SLAVERY AND IMMIGRATION

Opinion

SLAVERY AND IMMIGRATION

 

Wednesday there was a “Reparations” hearing in Congress to discuss a payback system for African Americans whose ancestors were slaves. According to some Congress people, they African American descended from slaves were never able to catch up with everyone else here in the United States, therefore, they should have a handout.

Although there were those, such as Danny Glover and Te-Nihisi Coates, who argued the case for slavery reparations, the one who brought the House to chaos was Coleman Hughes, columnist for Quillete. https://clarion.causeaction.com/2019/06/19/black-democratic-writer-gets-booed-called-presumptive-by-white-liberal-rep-steve-cohen-after-opposing-reparations-in-house-hearing/

Hughes is an African American writer who finds the case for reparations insulting to “put a price” on the suffering of their ancestors. He admitted the horror of the era and told of how he was advised by many of either side not to speak a today’s hearing, yet he felt compelled to give his opinion of why reparations were not necessary.

He felt that trying to make up for the suffering of the past on the people of the present was ineffective, especially in his case as he grew up in a prosperous home and attended an Ivy League school.

This, of course, caused a riotous hally-balloo in the halls of Congress as no one is supposed to have an opposing opinion of a liberal idea.

Fried chicken eating, Democratic Representative and chairman of the hearing, Steven Cohen, called repeatedly for order and allowed that “even if he was presumptive, he still had a right to speak.”

(Cohen probably meant presumptuous, too much chicken in his mouth messed his vocabulary up. Could be that maligning him as he defended him confused the crowd.)

The treatment of this young man is the exact definition of racism. How dare a man of color chastise those who were trying to marginalize all people of color?

Slavery, without rant or rhetoric, is an unforgivable sin, and an abomination.

Generally, the those that were brought to the United States were Africans that were prisoners of war or criminals who were sold by the victors of local tribes or forcibly taken from their homeland to be slaves. http://www.africaw.com/africans-did-not-sell-their-own-people-into-slavery

There were incidents of slavery or indentured servants who did trade their freedom and autonomy for passage to the New World. These individuals did indeed gamble their very lives on the hope of a better future.

“Indentured servitude was a labor system in which people paid for their passage by working for an employer for a fixed term of years. It was widely employed in the 18th century in the British colonies in North American and elsewhere. It was a way for the poor in Britain and the German states to obtain paid passage to the American colonies.” https://www.bing.com/search?q=indentured+servants&form=PRUSEN&mkt=en-us&httpsmsn=1&refig=e31e007e7e5f4894b88cd5c33f2ebb8e&sp=1&ghc=1&filters=ufn%3A%22indentured+servants%22+sid%3A%22a623096e-fa52-5453-4ceb-e3a156dc21f1%22&qs=MB&pq=indentured&sc=8-10&cvid=e31e007e7e5f4894b88cd5c33f2ebb8e

An employer was contractually bound to release the person from his or her indenture at the completion of the agreed upon term. Sometimes, this didn’t happen and the people were considered property. As the dishonest employer was deeper of pocket than the servant, the outcome was often not favorable to those who were indentured.

Another forgotten group of slaves were the Irish. The first slaves in the British colonies were white slaves from Ireland. http://www.africaresource.com/rasta/sesostris-the-great-the-egyptian-hercules/the-irish-slave-trade-forgotten-white-slaves/

King James II and Charles I led a concerted effort to enslave the Irish. It began when James II sold 30,000 Irish slaves to owners the New World. His proclamation in 1625 stated that Irish political prisoners to be sold to English settlers in the West Indies. The Irish were considered human livestock for English merchants. The initial majority of slaves in the New World were Irish slaves.

If anyone mentions slavery in conversation it is almost a given that it is a reference to African slaves, which is not entirely true.

How it is that no one ever mentions how shabbily treated the Irish were treated by the English monarchs?

The Irish weren’t treated too much better at the turn of the century when the Potato Famine forced so many to immigrate to the United States, even though “donations” to buy ships and passage for the starving people were often death traps when corrupt people were involved in the transactions. Those for whom the charity was intended, never made it to the New World.

When they did arrive, finding a job was difficult when the “Help Wanted” sign ended with “No Irish Need Apply.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Irish_sentiment

Yet the Irish have not formed an” Irish Lives Matter” group or demanded reparations for the years their ancestors spent as slaves or second class citizens.

There were slave owners, who for reasons of conscience, manumitted their slaves. This often earned the undying ire of their neighbors. Another unfortunate part of being a freed slave was that someone could claim them as their property. Being unable to read and write, the free person had to have their manumission papers on them at all times, and be aware of those who would steal or destroy their papers.

Unless Congress is willing to reimburse all of the above types of slavery and their descendants this is yet another liberal tempest in a teapot, and for some, an insult to those who prospered in spite of the odds against them.

 

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