[LMB] OT: RAH racism history

Damien Sullivan phoenix at mindstalk.net
Thu Oct 19 19:10:08 BST 2017

On Thu, Oct 19, 2017 at 07:21:59AM +0000, Gwynne Powell wrote:

> 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

Enslaved Indians were also used.  The Carolinas exported Indian slaves
to the sugar islands of the Caribbean before African slavery took off.

> 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

No.  They'd been importing enslaved Africans long before then.  That's
why we had that 3/5 rule in our Constitution, and why Congress was
forbidden from banning the slave trade for twenty years.

And British colonies in the Caribbean had been importing even more
slaves, as did many of the Spanish or Portuguese colonies in the
Americas, especially Brazil.

> 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

It's true that white racism grew over the centuries, to justify both
slavery and colonialism.  It happened in the UK and the US.  I'd guess
in Australia too, as you've got your own dark-skinned natives.

> ... 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

It wasn't the same; most European unfree labor was indentured servants,
nominally entered into voluntarily, with a contract lasting under ten
years, and no inherited status.

-xx- Damien X-) 

More information about the Lois-Bujold mailing list