On slavery 122

Talk about slavery! It is not the peculiar institution of the South. It exists wherever men are bought and sold, wherever a man allows himself to be made a mere thing or a tool, and surrenders his inalienable rights of reason and conscience.

– Henry David Thoreau, journal, Dec. 4, 1860


Africans and Muslims were capturing, trading, and using slaves long before the Europeans started the trans-Atlantic shipping of Africans to work as slaves in the Americas. Europeans too had been slavers in ancient times and for centuries in our Common Era, but stopped. They started again with the trans-Atlantic slave-trade. Then they put an end to it, and freed the slaves. Africans and Muslims are still capturing, trading and using slaves.

American haters of America teach a false history of slavery in order to indict Europeans and white Americans.

So well has the “politically correct” account of slavery succeeded, that it would probably come as a surprise to most Americans to learn that more Europeans were enslaved by Africans than were Africans by Europeans, and treated worse.

Regardless of numbers and degrees, slavery is a profound evil. Children should be taught the truth about it. Their teachers should not select aspects of its history for the purpose of indoctrination, as they are doing at present –  and as are leftist movie-makers, historians, preachers like Jeremiah Wright, and others of that kidney.

To indoctrinate is to enslave the mind.

Thomas Sowell sets the record straight. He writes:

The history of slavery across the centuries and in many countries around the world is a painful history to read– not only in terms of how slaves have been treated, but because of what that says about the whole human species– because slaves and enslavers alike have been of every race, religion and nationality.

If the history of slavery ought to teach us anything, it is that human beings cannot be trusted with unbridled power over other human beings– no matter what color or creed any of them are. The history of ancient despotism and modern totalitarianism practically shouts that same message from the blood-stained pages of history.

But that is not the message that is being taught in our schools and colleges, or dramatized on television and in the movies. The message that is pounded home again and again is that white people enslaved black people.

It is true, just as it is true that I don’t go sky-diving with blacks [I refused to go sky-diving with anybody, whether black, white, Asian or whatever]. But it is also false in its implications for the same reason. Just as Europeans enslaved Africans, North Africans enslaved Europeans– more Europeans than there were Africans enslaved in the United States and in the 13 colonies from which it was formed. 

The treatment of white galley slaves was even worse than the treatment of black slaves picking cotton. But there are no movies or television dramas about it comparable to “Roots,” and our schools and colleges don’t pound it into the heads of students.

The inhumanity of human beings toward other human beings is not a new story, much less a local story. There is no need to hide it, because there are lessons we can learn from it. But there is also no need to distort it, so that sins of the whole human species around the world are presented as special defects of “our society” or the sins of a particular race.

If American society and Western civilization are different from other societies and civilization, it is that they eventually turned against slavery, and stamped it out, at a time when non-Western societies around the world were still maintaining slavery and resisting Western pressures to end slavery, including in some cases armed resistance.

Only the fact that the West had more firepower than others put an end to slavery in many non-Western societies during the age of Western imperialism. Yet today there are Americans who have gone to Africa to apologize for slavery– on a continent where slavery has still not been completely ended, to this very moment.

It is not just the history of slavery that gets distorted beyond recognition by the selective filtering of facts. Those who go back to mine history, in order to find everything they can to undermine American society or Western civilization, have very little interest in the Bataan death march, the atrocities of the Ottoman Empire or similar atrocities in other times and places.

Those who mine history for sins are not searching for truth but for opportunities to denigrate their own society …