[LMB] OT: RAH
gwynnepowell at hotmail.com
Thu Oct 19 08:21:59 BST 2017
From: "Alex Y. Kwan" <litalex at gmail.com>
Wow. I probably have never read anything more tone deaf. So racism only
exists in the minds of people of colour? And politicians say it exists only
to get votes. I agree that slavery has long existed, but there is an added
racial element in slavery in the US. In fact, that is rather easy to see,
especially if a person bothered to read documents of the day. And
indentured servants can be satisfied with the fact that at least they
weren't the blacks... Argh.
Gwynne: The saddest irony is that the racism related to blacks in the US
due to the slavery issue was an artificial construct, or at least a deliberate
exaggeration of attitudes. Convicts from England were the first widespread,
cheap labour in the US, used on large farms and plantations. With the
oversupply of workers after the industrial revolution, England was glad to
ship them out, often forever. Landowners were eager to take this cheap
labour source. And then you went independent, and the convict labour pool
dried up. Rich men don't like being less rich, so they looked for a new
source of cheap labour, and they started importing Africans. To give some
kind of moral justification to it (took me three tries just to type that) they
found a few random words in the Bible that they could twist around, and
started the whole idea that blacks were less. Less worthy, less human, less
... whatever. And they quietly dropped the convicts out of history, because
it was a bit embarrassing to admit that they'd used whites for the same
job. Their definition of blacks is still embedded in some assumptions and
the evil of it all still warps society.
There's similar effects in many areas where one population was previously
enslaved by another - it could be along colour lines, or religion, or culture,
and it plays a big role in gender politics, too.
Ok, rant over, sorry.
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