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Steffica Greles
Nov 26th, 2006, 02:58 AM
LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister Tony Blair will express "deep sorrow" for Britain's role in the slave trade nearly 200 years after the legislation that led to its abolition, Sunday's Observer reported.
However Blair's statement will stop short of a full apology despite pressure from some black campaigners and community leaders, the newspaper said. "I believe the bicentenary offers us a chance not just to say how profoundly shameful the slave trade was -- how we condemn its existence utterly and praise those who fought for its abolition -- but also to express our deep sorrow that it ever could have happened," it quoted Blair as saying in a statement due to appear in New Nation, a newspaper aimed at the black community.

Blair will also back a United Nations resolution by Caribbean countries to honour those who died at the hands of international slave traders, the Observer said.
The issue has come to a head in the build-up to next March's bicentenary of the Slave Trade Act. An advisory committee chaired by Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott has been planning the commemorations, including a solution to how Britain should acknowledge its historic responsibility, the newspaper reported. Government advisers had warned that a full apology could provoke claims for reparations, it said.

What do people think?

Personally, I feel it is high time that a full apology was made. Obviously it won't change history or bring anybody back, but it's a gesture which should have been made centuries ago. It's extraordinary that this has not been done.

Having said that, I don't want an apology to be made which somehow implies that white people should be ashamed. The British government should apologise for its role, but because I am white and I am Britsh, I am no more responsible than anybody else.

Slavery was justifiable in no way whatsoever, but we need some context here. First of all, slaves were interned within their masters' domains, of course, but it was most often in an owner's interest to keep slaves fit and strong. Some of the slaveowners treated their slaves with some degree of humanity. Meanwhile, in Russia serfs were impoverished beyond imagination. They were "free", but it was in nobody's interests to keep them alive. They were left to rot in the mud and die.

In Britain, "free-born" children were working in mines in the early 19th century while the slave trade was still underway. Adults were toiling for 16 hours and earning a pittance. Once again, they were "free" to leave their jobs, but they would soon have been replaced while they starved. It was incumbent upon no rich person to ensure their survival. These people were the masses. None of them benefitted from the enslavement of Africans. Very few white people are related to those who owned slaves, and even those who are can scarcely be responsible for their ancestors.

And lastly, some black campaigners often conveniently forget that most African slaves were sold by African Kings to white slave traders. In other words, they had already been enslaved -- by black Africans. Kidnapping was fraught for obvious reasons and somewhat rare. So, some blacks were also complicit in the slave trade.

The slave trade was a crime against humanity; an unmitigated attrocity which must be recognised and taught to posterity. That includes teaching that the trade was a crime against the sub-Saharan African race, just as the holocaust was against Jews. But it must be kept in context -- and that's what I'm concerned about.

SJW
Nov 26th, 2006, 03:18 AM
And lastly, some black campaigners often conveniently forget that most African slaves were sold by African Kings to white slave traders. In other words, they had already been enslaved -- by black Africans. Kidnapping was fraught for obvious reasons and somewhat rare. So, blacks were also complicit in the slave trade.

If you knew anything about African - Afro-Caribbean relations, you would know that is not true at all.

Nice step by Mr. Blair. With the amount of British West-Indians in London and the surrounding areas, no doubt he'll gain cool points.

Steffica Greles
Nov 26th, 2006, 03:23 AM
If you knew anything about African - Afro-Caribbean relations, you would know that is not true at all.

Nice step by Mr. Blair. With the amount of British West-Indians in London and the surrounding areas, no doubt he'll gain cool points.

I know history ;)

Which part in your view isn't true? About some black campaigners or complicity?

ico4498
Nov 26th, 2006, 06:29 AM
i think it's a decent thing Blair is trying to do.

hopefully, unlike the thread starter, he'll avoid the temptation to rationalize slavery.

Sam L
Nov 26th, 2006, 10:55 AM
Slavery was justifiable in no way whatsoever, but we need some context here. First of all, slaves were interned within their masters' domains, of course, but it was most often in an owner's interest to keep slaves fit and strong. Some of the slaveowners treated their slaves with some degree of humanity. Meanwhile, in Russia serfs were impoverished beyond imagination. They were "free", but it was in nobody's interests to keep them alive. They were left to rot in the mud and die.

In Britain, "free-born" children were working in mines in the early 19th century while the slave trade was still underway. Adults were toiling for 16 hours and earning a pittance. Once again, they were "free" to leave their jobs, but they would soon be replaced while they starved. It was incumbent upon no rich person to ensure their survival. These people were the masses. None of them benefitted from the enslavement of Africans. Very few white people are related to those who owned slaves, and even those who are can scarcely be responsible for their ancestors.

And lastly, some black campaigners often conveniently forget that most African slaves were sold by African Kings to white slave traders. In other words, they had already been enslaved -- by black Africans. Kidnapping was fraught for obvious reasons and somewhat rare. So, some blacks were also complicit in the slave trade.

The slave trade was a crime against humanity; an unmitigated attrocity which must be recognised and taught to posterity. That includes teaching that the trade was a crime against the sub-Saharan African race, just as the holocaust was against Jews. But it must be kept in context -- and that's what I'm concerned about.

Slavery still exists today it's just not talked about. Frankly, I don't think an apology is necessary.

Selah
Nov 26th, 2006, 11:30 AM
I never really see the point in an apology. In my view it is meaningless. The policies former colonial powers set forth currently is what matters. IMO. I think Honouring those who died is a nice gesture, and more meaningful, i suppose. Until recently I didn't realize just how many Caribbean men participated and died in both World Wars under British Imperialism. These people should also be honoured and remembered. I wonder if the British acknowledge them.

Wigglytuff
Nov 26th, 2006, 11:50 AM
I know history ;)

Which part in your view isn't true? About some black campaigners or complicity?

first the trade of persons going from african slavery to new world slavery were extremely few and far between. african slavery was a very different animal. african slavery was more akin to servitude. african slaves retained there personhood, their children did not become slaves and they retained many rights, such as the right to property and even the right to own slaves themselves. finally because african slavery allowed is slaves to retain their personhood they by and large were not sold to new world slavery because in african slavery, slaves were typically view as persons and thus could not be sold like property.

the other thing that is fucked, is the way in which you use your white guilt as a way to simplify the issue of african vs. new world slavery, exaggerate number of people going from african to new world slavery (from something that most historians note as something that was rare, which you claim to have happened most of the time, and deny the extent of the abuse of slaves occured at the hands of those in power.

i dont really know or care why you think blair should try to spare your personal feelings when and if he makes a statement, but i do very much object to you posting lies and exaggerations as if fact, with what is clearly an attempted to blame the african slave trade on the africans themselves.

Wigglytuff
Nov 26th, 2006, 11:51 AM
i think it's a decent thing Blair is trying to do.

hopefully, unlike the thread starter, he'll avoid the temptation to rationalize slavery.
exactly,
:worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship:

Lord Nelson
Nov 26th, 2006, 01:34 PM
first the trade of persons going from african slavery to new world slavery were extremely few and far between. african slavery was a very different animal. african slavery was more akin to servitude. african slaves retained there personhood, their children did not become slaves and they retained many rights, such as the right to property and even the right to own slaves themselves. finally because african slavery allowed is slaves to retain their personhood they by and large were not sold to new world slavery because in african slavery, slaves were typically view as persons and thus could not be sold like property.

the other thing that is fucked, is the way in which you use your white guilt as a way to simplify the issue of african vs. new world slavery, exaggerate number of people going from african to new world slavery (from something that most historians note as something that was rare, which you claim to have happened most of the time, and deny the extent of the abuse of slaves occured at the hands of those in power.

i dont really know or care why you think blair should try to spare your personal feelings when and if he makes a statement, but i do very much object to you posting lies and exaggerations as if fact, with what is clearly an attempted to blame the african slave trade on the africans themselves.
In Mauritannia and Sudan slavery is still practiced and so yes Africans also were and are ionbto slavery. Oh and slaves were not just blacks. Have you not heard about the janniseries? These were Europens people who were captured by Ottoman Empire and turned into slaves. Slavery is universal.

Steffica Greles
Nov 26th, 2006, 01:49 PM
first the trade of persons going from african slavery to new world slavery were extremely few and far between. african slavery was a very different animal. african slavery was more akin to servitude. african slaves retained there personhood, their children did not become slaves and they retained many rights, such as the right to property and even the right to own slaves themselves. finally because african slavery allowed is slaves to retain their personhood they by and large were not sold to new world slavery because in african slavery, slaves were typically view as persons and thus could not be sold like property.

the other thing that is fucked, is the way in which you use your white guilt as a way to simplify the issue of african vs. new world slavery, exaggerate number of people going from african to new world slavery (from something that most historians note as something that was rare, which you claim to have happened most of the time, and deny the extent of the abuse of slaves occured at the hands of those in power.

what is clearly an attempted to blame the african slave trade on the africans themselves.

First of all I did not need a history lesson in the evils of the slave trade.

Blame the Africans? Certainly not. You obviously didn't read past the first sentence before you got hot under the collar.

Some Africans were complicit. If you know your history, you know this. How else were slaves obtained? You really think that African villages and tribes were that passive that they were commonly "kidnapped" by European slavetraders? Of course the Europeans were the main players in the slave trade, which is why I stated that Britain, for its own part, owes a full apology. In no place did I deny that.

And rationalising slavery? That's preposterous.

Placing slavery in context is called history -- it is in no way rationalising the phenomenon. If you visit the Egyptian pyramids or laud the ancient Romans, as many Americans will do, then are you condoning the slavery upon which those civilisations were founded?

Wigglytuff
Nov 26th, 2006, 01:59 PM
First of all I did not need a history lesson in the evils of the slave trade.

Blame the Africans? Certainly not. You obviously didn't read past the first sentence before you got hot under the cholar.


its clear that you did, clearly others felt that way, i was the only one to bother to offer you what you clearly needed

i did read the first sentence, but like others, i realized it did nothing to hide what you were clearly trying to express.

Steffica Greles
Nov 26th, 2006, 02:04 PM
its clear that you did, clearly others felt that way, i was the only one to bother to offer you what you clearly needed

i did read the first sentence, but like others, i realized it did nothing to hide what you were clearly trying to express.

Clearly others like yourself.

And far more have privately indicated they agree with me than the reverse. People who would prefer not to get into this argument because they don't want to be accused in the way I have been.

Wigglytuff
Nov 26th, 2006, 02:26 PM
Clearly others like yourself.

And far more have privately indicated they agree with me than the reverse. People who would prefer not to get into this argument because they don't want to be accused in the way I have been.

do i even want to ask what you mean by that?

as for you being accused, you haven't been accused by me. i flat out let you know that your lies and exaggerations are uncalled for. :wavey:

Staticbeef
Nov 26th, 2006, 02:44 PM
Demand and supply, made a lot of small insignificant companies into world wide players. One African King, or even two, could never supply the number of slaves exported to the new world. No, an organization had to be created that would find and export slaves more efficiently, and this organization was purely European and supported by Britain. How much would an insignificant apology hurt??

Steffica Greles
Nov 26th, 2006, 02:44 PM
do i even want to ask what you mean by that?

as for you being accused, you haven't been accused by me. i flat out let you know that your lies and exaggerations are uncalled for. :wavey:

Clearly others like yourself, i.e. ignorant, closed-minded people who will dismiss arguments without even thinking them through or reading them simply because they hit a nerve or even expose their own prejudices or precious illusions.

Wigglytuff
Nov 26th, 2006, 02:50 PM
Demand and supply, made a lot of small insignificant companies into world wide players. One African King, or even two, could never supply the number of slaves exported to the new world. No, an organization had to be created that would find and export slaves more efficiently, and this organization was purely European and supported by Britain. How much would an insignificant apology hurt??

exactly!!

Wigglytuff
Nov 26th, 2006, 02:52 PM
Clearly others like yourself, i.e. ignorant, closed-minded people who will dismiss arguments without even thinking them through or reading them simply because they hit a nerve or even expose their own prejudices or precious illusions.

yeah ok, sure. just keep your lies to a minimum. thanx.

Staticbeef
Nov 26th, 2006, 02:54 PM
Clearly others like yourself, i.e. ignorant, closed-minded people who will dismiss arguments without even thinking them through or reading them simply because they hit a nerve or even expose their own prejudices or precious illusions.

I notice this phenomenon over and over again around here. All arguments seem to degrade into a name calling fest. This debate just got nasty. I was enjoying it before this post, I though both sides had interesting Ideas, now its just another internet joust.

Steffica Greles
Nov 26th, 2006, 02:56 PM
One African King, or even two, could never supply the number of slaves exported to the new world. No, an organization had to be created that would find and export slaves more efficiently, and this organization was purely European and supported by Britain. How much would an insignificant apology hurt??

One or two could never supply the number of slaves. An organisation was created. So are you arguing that it was more than one or two?

Either way it isn't the point. I'm arguing that the slave trade should not be seen through the prism of race -- black vs white. I understand that slavery impacted upon African and Caribbean countries, who are still suffering from colonialism. And racial prejudice was endemnic in Britain and America. And it still does exist.

But when the slave trade is taken out of context, as an attack on "the white man", it doesn't win many white people over because, firstly it is unfair, as I explained in my first post, and secondly it is counter-productive in teaching the impact of the slave trade in the way I acknowledged in the above paragraph, because it makes white people react rather than listen and think.

Over all, all human beings, black and white, are capable of cruelty. Look at Rwanda, Somalia, Niger, Sudan. We need to see the slave trade as a crime against humanity -- humans against humans -- above all else. Of course it was a crime specifically against the African race, but when the slaves were captured by Africans in the first place they were from "other" tribes.

And I use the term "race" as shorthand. I don't actually acknowledge the term. I believe we are all one race.

Lord Nelson
Nov 26th, 2006, 02:56 PM
I notice this phenomenon over and over again around here. All arguments seem to degrade into a name calling fest. This debate just got nasty. I was enjoying it before this post, I though both sides had interesting Ideas, now its just another internet joust.

Blame it on one person Puff. She is the one who always starts with the name calling. Everyone else wants to have a serious discussion.

Martian Willow
Nov 26th, 2006, 02:57 PM
I notice this phenomenon over and over again around here. All arguments seem to degrade into a name calling fest. This debate just got nasty. I was enjoying it before this post, I though both sides had interesting Ideas, now its just another internet joust.

Its not much of a debate anyway if one side clearly isn't interested in having their mind changed by simple facts and reason.

Steffica Greles
Nov 26th, 2006, 02:59 PM
I notice this phenomenon over and over again around here. All arguments seem to degrade into a name calling fest. This debate just got nasty. I was enjoying it before this post, I though both sides had interesting Ideas, now its just another internet joust.

Umm. I think it's a little unfair that you picked up on my comment and not the initiating ones earlier on. Especially as it was myself who started this thread of "interesting ideas".

Wigglytuff
Nov 26th, 2006, 03:09 PM
Umm. I think it's a little unfair that you picked up on my comment and not the initiating ones earlier on. Especially as it was myself who started this thread of "interesting ideas".

oh lord.

Staticbeef
Nov 26th, 2006, 03:13 PM
Umm. I think it's a little unfair that you picked up on my comment and not the initiating ones earlier on. Especially as it was myself who started this thread of "interesting ideas".

As I said in my earlier post, I think you had some ideas that were valid, especially the blaming of all white people for slavery, especialyy the ones that were slaves themselves. I just think all arguments lose value when the name calling starts. I picked your post because that is the point that I got disgusted, and I realize that it was a progresion.

Wigglytuff
Nov 26th, 2006, 03:15 PM
But when the slave trade is taken out of context, as an attack on "the white man", it doesn't win many white people over...

oh lord..
just a guess, i could be wrong, i dont think that Blair's proposed statement is meant to "win many white people over". white guilt is a completely different issue that has nothing to do with blair's proposed statement or with the slave trade for that manner.

Staticbeef
Nov 26th, 2006, 03:31 PM
SLAVE TRADE
The Portuguese were the first to embark upon the slave trade starting around 1562. The practice of slavery grew to exponential proportions from 1646 up until 1790. A prime area for slaves was on the west coast of Africa called the Sudan. This area was ruled by three major empires Ghana (790-1240), Mali (1240-1600), and Songhai (670-1591). Other smaller nations were also canvassed by slavers along the west coast; they included among them: Benin, Dahomey, and Ashanti. The peoples inhabiting those African nations were known for their skills in agriculture, farming, and mining. The Africans of Ghana were well known for smelting iron ore, and the Benins were famous for their cast bronze art works. African tribal wars produced captives which became a bartering resource in the European slave market. Other slaves were kidnapped by white and black hunters. The main sources of barter used by the Europeans to secure African slaves were glass beads, whiskey, ivory, and guns.

The rising demand for sugar, coffee, cotton, and tobacco created a greater demand for slaves by other slave trading countries. Spain, France, the Dutch, and English were in competition for the cheap labor needed to work their colonial plantation system producing those lucrative goods. The slave trade was so profitable that, by 1672, the Royal African Company chartered by Charles II of England superseded the other traders and became the richest shipper of human slaves to the mainland of the Americas. The slaves were so valuable to the open market - they were eventually called "Black Gold."

Steffica Greles
Nov 26th, 2006, 03:37 PM
As I said in my earlier post, I think you had some ideas that were valid, especially the blaming of all white people for slavery, especialyy the ones that were slaves themselves. I just think all arguments lose value when the name calling starts. I picked your post because that is the point that I got disgusted, and I realize that it was a progresion.

And you've said nothing to the primary "name caller" who has done nothing to contribute to this debate other than throw serious accusations around.

Some would suggest you yourself are biased in some way.

As for your cut and paste, what does that prove which I haven't already stated?

Steffica Greles
Nov 26th, 2006, 03:39 PM
oh lord..
just a guess, i could be wrong, i dont think that Blair's proposed statement is meant to "win many white people over". white guilt is a completely different issue that has nothing to do with blair's proposed statement or with the slave trade for that manner.

I've already said, so you needn't try that one: I feel no "white guilt" whatsoever.

I feel that slavery was a despicable crime which cannot be justified and must be taught to posterity.

Staticbeef
Nov 26th, 2006, 03:47 PM
And you've said nothing to the primary "name caller" who has done nothing to contribute to this debate other than throw serious accusations around.

Some would suggest you yourself are biased in some way.

As for your cut and paste, what does that prove which I haven't already stated?

Technically, I have said nothing to you. I expressed my disgust with the direction the debate was going. You, do seem a bit overly defensive, and are now suggesting that I am biased, I well maybe, since I am sure my ancestors were players in the middle passage. Do you know the envolvement of yours?? or does this subject qualify you for some sort of degree? The cut and paste confirms your evidense and the envolvement of the English Crown, which is all that I was saying in the first place, the fact that English people were white I am sure is a coincedense. Easy does it Stefica, you dont even know when you are winning. One more thing, is the Anti-Slave movement the only side that need some mind changing??

Wigglytuff
Nov 26th, 2006, 03:57 PM
Technically, I have said nothing to you. I expressed my disgust with the direction the debate was going. You, do seem a bit overly defensive, and are now suggesting that I am biased, I well maybe, since I am sure my ancestors were players in the middle passage. Do you know the envolvement of yours?? or does this subject qualify you for some sort of degree? The cut and paste confirms your evidense and the envolvement of the English Crown, which is all that I was saying in the first place, the fact that English people were white I am sure is a coincedense. Easy does it Stefica, you dont even know when you are winning. One more thing, is the Anti-Slave movement the only side that need some mind changing??
:worship: :worship:

Wigglytuff
Nov 26th, 2006, 04:01 PM
I've already said, so you needn't try that one: I feel no "white guilt" whatsoever.

I feel that slavery was a despicable crime which cannot be justified and must be taught to posterity.

of course not. :tape: :tape:

let's just be clear that blair's proposed statement has NOTHING to do with a goal of "winning white people over" thats your M.O. and thats great for you, but it's not something that has anything to do with is planned statement or with the issue of the slave trade.

Wigglytuff
Nov 26th, 2006, 04:14 PM
SLAVE TRADE
The Portuguese were the first to embark upon the slave trade starting around 1562. The practice of slavery grew to exponential proportions from 1646 up until 1790. A prime area for slaves was on the west coast of Africa called the Sudan. This area was ruled by three major empires Ghana (790-1240), Mali (1240-1600), and Songhai (670-1591). Other smaller nations were also canvassed by slavers along the west coast; they included among them: Benin, Dahomey, and Ashanti. The peoples inhabiting those African nations were known for their skills in agriculture, farming, and mining. The Africans of Ghana were well known for smelting iron ore, and the Benins were famous for their cast bronze art works. African tribal wars produced captives which became a bartering resource in the European slave market. Other slaves were kidnapped by white and black hunters. The main sources of barter used by the Europeans to secure African slaves were glass beads, whiskey, ivory, and guns.

The rising demand for sugar, coffee, cotton, and tobacco created a greater demand for slaves by other slave trading countries. Spain, France, the Dutch, and English were in competition for the cheap labor needed to work their colonial plantation system producing those lucrative goods. The slave trade was so profitable that, by 1672, the Royal African Company chartered by Charles II of England superseded the other traders and became the richest shipper of human slaves to the mainland of the Americas. The slaves were so valuable to the open market - they were eventually called "Black Gold."

i put that section in bolded red for this reason. my original statement was that i was and still am displeased at the view that of black slaves in the african system were the main source of slaves for the New World slavery. this is categorically WRONG on every conceivable level. this idea is historically wrong and serves only to try to release the slavers of the responsibility they have for their role in the african slave trade.

how or why someone people feel like they can try to spread this lie which so clearly serves to take the African Slave Trade out of is global context while at the same time talking about the importance of context is beyond me.

Martian Willow
Nov 26th, 2006, 04:15 PM
of course not. :tape: :tape:

The problem with attempting to presuppose white peoples feelings is you can't know how wrong you are. :)

Melly Flew Us
Nov 26th, 2006, 04:24 PM
Slavery still exists today it's just not talked about. Frankly, I don't think an apology is necessary.
frankly, i would rather have the same level of compensation that was given to british slave owners after the abolition, but with inflation incorporated into the figures.
what would 1,000,000,000 from back in the day equal in today's money?

Staticbeef
Nov 26th, 2006, 04:25 PM
The problem with attempting to presuppose white peoples feelings is you can't know how wrong you are. :)

:clap2: :clap2: :clap2: Thank you! the reverse must necessarily be true. We do take liberties with each others heads dont we?

Wigglytuff
Nov 26th, 2006, 04:44 PM
The problem with attempting to presuppose white peoples feelings is you can't know how wrong you are. :)

in addition to what Static has said, I have to ask since when does Steffica speak for white people? when did this happen? i know a good deal of white people who would have something to say about that kind of representation.

Stamp Paid
Nov 26th, 2006, 08:04 PM
LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister Tony Blair will express "deep sorrow" for Britain's role in the slave trade nearly 200 years after the legislation that led to its abolition, Sunday's Observer reported.
However Blair's statement will stop short of a full apology despite pressure from some black campaigners and community leaders, the newspaper said. "I believe the bicentenary offers us a chance not just to say how profoundly shameful the slave trade was -- how we condemn its existence utterly and praise those who fought for its abolition -- but also to express our deep sorrow that it ever could have happened," it quoted Blair as saying in a statement due to appear in New Nation, a newspaper aimed at the black community.

Blair will also back a United Nations resolution by Caribbean countries to honour those who died at the hands of international slave traders, the Observer said.
The issue has come to a head in the build-up to next March's bicentenary of the Slave Trade Act. An advisory committee chaired by Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott has been planning the commemorations, including a solution to how Britain should acknowledge its historic responsibility, the newspaper reported. Government advisers had warned that a full apology could provoke claims for reparations, it said.

What do people think?

Personally, I feel it is high time that a full apology was made. Obviously it won't change history or bring anybody back, but it's a gesture which should have been made centuries ago. It's extraordinary that this has not been done.

Having said that, I don't want an apology to be made which somehow implies that white people should be ashamed. The British government should apologise for its role, but because I am white and I am Britsh, I am no more responsible than anybody else.

True, you are not responsible, but as a white Briton, your current lifestyle and standard of living was achieved significantly due to centuries of the slave trade, so you today in fact are benefitting from the slave trade (and lets not dare mention British Imperialism). Even as a Black American, I benefit from it. So no one can totally distance themselves from the rewards of the slave trade. However, I cant think of any possible apology (Short of Blair saying, "White Britons, you should feel guilty because you directly benefit from the slave trade of over a century ago") that could somehow make White people of the 21st century feel ashamed or guilty about something unless there was already a degree of guilt and shame present. And if it is present, that is a personal issue with those specific individuals that they themselves need to work on.

Slavery was justifiable in no way whatsoever, but we need some context here. First of all, slaves were interned within their masters' domains, of course, but it was most often in an owner's interest to keep slaves fit and strong. Some of the slaveowners treated their slaves with some degree of humanity. Meanwhile, in Russia serfs were impoverished beyond imagination. They were "free", but it was in nobody's interests to keep them alive. They were left to rot in the mud and die.

In Britain, "free-born" children were working in mines in the early 19th century while the slave trade was still underway. Adults were toiling for 16 hours and earning a pittance. Once again, they were "free" to leave their jobs, but they would soon have been replaced while they starved. It was incumbent upon no rich person to ensure their survival. These people were the masses. None of them benefitted from the enslavement of Africans. Very few white people are related to those who owned slaves, and even those who are can scarcely be responsible for their ancestors.

But I dont understand.. youre contextualizing slavery in a way that seems to make the average white Briton seem no way responsible or related to the abomination of slavery. And you use other examples, but you are not putting into context the system of Serfdom..nor child labor in the 19th century. Why ONLY slavery though? Hell the raw goods that those child laborers (outside of the mines) were manufacturing and making into products..where did the majority of it come from?? African slave labor.

Also, you said something about it being incumbent on the masters to take care of their slaves, because it was his property and of course he had to preserve it. It seemed as if you were saying that the average slave was taken care of better and in better condition than the average Briton. :tape: Lets not mention the rapes of women, men, and children, the torture, the beatings, the killings, etc that one was subject to directly as a result of being a slave that the average Briton was not. Some masters did treat slaves with humanity, but the significant majority did not, especially when you talk about slavery in the Caribbean and South America.

And lastly, some black campaigners often conveniently forget that most African slaves were sold by African Kings to white slave traders. In other words, they had already been enslaved -- by black Africans. Kidnapping was fraught for obvious reasons and somewhat rare. So, some blacks were also complicit in the slave trade.This may have been true early on in the slave trade, before Europeans truly penetrated the continent, but by the 1800s, there were slave catching and trading posts deep into the interior along the Congo river. It is not as if whites stayed on the Atlantic shores and allowed slaves to be brought to them and then sailed away, Europeans penetrated the continent deeply (especially once quinine became used more often to cure malaria) and they did capture and kidnap slaves, and they also traded with Black chiefs to get slaves and also got help from Arab and African traders. But the Europeans dominated this industry of slave trade, every aspect of it.

What you said sounds like more pushing off of much blame to blacks for selling themselves into slavery, as opposed to attacking the actual insititution, which was the true abomination. Not simply how the slaves were traded.

And yes, many Africans of the time were complicit in the slave trade. But you speak as if that fact should alleviate shame from white people (who may feel ahsamed) or something. :confused: In that case, both Africans AND Europeans should be ashamed of their roles.

ico4498
Nov 26th, 2006, 08:56 PM
thoughtful and reflective post King.

unfortunately, it's probably wasted on someone that doesn't understand how incredibly insensitive it is to say, "yeah slavery was bad but etc ..."