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Professor: Africans Share Blame For Slavery


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#21 Salika

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 07:40 PM

You make a great point. It's important to be able to dispassionately analyse and critique the economics of slavery as this was the prime mover. But there was a racial dimension to the Atlantic slave trade that has to be included in the analysis...in that racial polemics were used to legitimize the practice both during the fact and afterwards. So I think there will always be this human drama to consider in the background anytime the subject is discussed/analyzed.

I'm not denying that race is a factor. Obviously it is. I just think that we should stop limiting ourselves to that analysis. :D

#22 dreamdeferred

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 07:52 PM

well i'm not really talking about the practice of slavery in Africa, just the international slave trade. wasnt the actual trans-atlantic slave trade dependent almost entirely on Africans to supply the slaves to the European outposts. So the huge scale of people who were brought over the ocean coincides with an equally huge scale of people being captured in the interior and brought to the coasts, and this was being done by various african countries

is that inaccurate?



I wouldn't say that it's inaccurate but I would say it's incomplete. I mentioned slavery in Africa only to highlight that the practice (although still abominable) had some substantial differences from what we saw on the other side of the ocean.

You're right to say that demand for labor... was met by a supply of slaves with the cooperation of African kings/tribes but from my pov this doesn't indicate "equivalence" in the sense that I understand it.

The triangular trade was a complex nexus of interests and economic motivations no doubt... but the demand was coming mainly from one direction. And a frighteningly efficient machinery of human enslavement was constructed to satiate it. Like I mentioned above... when all things are considered, particularly the extent to which this labor was used to build up Europe/the New World and the subsequent "Scramble for Africa" and it's underdevelopment.... I think the equivalence argument is kind of incomplete.
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#23 nunyobeezwax

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 08:07 PM

this is common knowledge kona, nothing new. if you went to high school in the united states you should know this.

perhaps a lesser known fact is that slavery in america was not exclusively black....i read something on google books about it a while back, but after searching just now i still can't find the link :D. i distinctly remember the book talking about slave auctions where white-skinned, blond/red-haired girls were being sold alongside black slaves. these white slaves were the result of generations upon generations of white masters reproducing with black slaves. the black slaves at the auctions were mostly bought for work and labor while the white slaves were often bought to be used for sex. i wish i could find the link again, it was quite interesting.

#24 EirinnMoChroi

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 08:49 PM

Well i've had debates with people on here who think that Europeans invented racism, so i guess it wouldn't be too far a leap to hear that some think they also invented slavery. But i dont think it's a common belief.


Anybody who thinks that has never opened a history book in their life. what a joke. Europe isnt responsible for racism. Racism isnt something that someone invented. Racism has been around since man has. Its animal nature to fear or hate something that doesnt look like you or that you cant relate to. I have farm animals (especially chickens) who hate other animals of their same species who dont have the same color feathers that they do. I had a chicken with a white afro named Coolio and all the other chickens tried to kill him and they'd peck out his afro to make him look like them. Racist chickens. They must have been European.

Also, everyone who read this, please dont make the assumption that, because I said its in our nature to be racist, that I am also saying that its somehow acceptable. Its not. Its in our animal nature to want to do a lot of things that are wrong. We have the ability to learn to think a different way and to stop being ethnocentric. But to blame Europe for racism? Umm....research the caste system of India, the mesoamerican tribal wars, the civil wars in Africa, the slavery of the Hebrew people from Egyptians....there is racism all over the globe. Saying that Europeans invented it is racist and ignorant all in itself.

#25 Salika

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 08:57 PM

this is common knowledge kona, nothing new. if you went to high school in the united states you should know this.

perhaps a lesser known fact is that slavery in america was not exclusively black....i read something on google books about it a while back, but after searching just now i still can't find the link :D. i distinctly remember the book talking about slave auctions where white-skinned, blond/red-haired girls were being sold alongside black slaves. these white slaves were the result of generations upon generations of white masters reproducing with black slaves. the black slaves at the auctions were mostly bought for work and labor while the white slaves were often bought to be used for sex. i wish i could find the link again, it was quite interesting.

I read a novel (historical fiction) which I can't remember the name of since I was in middle school at the time, but it also made a passing reference to white slaves.

#26 Kona_Silat

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 09:37 PM

My dad told me about this a few years ago. To be honest, I applaud the professor for teaching that because even though it can hit a really tough spot for African-Americans, its important to know the truth. AND, as a white woman, Id really appreciate people knowing the truth too.

Of course, this doesnt make slavery any less horrible nor does it excuse slavery at all. Im not saying that "well its YOUR fault too" is by any means what I am saying. Slavery, ANY slavery (not just white slavery....every race is responsible for keeping slaves at one time or another) is horrible and inhumane.



Considering that slavery is worldwide and practiced by everyone (not just us big bad whites), then no, im sure they didnt "get the idea" from Africans. But they also most likely didnt just come up with the idea themselves either. Slavery is STILL a business practiced today (and even in the USA--Sex slavery is the second largest illegal business in our country, second to drug trade) so....no, while Europeans didnt get the idea from Africans, they arent the sole creaters of slavery either.

To expand on this, what do you guys think of repaying African-Americans for the unpaid labor of their ancestors in this country?


I think sex slavery is an oxymoron. First of all "sex slaves" get paid and they put themselves into the business.

For your last question, I don't believe in reparations at all. Just be glad you are over here instead of over the hell hole we call Africa.

a certain subset of the population will grab on to this and use it to excuse white people from slavery, another will be upset that anyone brought it to light because obviously it must be meant to excuse white people from slavery...

it's not an excuse. there is no excuse for it. it was wrong then, it's wrong now. compensation isn't going to happen. if we can't even get decent benefits for our war veterans of ALL wars compensation won't happen. the usa isn't going to compensate all japanese either.

history is history and people should accept the good and the bad and try to move forward. we can't go back and change history.


A certain subset use slavery to promote their own agenda and play victim.

Read this article a while back..... isn't historical revisionism fun?






Yeah.

What's interesting about this particular article (and some of the responses in this thread from what I gather) is that Gates is drawing some kind of moral/economic equivalence between Africans and Europeans in the TransAtlantic slave trade.

That's pretty hilarious.

On a somewhat related note...Michael Medved also wrote a funny pieice about how slavery was good for black Americans. I'll post it up sometime.


disgusting. Or that Christian preacher Douglas Wilson who wrote a book about how wonderful Black Americans were treated under slavery and how it is so sad that it was abolished.

They should do a study on this phenomenon of self induced non-surgical lobotomies.

Poor Idaho, producing Douglas Wilson, Sarah Palin and home of Aryan Nations


If it weren't for slavery they wouldn't be here in the USA instead of Africa.

this is common knowledge kona, nothing new. if you went to high school in the united states you should know this.

perhaps a lesser known fact is that slavery in america was not exclusively black....i read something on google books about it a while back, but after searching just now i still can't find the link :D. i distinctly remember the book talking about slave auctions where white-skinned, blond/red-haired girls were being sold alongside black slaves. these white slaves were the result of generations upon generations of white masters reproducing with black slaves. the black slaves at the auctions were mostly bought for work and labor while the white slaves were often bought to be used for sex. i wish i could find the link again, it was quite interesting.


I read a novel (historical fiction) which I can't remember the name of since I was in middle school at the time, but it also made a passing reference to white slaves.


The Irish were also "slaves" .. its called indentured servitude.
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#27 Jaysh

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 10:08 PM

If it weren't for slavery they wouldn't be here in the USA instead of Africa.


Typical Republican do*chebaggery.

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#28 nunyobeezwax

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 11:11 PM

The Irish were also "slaves" .. its called indentured servitude.


obviously. this is also part of that same high school american history lesson i mentioned before. indentured servants led horrible, awful lives while repaying their debt, but they were most often let go in the end.

i'm only talking about a different type of white slave: the ones who were descended from black slaves and white masters. these white slaves were still seen as being at the same low social level as the black slaves except they were considered more desirable for sex by the white buyers at slave auctions.

#29 Kona_Silat

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 11:13 PM

obviously. this is also part of that same high school american history lesson i mentioned before. indentured servants led horrible, awful lives while repaying their debt, but they were most often let go in the end.

i'm only talking about a different type of white slave: the ones who were descended from black slaves and white masters. these white slaves were still seen as being at the same low social level as the black slaves except they were considered more desirable for sex by the white buyers at slave auctions.


what do you mean "white".. according to one drop rule they would be black.
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#30 ChotooMotoo

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 11:17 PM

It's well known and well documented that lighter skinned slaves got jobs working as maids while darker ones worked more manual labor. It's also well known that a lot of very fair skinned blacks worked as prostitutes throughout the South after the civil war and did well for themselves. There was a lot of erotic literature written on the subject of light skinned "octaroons" or "quadroons" being sold between masters for sex. It's disgusting, but not controversial.

If it weren't for slavery they wouldn't be here in the USA instead of Africa.


because somehow it's better to be a second class citizen in the USA than to be a free person in Africa? I'm sure you've heard all the wonderful things Chinese Malaysians have to say about their role in Malaysian society :( maybe you're not one to talk on this subject?

The Irish were slaves in their own country and had their own land taken from them by the British.
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#31 EirinnMoChroi

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 11:17 PM

[quote name='Kona_Silat']I think sex slavery is an oxymoron. First of all "sex slaves" get paid and they put themselves into the business.
[/quote]

You're thinking of voluntary prostitution. Im talking about human trafficking. The selling and kidnapping of woman and children (and sometimes men) and forcing them to be prostitutes for zero pay. Most of them die within 4 years of being kidnapped and sold into the business. Its disgusting and most definitely slavery. [/QUOTE]

#32 nunyobeezwax

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 11:20 PM

what do you mean "white".. according to one drop rule they would be black.


did you not read my post...? ...white-skinned, blonde, red heads... ?



okay i'm done with this topic. i really hate discussions on islamica, dunno why i even posted in the first place. toodles! :(

#33 TrentReznor858

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Posted 22 May 2010 - 01:11 PM

Wow, alot of racism in this thread. IrishM, you really need to drop this whole "look white people arent the only ones destroying the world, enslaving minorities, and killing innocent people!!!!! other races do it too!!!!" It doesnt matter if you add a couple disclaimers in there, it still makes you look like you are trying to justify the white mans history of oppression and greed. Im not saying that is your intention, just how it comes across.
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#34 Variable

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Posted 22 May 2010 - 01:30 PM

I wouldn't say that it's inaccurate but I would say it's incomplete. I mentioned slavery in Africa only to highlight that the practice (although still abominable) had some substantial differences from what we saw on the other side of the ocean.

You're right to say that demand for labor... was met by a supply of slaves with the cooperation of African kings/tribes but from my pov this doesn't indicate "equivalence" in the sense that I understand it.

The triangular trade was a complex nexus of interests and economic motivations no doubt... but the demand was coming mainly from one direction. And a frighteningly efficient machinery of human enslavement was constructed to satiate it. Like I mentioned above... when all things are considered, particularly the extent to which this labor was used to build up Europe/the New World and the subsequent "Scramble for Africa" and it's underdevelopment.... I think the equivalence argument is kind of incomplete.


I didn't get the sense that Gates Jr. was trying to make an argument for 'equivalence' (in terms of how responsible/evil those involved were?) or that he was using that to say reparations were a bad idea.

I think instead he was adding some context to the situation by describing an often overlooked and important component. Neither did i think he really made a case reparations should or shouldn't be made, just that this component should be acknowledged if it ever does happen.

If we're arguing who did more wrong on a more fundamental, individual level, the slave holder/enslaver - I don't know how to decide who did worse. I don't think there's a big difference between the two of them.

If we're arguing on what scale the African slave harvesters (that sounds like science fiction) were guilty on a macroscopic level, they offer some data for that - 90% of those Africans transported from the continent. However that translates into a figure for overall slavery I don't know, just that it represents a significant contribution. I think that's what Gates was putting forward.


But my first reaction isn't to stack up African culpability against European culpability. I just don't see how that's a useful exercise. And I don't think it should play a part in the decision of reparations; just because someone else was also responsible doesn't mean you can't account for your own part played.

But then, i don't think reparations should be paid for reasons of retribution or guilt at all. We're responsible for our own actions, not those of our ancestors. If there's any action taken that resembles reparations, I think it should be only because there's a current disparity based on the inertia of the institution of slavery, with the realization that that in and of itself can have both positive and negative effects.
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#35 dreamdeferred

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Posted 23 May 2010 - 01:05 PM

I didn't get the sense that Gates Jr. was trying to make an argument for 'equivalence' (in terms of how responsible/evil those involved were?) or that he was using that to say reparations were a bad idea.

I think instead he was adding some context to the situation by describing an often overlooked and important component. Neither did i think he really made a case reparations should or shouldn't be made, just that this component should be acknowledged if it ever does happen.

If we're arguing who did more wrong on a more fundamental, individual level, the slave holder/enslaver - I don't know how to decide who did worse. I don't think there's a big difference between the two of them.

If we're arguing on what scale the African slave harvesters (that sounds like science fiction) were guilty on a macroscopic level, they offer some data for that - 90% of those Africans transported from the continent. However that translates into a figure for overall slavery I don't know, just that it represents a significant contribution. I think that's what Gates was putting forward.


Are we reading the same article V?

That's exactly the point he was making. Gates is essentially saying that reparations are unrealistic because of the impossibility of apportioning blame judiciously given African complicity. This is the thrust of the entire article.

It's a dumb argument put forward by an obviously intelligent guy.

And I don't think he was simply adding context. The facts he alluded to are well studied and no one has "overlooked" African involvement.


But my first reaction isn't to stack up African culpability against European culpability. I just don't see how that's a useful exercise. And I don't think it should play a part in the decision of reparations; just because someone else was also responsible doesn't mean you can't account for your own part played.


I'm not sure how to address this comment. Unless we're being completely ahistorical I can't see how one could draw a meaningful equivalence at all when it comes to the Trans Atlantic slave trade, colonialism etc etc. Collusion doesn't imply equivalence especially when the elements of coercion are considered carefully (ie technological and military superiority etc). This doesn't take the African elites who were involved off the hook at all but it tempers any suggestions of equal blame etc.

But then, i don't think reparations should be paid for reasons of retribution or guilt at all. We're responsible for our own actions, not those of our ancestors. If there's any action taken that resembles reparations, I think it should be only because there's a current disparity based on the inertia of the institution of slavery, with the realization that that in and of itself can have both positive and negative effects.


I'm not a fan of reparations. Like Obama was paraphrased as saying in the article "I agree with them entirely in theory.... but it's totally impractical". Ultimately though this article is a fail because advocates of reparations are not relying on the TA slave trade to buttress their demands but rather the "peculiar institution" of chattel slavery in America (and the structural inequalities that persist to this day as a result). His claims that African complicity makes these demands difficult due to the difficulty of determining who should pay is kind of absurd given these facts.
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#36 WVOG

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Posted 04 August 2010 - 03:39 AM

that's preposterous




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