Archive for the ‘slave trade’ Category

The European slave trade (1502-1807), which brought 10 to 20 million blacks to the Americas in chains – and left just as many dead at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean – was immoral.

It amazes me that I have to write a post about this. I had to write one on the beauty of black women too for the same reason: because the same things kept coming up in comments.

Everyone seems to know the slave trade was wrong. Yet, despite that, many people, mostly white people as far as I can tell, keep bringing up the Arabs who sold black slaves or the black African kings and merchants who took a full and willing part in the slave trade.

That is all true, so far as I know, but so what?

It does not lessen the guilt of white slave traders one bit. Just because other people were doing it does not make it right or any less wrong. And since when did Europe ever use the Arabs or black Africans as their moral guides?

This talk about Arab slave traders and so on is a moral argument and it is not even a good one.

The argument comes down to something like this: Your mother catches you taking ten cookies from the cookie jar. Your younger brother took three. When your mother asks you about what you did, one of the first things out of your mouth is that your brother took three cookies.

So what? So what!?

What he did was wrong too, of course, but it does not change your guilt, not one bit.

The “blacks do it too” argument is what got Don Imus into trouble. Just because some black rappers get rich selling music – mainly to white people – in which they call black women bitches and hoes, that does not make it suddenly right. It is still wrong to call any woman a prostitute, unless she is in fact one, and even then it is still a mean thing to do. Why should black women be any different?

The same goes for black slave traders and making blacks into slaves.

No one forced the Europeans to have a slave trade. They did it willingly. They did it knowing full well that making anyone a slave is wrong.

Maybe they thought little of the black Africans, but they still knew blacks were humans with an immortal soul. Their holy book teaches them that all men are the same in God’s eyes.

We know they saw blacks as humans. Because the excuse in Virginia in the 1650s to make blacks into slaves was that they were not Christians. Meaning they were viewed as humans: no one talks about the Christianity of horses.

The racism through which most white Americans now view blacks only started in the 1660s. It is a measure of how wrong they knew the whole slave thing was because otherwise there would be no need for racism.

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