b*tch.

    …and all this on one thread in the past three days.

    Rest assured, Natasha, I’ll be closely watching your behavior and modeling mine on yours, seeing as how you’re such a rational person who’s into dialogue. abvoe all else.

    I guess we’re done now, right? Anything else?

    I guess, unless you’d like to showcase a bit more hypocrisy.

    (Hey Abagond, get I get a cooky for making this compilation of Natasha’s Greatest Hits? I mean, you seem to think she’s doing the community a service with her listing of mine…)


  164. @CoL

    so did Europeans. . .

    Indeed they did. By the boatload.


  165. Thad,

    “Come on, give it up: you know very well what an ad hominem is and telling someone to read a book, after you’ve explained why their ideas are incorrect, is NOT an ad hominem.”

    Saying that they haven’t read any “good books” is an ad hominem, because you’re attacking the person’s knowledge/background. You know this and that’s why you used it in the first place. That’s how you’ve attacked nearly everyone on this post.

    “You’re not a fool, so quit playing the role.”

    Like I said…

    You seem unable to make an argument without using some form of ad hominem; it’s like a jerk reaction to you.

    “No, I did not ask you to point out my ad hominems. Here is EXACTLY what I said:”

    That was the second go around, after you’d already claimed you hadn’t used ad hominems (at all) and I said you had.

    “This is outrageous and unacceptable behavior in your book?”

    It’s abagond’s blog — what he says goes. If he finds your behavior fine, then I guess it’s okay.

    But it’s been a trend on many of the major topics for you to drive away nearly all the commenters due to sheer annoyance. So if you came here to have discussion, then you should probably try to change that. But if you came here simply to posture, exaggerate, and show how many details you remember from books, please continue.


  166. Thad, great job finding ad hominems from other posts. After I’d already stated that I, like everyone else here, is no stranger to ad hominems. Gold star!

    I never thought you’d feel desperate enough to resort to that; you have an arrogant style, but it’s clear you’re now grasping at whatever is able.


  167. @ Thad

    Personally, I could give a f*ck about ad homs as long as they aren’t over the top clutter. In your case it’s not that bad. (the ad homs I mean) But the thing is, if you make rude, dismissive assumptions about people as you unquestionably do, people are going to tune you out and disregard what you say from that point on. I understand the impulse to punctuate remarks with arrogant snarky comments to show off how perceptive I am, but I try to fight it. You might endeavor to do the same if your interested in anyone caring to read your verbose monologues. Or not. Suit yourself.

    p.s. arguing the minutia of what is technically an ad hom is beyond exhausting.


  168. @Jason
    …if you make rude, dismissive assumptions about people as you unquestionably do, people are going to tune you out and disregard what you say from that point on.

    As has clearly been the case here where apparently half the board has logged on to take a gratuitous swipe at me.

    But again, Jason, I’m writing here (often as not) to get my own thoughts in order and to see where the attacks come from and what they will be. I save my “convincing people” shtick for my academic papers and – very ocassionally – the classroom.

    p.s. arguing the minutia of what is technically an ad hom is beyond exhausting.

    Agreed, but if you knew what I’m actually SUPPOSED to be writing right now, You’ d quickly understand why this is much more fun.

    Wanna proof it? :D


  169. @ thad

    Did Natasha say she never used ad homs? If she did I missed it.


  170. “As has clearly been the case here where apparently half the board has logged on to take a gratuitous swipe at me.”

    Cue the violins.


  171. @Nat
    Saying that they haven’t read any “good books” is an ad hominem, because you’re attacking the person’s knowledge/background.

    It WOULD be an ad hominem, if that were the substance of my argument. But like your comment to Mel on the Storro thread, it isn’t. The “read more” comment comes after a long and detailed explanation of what’s wrong with the person’s argument.

    So no ad hominem.

    Next…

    Thad, great job finding ad hominems from other posts. After I’d already stated that I, like everyone else here, is no stranger to ad hominems. Gold star!

    I never thought you’d feel desperate enough to resort to that; you have an arrogant style, but it’s clear you’re now grasping at whatever is able.

    No, Natasha. I’m quite serious: I’ll use your behavior as my model. After all, I’m not criticizing your behavior: I find it exemplary. Obviously, if I’m doing something quite different than you are, you’d have cause to complain. If I’m not… why, that would mean that you are either a hypocrite or a troll, wouldn’t it?

    But thankfully, because I am following your clear and quite appropriate lead as to what is and is not acceptable on this blog – and seeing as how Abagond himself seemingly has no trouble with your style – then I shouldn’t have any worries at all, should I?


  172. @Jason
    Did Natasha say she never used ad homs?

    [Shrugs]

    Like I said, I admit to taking a few swipes when someone else starts the game. Even then, however, I TRY to concentrate on that person’s argument, not their person.

    Just like Natasha… right? :D


  173. As has clearly been the case here where apparently half the board has logged on to take a gratuitous swipe at me.

    Nice to see you taking your own advice about snarky comments, Jason. :D

    Actually, I have no problems being the bottom person in a pile-up. It’s the hypocrisy which annoys me far more than the complaints.

    But my point was, if people are taking the trouble to comb through my comments and respond to them, then they’re obviously reading them, so I guess I can’t complain about too much irrelevance in the social universe of this board.


  174. To abagond: Can you please tell Thaddeus to not call me “Nat”? I don’t want to make that a trend or have people thinking that’s a nickname I like for myself. My name is just fine.

    That’ll be all.


  175. What I can’t get away from is the fact that Nat’s complaining about me when she actually called another poster a “b*tch”.

    And Abagond’s worrued about MY presumptive, dismissive attitude?

    Jeezis! Talk about being asleep at the moderation switch. :D :D :D :D


  176. Can I call you ‘Sha, then? :D It’s a shortening of your handle I’m looking for.


  177. Ash?
    Tash?
    Tasha?
    Na? (That would be the Portuguese-appropriate short form).


  178. Feel free to call me Ta, btw. Many Brazilian friends do.


  179. Thad,

    Scroll up. You’ll see (near the top at this point, I’ll presume) a comment in which you said me, Abagond, and Ankhesen would “probably think” something about African slavery…missing the fact that 2 out of the 3 of us (at least) hadn’t even commented on this thread. Maybe you should keep a chat log.


  180. head to the desk


  181. @Jasmin:
    You’ll see (near the top at this point, I’ll presume) a comment in which you said me, Abagond, and Ankhesen would “probably think” something about African slavery…

    Jasmin, this is the comment:

    The problem here is that I’m going against the dogmatic grain. If I weren’t, few people would have any problems whatsoever with my arrogance. If I were to post something like “Yeah, those white people were evil bastards and if you’re saying they weren’t basically devils in disguise, you’re either a fool or a villain”, more than half the posters here wouldn’t even blink. Certainly, the only person who’d call me out on my arrogance would be the odd white passerthrough. You wouldn’t hear word one from Abagond, Ank, Witch, Jasmin…

    I’m did not say or imply that you responded here.You’ll notice that the topic under discussion isn’t this thread, but me responding to a tangent brought up by someone else. That tangent has to do with my presumed and perceived arrogance.

    What I said is that you would hardly call me arrogant if I agreed with you.

    You’ve given me advice (“keep a chat log”) so I feel free to respond with the same: read a comment before complaining about it.

    Just a friendly suggestion.


  182. Y’know, if I were a right basterd, I’d log on with a puppet through a U.S.-based proxy and make the same sort of claims I’m making now, in the same sort of tone, but make them emphatically comply to the identity-politics dogma that most posters here seem to hew to.

    I bet my left testical no one would find said comments to be “arrogant”, “dismissive”, or “presumptive” in any way, shape or form.

    It would violate Abagond’s rules, however, and be cause for expulsion, but it would be DAMNED interesting.


  183. Gah! Back to work, you lazy, lazy sod!!!

    (Anyone wants to proofread a serious article on gringos, let me know.)


  184. And where is your proof? Besides your imagination…? For someone who likes to write novels on the regular, wouldn’t that be better directed toward what people have said, rather than what they’d hypothetically say? Then again, why you are seemingly obsessed with Internet strangers–specifically younger women–is beyond me.


  185. Thad:

    Please do not call Natasha “Nat”. It is all right to shorten a commenter’s name but not if they do not like it.


  186. And where is your proof? Besides your imagination…?

    My proof of what? My personal opinion? It’s based on my past interactions with you.


  187. @Abagond
    Please do not call Natasha “Nat”. It is all right to shorten a commenter’s name but not if they do not like it.

    OK, no probs. So does Natasha get the stern lecture about presumptions and ad hominems today too, or am I the only lucky commentator?

    I mean, I can see why calling someone “Nat” would be ever so much more insulting than telling someone “b*tch, please”.


  188. @ Thad:
    “B*tch please” is apparently not insulting. I’m gonna start saying it to my mother and see how she responds.


  189. Eurasian, are you feeling bitter too? If you’re not familiar with that phrase, than maybe you should spend more time on the internet.

    Sheesh, you guys can never keep your “beefs” to one post. The only problem is that I just don’t care whether you feel hurt or not.


  190. Nah, not bitter Natasha. It’s just amusing how much your appraisal of that term – which might well be valid in your particular context – differs from a lot of other people’s. That’s all.


  191. If you weren’t bitter, you wouldn’t be bringing your disagreements into posts that have nothing to do with them. Right, so you’re bitter. Just get over it. I doubt abagond wants this to turn into a pity party for hurt feelings.

    And prove me wrong (on the other post) if you’re so torn up about it; so far you haven’t done that.


  192. Arghhhhhhhhh…………………

    What a petty, personal, b&tching and boring discussion this has now turned into!!!

    I, like I am guessing, a lot of people, thought this post was long overdue and well presented by Abagond. That is before it inevitably got derailed. Something I have watched and seen time and time again.. (Not mentioning any names of course as it probably wasn’t their intention - THADDEUS)

    And it has to be said, Thaddeus, for someone who has by far posted the most responses on this particular topic. Its almost as if you really wanted everyone else here to STFU!!! Either that or bow to your superior intellectual wisdom and knowledge. Notwithstanding the fact your only a “white gringo” (in your terms) who happens to have “some” better informed knowledge of the Transatlantic Slave trade than (some of us) Afrocentric dogmatic Negroes and Negresses!!!

    Of course you wouldn’t even think that because that would be highly insulting and condescending in a predominately Black forum like this. Wouldn’t it? Or Maybe not? After all Slavery is Slavery and all forms are or were equally evil, vile and immoral. But all peoples are equally capable, culpable and have perpetrated such practices in the past (even present) – Africans as well as Europeans. Yes???

    Just in case some people don’t get what I am saying here I am being SARCASTIC!!!!

    I don’t believe, Thaddeus, you have, despite all your readings and studies, a deep understanding of what the African Transatlantic Slave trade was. And I can say that after having read extensively through your posts on this thread (and few others). You see there is one thing you, for some reason, seem incapable of reflecting in your “intellectually rigorous” postings and that is a genuine feeling of empathy or spiritually connectedness. For you its just one more intellectual, abstract debate. Of course I am not saying it isn’t this. It is…BUT ITS MORE!!! That is for some of us its more.

    Question is do you feel that? Or is that too nebulous and inarticulate a concept for you to relate to? Is it a meaningless and too vague undefined consideration?

    For me one one the best and detailed accounts of the horrors of slavery can be found in CLR James’s classic – The Black Jacobians.

    http://www.amazon.com/Black-Jacobins-Toussaint-LOuverture-Revolution/product-reviews/0679724672/ref=cm_cr_pr_hist_5?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=0&filterBy=addFiveStar

    Not only are detailed and graphic descriptions given about what slavery involved (centering on the Haitian peoples) but an inspiring account of insurrection by slaves and the only successful slave revolt in History. Something to remember when considerations of African or European or any other systems of slavery are debated and discussed.

    Haiti is the legacy of African Transatlantic Slavery today as this well summarized article on CLR James Black Jacobians testifies.

    http://www.isj.org.uk/index.php4?id=639&issue=126

    It also flies in the face of Thaddeus’s contention in this thread that “HISTORY=SCIENCE”.

    What B$LLS*ITT that is for any social scientist to say!!!!

    This is why Racism exists because “official views” on history continue to be challenged by those people it seeks to exclude!!!!


  193. So now that NatashaW has establioshed that “b*tch please” is not an insult, can we say it to her, Abagond?

    I mean, apparently this has your blessing.


  194. @Kwamla
    (Not mentioning any names of course as it probably wasn’t their intention – THADDEUS)

    You sly and subtle devil, you. ;D

    Let’s apply Abagond’s new understandings regarding ad hominem attacks, to this post, shall we?

    Notwithstanding the fact your only a “white gringo” (in your terms) who happens to have “some” better informed knowledge of the Transatlantic Slave trade than (some of us) Afrocentric dogmatic Negroes and Negresses!!!

    Yeah, I do have a better informed opinion about the Transatlantic trade than some of the people posting here, some of whom are indeed black and some of whom are indeed dogmatic and who claim to be afrocentric (not that we’ve seen any proof of that other than chest-thumping and name-calling).

    Apparently, this pisses you off.

    Tough.

    You want to tackle my arguments? Go ahead, I’m game. If you want to claim that they can’t be valid because I don’t have the proper quantity of melanin in my skin, then that, my friend, is an ad hominem.

    Of course you wouldn’t even think that because that would be highly insulting and condescending in a predominately Black forum like this.

    Of course, because to PROPERLY show respect to someone, you need to agree with everything they say, no matter how poorly informed.

    Is that it?

    After all Slavery is Slavery and all forms are or were equally evil, vile and immoral. But all peoples are equally capable, culpable and have perpetrated such practices in the past (even present) – Africans as well as Europeans. Yes???

    Of course, as I’ve said a half dozen times above. My beef is with both folks who think the translatlantic trade was no big deal “because Africans sold their own” and people like Victoria who think that African slavery was somehow “kinder and gentler” because certain forms of it recognized marriage with slaves.

    I’ve not made any comment at all as to one or another form of slavery being “better” or “worse”, but Mel, Vindicator and Victoria have, so perhaps you should go froth at them some, neh? :D

    You see there is one thing you, for some reason, seem incapable of reflecting in your “intellectually rigorous” postings and that is a genuine feeling of empathy or spiritually connectedness.

    Nope, I probably don’t and – get this – NEITHER DO YOU, though I’m sure you’re going to work yourself up into a self-righteous lather claiming that you do. You have no idea what those people went through, not really. You have no more “spiritual” connection to them than any other human on the planet. Simple fact. Get over it.

    For me one one the best and detailed accounts of the horrors of slavery can be found in CLR James’s classic – The Black Jacobians.

    Ahn. So let me get this straight: your sense of “spiritual linkage” comes through READING BOOKS, exactly as mine does.

    Go on…

    Not only are detailed and graphic descriptions given about what slavery involved (centering on the Haitian peoples) but an inspiring account of insurrection by slaves and the only successful slave revolt in History.

    The ONLY one, huh? You’re sure about that, are you?

    It also flies in the face of Thaddeus’s contention in this thread that “HISTORY=SCIENCE”.

    No, history does not “=” science: history IS A science.

    What B$LLS*ITT that is for any social scientist to say!!!!

    I guess you’re the kind of guy who thinks it’s bulls*** for priests to proclaim their faith in god, then, given that you seem to think that social scientists shouldn’t believe that social science exists.

    This is why Racism exists because “official views” on history continue to be challenged by those people it seeks to exclude!!!!

    Instead of frothing and ranting like you’re doing, Kwamla, maybe you could tell us what “official view” of history that I’m supporting? The view that Africans are members of the human race, with all the pitfalls and warts that that entails?

    What?

    So you have anything of substance to add as a critique, or is this one long rant about how I’m a jerk because I dare to have an opinion?


  195. @Thad

    But the fact of the matter is, Mel, that even when I point you to a book that could be used to support your position and shove it right under your nose and say “Here, look at this. This is where you can find some stuff to back up your views that European and African slavery were qualitiatively different”

    Once again you’re missing the point. I don’t think you get that NO ONE here CARES to appoint you as their teacher on Africa. No one cares for your opinions/teachings/bookclub sign-up. If anyone here wants to read MORE books (and unlike you I am assuming they’ve read books on African before), then they’ll find their own books. They don’t care to have you create a reading list for them. That’s what you’re NOT getting.

    You ego needs to be deflated.


  196. most CERTAINLY did not start tossing around the ad hominems there, Natasha. MEL started tossing around the ad hominems, not yours truly and MEL upped the ante on every occasion that you’re listing here.

    You sound like a child. I am not surprised. You’re looking for validation–for all these Afrocentric, poorly-read nobodies on this board to recognize your superior knowledge…because you’re an intellectual.

    You pop the blood vessels in your intellectual head trying to convince people (out of the kindness of heart) that African slavery was equal to European, transatlantic slavery and chiding and talk down to them when they disagree.

    If you were really smart, and we know you’re the most knowledgeable person on Africa [wink], then you’d have known you’d never win this debate.

    It’s fitting that while you argue that African slavery was the same as the European one, you also argue that Brazilian slavery was more ‘humane’ than the American one.


  197. So you guys are astill rguing which slavery was/ is better than the other and is Thad more informed than anyone here on this subject?

    I think no slavery was/is better than the other. Slavery is slavery. Period.

    Thad is well read guy, but of course he doesn’t know everything. I think that is clear to everyone. He may know somethings better than somebody else, but he doesn’t know everything. I think anyone with an ounce of brains knows that. He just comes out that way, being right all the time, in his mind.

    But I thoughed that the subject here was how some use this argument “Africans sold slaves too” to diminish the importance of the US slavery. I may be wrong here, but I got that impression from somewhere :-D.


  198. Arghhhhhhhhh…………………
    What a petty, personal, b&tching and boring discussion this has now turned into!!!

    Thank you, Kwamla. It had to be said.
    And thank you for your whole post. I agree with every single word.

    Now, it is not too late to get back to the actual point of Abagond’s post.

    In discussions about slavery the “Africans sold Africans” meme is used as a derailment tactic. Never to acknowledge the complexity of the slavery phenomenon that Thaddeus eventually pointed out but, quite the contrary, to confuse all types of human servitudes that ever existed into one blurry mess where the European-instigated Slave trade becomes undistinguishable. What Kwamla sarcastically summed up:

    After all Slavery is Slavery and all forms are or were equally evil, vile and immoral. But all peoples are equally capable, culpable and have perpetrated such practices in the past (even present) – Africans as well as Europeans.


  199. @ Sam

    Slavery is slavery. Period.

    Are you sure?


  200. One more thing.

    I noticed that the “Africans sold Africans” routine is usually closely followed by the “only whites abolished slavery” nonsense.

    Because, you know, while everybody else on the planet shares some responsibility in whites’ wrongdoings, white people retain some kind of monopoly on the good deeds…


  201. @Sam,

    Thats right. The subject is:

    “Africans sold their own people as slaves” is a stock argument White Americans use when the subject of slavery comes up.

    And its an argument not only white Americans use as reflected in these postings.

    I have to wonder where Thaddeus’s musings takes us in this. I had to go back to the beginning to try to gain some prospective of what he is trying to say. I think this conversation with Mel, for me sums it up:

    @Mel
    Attempting to put African slavery on the same level as White-European slavery won’t work, because they were never on the same level. It’s a fact that one was far crueler.

    Fact, is it?

    Would you like to tell me how you’re m,easuring that, Mel? Because for the life of me I can’t see how you’re making these nice little distinctions between one form of rape, torture and murder and another.

    Now, where the Europeans really were DIFFERENT was in linking slavery to a proto-capitalist form of production. This changed the form and the scale of slavery and insomuch as a million people ebslaved is worse that 100,000, it made slavery worse.

    But “crueler”?

    Mel, seriously: READ some good histories about African slavery that are written by people without an axe to grind. It was bad enough, any way you want to cut it.

    Y’know, we talk about white people trying to “excuse” chattel slavery by bringing up the African variant, but it certainly seems to be an item of faith among many black people that African slavery was somehow a nice walk in the park. Rather like getting hauled off ina an elopement, according to some folks posting here. [roll eyes]

    Mel
    Choosing between them is a lesser of two evils debate, and your attempt to make ‘white slave traders/masters’ more humane than they actually were is far past condescending, but aggravating, really.

    So why are you maing PRECISELy thata rgument then, Mel? You won’t see me here defending chattel slavery as “better”, and yet here you are, making the argument that the African form of slavery was less cruel somehow.

    I mean seriously, Mel, you’re the one making utopian distinctions between evil behaviors, not me.

    The ‘benefits’ we’re talking about were very material at best.

    As opposed to the Europeans, who somehow “spiritually benefitted” from slavery…?

    Mel, slavery is basically for one thing and one thing only, whether in Africa or Europe: it’s a way of forceably acquiring another person’s labor. One does this for MATERIAL gain. So claiming that Africans didn’t benefit from slavery because they only benefitted from it materially rather misses the enitre point of slavery in the first place.

    Now, if you want to argue that Africa LOST more than it gained from slavery, that I will buy. Bascially, Africa raised people to adulthood, using resources to do so, then saw those resources lost along with said people’s ability to work. So yeah, socially and materially speaking, there’s no doubt that slavery was a drain on the continent as a whole.

    @Thaddeus

    For you it seems ALL FORMS OF SLAVERY are, as you put it:

    “…a way of forceably acquiring another person’s labor. One does this for MATERIAL gain…”

    Which is why you can make the seemingly classic but still valid argument that this is simply a case of “6 of this” or “half a dozen” of that.

    Of course you concede that Africa didn’t benefit materially from slavery and that it was a drain on the continent as a whole.

    I wonder Thaddeus is there anything else you would want to add about slavery beyond this?

    From all your readings and studies of slavery both African, European or any other this is what you would conclude?

    Well, I have to say this, at least for me, is woefully too inadequate.

    Which is why I said to you and its worth repeating:

    I don’t believe, Thaddeus, you have, despite all your readings and studies, a deep understanding of what the African Transatlantic Slave trade was. And I can say that after having read extensively through your posts on this thread (and few others). You see there is one thing you, for some reason, seem incapable of reflecting in your “intellectually rigorous” postings and that is a genuine feeling of empathy or spiritually connectedness. For you its just one more intellectual, abstract debate. Of course I am not saying it isn’t this. It is…BUT ITS MORE!!! That is for some of us its more.

    The central impact of the African Transatlantic Slave you nonchalantly brush aside is the LEGACY. And its that legacy that connects us and everyone else posting in this forum today and will continue until the day its resolved or addressed.

    You cannot (and here is the challenge if you are up for it) point to any other form of slavery (present, past or pre-historic) that has had such an immense and global impact on this planet than the African Holocaust.

    You can debate every other form and type there is or has been and then ask yourself why are we not discussing or talking about it here right now?

    What is the LEGACY of the African Transatlantic Slave trade? This was the equivalent of wiping out a sizable portion of the planet and just starting again. But not just starting again in the same place. Starting in numerous places scattered all over the rest of the world.

    Again, from your detailed knowledge of “history as a science”, tell me when and where this equivalent has occurred on such a scale and over such a long period that it still reverberates in the descendants today?

    Thaddeus. You have your own opinions and you are free, as you do, to subject everyone to the benefit of your, supposedly, rigorously and extensively researched views.

    I am sure you will continue and enjoy to do this here.

    But I for one on connecting with this topic can definitely say I am not “FEELING YOU…..”

    But thats ok because I know you probably, as you say, don’t get it either….perhaps again, as you say, because you’ve not found the right book yet.


  202. @ Dahoman X

    Thanks for expressing your views and support on this.


  203. @kwamla: legacy. That is it.

    @dahoman: in my book slavery is slavery. Even if you are de facto ruler as the most powerful in house slave of the Roman emperor, it does not change the fact that you are still at the mercy of the said emperor. Not to mention that when your emperor is gone and the next steps in, you are in deep shit. Which many of these powerful slaves were. Or should I say they were as good as dead. Or litterally dead.


  204. @Mel
    It’s fitting that while you argue that African slavery was the same as the European one, you also argue that Brazilian slavery was more ‘humane’ than the American one.

    I don’t know why I should expect anything but ad hominems out of you, but this really takes the cake. This is simply a flat-out lie.

    Let’s see if you can get your wee head around the facts:

    1) I do not think that african and European slavery ARE THE SAME. I DO think that one can’t reasonably argue that one was “more humane” or “kinder” than the other.

    2) I did not argue that Brazilian slavery was more humane than American slavery. I made an example of where such stupidty could lead if one were to presume, as you do, that relative humanity can be measured on a nice, unilineal scale.

    Quit playing the idiot, Mel, or at least have the common decency to respond to what I have actually said.


  205. I think no slavery was/is better than the other. Slavery is slavery. Period.

    Which is what my point has been since the beginning. The folks here who are arguing that certain forms of slavery are better than others are Victoria, Mel and Vindicator Sam, so perhaps you should direct your comments to them.


  206. For you it seems ALL FORMS OF SLAVERY are, as you put it:

    “…a way of forceably acquiring another person’s labor. One does this for MATERIAL gain…”

    Which is why you can make the seemingly classic but still valid argument that this is simply a case of “6 of this” or “half a dozen” of that.

    Nice rhetorical trick, Kwamla, but no. What you’re doing is linking one proposition which I DO make to another which I don’t.

    Slavery is indeed a way of foreceably acquiring antoher person’s labor, which one does for material gain. Note that by “labor” I am also including such work (often not considered to be work) as raising children and domestic labor and by “material gain” I mean the ultimate goal is to increase one’s wealth and power, though an intermediate goal might be the direct point of some forms of slavery (i.e. enslaving a political rival in order to gain prestige).

    It does not follow, however, that from this basic definition, every single form of slavery is identical – “six of one, half a dozen of the other” as you claim. Just like saying “a house is a structure built for domestic living” doesn’t mean that every house in the world is identical.

    Where I don’t see a difference, however, is in regards to the ability to descry a necessary cruelty inherent to a greater or lesser intent in forms of slavery. Relative cruelty or kindness depends on a hell of a lot more than slavery’s formal structural organization, just for starters.

    I wonder Thaddeus is there anything else you would want to add about slavery beyond this?

    From all your readings and studies of slavery both African, European or any other this is what you would conclude?

    Let me get this straight: you want me to draw an aesop-like “just so” conclusion about a hugely complicated phenomenon such as the transatlantic slavery complex?

    What sort of simplistic conclusion can one draw other than “It was bad?” or something similar? And what does such a simplistic conclusion motivate us to do in the world? Nothing at all, except to scream self-righteously about past evils.

    Does it allow us to do one single thing to sort out those evils? No. For that we’re going to need a much more historically nuanced understanding of what occurred and such an understanding won’t be a blanket which is capable of covering all of African and European experience over the past 500 years of slavery and racism.

    But if you really want to DO something, instead of sitting around saying “Racism, colonialism and slavery were BAD, mmmmmm’kay?” it’s that sort of work which needs to be done.

    For example, I get the impression that many of the people here are more concerned with discovering who’s REALLY and ultimately to blame for the Rwanda genocide (the Belgians) than they are with actually reading the history of Rwanda and trying to understand its politics in order to see what sort of solution might exist to that particular mess.

    In other words, Africa, to most people posting here, is just a convenient fantasy which they use to build their own ethno-political projects. It’s not considered to be a real continent, with real peoples and real histories, but a little black and white morality play. It’s this sort of understanding of Africa which allows BOTH American whites and blacks to dismiss the REAL history of slavery. They are not concerned with africa: they are concerned with dogma, rhetoric and feeling good about themselves in their identity politics projects. Africa, to them, is simply a prop.

    And this is where I diverge from Abagond on this post. He complains that racist whites try to derail discussions about slavery and racism with decontexualized fragments of history and this means no resolution takes place. That’s true. But it’s also true that the so-called anti-racist crowd does EXACTLY the same thing. THAT’s where the “six of one, half a dozen of the other” argument comes in, Kwamla, and not regarding slavery, per se.

    Just my opinion and, of course, there are exceptions.

    The central impact of the African Transatlantic Slave you nonchalantly brush aside is the LEGACY. And its that legacy that connects us and everyone else posting in this forum today and will continue until the day its resolved or addressed.

    That’s simplistic rhetoric which is intended to create political power, not a real view of the human or even the African condition. What singular “legacy” is this that you’re on about? There is no “legacy”: their are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of socio-cultural phenomena today which have some of their roots in the slave trade and their is no one “resolution” or way of “addressing” all of these. The “legacy” is plural and contradictory, not singular and easily resolved if we would only just all turn our faces to whatever bright new political dawn is being touted.

    There is, in short, nothing that can be done on the rhetorical-political level to save Africa, but as far as I can see, this is pretty much where most of the folks commenting above are safe with staying: in the realm of feel-good “empowering” rhetoric about Mama Africa.

    What needs to be done are a thousand – a million – engagements which simply won’t fit into any singular political rhetorical grab-bag, Kwamla. Actions need to take place and those actions need to be historically informed on a level that’s more sophisticated than the 2-color comicbook scheme some posters here seem to be comfortable with.

    A small ferinstance: you can complain all you like that it was “the white man” who introduced racism and ethnosegregation to Rwanda and that “he” thus owes Rwanda. That is correct on a rhetorical level, but in real life, the Hutus got PLENTY of help from “the white man”. The 1959 massacre of the Tutsis was aided and abetted by a Belgian coronel who thought that he was helping clear his country’s colonial debt with Rwanda by standing aside as mobs killed Tutsi women and children. France, Belgium and the U.S. pumped Rwanda full of aid and every well-meaning aid program was full of the rhetoric of “clearing our colonial debt to Africa”. And what did that aid do? It simply helped to entrench an extremely segregationalist, authoritarian and ultimately genocidal order.

    If any of those westerners had adopted a more incisive view into Rwandan history, one which went beyond “Colonialism bad, helping Africa good”, that neo-colonialism would have withered on the vine. To do THAT, though, they would have needed to treat Rwanda like they would a European country.

    Oh, but that would have been “eurocentric”, wouldn’t it? And we all know that Africans are ‘different”…

    Suffice it to say, I’m not impressed with sweeping, flowery rhetoric which talks abstractly about Europe’s debt to Africa. Every crappy European intervention project of the last century has been rationalized under that sort of thing, so why should your rhetoric be any different?

    You ask me for solutions, Kwamla, but I don’t see you offering any. I just see you standing on a virtual soapbox, tub-thumping and emoting like a pastor in a tent rival.

    Nice rhetoric. Where’s the beef?

    You cannot (and here is the challenge if you are up for it) point to any other form of slavery (present, past or pre-historic) that has had such an immense and global impact on this planet than the African Holocaust.

    Oh, I dunno.

    If we see European capitalism as having crawled out of the ruins of Rome (a reasonable view) and we realize that the Roman Empire itself was based on key distinctions between slave and free, barbarian and citizen, I think that you can make a damned good argument that Roman forms of slavery and servitude have had as immense and global impact on the planet as anything else.

    This was the equivalent of wiping out a sizable portion of the planet and just starting again. But not just starting again in the same place. Starting in numerous places scattered all over the rest of the world.

    Actually, that’s one of the truly dangerous and non-afrocentric portions of your myth. For in spite of all it suffered, Africa was not “wiped out”: its soceities changed, adapted and survived, just as Europe’s did. The diaspora does not render Africa historically invalid, as your rhetoric implies.

    Again, from your detailed knowledge of “history as a science”, tell me when and where this equivalent has occurred on such a scale and over such a long period that it still reverberates in the descendants today?

    Rome. No doubt.

    I’d also say that it’s quite probable we could find something similar in Chinese history, of which I (and I presume you) know very little. You think that the Atlantic World is the center of existence, being as you live in it, but the Far East has always contained more of human history than the Atlantic basin.

    But I for one on connecting with this topic can definitely say I am not “FEELING YOU…..”

    Yeah. You know why? Because this is a virtual conversation. You know sweet f***-all about myself as a person and I know nothing of you. Any possible “feeling” you could get would be simply a fantasy on your part.


  207. Thaddeus

    I think this is still worth repeating. Despite your lengthy dissertations accusing me, and others posting in this forum, of simply spouting… and I quote your words:

    “…feel-good “empowering” rhetoric about Mama Africa…”

    Kwamla

    I don’t believe, Thaddeus, you have, despite all your readings and studies, a deep understanding of what the African Transatlantic Slave trade was. And I can say that after having read extensively through your posts on this thread (and few others). You see there is one thing you, for some reason, seem incapable of reflecting in your “intellectually rigorous” postings and that is a genuine feeling of empathy or spiritually connectedness. For you its just one more intellectual, abstract debate. Of course I am not saying it isn’t this. It is…BUT ITS MORE!!! That is for some of us its more.

    The central impact of the African Transatlantic Slave you nonchalantly brush aside is the LEGACY. And its that legacy that connects us and everyone else posting in this forum today and will continue until the day its resolved or addressed.

    You cannot (and here is the challenge if you are up for it) point to any other form of slavery (present, past or pre-historic) that has had such an immense and global impact on this planet than the African Holocaust.

    Your response to me on this I find highly enlightening, if not amusing, as it clearly lays bare for everyone to see why I should make such a statement in the first place.

    Thaddeus

    Oh, I dunno.

    If we see European capitalism as having crawled out of the ruins of Rome (a reasonable view) and we realize that the Roman Empire itself was based on key distinctions between slave and free, barbarian and citizen, I think that you can make a damned good argument that Roman forms of slavery and servitude have had as immense and global impact on the planet as anything else.

    Thaddeus this is an amazing statement to make and provides a key insight into how you perceive the African Transatlantic Slave trade in relations to other forms of slavery. In your way of thinking. They are not really that different are they?

    Which is why on anticipating what your likely response would be I previously stated:

    Kwamla

    You can debate every other form and type there is or has been and then ask yourself why are we not discussing or talking about it here right now?

    Some more rhetoric from me would be:

    Where are the blogs or forums talking about the impact or legacy of the Roman Empire and its institution of slavery on descendants of slaves today?

    And more to the point why aren’t you in them and participating in discussions like you are here?

    The fact is your here and talking about the impact of African slavery and its legacy not just in America, but the UK, France, Europe, the world oh… and even Brazil.

    Thaddeus. I wonder throughout all your studies, as an impartial researcher, have you come across or made a point of looking at the phenomenon of “White Supremacy”/b> Or do you regard this as a myth?

    I say this because from your own postings you appear to be particularly blind to this. For example:

    I get the impression that many of the people here are more concerned with discovering who’s REALLY and ultimately to blame for the Rwanda genocide (the Belgians) than they are with actually reading the history of Rwanda and trying to understand its politics in order to see what sort of solution might exist to that particular mess.

    In other words, Africa, to most people posting here, is just a convenient fantasy which they use to build their own ethno-political projects. It’s not considered to be a real continent, with real peoples and real histories, but a little black and white morality play. It’s this sort of understanding of Africa which allows BOTH American whites and blacks to dismiss the REAL history of slavery. They are not concerned with africa: they are concerned with dogma, rhetoric and feeling good about themselves in their identity politics projects. Africa, to them, is simply a prop.

    And this is where I diverge from Abagond on this post. He complains that racist whites try to derail discussions about slavery and racism with decontexualized fragments of history and this means no resolution takes place. That’s true. But it’s also true that the so-called anti-racist crowd does EXACTLY the same thing. THAT’s where the “six of one, half a dozen of the other” argument comes in, Kwamla, and not regarding slavery, per se.

    I have to ask in the case of Rwanda. How is it possible to comprehend the genocide that took place there outside a history of the Congo; the Belgians involvement, Colonialism, White Supremacy and ultimately the African Holocaust? How many people are aware that the atrocities committed by the rule of the former Belgian colonial masters far exceeded anything the Rwandan peoples perpetrated on themselves?

    Lets say there might be some truth in what you say that most people posting her don’t know much about Africa, her peoples, her politics, her problems and have other less than tasteful agendas. Again what is the context of this?

    Dare I say this again the indoctrination of global white supremacy? Or perhaps its me who is fantasizing and lost in some form of conspiratorial quagmire.

    Thaddeus on the face of it I think Agabond’s perceptions of the nature and phenomenon of white supremacy are far more attuned than yours which is why myself and a lot of people regular read and post on this blog.

    No disrespect but your persistent refusal to try to disentangle yourself from the effects of this pernicious ideology (as it affects both Black and white) has resulted in you alienating yourself from many posters. (I’ve watched it!!)

    The following video, I came across, helps to dispel the central myth of this discussion:

    “Africans sold their own people as slaves”

    placed in the context as it should be of “white supremacy”

    Enjoy!!!


  208. Kwamla,

    Without interrupting your and Thad’s discussion, I must note one thing. You said:

    Where are the blogs or forums talking about the impact or legacy of the Roman Empire and its institution of slavery on descendants of slaves today?

    There are not many blogs about it, but there is a reason for it. And no, it’s NOT because Roman slavery didn’t have an impact to the world (because it did- the whole Roman empire had a crucial influence on much of today’s Western (and non-Western) world).

    But the fact there are no people complaining about Roman slavery is that THERE IS NOBODY LEFT TO COMPLAIN. Their slaves and their victims and the people they colonized are all fully assimilated by now and they accepted Roman culture as their own and as part of their own legacy.

    In other words, nobody see Roman slaves as “their people”, and many see Romans and Roman culture as their ancestors and their culture.

    Similarly, if black people were fully assimilated (or if black people didn’t shape their identity the way they do), NOBODY would talk about Transatlantic slavery. (Outside obscure academic circles).


  209. @Mira.

    Don’t think you’re interrupting anything. Its not a two-way debate between myself and Thaddeus. Anyone can join in. Such is the nature of Thaddeus’s replies it becomes this way when one begs to question his “supposedly” greater wisdom

    Sorry Mira but this is just not my understanding. And in fact you have things the opposite way round. In my view!!

    Similarly, if black people were fully assimilated (or if black people didn’t shape their identity the way they do), NOBODY would talk about Transatlantic slavery. (Outside obscure academic circles)

    Not so.

    If white supremacy as a globally ideological phenomenon did not continue to persist then Black people would have shaped their identity in another direction. One which would have allowed them to celebrate themselves and their achievements IN SPITE OF the traumas of the African Slave Trade.

    Even if, as you say, Black people where fully assimilated they would still need to define their own identity. Otherwise white people would try to do it for them!!!

    The only reason for an identity is because of non-acceptance of self. Historically, white people became “white” through their encounters and assimilations of the cultures of the indigenous peoples of this planet.

    As a human race of people we are all both unique and the same. But acceptance of that sameness and uniqueness has been difficult for a significant elite of white people to swallow. Hence the lie of white supremacy

    Oh…and Mira the Egyptian civilization preceeded the Roman empire yet the impact of this civilization and its impact on people, even today, can be measured far more in its influences and effects than any others you might care to mention. They too had slaves yet there are, equally, none of them left to complain!!!


  210. The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews

    Extremely relevant to this captivating discussion.

    Introduction here :

    http://www.youtube.com/v/umdyu6hiEwE?version=3


  211. [...] "Africans sold their own people as slaves" is a stock argument White Americans use when the subject of slavery comes up. First, simply as an argument of fact it fails: Africa was not a country. Africans were not selling "their own", they were selling their enemies, just as the Greeks and Romans once did. Africa, then as now, was made up of different countries. They were no more selling "their own" than, say, "Europeans" were killing "their own" d … Read More [...]


  212. For an overview on the intricacies of what, say, American slavery was really like. Which is useful if you truly wish to make comparisons with “so called” African slavery. Have a look at another one of Abagond’s threads:

    http://abagond.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/the-transatlantic-slave-trade/#comment-58890

    I previously commented on a recent film here“Goodbye Uncle Tom made by an Italian producer (without, as Thaddeus would say, an “Axe to grind” )

    Scroll up two comments to find the link provided by J. – Thaddeus’s ex-nemesis!!!

    Now I wonder what happened to J?


  213. Kwamla,

    Similarly, if black people were fully assimilated (or if black people didn’t shape their identity the way they do), NOBODY would talk about Transatlantic slavery. (Outside obscure academic circles)

    Not so.

    If white supremacy as a globally ideological phenomenon did not continue to persist then Black people would have shaped their identity in another direction. One which would have allowed them to celebrate themselves and their achievements IN SPITE OF the traumas of the African Slave Trade.

    I guess I didn’t make myself clear. I am sorry for making it look like whites have nothing to do with it. It is a two way street- THEY are the ones who invented races in the first place, and THEY are the ones who see blacks as not “one of their own”. So as long as they continue to do that, black will continue to shape their identity the way they do. (I am not saying there’s something wrong about the way black people shape their identity).

    Sorry for not making this clear in my previous post- of course it has a lot to do with whites. However, whites I am talking about are the whites of today, and blacks I am talking about are blacks of today. Whatever happened in the past would not matter much, if there were nobody who would shape their identity based on that.

    I am not making this up. It’s not like things like this didn’t happen.

    Even if, as you say, Black people where fully assimilated they would still need to define their own identity. Otherwise white people would try to do it for them!!!

    When I said “assimilated” I meant, if races didn’t exist any more. There would be no difference between whites and blacks anymore than there is difference between blue eyed and brown eyed whites today. There would be no two groups anymore.

    Oh…and Mira the Egyptian civilization preceeded the Roman empire yet the impact of this civilization and its impact on people, even today, can be measured far more in its influences and effects than any others you might care to mention. They too had slaves yet there are, equally, none of them left to complain!!!

    Exactly! There are no today’s people (as far as I know) who see Egyptian slaves as “their people” and their ancestors. That’s why you don’t see people making blogs about slavery in ancient Egypt (Greece, Rome…)- NOT because that slavery was “relatively ok” or “not a big deal”- but because there are NO people who consider themselves victims of said slavery.


  214. Correction: Jews do see themselves as victims of Egyptians, and when they were in Egypt and what happened there, and how they left and what happened after they left is an important part of their culture.


  215. @Kwamla

    You see there is one thing you, for some reason, seem incapable of reflecting in your “intellectually rigorous” postings and that is a genuine feeling of empathy or spiritually connectedness. For you its just one more intellectual, abstract debate. Of course I am not saying it isn’t this. It is…BUT ITS MORE!!! That is for some of us its more.

    Kwamla, I’m quite aware that some people have invested a lot of their personal notions of self in this debate, but such investments are a bit like love or religious belief: they exist for YOU, the subject, and you alone. Frankly, as an agnostic, I very much doubt people’s heartfelt claims of “spiritual” connection, given that they always end up to be self-serving in one way or another. But that’s an aside.

    The point is, what you feel is your spiritual connection to slavery is no more an argument of what slavery actually WAS than a UFO fan’s feeling of spiritual connection to aliens the is an argument that we are in fact being visited by little green men from dimension 9.

    Period.

    If it makes you feel better to think you’re more “spiritually” connected to something and thus know more about it, go right ahead and rare back, man! But it’s really of no interest to me. You might as well be saying “Jeezis came down and whispered in my ear that you’re wrong”. :D

    Regarding your belief that Roman slavery was trivial, I think Mira handled that one quite well. Suffice it to say that the european enslavement of Africans was based on prior notions of servitude established under the late Roman empire and, by that fact alone if no other, Roman slavery had an immense impact on the world. But the fact of the matter is that our notions of status, religion, class and even gender are all in one way or another descended from Roman notions of free and unfree labor. As Mira points out, the fact that there are no surviving, conscious descendents of this slavery (as well as the fact that the polity which benefitted from it is long gone) means that it’s not a part of our global consciousness today.

    But if we’re talking pure EFFECT ON THE WORLD (which is indeed what we’re talking about), it would be hard to argue that it’s impact was less than the transatlatntic trade.

    Not that you even attempt to argue such: you simply state that it’s not and leave it there. :D

    Now, regarding white supremacy, you say…

    I have to ask in the case of Rwanda. How is it possible to comprehend the genocide that took place there outside a history of the Congo; the Belgians involvement, Colonialism, White Supremacy and ultimately the African Holocaust? How many people are aware that the atrocities committed by the rule of the former Belgian colonial masters far exceeded anything the Rwandan peoples perpetrated on themselves?

    No doubt, and yet the effect of that is very ambiguous. First of all, the Belgians raised up the Tutsi. Then, as independence came by, they raised up the Hutu. What they did, according to most African writeres I’ve read on the topic, was infect Rwanda with the notion of ethnic identity and insured that the Hutus would hate the Tutsi and then they gave power to the Hutu.

    What’s interesting in all this, however, is that the last bit – giving power to the Hutu – was seen at the time as “compensation” and “resolution” of Belgium’s early sins.

    So my point here is that your empassioned pleas for “resolution of the legacy of slavery and colonialism” have indeed been heard and many European powers have tried to implement such a policy. Generally, it has made things WORSE and, in almost all cases, it has done so because the people implementing the policy couldn’t get beyond the dichotic black/white view of Africa as an innocent, historyless continent where all that is bad came from abroad.

    The same view you seem to be espousing, Kwamla.

    So you’re RIGHT, Kwamla: it is the indoctrination of white supremacy that causes this view. Unfortunately, it seems to be deeply rooted in pretty much everybody by now, to the point where you think your “spiritual” connection to Africa is leading yopu to call for something different than what the European colonial powers claim to be doing.

    So what it comes down to, Kwamla, is you presume that somehow you are “disentangled” from the knots and webs of white supremacist thought, even as you (re)articulate the myths of Africa as a dark continent (i.e. a place with no history), Africans as not truly human (i.e. as peoples who are incapable of the full range of expression of human history) and Africa, ultimately, as a “country” and not the collection of diverse, fractious peoples it always has been.


  216. Here’s an example of the “Africa is a country” stereotype, by the way, one which has been nurtured by white supremacy and one in which kwamla apparently believes:

    If white supremacy as a globally ideological phenomenon did not continue to persist then Black people would have shaped their identity in another direction. One which would have allowed them to celebrate themselves and their achievements IN SPITE OF the traumas of the African Slave Trade.

    “Black people” were invented by white racism. They don’t have a destiny (any more than “white” people do) and, even if they did, it wouldn’t be singular. Africa’s inhabitants do not now and never have considered themselves to be a singular people.

    Secondly, the peoples of Africa have been very successful in celebrating themselves and their achievments IN SPITE OF the traumas of the slave trade, colonialism and racism.

    If Europe hadn’t burst into capitalism and industrialism, some other set of peoples probably would have invented something very similar. If it had been the Africans, that experience would have changed them as readically and irrevocably (or not) as the Expansion changed the Europeans. Africa is a human part of the human world and in human history, change is inevitable. And it just so happens that, so far in human history, change has been accompanied by war, slavery and injustice of all sorts. Africa would not have escaped this if Europe didn’t exist. the best one could have hoped for (as long as we’re presuming that history could be changed) was a world in which Africa became the dominant continent during the expansion period. But I HIGHLY doubt such a world would be any better than the one we live in because human beings – and especially human collectivities – are jerks.

    but it’s very easy to argue that something that never happened would have made the world better, kwamla. What you forget is that, logically speaking, there’s as likely a chance that it would have made the world WORSE.

    But acceptance of that sameness and uniqueness has been difficult for a significant elite of white people to swallow. Hence the lie of white supremacy.

    But the Hutu seem to have that same problem. In fact, race and ethnicity-based genocide is occuring and has occurred all over the planet. This is not due to white supremacy. The Hutu, in fact, are prejuduced against the Tutsi in part because of the “Hamitic myth”, set by early white explorers, that they Tutsi were “superior” to the Hutu for being “more white”. Hard to say, then, that the Hutu are killing Tutsi because they believe in white supremacy.

    Now I wonder what happened to J?

    Given the people he claims are his “afrocentric” heroes, I’d say he’s probably busy reading the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” these days. That seemed to be where he was headed, intellectually speaking.


  217. @Mira.

    I would have thought from my readings of many of your posts here that you might be more emotionally aware of an aspect of African slavery which made it unique amongst all other forms.

    That aspect was the premeditated stripping of culture, identity, family and kinship from all African slaves. Its this legacy aspect of African slavery which is responsible for Black people (or those in the diaspora) desiring to research their links to a past prior to slavery. This is an effort to reclaim and re-associate with a history which was willfully and purposely denied and taken away from them.

    Please correct me if I am wrong but this one particular aspect was only peculiar to the type of slavery perpetrated on African peoples. This, historically was never a part of Roman, Greek, Egyptian, you name it. Even so called African slavery.

    It makes a non-sense to talk in terms of all forms of slavery in “general terms” (as Thaddeus would have us do) and lump African slavery in there. Just as it would be to compare the exterminations perpetrated on the Jews during Nazi Germany – the Jewish holocaust with say, the genocide in Rwanda or genocides of any groups of people in general. To do so would be to downplay or obscure the pernicious quality of this particular from of genocide.

    Now this may not have been your intention to convey this in your postings but in discussing such issues as African slavery in a “generalized” way comparing it with other forms you open yourself up to accusations of not caring or unintentionally racist.

    Of course if you don’t care about such things then it needn’t matter. However, I suspect you might.


  218. That aspect was the premeditated stripping of culture, identity, family and kinship from all African slaves.

    Sorry, this has occurred in other forms of slavery too, both in Europe and Africa.

    “Stripping of culture, family and kinship”? When you’re captured and living among another people, that is precisely what happens to you. African female slaves, “married” into the families of their captors for reproductive purposes, where not preserving “their” family and kinship structures. That was, in fact, the entire point of such marriages, which you seem to think were basically in the mold of 21st century American monogamic love matches, Kwamla.

    Captivity and removal to a neighboring nation also put one out of one’s culture and kinship circles. The only POSSIBLE way you could feel that this wasn’t the case would be if you believed in the “Africa is a nation” fallacy, where all Africans supposedly have the same culture.

    In Roman slavery, again, one was removed from one’s original culture. Briton slaves in Rome were not living in anything like ttheir original culture because – and get this, Kwamla – COLOR OF SKIN DOES NOT EQUAL CULTURE. Furthermore, their kinship groups and families were also not perserved.

    Every genocide and every form of slavery has its pernicious and particular qualities. My point from the beginning has been that it is morally unacceptable to believe that one or another form of these things was “morally superior”.

    I find it ironic as hell that at least four people, above, are arguing precisely this. So while Abagond feels his point has been proven by my bringing up the historical record of African slavery, I can say that mine has DEFINITELY been proven.

    In general, neither blacks nor whites want to look at the REAL historical record. Both groups have their feel-good myths to maintain slavery as far away from their particular legacy myths as possible. Given this, I don’t see what Abagond describes as a particularly “white” problem, not when you have people like Vicky and Kwamla holding up the enslavement and rape of African women as a “kinder, gentler” form of slavery because it’s supposedly a “marriage” (as if that term, in this context, had anything to do with marriage in the way they conceive of it today).


  219. Just saw a documentary couple days ago, forgot which it was, but in it one researcher stated this:

    At its peak the Atlantic slave trade got some 13 million slaves involved. There are 27 million slaves in the world today.

    I have no idea is it so. This guy clearly believed it and so did the program. Something about UN statistics if I remember correctly.


  220. Kwamla,

    I wasn’t speaking about slavery in generalized terms (in a way I wanted to make all forms of slavery “the same”). I was just pointing out that, no matter what really happened (be it slavery, genocide, war or any other horror), it doesn’t really matter (in historical sense) if there’s nobody to remember it, or to shape their identity on it. It is a harsh reality, but it’s how it is.

    (History is written by the winners, remember?)

    What I’m saying is, the fact nobody remembers something or writes about it (outside academic circles) doesn’t matter it wasn’t horrible or that it didn’t happen.

    As for stripping of culture and identity, yes, of course it happened in the past- many, many times. In fact, you could say that the whole “white (western) culture” is a product of it- people who were not Romans adopted their culture and were assimilated so much they completely erased their previous identity and they adopted the culture of their oppressors. The whole western culture is a product of assimilation, if you want to look at it.

    I am not writing this as a proof that other forms of slavery (Roman, for example) was worse than Transatlantic slavery or that all slavery is the same. All I’m saying is that stuff you wrote (other forms of slavery not having an impact, other forms of slavery didn’t strip people of culture and identity) isn’t true: it was quite the contrary. The fact it doesn’t look like that from our POV is precisely because it worked 100%: nobody see themselves as victims of ancient slavery today, nobody cares, and nobody shapes their identity on it. People are completely and fully assimilated.

    There is also an important dimension here: time. Stuff that happened a long time ago concern people of today less than what happened in the near past. Transatlantic slavery happened only a few centuries ago. Egyptian, Greek and Roman slavery were thousands (and couple of thousands) years before. Let’s see what would people think about transatlantic slavery in 1000 years from now. (Especially if when US (a country that shapes its identity on white/black dichotomy) is not powerful anymore.

    And there’s more. Modern world (especially western) is still really proud of things like progress, human rights and rationality. They (and most of the people, actually) often believe modern time is in some ways “better” or “more humane” than the past- or at least that it SHOULD be (we’re not in prehistory anymore!) In this sense, any atrocities happening before, say, XVI or XVII or XVIII century are seen as expectable- that was what people back then were like. But not us, not today!

    This is particularly true for XX century, which was pretty violent. But the violence in XX century (say, Hitler and WW II) is seen as the most horrible thing that ever happened in the world not just because of what happened, but also because people, for some reason, think that people in the XX century should know better and that they are not beasts they were back in, say, Ancient Mesopotamia or Middle Ages. Wrong. People are still violent. We are not any better than people in prehistory, or ancient Egypt, or Middle Ages (and sometimes we might be worse, because our technology can hurt more people).

    I do think any slavery, occupation, war, etc. should be viewed from its specific historical point of view, since none of these things happen spontaneously, and no two are the same. But to actually compare specific atrocities is, I think, disrespectful for the victims (how to judge, for example, what was more horrible: lynching or impaling?) It’s offending and makes no sense.


  221. On another thread Abagond wrote:

    abagond

    Jason said:

    “If your white, you can afford to see racism as an opportunity for pretentious navel-gazing and superficial, point-scoring debate.”

    That is an excellent example of white privilege you see right here on this blog.

    White commenters can afford to see talking about racism as some kind of game that they try to “win”. And since winning, not true understanding, is all that matters to them, it is all right to sink to cheap tricks to do it – like derailing, moving goalposts, twisting words, wilfully misunderstanding comments and so on. People like that are not serious about understanding racism because if they were they would play it straight.

    More here:

    http://abagond.wordpress.com/2010/07/07/how-to-tell-if-a-commenter-is-white-part-ii/

    Having gone through analyzing most of Thaddeus’s posts and comments in this thread:

    (“Africans sold their own people as slaves” is a stock argument White Americans use when the subject of slavery comes up. )

    I believe this is equally applicable here!!!

    For example:

    Thaddeus:

    In general, neither blacks nor whites want to look at the REAL historical record. Both groups have their feel-good myths to maintain slavery as far away from their particular legacy myths as possible. Given this, I don’t see what Abagond describes as a particularly “white” problem, not when you have people like Vicky and Kwamla holding up the enslavement and rape of African women as a “kinder, gentler” form of slavery because it’s supposedly a “marriage” (as if that term, in this context, had anything to do with marriage in the way they conceive of it today).

    “…Kwamla holding up the enslavement and rape of African women as a “kinder, gentler” form of slavery because it’s supposedly a “marriage..”

    Of course. This came from me too didn’t it Thaddeus?

    Lets look at another but different type of example:

    Every genocide and every form of slavery has its pernicious and particular qualities. My point from the beginning has been that it is morally unacceptable to believe that one or another form of these things was “morally superior”.

    On the subject of “so called African slavery” I believe Wikipiedia, though not the most authoritative source. But certainly as a general guide to what this entailed is slightly more informative than what Thaddeus has had to say on so far on this subject.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_slave_trade

    Now, I personally believe that it is morally unacceptable to believe that the African Transatlantic Slave trade should be minimalised and placed in the context of all other forms of slavery and genocide. This is what Thaddeus is arguing (as is his privilege) in his statement.

    In the same way I would say it is morally unacceptable to place the Jewish Holocaust in the context of all other forms of genocides. History tells us for some reason this particular form of genocide stands out amongst all others.

    Hmmm….I wonder if Thaddeus would be prepared to make the same argument about the Jewish Holocaust?

    Anyway, I for one have grown tired of Professor Thaddeus’s ill-judged views and opinions on Slavery. To this end I would like to offer the view of more “empathetic” Professor:

    In Africa and the world, slave trade and plantation slavery have never been accepted in body and mind for what they were: genocide, holocaust, displacement of unprecedented historical and geographic magnitude. It was Hitlerism long before Hitler, to borrow the phraseology from Aime Cesaire in his book, Discourse on Colonialism.

    Ngugi Wa Thiong’o is Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature and Director, International Center for Writing and Translation, University of California, Irvine.

    http://www.elombah.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3264:the-rape-of-africa&catid=30:the-economy&Itemid=41


  222. @Mira
    At its peak the Atlantic slave trade got some 13 million slaves involved. There are 27 million slaves in the world today.

    I have no idea is it so. This guy clearly believed it and so did the program. Something about UN statistics if I remember correctly.

    The UN is the first organization to admit that we have no idea at all how many slaves are in the world today. It’s component organizations have made radically differening estimates at different times, ranging from 2 million to upwards of 100 million.

    There is, obviously, no way to even give a good ball-park estimate on this thing, but that doesn’t stop NGOs and the media from selecting whatever “out-of-your-ass” stat they like and blowing it to the four winds in order to ramp a sense of global panic up or down, as they see fit.

    I highly doubt that there are 27 million slaves, unless we use a very, very wide and ahistoric definition of slavery.


  223. Thad,

    Sam was the one who mentioned 27 millions of slaves.


  224. @Kwamla
    “…Kwamla holding up the enslavement and rape of African women as a “kinder, gentler” form of slavery because it’s supposedly a “marriage..”

    Of course. This came from me too didn’t it Thaddeus?

    A reasonable presumption, given your claim that African slavery didn’t “strip family” from the slaves.

    I mean, what kind of “family” are we talking about here, Kwamla? It could only be the “family” created by forced marriages in order to produce non-kinship-lnked heirs.

    Or were you thinking of another family when you made that claim?

    In the same way I would say it is morally unacceptable to place the Jewish Holocaust in the context of all other forms of genocides. History tells us for some reason this particular form of genocide stands out amongst all others.

    No, history does not necessarily tell us that, but plenty of Jewish ethnoactivists have. Talk to gypsy ethno-activists or native american ethno-activists and you’ll quickly get another perspective on genocide, Kwamla. History isn’t a question of painting black hats and white hats on the actors and then going along with whatever your self-chosen “good guys” have to say on a topic.

    Now, I personally believe that it is morally unacceptable to believe that the African Transatlantic Slave trade should be minimalised and placed in the context of all other forms of slavery and genocide. This is what Thaddeus is arguing (as is his privilege) in his statement.

    And I personally believe that other forms of slavery – or genocide, for that matter – shouldn’t be minimalized by conviently down-playing their inhuman aspects in order to make a political point regarding one particular form of slavery or genocide.

    You’ve mentioned several times that this is an emotional and political issue for you, Kwamla, and I can accept that, But other forms of slavery were just as much an emotional and political issue to the people involved in them. Why the hell should I believe that your emotions and politics are so much more sacred than anyone else’s?

    Ngugi Wa Thiong’o is Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature and Director, International Center for Writing and Translation, University of California, Irvine.

    …and what would one expect out of a lit professor OTHER than flowery rhetoric? Certainly not history.


  225. Yes, I just brought it up (27) since I saw that documentary. I think it was brittish one.


  226. The BBC has recently gone on frothing s*** fit about slavery and is pulling all sorts of numbers straight out of their a$$. they did a recent piece on Brazil, for example, where they claim that there are over 250,000 child prostitutes in the country. That piece of questionable data came from the UN, who quoted a Brazilian official in the Justice Ministry who – apparently – pulled the number straight out of his bunghole.

    The problem with the media on things like this is that they don’t need to ask themselves “Is this true?”, they simply need to ask “Has an authority said it?” And there are so many people tossing around completely made up n umbers regarding modern slavery that an editor can pretty much pick and choose the tone he wants and run with the numbers that support it.

    Panic sells. If it bleeds, it leads. And nothing panics human beings more than imagined threates to mothers and children. It’s not a coincidence, then, that “sexual slavery” and “child sexual exploitation” turns up so often in these reports: it’s the most panicking thing the western media can think of.


  227. What a lie! My ancestor was a black soudano-ethiopian like the dinka, and he was liberate in 1798, by french army in Egypt before castration, hundreds of millions of christians and amonists black have been slaughtered and enslaved by black muslims, and black king, like in Benin.
    You, black americans, act as if a son of resistant against nazisme would say : HITLER was right, cause he’s white as i am, nonsense!


  228. I’m curious…what should a white person say? What would make it right? I’m not making any excuses. What happened in this country with regard to slavery was horrible and inhumane. I also recognize that it took another 100 years after the imancipation proclamation for black people in our country to demand equality through the civil rights movement. Then, it took another generation for true racial equality to sink in. However, I am a Generation X-er, who was fortunate enough to grow up in a time that Martin Luther King, Jr, could only dream of–a time when you judge a person by what is in their heart not the color of their skin. I never grew up around racial prejudice and have friends of every race and religion. In conclusion, I recognize what happened in this country with regard to slavery and make no excuses about it. However, I don’t subscribe to white guilt either. I think it is time for us to stop blaming others for “sins of our ancestors” and look to the future. We all choose our own destines–let’s choose to be happy and live in peace!


  229. I think Hdr is over simplifying things.


  230. on Tue 9 Nov 2010 at 14:43:23 John in Philly

    This blog is nothing but hatred. That hatred will burn you up inside. Try to do good and not promote hate.


  231. How CAres imean reallycoe on


  232. i am glad for this post. for i for one believe that history books are full of lies and when you really think about something it would make more sense than some of these books. divide and concour was the mission so its not everything people say i believe, now this post is more logical. i often here alot of people say african sold their people into slavery. when most of the african slaves was from the west. africa is a continent. they put more emphasis on the african that sold slaves to take the weight off the robbery. christopher columbus didn’t discover america, west indies etc. you can’t discover whats already there. he just did research.

    think logical


  233. @hdr
    @john in philly

    i don’t think these post is to promote hatred. i think its to promote understanding of a certain kind of mind set that exist today in america and throughout the world. i could only speak of america because thats where i live. you have to face your fears in life. as a black person your born into this world and your taught that you are a second class citizen, your everything thats bad. wouldn’t you want to know why?

    well its not so much about you as a individual. its more about changeing the mind set, so you have to throw it out there. you may get one person attention, but thats a start. it may sound harsh but it is reality, and who feels it knows it. we don’t want to pass on brainwash education to our children or want them to feel inferior. and some of us is trying to deal with the issues within ourself, that we know history has distributed. we have seen the outcome of the uneducated. so we are trying to get educated. the biggest lesson in life for a person is to understand yourself.


  234. All I here is whites and blacks.Not English or portugese or Africans.As long as we put skin color as the enemy behind the slave trade,we are catigorizing all white people as the enemy.The portugese were the first to bring slavery to north America,and their skin is brown.How will I ever connect with my black brother and sister,when i am judged by the white color of my skin.I don”t ever want African Americans to forget what the pain of slavery brought to them. At what cost will hating and blaming all white people solve? I look forward to the day that I can look at another human being,and not feel that I am being judged by the color of my skin.For I am you ,and you are me.


  235. I don’t get comments like the one above. Who started it is not important. It has decimated regions and its brought wealth to others, America being one of them. But America’s wealth in terms of skin color (since you’re so into that) has been and is still lopsided. I highly doubt you want to be reminded of all the dirty, ugly things that made that possible. How do I know that? Out of everything this thread had to offer, you got stuck on feelings of “all white people are being categorized as the enemy” and that people are “blaming and hating all white people”. If that indicates anything about the way you perceive your country and your skin, then I’m not surprised you’re not “connecting” with your countrymen.


  236. I think it’s sick that black people don’t care about the Arab slave trade. Abagond, you are a racist who often spews hatred like ” Whiteyz da debill”. how can whitey be da debill if other races have committed atrocities too? Why don’t you look up the Arab slave trade and what is still going on underground with some Arab nations? You won’t, and other blacks won’t because your too afraid to admit that “whitey isn’t da debbill”, and without us, you will be enslaved on a large scale once more, because we aren’t the only ones who hate you. You’d like to think that we caused all your problems, and without us they’d go away; Guess what? We weren’t the first to enslave you, and weren’t the first to destroy or take advantage of you. Why would you say it’s important to learn about history, then contradict yourself by telling us the Arab slave trade wasnt important. Other people, besides whites have committed horrible crimes against you. No little lie of yours can ever change that. Unless you learn about slavery in all forms, not just the Atlantic slave trade, you are definitely doomed to repeat it.


  237. @ Angie

    For white people to say African Americans don’t care about the Arab Slave Trade is just another typical and dishonest derailment tactic of theirs. All to mitigate the bad feelings they have over something that has put a stain on that false image of perfection that white people have dishonestly crafted for themselves. An image that white people still try to keep up, when they never talk about the bad things they have done and STILL DO.

    Why would African Americans point out what the Arabs in the Middle East did? That has absolutely nothing to do with what white Euro slavers did TO Africans in North America. It’s also funny how the majority of Arabs are always scientifically labeled and claimed as “white” by white scientists, until someone brings up terrorists, and the slave trade. Then they’re back to being plain ol’ Arabs. Like that’s a race, and they’ve suddenly been kicked out of “the white club”.


  238. @ Angie:
    where on this blog has Abagond said that white people are the devil? I’d be eager to know.

    Btw, I wonder if you appreciate the irony in your sentence:
    Abagond, you are a racist who often spews hatred like ” Whiteyz da debill”.


  239. @ Eurasian Sensation

    Hahaha… nice irony catch.


  240. @Bulanikgirl

    “..da debill” ? Please tell, who speaks like that?

    “Da debill” is just one example of the both mocking and hilariously knee-jerking responses white people use, when they refer to the way black people speak. But in an obviously exaggerated fashion. In conversations about the known atrocities of whites, it’s almost always followed up with a derailment or a flatout dismissal.

    I have noticed that there are a few other mocking terms used by deflective and knee-jerking white posters, which you should look out for. For example “Da Ebil Whyte”, which is used sarcastically when white people want to turn into apologists for white racism, and begin their “There is no racism! It’s all in your head!” nonsense. I’ve seen this line used a lot on conservative blogs, when blatant Republican bigotry is pointed out.

    There is also the lesser known “Muh Dik”, when white people (of the young adult age group) try to characterize oversexed, crotch grabbing, slang speaking, black thugs who “viciously prey on” (date) white women. They usually throw this in randomly with numerous “Yo’s” and “Dawg’s”, and then dishonestly equate them with your average black male, by heavily impling without blatantly saying. A “Catch Me If You Can!” tactic that racist white people constantly use nowadays, and swear they are being clever with.

    …despite the fact that it keeps getting called out…


  241. Franklin wrote: A “Catch Me If You Can!” tactic that racist white people constantly use nowadays, and swear they are being clever with.

    It’s also a form of passive-agressive behavior, also known as punk-assery.

    I was reading the commentary of one really racist …oops…I mean, uh, “race realist” blog and there were several commenters (whom I can only assume were pre-pubescent boys) entertaining themselves with guffaw-inducing phrases as “word to your mama”. Now, I’ve been Black for a while now and I’ve never known anyone except for the children on that blog…and maybe a character in a bad “blaxploitation” film from the 70s.

    I must admit, though, the person upthread with the “Whiteyz da debill” numbskullery had me laughing until tears rolled down my cheeks!


  242. Edit: It’s also a form of passive-aggressive behavior, also known as punk-assery.

    I was reading the commentary of one really racist…oops…I mean, uh, “race realist” blog and there were several commenters (whom I can only assume were pre-pubescent boys) entertaining themselves with the guffaw-inducing phrase, “word to your mama”. Now, I’ve been Black for a while, and I’ve never known anyone, except for the children on that blog, and maybe a character in a bad “blaxploitation” film from the 70s, to actually make use of the phrase “word to your mama”….


  243. You won’t, and other blacks won’t because your too afraid to admit that “whitey isn’t da debbill”, and without us, you will be enslaved on a large scale once more, because we aren’t the only ones who hate you.</em.

    If they ever enslave people on a large scale again, I hope it is you and your ilk as I detest washing windows and doing yard work. Will you quite it with the white minstrel act? The only people I have ever heard talking like that are tools like you and old Stepin Fetchit movies.

    We weren’t the first to enslave you, and weren’t the first to destroy or take advantage of you.

    Finally, a white person who admits to their ancestors, and by extension themselves, culpability in regards to slavery, albeit in a roundabout racist way!

    Unless you learn about slavery in all forms, not just the Atlantic slave trade, you are definitely doomed to repeat it.

    Not if ‘de debill’ don’t get them first!


  244. Reading this reminds me of another of my own anecdotal experiences.
    I was traveling in Italy. I arrived in Rome and was looking for my hotel, an internet deal I found in the couture district. Here I was standing on the sidewalk looking for the address when along comes what appeared to be a visiting west African dignitary (a first, second or third lady perhaps?) and her entourage of about a dozen bodyguards, a few of whom were white. Engrossed in my map, I didn’t even notice them until they were right on top of me. What happened next was permanently seared in my mind. One of the white bodyguards got my attention and gestured for me to move from the sidewalk into the gutter until they passed. There was no need for it: it was one of the wider main streets in Rome and there was room for them to pass even walking 3 abreast as they were, as I was already off to the side trying to be discreet about needing a map.
    I don’t think I’ll ever be able to accurately express the visceral, primal rage that rose in me at that instant.
    As I saw it, an African leader is on a shopping spree in Rome while her country probably doesn’t even have widespread access to clean water, and has a white bodyguard direct me into the gutter. Indeed I’m a black American, with all that it entails, because of people like her. It was one of the most deeply offensive experiences I’ve ever had. I couldn’t help thinking that in reality she should be begging my forgiveness and cutting ME a check instead of Gucci.
    All that must have shown on my face, because a distinctly apologetic look crossed white bodyguard’s face and he backed off; he didn’t force me into the gutter (which is exactly what he would have had to do because NO WAY was I going for that BS), but rather positioned himself between us as the entourage passed instead. As if.
    This isn’t to suggest she owes me anything. But as I saw and felt it, things like that only widen the chasm.


  245. on Mon 15 Aug 2011 at 21:58:21 Richard Tyler

    This blog is a joke. The posters, for the most part, are emotionally charged anti-intellectual jackasses. This guy, Thadeus, is the only person I see using any basic common sense and reason. That usually happens when you are vastly more educated on a subject than those you are dealing with. He’s not saying anything racist or egotistical. He’s just stating facts. I stumbled across this because I wanted to find info on what exact group of Africans captured and sold slaves to other Africans and Europeans and English colonists and then Americans. Seems none of you know, though. Isn’t that important? Abagong said they weren’t Africans or something.

    Here’s the quote:
    Africa was not a country. Africans were not selling “their own”, they were selling their enemies, just as the Greeks and Romans once did. Africa, then as now, was made up of different countries. They were no more selling “their own” than, say, “Europeans” were killing “their own” during the Holocaust.

    Really? How should the question be phrased? “What group of peoples living or working on the continent now known as Africa during the era of the slave trade, profited from the selling of peoples captured on said continent?” Is that what it takes?
    Okay, what group of enemies did the majority of the collecting and selling? Just answer the question. What countries participated? See, we know who was responsible for the holocaust. Seriously, a 6th grade debater would destroy you.
    This blog reads like a Chris Rock(greatest stand up of all-time, btw) Nat X bit. Except you actually believe it. lol!

    The whole “why don’t whites face up to it?” is just offensive and a really stupid position. The list of defences(I’m assuming you aren’t American or you would have spelled it the way we do) is ridiculous. The “he did it, too” analogy is ludicrous. If a murderer says another person murdered and he has proof, do you not want to know who else is murdering? It’s a very legitimate argument and is apparently one that none of you are willing to emotionally deal with.

    I’m guessing not many of your mothers picked cotton in Alabama till her hands bled. Mine did.


  246. ^ Where any of your ancestors slaves in America?


  247. Remember, those that are trying to give you the most are the ones that are trying to help you the least. Vote conservative, otherwise, you will be voting for those that think they are better than you. Check Yourself.


  248. The African slave trade was based on tribalism but the prejudice towards the slaves can be equated to racism. For instance, the dominant tribe viewed the captive slaves as sub human, therefore they had no qualms about selling them like property.


  249. Provide proof of that paragraph John. Something that proves this to be true for at least 51% of African tribes. I’ll wait. It seems like too many apologists these days confuse their own “white wishful thinking” with “facts”.


  250. I agree with Franklin: what you are saying sounds for all the world like a projection of white Anglo thought onto Africans.


  251. African-Americans are trying to do the same thing.

    http://money.cnn.com/2011/09/02/news/economy/black_unemployment_rate/

    Keep supporting the Liberal Left “White Man” and you will keep devaluing your economic worth.

    But I guess most of your are screaming; racism, unequal opportunity, we need more assistance to even the playing field.

    That’s exactly what they want you to scream.


  252. @ Jallen

    And support whom instead? White Conservatives that are consistently against labor unions, public education, and the rest of the US work force? Or White Independents/Libertarians that are for racial descrimination when it comes to businesses in general? It seems as if you don’t thinking things through.


  253. Africans sold their own people as slaves.
    Africans are still selling slaves.
    Arab traders sold slaves too.
    Slavery goes back thousands of years.
    All races have practised slavery.
    Whites stopped slavery.
    My family never owned slaves.
    That was Ancient History.
    You are living in the past.
    Get over it!
    It was the times.
    Slavery did not make economic sense.
    Whites got to where they are by their own hard work
    Blacks are better off in America than in Africa
    Africans were savages.

    Which one of these statements isn’t true? look you will never find equality playing the blame game its racist and stereotypical to blame all white people for slavery just like it is blaming all black people for gang violence this article is full of blame and hate and isn’t getting you anywhere in life i believe in unity and equality no one man is better than another man unless that other man makes himself less of a man no matter what sex race or religion that means blaming another man for something he didn’t do or judging them strickly on their sex race or religion instead of judging him by his own actions is wrong and ignorant GET OVER IT move on start working on making the world a better place instead of pointing out the faults and bitching about them


  254. I love it when people like Joe Pierson make themselves out to be perfect examples.


  255. @ Joe Pierson

    “look you will never find equality playing the blame game its racist and stereotypical to blame all white people for slavery just like it is blaming all black people for gang violence this article is full of blame and hate and isn’t getting you anywhere in life i believe in unity and equality no one man is better than another man unless that other man makes himself less of a man no matter what sex race or religion that means blaming another man for something he didn’t do or judging them strickly on their sex race or religion instead of judging him by his own actions is wrong and ignorant GET OVER IT move on start working on making the world a better place instead of pointing out the faults and bitching about them”

    I hope you don’t mind me “bitching” about your severe lack of PERIODS. But I guess this means I’m pointing out YOUR faults instead of making the world a better place, huh?? And how do you know blaming you for stuff isn’t getting me anywhere in life? Looking at your writing is certainly intensifying my ambition to go where people like you are – to TEACH punctuation.

    And what’s this suppose to mean?

    “…no one man is better than another man unless that other man makes himself less of a man no matter what sex ..”

    Wow..Now I’m really feeling ambitious!! :-)
    Do come by again.


  256. Matari,

    I noticed that too. It was one huge run-on sentence with no periods even at the end lol.

    Joe,

    Your statements are seen as typical responses coming from a troll with nothing to offer the conversation. You’ve proved the point of this and several other blog entries that talk about the usual comments white people say over and over again like zombies with a “hive” mind like the Borg from Star Trek. This is why you are mocked, and this is why trolls are laughed at and hated. Consider this a lesson for you.


  257. Your site is racist bunching “whites” into one group. It wasn’t whites who had slaves but all kinds of people and there were groups enslaved longer than blacks,someone bringing up the obvious you call racist if ift doesn’t propogate your racism. Get over it,there are more slaves alive now than ever, 27 million but you don’t care about slavery,you just care about black, your the racist one by picking only parts of history to display,and calling others racist if they mention other pieces of the puzzle. Blacks aren’t the only ones by far who suffered slavery but just whined the loudest. Blacks sold blacks,they fought each other,etc. So don’t act like blacks were these innocent people hugging each other. Native americans and irish were slaves in the US before black go sell crazy to someone else,you don’t care about facts just your hate,which is wrong anyway, not mad at the spanish who were in the slave trade? Or the africans who were in the slave trade? No just whites,lol,ok. Typical though.


  258. “you don’t care about facts just your hate,which is wrong anyway,”

    Speak for yourself, troll. Incidentally, you might want to learn proper grammar and spelling before posting on adult blogs, m’kay?

    It also helps if you attempt to use a REAL argument, not rehashing tired old tripe that your grandpappy still spews from his Barco-Lounger. As far as ‘bunching people into one group’ – if you can’t refrain from doing so, then why do you expect others to? Smells of hypocrisy, to me…

    Now, go chase a few parked cars! Your ilk is good at that – stick to it. You might succeed one day. :cool:


  259. @Jason

    Blacks aren’t the only ones by far who suffered slavery but just whined the loudest

    Round of applause for you mate, really representing for white folk here arent you…!


  260. @ Jason

    If you talked about raping my daughter the same way, here is what you would sound like:

    Why are you picking on me? I am not the only person who raped anyone. Get over it, women get raped every day but you don’t care about rape, you just care about your daughter. She is not the only one who has been raped. My cousin’s sister-in-law was raped. Your daughter is just a whiner. And she is not the nicest person, you know. How come you are not angry at other rapists? You don’t care about facts, just your hatred for me. Typical though.


  261. get over urself, dude. U need 2 get a life. we used them for our on selfish reasons. ya im white. what we did was wrong so get over thinking that whites r innocent and perfect little angels because WERE NOT!!!!


  262. See what I don’t understand is why as a group of people, it is acknowledged that whites instigated slavery in this country, a lot owned slaves, treated them horribly and yet when it is acknowledged and even apologized for, Af. Am will NOT accept that. It’s not enough. Unless every single “white person” ( I am a huge mix of many races, though I look mostly white) gets down on their knees and subjugates themselves to you, it just won’t be enough! Don’t you get it? It is HISTORY! History is a story of the PAST. It is there so we don’t EVER REPEAT OUR MISTAKES. But that’s just not enough for most black people and they keep on and on and ON with the same thing. I know some dark skin black people who are racist to lighter skin black people….what’s up with that? Is black not black enough? Is the fact that my great-great had a tiny drop of black blood to the point that you never see it in me and you will never see it in my blond-haired blue-eyed son, enough for you to hate me and persecute me and try to make me “understand” that I OWE you something? When I owe you NOTHING beyond common curtesy and respect that I would show for any person? It just all sickens me.


  263. @ Mom2MZJM

    Talk is cheap.If whites are serious they would pay reparations: all that back pay plus interest divided among everyone over 18 who marked their race as black on the US Census in 2010. That simple.


  264. For all the people who want to say whites were slaves too and blah blah had it just as bad. Muslims did take white slaves yes, but in the muslim world slaves were a pretty proud class the muslim mamluks were slaves and eventually ruled egypt. Also the Turkish Jannisaries were mostly slaves yes but they were very educated and great warriors. Slaves in muslims countries were usually educated and got as far as sultan ruler of the kingdom.

    Also another thing about slavery in the west is they believed blacks and non whites didnt have souls but where animals like monkeys and what not, you can even look it up scientist taught this in the 1700-1800s. So they thought slavery was ok about this, true other people did have slavery but not with this mentality. I believe in africa slavery was like a life debt like the wookies off starwars. In the muslim world slaves were usually turned into great warriors.


  265. @ abagond
    You think blacks should get reparations for slavery from 100 years ago the country is in debt. Also it wouldnt be fair im not black but ive been treated a lot worst than blacks by white. Theyd attack me, make fun of me everyday, never let me advance in the workplace, basically ruined my life, because they hated blacks but like always most whites are scared of blacks so they attack less intimidating non blacks. If anything I would deserve a reparations more than most blacks. To say one race deserves reparations is not fair at all.


  266. mistake i meant 100s years ago not a 100 years ago yes i know when slavery was ended. lol


  267. @Raphael Green

    Slavery never ended it just evolved.


  268. @MOM2MZJM

    Think about a family listening to the life experiences of their grandparents and feeling pride about their accomplishments…now think of all the families that fought for recognition, honor, Medal and back pay for compensation for soldiers that went unrecognized. Now think of the families that listened to the horrible accounts of rape, beatings, hanging, mutilation, and treatment like they were not humans with any rights to own land or even live. Sure many were given land…but many had it taken away shortly after and it was given back to the white plantation owners. Those apologies are empty because they are allowing the oppression to continue.


  269. What is to be gained by grouping whites together as a race and demonizing them for horrific sins of a fraction of other whites? Whites often get on the defense because a white person today had absolutely nothing to do with those atrocities. Its as if whites must apologize for being white, and for the sins of people they never knew…and probably would dislike very much: powerful, cruel, individuals who treated other human beings like animals.

    The underlying implication is that whites somehow have a genetic ‘hate’ defect that is not present in blacks. So, while blacks today came from ancestors that were horribly mistreated generations ago, some choose to bring it up in ways that are offensive and accusatory.

    Blacks hold the power on diffusing this issue and strengthening the bond between blacks and whites. Whites are powerless.


  270. @Craig
    I think youre misunderstanding most black people from what ive noticed dont think modern whites should be punished for things in the past but for things they still do. Also theyre more mad the fact you WILL NOT admit the reason why a lot of blacks are the way they are is because of the past. Its like most white people are unable to lack empathy for anyone else and they just say you have no one to blame but themselves. Or if the past is ever brought up they just say so what its in the past like they dont even care. Its that kind of mentality that makes black people complain about the past when most whites refuse to even say it was wrong for what happened to the past changing the subject instead saying oh well its not my fault its its in the past who cares. I noticed most white people enjoy playing the victim and use reverse racism sort of like you are no offense.


  271. All whites are not decendents from Europe.. Blacks are not the minority anymore, the Spanish are..american Indians should be the ones that are pissed they are the ones who had to deal with all of us freaks lol.. I personally don’t take responsibility for what others do no matter what color they are! I don’t care what people say I hate everyone equally lol.. Seriously there is going to be a lot of pissed off racist white folks when they get to heaven ..( if they make it with hate in their heart) you know Jesus was a Jew the racist whites think he’s white and every race thinks that he is one of them.. Lmao!! He’s was a Jew folks your savior was Jewish so get over yourselves!! I did not exist during the civil rights movement or b4 so i have no idea why I should be (anyone else for that matter ) punished or categorized with a certain race instead of who I am in Christ! Can you guess what race I am? I doubt it!!


  272. @Raphael Green

    Actually slavery for the white people in africa via the muslims etc…..was nearly as equally brutal as it was for the black people in the US.

    Most of them died from mistreatment and brutal working conditions.


  273. @V-4
    Thats why you have so many great circassian and slavic mamluks in egypt. Also having great slave muslim warriors in the ottoman empire. I dont doubt it was bad for whites sometimes but most muslims educated their slaves and what not that was usually not done for black slaves in america. There was a time where being a slave warrior in muslim society was something great.


  274. @Raphael

    There’s been some level of immigration there and back for awhile now, also yes at least a few did manage to reproduce before they died.

    And no; it wasn’t as bad as the US-slavery system but it was still a horrificuly brutal system all on its own.

    Most whites weren’t slave warriors, they were just good ol’ fashioned slaves.


  275. For me, the problem comes if white people in the Americas cant look at the reality of the past about bringing slaves from Africa , in huge numbers, and they become in denial about the absolute truth of how , because of that, our American societies still have discrimination , class issues, racist issues etc

    I just read in the New York Times , again , yesterday, over and over every year, how unemployment is greater for blacks and hispanics than for whites. If its not unemployment, its a report about school systems in black neighborhoods are worse than white neighborhood schools , or some other report to prove that the traces of the repercusions of bringing black slaves en masse from Africa are still in serious effect in all the places that brought slaves from Africa in the Americas (certainly down in Brazil where I live , as well as the USA).

    These things keep playing out in all the Americas where they brought black African slaves.

    If we can look at those truths, then, and only then can we look at the fact that slavery was practiced in many cultures and the Arabs traded more black African slaves than anyone and the more powerful tribes in Africa were conquering other tribes to feed this slave trade .

    I find the information on the black slave trade by the Arabs to be extremly limited and hard to find…I dont think it has been documented and examined as much as the European slave trade


  276. on Fri 22 Jun 2012 at 16:02:48 duckduckgoofs

    BR

    “If we can look at those truths, then, and only then can we look at…

    You’re going to tell someone when they can and can’t look at now? Oh, I get it. You only want to talk about the things that support your POV and ignore everything that doesn’t.


  277. Cmon, Duckgoofs, these arnt the Commandments set in stone, its an opinion

    What is funny to me is that , you dont seem to be able to address these issues

    I have never seen you acknowledge about the affects of bringing huge numbers of African slaves over to the Americas, and the repercusions from that , that our societies in the Americas are suffering from

    Are you in denial about that ? Can you speak to these issues at all?


  278. on Fri 22 Jun 2012 at 16:24:04 duckduckgoofs

    BR

    I have never seen you acknowledge about the affects of bringing huge numbers of African slaves over to the Americas, and the repercusions from that , that our societies in the Americas are suffering from

    That’s a good point. America is definitely suffering from the repercussions of large numbers of Africans.


  279. That’s a good point. America is definitely suffering from the repercussions of large numbers of Africans.

    “””””

    @ duckduckgoofs,

    Which is so entirely eclipsed by the suffering it has faced by the presence of the first white man and his swathes of flea bitten, disease ridden, conquistadores.


  280. on Fri 22 Jun 2012 at 17:09:48 duckduckgoofs

    JT

    I seem to recall a comment by you on another thread in which you said you despised those who hated their own race. And your last comment really does suggest that. IMO, you’re a radical and quite honestly batsh!t crazy. I can nearly imagine you foaming at the mouth as you banged out that last comment.

    But more to the point, the US has among the lowest infant mortality, highest longevity and highest standard of living of anywhere in the world. Clearly, every one alive today has benefited enormously from the presence of whites whether they have the integrity to admit it or not.


  281. That’s a good point. America is definitely suffering from the repercussions of large numbers of Africans.

    Yeah, those “African” bankers really did a number on Ol’ Uncle Sam!


  282. on Fri 22 Jun 2012 at 17:16:45 duckduckgoofs

    Someguy

    Franklin Raines probably had a larger role in facilitating the sub prime mortgage than anyone.


  283. Clearly, every one alive today has benefited enormously from the presence of whites whether they have the integrity to admit it or not.

    Somehow, I think there are more than a few nations in the world who would disagree with you.


  284. Franklin Raines probably had a larger role in facilitating the sub prime mortgage than anyone.

    ::cough:: scapegoat! ::cough::


  285. @ duckduckgoofs,

    You need to read closer. I have never said that “I despised those that hate their race”. I disagreed with another poster that posted that but I never agreed with that. I had an opinion that was entirely opposite, in fact. At least if you are white. If you are Black, then your race is an emblem of triumph. If you are White, then your race is an emblem of injustice.

    That’s not batsh!t crazy … that’s batsh!t truth.


  286. Saying that everyone alive today benefited from whites is sort of biased colonies and what not might have benefited because of technology passed on to native peoples. Still a lot of non technologically advanced people were happy with their lives before that technology was given to them.


  287. on Fri 22 Jun 2012 at 17:26:07 duckduckgoofs

    Someguy

    I’m sure there are plenty of nations who hate the US. Fugg ‘em.


  288. Still a lot of non technologically advanced people were happy with their lives before that technology was given to them.

    Fantastic point, Rapheal. Why does everything default to technology when dealing with many Whites?


  289. Also speaking about technology the chinese and arabs were doing VERY well on it until they got into so many wars with the Europeans and the Mongol hordes. lol


  290. on Fri 22 Jun 2012 at 17:34:43 duckduckgoofs

    raphael Still a lot of non technologically advanced people were happy with their lives before that technology was given to them.

    Yeah, I’m sure they were much happier with a 40% infant mortality rate and 35 year life expectancy.
    >
    >
    JT That’s not batsh!t crazy … that’s batsh!t truth.

    LOL! But seriously, I really am interested in your biography. Tell me a little bit about yourself. How did you get to be so wise? :)


  291. We could also reverse the Arab Trader argument. The fact that Europeans enslaved African people, doesn’t mean Arabs should get away with it. We could easily reverse Cultural “Marxism”, and instead of constantly picking on Europeans, we could constantly pick on Arabs.


  292. on Fri 22 Jun 2012 at 17:39:24 duckduckgoofs

    raphael Also speaking about technology the chinese and arabs were doing VERY well on it until they got into so many wars with the Europeans and the Mongol hordes. lol

    Good for Arabs and Chinese. Are you Arab or Chinese?


  293. @duckduckgoofs
    I think you’re really exaggerating that you do understand the mortality rate for natives went up when they contracted diseases from the Europeans right? Also 35 year life expectancy you’re really exaggerating. Also When europeans came they did bring technology yes it might have made life more comfortable, but with that technology it started wars and more disease. Also you seem to think Europeans were advanced like they are in modern times that wasnt the case 1700s Europe was very unfair the poor were very poor while the rich were very rich. They also had very bad hygiene, way lower year expectancy compared to today, also high infant mortality rate. I think in mid 1800s London 15,000 people died because of diseases cause by bad hygiene forcing them to make proper sewage systems.


  294. @duckduckgoofs
    No offense but id never tell you my race youd probably make racist jokes but if youre assuming im black im not. Also im just explaining to you that not all non whites enjoyed science and making of technology. Also just because whites in the past made technology doesnt mean you, or even your ancestors did. Just because A german in the past made something and if you’re Polish doesnt mean just because theyre from the same Continent means they all have the same achievements. Im guessing you think anyone who is white is naturally talented.


  295. on Fri 22 Jun 2012 at 18:09:12 dunkdunkmoose

    test


  296. on Fri 22 Jun 2012 at 18:10:36 dunkdunkmoose

    raphael

    Diseases spread around the globe all the time. Most start in Africa and Asia. I doubt Europeans wanted those diseases any more than anyone else. For you to scapegoat them for disease while giving others a pass is very selective and, quite honestly, more than a little bigoted. Let me ask you, if Amerindians had contacted others first would they not have still contracted those diseases?

    Apparently, there is something wrong with the abbie’s blog. It seems to be censoring my comments.


  297. @Raphael

    “Gold fever”. Look it up. Neither Native Americans nor Africans would have had as deleterious effect on Europe as Europe had on the Americas or Africa for that reason. Europe had nothing of value (aside from maladjusted ideas) to give to any of those continents. To this day, more than half of the world’s precious metal/jewel/oil supplies are directly transferred from “brown” countries to “white” countries. Aside from readily broken treaties, missible ideas and grain (American and Russian), nothing of value is imported from “white” countries to “brown” countries (and the “value” of the charity doesn’t come close to equalling the value of the infrastructure-necessary materials that Europe, America/Canada and East Asia drain from their “lessers”.). African countries receive (on average) ~$50 million in subsidies and charity (mostly in surplus food which would have otherwise gone to waste) for every billion dollars that leave the continent. Likewise with South America, which receives similar amounts of aid while providing tens of billions of dollars a year in gold alone (never mind the hard woods, drugs, non-Mohs 10 precious stones and other metals.)

    Oh, wait. White countries also provide brown countries with massive amounts of ballistic weapons and justifications to use those weapons against their countrymen. So, in the end, brown people can live in a world in which they’re/we’re derided for our lack of civilisation/progress, while we send all of the building blocks of civilisation to white people and blow our own to bits because the white countries’ big business leaders use their politicians to foment dissent among us? Yay?


  298. Whites are idiots who rob the Third World to fill the coffers of Jewish bankers and Muslim oil sheiks, as well as their own ruling class.


  299. @dunkdunkmoose
    You dont seem to know much about history and disease white europeans were the ones travelling and the natives they went to got diseases its historically documented. It has nothing to do with being bigoted. How can europe get diseases from other races when they didnt even travel to europe until the after colonies were formed.


  300. @dunkdunkmoose
    are you a fan of michael savage?


  301. I fail to understand something here. Why should I or any other person allow ourselves to be the sum only of events and ancestors that passed 100 or 200 years ago? Their names are barely known. The events have been told and retold by so many self-interested people that the TRUTH of them cannot be really known. Why should I let those events re-create me in my own eyes, in my own thoughts? I refuse. I am who I am, because it is who I choose to be. I will not be forced into a class or a “type” because of events that happened centuries before my mother’s mother ever knew a man.

    Slavery was wrong, no matter where, no matter how. It was simply wrong. I never was a slave. I never enslaved anyone. Just as one cannot be born a slave today because of who their great-grandparents were, I refuse to be born guilty of slavery because of who my great-grandparents were. I am neither black nor white. I am neither brown nor pale. See me only as a human, or don’t see me at all. I will not be a color or a label. I will be a person. What will you be?


  302. Most African countries did not sell slaves and some even fought against it. But because Europeans back then could control the supply of guns there was little Africans could do to stop it.

    I don’t care how many guns the Europeans had. There was no way they could simply grab Africans for the Atlantic slave trade. They purchased them from sub-Saharan Africans and Arab slave traders. Europeans were only able to reach the interior of the African continent by the mid-to-late 19th century.

    And by the way, Africans did not “sell their own kind”. African traders sold those Africans from other nations and tribes . . . people they considered nothing more than foreigners. Europeans, Asians and Native Americans did the same.


  303. on Wed 8 Aug 2012 at 17:39:13 IFyouDONTlikeAMURICAthenYOUcanGITout!

    I don’t understand why the Blacks posting on here say that things like “That part of their past makes White Americans uncomfortable. But instead of facing up to it, they have built up defences against it:”

    Uh, I don’t feel uncomfortable about it at all. White Americans today aren’t responsible for slavery. Why the hell would I feel guilt for what other people did? I’m not “facing up to it” and taking the blame for what white people did in the past JUST BECAUSE I’M ALSO WHITE. I understand how horrible slavery was, but please don’t bitch to me about it (no one likes a whiner). When has wallowing in your sorrows done any good?

    Why not concentrate on the present situation of Blacks and try to progress instead of crying about what your ancestors (not you) went through? Why not spend more time thinking about the injustices blacks face today? Don’t get me wrong, I understand it is our country’s sad history that has led to the impovrishment of black communities. Valuing history is one thing, but griping about it is another.

    My point is: instead of running your trap, why not prove that Blacks can succeed in today’s society?

    There comes a time when you got to step up.


  304. @IFyouDONTlikeAMURICAthenYOUcanGITout!

    Blacks have already proven they can succed in today’s society with a black president, the highest grossing athletes and entertainers, black CEOs and CFOs, business owners, governors, mayors, judges, etc. Anything whites have achieved in this country, blacks have done so as well. Even in the days of legalized slavery, there were black business owners, landowners, authors, inventors, etc. So blacks don’t need to prove anything to anyone….they’ve done so from the beginning.

    Without free black slave (and white “indentured”) labor, “Amurica” would not be as great as you believe it is today, just as surely as China would not be the great superpower it has become without cheap labor. So blacks can complain about whatever they want since they were the main reason America grew in power and wealth so quickly, and this country owes a great debt to them, which remains unpaid.

    But it’s not just slavery. Perhaps you forget the system of segregation and apartheid that existed up until the 60s, in which most Americans were alive to witness. So yes, many whites living today are directly responsible for the oppression of blacks in America.


  305. @ resjan

    Amurica replied to you but I deleted it due to racial slurs.


  306. @abagond

    Not surprised. I guess I hit a nerve. If what I said was untrue, then he should have been able to respond with legitimate rebuttals, not slurs. Denigration was his way of deflecting his guilt and/or ignorance.


  307. @resjan
    Lies. The terms “welfare leech” or “entitlement guzzler” have no racial connotations. There are white people on welfare too dumb ass. She was just playing the race card as usual, and didn’t want you to see my brilliant rebuttal. :)

    I will bless you all with some parting words:


  308. Amurica,

    Incorporating racial slurs in your rebuttal makes it all the more immature, not brilliant by any means. And at first I was going to ignore your comment, but I can’t pass this up.

    If you don’t feel uncomfortable, fine. But don’t make us feel uncomfortable about talking about it especially when YOU came here on your own free will. No one forced you to come, but you felt entitled to put in your two cents in a topic that wasn’t meant for you in the first place.

    Yes. White people today were no around during slavery. None of us were around during slavery. That’s a no brainer. That doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be discussed.

    Slavery was a part of American history. Deal with it. It’s a part of history you hate to face seeing as how you’re here ranting about how we talk about it. It is also one of the worst human atrocities in history.

    It can not be denied, excused or rewritten because the black people who are here today are proof that it happened. And they live with the scars of that and other horrible moments in the past due to the fact that they are black and therefore less-than-human. It is that same mindset that brought you here chastising us as if we are children.

    Why is any topic about race, including the history of blacks in America which includes slavery, automatically seen as whining? It seems that whenever we discuss our experiences which include not-so-pleasant moments in race, it must mean we are complaining for no good reason – according to folks like you. To you we should just shut up and be happy no matter what.

    Not gonna happen.

    You see, White America are overprivileged not just in money but by the simple fact they are white. It all came from their history of conquest, domination, abuse, slavery, discrimination, and dehumanization all in the name of white supremacy.

    You may not be responsible for this, but you sure as hell inherited the privileges, and anyone, no matter who it is, must realize it, acknowledge it, and try to repair it.


  309. You are on the money , Brothawolf, and great points Resjan

    Coming to Brazil, from America, one of the most blatent thing that was obvious is how much the African slave trade to the Americas, created dynamics that are absolutly affecting our societies today.

    They have created divisions, discrimination, class lines, marginalisation, colorisation, etc

    There is no doubt what so ever that this is true….and most black people arent asking for reperations, they are just asking for white people to get off their back and as a white person, you are darned right , I think we have to take some kind of responsibility for the situation we created.

    Defending white people , holding on to whiteness and putting down black people or making up things about them, is just wallowing in ignorance , and, is taking the low road as a people


  310. @Amurica
    “welfare leech” or “entitlement guzzler” are completely irrelevant to the conversation. But since you brought them up, you’re right that it transcends race as most welfare program recipients are white. In fact, whites are the top recipients of every type of federal welfare program there is, including 86% of all veteran’s benefits, 88% of all medicare, 90% of both retirement and widow’s benefits, 79% of disability insurance and 72% of survivor’s beneifts.

    Then, there’s your system of “corporate welfare” which provides grants, subsidies, tax breaks, etc. given by the gov’t to private corporations.

    In a free country, you’re allowed to disagree, complain, moan, etc. without having to leave. This country was never all white, and never will be, and so you have no right to decide who should “get out.” Anyone born in the U.S. is just as “Amurican” as you and has the right to complain about whatever they wish.


  311. If the roles were reversed, whites still would have white privilege, for example, less chance of being raped in prison.

    Also, many whites whine about people of color being welfare leeches, but fear saying this in public, because they would lose their job, and… need welfare!!!


  312. …..yeah, the banks got more welfare than anyone , didnt they ?


  313. My self worth is not built upon being white. I could care less what the color of my skin is. BTW you don’t have to be white to be a racist. I say that because I’m feeling hostility in your words. The world is full of 6 billion individuals. Race only exists because we say it does.


  314. @ anonymous

    What you consciously believe has little bearing on how you subconsciously feel and act.


  315. Everybody says there is this RACE problem.. Everybody says this RACE problem will be solved when the third world pours into EVERY white country and ONLY into white countries.

    The Netherlands and Belgium are just as crowded as Japan or Taiwan, but nobody says Japan or Taiwan will solve this RACE problem by bringing in millions of third worlders and quote assimilating unquote with them.

    Everybody says the final solution to this RACE problem is for EVERY white country and ONLY white countries to “assimilate,” i.e., intermarry, with all those non-whites.

    What if I said there was this RACE problem and this RACE problem would be solved only if hundreds of millions of non-blacks were brought into EVERY black country and ONLY into black countries?

    How long would it take anyone to realise I’m not talking about a RACE problem. I am talking about the the final solution to the BLACK problem??

    And how long would it take any sane black man to notice this and what kind of psycho black man would not object to this?

    But if I tell that obvious truth about the ongoing program of genocide against my race, the white race, Liberals and respectable con-servatives agree that I am a naziwhowantstokillsixmillionjews.

    They say they are anti-racist. What they are is anti-white.

    Anti-racist is a code word for anti-white.


  316. What a twisted comment….no one is suggesting what you are saying.People want to be treated fairly , with out discrimination and obsticles always thrown in their path…and they are sick of the rationalisations like these

    Genocide on white people ? You have to be kidding me…this is exactly the twisted logic that is mind boggling in its low leval

    For the hundred thousandth time, black people didnt invent racism, white people did, to justify their slavery, capturing people and ripping them away from their homelands. How can the people who were the object of this racism suddenly turn into the racists ? If its disgust with the bs of white people with thoughts like yours, who can blame them? its not racism if you are backpeddling against this kind of logic…


  317. “Genocide on white people ? You have to be kidding me…this is exactly the twisted logic that is mind boggling in its low leval”

    Actually it’s sorta true.

    Whites around the world are in fact disappearing, from North America, and Europe being the top ones.

    Don’t get me wrong, I personally don’t care but the fact is Europeans and those of European descent are not having enough children and policies of unlimited immigration of non-europeans and multiculturalism are indeed genociding Europeans from the world.

    And there is no place where Europeans can go to be among themselves (this is where the WN folks tend to come in).

    Ethnic Europeans won’t be around soon.

    V-9 (or whatever his name was on here) mentioned it before, enough that it peaked my interesting and I’ve been reading sources online which does state that sooner or later without honest discussion on the topic, Ethnic Europeans which include those of the white phenotype will be gone.

    Thing is it’s not just Europeans, Africans are second to being knocked out aswell. So TruthBeTold does have some merit in the ramblings of African Americans being taken out .. just the wrong source of it.

    When no one believes in race, why should they believe the original habitants of a country deserve to choose what’s best for themselves, even if that includes closing their country off to kept their ethnicity alive?


  318. @ anti-genocide

    The main reason countries allow immigrants in great numbers into their borders is to fill jobs that domestic born people cannot or will not do. If Whites do not have the numbers or are just unwilling to work those jobs, who’s fault is that? Since White people are so smart, as many of them claim, they should have planned ahead. Unfortunately, the mentality among many Whites is to get someone else to do their dirty work. If that takes food out of White mouths, who is really to blame?


  319. “When no one believes in race, why should they believe the original habitants of a country deserve to choose what’s best for themselves, even if that includes closing their country off to kept their ethnicity alive?”

    I find your propensity to see ‘race’ as static, and perfected divisions of humanity, that must be preserved just as they are, to be interesting. It’s something like looking at a world map and opining the fact that in 1000 years most of the nations and their boundaries will have changed dramatically with the flow of time. You’re like a man standing waist deep in a spring river holding out his hands against the current in an effort to stop the water.

    “Stop flowing river! You’re just perfect at THIS very moment!!!

    but the very nature and beauty of a river is that it flows.


  320. @King

    “You’re like a man standing waist deep in a spring river holding out his hands against the current in an effort to stop the water.”

    Indeed, but I’m not the only one who shows this trait. I just have no emotional attachment to it, but it is a very interesting topic I’ve been fond of for awhile now.

    I’m waiting to see how this debate unfolds in the world, because as we both know, hands won’t stop the current, but a dam will.

    I’m interested to see how attached people are to the notion of race. Will the hands of time continue what has already been going on for ages where the mixing of race and culture create new horizons, or will human intervention make an appearence and create static nation-states, culture, and people?

    We can only wait patiently, and see how it goes.


  321. @ Yawn

    Agreed. But there will be no dam—we’ve gotten way beyond that. Have a look at the European Union, and the world banking system, and the worldwide web. The troglodytes of any hue who think they’re going to wall themselves in from the river will soon find that stagnant water has many disadvantages. But time is the key to change. Most people have a viewpoint that spans only a few decades beyond their own lifetimes. most of their dreams and concerns about society will be irrelevant a few centuries.

    But there will always be ‘race,’ of a kind, it just won’t mean the same thing. Those who think that mixing phenotypes will result in everyone looking more or less the same have no concept of how genetic variation works.


  322. @King

    “Agreed. But there will be no dam—we’ve gotten way beyond that. Have a look at the European Union, and the world banking system, and the worldwide web. The troglodytes of any hue who think they’re going to wall themselves in from the river will soon find that stagnant water has many disadvantages. But time is the key to change. Most people have a viewpoint that spans only a few decades beyond their own lifetimes. most of their dreams and concerns about society will be irrelevant a few centuries.”

    Ahh but the EU is currently facing rising nationalism (of racial and cultural types) but we’ll see how that fairs in the future. Indeed the banking system is so integrated that all countries aren’t immunue to each others pitfalls anymore.

    And we’ve seen such attempts in history of the walling of foreign invasion, but that was partially ralated to other stuff distinct of race.

    And indeed, what most people society as it’s current form will be nothing but a memory in the coming future, I believe race(hopefully) will no longer play any part of human lives, nor will politics be created strictly due to such.

    “Those who think that mixing phenotypes will result in everyone looking more or less the same have no concept of how genetic variation works”

    I agree, the thought that mixing of phenotypes will create some utopia of beige/brown people is a fool’s thought, and not based on reality.

    Bravo, I usually never enjoy having conversations but this was enlightening.


  323. Ahh but the EU is currently facing rising nationalism (of racial and cultural types) but we’ll see how that fairs in the future.

    No, I predict that the European Union will not last in it’s current form, but it does demonstrates a certain human tendency and agenda. The internet, the jet airplane, and media in general, have irrevocably changed the world. Complete isolation is no longer an option for most cultures, and genetic isolation is an evolutionary dead end.

    For all the caterwauling, in a long-view sense, there will soon be no “Black people” or “White people” or even “Asian people.” But we must all play our assigned parts in the mean time – the play must go on ;-)


  324. @King

    “No, I predict that the European Union will not last in it’s current form”

    Couldn’t agree more! Whatever the Europeans tried to do with the EU seems to have caused more problems than it was worth. I’d say it was a good experiment, but nothing lasts forever.

    “The internet, the jet airplane, and media in general, have irrevocably changed the world. Complete isolation is no longer an option for most cultures, and genetic isolation is an evolutionary dead end. ”

    Indeed, the old world thinking of genetic isolation falls flat with the age of technology. Travelling to remote areas has never been easier, and as such genetic mixing was bound to happen, and will happen. No more are the days when travels took weeks, months, years.

    “For all the caterwauling, in a long-view sense, there will soon be no “Black people” or “White people” or even “Asian people.” But we must all play our assigned parts in the mean time – the play must go on”

    Yea, for the time being of course. We still need to see how countries (both east and west) deal with ethnocentric thoughts though.

    I think it’ll be a little bump in the road, but not something that will prevent much.


  325. Why do all these white people keep crying about white genocide no one wants to marry you white people except those black dudes who get super fat blonde girls that even white people dont want. I think white people just want an excuse to complain because they arent the center of attention anymore.


  326. I recently wrote a paper on reparations, in which I had to do my own research on the in depth slave to support why African-Americans should get reparations (It was an A paper with citations and all and if those who are interested may email @ babykia91@yahoo.com and i can email it to you), but I really like this post and would like to note that as far as the issue of slavery is concerned, the slavery in Africa was no where close to the horrors that happened during the transatlantic slave trade and things were even more so deeper than just rape and bad beatings by a whip; but to argue the point Africans owned/sold slaves too: that is not to say some African countries did not treat slaves bad, but also some blacks in America owned slaves (a mere 1% did at least) and maybe they did treat blacks slaves just as bad as the whites did too but that is an argument over majority and minority. Majority over whites own blacks slaves and minority of blacks owned blacks slaves. Lets not argue majority and minorities nothings ever 100%. However another interesting fact is, for the most part, only rich white-americans owned slaves and thats a minority because, especially back in those days and even now, there were more poor whites than there are rich whites…..On a side note, I don’t know why white people trip over the issue of slavery so much, 9 times outta ten if reparations whur to be provided and they could identify who to give it too and who should be paying for it….roughly about 2% of the average white-american (and a percentage of multi million corporations) would have to pay for it and only maybe 90% of the black-american population would recieve it, because if you were a Nigerian, with no relation to slavery, who came to America in the 1940s you aint getting nothing and if your white with poor white decendents or maybe even a decendent from an irish indentured servent/or slave, you aint gotta pay noting either.


  327. Some counter arguments to some points:
    Africans sold their own people as slaves.
    Africans are still selling slaves.
    -I thnk my first post counter those arguments

    Arab traders sold slaves too.
    “Slavery goes back thousands of years.”
    All races have practised slavery.
    -Yeah but there’s a reason why the transatlantic slave trade is still an issue of today. And it isn’t just an issue in this country.

    Whites stopped slavery.
    -Its funny when people say that only because the emacipation proclaimation ended slavery to an extent, and the 13th amendment complely abolish slavery but then here comes the next trial for african-americans:things such as jim crow, NAACP all this extra shit comes up as a result of slavery.

    My family never owned slaves.
    -Which is why you, in the issue of reparations, you wouldn’t have to worry about that and if the government did decide to tax you more I would protest lol…The only thing I would worry about is my people, (as far as white people), had the ordasity, the potential to do such horrible things to another group of people and have been doing these types of things over history (The holocaust, Joseph Stalin, the Spanish inquistion, the crusaders etc…)

    That was Ancient History.
    You are living in the past.
    Get over it!
    It was the times.
    -Slavery effects African-Americans today more so than people understand (If you want a lil more information on that my reparation paper is a gud start.)

    Slavery did not make economic sense.
    -Well they didn’t do it because they hated black people,I don’t believe so initially at least, there was a lot of monetary value.

    Whites got to where they are by their own hard work
    -That may be true for the most part but a lot of white-owned (I can’t find any source that says blacks owned them at least) business profited off a slavery, the Brown familly, who owns or at least started Brown Univerisity, profited off of making slave ships!

    Blacks are better off in America than in Africa
    Africans were savages.
    -These are just plain ignorant statements that I wouldn’t even take anymore time than I’m doing now to retort on…do research people. Don’t let your mind function off of history channel and what you learned in school, theres always more to it…you don’t even have to go to an all black website or anything like that to know whats really going on


  328. interesting statement:” You don’t have to be white to be rasicist” from what I was taught in high school, racism began in America when the poor white’s realized Hey we may be poor and white but at least we’re not black, there for the beginning of racial tension. I don’t how true that is but if I was rich, and in general terms, I owned slaves I don’t think particularly I would care about what color the slaves were but as long as I can flex the power I have over them and they get the work done when I want them too…the “Stanford prison experiment” is a good example of this because it had nothing to do with race…everybody in that experiment was white.


  329. People say race doesn’t matter, to some extent it doesn’t…..however imagine if you were the ONLY one left of your race and all other races still existed….does it matter now ??


  330. Kidnapping the victims was the ONLY thing that white people DIDN’T DO as far as the slave trade went.


  331. coastal Africans in trade with Europeans may have abducted people from other tribes for their European partners aka “sold their own people” but are they really responsible for what the Europeans who bought them did?


  332. I went to graduate school in England at a top university and graduated in 1997. I did a Master’s thesis that no one in England had ever thought of before and that most Americans (like me) had not thought of either. I did an interdisciplinary thesis about the portrayal (in print and in paintings/media) of African American women in the Antebellum South. Went to university archives all over the South and photocopied paintings, photographs dated 1860, poured over newspaper clippings from the time, came across many “wanted” posters that were seeking the capture of female slaves who escaped… it was a very SOBERING experience and I wrote my heart out about it. I do not know why I chose this topic except for the fact that there was something in the deepest part of me that had to tell the story of these women. Now, I did not tell the whole story– I am not claiming that. But, I wanted to bring to attention this group that even history books ignore. We rarely read history texts dedicated to the experience of the female slave or how society portrayed her and viewed her at the time. We rarely see photographs of these women. The most “haunting” part of the experience was when I would come across these archived photo albums in private collections that were dated between 1859-1863. I came across several where all of the family’s slaves were photographed. But the most disturbing part was they were all dressed in the white European clothing of the time even though there were still technically “owned”. Still, I guess that was not the most disturbing part. The most disturbing part was these women were postured by the photographers to sit stone still. Their faces were somber and their eyes contained a profound amount of pain. The pain in the eyes came through in the photographs– even 130 years later. It’s like their pain was reaching across space, across time, across all racial and class boundaries and speaking aloud– announcing the profound depth of loss they had experienced. They were all so young and all so full of pain. I can still see these women’s faces in my mind’s eye– the look in their eyes, the sadness, burned into my own.

    I hope one day that scholars get a clue and tell these stories– and I am sure there are as many stories as there are women. I hope that one day historians see their experience as a worthwhile one. It is very humbling for those who happen to come across it. I hope one day this silence surrounding their very essence is no longer kept.


  333. ^Wow Sarah, if you ever get chance to write a book on the subject of your thesis, it sounds like it might be both interesting and important.


  334. @ rj

    “Kidnapping the victims was the ONLY thing that white people DIDN’T DO as far as the slave trade went.”

    Absolutely incorrect. The origin of the word “kidnap” actually comes from Europeans’ theft of children (both in Africa and Europe) during the era of the transatlantic slave trade.

    Gomes Eannes de Azurara, recorded that the Portuguese’s first African slaves were KIDNAPPED (mid 1400s):

    “And as soon as they reached the land, Stevam Affonso leapt out, and
    five others with him…they saw come out of it a negro BOY, stark naked, with a spear in his had. HIM THEY SEIZED at once, and coming up close to the hut, they lighted upon a GIRL, his sister, who was about EIGHT YEARS OLD.”

    Yes, it is evident that the Transatlantic slave trade began with Portuguese traders kidnapping young children…


  335. We want to condemn Africans for “selling their own people” but we don’t want to condemn what whites did “to their own people”.If England oppresses Ireland,or if England goes to war with France or Germany invades Poland,we recognize it as that,not Europeans attacking their own people.BIG DOUBLE STANDARD


  336. I love how some conservatives say”well Africans are still doing slavery”(funny how they can’t name one country in Africa) when there’s human trafficking on every continent including Europe and North America to day. What are they trying to prove by saying that modern day slavery is only in Africa?


  337. Unfortunately the arguments are valid when blacks want to continually blame whites for everything. It’s racist as well to be pointing fingers at those who never took part in slavery nor ever had a slave etc. What are those people supposed to face? Guilt for others behaviors?? No. I won’t accept that. I didn’t nothing and was raised to treat others as you want to be treated. I will NOT take responsibility for another’s behavior. THEY ALONE ARE RESPONSIBLE. Reverse racism here as usual


  338. ^ The bare fact that you use a term such as “reverse racism” shows you’re probably not sensible enough to be taken seriously.


  339. What the fuck?
    Whoever wrote this page
    Clearly needs to go back to school and learn ur facts right.
    Excuse.me africans werent savagers
    We were perfectly fine before the british people thought they cud invade the world
    and white people didnt work hard?
    The hell?
    Most of thr slaves their did like everything
    And for godsake
    We will not forget the past its like a scar on all black people that u cant erase or force us too
    Remeber that before you go opening ur mouth and spitting out something u wudnt understand because maybe ur fat somewhere and think u hav the mind to feel emotions that went on then. When u dont okay
    Keep ur opinions to urself sheesh u dont know anything
    Go grab urself a beer and wall back when u have matured enough too.be an adult


  340. Arguing that African slavery was more genteel than European chattel slavery is akin to saying it is better to be shot in the head with a 22 caliber rather than a 45 caliber Who in their right mind would choose either? Furthermore how does it absolve any people who participated in or profited from these crimes against humanity?


  341. Doing work for someone to pay off a debt or being taken as a prisoner of war can’t possibly be as bad as being a piece of lifelong chattel and your children suffer the same fate.I’m not condoning “African slavery” (from my understanding,many languages in Africa do not have a word for slave) or even slavery in Europe,but it couldn’t possibly be as harsh as racialized lifelong chattel slavery on American plantations. I also am not sure if there were ever any “slaves” in Africa who picked cotton on plantations.Somebody tell me of some of them plantations in Africa?


  342. Most of you are very informational but has any one ever seen a movie by two Italians by the name of (goodbye uncle tom)???? if not i would suggest you do so!!!!!!! Just saying..


  343. and this might sound crazy but just like GINA said i shouldnt be held accountable for my ancestors actions right, which is what europeans have done alot, took our history like their werent more righteous men and women in africa. im pretty sure we didnt enslave europeans but for some reason more of them are racist than ones who arent but no one should held accountable right!? WRONG!! as long as more of them look at me as a black instead of human ill always look at them crazy. if i pull up to a light and a cauc is next to me i swear i lock my doors, ayy you stole once youll do it again…. not!!!! and one more thing does it really make since that if africans were in america before columbus why would we need to sell them villages of people, now i can see us with workers in africa (not slaves dont put that on us) who im pretty sure were more free than we are today..


  344. @Ben

    Thanks for the film suggestion. I read some detailed reviews, and it appears to be too much for me to watch (and I get a sense it inaccurately portrays the Black Panthers). But I do hope European-Americans choose to watch it, b/c I know how uneasy it will be for them…

    “if i pull up to a light and a cauc is next to me i swear i lock my doors, ayy you stole once youll do it again…. ”

    ‘But, that was so long ago!’ is another one of their common retorts.

    “does it really make since that if africans were in america before columbus why would we need to sell them villages of people”

    Historically speaking, the first Europeans to enslave West Africans did so by kidnapping children. Many years later, Europeans crippled Africa by cutting off its trade routes, and so Africans were forced to trade directly with the Europeans who, of course, wanted more slaves…


  345. This was written by a black man who has a thing against whites. Search a different page about slavery and you will find information from a white man who is racist against black people. You will never get the actual 100% truth


  346. Abagond tells it closer to the 100% truth than most other people


  347. The dealer is worse than the user, so whoever was selling was also captured and killed. I think you need to face up to it. By the way look for the origin of the the word slave ” slavik”


  348. You’re forgetting that Afrikan Kingdoms such as Ashanti, about half the population was already slaves. Estimated from 1/3 to 1/2. They sold their own citizens that were already slaves to Europeans and actually sent complaints that the UK stopped buying slaves.


  349. This is the most Ignorant and hypocritical thing I’ve ever read. That is all…


  350. That’s a far cry from the greedy demand for plantation products that led to the chattel treatment of blacks and led to the categorization of black people as inferior to whites which continued in the form of segregation,kkk,redlined housing areas,etc that continued after the system was abolished.


  351. who told you that ? black tells you how you look ,not who you are. 95 % of the slaves that were stolen from Africa are the “Children of Israel AKA Shemetic ” who were sold into slavery by the “Hamites aka the Africans “as if you already didn’t no.so before you start runnin your mouth make sure you what you are talking about.


  352. However people try to slice it,there is no seller without a buyer and there is no supply without a demand.If Africans gave other Africans away to whites,whites still had a demand and came all the way to Africa to pick up Africans because they were too lazy to pick their own cotton.


  353. @SlavicPride

    “about half the population was already slaves. Estimated from 1/3 to 1/2. They sold their own citizens that were already slaves to Europeans and actually sent complaints that the UK stopped buying slaves.”

    You’re incorrect to say “their own citizens,” as these were mainly Fante prisoners of war.

    The “complaints” to which you are referring occurred in 1807 when Britain stopped the slave trade (Slave Trade Act)…long after the British, Portuguese and Dutch cut off the African trade networks which made African nations poor and thus dependent on the growing slave trade.

    In simple terms, none of these African nations in the region were participating in any slave trade when the Portuguese first arrived in the 1500s. It is instead a consequence of many years of European involvement in that region.


  354. How sad and insufficient (because lacking truly valid economic analysis) these responses to Abagond all are, even the best of them.

    It seems that only Thaddeus took up any real attempt at addressing capitalism at all, and he’s totally wrong headed about it nevertheless. Abagond would have been better served if he had followed up his basically correct and insightful observations about the unprecedented SIZE, and SCOPE of the Corporate Transatlantic Slave Trade if he had written also about the enormous ORGANIZATION and GLOBAL TRANSFORMATION of world economics that resulted from it, namely, the murder of post-feudal mercantilism and the replacement of that fundamentally more humanist, liberatory, and progressive form of market economics with a comparatively evil and aggressive form that at its inception took undeterred greed as its forte rather than free market development. So far most of the responses are longer than Abagond’s original post, so to be fair to him, he didn’t post anything meant to be exhaustive.

    You are wrong-headed Thaddeus about several claims you press here. Just to take two of the most egregious, you are wrong first of all to say that Africans are being presented by Abagond as somehow ‘not as bad’ as Europeans. You set up a straw man with Abagond’s point for your own convenience with that distortion of his argument.

    He is precisely arguing, by the implication of his quite lucid argument, that Europeans are NOT ‘bad’; there IS no ‘bad’ or ‘good’ or ‘better African slavery’ or ‘worse European slavery’ in Abagond’s analysis. He (or she, I’m not certain) is doing an ECONOMIC and MATERIAL analysis not of ‘slavery’ (which you accurately point out is universal, and was African, Roman, Greek, Persian, Asian, and as far as we know, even Neanderthal), but of the Corporate Transatlantic Slave Trade, and it’s transformation of global human culture, a detrimental transformation, I myself would add, and one whose pernicious influence on human development has lasted for four hundred years. The invention of ‘race’ is only one of the results of this pernicious influence. You are wrong in your noodling reflections to the effect of racism being just another extension of demonized ‘otherness’ and thus concluding that the racism of the slave trade was coextensive with the ‘otherness’ of African cultures that practiced taking slaves. ‘African Otherness’ did not found the largest, longest, and most globally distorting force in human history—corporate capitalism, which is second in implication and scope only to WAR itself as a human activity that has dictated the flawed course of the human race and the human condition.

    Which leads to your second major fallacy: that capitalism (as you wrongly claim about the corporate slavery that was the Transatlantic Trade) was trans-cultural, or trans-human, emerging with some degree of simultaneity or perhaps of equivalency. This idea of The Trade and all its attendant ills (national-to-global expropriation as an industry, industrialized genocide, of the Taino, the Arawak, and the Caribe peoples of the New World, for example, and eventual global colonialism that contributed to Europe’s primitive accumulation) is patently false, and CANNOT in fact be true given the nature and origin of capitalism. For instance, prior to The Global Trade, human history offered up three ways one would become a slave: 1. Due to losing a war; 2. As the result of a debt, and 3. Fiat (the whim of some king, Pope, Duke, Chieftain, warlord, or Khan). As respondents here mention, every culture throughout time has practiced slavery. However, the difference that The Trade introduced was the mechanization, mass-quantification, and industrialization leading to globalized profit that provided primitive accumulation and world dominance not for Africans, or Arabs, (or even Europeans!), but for the companies that began by trading tea, evoleved into wretched traders of human flesh, and ended in the power to invade and oppress Africa, Asia, and India (while they retarded and distorted the development even of Europe!)

    Like many of the fallacy laden thinkers Abagond is aiming at, you are describing MERCANTILISM and MARKET ECONOMY when you talk of cultural equivalencies, but the subject is not market economy, it is corporate capitalism. Corporations were born as a result of the Transatlantic Trade, not the other way around. Early Capitalism as a true market theory of economics existed approximately fifty years after the end of market economics driven mercantilism before Early Capitalism too, was eviscerated by the hegemony of the charter corpus-company. Early capitalism was transformed into something that, ironically, strove against markets, against market development, exchange, diversity, competition, individual freedom, and against all the innovations we associate with FREE markets that had been characteristic of mercantilism’s own most profound impact on human development: the weakening of monarchy, the end of feudalism, the freeing of human innovation, and the empowerment of Europe’s most significant contribution to world culture, as incipiently expressed by the political innovation of Ancient Athenian democracy: individualism and human rights.
    You see, Thaddeus, what you totally miss is that you are shouting inside a much, much bigger box than you seem to know, which is why you fail to appreciate what Abagond’s greater, larger argument is: ‘Africans’ did not sell themselves into the TRIANGLE SLAVE TRADE and neither did Arabs sell them into it, since the slave trade was corporate, not cultural. Profits were corporate, not national (neither Africa, nor Europe had any true ‘national’ identity, and the early corporations strove to keep it that way and to keep both populations divided and underdeveloped for the sake of power, control, and profit). Simply put, it was not “Europe” or “Whites” that or who were responsible for The Trade, since the corporations born out of The Trade were not acting in the name of Europe, or Europeans, but in unison with Europeans’ enemies: The Catholic Church, the monarchs, and the landed, hereditary gentry, all of whom had been placed at RISK of EXTINCTION by actual capitalism-mercantilism and by the invention of Guttenberg’s western version of the Asian printing press and the advance of literacy following The Bubonic Plague and feudal barbarism.

    The Slave Trade was about economics, not ‘race.’ ‘Race’ is a myth anyway, as French philosopher Roland Barthes has argued. Race itself is a red herring, and was used as such BY the embryonic corporations, (Dutch East India and British East India companies among them—the same companies whose anti-market control, pseudo-military domination, and political totalitarianism via their monopolies and charter powers granted by monarchs, provoked the American colonists to rebel against England). That same despotism, supported by The Church, the kings, and the Old Dispensation of ruling classes, also led, with their support, to two hundred years of rape and expropriation of natural resources from Africa, India, and Asia–the crimes of colonialism. The primitive accumulation that these companies and the enabling ruling classes of the European nations achieved through slave labor on a global scale, is what provided the seed money for the eventual creation of a global European (as in corporate) supremacy—‘White’ supremacy, if you wish.

    Thaddeus, you have taken one step back from the midst of those whom Abagond accuses of fallacious thinking, but you are merely committing the exact same fallacies from a mere few steps remove—you are just as wrong as those Abagond (successfully) refutes. For one who promotes books, maybe you ought to read a few more of them. Reading is fundamental. Try “From Columbus to Castro” by Eric Williams for a start. Than try “The Influence of Oversea Expansion on England to 1700” by J.E. Gillespie. Try also, “How Europe Underdeveloped Africa, by Walter Rodney and follow that up with “How Capitalism Underdeveloped Black America,” by Dr. Manning Marable, for some economic understanding of why ‘race’ is not the force behind so-called ‘white’ supremacy— capitalism is. Race is merely a McGuffin.
    -Prof Ray Waller January 2013, Wayne State University, Detroit


  355. By the way, Thaddeus, the books you recommend do not address the discussion Abagond is having. Your recommendations, tediously, reiterate exactly what our host is trying to critique: the non sequitar of Americans using the ‘guilty child fallacy’ by pointing a finger at his sister and saying, “she hit me too!’. Even if the subject were African slavery, the books you recommend are either by biased scholars or by scholars whose Africana history expertise is limited. They definitely are limited in terms of economic theory.

    For instance, you have your foot firmly planted in your bottom just as awkwardly regarding your flippant attitude toward the holocaust. You see, given the SUBJECT of my above post (please don’t straw dog or misrepresent me, ok?), which is the transformative, industiralized, mechanized, and highly rationalized nature of mass expropriation that was the true hallmark of the brutality of The Slave Trade. I would argue that no, one cannot readily conflate the genocide against every other ethnic group with the genocide European Jews were subjected to. The holocaust, like the corporate slave trade, was a unprecedented example in the modern age, perhaps the first example, of iINDUSTRIALIZED killing on a mass scale that nearly wiped out a race of people, done by monsters (the Nazis) who carried it out in a highly quantified, rationalized, purely modernist manner, with as much ratiocination as they were lacking human empathy. The difference, you see, is not one of degree, but of IMPLICATION. After the holocaust, modernism was marked by a hollowing out of emotional and ethical affect that completely overturned the early hopes and faith of the first modern artists such as the Futurists, Surrealists, and DaDaists like Marcel Duchamp and Andre Breton. It is that significance some respondents hgere have tried to drive home to you, but you seem to be lacking insight where this consideration ois concerned.

    At any rate, mass murder is not a ranking contest in which one measures degrees of horror or liters of blood shed. Neither is history. History is not a board game or a zero sum game; it is instead a manifestation of our hopes, our fears, and our failures as a human race–all of us, including you, Brother.

    It would do for you to get much more Afrocentric reading under your belt, such as Manning Marable, and Harold Cruse, or if Anglo scholars are more to your liking, you absolutely must read Robin Blackburn’s book, “Slavery and the Rise of Capitalism.” You might want to refrain from derailing people until you have a bit more intellectual heft in the matter under discussion– more broadly based books to refer to in terms of global economics, and less rhetorical slight of hand. Blackburn’s book directly supports Abagond and directly addresses your fallacious reassertion of the ‘Africans had slavery too,’ guilty child fallacy. You see, it’s a fallacy not because it isn’t true (your sister his you too) but because it is quite simply a non sequitar, given Abagando’s point.

    Matt Wrack, in a lucid review of Blacburn’s book writes in the journal, SOCIALISM TODAY:

    “THE HORRORS OF the New World slave system cannot be expressed in figures alone but the shear scale of these is staggering. The slave population of the Americas reached 33,000 in 1700, nearly three million in 1800 and peaked at over six million in 1850. During this period a million and a half died during the passage to the New World, large numbers died beforehand and between a tenth and a fifth died within a year of landing.

    This huge and businesslike system remains one of the great tragedies of history. In The Making of New World Slavery, now available in paperback, Robin Blackburn suggests that it points us towards the “dark side of progress” (p5) in that the inhumanity of the system developed side by side with huge steps forward in knowledge and technique, such as the exploration of the Atlantic and the development of new navigational techniques. At the heart of the system lay a huge contradiction. The people who colonised the New World were largely those who rejected most strongly the old order in Europe. Yet just as unfree labour was dying out in Europe it began to develop on a massive new scale in the Americas. This contradiction was only resolved by the complete racialisation of New World slavery so that skin colour and slavery became inextricably linked.

    Apologists for the system argue that slavery had always existed. This may be true but history would become meaningless if reduced to such generalities. History must aim to uncover the historic specificity of social forms as well as their links with the past. The Atlantic slave system did indeed emerge from previous systems but in the process slavery was extended in scale and transformed in form.

    Blackburn traces the emergence of the slave trade from existing patterns of slavery in Africa. The story follows the Portuguese discoveries and the origins of the Atlantic slave trade through to the emergence of Brazilian sugar from 1600. However, it was the English colonial system which really developed and eventually dominated the Atlantic trade and the system of slave plantations. The profits of slavery were central to the primitive accumulation which paved the way for English industrialisation.”

    I suspect, Thaddeus, that the passage beginning, “Apologists for the system argue that slavery had always existed” is the one to which you might want to pay the greatest attention.

    Have fun reading.


  356. Okay how I see it that is what happened with our ancestors why are we still so hell bent on what happened with the slave trade, why are we held to what our ancestors did? why cant we just move on and treat everyone the way our ancestors should have treated people. So that being said everyones ancestors made mistakes, we should just learn from them and be wiser then they were.


  357. Some people, mainly whites who dont even know any blacks are suffering from white guilt because of the centuries of racism.Therre making up things like “blacks are still mad over slavery” and they are trying to pick and choose facts and reinterpret history that happened in the very beggining to absolve what happened over the centuries after the fact.It’s them that can’t get over it and move on,not blacks.


  358. In a effort of shutting Tad up, I’ll write this much from a UNITED KINGDOM ARTICLE:

    “Slavery existed in Africa, but it was not the same type of slavery that the Europeans introduced. The European form was called chattel slavery. A chattel slave is a piece of property, with no rights. Slavery within Africa was different. A slave might be enslaved in order to pay off a debt or pay for a crime. Slaves in Africa lost the protection of their family and their place in society through enslavement. But eventually they or their children might become part of their master’s family and become free. This was unlike chattel slavery, in which enslaved Africans were slaves for life, as were their children and grandchildren.
    The treatment of slaves in Africa varied widely. Ottobah Cuguano, a former slave, remembered slaves as being ‘well fed … and treated well’. Olaudah Equiano, another former slave who wrote an account of his life, noted that slaves might even own slaves themselves. In larger states some slaves worked in government administration, and might become an important state or royal official with wide ranging powers. Other slaves in Africa might work within their master’s household as domestic servants or as agricultural labourers. Others were sent to work in the gold mines of West Africa. Pictured here are two weights in the shape of a soldier and captive. They were used to weigh gold dust, which was itself used as a type of money. Mining for gold was hard and dangerous work, and many died.
    Africans usually enslaved ‘other’ people, not their own particular ethnic, or cultural, group. Slaves were taken as prisoners of war, or enslaved in payment for debt or as punishment for crime. This enslavement was usually on a small scale. It was enough to supply the demand for slaves within Africa, but not enough to supply the demand from outside. As the demand from outsiders such as Arabs and Europeans grew, warfare and raids to get slaves and the kidnapping of individuals increased. Europeans wanted to buy enslaved Africans to work on the land they owned on the Caribbean islands and in America. They chose Africans for a number of reasons, one being because they were used to farming. Pictured here is a 20th century hoe, a tool used to work the soil. It is from the Igbo people of Nigeria, West Africa.”

    SOURCE: http://discoveringbristol.org.uk/slavery/people-involved/enslaved-people/enslaved-africans/africa-slavery/

    Then I will read some things the white devil has done:

    “In 1787 an enslaved man in Maryland raped a free black woman. The story comes to us from the female victim in the incident, Elizabeth Amwood. One white man, William Holland, had her “Pull up her Close and Lie Down he then Called a Negrow Man Slave” “and ordered him to pull Down his Britches and gitt upon the said Amwood and to bee grate with her.” A fourth individual in this horrific scene, a white man named John Pettigrew, operating with Holland, pointed a pistol at the unnamed enslaved man and Elizabeth Amwood. All the while, Holland taunted them both, asking if it “was in” and “if it was sweet.” Afterward, William “went up into the Company and Called for Water to wash his hand, saying he had bin putting a Mare to a horse.””

    http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/journal_of_the_history_of_sexuality/summary/v020/20.3.foster.html

    “The treatment of slaves in the United States varied by time and place, but was generally brutal and degrading. Whipping, execution and sexual abuse including rape were common.

    Slaves were usually prevented from becoming literate, in order to hinder aspirations for escape or rebellion. In response to slave rebellions such as that led by Nat Turner in 1831, some states prohibited slaves from holding religious gatherings for fear that such meetings could facilitate communication and lead to rebellion.

    Medical care to slaves was usually provided by other slaves or by slaveholders’ family members. Some slaves possessed medical skills, such as knowledge of African folk remedies and midwifery.[1]

    Slaves were punished by whipping, shackling, hanging, beating, burning, mutilation, branding and/or imprisonment. Punishment was most often meted out in response to disobedience or perceived infractions, but slaves were also sometimes abused to assert the dominance of their master or overseer.

    The mistreatment of slaves frequently included rape and the sexual abuse of women. Many slaves were killed as a result of resisting sexual attacks. Others sustained psychological and physical trauma. The sexual abuse of slaves was partially rooted in the patriarchal nature of contemporary Southern culture and its view of women of any race as property.[citation needed] After 1662, when Virginia adopted the legal doctrine partus sequitur ventrem, sexual relations between white men and black women were regulated by classifying children of slave mothers as slaves regardless of their father’s race or status. After a few generations, numerous slaves were mixed-race (mulatto) offspring of such unions, although white Southern society abhorred sexual relations between white women and black men as damaging to racial purity.”

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treatment_of_slaves_in_the_United_States

    If you are familiar to the gladiator games, the treatment of the N/As, indigenous people and animals of every cotenent on earth, you see white have history of enslaving, torturing and terrorizing everything that breaths. Even so-called ‘helpful’ inventions made by the white possions the air, like cars, jets and others. Estincts and mutates animal life and ruins their hibitate. The indigenous did not treat their home in the manor of whites, nor the members of their tribe and family as the white Nazis did to their fellow German Jews.

    Honestly I just think you all are parisites


  359. @ B-girl: The information you share is enlightening to the unread (it’s a common history but so many people don’t read that it is unfortunately necessary to keep repeating these colloquia). HOWEVER, in catering to petty myths about ‘race’ your effort is flawed and you do a disservice to your own erudition, damaging the real cause of spreading knowledge about the corporate slave trade. The real cause all of us should serve is to talk of New World slavery in the form of The Corporate Triangle Slave Trade, the form (chattel slavery) this blog focuses on. It is frankly contradictory for you to speak of the underlying historical aberration of chattel slavery and yet not talk about the true REASON for it–which was capitalism, not ‘race’, a mythologically fetishized ideology invented by the organizers of the slave trade in order to exploit an arbitrary environmental adaptation in order to justify mass kidnapping, theft, and inter-generational involuntary servitude on an unprecedented level. ‘Race’ did not exist as a coherent, ideologically sound reality prior to The Trade itself.

    ‘White’ Europeans were never any more of less brutal AS A PEOPLE than anybody else in history, and in some instances, many examples of which can be found in the history of ancient Rome, or of the Aztec-Mayan civilization, or the history of the Zulu nation, some individual Europeans practicing the atrocities of The Trade were less brutal, than individuals in Africa, Asia, or Pre Columbian America, for whatever that’s worth, which isn’t much. My point is, on the issue of falsely valorizing African slavery I whole heartedly agree with Thaddeus. African slavery was not somehow more ‘enlightened’ than European slavery in some sense that implies greater humanity in Africans and lesser humanity in ‘White’ Europeans. If African slavery was less dehumanizing as a practice than European New World slavery the difference is not one of ‘race’ nor of degree, but of the nature of chattel slavery, and that nature arises from treating people as capital, not from European ‘whiteness’ (of course, not all Europeans were or are ‘White’–Anglo).

    The ultimate irony in your catering to the racial myth is in that ‘race’ is in fact one of the EFFECTS of the corporate slave trade, not a CAUSE: race was invented by slave trading corporations such as British East India Co. (BEIC) and Dutch East India Co. (DEIC) with the cooperation of The Catholic Church, mercantile associations, and temporal governments simply to justify the massive displacement of populations, disruption of maritime routines, distortion of ordinary patterns of travel, destruction of local and micro economies, overturning of guild and merchant unions in Europe, imposition of usurious forms of banking that oppressed ordinary European citizens, and religious distortions as well as irrational actions indulged in by the elites of The Triangle Trade. To let your argument degenerate into the ugly lie of ‘White Devil’ dogma is to not only lose the logic and the intellectual integrity of your analysis, but is also to reinforce the very same corporate racist propaganda you should be deconstructing–you are reifying the project of the slave trade by indulging in the dogma invented by the slave trade.

    Vituperation based merely upon race against ‘Whites’ involved in The Trade and the descendants of those ‘Whites’ is in fact irresponsible, making your analysis self-defeating. That’s not to mention how the true history of it all mitigates totally against such racial essentialism and reductionism: Europe was and is a continent, not a country, and that continent then as now was an absolute diversity of nations, states, kingdoms, localities, religions, tribes, ethnicities, and histories as complex and as ideologically diverse as was and is the continent of Afrika Herself. Not all Europeans profited from The Trade, not all had a say in its invention, nature, or progress, and in fact the majority actually suffered due to The Trade since The Trade enabled charter companies to grow into early corporations, and enabled corporate destruction of free markets, barter-economies, and cottage industry that had characterized early mercantilism (mercantilism had provoked the rise of a European middle class that had gradually moved toward overturning monarchy and serfdom only to give way to corporate capitalism, which gradually re-imposed a (new) form of industrialized serfdom that colonized large parts of the European population—Scotland, Wales, Ireland, North Spain, and Southern Italy among them).

    Even here in the Americas it would be a stretch to claim that ‘Whites’ as a ‘race’ benefitted AS A RACE from the peculiar institution; that’s just as false as the foolish notion that Jews AS A PEOPLE benefitted from The Trade or somehow stood behind it, rather than the truth that individual Jewish people, acting as agents of CAPITALIST interests, profited in the context of class domination. The former is anti-Semitic (Ashkenazi or Sephardic, Ethiopian, it little matters which you would invoke, the point is that some arguments amount to bigotry more than logic) and the latter is economic analysis.

    The primitive accumulation provided to Europe and to America by chattel slavery benefitted, indeed gave wings to the genocide and to the colonizing and profit exploiting projects of America’s class elites, both the Southern planter class Jefferson Davis represented and the northern industrial robber barons Abraham Lincoln represented—and both power blocs exploited Black labor; but both also actively ‘enslaved’ Anglo working classes, creating both a rural and an urban Anglo serfdom (whether ‘overseers’, slave catchers, slave ‘seasoners’,sharecroppers, subsistence farmers, urban menials, street workers, city vagrants, factory workers, manual laborers, or whatever and etc.)

    But, never mind the overwhelming, global and New World economics you are ignoring in your analysis, because we could go on ad infinitum with examples of that.

    Instead, perhaps it is sufficient to note that the overwhelmingly fallacious failure of your vituperative denunciation is ultimately a self-indulgence that always yields a fallacy when African Americans seek to use ‘white devil’ ideology as abasis to explain The Corporate Slave Trade. The emphasis of your vituperation is a focus on effect rather than on cause; namely, on the myth of ‘race’:

    “If you are familiar to the gladiator[ial] games, the treatment of the N/As, indigenous people and animals of every cotenent [sic] on earth, you see white[s] have[a] history of enslaving, torturing and terrorizing everything that breathes”

    The culprit in every example you name (including your comments about non-humane uses of technology, destruction of global habitats, and the rise of Nazism) is not race but class structure under the organization of capitalism, and over-more, because your analysis ignores class altogether it conveniently also ignores the universality of guilt over global capital and American imperialism that accrues to us all, as we are, Americans all, implicated in the industrial and postindustrial capitalist exploitation of the Earth. African Americans in greater and greater numbers have participated in global corporate ideology, values, exploitation, theft of the labor and fruits of Africa, Asia, India, and Latin America, and have participated in genocidal, illegal, and inhumane wars against the poor and the powerless of the Earth from the period after Emancipation and our participating in wars against Native American nations, to our participation in imperialist wars in Korea to Vietnam, to Nicaragua, to Grenada, to Afghanistan, to Iraq.

    African Americans have sought and still seek American identity in its most negative capitalist form—consumerism and materialism; we revel in American ‘success’, and idolize African American political criminals guilty of crimes against humanity (Colin Powell, Condoleeza Rice), corrupt politicians (Kwami Kilpatrick, Marion Barry) mediocre and homophobic, misogynist, and misanthropic celebrities and freebooters (Jay Z, Steve Harvey, Creflo Dollar, Beyonce Knowells) for little more reason than because they are ‘rich’ and ‘famous’ examples of the triumph of the same capitalism that enslaved us and brought us forcefully to these shores in the first place.

    The hypocrisy comes from assuming that because we fetishize ‘race’ we therefore are free to throw stones as Anglos as if the racial fantasy we hold tight to were not made of brittle, breakable glass.


  360. I have spent about the last thirty minutes reading a majority of these post. I have to say I think Thad is right on! Here is the simple question you have to ask your selves. First off we can all surely now agree that there is no way in hell to actually know whether african slavery was better/worse that american or european slavery. If you all cant at least agree with that then it is hopeless arguement. So lets say everyone on here despite there opinions can agree with the statement all slavery was equal in terms of cruelty back then and there is no way of knowing otherwise. So if blacks were inslaved by americans, europeans, chineses, arabs, and even yes even other blacks why is it that that out of every race white americans continue to catch most of the shit for it. If african americans want to stll hold a grudge how come they do not hold a grudge against every other race who enslaved them even there own just as much as they do white americans? How come blacks in america are not just as mad at other blacks in america? Say you have two black men, John and steve. Johns ancestors in africa owned slaves, the slaves that they owned just so happened to be steves ancesotrs. Do you think that John would deem steve as a rascists just as much as a white american? Of course not. How is this even remotely fair when both parties were wrong in owning slaves? If there is anyone who can tell me this intelligently I would love to hear your opinion. Why is it not just as equally bad for balcks to have owned slaves as whites?


  361. I haven’t heard any blacks blame whites for anything,that must be your white guilty conscience. American racial plantation chattel slavery caused a big problem with American whites,slaveowners and non slave owners,viewing blacks as “inferior” to them.That led to white lawmakers,slaveowners and non slaveowners,coming up with segregation,other whites whether slaveowners or not formed ku klux klan organizations,and other whites discriminated against blacks in housing which led to blacks being forced into redlined housing areas whereas whites got to live in the suburbs.American racial plantation chattel slavery was not just about slavery.


  362. @RJ You must live under a rock then black people play the race card all the time, and use slavery frequently. Also you mentioned the klu klux klan, so where is your mention of the black panthers? My question was still not answered though. Can anyone at all on this post please give me the answer to my question? Why is it deemed worse for white americans to have owned slaves, than black africans? And if you say it is not, they are both equally bad, then it is time for africans americans to shut the hell up about it and move on with there lives. If you feel that there is still anger to be had, then you must be angry about every single race on the face of the4 earth that ever enslaved your ancestors, and that includes people of your own color!


  363. @ Rebels11 You must have a rock for a head.If you’ve read my post I told you why American racial plantation chattel slavery is one of the if not the most infamous examples of slavery in human history.It was far and away different from slavery that went on before in Africa,Europe,and Asia,in that is was based on pure greed and exploitation which then led to ideas of race because of the stereotypes formed about blacks when white slavers insisted on blacks being best for plantation labor,whereas forms of slavery in Africa,Europe,and Asia was either two countries getting in to a war and the winners taking the losing survivors in and absorbing them,or one country attacking another in an effort of expansion and conquering them ,like in Rome,or someone in their own society owing someone else a debt and unable to pay,having to work it off or someone in their own society being convicted of a crime and sentenced to community service,which is still in the United States today.


  364. As for the Black Panthers /Ku Klux Klan groups,again that’s two different things.The Black Panthers were formed to help blacks uplift themselves in their redlined blockbusted areas due to housing discrimination (which is a legacy of the racism that many whites,slaveowners and non slaveowners alike,formed about the supposed “inferiority” of blacks due to the stereotype of blacks as slaves when white plantation owners settled on blacks because they felt that blacks were better suited for plantation labor).The Black Panthers were even helped by some whites.The Ku Klux Klan was formed by whites who took it upon themselves to try to keep blacks in a position of inferiority to whites when slavery was abolished and they used imtimidation and violence to try to meet this aim.


  365. on Wed 20 Feb 2013 at 19:07:34 person that must know

    hey so then when did the africans come to american

    @somebody who knows


  366. on Wed 20 Feb 2013 at 19:32:49 person that must know

    or is this just a big debate so no question will be answered

    about who is just right or wrong

    or is this just info from the internet or a book you study

    about geological things in the past

    or is this just a place to chat with people

    about your own opinions about this story

    but then i need this info

    for maybe the biggest question know to man kind

    that not alot know how to answer

    you have been givin but not recievin but never livin in the givin understanding so why are these people are not givin the answer im supposed to be recivin by the time i take my test on geolgical solution of the membrain but never understand the true meaning of answering this text givin so thx for helpin


  367. on Sun 21 Apr 2013 at 06:12:50 Jonathan Wilde

    You cry baby son of a bitch. I guess in turn your purpose is to show that whites are terrible people who should be on there hands and knees apologizing for what there great great great great grandfather’s did. I have always thought of everyone as equal but if I have to listen to anymore bullshit about how blacks were made to be kings and queens I think I will throwup all over my FILA kicks. If your father killed mine should you be held responsible? Dumb Ass! What the hell is your point anyways? Its people like you that will spark another civil war. Except this time whites will be fighting for themselves and not for your freedom. You have blocked out every supposed excuse a white person could have for slavery so how about blocking out every excuse your people could have for not being successful. I must ask god for forgiveness on this one because I simply can’t tolerate people such as yourself. I have an idea you be black I will be white and we will all shut the hell up about it. You are no more entitled to anything than I am yet my generation of whites wait in line so your people can get what’s owed to them. Bullshit!


  368. on Sun 21 Apr 2013 at 06:26:54 Jonathan Wilde

    I want to add the comment about your people and success is not directed at all African Americans just the ones who use it as a crutch. The fact is in this current times blacks have as many if not more opportunities than whites. You got what you wanted short of extermination so shut the hell up already. You must like it here or you would have jumped on the first flight home to your old country were the only question is short sleeve or long sleeve. See blood diamond. So stop your damn crying. Those who sinned will answer to the lord above. Now live your life and enjoy the great things it has to offer. You were talking about what we find acceptable from our kids and I have one for you. I am always telling my son to drop it when he won’t stop running that mouth. You sir should heave that advice. Drop it! Love to here your response and I mean that not in a smartass way.


  369. on Sun 21 Apr 2013 at 06:39:36 Jonathan Wilde

    Also seen your little picture on instant brown brightening cream. Funny isn’t it? Riddle me this how many black people have you seen born with straight blond hair and blue eyes? Yet I see so many of them these days and think nothing of it. Smart as you seem it behooves us all to continue to seek education. You will see what you wanna see and ignore the facts the first fault of a pure racist. God bless you my friend.


  370. WTF ,Wilde, how about just getting black people to equal conditions that whites have had since 1776 ? I mean, in my lifetime, as a white person, Ive seen Jim Crow laws and the fight to eliminate them, anti micegenation laws, white flight and ghettos in northern cities created by realters coluding with government officials, police brutality directed at minorities, discriminitory hiring practices…

    You are god dam real , we need laws on the books to get racist whites to give up their hoarded power, because they wouldnt give it up even when they are a cold dead corpse….and that is weak thinking on racist whites part…racist whites are holding the country back…they are the weak link in the chain in the USA….


  371. B. R.
    Racist (i.e. non-Jewish, non-Muslim) whites may be deserving of everything that is coming to them, but the tasty lard is found with the Jews and Muslims, white or not white. As a practical matter, you can get their hoarded power by offering their women a place as harem concubine, and promising to raise their children as full Blacks.


  372. What racist shite this is. It makes me cry, literally, but then everything does. I can’t help but look around me and see that humans can be bastards. Regardless of the colour of their skin. Yes black people had slaves. Yes white people had slaves. Both are guilty. I’m not ignoring the fact that racism occurs but it occurs on both sides. There are places in the world it wouldn’t be safe for me to go to because I’m white. I’m not even fucking white; I’m peach. I have colour.

    What I’m sick of and can’t understand is that because the colour of my skin is white; I should be held accountable for what other people with the same coloured skin have done, even if they could of been a distant relative. It’s nothing to do with me. If I were to kill someone today that doesn’t make my distant grandchild a murderer.

    I don’t think I’m better than anyone else because I’m white. I’d help anyone I could because they are a person. I would dislike anyone who tries to hurt anyone. I hate referring to white people as us and black people or any other race as them. We are all people goddammit. I’m not proud to be white. I’m proud to be me. No matter what colour I was.


  373. Wilde addressed Abagond and mentioned “African Americans” (the ones who use it as a crutch , in his words)…I only was addressing that….”white Americans” can mean a lot of differant type of people

    Ive chimed in a lot about the “Arab slave trade” and its affect on black Africans south of the Sahara…at the same time , saying the Atlantic slave trade was even more brutal (both were extremly brutal)

    I dont understand everything you said …but Ive mentioned harems before

    In the end, the meaning of this thread is, white racists shouldnt use the argument “Africans sold their own slaves” to diminish in any way, the brutality of the Atlantic slave trade and how its legacy affects in a big way, all the countries in the Americas that brought slaves from Africa

    White Americans coming to grips with this is extremly important, and , I cant expect a black American to be able to just trust a white American who doesnt ackowledge that…..white Americans need to be strong about that, and face it, not be weak…the weak ones are holding us all hostage and preventing us from going forward


  374. @Jonathan Wilde:

    All liqored up and no place to go! Tell me, why do you white racists get drunk and come to blogs such as this to spew your delusionsÉ If nothing else, you are hilarious! Folks, this is what happens when you drink, smoke spliffs and ingest methamphetamines simultaneously! Do not imbibe and type! Try not to drink and type sir! Good day!


  375. @Emily:

    It makes me cry, literally, but then everything does.

    Maybe you should peruse this post:

    http://abagond.wordpress.com/2010/06/11/white-womens-tears/

    It’s right up your alley!


  376. Herneith: Apart from the fact I cry a lot (due to mental health issues/though in your eyes because I’m weak due to my race) I don’t understand how that possibly relates to me. Also that’s very offensive. I’m a person, not just a white woman. I’m also not American.

    None of those things in that article apply to me. Also this one especially,

    “White solidarity: whites are afraid to stand up against racism, particularly when they are with other whites. Also, they do not like it when you call other whites racists – they seem to take it personally for some reason.”

    I have had fights with people about their comments and have no longer associated with people due to the fact they have been disgusting racists. I have no time for people like that and I’m not some weak white woman who just crys to look innocent. I cry for the injustices in the world and have an inability to control my emotions.

    Also damn right I’m going to take it personally if my skin colour is white and I get lumped in with everyone else with the “same skin colour”. Saying all crying white woman are pathetic racists is just as bad as saying all black people are from the ghetto and commit crimes. They are just ridiculous stereotypes.

    I’ve never judged anyone because of their skin colour and now that very thing is happening to me.

    I don’t understand why some people are so obtuse.

    Most people in our generations, black and white have no idea what it is to be a slave or a slaver. Stop holding grudges for our ancestors mistakes.


  377. @Emily:

    Put it to music and play it on the violin. I could not care less as to how you feel. That song Cry me a River comes to mind. As for that article, it describes you and your colour-blind racist ilk to a tee. You must be Canadian! You read like one of those white Canadians.


  378. The institution of American race based plantation chattel slavery was terrible but contrary to what alot of white people believe,it was not,by itself,the only bad thing in American race relations. The perceptions that many whites,slaveowners and non slaveowners alike, formed about blacks as “inferior” that led to all of the segregation that happened after slavery ended still continues today.


  379. I’m not Canadian. Ok Herneith. Think what you will. I wasn’t asking you to care about my feelings. You seem to have taken a disliking to me because I’m a white woman and you call me the racist. It’s clear that nothing will change your mind. It’d be futile carrying on a discussion.


  380. Let’s act mature here.

    1. Regardless of what you want to pretend to think happened, here is what happen.
    Africa, ivory coast anyways, wasn’t split into countries we think of today, but rather a collection of tribes and petty kingdoms, similar to ancient germania and the steppes. Tribes and petty kingdoms go to war with one another for a multitude of reasons. Usually for the goal of land gain. When one tribe is victorious they usually enslave the defeated populace. Now the Spanish, whom recently lose their conquered peoples populace to deseases, come, originally already trading for ivory, and offer guns for ‘servants’. The victorious tribe accepts because 1. Guns were highly valued back then, when everyone else is using traditional warefare and ur now the guy with firearms, its changes the tide of any war dramatically. 2. Your foe is now unable to exact any revenge for u enslaving their tribe, killing their father, ect. (You eliminated your greatest interior threat) 3. Less mouths to feed, and more land for food, that is a glorious relief for any faction or civilization.
    The French did similar the same thing to the Cathars. The Romans to everyone they invaded, Egypt, Persia, Japan, China, Maya, I think the Inca.

    2. Now let’s look at the Spanish, the only other power, that actively used slaves, at the time was the Ottoman Empire. The Spanish basically copied the ideas of slavery from the Ottomans, who built upon the Byzantines, who built upon earlier forms. It just got progressively worse as time went on, to the point of today’s child slavery in S America, and Japan’s treatement of war prisoners.

    BTW I’m a Celt, we were enslaved and our sister cultures were driven into extinction because of shit like this. (The continental celts were) so come at me racists.


  381. BTW, by petty kingdom I mean a kingdom that would eventually decline and cease to exist de facto. And become forgotten to common knowledge people. European Examples would be Courland, Burgundy, Gotland, and Thrace. Asian Equivelents would be Toga(? I think that was the name of it, it was eventually annexed by the Russian Empire) All the successive kingdoms in Siberia after the Yaun Dynasty, Kyoto, the Amniese kingdoms.


  382. Also it wasn’t just one tribe/kingdom that took bribes from whites to get guns so everyone else would not have guns, most kingdoms that did also had enemy kingdoms nearby that also traded with whites that the whites also supplied guns to. Ashantes and Fantes, Bakongos and Loangs,Foulta Jallons and Dyallas,Dahomeyans and Oyos,etc. It is also ignored or unknown by most people that white slave traders also had a slave trade in colonial America with Native Americans that was very similar to the transatlantic slave trade. I believe white traders even also had a slave trade with Indonesia!


  383. The reason why people talk about this is becuase of internalized guilt conservative whites (whites that don’t like blacks) have about the centuries of white supremacy in America. By them selecting facts and overemphasizing,that’s their way of trying to absolve guilt. If conservative whites had more problems with Native Americans like blacks,they would be overhyping things like Native Americans “selling ther own people to whites” and they would overhype that when white soldiers got into wars with various Native American tribes aka nations,they had help from the tribes enemies. Because some whites had help from enemy tribes,they’d say, “Native Americans sold Native American land to whites”. This has a lot less to do with “telling the truth about history” and a whole lot more to do with absolving guilt .


  384. It wasn’t one kingdom, but many, some willing to go with extremes to rid yourself of your rivals. It happened in post roman Europe, it happened in papau new guinea, patagonia, indochina, mongolia, and western Africa was no different. With the collapse of songhai you have many people trying to gain power. And willing to take imense extremes. Selling your captured rivals to traders from a land afar is a great opertunity to make sure you will never see them again. And I think you are being a bit abusive with the term white, white applies to all euros, from the celts and basque, to the slavs, germanics, latins, balkans, ect. The ‘whites’ that were responsible for slave trade, were the germanics, the Anglos(English, Saxon, Norman, the germanic cultures present in Britannia), Frankish(French and sister cultures), Visigothic & Iberian (Northern Spain and Portugal), and Lombardic(Italian and sister cultures), and Germans(German, swiss, Rhine, ect.). All though I’m not dennying there may have been some bribes by very persistant merchants, I’m very certain that, to obtain gunpower, many local leaders were willing to trade captives and enemy villages for that advantage. Greed makes us do crazy things.much of the trade that happened was in wlling agreement of both parties. Meaning the event was of two greedy people willing to do the trade. The merchants needed people to build sugar plantations, and the local warlords needed guns for their armies. And so a trade was made. You can sugar coat it all you want, but by the end of the day the trade was made by individuals willing to go that far as to get what they want. I can’t see why any racist germanics would feel any guilt, if they truly hate blacks, then they wouldn’t try to cover any guilt. Because in order for them to hate, they won’t give a f**k enough to cover themselves they way you theorize they do. It’s just illogical. Contradicting if you will. And also, at the same time, ironic, for while you are generalizing these ‘whites’ as hating ‘blacks’, so at the same time, you yourself, are being rather racist.


  385. And also the enslavement of the native populations by the Spanish, is partly why Europeans needed slaves, the new diseases to the Americas all but wiped out the native populace. If those diseases never wiped out the populace, then the transatlantic slave trade either wouldn’t of happened or just be a rare thing.


  386. “That part of their past makes White Americans uncomfortable. But instead of facing up to it, they have built up defences against it”
    You go on to say that all whites think they are supreme and don’t want to take blame of the acts they committed.

    Many Americans, Caucasian or otherwise, came to American after slavery was abolished. So what do they face up to? I’m sure you could trace back to some ancestor who owned slaves somewhere but you could do that with anyone of any race. The fact is that those families didn’t participate in the cruelty of American slavery.

    These white americans are trying to defend themselves with these arguments (yes, some are weak arguments) because they are being blamed or held responsible, by some opinions, for the cruelty of someone else’s ancestor. Consider a group of African Americans who are in a gang whose crimes count murder and rape. Should all black people be responsible for their crimes. What about the sons and daughters of those gang members? I’m sure this isn’t hard to imaging since such people exist who do these crimes and indeed stereotyping black people as thugs exists as well. So why should we stereotype all white people as slave owners or the sons and daughters of slave owners?

    With that said, one could still argue that much of “white” fortune has come from “black” misfortune (misfortune being too light a word). Therefore some balance could still be strived for, however, blatantly blaming all white people for sins of someone else’s father is wrong in my opinion.


  387. Get real man. Nobody is blaming anyone for slavery today or any other bad thing. However,even though many whites came to America after slavery was abolished,and even though most whites didn’t own plantations,it can be said that the plantation economy did help America become prosperous to attract even more whites to come. Also there were a lot of whites that didn’t have any problems with the “whites only” segregation that came as a result of whites thinking they were superior to blacks.


  388. @ John Gray

    I never said “all whites”. You are saying that. I do not talk like that.

    “My ancestors never owned slaves” is another argument like this one:

    http://abagond.wordpress.com/2010/02/24/my-family-never-owned-slaves/

    What these and other arguments about slavery have in common (“Get over it”, “Go back to Africa”, etc) is moral blindness, which point to a sense of guilt:

    http://abagond.wordpress.com/2013/06/04/moral-blindness/

    Someone who does not feel guilty does not make these half-assed excuses for it. In fact, they would never dream of defending it. Why in the world would they?

    Whites feel guilty about slavery because they know deep down that they benefit from it. They know that the present-day inequality between blacks and whites is rooted in slavery. Their guilty conscience is such that THEY are the ones who bring up slavery most of the time, not blacks.


  389. Suggest you read the info from the below website – based on written history gleaned from old documents from Harvard and many other universities.

    http://www.scaruffi.com/politics/slavetra.html


  390. The link that Mike provided is a quite biased account of history. For one think it purports that the Slave trade within Africa was worse than what Europeans did. Whether it was or not, it can in no way excuse the Atlantic Slave Trave (which was a European activity). And whether it flourished within Africa or not does not excuse what Europeans did.

    Some other things I noticed on this site:

    – US Exceptionalism (WOW, this site is soaked in it)
    – plays down US imperialism (certainly not how non-Americans see the USA)
    – Focuses on Technology (reminds of how the Smithsonian changed the name of the Museum of History and Technology to the Museum of American History) which attempts to put the USA on the top of the wave of history
    – ignores racism as one of USA’s current problems (yet points out that homosexuality is still a current problem). I see racism as the elephant in the room that no one talks about, and this site owner doesn’t talk about it either.
    – skips over the Native American genocide

    It is a site that attempts to make Americans, particularly white Americans, proud and nationalistic about their country. Looking at it, I feel something amiss just like when I was reading my history textbook in High School.


  391. on Tue 2 Jul 2013 at 07:03:36 Mike Williams

    Move o! Its over


  392. What???? Are we still spinning around the sprocket of these lame myths? I thought I and others had settled this months ago? Are Americans of a scant consciousness such that it requires constant repeating to help them remember anything? Here goes again:

    How sad and insufficient (because lacking truly valid economic analysis) these responses to Abagond all are, even the best of them.
    It seems that only Thaddeus took up any real attempt at addressing capitalism at all, and he’s totally wrong headed about it nevertheless. Abagond would have been better served if he had followed up his basically correct and insightful observations about the unprecedented SIZE, and SCOPE of the Corporate Transatlantic Slave Trade if he had written also about the enormous ORGANIZATION and GLOBAL TRANSFORMATION of world economics that resulted from it, namely, the murder of post-feudal mercantilism and the replacement of that fundamentally more humanist, liberatory, and progressive form of market economics with a comparatively evil and aggressive form that at its inception took undeterred greed as its forte rather than free market development. So far most of the responses are longer than Abagond’s original post, so to be fair to him, he didn’t post anything meant to be exhaustive.

    You are wrong-headed Thaddeus about several claims you press here. Just to take two of the most egregious, you are wrong first of all to say that Africans are being presented by Abagond as somehow ‘not as bad’ as Europeans. You set up a straw man with Abagond’s point for your own convenience with that distortion of his argument.

    He is precisely arguing, by the implication of his quite lucid argument, that Europeans are NOT ‘bad’; there IS no ‘bad’ or ‘good’ or ‘better African slavery’ or ‘worse European slavery’ in Abagond’s analysis. He (or she, I’m not certain) is doing an ECONOMIC and MATERIAL analysis not of ‘slavery’ (which you accurately point out is universal, and was African, Roman, Greek, Persian, Asian, and as far as we know, even Neanderthal), but of the Corporate Transatlantic Slave Trade, and it’s transformation of global human culture, a detrimental transformation, I myself would add, and one whose pernicious influence on human development has lasted for four hundred years. The invention of ‘race’ is only one of the results of this pernicious influence. You are wrong in your noodling reflections to the effect of racism being just another extension of demonized ‘otherness’ and thus concluding that the racism of the slave trade was coextensive with the ‘otherness’ of African cultures that practiced taking slaves. ‘African Otherness’ did not found the largest, longest, and most globally distorting force in human history—corporate capitalism, which is second in implication and scope only to WAR itself as a human activity that has dictated the flawed course of the human race and the human condition.

    Which leads to your second major fallacy: that capitalism (as you wrongly claim about the corporate slavery that was the Transatlantic Trade) was trans-cultural, or trans-human, emerging with some degree of simultaneity or perhaps of equivalency. This idea of The Trade and all its attendant ills (national-to-global expropriation as an industry, industrialized genocide, of the Taino, the Arawak, and the Caribe peoples of the New World, for example, and eventual global colonialism that contributed to Europe’s primitive accumulation) is patently false, and CANNOT in fact be true given the nature and origin of capitalism. For instance, prior to The Global Trade, human history offered up three ways one would become a slave:

    1. Due to losing a war;
    2. As the result of a debt, and
    3. Fiat (the whim of some king, Pope, Duke, Chieftain, warlord, or Khan). As respondents here mention, every culture throughout time has practiced slavery.

    However, the difference that The Trade introduced was the mechanization, mass-quantification, and industrialization leading to globalized profit that provided primitive accumulation and world dominance not for Africans, or Arabs, (or even Europeans!), but for the companies that began by trading tea, evolved into wretched traders of human flesh, and ended in the power to invade and oppress Africa, Asia, and India (while they retarded and distorted the development even of Europe!)

    Like many of the fallacy laden thinkers Abagond is aiming at, you are describing MERCANTILISM and MARKET ECONOMY when you talk of cultural equivalencies, but the subject is not market economy, it is corporate capitalism. Corporations were born as a result of the Transatlantic Trade, not the other way around. Early Capitalism as a true market theory of economics existed approximately fifty years after the end of market economics driven mercantilism before Early Capitalism too, was eviscerated by the hegemony of the charter corpus-company. Early capitalism was transformed into something that, ironically, strove against markets, against market development, exchange, diversity, competition, individual freedom, and against all the innovations we associate with FREE markets that had been characteristic of mercantilism’s own most profound impact on human development: the weakening of monarchy, the end of feudalism, the freeing of human innovation, and the empowerment of Europe’s most significant contribution to world culture, as incipiently expressed by the political innovation of Ancient Athenian democracy: individualism and human rights.
    You see, Thaddeus, what you totally miss is that you are shouting inside a much, much bigger box than you seem to know, which is why you fail to appreciate what Abagond’s greater, larger argument is: ‘Africans’ did not sell themselves into the TRIANGLE SLAVE TRADE and neither did Arabs sell them into it, since the slave trade was corporate, not cultural.

    Profits were corporate, not national (neither Africa, nor Europe had any true ‘national’ identity, and the early corporations strove to keep it that way and to keep both populations divided and underdeveloped for the sake of power, control, and profit). Simply put, it was not “Europe” or “Whites” that or who were responsible for The Trade, since the corporations born out of The Trade were not acting in the name of Europe, or Europeans, but in unison with Europeans’ enemies: The Catholic Church, the monarchs, and the landed, hereditary gentry, all of whom had been placed at RISK of EXTINCTION by actual capitalism-mercantilism and by the invention of Guttenberg’s western version of the Asian printing press and the advance of literacy following The Bubonic Plague and feudal barbarism.

    The Slave Trade was about economics, not ‘race.’ ‘Race’ is a myth anyway, as French philosopher Roland Barthes has argued. Race itself is a red herring, and was used as such BY the embryonic corporations, (Dutch East India and British East India companies among them—the same companies whose anti-market control, pseudo-military domination, and political totalitarianism via their monopolies and charter powers granted by monarchs, provoked the American colonists to rebel against England). That same despotism, supported by The Church, the kings, and the Old Dispensation of ruling classes, also led, with their support, to two hundred years of rape and expropriation of natural resources from Africa, India, and Asia–the crimes of colonialism.

    The primitive accumulation (see Marx’s writings if you don’t know what PA is–or read John Maynard Keynes for frack’s sake) that these companies and the enabling ruling classes of the European nations achieved through slave labor on a global scale, is what provided the seed money for the eventual creation of a global European (as in corporate) supremacy—‘White’ supremacy, if you wish.

    Thaddeus, you have taken one step back from the midst of those whom Abagond accuses of fallacious thinking, but you are merely committing the exact same fallacies from a mere few steps remove—you are just as wrong as those Abagond (successfully) refutes. For one who promotes books, maybe you ought to read a few more of them. Reading is fundamental. Try “From Columbus to Castro” by Eric Williams for a start. Than try “The Influence of Oversea Expansion on England to 1700” by J.E. Gillespie. Try also, “How Europe Underdeveloped Africa, by Walter Rodney and follow that up with “How Capitalism Underdeveloped Black America,” by Dr. Manning Marable, for some economic understanding of why ‘race’ is not the force behind so-called ‘white’ supremacy— capitalism is.

    Race is merely a McGuffin.

    -Prof Ray Waller January 2013, Wayne State University, Detroit


  393. You know regardless of who was doing it was wrong. What isn’t mentioned is all of the Europeans (Irish, Scottish Greeks Italians etc) had people that were sold as indentured servants (which is a form of slavery. The intent was to “pay off their debt” however they were never able to pay down that debt because the “wages” they earned didn’t cover the cost of the food and shelter they were charged for.) Similar to the way the Latinos were treated in the farming industry in California.

    I want to share some of my “racist” experiences as a white female coming to age in the 70s in America. I will make my overriding points at the end of my post.

    My grandmother emigrated here from Greece. She got work in a factory. She was taken in the bathroom and stripped down because they wanted to see if she was the “same” as them. My other grandparents had a cross burned on the lawn because we were “furiners”.

    I went to high school with the riot squad in the halls because of the Klan/militant black race “war”. The black girls had a list of all the white girls they didn’t like and were attacking them in the bathrooms and cutting off all their hair. I made the list because I was one of the few white girls that didn’t take crap off them or anyone else and wasn’t afraid of them. They found that out when six of them jumped me and I took out 3 of them before the other 3 ran. They never bothered me again and gave me a wide swath in the hallways.

    I lived in Ohio and drove from Cincinnati to Dayton on the back roads as we had done for years. I stopped at a McDonalds to get some food. The place was packed and I was the only white person there. The background noise started to grow louder and I heard someone say lets get that white bitch. All I wanted was a Big Mac and fries. The gentlemen in front of me, behind me and besides me all turned to me and said you aren’t safe here, you should leave. They escorted me to my car with 30 people yelling and screaming at me and throwing milkshakes and food at me. If they hadn’t done the “RIGHT” thing I would have probably ended up like Reginald Denny in the LA Riots.

    By the way, I am a full-blooded Greek whose Grandparents on both sides emigrated here from Greece in the late 1890s. We have traced our lineage back hundreds of years. WE DID NOT EVER OWN SLAVES. I am not a Greek American.. I am an American of Greek Heritage.I never called anyone a nigger, I have never been on the offensive side, only the defensive. I have had close black friends all of my life. One of my very best friends is a black male who comes from the Bronx. During the 70s black kids wore shirts that said “Judge me by the content of my character, not the color of my skin.” Martin Luther King. I believe that whether they will admit it or not, most Black people in America are inherently racist and judge white people by the color of their skin, not their character.

    My points:
    1. You can’t blame YOUR choices in life on the color of my skin.
    2. Racism is derived from ignorance and fear of the unknown.
    3. Racism is and will always be about the haves, who want to keep it and the have nots that want it. It is and has always been about money.
    4. Don’t stereotype me based on the color of my skin


  394. @ Renee

    You say, “Don’t stereotype me based on the color of my skin,” but I can’t figure out who is doing that? You just have a guilty conscious IMO.

    You also say “most Black people in America are inherently racist and judge white people by the color of their skin, not their character” but I can’t find any evidence to prove that. But there’s PLENTY of evidence that white people judge blacks by the color of their skin…

    You also missed/ignored Abagond’s comment about the “My ancestors never owned slaves” argument:

    http://abagond.wordpress.com/2010/02/24/my-family-never-owned-slaves/


  395. Hi there to every one, it’s genuinely a fastidious for me to pay a quick visit this web page, it contains important Information.


  396. on Fri 5 Jul 2013 at 03:33:56 Vincent Freeman

    I think the get over it defense is pretty valid. Your main point seems to be face up to it… well how?! Every white American knows about it, and has been made to feel ashamed about it. This all happened before any of us were born, and 99% of white Americans follow the rules to not offend African Americans. It’s just so tiring. I can probably trace my heritage back to Europe faster than most to Africa, and I was born here whether I wanted to be or not. I’m not going to make people call me a European American though. Why can’t we just all be Americans? It is horrible what happened, but I think most people would take their chances here as opposed to Africa right now… so WHAT DO YOU WANT? If you want the money they made from slavery, you’re going to have to talk to the white people in the south that weren’t ruined by the civil war and great depression. It feels like racism the other way around at this point. You can feel however you want, and we walk on egg shells because we are white. Africans can sell Africans because they were enemies and it would be hard to trace back, but my skin is white so I’m an easy to prove enemy of Africans. I don’t feel that I judge anyone based on their race, but I’m just so tired of this being perpetuated. Neither you nor I had anything to do with these issues; so why can’t we be truly equal Americans at this point? This question is up to African Americans at this point, because most white people I’m sure want equality so we can stop worrying about the rules and feeling guilty. This article admits that both of our ancestors sold slaves; so you can really make the argument that you would do anything different no matter what your color is. We are all Americans and our country has much larger problems. I’m sorry that white people in America had slaves, but that’s all I can do for you. This is me… never having been a racist… never will be a racist… but at the same time… this is me being done with this issue.


  397. So…we just ignore history in favor of PC. Great. White people are horrible and we are atrocious human beings. I am so glad that I forced the tribal leaders in Africa to sell their worst folks to global traders who in turn brought them to America. I am ashamed that the ones deemed unworthy for their tribes were sold to us. I am so glad the tribal leaders made their money off getting rid of the ones who didn’t provide. (if only we could do that again in America, not just the blacks). White privilege is a lie, racism still occurs; but this is not 1950, blacks need to get over it. I’m Jewish and I don’t send letters to Angela Merkel. If blacks think they had it bad, read world history as it pertains to the Jews.


  398. Oh yeah, Brandon, Africans forced whites to come to Africa and start a gun trade cycle among enemy tribes to get them to agree to provide them with what they wanted, at first gold and spices then kidnap victims. Africans forced whites to do the same things with other races like Native Americans and Asians. Africans forced white planters to phase out multi racial labor and only focus on blacks. Africans forced white planters to keep blacks as permanent chattel slaves. Africans forced white non planters to buy plantation products. Africans forced whites in Europe to come to America because of the opportunities and freedoms afforded whites based in part on the plantation system helping the economy.Africans forced whites to view blacks as inferior and to pass laws against blacks. Africans forced whites like your self to have stereotyped close minded views of blacks to make yourself feel superior. Africans forced whites to view blacks, a race they considered “inferior”, as competition for jobs. Africans forced whites to have segregation. Africans forced whites to flee their neighborhoods at the sight of one black person. Africans forced whites to redline black housing areas. Africans forced whites like your self to try to select and overemphasize your facts about what happened in the very beginning to try to absolve your racial views. Africans forced you to be a racist Brandon,you need to get over yourself.


  399. Do people really think that we got the cream of the crop of black people?
    On the contrary I think we go the slow ones(easily caught) the dumb ones
    the really bad criminal ones and only through selective breeding practices were we able to produce the big, strong and fast brutes that we have to deal with today. I think if our founding fathers knew how much trouble they were to become to our society they would have picked their own cotton.


  400. Rick Miller,

    So you’re saying if you did get the “cream of the crop”, life would’ve been a lot easier for you?


  401. @ Rick Miller

    You are just supposing. But it is a matter of historical fact that Britain opened its prisons and sent its criminals to America (and later Australia):

    https://abagond.wordpress.com/2013/07/05/cracker/


  402. Abagond,

    Telling real history to white people (assuming Rick is white cause he’s definitely whitewashed) is the same as mugging them. You rob them of their comfort zone. lol


  403. this is not all true. Africans didn’t sell their people into slavery. this is what the white men, said, taught and brainwash us with. some may have traded. and there might have been a few sell outs here and there.. but get it right and stop doing research out of white men books. it wasn’t on no large scale for them to lable as a business. they where thieves everywhere they went. they respect no one. they were barbarans okay. did the native amercan sold their people too. did the arawaks and etc. sell there people. hello.


  404. Isn’t it racist for black people to believe they wouldn’t have done the same thing if the roles had been reversed hundreds of years ago. Isn’t it racist to believe you are somehow morally better than white people and blaming a race instead of humanity for Slavery? Slavery is something that HUMANS did and it is not race specific. As long as Black people keep pulling the race/slavery card there will always be a divide between the races and you will be causing it.

    So here is the question. Do black people believe their race is morally superior to white people ? And if they don’t believe that why blame the slavery on a race instead of the zeitgeist of humanity at the time?


  405. @ origineelnl

    The trouble with white people like yourself is not that you were born bad but that your thinking is morally broken. For example, just because slavery is common in human history, that does not mean white people should be given a pass on it. That would be like telling your wife to disregard your unfaithfulness because many men cheat on their wives.


  406. and European slavery of Africans was the worst and most widespread in in modern history, sorry.


  407. Actually slavery is still going on today. There was a recent case of an Arab woman IN THE US who was arrested for keeping a Filipino maid in virtual slavery – no wages, confiscated her passport, beat her, etc. Thank God the girl was able to escape and clued the police in that there were 2 other girls being held. In the Arab world, there are still workers (maids, camel boys, etc.) from sub-Sahara Africa, the Phillipines, Pakistan, India, etc. There is also sex trafficking of girls, white, Mestizo, black, etc. Instead of focusing on historic slavery why not spend more energy fighting against modern day slavery? I’m not saying that what happened to black Americans who were enslaved isn’t absolutely awful – it was. But I’m more concerned about stuff I read about today, like the people shooting at blacks during Katrina (WTF??) and the kids held in slavery today.

    I am a Christian and I believe we are all children of God. That means I am angry if ANYONE of ANY RACE is enslaved, abused, treated unjustly. However, I only have a small amount of time and energy, relatively speaking. So I have to figure out the best way to use that – and I think it’s more constructive and productive to try to focus on the present, and making the world today better, than to look back at the past. That’s just MY perspective.

    I also don’t think whites are necessarily trying to make excuses (some might, but not all of them) when they point out that Arabs were slave traders, blacks held slaves, etc. All of it is true and it doesn’t excuse the European slave trade. HOWEVER, it IS true that white Americans died to the tune of 600,000 young men to end slavery in this country. None of that would have been necessary if people hadn’t stuck with the true intent of the founding fathers who said “all men are created equal”, not “all white men are created equal”. And, as a woman, I wish it had said “all people are created equal”.

    For myself, I’m of Asian descent, and my family immigrated to his county in the 1970s. So if there are reparations, etc., then it would be unfair for me to be subject to it. However, my ancestors WERE partially responsible for the horrible caste system in India in the sense that they lived under it and not until my grandfather under Gandhi did they fight to change it. In the same way, whites who accepted slavery without speaking out against it were responsible, even if they didn’t own slaves. But I still am against reparations. I don’t think that’s a productive way to deal with the situation.

    I think a better way is for all of us to continue to speak out logically, rationally and calmly any time we see injustice. I try myself to be color blind when I deal with people. Even though whites have discriminated against me, I try not to discriminate against them. I try to be a better example to them. And, also, while some whites have discriminated against me, most of the ones I know have not, as far as I can tell. Same with blacks. My Mom had a young black man try to snatch her purse – but that doesn’t mean all blacks or even all young black men are bad people. There is a young black man who works at the grocery store my Mom shops at and they chat every time she goes in. He’s respectful, smart and hard working. So it would be wrong to stigmatize him, and she doesn’t. Similarly, while I have known whites who are incredibly racist, I’ve also known far many more who were decent people.

    I do think blacks deal with the worst brunt of racism in this country and that’s just a fact. I think the solutions though are to focus on developing a strong community where fathers help raise their children and blacks support their churches and black-owned businesses, etc. I think the best “revenge” is to live well.

    BTW, I am not black and so I don’t know just how bad it is to be black. I know that. But I have experienced racism – I’ve had people make assumptions about me that were insulting because of my race and I’ve had people shout out at me “nigger” while I was in the deep South (twice). And that hurt. So I can’t imagine how that must hurt blacks. I think it is much harder for blacks to forgive, etc., because there is more to forgive. But as a Christian – I think that is the right thing to do. One of the kindest, most decent Christian ladies I knew as an old black lady who lived in a village in South Carolina, and she exemplified the love of Christ. She is my grandmother in Christ. It hurt me deeply that anyone could treat her with other than love and respect. But, she responded in a Christian manner. I think in the long run, that earns the respect of others. It’s the lesson of people like Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, etc. What do you think?


  408. BTW, one statistic I have seen – black slaves in the Muslim world would have died out if they weren’t “re-stocking” regularly from Africa. But black slaves in the Americas grew in numbers even after they stopped importing new ones. So an argument can be made that blacks were treated better here than in the Arab world. It might be because there were some white slave-owners who weren’t as inhumane, or some who were better “businessmen” and didn’t want to ruin their human capital, or some other reason. None of which changes the fact that slavery was immoral and there really is no defense for even the most “benign” form of slavery.


  409. Growing in numbers does not mean treated better. As “business owners” white slave-owners bred slaves like cattle, even adding their own children to the herd to expand their property.

    Draft animals are bred to perform tasks desired by their owners. It does not mean that they are treated better than those that are not bred (ie, “wild caught”).


  410. on Sat 27 Jul 2013 at 20:39:57 King of Trouble

    Yes, because no draft animal was ever misused. Then again why did the author of Black Stallion write her book. Wow, I think because of the harsh treatment of many owners. If I hear another draft animal quote to talk about slavery I might just explode. Plus what use does a farmer have for a draft animal that goes lame, or has mental problems, or the mired of other problems that human beings go through. Please think before you make such ignorant comments. Pretty, please, with cherry on top!


  411. on Sat 27 Jul 2013 at 22:28:25 King of Trouble

    Sorry edit: Black Beauty.


  412. God ur exactly what’s wrong with this country most of u African Americans cry around about things that took place in the past no one alive in America today is a slave or owns them call Al Sharpton so he can call me a racist… That’s how u guys are just like the whole George Zimmerman thing but let’s not start on that!!! U have ur own magazine, tv channel, and dating website if whites did that it would be racist give me a break u guys are just lazy looking for a free hand out


  413. @BGuyer

    The point is, which you obviously don’t get, is that the racist mentality both white and black folks and inherited from slavery has never gone away,it’s been handed down generation after generation like old clothes and heirlooms.
    And white people have always controlled the media and still do, so don’t even start with that, “White people can’t have their own whatever” BS, because it’s not true—especially when white people not only control all 3 of the major networks, and most of the cable channels. so let go of that lame argument about white folks supposedly not being able to do this and that, became black folks are demanding this and that. Hell, we’re hard-working,tax-playing Americans too, and we have the right to raise hell about something that’s wrong if it is.

    Another thing—get rid of that BS myth about black folks wanting a “free-hand out” that tired,old and outdated stereotype needs to go. It also ignores the fact that 37% of white people are on welfare,so stop watching/taking talking points from FOX,stop being young and ignorant and recycling old outdated myth about black people and what we do.


  414. I love watching racist make themselves look even more racist by trying to deny how evil, how atrocious slavery was and how the white man has committed more atrocities against humanity than anyone else. Anytime a person blames the victim or makes excuses for the behavior of the perpetrator they are acting immoral and are exhibiting the behavior of a sociopath. This is the bottom line regarding Blacks selling Blacks, Africans did not sell Africans, the rich and powerful few sold the poor and the imprisoned. The Africans as a whole did not sell their people, thats like saying all Americans are serial killers because we have several serial killers in this country. Only rich black Africans sold prisoners to the whites and 99% of Africans were against such trade but once again the rich controlled the country and once again the rich proved to practice immoral business practices. The old saying that money is the root of evil is so true and this is who sold prisoners to the whites. Lets also not forget that even though the rich blacks sold prisoners to the whites they never told the white men to; beat the slaves, rape the slaves (even girls as young as 10 years old), they never asked them to throw hundreds of thousands of people into the Atlantic ocean because they were sick and may get their other property sick, never told the whites to cut off their feet or hang them or whip them or burn them….Whats your excuse for these actions….Why don’t you tell me how it was a 10 year old girls fault for getting raped by a sweaty, hairy, white slave owner or hired hand…It’s the racist portion of my race that shame me to a white American…own up to it and treat every person in this world as you would want to be treated…stop denying the past and stop telling a race or religious group how to heal or act…A white person can no more begin to know what it is like to be a African American than a squirrel knows what it is like to be a dolphin…so bring yourself back down to Earth with the rest of mankind and…..”lighten up Francis.”


  415. Slave have always existed. But its only the white people who thought the beating, torture, imprisonment, rape, and murder of their slaves was acceptable. What does that tell you about their mindset? They want to think they are better than this now and that it is not still part of them… Just because now they can hide behind the cover of the government, police, justice system and abuse people with their power and money instead of brute force and violence as they did in slavery times. LOL


  416. All I know is nobody in my family ever owned a slave nor had the money, prestige, or resources to even think in that manner. It’s an interesting history but it is history. I have yet to meet a single person of any decent in this country who is a slave to anything but their own habits, until then the best of luck to everyone.


  417. Great post. These are derailment arguments that were listed. Maybe the shame and guilt is just to much and white people want black people to just shut up, and stop bring up the past. When race issues are brought up white commenters will immediately say that this is a race baiting tactic. Or like in the points listed in the thread post use one of many derailment tactics, My family never owned slaves,blacks sold their own people. What I understand about Africans selling other Africans was this was enemies of other tribes. We must never forget, this is apart of our history, America was made rich from the labor of black slaves.


  418. Also, slavery existed in Africa as well as Europe and Asia, Long before the Atlantic Slave Trade. Slaves in Africa were captives of war,who served as household laborers. African slavery was neither racial nor hereditary. Many times the captors were from kingdoms that were well organized. The captives were usually people who lacked well armed rulers and armies.


  419. To those of you who are angry that Black people still bring up slavery let me invite you into their world. Now before you get the wrong idea I am white but I was raised in a Biracial family, THANK GOD FOR THAT or I may have ended up like many of my racist arrogant kind. Lets look at the year 1800; slavery was legal and the richest, most educated and safest group or race was the white race. The poorest, most oppressed, most uneducated and unsafe group or race was the black race. Now lets move ahead 213 years and look at these stats again and see if you are right about African Americans being whiners and complaining about the past. 2013; The richest, most educated and safest group or race is the white race. The poorest, most uneducated, oppressed and unsafe group or race is the Black race. Now Einstein does this help you to see that the only thing that has changed for African Americans is that rich whites are no longer allowed to own, hang, torture and rape them but other than something this group of people should have had from the beginning of this country NOTHING HAS CHANGED FOR THEM!…If you lived in this cycle of oppression and fear and detachment from all of the rest of society I guarantee you as whiny and arrogant as you are you would be crying about every time your cable TV goes out…which is about all you have to cry about….Now doesn’t this make you seem completely ignorant and arrogant. Blacks have slavery, murder, torture, poverty, hanging, rape, illiteracy, inequality and no healthcare to complain about…..Whites have; “black people piss me off because they always bring up slavery” to complain about….Congratulations you just defined INEQUALITY if this is how you think.


  420. on Sat 10 Aug 2013 at 03:28:27 King of Trouble

    Africa is a huge continent so what if some African rulers did enslave others. There were many who didn’t and fought back. I love how it is always said oh we didn’t go chasing and hunting people down. No you didn’t you gave guns to the side that was doing this and breaking down power balances. You, kidnapped some of the rulers of certain kingdoms relatives until you got what you wanted. You might not have done the running but you sure did pimp out your wares to those who did. Then you made a god awful system to hold people down and back.


  421. The other part of this argument that white Americans conveniently forget is what happened AFTER slavery supposedly ended in the US; that is, what happened as a result of that race-based chattel system. They love to mention that “Africans sold their own people,” thinking that fact alone absolves any whites from wrong-doing. They love to mention that it was hundreds of years ago. But what about Jim Crow? What about the “Black Codes?” What about Rosewood, Tulsa (Greenwood), Seneca Village, and a whole host of other black developments that were “razed” after the Civil War and throughout the 20th Century? What about redlining and discriminatory housing and employment practices? What about sundown towns? What about lynching? What about microaggressions? What about racial profiling? What about the skewed justice system and prison industrial complex? What about the thousands of things folks have done (and continue to do) in order to maintain their status quo in a system of white supremacy?

    They love to take credit for their ancestors’ “achievements,” but refuse to see how those “achievements” impacted others, often in a negative way.


  422. on Tue 13 Aug 2013 at 22:27:19 Tired of the retardedness

    @mel and everyone else who says white slavery wasn’t near as bad as black slavery. http://elliotlakenews.wordpress.com/2007/01/14/yes-virginia-white-slavery-existed/


  423. Hey Retardedness, your article about rich whites in England enslaving the poor Irish and Scottish has nothing to do with America and again i say look at the inequality today of whites compared to blacks and it is as bad today as it was 160 yrs ago….but I am done with you because I only debate with those that have hope and not those that are full blood Nazis…. http://money.cnn.com/2013/02/27/news/economy/wealth-whites-blacks/index.html


  424. Reading all these comments are quite interesting since i am american by naturalization. When i first came here i’ll be honest it was the first time i saw black people and i found it pretty cool, then i started finding out about this whole crazy slavery and hate between white and black people. Back then when i was 14 and was recently exposed to all this and had an innocent mind i thought.. white people and black people live in tension and fear with each other even though they act all nice to each other. The white man is scared of saying the wrong thing and the black man expects the white man to say something stupid and when it happens it explodes to a whole nother level.
    Seems that as long as that history exists and as long and black community holds tightly so what the white man did like a safety blanket there won’t be a stop to racism, white people should also stop justifying themselves. There should be a quote “lets’ not let our ancestors decide our future and relationship, let’s just love and accept one another” I feel so happy when i see a happy interracial couple that let go of all the negativity and saw themselves are just two people that love each other, no color, no religion.


  425. This is an interesting article about the African Slave Trade http://hnn.us/article/41431


  426. Excellent post! There are people in my own family who use these b.s. arguments yet claim they aren’t racist. I don’t abide that kind of excuse making. There is a whole lot of hideous behavior–exploitation, maiming, murder, starvation, rape, kidnapping, you name it–that was perpetrated for a very long time by more people than we can count. Never does the evildoing of one justify further evildoing.


  427. Asians make this argument, too. I have noticed the ones who do are the same people who look down on blacks and other nonwhites but still give whites the benefit of the doubt, as if they think whites will treat them better than other nonwhites for that.


  428. What can be done so there is racial rest in the US? I’m white, & I honestly have never done anything negative to any black person ever. I can truthfully say my family hasn’t either. I had black people at my large, formal wedding in 1968 as guests. I’ve experienced anticaucasianism a great deal. I lived in Northern Calif a long time where the races mixed well, then moved back to Memphis, Tenn where I was born & raised. What a shock! I’ve felt so sad, because I’ve loved blacks. Benefiting from what slaves did a long time ago is not what I ought to do? What can we do to have peace?


  429. “anticaucasianism “?


  430. Roseann,

    First, you need to admit your own racism. Do a serious and thorough introspection. Question yourself and your views.

    Second, listen to what black people are saying. There are good reasons why some of us don’t trust or like whites. It didn’t come from a vacuum, and it is waaaaaaaay more than “just” slavery.

    Third, Educate other whites with racist issues with blacks, AFTER you’ve done an extensive self-reflection and self-enlightenment.


  431. Roseann, first of all let me say I believe the premise of your comment is a great start. Asking questions on a site visited by people that know more about racism than any other is a good way to get many questions answered and learn how we can be more sensitive to others and how the little things we do and say can hurt another’s feelings, even though we may not be able to see why at first. It is not important what we feel but more important what the other person feels by our comments and actions. As Caucasians that want to change we must learn or realize that we have unknowingly evolved into a people with a supreme subconscious that have us believing that the white race is better than other races or at least our outward comments and actions have those we have offended seeing it this way. Right now I am using race as a talking point but really there is only one race and hopefully one day we will never have to break people down by the color of their skin to get a point across.

    I realize that you may have incurred some racial abuse but whites in America unfortunately are negligent of any racism towards them from blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans and so on due to our deplorable behavior in the past and on a lesser note, that still exist to this day. Blacks who dislike whites have an excuse and as whites have evolved into racially arrogant people, blacks have evolved into a people who have a universal dislike of whites due to their treatment by many of their white countrymen and the white government they looked to for assistance.

    Slavery was the foundation of abuse but is far from the end of the abuse and it’s domino affect is an atrocity that exist to a lesser extent to this very day. We must not be insensitive and when someone says your comments are offensive you can ask them why but only in an inquisitive way and not in a way that sounds like what they are feeling is ridiculous or not worthy of an insult or pain. Learn from what someone is saying and change the way you speak about race and race related issues and remember what is not offensive to you may be very offensive to another. Some of your post was offensive even to me as I read it. Your depiction of Caucasian racism was offensive because again I believe that whites in America cannot be racially insulted by Blacks because there is a reason for Blacks to dislike whites; slavery, oppression, segregation, social and economic abuse and exclusion, over 1,000 white hate groups, the KKK, poll taxes, voter suppression, lynching’s, estimated 8 million murders over 500 years, inequality, exclusion, exclusion, exclusion and the list goes on. Now try to make a list of atrocities that Blacks have imposed on whites; mad at whites, distrust of whites, crime against whites, the Black Panthers, that’s about all I got…So you see, if you could erase the last 500 years of abuse and replace it with love, inclusion, complete acceptance and equality and then you were racially abused by a person of another color then your claim of caucasianism would hold some clout but as it stands it is just offensive, even to me. Listen, learn and change…best advice I can give you but I am white as well and only those who have been most abused or affected by racism can give you the best advice…Keep the faith and when you have a question I would assume you could come to this site and get many of your questions answered if not all of them…God Bless.


  432. Since america was cruel, The holocaust means nothing to you? Everyone of ever culture and of every race were slaves. NO ONE HAD IT WORSE THEN OTHERS. Get over it


  433. O and if you distrust or dislike a race for ur petty thing from the past ur pathetic . and your no better than the owners of slaves them selfs


  434. So M you are comparing rape, torture, murder, hangings, slavery, oppression, poll taxes, exclusion, inequality, voter suppression, KKK, 1000 white hate groups with someone who dislikes or distrust someone? It is clear that you do not have the intelligence nor the humanity to join such conversations. Your comments are that of someone who has a mind of a child and your comparison about the Holocaust is boggling to say the least. We are talking about America and the people who live in America and where they came from and where they are today, if you can’t handle hearing the truth then maybe you should go back to your X-Box and leave us HUMAN BEINGS alone…thank you and have a good day.


  435. on Sat 26 Oct 2013 at 14:57:52 Jimmy L. Shirley Jr.

    “estimated 8 million murders over 500 years”
    Where did this number come from and what does that represent?


  436. A hard and fast number you will not find, the best you will be able to find are estimates based on good data. These numbers deal with only those captured in Africa through their first year of slavery wherever they ended up. So to begin with: From page 1, section 2 predicts by David Stannard in American Holocaust (1992), estimates that some 30-60 million Africans died being enslaved. 50% mortality during capture and stored, a 10% mortality among the survivors while crossing the ocean and another 50% mortality rate 1st year. Overall, 35-80 % mortality rate in transit. Other numbers, and authors are quoted with different numbers in the same section. See site below it is considered one of the best. Below it is the search equation I put into the engine you might find some other interesting sites by working it.

    http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstatv

    http://search.aol.com/aol/search?q=estim


  437. on Sat 26 Oct 2013 at 17:25:29 Jimmy L. Shirley Jr.

    I am familiar with the concept of Democide, or Death by Government.
    But I am strongly disagreeing with the use of the word Murder. No doubt there were a whole lot of African tribesmen who were murdered from Point A, on the African continent, to their final destination at Point B. And since probably more died from disease of which they had no natural immunity than were murdered outright, they can not be lumped in the same category.
    Additionally, where does this number of 500 years come from? What does that represent?


  438. where does this number of 500 years come from? What does that represent?

    Excellent question. The emancipation proclamation was delivered in 1863. Subtract 500 and that’s 1363. America wasn’t even discovered until 1492. To answer your question, the 500 years comes from their imagination and it represents a canard.


  439. on Sat 26 Oct 2013 at 18:55:43 Jimmy L. Shirley Jr.

    Let’s be clear. In these united States of America, as the uSA, emancipation started in New York in the year 1799. Given it was largely unprofitable in the yankee States, several of them began passing legislation for the gradual, conditional abolishing of slavery within their borders. So that by about 1827, slavery as an institution no longer existed in the northern States. BUT…
    It must be recognised that this was also because most of these yankee States DID NOT want Blacks living amongst them.
    Which is why it was abolished conditionally and across a broad stretch of tyme. this gave the owners to realise their iinvestment and then to sell them at a profit. This way, the yankee slave owner suffered no loss.

    Also, the 1863 Emancipation freed next to no one. For if lincoln had of had his way, at wars end, presuming his side was going to win, he would have had slavery continue to exist as it had afore. It was the 13th Amendment, declared ratified in December of 1865, along with the ratifying votes of some of the recently convened Southern States legislatures’ votes, that unconditionally abolished involuntary African servitude across the land.

    A point of note.
    I rely on the year 1783 as when the united States of American began to exist, because until the peace treaty was signed, independence was not ever a foregone conclusion. So, slavery existed in the United States, or America if y’all prefer, from 1783 unto 1865, a mere 82 years. Not any hundreds of years.


  440. @Jimmy L. Shirley Jr.

    You could look at it that way, but the country itself was being put together much sooner than that. So to be frank people would more likely take it from the standpoint of when slavery became a part of trade in the country from the beginning rather than some point in time that you or anyone else feels it is appropriate. Should slavery before 1783 be discounted just because the united states was formed then?


  441. @Da Jokah

    ” America wasn’t even discovered until 1492.”—Actually I believe it was discovered before then but not by those who the history books rave about and not by the name America.


  442. @ Jimmy L. Shirley Jr.

    And slavery existed in the Confederacy a mere 4 years! High five!


  443. If I am not mistaken it was 1619 that the first slave ship arrived to the colonies. Slavery was said to end in 1865 so I will say about 246 years of slavery. Not the “mere” 82 years you believe it to be or rather would prefer it to be.


  444. “A mere 82 years”

    (Oh, I get it. I guess it’s no big deal then.)

    SERIOUSLY? THAT’S SUPPOSED TO BE A VALID ARGUEMENT? First off, your history is incorrect in terms of the dates of emancipation laws and how they manifested. Secondly, emanicipatikn in the various Northern colonies and states did not in any way guarantee or even attempt equality. Third, lynchings have occurred in my own lifetime, and I am part of Generation X, so oppression is absolutely still a huge problem in this country. But most importantly, the name of the physical land within imaginary lines drawn upon a constantly changing political map doesn’t change the fact that MILLIONS of HUMANS were ENSLAVED.

    There’s a special place in Hades for deniers like you.


  445. @ Da Jokah

    “America wasn’t even discovered until 1492. “

    People have been living in the Americas for at least 13,000 years:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clovis_culture


  446. These are semantics, we are talking about the capturing or buying of human beings who were placed inside the bottom of a ship full of feces and urine and all sorts of disease. What difference if it was 1 year or 1,000 years? Women and children were tossed overboard in the middle of the ocean if they became sick or were thought to have a disease, by definition this is MURDER. Men who fought back were beaten and in many cases hung, by definition MURDER. On the plantation more of the same went on and remember the captains of those times kept meticulous records on ship and they counted cargo going in and going out. They lost some 50% of their cargo many times so the number 8 million is very conservative. You say you have a problem with the term murder? Do you have a problem using the word murder when regarding the Jewish who died in the Nazi death camps? Because the way you explain it those who died in those camps were just a product of war, not murder. When they were starved to death, just like the slaves of America, that does not count as murder by your definition, it was a product of their “SITUATION”. When the Germans lined them up and shot them in the back of the head that is because they are war criminals, not murder by your definition, just like when a slave gets caught trying to escape and is hung. In a court of law in these here States of America any time a person is negligent or culpable in the death of another human being the law considers it murder, whether manslaughter or first degree it is all murder. If you place a man in the bottom of a ship against his will and he gets sick due to his conditions by the law of the land you are a murderer. Here is another little fact those of you who like to pretend these atrocities happened so many centuries ago; in 1965 4 black men a week were being lynched in the Untied States, mostly in the South, FACT! So when a child of a slave was born due to the rape of the slave owner and was dropped into a well or had a pillow placed over it’s mouth that is just a product of their situation I guess and the Holocaust was not the murder of millions of Jews but just a product of war…I think I understand you now. Here is a site that will tell you the specifics…………..

    http://franklaughter.tripod.com/cgi-bin/histprof/misc/slavery1.html


  447. You go Melanie, glad to have another GOOD and DECENT person on this site…Abagond as always my brother good to be here with you.


  448. People have been living in the Americas for at least 13,000 years:

    Not the people alluded to in the original comment.


  449. Winners write the history books, right? So why exactly should I believe what any white says? Honestly? Why does any non-white person believe what these murders and racist apologists say? And no, some hand-picked, uncle tom coon’s opinion don’t coun’t either.

    So Skip Gates or whatever he calls himself can go eff himself.

    I’ve done the research. I can’t find any trace of (what we know as) “slavery” on the continent. I’ve seen a few monarchs (Four. In five CENTURIES) who did cooperated to some degree for the sake of saving their own peoples. But that’s it.

    Now, if that’s the case, and suddenly this blankets ALL AFRICANS with some sort of guilt, then I expect these pinkskins to write in their history books that;

    *The Japanese are complicit in their own nuking
    *The Iraqis/Afghans are complicit in their own destruction in two uncalled for wars.

    and most importantly…

    *That Jews WILLINGLY SENT THEMSELVES to them camps…

    …as ALL of the above mentioned had agents who cooperated with those responsible for those given atrocities.

    But you won’t hear it.

    Yet because the destruction of AFRICA and her children is something else altogether, never seen or matched in the history of ANY other people, the pinks feel the need to obfuscate and lie. ON PURPOSE. They do not have the integrity to be honest and fair. We know this. Lets be real honest with ourselves for a moment. If they did, why is George Washington or any other slave owner honored anywhere in this country and to any degree?

    Case rested.


  450. Here is what HISTORIANS write about slavery in America and not some racially motivated citizen…..

    Historians normally date the start of slavery in the North American colonies to 1619. That year, a Dutch ship carrying African slaves docked at Point Comfort, which served as Jamestown’s checkpoint for ships wanting to trade with the colonists.

    The crew of the Dutch ship was starving, and as John Rolfe noted in a letter to the Virginia Company’s treasurer Edwin Sandys, the Dutch traded 20 African slaves for food and supplies.


  451. @William

    Well said and you are right. We are arguing years as if more or less makes it ok.


  452. Come on, we talk about WW2 to this day and it lasted 4 years and only a fraction of Americans died compared to the amount of slaves that died, slavery is another part of OUR history that still resonates to this day among our fellow countrymen and women and you want to argue about how many years did these people suffer murder, rape, lynching’s, oppression, separation of families…Do you have a son or a daughter? I want you to close your eyes and think about them right now….Now imagine if I came along and had your family come out and stand in your driveway. I have about 6 men with guns pointed at you and your family, now I take your son and your daughter and place them in a van. I tell you that your daughter will be used as a sex slave and when she can no longer appeal to her owner she will be forced to work 16 hours a day. Your son will immediately go to work in the salt mines and he will work 18 hours a day and when he gets lazy or combatant he will be beaten to an inch of his life. They will never be free, they will never be happy, they will be tortured every day of their life and they will never know what having a loving family of their own is like except what they remember of yours. You are left there with your wife alone, you will never see your teenage daughter and son again….How does that feel? That’s what millions of African and African American families had to endure…So save your compassionless specifics to yourself.


  453. @William

    Are you ok?


  454. Saw Twelve Years A Slave, everyone should see this narrative of slavery.


  455. on Sat 26 Oct 2013 at 22:58:31 Jimmy L. Shirley Jr.

    “in 1965 4 black men a week were being lynched in the Untied States, mostly in the South, FACT!”
    According to the statistics I could find, and according to Tuskeegee, no one was lynched in this country in 1965.

    http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/shipp/lynchingyear.html


  456. According to this there was quite a bit going on in 1965

    http://www.autopsis.org/foot/lynchdates3.html


  457. Mary Burrell

    I am excited about seeing the movie myself. I can’t wait.


  458. @Sharina: It’s hard and brutal.


  459. I saw some of the previews and I think it was hard for me knowing that this man was ripped away from his family and sold into slavery.


  460. on Sat 26 Oct 2013 at 23:53:34 Jimmy L. Shirley Jr.

    1965

    Allie W. Shelby murdered Flora Mississippi January 22 1965

    Malcom X murdered New York City New York February 21 1965

    Deputy O’Neal Moore murdered Bogalusa Louisiana June 2 1965

    Willie Brewster murdered Anniston Alabama July 15 1965

    28 unidentified blacks murdered Los Angeles (Watts) California August 11-16 1965

    Perry Small lynched Greensboro Alabama August 27 1965

    Eddie Cook murdered Detroit Michigan November 7 1965

    Many if not most of these were your typical Black-on-Black murders. Even so, hardly the exaggerated 4 men per week.


  461. Here are some sites you can visit to get a clearer understanding of lynching in America. First of all even when lynching was a spectator sport in the South it was still against the law, “Yeah Right”, so an estimated 40% of lynching’s were not reported and still the numbers reported are as high as 4,952 from the late 1800’s to the late 1960’s. You see before the civil war lynching’s were not that popular but once the south lost the losers couldn’t except the loss and began taking their frustrations out on who else, the poorest, the powerless and the most defenseless, that’s what all bullies and sociopaths do, they target those who cannot defend themselves. Of course once confidence was restored and laws changed, those same whites wouldn’t dare approach a Black man today and try to subvert their will. I may have said it wrong in my previous post and what I meant to say was that on average four lynching’s a week occurred in the U.S. all the way up to the late 60’s, FACT. Those are the actual reported lynching’s. If you really want to see what happened I welcome you to visit YouTube and type in “100 Years of Lynching’s”. It was originally a book written in the 90’s but there are video’s of research and historical photos of lynching’s and all the people and children standing around cheering, smiling, patting their children on the head, all while a young man hangs from a tree, some burning ALIVE until nothing is left of his appendages but charred end trails. Anyone who feels they need to defend these murderous racist COWARDS has no compassion for his fellow man. Take a look at some of these sights and then come back with your splitting hair excuses.

    http://faculty.berea.edu/browners/chesnutt/classroom/lynchingstat.html

    http://www.humanities360.com/index.php/the-mississippi-civil-rights-slayings-of-the-1960s-2-55522/

    http://www.umass.edu/complit/aclanet/USLynch.html

    http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=lynching+postcards&qpvt=lynching+postcards&FORM=IGRE

    I tried to post the youtube video but it wouldn’t let me and other videos kept popping up…it shouldn’t be hard to find…BUT PLEASE LET ME WARN EVERYONE IT IS EXTREMELY SAD, GRAPHIC AND DISTURBING BEYOND WORDS.


  462. Here is but one example of a massacre and remember half of all crimes against Blacks were not reported and if you even try to deny that the corrupt and racist powers that be in those areas and at that time did not keep as many incidents under wraps from the federal government then you are not worthy of conversation because you have no grasp of reality…

    There were a myriad of violent incidents that led up to the Rosewood Massacre. During the summer of 1919, there were outbreaks of racial violence in several northern cities due in part to competition for jobs and combined with the racial atmosphere of the time. It trickled down to the South and many of the southern states including Florida were systematically and effectively disenfranchising Blacks, creating barriers to voter registration and voting. Blacks were the numerical majority in many districts in the South and by preventing them from voting allowed Whites to remain in power in perpetuity.

    This also meant Blacks could not participate in the court system as jurors–only as defendants–and they had no elected representatives in local or state government or in law enforcement. Florida had also joined many states passing jim crow laws that imposed strict racial segregation in public facilities and transportation. In addition, the Ku Klux Klan was strong in the Florida area openly holding initiation ceremonies and inciting violence against Blacks with impunity. Rosewood became a model for the oppression of Blacks in America.

    A partial chronology of the events of violence against Blacks leading up to and including the Rosewood Massacre began in 1920:

    ? Whites removed four Black men from a local jail and lynched them for being accused of raping a White woman;

    ? Five Blacks were killed in a dispute over voting rights;

    ? A White mob destroyed 25 homes, two churches and a Black Masonic Lodge;

    ? A Black man was lynched for allegedly attacking a White woman;

    ? A White schoolteacher was murdered near Rosewood and when it was learned that Blacks were in the vicinity, they were automatically considered the guilty ones–three Blacks were murdered. (Whites even exacted their version of “retributive equality”–three Blacks equaled one White).

    These incidents raised fears on the general public and demonstrated the swiftness of “White justice” when Blacks were the alleged perpetrators. There were no judges, juries or trials. And whenever there were, the results were always the same since Blacks had no “juries of their peers and the judges were all White. Also, the events in Rosewood mirrored similar racial incidents in other cities around the country.

    The actual events in Rosewood were similar in nature to the above began on New Year’s Eve 1922:

    ? The Ku Klux Klan held a parade and a rally with a burning cross and a banner about protecting [White] womanhood. (This was consistent with their actions against Blacks since many of the violence against Blacks were often triggered by alleged assaults and/or insults by Black men against White women);

    ? A White woman claimed that an unidentified Black man had attacked, beat and raped her;

    ? A mob of White men apprehended a Black man killed him;

    ? White vigilantes descended on a house, killed a Black woman and wounded several others;

    ? Most of the remaining town’s Black residents fled into the Florida swamp to escape being killed;

    ? Approximately 200 to 300 Whites from surrounding communities converged on the town to assist the vigilantes in burning houses and killing Blacks;

    ? The churches, the vacant houses and most of the businesses and homes were burned;

    ? On the sixth day of violence, some of the Blacks escaped by train to Gainesville. As they left, Whites moved in and burned the remaining structures.

    The tragic events of that period in American history were captured in a movie titled “Rosewood.” A book and a documented history of the massacre were chronicled and submitted to the Florida Board of Regents in 1993. The Florida legislature passed a bill to compensate the survivors and their descendants, and the site of the former town has been designated a Florida Heritage Landmark. However, no efforts have been reportedly made to locate any of the living perpetrators of these tragic acts. And just as there were “named” survivors of the tragedy, there were “living” perpetrators.

    Some of the named survivors who contributed to the Rosewood History were:

    AARON, MAHULDA, JAMES, SARAH, EMMA AND HAYWARD CARRIER;

    MARY, CHARLES, WILSON AND MARGARIE HALL;

    MARTINE AND LYDIA GOINS.

    Governor Lawton Chiles, in signing a reparations bill for the survivors, referred the incident as “blind act of bigotry.” However, bigotry is never blind; it is usually done with both eyes open.

    Ironically, as the country has recently shown the world that Rosewood is past history and that substantial progress has been made, there has been a surge in Ku Klux Klan activities since the election of President-elect Barack Obama. Recent law enforcement reports claim that the rise in racist and White supremacist activities is not an accident. Progress on one hand appears to be offset by a return to the nation’s dark past directed at the individual who will inherit the highest office in the land.

    It would be great if some of the tremendous efforts and resources that are expended to eradicate the Taliban and Al Qaeda–because their mission is to kill Americans–could also be directed at the eradication of the Ku Klux Klan. After all, the Klan’s mission is also to kill Americans–Black Americans.


  463. @Jimmy L. Shirley Jr.

    “Many if not most of these were your typical Black-on-Black murders. Even so, hardly the exaggerated 4 men per week.”—None the less you claimed there was no lynchings according to your source which was wrong. I on the other hand never made claim to or agreed that it was the 4 men per week. Now if they are indeed black-on-black murders then it would be fair to provide the source that claims as much. Don’t you think?


  464. “To lynch” a person basically means to carry out – usually by mob action – an extrajudicial murder, often but not always, of a suspected criminal.

    So, while hanging might be typical of this kind of murder, hanging and lynching are not necessarily one and the same.


  465. on Sun 27 Oct 2013 at 00:32:25 Jimmy L. Shirley Jr.

    So, regarding the instantly simply “giving” the vote to the recently freed slave, I ask. Was he able to instantly comprehend what it meant? Was he instantly able to judge which candidate would uphold the US Constitution? Because according to the abolitionists, the “Negro” was kept in the lowest state of ignorance as any animal by their masters.
    Now after four years of war, they can proclaim these selfsame former slaves as being intellectual enough to be ambassadors, representatives, senators and the like?
    It cant be both. Cant have it both ways. Read Hill’s very sarcastic retort.

    Excerpts from “An address by Lieutenant-General D. H. Hill, on Memorial Day, June 6th, 1887, at Baltimore, before the Society of the Army and Navy of the Confederate States in the State of Maryland.”

    Results of the War:
    I would place first of these the general diffusion of love for the Constitution of the United States. Time was when the South-hating philanthropists denounced it as “a covenant with death and a league with hell,” gotten up by the slave-power in the interests of slavery. But in 1861, the philanthropists experienced a change of heart, and ever since have talked of the Constitution as that “sacred instrument,” that “bulwark of freedom,” that “palladium of liberty,” etc., etc. I am glad of their conversion, suspiciously sudden though it was, and I hope that they will never fall from grace. As a stalwart Presbyterian, I believe in the perseverance of the saints.
    Change of views in regard to the intellectual, moral and social status of the Negro:
    The philanthropists used to tell of the cruelty and brutality of slaveholders to their slaves, and said that they had reduced the negroes to the lowest state of ignorance, barbarism and bestiality. But in the reconstruction period, the philanthropists underwent a radical change of views and discovered that these negroes, whom they had described as more savage and degraded than the barbarians on the Congo, were not merely enlightened and civilized enough to be freemen and voters, but also to be United States Senators and Congressmen, Foreign Ministers, Consuls and Marshals, Governors of States, Judges, Members of State Cabinets, &c. I am glad that the philanthropists found out that the Old South had trained its slaves so carefully for these high and responsible duties. No other masters in the world’s history ever gave such training to their slaves. The 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments to the Constitution of the United States are the grandest possible eulogies to the Old South.
    But there was one great error in this training. The simple-hearted, confiding Southern masters, always careless of their own money, did not teach their slaves to be cautious about their investments, and tens of thousands of these credulous creatures put their money in a bank in Washington, established by the philanthropists, and lost it all.


  466. on Sun 27 Oct 2013 at 00:40:25 Jimmy L. Shirley Jr.

    “on Sat 26 Oct 2013 at 20:29:32, William” said, “in 1965 4 black men a week were being lynched in the Untied States, mostly in the South, FACT!”

    So it is on him to provide his source, first.


  467. @Jimmy L. Shirley Jr.

    Yea it would be for him to do it, but I provided a source and you responded to me, so at this point…it is up to you to provide a source for me. Or you can not….whatever you decided, but making claims and not backing them is a bit unfair.


  468. Pay It Forward

    Are you by chance Fiamma?


  469. Why, yes, Sharina, “Fiamma” was my previous username. How did you guess? Is it my writing style that gives me away? :)


  470. LOL. Yes the writing style but also a wild guess. :)


  471. Of the hundreds of photos showing a black man being lynched there is not ONE photo showing a black man being hung by a mob of other black men or even one black man. Show me hundreds of photos showing black men hanging black men…I challenge you to find me these photos, if indeed you say that most of these lynchings were carried out by blacks hanging blacks, show me the monumental amount of evidence to compare the monumental amount of evidence we have of whites hanging blacks. After all they must exist if most of the hangings were from blacks hanging blacks. Then tell me what was the motive for Black men to hang Black men. We know that white men hung Black men out of penis envy but we do not know why black men would hang black men….Your juvenile or possibly ignorant comment has indeed brought on a laughable response. It is a common strategy for those who lack facts and who defend atrocity to blame the victim or turn the facts into folly or fiction, commonly those with low IQ’s will take this information as fact and immediately spread such disinformation to their racist peers…such is how over 1,000 white hate groups have been created in this country, that and inbreeding.


  472. Thank you Sharina for helping me out, I frequently write faster than what I can proofread when I am writing something I am passionate about and it’s nice when someone has your back…


  473. @ William: eloquent and insightful commentary.


  474. on Sun 27 Oct 2013 at 01:27:45 Jimmy L. Shirley Jr.

    Who said anything about
    “a black man being hung by a mob of other black men or even one black man.”?


  475. @Sharina: I enjoyed your comments on this topic as well.


  476. Thank you Mary, my dear friend and wonderful human being…your comments help to calm me down and smile again…God Bless.


  477. @ William

    No problem.

    @ Mary Burrell

    Thanks. :)

    @Jimmy L. Shirley Jr.

    Actually you made the claim of “Many if not most of these were your typical Black-on-Black murders. Even so, hardly the exaggerated 4 men per week.” To the list I provided of lynched individuals. If I am not mistaken William is asking you to provide evidence that those men were lynched or hung by black men. Malcom X you might get a pass on because I believe he was murdered by 3 Muslim men.


  478. I could be wrong but if I am then I am sure someone will correct me. :)


  479. Wait so did America only begin when the white people came and took over…? Oh yea because native Americans don’t exist (or shouldn’t) according to the white people who stole their country.

    Anybody seeing a pattern here??


  480. on Sun 27 Oct 2013 at 15:43:19 Jimmy L. Shirley Jr.

    “people came and took over…”
    “who stole their country.”

    See, all people all over the world throughout all mankind’s history have done this. It is the nature of all man to oppress, to conquer, to subdue.
    It is NOT the province of just one race of people, nor of any one ethnic of people.


  481. All white people!


  482. Yes Sierra you are absolutely correct. The English nearly conquered the entire world and the white man has been in control of this world for about 1,000 years now. It is not true that all people take over entire countries and commit genocide. As a matter of fact only a few empires have done this; the English, the Persians, the Romans, the Egyptians, the Germans almost did it, etc. Most races, countries, tribes and so on our completely complacent with living within their means and conquering only hunger and life in general. We spoke earlier about the African Americans who lost their lives due to many reasons but mostly due to their conditions and murder brought on by the government but mostly due to whites in power and their racist followers. What we don’t here about enough is another few atrocities carried out by the U.S. government and the American people at that time and that was the decimation of the Native American and the Chinese. The U.S. government has a recorded number of a million Native Americans killed. This does not count the hidden murders, murders by vigilantes, civilians, hired mercenaries, etc. The real numbers are from 4 million to 115 million based on university studies on population and similar raids and camp slaughters. A third atrocity carried out by mostly local citizens and law enforcement in the 1800’s was the thousands of murders, torture and enslavement of Chinese immigrants. Every western state has a documented and undocumented history of atrocities against the Chinese immigrant. They came here looking for prosperity and got nothing but despair and DEATH. These poor human beings had zero protection under the law, were horribly hated by whites, were spat on by women and children and beaten and enslaved by men. Some men would purposely sell a gold mine to a group of Chinese at a remarkable low price and befriend the immigrants. This would fool the men into believing that people were good here and they were being welcomed….then after the Chinese dug the mine and did all the work the moment gold was discovered the men who sold them the claim would then kill the Chinese and bury them in the mine and take back the claim, which was never legally sold in the first place. I can’t even tell you how disgusted I feel knowing that this happened, it is some of the worse treatment of human beings I can think of….Don’t listen to those who deny these atrocities, they are the exact reason why such atrocities continued for so long because those who could have stood up and lent these human beings their voice or their aid were too cowardly and instead would refuse to believe such things existed…I am not one of those people, the truth will set you free but more importantly it will set those who are mistreated free!


  483. @William

    A third atrocity carried out by mostly local citizens and law enforcement in the 1800′s was the thousands of murders, torture and enslavement of Chinese immigrants.

    Waiting for another commenter to chip in that the Chinese, too, sold their own people as “coolie” slave labour to Western countries and European colonies.


  484. Again the treatment of another human being does hinge on whether or not a FEW WEALTHY and POWERFUL men sold their poor and powerless people. That’s like blaming the drug dealer for your drug habit. If I buy some drugs and go out and rob a rich white family and murder them whose fault is it? The drug dealers or mine? There is no excuse for buying a human being and if you buy a slave for labor then you should use them for labor, not to rape, rob, beat, drown, murder, hang, torture, burn, impregnate, etc…Besides it’s just another example of INEQUALITY; the Chinese people (the huge majority) were poor, hungry and powerless and they were being controlled and sold by a FEW wealthy men who were corrupt, in power and controlled the weak, similar to what has gone on in this country from our beginning and today in different ways. Another way deniers try to change the momentum of the conversation is again to blame the victim by pointing out the insignificant or pointing out the exception and ignore the rule.


  485. on Sun 27 Oct 2013 at 19:22:51 Jimmy L. Shirley Jr.

    I suppose you guys would blame the genocide of the several Asian type people by the Asian type people on Whites?
    As for the jungle-laded dark peoples, tribal warfare has always been. The so-called American natives themselves immigrated here from elsewhere. Even they have tales of conquest of other tribes. True, some were far more aggressive than others. This too has always been.
    So we know from history that all peoples were conquered and brutalised by others, far afore the ascendency of the White race.
    However, humanity has never in its recorded history ascended to the heights of civilisation it is at now until Whites did gain supremacy. So many diseases have been conquered leading to many lives being saved. That we are communicating like this is because of us. That y’all live in these united States is another testament to us and that y’all stay and enjoy the fruits of our labor is further a testament.
    Without us, y’all would be back in the jungles living now however it would have evolved. And according to history, even to day, many of the tribes live as they lived thousands of years ago. So too with the indigenous people of central and South America. Only the European Whites live radically different than did our ancestors of even a couple hundred years ago. And by extension, these united States of America.

    The least y’all can do is say, “THANK YOU!”


  486. and it didn’t take long before Jimmy Jim Bob Johnny showed his true colors….Bravo Bravo another example of modern ignorance rooted in his cro-magnon gene pool… So it is true then if you are taking credit for all of Americas accomplishments and failures then you have just admitted that YES whites today also share in the guilt of past behavior…by your own statement that is exactly what you are saying…and tell me SHIRLEY what have you done in your brief time on this Earth to make America so great. what have you done but prove that all people can be ignorant, shallow, heathenistic and just plain hateful of something or someone they FEAR?…and if you want to thank anybody you can thank a French man for finding this country and the Black and Chinese man for building this country and now why don’t you bow to our Black and excellent President….and then bow to our next white woman president and then in 2040 when the white race will no longer be the majority of the population you can bow to that!


  487. @ Jimmy

    Did you invent anything? I’m interested in any projects you’re working on.


  488. on Sun 27 Oct 2013 at 22:41:59 Jimmy L. Shirley Jr.

    I have ever been so bold so as to post my own name. In the stead of hiding behind pseudonyms So it is I have ever been online.

    William asks what have I done? I ask thee the same, sir?
    In responce to Kiwi:
    I have taken up photography in recent years. Many and several photographs have I posted on my facebook pages.

    From the responces to an honest man, here, I surmise this is yet another HATE FILLED, HATEFUL, i.e. (full of hate) website of Black people filled to the brim with HATE.
    If so, why stay??! I know were I reared in such a place that I so vehemently loathe, I so have historical issues with, why stay? Why not leave to such a place that offers whatever it is y’all are looking for? Are seeking?
    For I can not even imagine living within a family that loathes me so, according to so many people here.
    For where I am not wanted, I leave and go to where I am wanted.

    Good luck, y’all. Au Revoir, adios, ciao, saynara, aloha, later!


  489. @ Jimmy

    Good to know! So I guess you will be leaving then, that is unless anybody wants you here…?


  490. Arrivederci; aufedersein; hasta la vista; godspeed; so long; don’t let the doorknob hit ya…; y’all come back now, ya hear?! buh bye.


  491. The least y’all can do is say, “THANK YOU!”

    __ __ __

    Wow. What a GROUCH! You must not have received your monthly royalties for the individual inventions of Spam and cheese in a spray can. Mmm-mmm!

    THANK YOU, JIMMY!!!

    (Now, if only some white man could manage to invent cheese AND Spam together in a spray can, somebody [who's not me] would be real good!)


  492. @jefe

    I was not aware that the Chinese did that? Thank you for that information.

    @ Jimmy L. Shirley Jr.

    Whites did not do it on their own. This country was built up on the backs of those slaves you seem to believe contributed a “mere” 82 years. You enjoy inventions not only from whites but from people of color of as well. So I will says whites played a part like others, but they are owed no more of a thank you than the other people that helped build it.

    “From the responces to an honest man, here, I surmise this is yet another HATE FILLED, HATEFUL, i.e. (full of hate) website of Black people filled to the brim with HATE.”—Yet you would be surprised to know William is white and kiwi is Chinese (correct me if I am wrong).

    Now it was one thing for you to be lacking on the lynching knowledge etc. but it is another story to be lacking on information and then get mad at others for pointing it out to you. While your response is not surprising, it does enlighten me of the delusions people repeatedly wish to hold on to.


  493. @ William: Comment deleted for using not using a commenter’s proper name.

    http://abagond.wordpress.com/comment-policy/


  494. My apologies for letting my emotions get the better of me…in addition I did not know this was proper etiquette but I did know it was not polite…I will behave and use smarter ways to debate my point…thank you Abagond for your ethical and proper oversight.


  495. intresting


  496. To all the bigots in the world:….Remember this, “By excusing evil you have yourself become a part of that evil and it is this acceptance that fuels evil and perpetuates it’s momentum.”….


  497. ….william b. 2013.


  498. on Thu 14 Nov 2013 at 02:56:35 jusanothertardondawebz

    Agabob sounds like a butthurt racist. That said, that this rant is still generating comments three years after the fact is nothing short of impressive. Kudos.


  499. Seriously you need to get over it, there is no factual information here. Being defensive and ranting isn’t helping your people.


  500. @Mom….By saying your people I take it you mean the human race because it is obvious by your dissonance that you are not part of the race of men….and what information are you referring to which no facts exist?…Lets get into some REAL discussion about your stance on the enslavement of human beings and the social and economic outcome of such treatment.


  501. I have read several comments on this post from the start. My questions, and comments are going to cover many of the posts that I did read. I will start off by saying that I refuse to click on any of the links that were included in some of the posts. NOW, Let me start ……If you were born in Africa, you are African. America;American. 1.) Lets say a “black-colored” person,born in Europe,moved to the U.S. , would he be labeled as an African-European-American? Lets not label . If we were to label, then “Black and White” are labels too. My ancestors are from Dublin, Ireland. I do not use any label for myself,as an Irish American. ” I ” was born in the U.S., I am an American.A friend of mine was born in Africa. He told me one time that he wished the black people here would quit calling themselves “African American”. Why would this “African Born” man say this? I asked…. His answer was : ” These people wouldn’t last 5 min. in Africa. They were born in America”. NOW, 2.)I say to blame a race for slavery is wrong.Since there are so many instances of slavery in history, blaming a nationality would be a better way to describe it. My reason for saying that is because that would make it seem like the “Yellow” people didn’t do anything wrong when they bombed Pearl Harbor.To call people by a “label” to me is racist . NOW 3.) Would being told to do something that was against your wishes be considered ‘Endowed Servant ‘ or Slavery’? ..The Irish people were surcome to doing things against their wishes, but were given a title of ” Servants” Those may have been some of my blood relatives. Do “servants” have any rights to use their own “Label” for any gain?Is it fair that since my relatives were forced into doing things that were not to their like,can I now label myself as an ‘Irish American??If my relatives were only beat 2 times a week,raped 1 time ,and starved for 13 of 30 days, does it make them enslaved or still servants? LASTLY …. I am not defending anyone. But I still have yet to see any “Running Deer” or “Tonto” as a C.E.O. or owner of a large company. Never seen “Raging Bear” drawing Lottery Numbers. and I will probably never see a “Sitting Bull” as President. Who got Shit on the worse in that situation?


  502. ” He told me one time that he wished the black people here would quit calling themselves “African American”. Why would this “African Born” man say this? I asked…. His answer was : ” These people wouldn’t last 5 min. in Africa”. true that blacks in America should stop calling themselves African Americans. am African but i never knew that we live in a different planet that other people can’t last 5 min.


  503. @Mike….being that you are not a black person living in America it is impossible on every level for you to understand what being black and living in America is like. Your post, all be it some what respectful, is just another example of ignorance. First of all I have never felt or read where anyone has blamed the white race for slavery. What I have read was people giving their opinion of slavery and how it affects the generations today. You just like many other whites think that you would have the same ability to adapt and forgive if you yourself were black….this is preposterous and ignorant. The fallout of slavery will be felt for many more generations to come. Many people think that slavery was hundreds of years ago but lets look at the facts; Slavery was abolished only 150 years ago give or take, the right to own a human being may have been abolished but the equal treatment of all men in the eyes of the law only changed 50 years ago and up until that time blacks were treated worse than animals in this country. Blacks were not allowed to marry whites, eat at the same restaurants, drink at the same fountains, go to the same schools, they had to pay a POLL TAX, they were not allowed to work in some industries or do certain jobs, in the South as many as 4 blacks a week were being killed due to racism, etc, etc. This was only 50 years ago, I am only 47, this means that there are millions of Americans who grew up no better than what slaves endured minus the title “Slave”.

    To this day slavery is in the thoughts and minds and DNA of many of our American countrymen and if you were a compassionate person, empathetic to the feelings of all people you would realize that it is not your place to judge a group of people who suffer from post traumatic slavery syndrome and who have the worse poverty, worse inequality, worse crime and worse education than the other Americans. Those of us who have never been slaves in America, who get paid more money for the same job, whose children get more money for their education, whose children are not murdered at outrageous rates, who get housing only to learn a black couple with better credit and more income were refused housing…..we don’t get to tell those of us who have larger mountains to climb how to process their grief or how they should process inequality or why they were treated like animals by the world and especially America. Because when a white person tells a black person how they should deal with slavery or the hereafter it makes you look exactly like the white men who enslaved Africans in the first place. It’s not blacks who have to change…IT”S US!


  504. Reblogged this on Acorns and Leaves and commented:
    As people encounter the American system of slavery through the movie, 12 Years a Slave-I’m hearing some of these same arguments again. I think this author does a good job of discussing some of these arguments used to deflect the horrors of slavery away from the United States.


  505. on Sat 14 Dec 2013 at 12:12:41 reggie jacobs

    Not just the institution of permanent and inheritable race based American plantation chattel slavery, but the issue of race that largely grew from perceptions formed about blacks over time after plantation labor became focused on race and became permanent and inheritable race based American plantation chattel slavery. This is why many whites, regardless of whether their families were planters (or people that were either employed by planters as overseers and patrollers, or others that worked in businesses that dealt in products made from plantations)) viewed blacks as “inferior”. This is also why many of them had contempt for blacks and saw them as a threat for jobs, supported and demanded segregation,white flight,etc. By focusing on slavery as if slavery was the only thing bad in American race relations and saying things like “whites were just sailing in the ocean and out of nowhere Africans came with other Africans and they forced whites to let them sell them to them and the whites didn’t know what else to do with them” (even though white traders had used the gun trade cycle to get enemy tribes on the coast to do what they wanted. Also the Africans who were paid to capture the victims,some of whom were captured by enemies also dealing with the whites, for the whites had nothing to do with what those whites were going to do to the victims later on) or “my family never owned slaves” or “my family wasn’t her when slavery happened” (even though the plantation economy may have played some part in helping America become prosperous to attract white immigrants seeking a better life, the racial thing that developed wasn’t a bad thing for whites,even poor whites,either),etc. is their way of trying to absolve guilt about their own racial views.


  506. @ William “Women and children were tossed overboard in the middle of the ocean if they became sick or were thought to have a disease”

    William, not only were the sick, dead, and those considered diseased and troublesome tossed overboard, so were the healthy. Ship captains with their human cargo, had to ensure the survival of their vessels, and when/where the forces of nature reared its head, (hurricanes/storms) during the voyage, the lives of healthy African human beings had to be sacrificed to lighten the vessels, if that’s what was needed; they too were tossed overboard. It was not surprising therefore, as one or the posters here, Rayfield A. Waller alluded, saw an enormous growth and creation of economic structures to support the Atlantic Slave Trade, but also the pernicious institution of CHATEL SLAVERY; foremost among them were banking and the insurance industries – and of course, manufacturing.

    To get back to the disposition of these ships’ human cargo overboard: as with any commodity, it had to contend with the economic vagaries of the market place – (piques/low-troughs) – the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade was never spared these phenomena. Telephonic communication was non-existence; the journey from the West Coast of Africa to the Americas could take many months, and during those months, supply, but more importantly demand, could have changed – driving down the value of Whites/Europeans’ African human cargo. Despite what today we would consider the paucity of communication re: ships’ captains, the slave trade entrepreneurs in Europe and the Americas and their slave trading capitals, whether in Europe or the Americas, words would be conveyed to the ships captains that the market forces had changed: the bugbear of the market forces again, was on the demand side, rather than the supply.

    British archives have many recorded of instances, where ships’ captains, on hearing that there were downturns in the market for slaves at given times, would toss most of their vessels’ African human cargo overboard while on the high seas; file claims for mercantile losses against their (cargoes/vessels) insurers and were paid off handsomely. This, unfortunately, was not an anomaly, but one of the many practices of the trade.

    A few years back, while watching a British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) documentary on the British Slave Trade, the narrator discovered diaries of a particular ship’s captain who had been involved in the slave trade. He meticulously recorded, in writing, about his many trips along the Triangular Trade Route (From the West African Coast to the Americas, to Britain to West Africa Coast again) and the many, many instances that his ship was followed for days by sharks – waiting to feast on dead or live bodies of Africans tossed overboard – certainly, not one of the evils of the Trans-Atlantic Trade that “whites” care to discuss. It’s as if, the mindset of that cultural legacy of theirs – black people you are less than…ended in the nineteen sixties.

    We are human being; human beings create cultures. Despite what “whites” would like to have black people believe, cultures are not discarded on the trash heap of antiquity in one or two generations, especially one developed and practised for many centuries.

    Whites, and I’m using “whites” culturally, do you really believe that we aren’t where we are, because of where all of us have been – including yours/our forefathers and foremothers?


  507. @ Rebels11

    “black people play the race card all the time”

    I’m sick and tired of you guys with your ridiculous – “black people playing the race card” rhetoric!

    If we’re all in this bloody card game together – how come black people are the only ones with the race card? Aren’t we all supposed to be playing with the cards we’re dealt, and from the same pack?

    UNLESS, when the card is/was dealt, it was marked, unknown to the black people, and we ended up with all of them. The dealers of the card are overwhelmingly “white people.” So why the hell call foul when the card is played?

    OR

    If White People and Black People are/were given different decks from which to play, wouldn’t that cause confusion? What type of a card game would that be?

    YOU PEOPLE NEED TO CUT OUT THE NONSENSICAL RHETORIC. It’s absolutely asinine!

    The solution is: let’s play from the same deck and without marked card(s)

    You may read anything you wish in my comment!


  508. Ubuntu. I feel your frustration… the race card is just another of the many WHITE deflection/denial tactics… as if black people actually benefit from being victims in a racist system.

    “The solution is: let’s play from the same deck and without marked card(s)”

    In order to do that whites would have to willingly forgo what they have practiced for HUNDREDS of years. Racism/White Supremacy. They are not willingly going to do that…. unless they are somehow motivated (for their own self interests) to do so. Clearly, we haven’t yet been able to MOTIVATE them to play from the SAME deck.

    What do you think might motivate them to stop being racists?


  509. Ubuntu I shouldn’t be answering your very limited instructional comment but i will. The race card was played by the white man first. It was the white man who decided they were superior to other races. It was the white man who decided it would enslave BLACK people. It was the white man who decided they would enslave the Yellow man. It was the white man who decided they would massacre the Red man and take his land. It was the white man who decided it was okay to drop nuclear bombs on Yellow women and children. It was the white man who decided to create a HATE group called the KKK to eradicate a group of people who were poor, uneducated, non aggressive, oppressed, minding their own business and harmless. It was the white man who kept the Black, Red and Yellow citizens away from their money, their schools, their neighborhoods, their entertainment establishments, their restaurants…It was the white man who said you can’t vote, you can’t work the same jobs and you can’t go to our schools or live in our neighborhoods but we want you to fight OUR WARS, PAY OUR TAXES, PICK OUR FIELDS, WASH OUR CLOTHES, FIX OUR ROADS, etc…Now it is 2013 and Blacks and Native Americans are still the most oppressed, uneducated, poor, jobless, unequal group of Americans there are and whites are the highest paid, live in the safest cities, get faster law enforcement service, are not profiled, get more money for education than any other child, pay less taxes, get shot less by police, spend less time in jail than a black man doing the same crime, get their children put on amber alert 8 times more than black children, and so on, and so on, and so on…You cry and whine about Blacks playing the race card…Put your cards on the table and give me a list of facts that I have just given you and prove to me how blacks play the race card, because what I just showed you was that only one race has played the race card for the last 500 years and that is the WHITE MAN…If the white man hadn’t acted in this vial, inhuman, racist, cowardly way there wouldn’t even be a term known as the race card…We gave them no choice, we took everything from them and now those of us who are intellectually inferior only see it from their white superior narrow minded point of view…Later days Dude!


  510. @William
    You and I are saying the same thing. Matari got it. All I was trying to say Rebels11is that it gets old hearing white people saying black people are playing “race card” and that they (white people) should find another metaphor. Whites cannot say, black people are playing the race card” and that they are not – if we are all supposed to be in the same card game called life – together. My assumption is, they see themselves as the default and that anything outside their conceived perimeter of existence is special.

    These are the same people who will argue that there should be no BET (not a fan), since there is not WET – and they believe it.

    Gay persons who wish to get marry – “special rights” it being outside the framework of heterosexual normative.

    They’ll argue, there shouldn’t be any women studies, because there are no men studies, (believe it or not, many women will argue the same from a philosophical standpoint) but ask them to name a number of books that were assigned reading in college? – They’ll name fifteen white male authors.

    Since “race” is a social construct, and, there is no race, (I don’t believe in the biological concept of race either) hence for them, there can be no racism; although the concept was conceived and practised for hundreds of years, leaving all of us, with its dastardly cultural legacy of it, especially as it relates POC – today’s elephant in the room

    Discussing race and racism causes racism or more racism. I would love for that argument to be postulated with the myriad of diseases with which human being have to deal.

    To sum up: one cannot use the metaphor “race card” because the oxygen that I breathe is in the forest I’m located and the other person is on a boat in the middle of ocean. If we live on earth, we all breathe oxygen. It’s preposterous to say that blacks are playing the race card and whites are not. As a matter of fact, the overwhelming number of whites plays the “race card” so well, it’s invisible to them.

    Cheers William!


  511. @ William

    “You cry and whine about Blacks playing the race card”

    Just to be clear; I’m not crying and whining about “race card;” it the likes of Rebels11 and others of his ilk who are. I was just suggesting they find another metaphor. If the concept of race exist, it exists for all of us, including whites so they too are playing the “race card,” and very effectively.

    “Ubuntu I shouldn’t be answering your very limited instructional…who are intellectually inferior only see it from their white superior narrow minded point of view…Later days Dude!”

    To reiterate, I totally agree with your assertion above.

    Cheers William!


  512. @Ubuntu, My Bad…I am quick to anger on this thread because of all the past racist who have posted and as I have learned through reading and learning so much on this site that I am a bit slower than most of you here. It is easy to see that many of you have educations far beyond a diploma and to that I am happy and proud of you all…Thanks Ubuntu..I am going to read your post again with my Big Boy mask on…LOL.


  513. on Mon 16 Dec 2013 at 16:42:40 Jimmy L. Shirley Jr.

    “The solution is: let’s play from the same deck and without marked card(s)”

    In order to do that whites would have to willingly forgo what they have practiced for HUNDREDS of years. Racism/White Supremacy. They are not willingly going to do that…. unless they are somehow motivated (for their own self interests) to do so. Clearly, we haven’t yet been able to MOTIVATE them to play from the SAME deck.
    ————————————————————————————————

    I will say this about that. It is in no one’s self-interests to remove themselves from the top. For whatever y’all think about the so-called race card, this much is clear. As long as a minority can use any method to gain, they will.
    Now, Whites are the minority in South Africa. They are no longer in the position of power. Not for some years now. Can anyone here believe that, were it in the best interests of the ruling Black population, they would voluntarily step down from the top in favour of the White population?
    I can already here the roar of NO! from the majority of posters here.


  514. @ Matari

    Please bear with me – came down with a bout of flu on the week-end. I’m perspiring profusely at the moment, among other things and promise to get back to you when I’m feeling a bit better.

    Thanks!


  515. “one cannot use the metaphor “race card” because the oxygen that I breathe is in the forest I’m located and the other person is on a boat in the middle of ocean” – should read:

    one cannot use the metaphor “race card” because the oxygen that I breathe, is the same in the forest I’m located, as it is for the other person who on a boat in the middle of ocean.


  516. Feel better Ubuntu…


  517. @ William: Hello Season’s Greetings.


  518. Ubuntu,

    No problem. In your own time… no rush.


  519. I am an Italian American which is considered white , article states to own
    and look at my past about slavery
    what what what !!!!
    being in slaved is wrong on every level
    African Americans were not the only
    in slaved and abused why does it always come down to that
    own my past I had nor my ancestor
    any responsible to claim
    present day there is no African American in slaved by the white person
    it’s used as an excuse to always find
    a reason why they are not getting enough !!!! well enough is enough


  520. @ ppp

    I am an Italian American which is considered white

    100 years ago, this was not true. If you ask yourself why that is, it reveals more deeply by what is meant by “white American” in the post.

    their sense of self worth is built on being white and how whites are better than everyone else

    This is a big reason that the ancestors of Italian-Americans willingly became white. So that they would not be “everyone else”. So that they could join the same white society that enslaved blacks and become the equals of whites.


  521. PPP, Yet, racial economic disparities are mostly unchanged and in some cases are growing. In 1963, blacks families earned 55 cents for every dollar earned by whites. In 2011, blacks earned 66 cents for every dollar earned by whites. The black unemployment rate averaged 11.6 percent between 1963 and 2012, more than double the white jobless rate over that time.

    The black poverty rate of 55.1 percent was just over three times the white rate in 1959. It dropped to 32.2 percent in 1972. But since then, progress has been slow. In 2011, 27.6 percent of black households were in poverty — nearly triple the 9.8 percent white rate, according to the Census Bureau.

    Why don’t you talk about reality and state some facts with your opinion because if you just speak about how you feel and don’t back it up with factual information then it just makes us think you are another typical racist. Bring us some studies showing how equal our African American countrymen and Women are doing as well or better than whites or how things have changed so much that in a few years we will all be equal. I have lived in both cultures and I can tell you my friend that they are far from equal and racism or supremacy is still a big part of the problem. Besides only a person who has not lived in another persons shoes, has not endured racism or disparity or poverty, would make a statement such as “enough is enough”. Are you saying that as a WHITE man you are speaking for the entire Black race when you say enough is enough, are you now the white/black spokesman for the African American community? Because I think we can save lots of time if we could just go to you when we want to know how an entire race of people should respond to oppression, slavery, inequality, poverty, crime, gangs, joblessness…Your like a profit of the people Dude.


  522. Why are rienforcing racism? You use the term “white” in a way that makes them the sole culpret for slavery. You mentioned yourself that there were african and arabs who sold slaves as well. The Germans did kill their own in the sense that the Nazis killed people of their own heritage and race, just as various african tribes and societies sold their own off into slavery. This is not a justification for the evil that occured from slavery, but the whole “white guilt” notion is just nonsense. People were sold into slavery. It seems ironic that today, the blame of an overdose is directed to the drug dealer and not the buyer, but when it comes to slavery, everyone blames the buyer and not the dealer.


  523. @ fienstien

    Slavery is not a white invention. Modern Western racism, however, is a white invention. Racism is responsible for certain forms of slavery, like the Transatlantic Slave Trade, which was based on categorizing diverse groups of people into distinct races. In American history, this resulted in whites being placed above blacks. This blog is centered on racism, not slavery.


  524. @ fienstien

    Whites practised slavery in the name of race, benefited as a race and so get blamed as a race.


  525. @Abagond

    Why do you let White trolls like Fienstien even comment? They get on my nerves and is one of the reasons why I don’t comment on your blog as much as I used to. But I still like your blog and the articles you write but not these White trolls


  526. on Thu 2 Jan 2014 at 20:49:45 Jimmy L. Shirley Jr.

    What is it you want, Adeen. A choir to preach to? Is it not better to tolerate “error of opinion … where reason is left free to combat it.”?
    To shut down this free exchange of ideas leads to places like Nazi Germany, Communist Russia.
    Unless you are incapable of refuting.


  527. ppp:

    I am an Italian American which is considered white

    Odd how you had to put in that qualifier!


  528. Jimmy Shirley, if your going to add some REAL dialogue and not just simple and obvious denial and excuses then maybe you won’t be called out every time you play devils racist advocate. When whites of this country try to compare whites enslaving whites back in Ireland to American ships traveling halfway around the world to purchase millions of innocent people as slaves to rape, beat, hang, labor, torture, murder and so on you know you have someone who is not interested in real discussion but only wants to sugar coat the atrocities his white forefathers committed against so many. He doesn’t want to take any responsibility for the inequality and oppression that continues to this day. It’s easier to say, “It’s their own fault, they have it as good as any of us, slavery was 200 years ago, if they were white they would have been over it by now…” These are all comments and thoughts of a racist, pure and simple and the fact you don’t recognize this is because you were raised in a white world, by racist people more than likely. You would be one of the whites at the people auctions just over 100 years ago and you would also be in the barricade in front of the Mississippi school refusing to let a black student get a better education in the 60’s. Your not fooling anyone we know who you are…I am white and I have been welcomed with open arms for the most part on this site. I can ask any question I want and if I don’t agree I can state my mind without anyone calling me out but there is a big difference between me and you…I don’t deny or make light of slavery, clear and evident racism or the post traumatic oppression it has created within the African American community. This site was not created to argue with those who are incapable of seeing reality because of their narrow vision of the world, we are not going to convince a racist not to be a racist, only a life changing event or the sudden explosion of intelligence can do that…


  529. on Fri 3 Jan 2014 at 01:41:48 Jimmy L. Shirley Jr.

    First off,
    How convenient you people ignore that most of the racial atrocities committed against “Your people” were committed by yankees.
    Second, you talk about equality? That is total BS. THERE is no equality!! In a tree, are the roots equal to the trunk? Vice versa? Are the branches equal to the roots/trunk? Are the leaves equal to the branches/trunk/roots? Of course not!
    But they all know their place. Neither could exist without the other. YET!! You people would have us believe that class/place has no where to exist on the modern world. REALLY!!???


  530. @ Omnipresent

    Excellent point. Adding the qualifier “considered” in front of the word “white” implies that other social groups must validate Italian-Americans as white in order for Italian-Americans to recognize their own whiteness. In American history, WASPs were the socially dominant group which accepted Italians into their own group, and thus expanded their group into just “whites”, which includes WASPs and non-WASPs alike.

    The point of doing this was to avoid being seen as “nonwhites”, which Italians were seen as 100 years ago. Being classified as nonwhite confers second-class citizenship. And Italian-Americans knew just how bad it was to be black, so they had every reason to assimilate into white society.


  531. @ Jimmy L. Shirley Jr.

    But they all know their place. Neither could exist without the other.

    Would you care to be the root? Plenty of trunks would be honored to have you beneath them. If you object, these trunks will tell you to “know your place” in the dirt, where you belong. After all, “neither could exist without the other”.


  532. Jimmy Shirley, so your opinion regarding inequality and race is that those who are oppressed should just fall in line and shut up. Do you know why the people of America revolted against England?…Inequality! No one is saying that classes should not exist or that one side should switch places with the other. What the people of this country who have had a ball and chain tied around their ankle while others slide by easily, want is to have a chance to succeed according to their effort just like those who have been more fortunate have had. No more, no less…EQUALITY, it’s easy to judge others looking in from the outside, it’s easy to be an armchair quarterback, talk is cheap, if you haven’t lived in ones shoes you shouldn’t be telling them how much their feet hurt…get it!


  533. on Fri 3 Jan 2014 at 02:55:37 Jimmy L. Shirley Jr.

    You know not American History.
    they rebelled NOT over the issue o equality, but what they perceived as unfair taxation, without representation. Never mind Great Britain had fought a seven year war with France to preserve the security of the frontier. Someone had to pay for it. The brash colonials really thought they should not.
    In investing in the attempt at secession, they spouted high falootin principles. But the bottom line was they wanted no part in paying for their own security.
    this had nada to do with your much vaunted “equality”.


  534. Jimmy L. Shirley Jr. 

    I see you are skilled in passing blame…oh it is not us it is those yankees!!!


  535. Taxation without representation is inequality, get on board dude!


  536. Slavery is inhumane, no human being should have to endure such pain. It makes no difference who wronged who in the past. We have to start now with the slaves held captive and free them. We must end slavery in communist countries and in Mexico. The sex slave trade is real and our Mexican brothers and sisters are being violated. Chinese and Korean people are imprisoned wrongfully to make our goods cheap and if they don’t work, they don’t eat. These people are all from the same race, the human race. We can still respect and enjoy each other’s cultures. We need to stop slavery now in honor of all those who suffered and lost their freedom. Our media hides the ugly truth and we need to take action to free these people. We don’t need to waste our time blaming or denying. We need to be the the ones to say it ends here! The violence ends now. The love and kindness for all people starts now. Forget war, how about operation freedom and kindness. We need to show everyone what America is really about. HUMAN RIGHTS FOR ALL PEOPLE AND END SLAVERY IN THE WORLD NOW.


  537. Sorry, Jimmy, but you have a LOT to learn about Colonial America if you think that the citizens on this side of the pond “didn’t want to pau for their own security.” Every white man in the Colonies was mandated to be part of a militia under British rule. The only ones who could vote had to be ALL of the following: white, protestant, male, over 21 and deeded landholders. You’d better believe Inequality was a huge part of the revolt. Classicism and racism were already rampant due to the enslavement of Africans and Natives; these practices had long been established and were an integral part of the society and culture here in the first 200 years of settlement, since the corporations which established their plantations couldn’t do it without decimating the Natives. Unfortunately, whites were the figureheads in power here, so they kept everyone else down in am effort to both establish and maintain the appearance of equality with mainland Britain. Colonists considered themselves British, not separate from the motherland. The rebellion was a means to establish sovereignty in a situation where Lobsterbacks might show up at anyone’s door and declare martial law. How can a monarch some 3,000 miles away, with no direct knowledge of the citizens and culture of his Colonies, possibly act in the best interests of those “subjects?” That’s where the revolution came from. But those Colonists had an ingrained classicism and racism that asserted itself heartily in the effort to lift themselves out from underneath one tyrrany, while squarely continuing some of the absolute worst tyrrany against the “others” among them.


  538. @YouknowMe: Exactly. Estimates range from 700,000 to 2 million people currently trapped in sex slavery alone. When children go missing and a body isn’t found very often the child is being traded in the sex industry. These children and adults are kept in seclusion from their families and friends and completely stripped of their humanity. They are emotionally and physically tortured. It happens all over the world and in EVERY STATE of the US. Yet, many many people will deny it exists at all. Just ask any police officer, any FBI or CIA, any social worker. It is real and it is the filthiest example of human cruelty imaginable.


  539. @Jimmy, what Melanie said…


  540. You Know Me, thank you for your comment and you are very right, arguing the past is not necessarily a bad thing when done with the intention to heal or understand each other better but our number one concern should be for those who suffer now.

    Melanie, thank you for your highly informative, poignant and intelligent response to Jimmy’s post. I’ll just refer all my answers to you.


  541. I suggest y’all pore through this website, which offers at least one man’s view of the British perspective, which is always fair to consider. http://www.redcoat.me.uk/


  542. Jimmy L. Shirley Jr. 

    One mans perspective is not a fact of the matter. You open the door for people to pour in there own “perspectives” and have that be concluded as a factual account of events. Even more so you are trying to direct the debate/argument away from the main point of the post. Which tells me you had nothing when you walk in and have no point now.


  543. My brothers and sisters, I argue that; you will not get many ‘whites’ to understand what you want them to. The reason they cannot understand is because you are asking them to go against their cultural/biological make up. Whites evolved in a harsh resource depleted environment, where clan mentality, class structures, and violence were necessary to survive. On the other hand; blacks evolved in a tropical resource rich environment where sharing and the necessity for class distinctions, hoarding and violence were not necessary. As soon as we brothers and sisters stop trying to adopt this white mode of behavior no matter how enticing or appropriate it may seem to us, and start operating as a sharing, giving community again, we will be relegated to the bottom rung in this society; America is run by groups, not individuals. And since my claims have been generally based on evolutionary theory and inductive as opposed to deductive; my credentials should be stated. I am a graduate from the University of Pennsylvania with both a degree in psychology with a concentration in the biological basis of behavior, and religious studies. I am now in my first year at Princeton earning a double Ph.D in Psychology and social policy.-soooowooooooooppp!!!!


  544. I can tell you right now what another part of y’alls problem is. You DON’T want to have a conversation about race/slavery. You want to lecture us. YOU want to set the agenda. YOU think you have the RIGHT to stand to accuse US of what our ancestors did for y’alls ancestors.
    if you want to talk, we can. You want us to not dismiss y’alls concerns, opinions, you can start by doing the same towards us. Is fair not fair?

    @Sharina.
    You said, One mans perspective is not a fact of the matter. You open the door for people to pour in there own “perspectives” and have that be concluded as a factual account of events. Even more so you are trying to direct the debate/argument away from the main point of the post. Which tells me you had nothing when you walk in and have no point now.”

    Well, this is exactly what y’all have been doing. One man’s perspective of “slavery is inherently evil, all slaves were whipped and kept in chains, and the only variety of slavery that counts is of the African sort.”
    How ego-centric. How self involved.
    I suggest you all get over yourselves and just get on with living, improving your own lives and stop living in the past. And when you get rich enough, then you can afford to help others less fortunate. In the stead of y’all trying to force others to help those less fortunate. You are so concerned, do it yourselves.


  545. Kiwi

    The point of doing this was to avoid being seen as “nonwhites”, which Italians were seen as 100 years ago. Being classified as nonwhite confers second-class citizenship. And Italian-Americans knew just how bad it was to be black, so they had every reason to assimilate into white society.

    I am seeing this more and more. Of the Italians I knew growing up, most were on the peripheral of the social scene – but never fully immersed. Known and adored for their seemingly strong European ‘difference’ by the ladies and i’m sure other things that I couldnt possibly appreciate. There was a strong need to tell others, particularly minorities, that they were ‘white’ but from what I saw, it was they themselves never seemed fully convinced. The ‘prize’ of a ‘white english’ girlfriend was held too high in esteem from them and never made me convinced either that they truthfully believed what they said.


  546. @Jimmy L. Shirley Jr.

    “Well, this is exactly what y’all have been doing.”—Ya’lll haven’t been doing anything of the sort and I think if you take your head out of your azz and read what I said then you will notice that. Though your response seems to indicate a monolith idea of what we think.

    “I suggest you all get over yourselves and just get on with living, improving your own lives and stop living in the past. And when you get rich enough, then you can afford to help others less fortunate. In the stead of y’all trying to force others to help those less fortunate. You are so concerned, do it yourselves.”—I would suggest you do the same as you have been whining for days now on end about what this person on a blog said or did. I would call that the pot calling the kettle black except it is only you doing this and you lacking the ability to read what anyone really said (I am waiting for you to point to where Abagond or anyone said ALL whites). So I guess it is better to say “when you assume you make an ass out of U and ME.” Had you took that little quote to mind when you responded to me then you would not have assumed what my life or anyone esles is like. I actually do charitable works every week. More depending on my time. What is it you do beside whine or make an azz of yourself? :)


  547. “I actually do charitable works every week. More depending on my time. What is it you do beside whine or make an azz of yourself?”

    Given that Southern people all across the country who proudly display their Confederate heritage by wearing manifestations of the Confederate Battle Flag are targets of discrimination and bigotry, because of the lies, distortions, myths and other falsehoods regarding the whole issue of involuntary African servitude, I devote my spare tyme to debunking those very same lies with documented truth.
    People have been fired, suspended from school, told to remove their tattoos and/or otherwise gotten into trouble because of that symbol of nobility, the Confederate Battle Flag.
    Any idea just how hard it is when truth confronts willful ignorance? So many people believe the sort of distortions shown here, just like they believe lincoln was the Black man’s friend and that he freed the slaves. It is so hard to fight ignorance at this level of brainwashing.


  548. @Jimmy L. Shirley Jr.

    “I can tell you right now what another part of y’alls problem is.”–Take a good long hard look at this quote. This is your problem and where you have basically messed up your chances of anyone wanting to have a decent conversation with you. You managed to do exactly what you have imagined others have done to you. Again with the pass the buck attitude (its not me…its you. Boohoo).

    Here is some lengthy advice if you are looking for you if you are looking for anyone to actually take you serious.

    1. comprehend what you read. You are on a tangent that has little or nothing to do with this post. In fact you are an example of what he means by the post at this point.

    2. Take your head out of your azz. You have basically had it up there since you first started commenting and it seems to be going deeper.

    3. Point to where abagond says all whites. I see people bring it up but my curiosity is getting the best of me and perhaps you can point to where it says such.


  549. @Jimmy L. Shirley Jr.

    “Given that Southern people all across the country who proudly display their Confederate heritage by wearing manifestations of the Confederate Battle Flag are targets of discrimination and bigotry, because of the lies, distortions, myths and other falsehoods regarding the whole issue of involuntary African servitude, I devote my spare tyme to debunking those very same lies with documented truth.”—-Yet I have seen little or none of these supposed FACTS you claim to have presented.

    “Any idea just how hard it is when truth confronts willful ignorance? So many people believe the sort of distortions shown here, just like they believe lincoln was the Black man’s friend and that he freed the slaves. It is so hard to fight ignorance at this level of brainwashing.”—-I don’t know. How hard is it? I find it funny how some people believe they have come on to the truth and freed themselves from brainwashing only to find themselves latched to a new form of brainwashing. That is the type of ignorance that seems to be most hard to fight. Though you will be surprised how many blacks in here do not see Lincoln as some type of friend to the blacks.


  550. @Jimmy, you are the typical conservative white republican in this country. You blame the victim and not the RAPIST. You see since day one who has had the power and the money; WHITES. Who had motive; WHITES. Who had the means to travel halfway around the world to purchase human beings; WHITES. Who still has the power to this day; WHITES. When have you ever known a person with all the power to be the victim in any case; NEVER!!!


  551. @Jimmy, you want proof? Look at all the photographs of lynched human beings, set on fire, skinned alive. Where are the pictures of whites being hung by blacks? Where are the pictures of whites being set on fire by large groups of blacks? Look at all the pictures of blacks being shot with water cannons, bitten by dogs, children smashed in the head by a white policemans billy club, crosses burning on lawns (how dare they use God as their tool of hate), where are the white hate clubs, etc. Where are the pictures of whites being water cannoned by blacks? Where are the photos of white children being smashed in the head by black police? Where are the black hate clubs? There are over 1,000 hate organizations in America and 90% of them are white based, less than 1% are black based. The whites make up 64% of the population and blacks make up 14%. So shouldn’t those hate club numbers reflect the percentage of the population or is it that whites just have more hate towards other races than blacks…Let the facts speak for them self and take away all of our bias…By the way, I found I. Williams swooooop comment at the end of his credentials hilarious!!


  552. Forgive me for the typos in my last posting; im in and out the do’. In reference to that last posting, I would add my understanding of the basic argument between the two modes of thought on this blog. The Black argument: whites; as would be defined as a social classification, came to Africa, enslaved our ancestors, benefited from the forced labor, and until this very day continue to benefit from the capital generated from slavery, enjoy the social and resource opportunities while this same constructed notion of class which justified our enslavement continues to shut us out of these very same resources and opportunities.

    The White argument: You cant blame us, we’re only human. All humans at one time or the other have enslaved other humans.

    While the black argument is a statement of fact, but not necessarily an argument in this form, the white argument is in fact an argument but fallacious on at least two different accounts. 1) the ‘two wrongs make a right’ argument is a a logical fallacy; although this statement seems to validate the ‘environmental determination’ theory in that whites believe the propensity to enslave other humans is genetic. 2) No, all humans, or civilizations, cultures etc. did not practice slavery, so I reject the premise. Since many people have made this claim on this blog, and therefore the burden of proof is on them; I challenge them to find documentation to validate such a claim.


  553. @Jimmy, you are exposing how corrupt your point of view is by your use of the Ya’ll term. Every single person has respected you except me and I’m white, however you have done everything in your power to restrain yourself from using more derogatory statements, evident by your constant use of the ya’ll term. After reading the last post from these evidently much more intelligent people I would quit while you are behind because you are clearly outgunned intellectually…please take your misguided and misinformed and unsubstantiated claims elsewhere.


  554. @Jimmy L. Shirley Jr.
    ‘But the bottom line was they wanted no part in paying for their own security.
    this had nada to do with your much vaunted “equality”.’

    uh, 2nd amendment?


  555. @ I. Williams, your previous post about the white culture is unfortunately true I believe. As a matter of fact I have said this very thing for years, just not so eloquently. I have observed my entire life how whites create cliques based on status and never on character. I have observed other races or cultures and their strong family unit which doesn’t stop at the immediate family but the entire family line from Grandfather to second and third cousins, no distinction. Whites generally only participate with the immediate family past a certain point and you have to twist their arms to even get that. Of course this does not mean every family, each is different but as the rule this is true. Black, Hispanic and Asian races will stand together to defend each other from the authorities, not whites we tend to judge the person guilty instead of innocent, maybe our way of not feeling guilty for looking the other way. Whites value money over all else and it is the way of our culture. Slaves are a commodity not human beings, the land we stole from the Indians was our Manifest Destiny not genocide, two nuclear bombs dropped on innocent women and children was self defense not a war crime. We are taught to be capitalist from the very inception of thought. The culture you speak of in Africa sounds beautiful and I know little or nothing about it but I would imagine it is similar to cultures all over the world where family, neighbors, people, healthcare, food, education, equality and life in general are the key motivators and not money. I often dream of Americans adopting a culture where brotherhood, sharing, family, food, education, charity and volunteering is our motivation and our commitment to society.


  556. Completely agree with you on the generalities, William. I’ve certainly seen this in action. One of the reasons I’m still single is the way so many men I’ve dated ultimately fit this pattern. I don’t tolerate relationships with people who pigeonhole others for shallow reasons. I’m concerned with the content of their character, and unfortunately those men of character which I have found did not have the same feeling for me as I did for them. Others had some seriously messed up ideas and priorities.
    Extends to my circle of friends as well. Sometimes just had to stop associating with certain people as their true beliefs and bigotry were exposed.

    (And thanks for your kind words to me, too.)


  557. @ William

    It pains me to see you sell yourself short. Please don;t do that and don’t let anyone make you feel like you are less. Not knowing something is ok and it is ok to admit it because it leaves room for you to learn it. I don’t see myself as more or less than anyone in here. You did just fine in your responses.

    @Melanie S.

    Awesome responses. I do agree with William

    @l. williams

    I want to share something I learned a long time ago in asking for sources on these boards. Ask for proof and you usually get one of a few different responses. 1. you get no response. They disappear. 2. You get a source that is no even credible and find yourself in disbelief that they even chose it. 3. You get the changing of the subject. 4. You get ad hominem attacks. The list does go on, but I will stop there as it is wrong of me not to allow you to discover this yourself.

    If you are new then welcome. If not then I apologize and look forward to your commentary.

    @ v8driver

    Hey! How have you been?


  558. on Sat 4 Jan 2014 at 16:14:30 reggie jacobs

    Why does this post still get so many comments a few years after it was made?


  559. @miss sharina it’s hard to comparatively quantify; however, my perception is that i am well, thank you!


  560. @reggie jacobs

    Because you have trolls that ran across it and have decided to comment under the idea that because it is so old that no one will say anything back and they can simply get by with saying what they want.

    @v8driver
    :) good to hear.


  561. on Sat 4 Jan 2014 at 18:50:27 reggie jacobs

    I see


  562. Given that Southern people all across the country who proudly display their Confederate heritage by wearing manifestations of the Confederate Battle Flag are targets of discrimination and bigotry, because of the lies, distortions, myths and other falsehoods regarding the whole issue of involuntary African servitude, I devote my spare tyme to debunking those very same lies with documented truth.

    You’re joking right? If not, you are one deluded fellow!


  563. “They were no more selling “their own” than, say, “Europeans” were killing “their own” during the Holocaust.”

    Like what does this sentence supposed to mean. Iam no Jew but if you are killing your neighbor in a concentration camp. Doesnt that mean you are killing your own people. Or do Jews feel that it is so that Jews belong to their own group and are not part of any nationality in say europe. Then it would make sense


  564. @ Jaakoppi

    The Germans did not regard the Jews as their own, even those who were their neighbors. Even Jews who had lived in Germany for generations were considered foreigners. Their highly visible religious/cultural displays, I think, is largely responsible for helping Europeans to identify the Jews as “Others”. During the late 1800s and early 1900s, there was a popular movement among Jews to assimilate into their native countries, contrary to the myth that Zionism was the only movement among Jews. Assimilationist Jews were in fact the kind of Jews that Hitler and his Nazi movement hated most. They adopted the language, customs, religion, traditions, dress, and mores that gentile Germans had. This made them harder to identify and target by anti-Semites.

    Similarly, in America, Japanese Americans stood out for their racial features, which made them easy to identify and round up in concentration camps. Most of them were American. However, white Americans did not consider them their own, even those who were their neighbors. Even today, Asians in general are not considered Americans even if their ancestors arrived in this country eight generations ago.


  565. So, how many black people regret the European whites contact back then with primitive Africa (Excuse me if I call it that!) Regret our civilisation, want to get back to basics? Not many I bet. Not those driving Cadillacs and BMWs, living the professional dream life in the European based cultured society they ENJOY today.

    All civilizations have VERY cruel periods as did the British Empire and similr European and American regimes,but NON more cruel and inhumane than African justice, even as seen today. A Nigerian friend told me of a woman being stoned to death publicly in his village and set alight for an affair with a married man, just TEN years ago. It’s not unusual, it’s instant street justice, not lawful I would guess.

    Many of you need to get the big fat racist cliche anti white chips off your shoulders and REALLY try to fit in all of us as humans together and not fight every historic battle right here right now in 2010/2014.

    Or go back to say South Africa, where despite the seemingly Demi God like Nelson Mandela and his government, see poor black children live and die on the street, that is TODAY! Ditto almost every other African nation with civil wars, coups and quasi military factions seemingly on every street corner.
    Still a very screwed up country South Africa, unsafe and unfair.

    So where is it FAIR in 2014? No where 100%. But give us Euro’s a break, most non-Europeans head voluntarily for Europe or North America/Canada because the white culture is 1000 x fairer and offers 100,000 x the opportunities of where they originated from, NOT due to slavery, but due to how the civilization grew, formed better laws and the populations developed in Europe and it did NOT in Africa. Dispute that fact.


  566. Dispute what fact? You didn’t give any.


  567. @origin nice post
    @paul i’ll let you know how it goes over there!


  568. @Paul, your comments have just justified and explained everything this post and several other post are attempting to prove. Congratulations you just proved every single point ever posted on Abagond as to why Blacks have had it so hard to this day and demonstrated the attitude from white supramacy they have endured since the day we forced them into western life. Take a look around you, if you haven’t noticed capiltalism only works for those who worship money and pay no heed to human emotion, socially it is a huge failure on all fronts. Family values, racism, religion, education, crime, foriegn relations, etc, etc..Secondly, you mentioned Africa and it’s problems, Africa did not have the epidemics, social disparagy, religous factions and so on prior to being settled by white nations. Africa was a peaceful lonely place minding it’s own business and not until white men decided that the native people needed to be saved from Satan, modernized, industrialized did Africa just become another screwed up mess left after whites failed to fix something that wasn’t broke. Whites brought disease, religous persecution, environmental destruction, created the haves and the have nots or inequality, etc..Before colonization they were peaceful tribes living among each other since the existence of man but again the white man screwed it all up! By the way Paul did you graduate High School?


  569. “They were no more selling “their own” than, say, “Europeans” were killing “their own” during the Holocaust.” I really liked that statement, the reason white people assume Africans all look the same is pure ignorance.
    During the early stages of slavery people from ethnic groups such as the Akan and Hausa people sold others from the Igbo, Yoruba, Ga and so on …


  570. on Fri 31 Jan 2014 at 17:19:19 William The Conqueor

    Even though I agree with Williams statement about “no more selling their own”, this is another William and not the same William who posted above this one addressing Paul. There are now two Williams posting so from now on I will post as William the Conqueror…sounds so cool, don’t you think?


  571. Exactly why are people still posting these stupid redundant idiocies about ‘Africans’ selling ‘their own people’ into slavery?? Haven’t there been enough posts here at this very site to quash this foolishness for the a-historical, ignorant, purely ideological crap it is? Don’t get me wrong here: the argument has been a foolish argument (claim, assertion) for fifty years OUTSIDE of this site, and anyone making this claim proves their own lack of knowledge of history anyway–but laying that fact aside for the sake of this discussion, even in the specific intellectual ecosystem of this site of Abagond’s, the foolishness of this claim has been thoroughly negated both by Abagond’s cogent and incisive column statements, and by several readers’ comments, including my own.

    Yet, the site, and the site’s old, old Sept 2010 column focusing on the argument that Africans enslaved themselves, not Anglos, continues to draw restatements, reiterations, re mumbles and re-slurrings of this VERY SAME DUMB, A-HISTORICAL CLAIM. It seems to be a combination of the fact that new commenters are not taking the time to read the previously existing comments, (not to mention are not reading Abagond’s original column, which ought to have cleared up the reasons, motivations, and defense mechanism that stand behind this flawed Anglo claim), and not thinking through the logic of what they are saying–the illogical points of the claim are, again, thoroughly exposed by Abagond in the first place.

    Is it a lack of attention span? Is it perhaps that there is yet another explanation behind the persistence of this claim–that it is the evidence of a MENTAL condition? Do Anglos have a psychological complex going here in the classic psychoanalytic sense? A complex of defense mechanisms that are not only an ideological cover for their guilt over not ‘slavery’ but the TRANSATLANTIC CORPORATE SLAVE TRADE? Is it actually in fact also a complex of psycho-defensive projection and deflection neuroses that function to hide their own id crimes from their superego’s self recrimination by projection of their crime onto the victims and deflection of responsibility away from the finite factual evidence of a crime, finite evidence that leads back to them?

    I am beginning to think that there are indeed some deeper psychological issues at play here. My advice is, READ THE ORIGINAL COMMENTS by Abagond. Don’t you all make me have to re-post my own thorough academic explication here. You don’t want that, because Abagond is nicer than me.

    Prof Rayfield A. Waller
    Wayne State University
    Department of Africana Studies
    Detroit


  572. @Rayfield A. Waller

    You basically hit the nail on the head when you said

    ” It seems to be a combination of the fact that new commenters are not taking the time to read the previously existing comments, (not to mention are not reading Abagond’s original column, which ought to have cleared up the reasons, motivations, and defense mechanism that stand behind this flawed Anglo claim), and not thinking through the logic of what they are saying–the illogical points of the claim are, again, thoroughly exposed by Abagond in the first place.”


  573. on Fri 31 Jan 2014 at 19:38:07 William The Conqueor

    Sharina and Rayfield, one of the things you must remember is that most of the people who comment on this thread negatively are not interested in real debate or education in regards to how other feel about their experiences. These people are just racist looking to judge something they know nothing about, judge people they know only from media sensationalism and react to things they don’t understand like their mommies and daddies did, with hate and ignorance. That is why this thread continues, I still respond because I have always felt a responsibility to respond to racist out of some underlining guilt given the fact that my race seems to be the only real racist on this planet. This thread also is the only one that repeatedly shows up on my email when someone new comments…And Rayfield I believe you are right about the anglo race being a bit touched in the head, at least half of them anyway, believe me my family is full of crazy ignorant racist and they have zero rationality or logic.


  574. While it is true that Europeans did not DIRECTLY capture Africans in Africa, and instead bought them from other Africas in Africa. More research needs to be done regarding the qualifications necessary for an African to be sold by another African to the Europeans?

    Because its not at all clear.

    My own research indicates the African side of the trade was highly organized with charters, monopolies, smuggling… all the dynamics of contemporary trade along with the associated problems and disputes they generate.

    I strongly doubt the Africans doing the selling sold their own people; unless they were criminals or carriers of some other social or physical deficit.

    So at the end of the day, if you are a black person in the Western hemisphere, you don’t really know where you came from even if you know it was somewhere in Africa.

    The Africans in Africa probably don’t know either. And even if they did, they probably would not tell you or tell the truth.

    Simple logic retards a tribe from selling its own members. Therefore, I suspect tribes sold members of other tribes.

    The Europeans who bought them probably kept track of such data and have all the answers in some dusty archive in Europe.


  575. I am a bit humbled both by the truth of what you say, and by your honesty and frankness. In fact the honesty is downright impressive, and I appreciate your determination to respond to racism out of your own chosen sense of racial responsibility (although personally I don’t know how far I believe the idea that the Anglo descendants of the slavocracy are truly responsible for a system that they did not participate in directly but only benefit from structurally where their ancestors benefited by direct primitive accumulation). As for just the truth of what you say, yes, you are right, and it is a bit like you are tapping me on the shoulder and saying, hey, focus These people who post the more ignorant comments AREN’T interested in reasoned debate. You’re obviously right, William. I am perhaps tossing ping pong balls at the wind.

    Much more interesting is something you exemplify and that you are reminding me of: a comment that I read, a comment made I think by Anglo historian Taylor Branch, author of a magnificent civil rights study, his book, “Parting the Waters” and a major contributor to the landmark civil rights and Black American history documentary, “Eyes on the Prize”. Branch commented once that systematic racism will never really be rooted out of American society unless ‘Whites’ decide to defeat it, because it is actually their historical role to eradicate what was put in place by their own ancestors. The further implication of this is that the oppressed should not have to carry the overwhelming and inter-generational burden of changing America all alone.

    There must be race traitors (‘Whites’/Anglos who betray their own considerable but narrow racial interests) willing to participate in liberation. There must be Anglos who want to reject ‘Whiteness’ in favor of a more full humanity for themselves than is offered by racialism. Otherwise, the common humanity Blacks and Anglos share on these shores, not to mention our common histories and common genetic heritage! –Cannot be fully explored, enjoyed, and experienced. I embrace this idea fully as a man in a male supremacist society. If men don’t renounce male privilege, it won’t easily disappear from society. I reject male supremacy because I don’t wish to live inside the prison of ‘masculinity’ as if it were a sentence to serve all my life. Class suicide, race suicide, gender suicide (as a heterosexual I reject gendercentrism in the cause of opposing hetero-sexist discrimination against gays and lesbians).

    These forms of ‘suicide’ are some of the most useful tools in what I think is the responsibility all of us have right now, despite the distraction of reality TV and ‘smarty-phones': finishing the 200 year struggle in North America for human liberation (the Constitution, the abolitionist movement, the Amistad, Aquiano, Margaret Sanger, Frederick Douglass, “The Woman Rebel” newspaper whose motto was, ‘No Gods, No Masters’, Ida B. Wells, Harriett Tubman, and the women’s suffrage movements, Joe Hill, the Union movements, and the International Workers of the World, Mario Savio and the free speech movement, Dolores Huerta and the Latino rights movement, Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers, The American Indian Movement’s Russel Means, King’s struggle for civil rights and public access, Malcolm X and the Black power movement, the Weathermen, Stonewall and the gay rights movement, SANE-FREEZE, immigrants’ rights movements, abortion rights, and the struggle against environmental racism). This history is unique to America and is the primary legacy of all Americans, all of us– the liberation of all Americans from the nightmare of our own anti-human histories in this country. Perhaps that is really a more worthy issue to be thinking about, than this endless chatter over Blacks (Africans) and who sold whom into which form of slavery and when. At any rate, thanks, William, for being there, for being an example. And thanks, Sharina, for the encouragement you offer.


  576. on Sun 2 Feb 2014 at 04:47:18 William the Conqueror

    Dear Rayfield, I love reading your comments, so eloquent, poignant, filled with emotion and so much knowledge. If I am not mistaken I can hear your beautiful accent while reading your literature. Bravo, bravo…

    Thank you very much for your kind words and what you said about whites needing to break their “allegiance” to their race in order for us as a nation to really eliminate racism and restore or create equality is spot on. The list of races or groups fighting for freedom, civil rights, equality, etc all have one common denominator…their oppressor is the white man, this is where my motivation comes from; guilt, shame, anger, frustration, these are the other underlining emotions that fuel my disgust for the portion of my race that remains racist. Maybe God has blessed me with wisdom, maybe my interacial family has given me experiences that help me think logically and ethically or maybe it’s true that 49% of the white race is just pure ignorant. Either way I feel blessed and I never waiver when it comes to human rights and people, they always come first whenever I am faced with anything that requires my actions or opinion. Take care my friend…


  577. William the Conqueror

    these are the other underlining emotions that fuel my disgust for the portion of my race that remains racist.
    ——————————————————————————————————–

    William, are you claiming you are NOT a racist?


  578. on Sun 2 Feb 2014 at 10:05:45 William The Conqueor

    I claim that it doesn’t take a genius or empathetic person to acknowledge that groups of people have been wronged horribly by another group of people, who seem to be at the head of the table at each and every one of these atrocities. That is what I claim. Because my skin color happens to be the same color as said group I feel a sense of guilt and remorse, as any good, sympathetic and intelligent person would. My journey is to change the world, starting with myself. Have I had racist thoughts and made a few racist remarks in my life, yes, a few, but I was very young and I immediately knew what I did was wrong and I was being as ignorant as any other racist at the time. I let the media dictate my emotions and I judged an entire group of people by the actions of a few criminals. However life’s journey is one of growing, learning, changing and hopefully influencing others for the better. I have been so fortunate that I was raised by a father who never once in his life have I heard say a racist word, not one. He is kind and loving and respects all life on this planet. God taught him how to love and he gets it, he’s not a scholar or even a college graduate but he knew exactly what God was saying to him when he read the Bible. I’m not saying that the Bible is the book for everyone’s enlightenment but has worked for my Father and myself. I still have anger in regards to certain groups of people, races if you must, but now most of it is directed towards the people in this world who refuse to show respect and fight for equality for those this country and many of it’s people have hurt and who to this day are still paying for those atrocities in one way or another. I think about the definition of a racist all the time and I have learned a lot by our conversations on Abagond. I will never be a perfect person, I will make mistakes and I will have a hard time trying not to see the world as groups or races of people as I fight to change myself and the small world around me but the fact of the matter is I will never stop trying. I will ask questions of others, I will respect what they have to say and when they tell me about their lives, what they have endured, how they have suffered or how angry they are…I will not deny these emotions, I will not make light of them and I will never dictate to them how they should feel or pretend for one second that I know what it’s like to be them, because that is impossible!


  579. William, you did NOT answer the question.

    I have another question.

    Are you a white person?


  580. @thwack:

    Yeah, t., the implication, heavily implied thus far, is that William the C is ‘White’

    I prefer to use the more culturally meaningful if not all that genetically accurate, ‘Anglo’ to designate the people we erroneously call ‘White’.
    Think about it: there ain’t no ‘White’ people! Where would ‘White’ people be from? Whiteland? White Island (as opposed to the Isle of Wight)? Or perhaps Whitonia? No. No such places exist. Are they ‘Caucasian’? That’s senseless– if you look at the particular ethnic identity that word supposedly refers to, there are only a few thousand of them in existence today, if there were ever many more than that anyway even in the 1700’s.

    A perhaps racist and certainly daft, definitely scientifically unskilled 1700’s German philosopher named Christoph Meiners re-purposed the term ‘Caucasian’. He ripped the term off from the European geography of the Caucasus mountain region of Northern Europe. The term at that time literally referred to fifty distinct ethnic groups. Writing in the 1780’s, Meiners began the pop cultural tradition of using this term, apropos of nothing real (no real anthropological, physiological, genetic–genetics didn’t exist yet–or even cultural basis). Meiners in other words had no scientific substantiation other than his own desire to arbitrarily create a taxonomy of ‘races’. To his mind, there were only two races on Earth: Caucasoids (what he designated the light skinned race) and Mongoloids (what he designated the dark skinned race). He called Caucasoids those with “the whitest, most blooming and most delicate skin” indicative of their superior sensitivity and greater moral virtue. By this reasoning (hey, look at the WORD: ‘Cauc-Asian’??) the Japanese or as they called themselves, NIPPONESE, were the most pure ‘Caucasians’, the ultimate ‘White’ people, most civilized, and most sensitive, right? Sound crazy so far? It gets worse.

    A huge problematic in Meiners’ personal taxonomy (a taxonomy is a system of categorization) was its lack of any logical applicability other than through ‘race’—or rather, the arbitrariness of skin color. His category encompassed as I mentioned, about fifty distinct ethnic identities, and even worse for his logic, it also happens to encompass peoples as far flung from the Caucasus region as the Japanese, Berbers and various other North Africans such as Bedouins, the Indus-Asiatics, and Asioids. That is probably one reason that Meiners proclaimed that there are only two races—it was the only way he could maintain even the veneer of scientific validity (even if not soundness).
    Yep. Logic can be made to fake truth by jiggling your premises to create your own valid conclusions that follow from your jiggled premises. To wit: the history of Northeastern Europe (and of the Caucasus) is a history written in the steel and blood of millions of Mongol invaders, settlers, and immigrants who washed over Europe between 1200 and 1700. So if we look at the populations that Meiners claimed were the ‘White’ races, they would have included Turkic, Semitic, Kalmyk, Asiatic, and even Mongoloid peoples! He had to account for the basic human diversity of this planet that exists no matter where you focus the jaundiced eye of racism and so he designated ‘dark’ or ‘yellow’ Europeans as ‘dirty whites’. No kidding. Go read this hatter of the mad: The Outline of History of Mankind (1785).

    Many other racist pseudo-scientists, such as Julien Virey and Johann Blumenbach came along throughout the rest of the 18th and all of the 19th centuries to clean up the awkward mess that was Meiners’ taxonomy, theorizing a proliferation of sub-races, sub-categories, skin color differentals, and hierarchies of ‘racial’ identity based on the lesser-to-greater ‘civilized’ racial characteristics, but all essentially referring to the mundanity of skin color. This activity, beginning here in my own focus with Meiners in the 1700’s, came hard on the heels of the TransAtlantic Triangle Slave Trade of the 1500’. Of course. And of course it coincided with the desire to invent ‘race’, an invention that first arose in the 1550’s to justify genocide against Caribbean natives and the mass kidnapping and chattel dehumanization of Africans; all that clearly lay behind Meiners’ project.

    These pseudoscientists of the 17 and 1800’s served also to set the stage for a bogus justification of Europe’s long-running virulent anti-Semitism (see historical references to ‘The Dreyfus Affair’—1894-1906), leading up to Hitler’s 20th century dopey bifurcation of the peoples of the German nation into ‘pure’ Aryan Germans and Jewish-Semitic Germans, the latter of whom he asserted should be fitted into a sub-human category deserving of mass extermination; but that’s another, related story. Suffice it to say that all this mushrooming talk of ‘race’ had more of a political purpose than scientific legitimacy.

    The cure for all this madness, a madness which of course has been handed down to all of us here in America in the 21st century, is the book “The Mismeasure of Man” (Norton and Co., 1981) by the brilliant and articulate Harvard anthropologist, paleontologist, and historian of science, the late Stephen Jay Gould. Gould argues that most racial conceptions of the human race are arbitrary, bigoted, and are erroneously posed as biology when they are in fact political and economic ideologies.

    I don’t write that racial meme, ‘White’ down on paper without using quotation marks. If I myself were ‘white’ in America (a mundane description of the arbitrary biological detail of skin color) or even if I were ‘(W)hite’ in America—i.e., offered the possibility of ‘(W)hite’ supremacist privileges, I would be very seriously angry at being caged inside such a mediocre and meaningless taxonomic restraint. I would turn down the privileges because I would have to pay for those privileges with my own humanity. I would challenge America and any Americans who uncritically apply that term to me to explain what in the hell they mean by it. My humanity, yours, William’s, and my young daughter’s (she’s ‘Black’ and Puerto Rican), are far more complex, more profound, and most importantly more diverse and from many more places than racial categories could ever fully account for.

    Knowing in fact that when you ask William whether he is ‘White’ or not you are not really asking him about his identity but are in fact asking him to willingly participate in a Kabuki dance of essentially pop cultural and political ignorance, I would advise William to respond by asking, “Are YOU?” Your response to THAT question, particularly if you are ‘OTHER’ or ‘Black-African American’ as the dumb government forms would have it, will say a lot more about you than your question is asking of him.


  581. @ Rayfield A. Waller: Thank you for that explanation. Many vague references have been made to the invalidity of the constructs of “race,” throughout this and numerous other discussions, but your comments here are the best and most meaningful I’ve encountered. The terms you reference are so loaded with various meanings (including “Mongoloid” being used to refer to people with what we now know is Down’s Syndrome) that it is absolutely imperative that we go back to the beginning and learn where the mess began: pseudoscience.

    I am picking up Gould’s book right away. And I think your suggested response from William is perfect.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.


  582. Rayfield A. Waller

    Yeah, t., the implication, heavily implied thus far, is that William the C is ‘White’
    ——————————————————————————————————-

    Hmmm… interesting.

    “heavily implied” is no good because it requires an assumption (even though small) to produce a logical true; therefore it would not hold up in court.

    And we are always in court as long as I am in court.

    And under the system of racism white supremacy, nonwhite people are ALWAYS in court.

    They may not know why but Ignorantia juris non excusat

    Therefore, I will rephrase my question for William:

    Your honor, may I approach the witness?

    *thank you*

    William the Conqueor, do you KNOW if you are a white person?


  583. on Mon 3 Feb 2014 at 01:22:25 William The Conqueor

    @Rayfield and Melanie, I could read your writing all day long, there is a sexiness reading such brilliant words when they come from two obviously beautiful women. Thank you both for having my back. It feels really good learning so much and making new friends on this site. I absolutely enjoy reading everyone’s view of the subjects here, debating some, scolding others. This is a great site and so many of you are, if I can borrow a line from Good Will Hunting, “wicked smart”. Rayfield have you ever had anything published?

    As for Thwack; you asked me if I considered myself not to be a racist? Your damn right I am not a racist. Racism is believing a persons skin color dictates his character. Racism is prejudging a person because the way he looks or dresses. Racism is acting without remorse or without the passion to learn about others who are different from yourself. People and their feelings are at the forefront of every decision I make; people come first. The good thing about my philosophy is that I really enjoy the company of people so it’s not difficult for me. Every single person I meet gets my utmost respect, their skin color, social status, gender, religion, etc means absolutely nothing to me. Whether they lose that respect by their actions is another thing but that has nothing to do with their race, gender, religion, etc..However I am prejudice, prejudice against mean and hateful people. Bullies, racist, people who abuse children, women and animals, wealthy snobs who lack empathy for the environment their greed destroys and so on. These are the people who I have disdain for. All others I would be honored to call my brother or sister and strive to learn more about them and in turn learn more about myself. You are damn straight i am not a racist, if anything I am an ANTI-RACIST!…Superhero to all the nerdy white guys out there trying to make a difference while occasionally putting our feet in our mouth…LOL.


  584. on Mon 3 Feb 2014 at 01:25:53 William The Conqueor

    I take the fifth…


  585. @ William The Conqueor: Uhmm….. William, Rayfield is a man. You said two beautiful women.


  586. William The Conqueor

    I take the fifth…
    —————————————————————————————–

    OK so lets review:

    1. We have a man who says he is NOT a racist.

    but

    a) He will not tell us if he is a white person

    and

    b) He doesn’t know if he is a white person

    So how is William QUALIFIED to participate in ANY discussion of race or racism with us?

    Would you let someone work on your teeth if

    a) he will not tell you if he is a dentist

    and

    b) he doesn’t know if he is a dentist?

    If your roof was leaking would you hire a person to fix it who:

    a) will not tell you if he is a roofer?

    b) Does not know if he is a roofer?

    William, I have another question for you,

    do you think black people are stupid?


  587. My father used to say, ‘nothing more can be asked of a man than that he be man enough to say he’s got things to work on in himself and wants to be better.’ If only Americans, all of us, could commit to that, we could live up to the promise of this New World culture.


  588. @Rayfield A. Waller

    Very wise words.


  589. Huh?? William is in court now? Are you the jury, judge, and prosecutor?

    Then allow me to be a defense attorney– I argue ad damnum, that if you feel the accused is guilty of a crime. What harm in real terms has HE done to YOU or to ME? What exactly is he charged with–the suspicion of being an Anglo? Genetically speaking then, given the reality of American miscegenation, which of us shall escape whipping, as Hamlet would ask?

    Do we affix blame to individuals, or to historical policies and systematic practices? What do you suggest as ad quod damnum? What is the remedy? A mensa et thoro–Divorce? Should we expel our Anglo brothers and sisters, force all the so-called ‘White’ people, (assuming this court even sees William the C. AS ‘White’), to leave the premises and offer us quid pro quo for our sufferings? On what basis? What laws has HE broken other than possibly the law of inheritance? Is there a statute of limitations involved in this? Hadn’t we African Americans–Blacks, hadn’t we better hope so??

    Because If we demand quid pro quo then how do we assess damage and set a material value on the means to make us and ALL who have suffered whole? If only we among Americans deserve reparations then which of us? All of us? Why wouldn’t that include Jewish-Americans suffering anti-Semitism–for example the lynching of Leo Frank–while we suffered segregation after the Reconstruction, and what of Italian-Americans who after Black victims, were the most frequently lynched ethnicity in the south, and what of Chinese-Americans forced into slavery and death in building the railroad system in the West, and again, what about women? What of Mexican-Americans murdered, raped, robbed, and illegally deported in California throughout the 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s??

    May it please the court, I remind this chamber that The ‘Citizens Committee for Coordination for Unemployment Relief’ in Los Angeles County declared in the 1930’s that ‘their’ Anglo county contained 400,000 “deportable aliens,” whose jobs, in the Anglos’ words, “We need for needy citizens.” Two million Americans of Mexican ancestry were forcibly ‘repatriated’ to Mexico in the 30’s, despite data suggesting that 1.2 million were born in the United States. 400,000 Latino United States citizens or legal residents were forced to leave their homes in the state of California. Do you plan Mr. Prosecutor, to speak for them too in your opening statement? Is William culpable for all of them, and for you and I too, because he is, under your suspicion for being ‘White’?

    What of native Americans? Shouldn’t we HOPE there is a statute of limitations in that thorny case that implicates we African Americans as well?Do African Americans owe Native Americans compensation for the period after the civil war when we participated in driving them off their land and killing them when we served in the U.S. cavalry on the Western Frontier at places like Fort Davis, patrolling the Mexican border, mounting attacks on Mexicans and fighting the Apache? What of the the Blacks who served in Cuba in the Spanish American War? The Blacks in the 9th and 10th cavalry who served with General Sheridan and carried out the racist, oppressive, and murderous policies of the US along the border of the Western Frontier? How to account here for Blacks’ service in the Philippines enforcing the policies of genocide and ‘White’ supremacy in Manila? To be sure, some Black soldiers refused, some deserted, but should only the descendants of those who this court can verify did desert be the only Blacks spared this court’s judgment of Black guilt?

    If the court please, I submit this: the Blacks who served under Sherman when he invaded Mexico, as well as Blacks serving in Cuba deserted in the largest numbers recorded prior to those who deserted and rebelled against their commanders in Vietnam. Is this not evidence that those Blacks who did not desert are guilty of being accomplices to crimes against humanity? Do their descendants then deserve to be charged with a crime? This raises the question doubly then, of Blacks who served in Vietnam and participated in the murder of Vietnamese, Laotian, and Cambodian civilians, does it not?

    How does the prosecutor propose that this court decide the issue of identity? Who in America IS Black and thus presumably innocent prima facie? Full Blacks? Mulattoes? Quadroons? Octeroons? If William the C. can prove a third Italian ancestry then can’t he argue to the court that the Emergency Quota Act of 1921 and the American Immigration Act of 1924 restricting immigration from Southern and Eastern Europe while liberalizing immigration from Northern Europe were criminal legislative precedents making the discrimination against Italian Americans that swept across the US for fifty years a more likely outcome? I submit as evidence the anti-Italian lynchings and race riots against Italian Americans in the 1890’s in cities such as New Orleans (where one of the largest mass lynchings in American history took place), in New York, and various southern cities and counties, and including the execution of Sacco and Vanzetti, and the hundreds of Italian-American citizens herded into concentration camps during WWII, while, ironically, Italian fascists brought to the US as prisoners of war by the US government were treated more humanely than our own Italian-American citizens!

    I submit, in all rationality and love for justice, that it matters not whether William can or cannot prove Italian or Jewish ancestry, but that merely as an American citizen he has a right to appeal to the principle of cor unum–one heart, the irreducible one-ness of American history, culture, and of the American population as a unitary corpus in justia. The crimes of one are the crimes of all, and so too, the remedies of all are the remedies of the one. As exemplar gratis I offer the proposition that affirmative action, a well known and very successful form of reparation and of social reform, would be more effective and truer to the intentionality of its original conception were it not simply race based but class based, which would admit to the obvious fact that social injustice and the existence of universal exploitation of the masses of Americans, regardless of race or ethnicity, is a common malady with an obvious, common remedy that recognizes our common struggle.

    In this context I submit that William cannot, must not be individually indicted or blamed for American history but that, to paraphrase a great American author, Ernest Hemingway, we must not send to know for whom the bell of justice tolls for it tolls for us all. I submit that cadit quaestio, the matter admits no further argument.


  590. @ William the C.:

    Sorry, William, I am a heterosexual male. But I do nevertheless consider myself to be beautiful (ha-ha-ha). No problem with that. The thing about posting on websites, as “Thwack” must realize by now even with his foot in his mouth, is that we are all making assumptions about each other (for instance I assume that Thwack is male since my prejudice is that a woman would not be as bumptious as he is–but I could be wrong). My current reason for continuing my long winded posts here is that I believe you have no obligation to ‘admit’ that you are Anglo unless you wish to, and that your ethnicity, gender, class, sexual pref., etc. have nothing whatsoever to do with the logic of your arguments. Your arguments stand on their own. You are not ‘in court’ but in a community of readers responding to Abagond, and unless Abagond objects to something you say, you are free to speak as you wish as are all of we. It’s called DEMOCRACY.


  591. on Mon 3 Feb 2014 at 07:21:15 William the Conqueror

    Thwack you really need to lighten up. My comment on the fifth was me trying to inject some levity to our bout of words. Second of all I figured most regulars on here either know I am white or could decipher my skin color by one of several post where I implied my race and my sense of guilt for it’s treatment of others. As far as answering your last question, “Don’t be ridiculous”. A persons skin color cannot and does not dictate how intelligent they are, your proving that today….LOL. That was a little joke Thwack. I am a big nerdy white guy who likes people and recently have found a passion for politics. I am not perfect and during my journey to better myself and learn more about my brothers and sisters I share this planet with I will make mistakes and probably offend some people with my personality, my honesty, my views or in some cases the words I use in which I was unaware may be offensive to some. It appears that you do not trust me for one reason or another but rest assured I am harmless unless of course you end up being disrespectful or hurtful to others and then I will probably give you a verbal tongue lashing.


  592. on Mon 3 Feb 2014 at 08:12:24 William the Conqueror

    @Rayfield, thank you again for such beautiful and wise comments. I do apologize for mistaking your gender, I can’t for the life of me think why I mistook you for a woman but i must admit, knowing those words come from a man now has ruined my “literary fantasy”…lol. Well I still have Mary and Sharina. I hope to learn a lot about literature and life joining all of you in conversation and debate and I look forward to further pow wows, as for now I must go I have lots of work to do…Thwack, I also look forward to fencing with you until that day when you hopefully trust that i am here for knowledge, the betterment of myself and hopefully those around me …


  593. on Mon 3 Feb 2014 at 10:04:13 Caffeine & Nicotine

    “Why wouldn’t that include Jewish-Americans suffering anti-Semitism–for example the lynching of Leo Frank–while we suffered segregation after the Reconstruction,”

    _ _ _

    I’ve long wondered about the events surrounding the 1913 mob killing of Leo Frank, a middle class Jew from Brooklyn, who was lynched for the rape & murder of “little Mary Phagan,” a (nearly) 14 year old, white female worker in Frank’s Atlanta, Georgia located pencil factory.

    As I recall from reading a book concerning the murder (there was also a TV movie about the event, which I saw years ago), there were at least two other men who were suspects in the murder of Phagan: the factory night watchman Newt Lee; and its janitor Jim Conley. Both men were Black. And though evidence pointed strongly at janitor Jim Conley being the culprit, it seems that the current of anti-Semitism flowing through Atlanta, Georgia at that time was even stronger.

    I found myself thoroughly amazed by this event: early 20th century Southern whites choosing a white man to lynch even though they had at their disposal two “Negro” scapegoats they could easily have hanged (either one alone or even both together) instead — and who they most definitely would have hanged if Leo Frank had not been a Jew.

    Sixty-nine years after the Frank lynching, 87 year old Alonzo Mann came foward and made the statement that the wrong man had been hanged, and that he himself, as a 15 year old office boy at the pencil factory, saw Jim Conley carrying the limp body of Mary Phagan in preparation of throwing it down a hole. Mann claimed that Conley had threatened to kill him if told anyone, and that when he (Mann) revealed all of this to his mother, she advised him not to tell anyone else.

    Some found Alonzo Mann’s revelation, nearly 70 years later, to be unconvincing. . . .

    http://www.leofrank.org/alonzo-mann/


  594. abagond

    @ thwack: Comment deleted for Mock Ebonics.
    —————————————————————————————————

    oops, sorry,

    I deleted the offending text:

    Does everyone realize what just happened?

    Its the reason why black people remain confused, ignorant and victimized by racism.

    How?

    Anytime a black person BEGINS to make progress asking a white person questions about racism, what it is and how it works; one or more black persons will jump in and try to break it up/cock block…

    I call in “post traumatic slave syndrome”

    * its when a black person jumps in to divert the revelation of truth about racism*

    Ya’ll seen it on Oprah; the white woman starts crying and all the black people walk over and start hugging her, trying to cheer her up…

    (((shakin my head)))

    Black people have been trained to do this out of fear. Thats why you should not get angry with them because it is proof we are very much still on the plantation.

    I knew it would happen.

    William did too.

    And yes, black people are ALWAYS in court; what do you think “driving while black” is?

    Trayvon Martin lost his life because nobody told him black people are always in court.

    The constant pressure of “the court” is why black people die early. Its the source of the heart disease, diabetes, obesity, alcoholism, thyroid problems, divorce, fatherlessness, child abuse, neglect and abandonment; and all the other associated pathologies displayed by black people.

    ************

    William the Conqueror

    Thwack you really need to lighten up. My comment on the fifth was me trying to inject some levity to our bout of words.

    *************

    It is said that black people laugh when nothing is funny.


  595. on Mon 3 Feb 2014 at 17:12:52 William The Conqueor

    @Thwack, like I said, there is no doubt I will offend some of you inadvertently with comments I am unaware may be offensive or in this case someone who questions my motive it seems. You said that I knew how Rayfield would react to my comments, this is not correct, I am not that smart or intuitive. When I first began joining in on conversations I learned that many of my comments in which I thought were “PC”, where in fact offensive. I truly want to learn what is offensive and what is not so that while our country remains very racist I can hold conversations with people without offending them. Of course I am going to make mistakes, not because I am white but because I where my heart on my sleeve and that’s just who I am. If there is one thing I have learned over the last 10 years of being a home inspector and spending 3 to 4 hours in people’s homes from all walks of life; black, white, rich, poor, Jewish or Christian. All people are the same everywhere. Our culture may be different but our basic personalities are the same. People are smart, not so smart, fat, skinny, mean, nice, angry, easy going and so on. Culturally we are different but then again even in an all white or black area each family is culturally different from the next; some are family orientated, some are not, some are Christian, some are agnostic, etc..We are all the same in that we are all different individually. As far as who i am angry with and who you may be angry with they are the same people. I am angry that in 2012, after thinking my country had made huge strides in racism and equality I was horribly wrong. I watched the hate and the ignorance come out of the woodwork and it reminded me of my younger days, the 70’s and the 80’s when i learned how racist so many of my white friends, coworkers and general public was. I was glad to see and read about white privilege during our discussions here because I never had a name for it but I became aware of it many years ago. Of course I have always known that whites have it better than other races, this is obvious but what many whites don’t seem to understand or refuse to understand it is the underlining privileges that keep racism perpetuating. I had a job in a warehouse when I was straight out of high school and I was shocked to find out how many of the people there were racist, especially the management. We had one black man working there out of about 120 employees. Whenever Larry was not around the racist jokes would fly, if we were in the office my own manager would say many racist remarks joined in by my coworkers. At the time I was only 19 and I was angry, I have biracial cousins, my step father was black along with his family who adopted my brother, my mom and myself as if we are blood related. I could no longer sit in the office and chit chat any longer and this was the beginning of my anger at my race. This is when I also started putting two and two together in regards of how much harder it would be for a black person to get a job than it would be for a white person if all the managers thought this way, if all the employees thought this way and that is when I realized affirmative action was not only a good thing but a necessary thing until we bring some equality to our country. When you think about it, 30 years ago and even to this day, white men own everything, white men managed all the companies and white men had all the jobs, money and power. So this is a HUGE mountain one would have to climb if they weren’t white, a mountain I don’t think I would be able to climb just to get near the top and find out there is just another racist at the top. I started to imagine what this oppression of my entire community would do to my personality, my anger, my finances, etc, etc. I then started realizing why there is so much poverty in black communities, why there is so much drug abuse. In 2012 when I thought things were getting better and I started getting the racist post on Facebook and seeing it in the news I took on a special kind of anger towards white racist…they don’t have an excuse to be racist, we have all the privileges, we have all the comforts of life, we have all the advantages and blacks have almost nothing and it is all the direct result of how the white man has treated them from day one in this country…anyway I really have to go, we will talk later, if you want…take care!


  596. William, you wrote a whole lot of words about race and racism.

    But the question remains;

    Are you a white person, yes or no?


  597. of course he is white. look at his post, clearly a white guy possibly experiencing a bit of white guilt?


  598. George, please allow William to answer for himself.

    Thank you.


  599. Just read his post and it’s easy to tell:

    “We had one black man working there out of about 120 employees. Whenever Larry was not around the racist jokes would fly, if we were in the office my own manager would say many racist remarks joined in by my coworkers.”


  600. on Tue 4 Feb 2014 at 00:47:34 William The Conqueor

    YES I am of a whitish color, am I pitch white, no. Am I anglo, yes. Have I enjoyed the privileges of being a white person, yes. Do I have learned white behavior passed on from generations of white supremacy, yes. Do I know what it is like to be oppressed, no. Do i say things that may be taken the wrong way, yes. Do I mean it, no, how could I I didn’t even know what i was saying was offensive. Thwack, you are definitely not going to let me in to the club without first breaking me it seems. Do I blame you for your mistrust, no, this is exactly why I am so mad at the entire situation and whites today and the past. I cannot be myself around some people because this world is filled with people who hate.

    I was in a hurry so I was writing from the seat of my pants so to speak. Look it, if you want to grill me, break me down, whatever, thats fine with me. If you are wondering if I am one of those that have come back on this site with a different name just to screw with everyone, rest assured I am not. I am the same William from previous post, I added “the Conqueror” because there were two Williams and so I added the nickname the guys in the warehouse gave me. Now Thwack answer me this; What is your beef with me? Is it that you think i am coming off as some kind of Robinhood, taking from the racist and giving to the oppressed? You think I am here to amuse myself at the expense of others? I am here by accident but the moment I read some post and began dialogue of my own I have been enlightened, educated, have new acquaintances and i have told many of my Liberal Facebook friends about the site and that they should check it out.

    Have I satisfied your curiosity? have I met your requirements? Again I have to go, if you welcome me or not I am not going anywhere unless of course Abagond decides I am no longer welcome and then i will exit peacefully, the same way I came in…


  601. i told you thwack. abagond has educated me well!!!


  602. chill out William, he only asked if you were white. it’s not a personal attack LOL!


  603. @William
    Well put, and what more need be said?


  604. @William
    I think perhaps we are wasting our time with Thwack. He seems to ave more recrimination in his mouth than he can chew or digest.


  605. @Caffeine & Nicotine
    Informative post, but notice the mistake you made–which clouds your reasoning: you refer to Leo Frank as ‘White”. You puzzle over why he, a ‘White’ man was lynched even though there were possible “Black” or “Negro” suspects. Your acceptance of the cartoon mythologies about race that all we Americans were raised with lead you to incorrectly assume that racial violence is motivated by some essential, biologically significant trait called ‘race’. Yet, Blacks’ very presence in this hemisphere in such numbers is only because of the Triangle Slave Trade, and The Trade was NOT repeat NOT motivated by or contingent upon ‘Race’. Rationally speaking it could NOT have been since when it commenced in the early 1500’s there was no such thing as ‘race’ in the European discourse. Race was invented AFTER the start of The Trade to be one of the several myths used to justify it.

    The Trade was motivated by $$Money$$ as the slave plantation system that drove the Caribbean peoples into genocide was motivated by $$ and the American southern plantation system of slavocracy was motivated by $$ and the system of Jim Crow and of segregation, the Black Codes, the red lining and Blue lining of Blacks, and the discrimination of public policy from 1900 to 1970 were all motivated by $$.

    Leo Frank was lynched because he was perceived NOT as ‘White’ but as a Jew. Jews were oppressed and attacked, and segregated, and murdered for 700 years in Europe because they were a convenient economic scapegoat for Christians in the wake of the Crusades and in the midst of The Inquisition, and for the Mercantilists/Capitalists. It is a long, complex history that originally involved the use of religion as an excuse for the abuse of Jews. Once “RACE” was invented by the slave trading corporations to justify The Trade, Jews in Europe and then later in the New World were given the mark of “Race” to go along with their being marked by religion. Leo Frank, for many reasons, represented an economic threat to the southern community he was in because his Jewish identity signified FOREIGN identity which had accumulated and would go on accumulating wealth and power, at least in the minds of his murderers. The myth of Jewish avarice, greed, ‘invasionary’ economics, and foreign ‘infection’ of national ECONOMIES was carried from Europe to the southern United States. He was lynched because he represented all of that to the ignorant people who lynched him. They did not see him as ‘White’ even though his skin color was not ‘Black’.

    When Black people threatened to dominate economy, wealth, power, political representation, or cultural power, we are lynched (literally in the past, figuratively now). Both Blacks AND Anglos need to recognize that we carry on the lie of ‘race’ instilled in us by our oppressors (Capitalists), and that this clouds our vision, making us vulnerable to manipulation by capitalism. Evidence of this reality can be found in the absurd truth that Blacks too are anti-Semitic, meaning we are carrying on the very same European bigotry that promotes capitalist domination of ourselves. We in fact dream of being capitalists, of being corporate stooges, The domination of economic inequality permeates America, and the world. Blacks and Anglos go on hating each other because we all idealize capitalism and capitalists.

    I live in Detroit, which is a city in the process of being ‘lynched’ while the true history of a city that was once a mecca of Black power is being revised and obscured so that no one will remember Mayor Coleman Young, who has been called the Black Pericles by one Anglo scholar here at Wayne State University, meaning that Detroit was the Black Athens which experienced a golden age of democratization of wealth and of political power, and experienced a renaissance in art, music, industry, and culture (I lived through that golden age, I know it happened).

    Thanks to the myth of ‘race’ and the racism that rides it, people are unable to deal with the truth of American history AS IT IS, and unable to recognize one another or themselves AS WE ARE. Leo Frank is a major piece of evidence to support the reality that Race does not exist.


  606. on Tue 4 Feb 2014 at 15:22:06 William The Conqueor

    Yes, thank you all, I am finished with the Thwack discussion. If him and I meet again on another subject I welcome his comments, as long as they are not a continuation of this thread or if they include his misplaced passive aggressive ire…Till we meet again my friends I wish you all the best.

    Rayfield your picture is much clearer now, thank you, at almost 50 my eyes are not what they used to be, in addition 7 years on the computer has blurred my world a bit…Good day my friend.


  607. William The Conqueor

    I am finished with the Thwack discussion. If him and I meet again on another subject I welcome his comments, as long as they are not a continuation of this thread or if they include his misplaced passive aggressive ire…
    —————————————————————————————————–

    When a white person reveals to you the racism they have witnessed, keep in mind that they may not be revealing the worst they have seen; and definately none they have personally practiced.

    For the most part they are providing you a heavily redacted transcript of racism they witnessed.

    When they describe your response to it as “misplaced passive aggressive ire”; don’t get angry with them.

    Instead ASK them,

    WHAT DO YOU SUGGEST I DO TO COUNTER THE RACIST BEHAVIOR?

    Review the following statements of fact out of the mouth of a white person named William The Conqueor:

    1. I had a job in a warehouse when I was straight out of high school and I was shocked to find out how many of the people there were racist, especially the management. We had one black man working there out of about 120 employees. Whenever Larry was not around the racist jokes would fly, if we were in the office my own manager would say many racist remarks joined in by my coworkers.

    2. This is when I also started putting two and two together in regards of how much harder it would be for a black person to get a job than it would be for a white person if all the managers thought this way

    3. When you think about it, 30 years ago and even to this day, white men own everything, white men managed all the companies and white men had all the jobs, money and power.

    4. I started to imagine what this oppression of my entire community would do to my personality, my anger, my finances, etc, etc. I then started realizing why there is so much poverty in black communities, why there is so much drug abuse.

    5. we have all the advantages and blacks have almost nothing and it is all the direct result of how the white man has treated them from day one in this country…

    6. Do I blame you for your mistrust, no, this is exactly why I am so mad at the entire situation and whites today and the past.

    Look at #6. Do you see how he can be “mad at whites TODAY” but a nonwhite persons response is described as “misplaced passive aggressive ire?”

    This is why whenever a more powerful person than you attacks you over your response to a problem, you should always ask them:

    What do YOU suggest I do instead?

    Even if this technique ends the conversation, you have to use it because you will need to refer to it later on when other white people come to attack you for the steps you took to solve the problem.

    If the hospital is on fire and you ask the administrator/supervisor (superior advisor) what to do, and he goes silent on you. You have no choice but to try and put the fire out yourself.

    Even if by doing so you make it worse.


  608. i’ve read thwack’s comments, he’s clearly a very intelligent guy.

    he kept asking what white people think of other white people, and i don’t really understand how to answer that. i have no connection to other whites, unless it’s through family or friends. i wonder what a black person is to him?

    it’s not like white people are passing each other in the streets nodding at each other in recognition that we’re all in it to keep black people down.


  609. on Tue 4 Feb 2014 at 18:20:14 William The Conqueor

    @Rayfield, I think I understand. I will definitely choose my comments more carefully considering that these subjects are extremely sensitive and the emotion and experiences are real. I understand that any comments that may be confrontational would be counter productive as to what i am telling everyone that i want gain from my participation on this site. I will try to wear a tougher skin while we learn more about each other. I may have been a bit sensitive about Thwacks line of questioning and should have just answered his questions without being defensive. After all maybe he was just trying to protect the integrity of this site


  610. i think that’s a great attitude to have!


  611. Many black American people have never heard an African persons viewpoint on the slave trade; Im one of them, and I doubt I’m alone.

    I just happened to run into this one by accident and the number of dislikes it recieved is interesting?

    Do you guys think this is because — well, actually, Im not going to prejudice peoples responses by indicating my own. But I will ask this question: have any black Americans produce a documentary where Africans in Africa give their view of the slave trade?

    This is the first one Ive ever seen?

    (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mhov6mwZlPE)


  612. How about this one? it’s really good, about the cover-up of African history and how European’s started to trick the world into thinking Egypt was white. crazy how a lie can turn into perceived reality….
    (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AeHNCG2GLWc)


  613. @thwack

    I personally think his ideas are based on christian ideas. It really solely depends on if you believe in a christian god. Once I listen to more of it I will comment more on the matter so give me a bit.


  614. @ Rayfield A. Waller,

    Thank you for your equally informative response to my comment.

    In it, though, you made many erroneous assumptions regarding my knowledge (or the lack thereof) and / or mind-set (even going so far as using the words “clouded” and “puzzle”) as to the history of the trans-Atlantic Slave Trade; the invention and history of “race”; sociology; cultural and physical anthropology; human genetics; the history of Afro-descendants (if that particular term for ‘Blacks’ makes you feel better) in America; and the history of Jews in America.

    In my previous comment, if you’d bothered to notice, I said that “I found myself…” — which is past tense, and was phrased that way specifically because I was referring to the feelings and thoughts I experienced as a much younger person nearly 30 years ago when I first viewed the two-part movie “The Murder of Little Mary Phagan” on TV, and then again soon afterwards, when I sought out and read a book on the same subject.

    ["Pay it Forward" aka Caffeine & Nicotine" aka "Fiamma" (I have followed this blog for several years and simply like a change of username every now and then).]

    You’ve introduced yourself rather nicely, Ray. Welcome! ;)


  615. @ William
    No problem, William my friend. You are right, It is best to let this thread drop. Let’s get on to some productive discussion of actual issues raised by Abagond.


  616. on Wed 5 Feb 2014 at 04:02:01 bygodsloveandgrace

    @ Mr. Rayfield A. Waller

    I have greatly appreciated reading your comments. I was wondering if you had any information to combat some conservatives’ claims that the first US slave owner, Anthony Johnson was Black? I’ve seen this mentioned on a few sites and it irritates me because I thought he was a former slave himself. So why is this perpetuated by conservatives? I’m arguing with a few people against this and appreciate your insights.


  617. @bygodsloveandgrace

    This claim is essentially false, Anthony Johnson was a former slave captured in the Angola region of Africa by slave traders. He was lucky enough to be transported to the Virginia Corporate Colony in North America rather than to the deathtrap of the Caribbean. In Virginia he was again lucky in that he was sold to an Anglo ‘patron’ who took him on as an ‘indentured servant’ (again, he was quite lucky! He might easily have been sold to a slaver and found himself back on a ship sent off to Santa Domingo and certain death).

    In Virginia still, and now no longer a slave he finished his ‘indenture’ (his legal work contract with his ‘patron’, a ‘White’ Virginia tobacco grower) and became not ‘free’ since he was now not a slave, but became ‘concluded’ or ‘emancipated’–in other words he finished his indenture. He was free under Virginia laws to do whatever he wanted after that and he purchased 250 acres of land (check me on that, it may have been even more) and became a plantation owner himself with two or three or perhaps five (I don’t recall exactly how many) ‘indentured’ under contract to work for him, their ‘patron’.

    Johnson was not a ‘slave’ owner but a ‘patron’ under the old, 1600’s plantation codes of indentured servitude. All around him in the Americas and in the Caribbean, there WERE actual slave owners and slave plantations, so even if he HAD been a slave owner, which he wasn’t, he sure wouldn’t have been the ‘first’ (ha-ha-ha).

    Conservatives and racists distort the details of slavery, the slave trade, indentured workers, the plantation system, the corporate plantations, patronage, and worker/slave distinctions for two reasons.

    First, conservatives and racists (and the so-called ‘New Confederates’) tell lies and create deliberate distortions out of their desire to concoct what Abagond calls ‘derailing arguments’ meant to change the subject (of the slave trade for instance) to side issues that the derailers hope will embarrass, intimidate, confuse, silence, or trip up Blacks and enlightened Anglos and enlightened Euro-Americans who seek to argue against racism, slavery, sexism, corporate injustice, or inequality (take a look at the derailing tactics and arguments appearing recently on this site directed toward ‘William the Conqueror’, an enlightened Anglo seeking to question and challenge stereotypes–his honest and sincere questions and arguments got ‘derailed’ by the side issues of his ‘race’, implying that his questions, arguments, and he, were somehow illegitimate or not serious because of his ‘race’, or his unwillingness to answer cross examination of his racial identity. He successfully, in my opinion, avoided and defeated these derailing tactics by sticking to the point of his arguments, which is a good way to fight ‘derailing’.

    The other reason conservatives do this ‘derailing’ (by saying absurd things such as ‘Africans sold themselves into slavery’ or ‘the first slave owner was an African/African-American’) is simply because they are IGNORANT. They don’t know the social, historical, economic, political, and corporate histories of slavery, the Americas, the Caribbean, the African states (‘Africa’ didn’t really exist in 1600–it was, as it is now, a huge, continent full of an absolute diversity of a thousand nations, states, kingdoms, regions, and empires) the slave trade, indentures, ‘White’ slavery, ‘White’ indentured servitude, and the corporate early American colonies and the early plantation system of the Caribbean.

    To know about and understand these things and to understand how these specific systems and histories effect the present, requires READING BOOKS, something many conservatives abhor. Holding up a book to these people is like holding up a head of garlic before a vampire. Books are too much work for them, I guess. A great book to read that covers most of this complex history is “From Columbus to Castro” by Eric Williams–two editions exist, I think, and the first edition is available on Amazon.com very cheap.

    The most crucial point to remember in discussing Johnson and his status is that in the early 1600’s when he was taken into slavery the MERCANTILIST slave and worker system still existed, which for indentured ‘White’ AND Black servants meant that if they went to the right points in the slave diaspora, they could survive their indenture and could achieve freedom. Even some slaves could eventually buy their freedom. The CAPITALIST CORPORATE TRIANGLE SLAVE TRADE system was still getting on it’s feet in the early 1600’s, and the massive numbers of Africans taken out of Africa did not really begin to reach astounding levels until the LATE 1600’s. There were still native Caribbean workers (the Taino, the Arawak, and the Caribe peoples) slaving in the Caribbean islands, and there were still large numbers of ‘White’ slaves and ‘White’ indentured workers in the Caribbean picking cotton, processing sugar cane, and farming and mining. Some in the Caribbean were under horrible conditions and some where better off. It wasn’t until all the Caribbean natives were dead from brutality, working conditions, rebellions, and disease and it was clear the ‘White’ European slaves and indentured workers couldn’t replace so many lost natives, that the CAPITALIST system began to replace all traces of the MERCANTILIST system and the massive numbers of Africans were brought to the New World packed like fish into slave ships by the corporations such as Dutch East India Co., and British East India Co.

    As we know who have bothered to read history, political science, and economics (I teach those things at Wayne State University), ‘slavery’ is ancient, and is universal. Nearly all human cultures have practiced it. But ‘slavery’ has never been as systematically brutal, destructive, and dehumanizing an economic system nor as much a global industry as it became by 1700 under the policies of the global, corporate Transatlantic Triangle Slave Trade, which invented CHATTEL slavery and which swept aside relatively civilized previous European, African, and Arab slave practices and indenturing, in favor of a corporate GLOBAL chattel slave INDUSTRY. I have posted a couple of detailed analyses of this history on Abagond’s site under this same string, “Africans Sold their own…” if you want to read what else I have to say about the subject of the Transatlantic Trade.

    There is a very definite distinction between the various terms people toss around with out defining or even understanding them: ‘slavery’, ‘the slave trade,’ ‘the transatlantic corporate trade’, ‘chattel slavery’, and ‘indenture.’ There is a crucial distinction between Afro-Arab slavery, European indentured servitude (the system Mr. Johnson was lucky enough to survive) and the capitalist corporate global chattel slave system. Conservatives are either too dishonest or too ignorant to debate those particulars so they toss out ‘derailing’ arguments about Africans selling themselves, Jews being behind the slave trade (which they weren’t), Black slave owners, and Arabs participating in the corporate slave trade (they did not).

    The last important thing to know about Mr. Johnson in order to avoid getting ‘derailed’ is that he lived in one of the CROWN COMPANY and JOINT STOCK COMPANY colonies of the early Americas, in Virginia, which was a unique place experimenting with democracy and with rule of law meant to emphasize free enterprise, and individual freedom and citizenship, unlike the monarchist culture the ‘White’ settlers there had left behind in Europe. and unlike the fatal brutality of sugar refinement going on with dehumanized Black and ‘White’ workers and slaves in Haiti and in San Domingo, Mr. Johnson’s rights were protected in the Virginia Colony, despite his African identity, because Africans had been in the American and Spanish colonies and in North America as businessmen, navigators, sailors, and even citizens for nearly 100 years! In Virginia’s Freed ‘Whites’ too, were given opportunities they could never have enjoyed as impoverished peasants back in England.

    Surrounding Johnson were ‘White’ citizens of Virginia who had been in ‘servitude’, the system of work for passage and for land that European ‘Whites’ participated in in the 1500’s and 1600’s to escape abject poverty in Europe, to pay off a debt, or to serve a period of punishment for a crime. The system was quite dehumanizing and even fatal for Anglos unfortunate enough to serve in the Caribbean.

    If Mr. Johnson can be ‘accused’ of being a patron (he can’t be accused of being a ‘slave’ owner) then the accuser ought to be aware that he, like many other former indentures in Virginia, acquired land under a Virginia system (called the ‘headright’ system) requiring landowners to pay for their land in part by paying the passage across the ocean, the cost, and the expenses of a number of ‘White’ Europeans or other displaced workers, whom the landowner was required to take on as indentures. Johnson, a former slave, would not have been able to afford land otherwise, and he was required by law to not abuse, exploit, or enslave his indentured workers (one of whom was Johnson’s own son, by the way!), all of whom would likely have been quite pleased that Johnson had made it possible for them to come to the Americas, have work, have shelter, and have a chance to work towards citizenship.

    Only one negative point about Johnson arises in a couple of books about Early America: one of his indentures, John Casor, filed a legal suit against Johnson claiming that his indenture was over, yet Johnson had failed to release him from his contract. Some sources claim Johnson had lost track of the man’s legal papers, other sources say Johnson was malfeasant regarding this particular indenture, or held a grudge against Casor due to personal conflicts. I have done no reading around this issue, so I can’t say–however I can tell you that Johnson’s neighbors, fellow land owners, convinced Johnson that the right thing to do was to release Casor from his contract, and the suit was never enbenched or summoned in court. This one small detail, in ignorance of or deliberately ignoring all the other context I have given here, may be the sole basis of the outlandish and frankly dishonest, slanderous, and racist lies and myths about Johnson being ‘the first slave owner in America’ (HA!)

    Sorry to be so long winded, but I wanted to be sure you had enough information to crush any and all ignorant derailing arguments you will encounter regarding this amazing man, Anthony Johnson, who should actually be seen as a hero to African diasporic peoples, and to Europeans and to all Americans as well. Descendants of some of his indentures were said to celebrate Johnson’s birthdays long after his death. He should be a figure of high regard rather than having his name and his honor dirtied.

    Bless you for your determination to speak the truth and oppose lies, for the good of both Black and Anglo Americans.


  618. I think this is a genius post, and i’d like to focus on one part:

    “To know about and understand these things and to understand how these specific systems and histories effect the present, requires READING BOOKS, something many conservatives abhor.”

    My only problem with this is it seems there are so many books that support the Euro-centered view “white history” has in many ways destroyed African history entirely. They say the Egyptians who built the Pyramids are white, despite the fact that all the people painted on the Pyramid walls are brown.

    There is so much absolute bullcrap out there to cast a fog of war over history, how do you separate fact from fiction without reading it all and coming to your own conclusions?

    The amount of effort required to sort through all the lies is immense, it would require an army of scholars, historians and scientists to squash the lie of human history they feed to us even today.


  619. on Wed 5 Feb 2014 at 19:50:32 William The Conqueor

    Rayfield I have never attended a University and only have a few college courses under my belt but when I read your post I can imagine what it would be like sitting in a 200 year old classroom, maybe in one of the East coast schools, taking notes and learning so much from each point you make, thank you for that

    Of all the discussions regarding slavery, oppression, social atrocities, etc I have noticed one common denominator. It’s not the color of ones skin per say, not one country or another and not a specific era. These vial acts have been perpetrated by every country, every race and during every decade and they continue to this day. It seems that the common thread is POWER. If you follow the evidence it always goes back to someone in power, almost always a male and almost always wealthy and almost always cunning enough to influence the most ignorant of people among us or control them with fear.

    England nearly conquered the world but it wasn’t it’s people who set out to do such a thing, it was a few royal families who had all the power and wealth. Africans didn’t sell their own, a few men who wielded the most power gathered these men and women using the power of fear and violence and did it all for riches. A few men who happen to be African who sell people to other nations does not make a country or continent of people selling their own people.

    Who started the Iraqi invasion? America? No, one man with revenge and profit on his mind and a few hundred men in congress believing his arguments based on fear. Fear of another 9/11. Who was responsible for 9/11, the Muslim religion, NO. A few powerful men influencing young men and women that the western world is evil and that rewards beyond comprehension will be waiting for them, even though their actions are in direct contradiction of their scriptures.

    Racism is much more systemic than this but it can all be attributed to a few men in power influencing the masses when they are at their most vulnerable. Whether it is a father holding the power teaching his children how to hate or a congressman passing racist policies and making his constituents believe they are good for everybody regardless of what statistics and logic conclude.

    For the last 1000 years the white man has had most of the money and power, so indeed they have been the largest contributor to the evils of our world but all races of men are guilty of making our world a violent and miserable place for the weak, poor and oppressed. Maybe we should turn the world over to the women, they surely can’t do any worse. If we ever conquer racism and inequality we should pull together as human beings and tell those with the money and the power NO! We are not going to allow you to pit us against each other anymore, we will no longer point the finger at someone because they have a different skin color or pray to a different God, we will not allow you to demonize those that are the poorest, sickest or weakest. Instead we will rise up together and form a wall around the weak, around the poor and around the sick and say, “You shall not pass, YOU SHALL NOT PASS”!


  620. on Wed 5 Feb 2014 at 21:22:05 bygodsloveandgrace

    Thank you Mr. Waller!

    What a profound and detailed post. I felt incredibly energized reading your information, which provided clarity and validated some of my initial research. It’s been difficult finding comprehensive information online and some of what I found appeared skewed.

    “Only one negative point about Johnson arises in a couple of books about Early America: one of his indentures, John Casor, filed a legal suit against Johnson claiming that his indenture was over, yet Johnson had failed to release him from his contract. Some sources claim Johnson had lost track of the man’s legal papers, other sources say Johnson was malfeasant regarding this particular indenture, or held a grudge against Casor due to personal conflicts. I have done no reading around this issue, so I can’t say–however I can tell you that Johnson’s neighbors, fellow land owners, convinced Johnson that the right thing to do was to release Casor from his contract, and the suit was never enbenched or summoned in court. This one small detail, in ignorance of or deliberately ignoring all the other context I have given here, may be the sole basis of the outlandish and frankly dishonest, slanderous, and racist lies and myths about Johnson being ‘the first slave owner in America’ (HA!)”

    Well stated. This is the only part that conservatives play up without ANY of the additional context you provided. So now I feel better in making my arguments about Anthony Johnson…

    Agree that reading books is the best way to understand and see all of slavery’s complexities. Or any topic for that matter.

    It is frustrating how some conservatives simplify slavery and distort narratives about Black people. Clearly even in 2014, some folks are uncomfortable in acknowledging slavery’s brutality, its successor Jim Crow and the legacy that’s affected Black Americans today. All conservatives do is pass down the same stereotypes and misinformation to the next generation in an effort to maintain White supremacy.

    I appreciate our people’s ongoing resilience to survive and pursue excellence amid incredible barriers. The hatred and pettiness of racists, could not stop our contributions across science, technology, art, music, culinary, industry, politics and other areas. What I see is nothing but fear from conservatives and they’re more than happy to deflect and derail conversations about racial disparities all while passing policies that benefit a small few in this country.

    Recently, Black conservative Mychael Massie wrote a column about ending Black History month because (and I’m paraphrasing) it makes White students feel guilty about slavery and doesn’t touch on modern “Black problems” as he puts it, like the Knockout game, etc. It was utter nonsense. The fact that he is Black spouting racist and stereotypical BS is appalling. But conservatives always have a few mouthpieces they can rely on to spew hate.The fact that Massie also consolidated Black History down to slavery, rather than celebrate our achievements and inventiveness makes me sick. I refuse to forget the past so I can appreciate where we’ve been and our future path.

    Anyhow, I personally want to get better at dispelling mistruths and misperceptions about us. Your words inspire me to be more prepared during robust discussions.

    Thank you again for your insights. We need to get you a radio show!

    Peace and blessings.


  621. @Rayfield Waller: I being an autodidact, you have taught me much. I hope you stay on as a regular commenter.


  622. @ Ryder
    The answer is simple.

    How do you play a Mozart piano sonata when there is so much bad pop music out there? By mastering your instrument and studying–what Jazz musicians call ‘woodshedding’. Duke Ellington’s compositions are made up of all the same diatonic and pentatonic scale notes that the song “Disco Duck” is made of. The difference is that Ellington’s is put together differently. No pain, no gain. Americans stopped working some time ago, and it will require a lot of work just to get back up onto the horse

    We need only follow our own tradition: read James Agee, Hanah Arendt, James Baldwin, Carl Bernstein, Margaret Rourk-White, Ed Bradley, Jimmy Breslin, Gore Vidal, Truman Capote, Michael Herr, Seymour Hersh, Walter Lippmann, Bill Moyers, Edward R. Murrow, Mike Royko, Gay Talese, Richard Wright, Toni Morrison, I.F. Stone, Tom Wolfe, William F. Buckley, Nat Hentoff, the beloved “A Peoples’ History of the United States” by Howard Zinn, the glorious beauty of the works of David Halbertam, and the processional majesty of Arthur Schlesinger (I first read Schlesinger when I was 14, despite my Jr. High teacher warning me I was ‘too young’ to read him), Joan Didion, W.E.B. Dubois, Gloria Steinem, Frederick Douglass, John Steinbeck and Ernest Hemingway, Xam Cartier, my heroine, Susan Sontag, the American goddess, Pauline Kael whose death in 2001 was overshadowed by the 911 attacks, Lincoln Steffens, George Polk, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Abigail Adams, and Ben Franklin, and well, READ.

    You don’t have to wonder ‘what to believe’ if you do enough reading to be able to decide for yourself. That’s the whole point of freedom. No one tells you what to think or what to value. Democracy is the most fragile form of political organization because it depends on those who govern themselves to INFORM themselves and to make free choices about how to run a democracy as well as whether or not they will betray it and destroy it. I maintain that the depth, breadth, and profundity of American New World culture is so beautiful and incredible that only the cynical or the cowardly giving birth to the lazy and the selfish would fail to recognize how important and how blessed America is, has been, and can be if we only choose to remember how important we all are. All of us. All those people I named above are American icons, ‘White’, Black, Native, women, men, leftist, rightist, Republican, Democrat, communist, socialist, anarchist, and independent. It takes all of those positions to make an American culture. What they all have in common is that they all were and are SERIOUS and not trivial in their passions and their ideals. Despite my not agreeing with the beliefs of William F. Buckley I asked my students to take a moment of silence to honor him on the day he died. He was a towering intellectual force in American letters, not trivial or petty like so-called ‘conservatives’ of today such as the inconsequential Newt Gingrich or the vapid Sarah Palin.

    Americans used to build and make things. We don’t anymore. We used to create a majestic and magisterial film culture, music, and art. Now we sit at home watching ‘reality TV’ and watching celebrities twerking. We landed men on the moon. Now we don’t even break the near orbit of the Earth. We all admired Aretha Franklin, and now we suffer through Lady Gaga-Goo-Goo. We defeated fascism, freed women from the worst aspects of domestic toil and death in childbirth, freed African slaves, paved the back roads of Tennessee with the Tennessee Valley Authority, fed and nurtured thousands of American artists with the Federal Works Project, changed the surface geography of Arizona, Colorado, and Nevada with the Hoover Dam project to generate hydroelectric power at the height of the Great Depression, and ended historic levels of hunger and abject poverty with the New Deal of President Roosevelt. With President Johnson’s ‘War on Poverty’ and his ‘Great Society’ programs, we freed human minds from urban ghettos–like MY mind, and the ghetto in Detroit that I grew up in. The abolitionist movement was a group of ‘Whites’ such as John Brown who strove to end American slavery and who jump started the American feminist movement and the free speech movement and the civil rights movement. There is much to be proud of in all of that, many lives saved, many future heroes created, like my 21 year old daughter who has just finished college and whose future is bright; I expect heroic things from her though my grandmother, whom my daughter is named after, was an Alabama girl born under segregation in a shack on a cotton farm not even expecting to finish fifth grade. I suspect in fact that the brilliance and the vision of Abagond can probably be traced back to one or more of these American social justice projects.

    You don’t need a college degree to read a book. You don’t need to be a Negro to have soul (listen to Janis Joplin!). You don’t need a tour guide to go to your local museum and see the beauty of Andrew Wyeth’s paintings, such as his mystically wonderful painting, “Christina’s World”. It is when we forget who we truly are in America that we fall victim to the most oppressive, the most petty and shameful ideas and cruelties that we see around us now; the torture and crimes against humanity of Abu Ghraib Prison in Iraq carried out by US soldiers and by the CIA are NOT who we are, those things are who we periodically allow ourselves to sink to when we let fear and bad faith discourage us and misdirect us into wasted energy spent on bigotry and hatred and greed. This is a symptom of memory loss, aided by the insipid mediocrity of the mass media and the emptiness of consumer culture that makes us accept evil politicians and corporations advocating the lowest common denominators of our history. It is a history full of crimes, yes, but therefore full of struggle and victories, and hope.

    The work we need to do to overcome our memory loss should not discourage us, because that work brings joy and brings us together. The joy is there for us all to share in–Duke Ellington’s “Take the A-Train,” Patsy Cline’s “I Fall to Pieces”, Ray Charles’ “Unchain My Heart” (YES!), “When The Man Comes Around, by Johnny Cash, “Strange Fruit” by Billie Holiday, ANYTHING by Jango Reinhardt, and Chet Baker’s nearly angelic singing of “My Funny Valentine”!

    You don’t need to try to figure out which you should eat: an San Fernando Valley Fat Burger or Chicago Lobster Newburg, or your grandmother’s fresh baked bread. One is bad for you, one is a delicacy, and one is part of your heritage and the family love that nurtured you. If I have a choice between kissing Lil’ Kim or kissing Nancy Wilson, I’m gonna kiss Nancy!! Where’s the dilemma there? Madonna or Grace Kelly? Princess Grace, of course! Sinatra or Vanilla Ice? Hey, Frankie, Man! “Summer Wind” by Frank Sinatra is worth 1,000 Ku Klux Klan renditions of “I Wish I Were in Dixie” .

    Simply remember who you are.


  623. @ Mary Burrell
    That’s kind of you. I am just glad that Abagond is here to enlighten us all.


  624. Thanks for the history lesson mr rayfield. I was reading about Anthony Johnson a few weeks ago because a lot of racists will bring up that a black man was the first slave owner. I looked it up and found that was a lie, John punch was the first documented slave after being sentenced to a lifetime of servitude for escaping with two white male servants who got off a lot lighter than him.


  625. Mr. Waller,

    You are a genius, I wish I could write like that.


  626. I forgot to thank you for taking the time to write that, thank you.


  627. Awww, shucks. Anybody can write, and one of my mentors when I was young used to say, “Genius is common.” Thanks anyway.


  628. You have valid points when you are speaking in your perspective, but speaking for how I feel as a white person was completely judgemental and just an opinion. Yet you spoke as if it was a fact. “Whites feel this way”. How would you know how we feel?

    And I quote,
    “Why not just face up to it? Because part of their sense of self worth is built on being white and how whites are better than everyone else, particularly blacks. But it is a huge lie, a lie that can only be maintained by not looking at their past – and present – squarely and honestly.”

    I can answer this question. There is nothing to face. Personally speaking, I know about slavery, I know what happened, and I know it was wrong. What else is this to face? White people, again personally speaking, are sick and tired of crap being thrown in our faces every day about something that happened that we didn’t participate in and had no control over, from people who also didn’t participate in it. Yes I am sure there are racist white people out there today, but guess what? There is also a lot of racist black people. And the “we have an excuse” doesn’t cut it either. No one has a valid excuse for not liking INNOCENT people because of their skin color. Just because we are the same skin color doesn’t mean we are all alike. We are constantly treated like we owe black people something. The problem is that we don’t. Yes I feel awful for what happened to innocent people. I couldn’t imagine it happening to any innocent person of any race, but unfortunately it did. However, I will constantly feel like I’m being punished for something I had no part of. Just like not all black people are the same when it comes to stereotypes, neither are white people. There were also white people during slavery who were against it and helped end slavery as well

    . So yes some people were slaves, and some people were slave owners. All I know is I will be punished for me (not) “doing something” that I don’t believe in because I am white and will be racially profiled for looking like a racist person based on my skin color.

    That’s why we get annoyed.


  629. @ Starlena

    You are a good example of just the kind of white person I am talking about. Thank you for the show and tell.

    Not ALL White Americans are like you, of course, but DAMN FEW are not. Damn few. Like less than 5% in my experience. And that is being generous.

    For example, when was the last time you heard a White American support or argue seriously FOR reparations for Black and Native Americans? On television? In print? In private? If my 5% number is wrong, a piece of anti-white stereotyping, then you should be able to name at least ten without looking up anything. Go ahead:


  630. @ Starlena

    Wow. I counted 5-6 different things you claimed abagond said but which he never did. Way to put words in people’s mouths.


  631. on Tue 18 Feb 2014 at 19:22:34 bygodsloveandgrace

    At Starlena,

    I cannot speak for all Black people and below is my personal opinion.

    Please provide concrete examples of how you personally have been forced to feel like you owe Black people something or how you have been made to feel as if you are being punished for slavery.

    You say you feel awful about what happened as if slavery’s ramifications are over. What people of color are trying to fight are White supremacist views and behaviors that affect our quality of life. You and other White people have the power to fight supremacy but allow it to linger by not taking any action. Why is that?

    When you say there are racist Black people, give me an example of Black people profiling you and controlling your quality of life. There’s racism and then there’s prejudice and I think there’s a distinction between the two.

    Let me ask you about “making excuses”. So when Black people protest say something like our unarmed Black youth being senselessly murdered by White people with an imagined fear of Black teens, is that an “excuse”? Or is that an example of us trying to ensure that Black life is valued?

    When Black people fought for civil rights after enduring a century of Jim Crow laws that affected social, civil, political, legal and economic disparities, is that an “excuse”?

    When Black people are fighting resources being taken from community schools as private organizations fuel a school to prison pipeline, is that an “excuse”?

    When law enforcement is selective in its level of support to Black communities that are trying to combat drugs and crime, is that an excuse?

    Help me understand how fighting respectability politics is creating an excuse mentality. Despite the continual racial atrocities we are surviving and closing civil, social, economic challenges each year after playing catch up for 500 years. Your whole commentary displays White privilege and you can’t even see it.

    Your lack of understanding of modern Jim Crow behaviors solidifies why progress in building good race relations is slow. You have no concept of the Black experience in this country.

    That’s why I get annoyed.


  632. on Tue 18 Feb 2014 at 19:47:56 William The Conqueror

    Abagond I can name several but I only know them from my Facebook political sites and friendships and they are from all around the country and world. If I had to name 5 or 6 white people I know personally I would have a very difficult time, including my family. This includes my Mom who was married to a Black man for 6 years of her life, albeit not a great experience for her due to his alcoholism but not because of his skin color. I unfortunately would have to agree with you but I would still not classify Starlena as a racist, just someone who doesn’t see pass the veil….Of course we know little about each other on this site beyond what we write, except for me as I am a blabber mouth when it comes to emotion.

    I have had a unique perspective because I am white other whites behave like they usually do when there are no POC around and this is where a great amount of my zeal for equality and change come from, as well as guilt.

    I remember all of us sitting around the TV watching Roots as a child, it was a huge event for my family at the time. I had already been exposed to white people calling my Mom horrible names, kids asking me if I knew my Mom was a Black lover and even my second grade teacher asking me why my Mother was with a Black man, “Doesn’t she like her own race?”. He was Asian just to show you that assholes come in all colors. So I had known that the world was not as kind as it would seem to a 10 year old but when I began to see the images of whites beating black men, women and children I became very much entrenched with guilt. Here I was a white boy sitting in the room with my black step father, black cousins and black aunts and uncles and all of a sudden I felt different. I felt sad, I did not know why this happened like this but this is when I started disliking my own race, I became so mad and started hating my skin color. Of course I was just a child and as I grew older my perspective would continue to morph, learn, adapt to present times, etc and I slowly began to not hate my race so much but that doesn’t mean that I deny the facts of what my race has created for POC and this includes this very day……and i also know that 200 years ago there were many good white people who knew what was going on was wrong and more than 100,000 that gave their lives for change and this gives me hope for the human race.


  633. @ bygodsloveandgrace

    Well put.
    —–
    Changing laws doesn’t change hearts. There are those who are willing to explain things to clueless white people, but it get’s shrugged off as “whining” or “entitlement”.


  634. on Tue 18 Feb 2014 at 22:10:10 bygodsloveandgrace

    Thank you Gen. We’ll see if there’s a response.


  635. @Starlena: It is the obtuse and clueless white such as yourself who are incapable of reflection or introspection, that and that is annoying to me. It’s individuals such as yourself who bury their heads in the sand and refuse to try to understand why African Americans are angry at the institutionalized racism in our country. You madam, whether you chose to admit it or not is apart of the problem. Introspection and reflection is what is needed on your part, try it some time.


  636. *whites*^^^^^^^^ typos


  637. @Gen: When clueless whites accuse blacks of whining and saying we think we are owed something is annoying. Telling us that we are too emotional, when we are just reacting to the injustice pisses me off. But, forgive me for venting. You and bygodsgrace made some good points. That’s why we need venues like this.


  638. @ Gen: My previous comment was caught in moderation. I just wanted to say that clueless whites accuse black people of whining and saying we have a sense of entitlement, nothing could be further from the truth. They say we are emotional, I am still trying to understand what that means. If we are emotional it is because we are reacting to the injustice done to us through institutionalized racism. I don’t know why some white can’t understand this. You and bygodsgrace made some good points.


  639. @bygodsloveandgrace: Good points.


  640. @Starlena: My suggestion to you is check out some of Tim Wise’s books and Youtubes videos. You could surely use some enlightenment.


  641. @ William The Conqueror: I appreciate you here as a commenter and thanks for being gracious and while you are on your journey of enlightenment.


  642. mary burrell

    @Starlena: My suggestion to you is check out some of Tim Wise’s books and Youtubes videos. You could surely use some enlightenment.
    ————————————————————————————————–

    My suggestion is to avoid giving Tim Wise any money because he is a fraud; all sound and fury signifying nothing.

    The Tim Wise schtick is that he is a white person who agrees with what black people say about racism, and thats how he collects his check.

    So whats the problem with that?

    The problem is he never offers any suggestion for what to DO to COUNTER the behaviors of the racists.

    So you see how this has turned into a racket for him? All he does is show up and give a speech about how racist white people are, the black people cheer him, then he collects a check, sells some books and goes home.

    And the nest day the black people still don’t know the exact thing to SAY and or DO when they come under racist attack. Tim Wise makes good money running pep rallies for black people.

    To sum up, all Tim Wise does is confirm black peoples suspicions about the behaviors of the racists. He offers no new, inside, secret, advanced… information.

    You know why?

    Because he doesn’t have to. Black people just want a white person to validate their suspicions.

    We got some Tim Wise types right here on this blog.

    *Be advised*


  643. on Wed 19 Feb 2014 at 02:12:59 bygodsloveandgrace

    Thanks Mary. I enjoyed your comment as well. Hopefully Starlena will absorb and reflect on our perspectives.


  644. @bygodsloveandgrace: We can only hope so.


  645. on Wed 19 Feb 2014 at 05:12:08 William the Conqueror

    @Mary….You are a special kind of Lady My Dear, thank you.


  646. @ Starlena

    Unfortunately for you, no one has to care whether you or ANY Anglo is ‘annoyed’ by Blacks calling for truth and justice. Know why it is hard to care what you are feeling? Because although there is legitimacy to what you claim as your perspective (which frankly is just your perspective and clearly not the “White” perspective since Anglos are just as diverse as you –rhetorically– claim, and as diverse as African descended peoples are), your perspective nevertheless is flawed by your lack of historical and analytical perspective at least in this instance.

    It seems to me you are making the common mistake of disregarding an entire ONGOING economic and political complex of psychic suffering, destruction of Black citizenship and Black well being and life expectancy, exploitation and inequality within a poverty industry still stealing the wealth and lives of your fellow (Black) Americans all around you no matter how long ago slavery and lynching and Jim Crow and the lynching of Emmet Till and the police murder of Elenore Bumpers and the police rape of Joan Little and the police beating of Angela Davis, blacklisting of Zora Neal Hurston and planned inequality and insurance redlining and blue lining and urban removal and the economic draft and the lynching of Trevon Martin and the disproportionate numbers of Black men and women of urban poverty drawn into the army to be killed and crippled in Iraq and disproportionate numbers of Blacks incarcerated, and so on, HAPPENED.

    It’s still all happening. It’s one thing to claim White fatigue and argue that ‘Whites’ AS A PEOPLE are not responsible for all that an objective SYSTEM of White supremacy driven by capitalism and profit fetish is and has been; I would go along with you on that, but to willfully IGNORE the ongoing efficacy and deadly effects of all that by mendaciously playing some historical exemption card in favor of a petulant whine that not all your people are alike and that ‘some’ of your people helped end slavery, yet speaking as if you can talk for all those people, is transparent on your part. Your real agenda in your comment is, it seems, to float the idea that this history is over and done and that you personally are ‘innocent’ of that history so let’s just all have a beer and Black people shut up and pass the popcorn and let’s watch this innocent Mitt Romney commercial.

    Not hardly. An innocent American? That’s a contradiction in terms.

    Go ahead and claim fatigue if you want Brother, but don’t try to claim innocence. In a sexist cultural and social order within a patriarchal male supremacist economic system I would never try to claim I’m ‘innocent’ or that my fellow males are ‘innocent’ of the oppression of women. Yes men do ‘owe’ American women for four hundred years of domestic and sexual slave labor on these shores whether I’m tired of hearing women complain about this truth or not.

    You ought to check out “Race Traitor” (http://racetraitor.org) if you really want to get hip to the reality of a TRUE dimension of Anglo radicalism in this country. Just by reading the book “Parting the Waters” by ‘White’ historian and cultural critic Taylor Branch as well as reading his lectures and watching his tv interviews on CSPAN you will discover that when you claim “that’s why we get annoyed” you may not be using that word ‘we’ very accurately, and that at least for some Anglos who are conscious and progressive, and committed to justice and NOT fatigued with the fight for justice, your ‘we’ might be mostly just YOU. Maybe you don’t speak for as many “Whites” as you think you do. Maybe you need to take a long look at who and what YOU are and the long Anglo radical abolitionist heritage you seem to be either unaware of among your own people or perhaps are simply trying to avoid.


  647. on Wed 19 Feb 2014 at 07:59:54 William the Conqueror

    @ Gen….

    “Changing laws doesn’t change hearts.”

    I love this statement, I have been wanting to say something as poignant in regards to this very subject for so long now and you have said it all with a few well placed words…thank you.


  648. Gen

    @ bygodsloveandgrace

    . There are those who are willing to explain things to clueless white people,
    ——————————————————————————————————

    If a person knows they are a white person, by default they know more about race and racism than any nonwhite person.

    If a person knows they are a doctor…

    If a person knows they are a firefighter…

    If a person knows they are a car mechanic…

    If a person knows they are a warden…

    You get the picture?


  649. @bygodsloveandgrace: I was reading the exchange between you and Mr. Waller about Anthony Johnson, “Before The Mayflower, A History Of Black America” By Lerone Bennett Jr. pretty much said the same thing that Professor Waller said in his comments. I think this is a good reference book.


  650. on Wed 19 Feb 2014 at 22:34:36 bygodsloveandgrace

    “@bygodsloveandgrace: I was reading the exchange between you and Mr. Waller about Anthony Johnson, “Before The Mayflower, A History Of Black America” By Lerone Bennett Jr. pretty much said the same thing that Professor Waller said in his comments. I think this is a good reference book.”
    —————————————————————————————————-

    Thanks mary.

    My readers list is expanding thanks to you and others on here. I look forward to enjoying some good books and increasing my historical knowledge.


  651. @Thwack.
    Such hubris. How about if a person is a dodo bird. Do they then know all about dodo bird egg laying? No of course not because the dodo bird is a mythical animal. “White” people don’t exist either.


  652. Mr. Waller you are a professor right?

    Can you recommend any reading material on this subject matter?

    I’ve read that the kingdom of Dahomey, the Oyo Empire and Asante Empire all were willing participants in the slave trade.

    J. F. Ade Ajayi, an African writer i’m sure you’re familiar with has some things to say which would indicate Africans sold their enemies into slavery.

    Logistically is it even possible that europeans sent slave catchers into Africa and that’s how they got their slaves as opposed to trading for them?


  653. The peoples you mention did not ‘participate’ in the Transatlantic Triangle Slave Trade run by the five major nascent corporations. Those corporations did NOT share global profits with Africans or Arabs. No offense, but you don’t need to read books on ‘slavery’ in Africa until you first make a decision to THINK about what you have read at this site, and certainly what I myself have been allowed by Abagond to post here. You need to stop dwelling on the myths and the misconceptions of the subject. The subject, certainly if you are addressing ME, is not ‘slavery’ (which nearly every human culture has participated in over the past ten thousand years), but The Corporate Slave Trade. That is what the subject is at least as far as I am concerned (I’ve posted extensively on this here, so everyone here knows what my analysis is and is about).

    The Triangle Slave Trade, was not unabetted by Africans, Portuguese, Arabs, Chinese, Danes, Brits, Frenchmen, European Jews, Madagascarians, Germans, Italians, “The Old Dutchmen”, Spaniards, and probably even my Mama; but it was The Corporate infrastructure of ships, funding, and corporate/monarchist management that certainly was solely responsible for the historically unprecedented removal by kidnapping and forced relocation of between 20 million and 100 million African souls (depending on what sources you believe). Their removal from the continent was fueled by, managed by, and profited from by the global corporate order set up by early capitalism after the decline of European mercantilism.

    The best thing you could do to begin your research would be to read “Das Kapital” by Karl Marx and to read some of Cheikh Anta Diop’s books in order to first of all gain an understanding of global economic power, and then to learn about the entire continent of Afrika–it is a continent, with a prehistoric history, a classical history, a modern history, a colonial history, a post colonial history, a technocratic history, a post modern history, and a post-post modern history, and throughout the latter part of the twentieth century EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THOSE PERIODS was represented and lived, materially, in some part of the continent. I argue that Afrika is the most complex land mass on Earth, and that her history is the most complex, and can only be fully comprehended ECONOMICALLY. Arabs, Jews, and Africans themselves could not have possibly relocated upwards of 30 million people using the largest fleet of specially built slave ships ever produced by humankind in any given twenty year period of The Trade.

    Okay?


  654. i guess i’ll have to start with Cheikh Anta Diop cause i’m not following a damn thing you are saying. this sounds like some Davinci code type shit…


  655. So am I supposed to feel guilty because my ancestors probably owned slaves?


  656. you probably do feel that way since you asked the question.


  657. @GR,
    Good Catch.

    There is likely a higher percentage of Black Americans who have slave-owning ancestors, but it is white people who feel guilty about it (even if they do not dare admit it).


  658. @Rayfield A. Waller

    because the dodo bird is a mythical animal.

    The Dodo bird is not a mythical animal. The Dodo (Raphus cucullatus) is an extinct flightless bird that was endemic to the island of Mauritius. It went extinct by 1700. There are still remains stored in the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.


  659. http://hnn.us/article/41431

    Slavery is wrong/evil no matter WHO is doing it. I, and most other white people I know, do not bring up this point in an attempt to displace blame–we do it to try to make people see the WHOLE truth and not just the points they PREFER to see.

    I would dissect your argument point-by-point, but the link I posted does that in a far more thorough manner than I could. If you chose to read it, of course…


  660. on Fri 21 Feb 2014 at 14:12:32 William The Conqueror

    @Medusa…Your link has a lot of truth and a lot of deflection away from the actual facts. I could not stand reading the article not long after the line where the author says that Europe and Africa were as equals, Kings trading among Kings. Any courtesy Europe nations gave African nations was a rouse to gain their trust. It took all of 30 years after abolition of slavery for Europe to colonize Africa. Where did all that equality and friendship go to so fast?

    The African people had absolutely zero interaction with the slave trade other than being the product. A few powerful Kings and/or Warlords kidnapped or imprisoned people and sold them to Western bidders. WHY? Because of the huge demand from Western and European nations. Without transcontinental traveling ships and railroads to bring whites to Africa looking for human slaves to buy, capture or trade for there would not have been an Atlantic Slave trade.

    Other than the product is human, the Ivory trade is a great example of what was going on in Africa at the time. Today we don’t say that African nations are selling Ivory to all the rich animal killers and it’s the African nations fault. No, there are a small number of poachers sneaking around murdering animals for their Ivory and selling it to wealthy entitled people. This is more likely a better synopsis of the Atlantic Slave Trade than the deflective article you posted, regardless of who wrote it and where it came from….

    Wherever there is a demand for something, regardless of how immoral and evil, there will always be an evil person or persons around to supply that demand. So what we have is approximately 385,000 (http://civilwarcauses.org/stat.htm) slave owners in America and 10 Kings/Kingdoms in Africa who participated, the other 163 African territories and millions of Africans refused to participate in the slave trade (http://uncpress.unc.edu/browse/book_detail?title_id=742). So what we had was a human trafficking enterprise no different than the international sex slave trade of today. We are appalled and sickened with child sex slavery and we point to all the right causes when asked but when it comes to the systematic capture and murder, rape, bludgeoning of 800,000 slaves, we teach our children to ignore it or that it was some fantasy joint adventure between the two nations, like some cordial prisoner exchange program. I am sickened!

    Look it, no matter how much lipstick you put on a pig at the end of the day your date is still a pig.

    “WHEN ONE EXCUSES EVIL BY DEFLECTING ATTENTION AWAY FROM THE ACT ITSELF ONE HAS BECOME A PART OF THAT EVIL AND LENDS IT LEGITIMACY.”


  661. White people would rather discuss what they did, than what they are doing.

    Thats why they have you guy discussing “slavery”.


  662. @Medusa2005

    The whole truth you are talking about is one that most black people already know. So if most already know this then you are in fact repeating or using it to place blame. Either way it is usually used as a means for a white person to excuse the actions of whites in the matter.

    Even with your link you could not dissect his point, because what your link says and what his point is are in fact two different things. Also if whites wanted to actually deliver this truth then I am still wondering why in heck we have the same history books years in and year out that only show blacks as slaves and nothing else in regards to the slave trade? So less about the truth and more about not taking blame for ones part.


  663. @ Rayfield A. Waller

    I deleted your last comment.

    Comments must be in English. If you use another language for some reason, like quoting something in its original language, you must provide an English translation.

    http://abagond.wordpress.com/comment-policy/


  664. @ Rayfield A. Waller

    I deleted another comment of yours.

    NO SPANISH PLEASE.


  665. @ Medusa2005

    That article did not dissect my argument at all. Instead it supports a fact that my argument took as a given: that Africans took part in the slave trade.


  666. @ Medusa2005

    For the sake of the readers of this wonderful blog, and in hopes that Abagond will read this and be warned about what you really are, My Dear Medusa, I will take the time to respond to your propaganda and expose you to everyone, perhaps even to yourself, since as far as I know you are not pernicious but simply ignorant and unaware of what you are peddling to people of color who read your posts.

    First of all, as usual, you, as do most apologists for the right wing, the Tea Party, the Koch Bothers, and the American Heritage Foundation, and for ‘reform capitalism history’ project of revising the history of the TRIANGLE TRANSATLANTIC slave trade, offer single, and very questionable sources. The source you proffer, Sheldon M. Stern, is a notorious flunky for the mostly right wing think tank, The Thomas B. Fordham Institute (see the funding sources of the Fordham here: http://edexcellence.net/about-us/funding-and-finances.html). Your source, Mr. Stern, however, seems to use the Fordham Institute as a sort of shell, since though Fordham is conservative, it enjoys the support of groups such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, those stalwart funders of my and everyone’s favorite PBS programming and of justice and concern for the poor baby seals. I say that Mr. Stern seems to use Fordham as a shell because he also is a mainstay of the George Mason University, which you linked by linking one of Stern’s articles. This makes me think that you are not pernicious but simply unaware, because you don’t seem to know how reactionary–historically reactionary in fact–George Mason U. is.

    Mason U. has ties to the anti-democratic corporate bully boys, the Koch Brothers, who are themselves inheritors of nearly 1 billion dollars of industry interests that with just a little research can be traced back to the original corporate slave trading companies. Stern has published two very reactionary studies, one in 2003 (“Effective State Standards for U.S. History: A 2003 Report Card”) and an even worse, more wrong-headed study in 2011 (“The State of State U.S. History Standards 2011″).

    Mr. Stern’s theories, in addition to being historically revisionist regarding what he calls ‘The Atlantic Slave Trade”–not the topic of my own posts, because my topic is the CORPORATE TRANSATLANTIC TRIANGLE Slave Trade– also center on the leery idea that the standardized testing regime, which as an educator I can assure you has ruined the American educational system, should be reformed and made even more mechanical and stringent, rather than abolished in favor of the proven, more humane and more curricula-oriented, real skills theory of education that was so powerful and successful in America between 1770 and 1940–the real skills model that produced Thomas Jefferson, Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Susan Sontag, as well as millions of democracy-loving Americans who fought fascism in WWII. This critique of Stern’s theories of education, particularly of history education, is not mine alone, because it is being broadly and deeply argued now by a clear majority of my fellow theorists and practitioners of educational pedagogy; for instance, Stanley Aronowitz and Jonathan Kozol. Kozol himself is a groundbreaking educational humanist against the sort of educational ‘functionalists’ that your source works for, producing ‘talking points’ for the American Heritage Foundation and for the Republican Party. Kozol is the author of “Savage Inequalities: Children in America’s Schools” (1991), and of “Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America” (2005).

    Now consider something, if you are not just shilling for the Tea Party, the Koch Brothers, and The Heritage Foundation funders of the think tanks Stern writes for: 1770 to 1940; that’s quite a track record, considering that the decline in American literacy and invention and even economic creativity and the slow but steady plummet and decline not of ‘standards’ as Stern argues in the article you linked, but of actual literacy and educational outcomes among American children, began in the fifties with the introduction of standardized testing and social conditioning over training in literacy skills. This approach to education coincided with standardized product codes, standardized urban planning, and standardized medical care, as well as standardized methods of segregating African American citizens. Your source, Mr. Stern, was even held suspect in the early 200’s by the relatively conservative Pew Educational Project and Pew Charitable Trust, because of his and his backers’ preoccupation with revising American history and belief in a retrogressive return to Apartheid style education in America.

    What am I going on about, Dear Medusa? (I speak to you with my eyes averted, by the way, because as you can see I have not fallen under your spell of false intellectual substantiation through leery sources) Well, I am a university professor and a graduate of the John S. Knight Writing Program at Cornell University where I studied pedagogy and educational curricular formation. I happen to know full well what drivel you are trying to pass off as support for your absurd claim that Africans ‘participated’ in a global economy based on The Transatlantic Triangle Slave Trade run by corporations such as the British and Dutch East India Companies. I know what you are NOT saying and NOT accounting for in your post, even if you do not know yourself.


  667. @ Abagond

    Sorry about the foreign languages, Abagond. I will be sure to not do that in the future.


  668. Que pasa contigo Mr. Waller?

    Translation: What’s going on with you Mr. Waller?

    LOL.


  669. @ Medusa

    Oh, by the way, if you read Geroge Mason’s personal papers and letters, as I did while in grad school researching what has eventually led to George Mason University being considered one of the top 5 most conservative colleges in America, considered #3 on the list in fact, with Karl Rove being one of GM’s many well known reactionary graduates:

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/provincialelitist/the-5-most-conservative-colleges-in-america

    I discovered something very ironic–that George Mason himself was an abolitionist!! He would slap you. Medusa, if you were to palm off your historical revisionism on him. Check out Geroge Mason’s views on slavery for yourself:

    http://www.gunstonhall.org/georgemason/slavery/views_on_slavery.html

    And REAL history grand?


  670. @Rayfield A. Waller

    I truly enjoy your commentary. It reminds me just how much people do not know. I have to wonder….if Americans were more aware of their true history do you think things would be different?


  671. @Sharina

    Yeah that man is definitely well read.

    In regards to your question, if everything Abagond says about white people is true that knowledge could potentially make things even worse. Knowledge is power after all.

    It was interesting that Mr. Waller said this to me:

    “No offense, but you don’t need to read books on ‘slavery’ in Africa until you first make a decision to THINK about what you have read at this site, and certainly what I myself have been allowed by Abagond to post here.”

    So if all or most white people are racist, with that knowledge they could potentially make things worse.


  672. @ Thwack: Comment deleted for not being in Standard English.

    http://abagond.wordpress.com/comment-policy/


  673. abagond

    @ Thwack: Comment deleted for not being in Standard English.

    http://abagond.wordpress.com/comment-policy/

    ————————————————————————————————

    Sorry abagond, but I can’t remember what it was. Ive got a copy of it somewhere but Im not sure what I am looking for?

    therefore I will not be able to make the intended correction.


  674. @ Thwack

    It was the one about the white buffalo.


  675. Hmmm… since the Native Americans spoke in nonstandard English, there is no way to translate the statement into standard English without a signifigent loss of meaning and gravity.

    therefore, I will withdraw the attempt.


  676. Native-American Ancestral Language = “Nonstandard English”