Monday, June 29, 2020

Racism and Slavery, and some inconvenient truths

By Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host

Racism exists in our culture.  It exists in every culture.  There will always be those who take so much pride in who they are that they either mistake it as being the result of their race or ethnicity, or they do it because it is culturally expected among their peers.  I can’t count how many times I’ve come across folks that I don’t necessarily consider racist, and then suddenly they break out the “black pride” or “brown pride” slogan.  Of course, that is usually not considered racist.  Our current culture has largely come to the conclusion that those who have suffered from racism can’t be racist, therefore, the only people capable of racism is white people.

I remember when I was in construction one of the new workers on a jobsite had shorts on and on his calf was a tattoo that said, “white pride.”  A Mexican co-worker asked him during break, “are you racist, or somethin’?”

The young man with the tattoo said, “You have a brown pride bumper sticker on your truck because you are proud to be brown, but you don’t think it’s racist, do you?”

The young Mexican kid replied, “No, I’m just proud of my heritage.”

The blonde kid grinned.  “So am I.”

The book, White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo, without any proof, or truly knowing what you think inside your own skull, wrote that all white people are racist.  If you deny it, that too is a sign of your racism.  That attitude has essentially become the conventional wisdom in the world, and especially in the United States.  White people, after all, practiced slavery, and nothing can be more racist than that.

I suppose one can argue that reverse racism exists, also, and if anything, racism against whites is more prevalent, but nobody would believe you.  You know, because only white people can be racist.

The anger of black society against whites for the advent of slavery continues to burn, we are told.  Reparations must be paid, it has been said by some radicals.  White people, who in this era have never owned slaves, need to pay restitution to black people, who in this era were never slaves, due to the fact that white people used to own slaves in the United States between the time of the first colonies all the way until slavery was ended in America after the War Between the States.

Then, to show pride in their African ancestry, we have seen the emergence of terms like “African-American,” and in some cases blacks in America shrouding themselves in African garb.  For me that is very curious, because if the black community is so angry with white people for owning slaves in the early part of American History, shouldn’t they be even angrier with Africa for selling them into slavery in the first place?  It wasn’t like white slave traders showed up and simply plucked the potential slaves out of the African population like a shopper picking a product off of a shelf.  The African tribes, chiefs, or somebody who was indigenous to the African landscape, had to make the offer.  The Africans sold the people picked up by slave traders.  Shouldn’t members of the black community be mad at Africa for selling their ancestors into slavery?

How about Islam?  Slavery has always been a big part of the Muslim culture, and slavery is still practiced in Islamic countries to this day.

According to Jack Kerwick, writing for Townhall, July 21, 2016, in an article titled, Racially Incorrect Facts Regarding Race and Slavery, “the very first legal slave owner in America was one Anthony Johnson—a black man.”

Kerwick goes on to explain in his article (using a flood of links as resources), “Relative to their numbers in the population (27 million according to the 1860 census), a miniscule number of whites owned slaves. Eight million whites lived in the South, but of these, fewer than 325,000 owned slaves. What this means is that only 1.4 percent of the total white population consisted of slave owners, and only 4.8 percent of the white Southern population did so.”

That means that as we approached the War Between the States, less than five percent of the whites in the Confederate States of America actually owned slaves.  Slave owners were also a minority among those who signed the Declaration of Independence, and of those who signed the U.S. Constitution, as well.

Then, Kerwick provides a shocking revelation.  He wrote, “In glaring contrast, in this same year, there were 4.5 million blacks living in America, and 500,000 blacks in the South. Over half of these—261, 988—were freed men. In the city of New Orleans alone, more than 3,000 blacks owned slaves. That is, 28 percent of the free black population consisted of slave holders.

“In 1830, the Census Bureau notes that free blacks owned more than 10,000 slaves in the states of Louisiana, Maryland, Virginia, and South Carolina.”

I am thinking a bunch of folks screaming in the name of Black Lives Matter may not know these facts.

Kerwick continues, “In some cities during some decades in the 19th century, more than 75 percent of the free black population was comprised of slave holders, and some of these black masters owned property in slaves that rivaled that of some of their wealthiest white counterparts while far exceeding that of most slave owners. The widow C. Richards and her son, to cite the most notable example, owned 152 slaves.”

It probably seemed normal to those black slave owners to own slaves, because to be honest, slavery was a common practice in Africa, as well.  If anything, slavery was more rampant in Africa, and the Muslim world.

In addition to owning black slaves, many of those black slave masters also owned white slaves.

According to Kerwick, “The majority of urban black slave owners were women.  Virtually all of the black slave masters were mulattoes who not only enslaved their darker brethren, but refused to marry or even attend church with freed men of darker hue.”

Discrimination among the black population based on darkness of skin continues to this day.  When I was a young child growing up in North Long Beach I can still remember some of the ramblings around me talking about the “dark-skinned gangs” and the “light-skinned gangs.”  Both groups were black gangs, but hated each other largely due to the shade of their skin.

“Europeans didn’t get involved with African slavery until the 15th century—very late in the game, historically speaking. For at least the preceding 800-900 years, Arab Muslims had been trafficking in African slaves—all, of course, as even Obama’s friend and black Harvard professor, Henry Louis Gates is at pains to show, with the cooperation of African leaders who had been enslaving their fellow Africans for even longer than this.

“In their Peoples and Empires in West Africa: West Africa in History, 1000-1800, George T. Stride and Caroline Ifeka show that while slavery was endemic throughout the continent, there were several groups like, to note just some examples, the Oyo, Kaabu, and the Imbangala peoples that were particularly ruthless and brutal at enslaving. Some African slave holders, as the black American thinker Thomas Sowell has noted as well, used their slaves as human sacrifices in religious rituals.”

It's also important to note that human sacrifice existed among the central American and South American tribes that the Spanish eventually wiped out.

“In his Black Rednecks, White Liberals, in a chapter titled, ‘The Real History of Slavery,’ Sowell’s commentary on the brutality of Arabic Muslims’ treatment of African slaves is particularly difficult to digest. Muslims, he says, ‘marched vast numbers of human beings from their homes [in Africa] where they had been captured to the places where they would be sold, hundreds of miles away, often spending months crossing the burning sands of the Sahara.’”

Sowell adds: “The death toll on these marches exceeded even the horrific toll on packed slave ships crossing the Atlantic.”

And don’t think that the Muslim hordes stopped at enslaving Africans.  Kerwin points out in his article that “books like Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters: White Slavery in the Mediterranean, The Barbary Coast, and Italy, 1500-1800 and White Slaves, African Masters: An Anthology of American Barbary Captivity Narratives confirm, so too were millions of white Europeans and, in the 19th century, white Americans.”

“After all, it’s not for nothing that the very word “slave” derives from the experience of mass enslavement suffered by the Slavs, i.e. white people.”

The United States Constitution was the first document to work to stem the slave trade, with a clause in Article I, Section 9 that was designed to outlaw the Atlantic Slave Trade.  The "white" American Congress followed through in 1808, passing legislation banning the import of slaves into the United States.  The abolitionist movement began in the northern States as America was becoming a country.  Benjamin Franklin's "Society of Friends" was the first organization to work on the abolition of slavery.  Thomas Jefferson was also a staunch abolitionist, despite the fact that he owned slaves.  In his case, he was the reluctant slave owner who had inherited most of his slaves, and could not afford to free them.  Of the slaves he bought, he did so to keep families together when he noticed the bidding at an auction was going to likely separate children from their parents.

For those of you who wish to argue that the Constitution is a pro-slavery document, Frederick Douglas, an escaped slave and ardent abolitionist, once said that he did not consider the U.S. Constitution as being a pro-slavery document.

As for the anger over racism we are seeing in today's culture, you will notice that the majority of the Black Lives Matter protesters are white liberals.  That's because Black Lives Matter has nothing to do with racism, and everything to do with trying to tear down the American System through violence, and a deconstruction of our history.  Why?  Because the movement is a Marxist movement fighting to end liberty in America and to put us all into political slavery under an authoritarian socialist system.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary


Anonymous said...

Very cute, but even you must see that your own example of multi layered pigment-rocacy is based on a white power structure.

It’s regrettable you can’t see your own privilege; and that you can’t see there’s no level playing field. In fact, I am amazed you don’t recognise tyranny of the Executive with warrantless searches, and unchecked militarization of police and their powers. But then, you’d have to recognize that Black people are not fractions. As for your junior nazi pal with his white power tat, you know good an damn well his “pride” is based on the subjugation of others. You and your beloved tiki torch brigade will surely rot in hell.

Ken said...

Great write-up Doug! Unfortunately, we can't possibly please everyone, especially those who choose to have a 'victim' mentality as so many do, and that seems to be the core issue. A racist is a racist, there is no particular color, as we see plenty of black people who hate whites simply for their skin color. It looks like you hit a nerve with your honesty and facts. Some people carry a chip on their shoulder their entire lives.