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« DHS Announces New Rule Ending "Catch and Release," Will Permit Families to be Detained Together Until Their Immigration Hearings | Main | Open Thread »
August 21, 2019

The Economist: The World's Poor Are Eating More Meat Which Means They'll Live Longer and Healthier Lives But It's Very Sad Because of Global Warming
Plus: Slavery-Shaming from the New York Times and Nation of Islam

No, really. They're against the world's poor having healthy food.

It's not just the Economist, obviously. Business Insider also attacked those getting healthy on a keto diet because that also makes the Earth Goddess Maia cry.

And there's even more food-shaming.

The New York Times filed another entry in its campaign to make Race Reparations a viable position for Democrats to take by declaring that Sugar = Slavery.

Now that is, you know, based in fact. Sugar was one of the nastiest crops to harvest (I'm not sure why; it might just be due to the hot, wet conditions necessary for cane sugar cultivation), and as most free people did not want to do it, slaves were forced to work the sugar fields.

I'm not sure what we're supposed to take from this, though. We've all heard of the "Triangle Trade" -- sugar, slaves, rum. What is "news" in this?

There is no "news." This is just, as Doc Zero said, "battlespace preparation" for the 2020 Orangemanbad elections.

The article isn't terrible, except for its obvious intention as a piece of agitprop which pretends to illuminate slavery, while actually obscuring it.

Slavery is evil, of course.

This piece presents it as a uniquely white evil, as part of the battlespace preparation for next year's elections.

Is it, though?

Of course not. Watch this very neat (quite long but worth it) Lindybiege article about "The White Headhunter."

It's a great and interesting story in its own right, but illustrates a few points being left out of the New York Times' polticization of slavery.

The White Headhunter of the book's name is called Reston. He is enslaved himself -- several times.

First his landlord drugs him and sells him to a ship captain.

The ship captain intends to bring workers -- I mean, slaves -- to a remote and uninhabitable island in the middle of nowhere in the Pacific. He needs slaves, because the work he has planned for his "workers" -- mining guano, birdshit, by the ton -- is an unpleasant and unhealthy job that free men don't want to do.

So he is forced upon a ship to become a slave.

However, he escapes in one of the ship's boats.

After a harrowing time of starvation at sea, he lands upon a Pacific island inhabited, as Pacific islands tend to be, by Pacific islanders.

They are nonwhite.

They immediately enslave him, for no other reason than that he is alone and weak and they are many and powerful. They enslave him because they can.

He serves as a slave to the chief for a time, trying to prove his usefulness so that they do not eat him.

One job he does for them is translate discussions between the chief and European ship captains who come to call on the island.

The captains tell the islands' chiefs that if they give them men to work the dangerous, dirty mines of Australia, they will not only pay the men good wages, but will also pay the chiefs. First, with an upfront payment of rifles and steel axes and other Western goods of great value, and then even more when the men's term of service is up.

But this is a lie. The captains are blackbirders -- that means they are slavers, but they don't use force, at least not at first, to captures slaves.

Rather they enslave people through trickery and false promises. Later, if the enslaved people try to escape or revolt, then they'll use force.

They're told they will work in the mines for five years (or whatever) for wages; in fact they'll be slaves for as long as they have the physical ability to dig.

Now notice here that the island chiefs -- not white people -- are assisting in delivering over slaves to the blackbirders.

Do they know the men they're sending away will not be well-paid workers but rather slaves? Well, they probably have some idea. After all -- the moment a person of a different race lands on their shores, they enslave them.

When they fight other islanders and capture enemies, they enslave them.

So the idea that maybe these men that I'm selling to these captains are going to be enslaved is something that would probably occur to them.

So we have in this story:

A white landlord drugging a white man to "shanghai" him into slavery;

nonwhite Pacific Islanders enslaving that white man after he escapes his white slavers;

those nonwhite Pacific Islanders enslaving other Pacific Islanders and selling their own people -- their low-status men who are not part of the chief's family and not especially powerful in the tribe -- into slavery by whites.

Slavery is not a white scourge; it's a human scourge. Throughout history, until very recent times, people took slaves whenever they had the power to do so.

Blaming whites alone for this is ahistorical and nothing more than racial political agitation. It's not that whites were particularly intent on enslaving people; it's that whites developed ships and steel weapons more at a faster pace than many others, and thus had the power to do what powerful humans had done throughout history -- enslave weaker peoples.

It's also a bit strange that this author, a grandson of Elijah Mohammad of the Nation of Islam, would deign to lecture anyone about the evils of slavery without first addressing the salient historical fact that Muslims and the Arabic Middle East have had quite a long history of enslaving people themselves, and that history extends well into the 20th Century.

Why date the start of slavery in 1619? It most assuredly did not start there.

And it didn't start in America, or even in Europe. It started long before Europe was well-settled by human beings.

But the New York Times is going to pretend history started there, just as it pretends the number of deaths due to terrorist attacks starts conveniently the day after 9/11.

Like most historical topics, slavery is a story with many villains and only some heroes, and it does not fit neatly into anyone's political fairy tale.

It tells us more about humanity than about the political villain of the day -- nasty Republicans who never owned slaves and 99% of whom aren't even descended from anyone who did.

The topic cannot be used for gross political purposes.

Except if you really need it to, and you have a deep-pocketed Ruling Class corporation to fund the project to do so.

And do watch that video when you get the chance. It's terrific. I downloaded the book but haven't read it yet.

digg this
posted by Ace of Spades at 05:42 PM

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