Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Short history of slavery

The following is a short history of slavery produced for the benefit of the wife of the Multimillionaire White African King and others who lack an understanding of history due to blinkered prejudice.

1. Slavery began right back in caveman times when the two or three biggest cavemen in the tribe bullied the other cavemen into doing the work.
2. The same principle went on to apply in early civilisations where anyone able to get together a decent collection of bruisers with swords lorded it over the rest.
3. With the advent of trade, slaves began to have an economic value. They could be bought and sold and thus became a currency in themselves.
4. In the fifteenth century, when Europeans started the westward trade in African slaves, they purchased them at the local market because almost everybody in the whole of Africa was a slave at that time. So was almost everyone in Europe, in one way or another.
5. In the sixteenth century, Oliver Cromwell exported Irish people and gypsies over the Atlantic as slaves. There are records of freed black slaves in the West Indies and Louisiana owning British gypsies. It “was not unknown” for Scottish clan chiefs to sell off some of their own clan folk into “indenture” in America whenever they felt hard up.
6. In the late nineteenth century, after having grown up in the workhouse, a place where illegitimate children and the destitute were forced to work for nothing at that time, Henry Morton Stanley crossed darkest Africa from west to east. He made the journey in the company of a man who already knew his way around in darkest Africa because he had been there many times in the course of his time-honoured business obtaining slaves for export eastward to the Arab markets.
7. Slavery was officially outlawed in Saudi Arabia in the nineteen sixties, although it is true to say that women there still have the status of property today.

Slavery is not something white people did to Africans who were living very nice lives in paradise before that thank you. Slavery has been an established institution throughout the whole of history, the fundamental basis of the human socio-economic system and the driving force behind the organisation and progress of civilisation. At the moment outright slavery is absent in most of the world. But it will be back. Ironically, the present occupants of the White House might well be the ones most instrumental in heading us in that direction.

The photograph shows Simon Aban Deng, a refugee from Sudan, who, as a child, spent several years as a domestic slave. Real life is a little more complicated, Michelle.