Our nation doesn’t have a great record on the subject of race, and feelings run deep on this issue. Much of what we know and believe about slavery came from a miniseries we watched in the 70s, Roots, written by Alex Haley. It followed the family blood line of Kunta Kinte. It started when black slave traders kidnapped him and transported him on a slave ship to a land of heartache and cruelty. I will never forget anxiously waiting every day until it was time to watch this movie over a span of several days. We were mesmerized by the young black man who was chased down by 4 blacks, sold to European slave traders, and brought to American in the 1700’s. While the movie was a combination of fact and fiction it kept us glued to the television for all 9 ½ hours.
All the talk about racism lately got me curious. Our national identity is rooted in the history of slavery. When I checked out slavery, I discovered many things the schools never taught us about the Atlantic slave trade that carried 12-15 million blacks from their homes in central and western Africa to Europe, South America, the West Indies and the United States between the 16th and the 19th centuries.
I found that the slave trade had been going on for centuries before the Europeans got involved and started bringing slaves to the New World. Many of the people the slave traders sold were captives or slaves already. When one tribe conquered another, the survivors were hauled off to be used as slaves. These, in turn, were sold to the Europeans.
The Portuguese were the first to engage in the New World slave trade, and others soon followed. The Atlantic slave traders, in order of most to the least trade volume, were: the Portuguese, the British, the French, the Spanish, the Dutch, and the Americans. They had established outposts on the African coast where they purchased slaves from local African tribal leaders.
This map depicts the forced movement of millions of enslaved Africans to the Americas over a period of four centuries. Most of the enslaved people ended up in South America or the Caribbean while nearly 500,000 went to North America (or about 5% of all the slaves brought to the Western Hemisphere).
Almost all of the enslaved Africans worked as plantation laborers or in mining, and most of those in the Caribbean and Central and South America died from the harshness of the work, and the brutality of their living conditions. They went to sugar colonies in the Caribbean and to Brazil, where life expectancy was short, and the numbers had to be continually replenished.
Because of better food, less disease, lighter workloads, and better medical care slaves lived much longer in the U.S. They are the only ones who reproduced and formed their own culture since their life expectancy was the same as whites and living conditions were better than those of other nations. That’s why there are not large black populations in South America and the other slave cultures.
Therefore, their numbers grew much quicker than anywhere outside of Africa because there were more births over deaths. By the 1860 Census, there were 4 million slaves in the U.S. From 1770 until 1860, the population of North American slaves was much greater than the population of any nation in Europe, and grew almost twice as fast as England.
In Africa, European traders dealt with African suppliers, seldom capturing the slaves themselves. The practice of slavery had been in operation in Africa and central Europe for centuries prior to the redirection of the trade to the Americas. Muslim slave traders from Arabia and Turkey, for example, had transported enslaved Africans and Europeans into South East Asia and the Iberian Peninsula for centuries.
Although the international slave trade was prohibited from 1808, internal slave-trading continued, and the slave population would eventually peak at four million before abolition. Of all 1,515,605 families in the 15 slave states in 1860, nearly 400,000 held slaves (roughly one in four), amounting to 8% of all American families.
The first 19 or so blacks arrived ashore near Jamestown, Virginia, in 1619, brought by Dutch traders who had seized them from a captured Spanish slave ship. The Spanish usually baptized slaves in Africa before embarking them, and English law considered baptized Christians exempt from slavery, so these Blacks joined about 1,000 English indentured servants already in the colony. Some achieved freedom and owned land. Anthony Johnson, a free black, later owned the American Colonies’ first true slave.
I don’t remember hearing any of these detail in Roots. I was certainly never taught in school that only 5% of the slaves brought across the Atlantic went to the United States. I was lead to believe that Americans built ships and went after them themselves. I found some intriguing figures when I started tracking where they took the slaves. Between 1664 and 1830 the British took 1,900,000 to their Colonies in the Caribbean, the French 1,650,000, and the Dutch carried 900,000 to Guyana and West Indies. During this same time, there were 500,000 taken to America. It would appear that the history revisionists have been much busier than any of us had ever imagined.
Racism has become such a hot button issue that you can’t turn on the television, open a newspaper, or start up your computer without seeing race baiters stirring up strife and resentment among people who are tired of being called racists. I am not a racist, and I would daresay that most people who are reading these words are not guilty of racism either.
Racism is simply a belief or doctrine usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to rule others; or hatred or intolerance of another race or other races. I wrote an article a while back, pointing out that there are only four Racial Classifications, and they are based on cranial structure. Again, they are:
- Caucasian (WHITE) – (also Caucasoid) is the general physical type of some or all of the populations of Europe, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, Western, Central and South Asia. Historically, the term was used for many people from these regions, without regard necessarily to skin tone.
- Negroid (BLACK) – is a term that is used by some forensic and physical anthropologists to refer to individuals and populations that share certain morphological and skeletal traits that are usually associated with Black African ancestry. The term has both Greek and Latin roots.
- Mongoloid (ORIENTAL) – refers to populations that share certain phenotypic traits such as epicanthic fold and shovel-shaped incisors and other physical traits common in most of Asia (including Central Asia, South Asia, North Asia, etc.), the Arctic, the Americas and most of the Pacific Islands. In terms of population, they are the most prominent race – more than one third of human race.
- Mixed (BI-RACIAL-any combination of the first 3)
Based on this scientific Racial Classification, because Barack Obama had a Caucasian mother, and a Negroid father, he is mixed/bi-racial no matter how much he says he is black (Negroid) he is not.
The internet went crazy last year when Congressman Charley Rangel called the Tea Party “White Crackers” in an interview with the Daily Beast.
“It is the same group we faced in the South with those white crackers and the dogs and the police,” he said. “They didn’t care about how they looked. It was just fierce indifference to human life that caused America to say enough is enough.”
What Rangel and his depraved friends never say is that the group they faced in the South were the Democrats who fought long and hard to keep them slaves, and fought the Republican’s efforts to establish civil rights for blacks.
As much as Charlie Rangel hates whites, he is a mixture from a Puerto Rican father and a black mother which, like Barack Obama, he too is mixed/bi-racial. He is not black. Just because one’s parents are different races, doesn’t mean you get to choose what race you are. You are white, black, oriental, or mixed.
It would seem that if we look at the definition of racism, the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to rule others; or hatred or intolerance of another race or other races, it is quite obvious who are the real racists.
We have been bombarded with images of black slaves on plantations and whites whipping and selling them for so long we have been convinced that the United States was the only country in the world who ever owned slaves. We have been lead to believe that we are guilty of all the criticism being heaped upon us by the frauds and phony race baiters in Washington and throughout the world.
While slavery was a disgrace to America and certainly no man should own another, only 5% of the slaves transported from Africa were brought here. And as stated earlier their living conditions were better than the other 14,500,000 who died in the mines and sweat shops in Europe and South America. Does that make it right? Certainly not, but it’s time for people to hear the truth. It’s time for people like Barack Obama, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Eric Holder, and Charlie Rangel to be exposed as racists. Remember the old saying gentlemen, “When you point your finger at me, you have 3 pointing back at you.”