Dear Svetlana Voreskova,
Gera Anderson
11

“Why bring up “ In the early 1860s more black people in Africa owned slaves than white people in America.” The discussion is about slavery HERE IN AMERICA.”

The article I was responding to was clearly formed around the implication that white people were inherently bad and that black people were innocent by default. I was simply pointing out that inhumanity has never had a skin colour. People of all races have been both the perpetrators and victims of it.

“While it is true that slavery existed in Africa, as well other parts of the world the transatlantic slave trade of Africans was qualitative different because it dehumanized its subjects:”

Nonsense: All slavery dehumanised its subjects. Slavery across all of West Africa was just as dehumanising and brutal as it was in North America. Slavery was part of the culture all over the world. Generally speaking it was brutal, demeaning and murderous.

Most West African Kingdoms operated a very repressive caste system whereby people were marked as slaves by birth. A young couple romancing outside of their caste would be put to death by being impaled on wooden stakes. West African kingdoms also held festivals of blood sports and human sacrifice; where hundreds of slaves were butchered on a daily basis. African Kingdoms regularly fought wars against each-other just for the purpose of talking more slaves. When slaves became sick, or too old to be useful, they were usually murdered. And if you were a slave then you children were also slaves by birth.

When any people or group of people wish to inflict injustice upon others, they tend to rationalise it in their own minds by using some difference allow them to see their victims as not-really human in some way. It was usually ethnicity, culture, religion or even just language. In the case of the trans-Atlantic slave trade the most convenient difference was skin colour. Ethnicity was also used as a rationalisation in Africa too, long before any Europeans showed up. Generally speaking the people who were enslaved were marked as inferior to the oppressors because they were of a different caste or ethnicity.

By the way the first known non African slave settlement to be set up in West Africa, was a Portuguese outpost. Europeans did not control Africa during the trans-Atlantic trade. They simply bought slaves from African dealers on the coast. The king of Dahomey; present day Benin and part of the Oyo Empire; invited the Portuguese to set up shop in his kingdom, promising to deliver them all the slaves they wanted in exchange for tools and weapons for his soldiers. He was a slavery entrepreneur. He wanted to open up a new slave route across the Atlantic to allow his own kingdom to become as rich and prosperous as the other slave kingdoms.

Almost half of all the enslaved people who would be shipped across the Atlantic would be sold by the kingdom of Dahomey. When the French rapidly colonised the whole area in the late 1800s, they abolished both slavery and the caste system. They also criminalised human sacrifice and blood-sports. I am guessing there must have been many lower caste locals, or Africans from subjugated tribes, who were quite pleased when those gendarmes showed up. No surprise that many of those people supported the French.

“It is not a popular liberal myth. It is just something that anyone who has been helped by a good cop knows from experience.” Do you mean anyone who has a certain phenotype or ancestral origins from certain places?”

No I didn’t mean that because I am not an idiot. Are you trying to claim that a black person has never been helped by a cop? Really? Are you serious? Black people call the cops too you know; when they think a crime is being committed against them or if their kid goes missing or whatever. When you dial 911; the voice on the other end does not say — “before we address your emergency we need to know what colour you are.”

“Is it possible that you have different experiences than other people, such that a cop could be ‘good’ to you but ‘evil’ to someone else?”

Anything is possible. It is also possible that a black cop might not be as good to me as he might be to a black person. But I doubt it. In my experience the cops in the USA tend to be pretty reasonable no matter what colour they are. I would usually only fear them if they saw me as some kind of threat to them.

I am sure there are racist cops and I am sure they come in different colour too. But to jump from that to casting over one million people who work in law enforcement as being racists is just silly. For a start only about 60% of them are white. Are the black and Hispanic and Asian ones all racists too?

“When gangs of ruthless war-lords are pillaging and looting your communities at will; then at least you will have nobody left to blame it on but yourself.” In some communities, the police ARE the ruthless war-lords of which you speak. Imagine that.”

I don’t imagine that because I don’t live on planet hysteria with you. Show me an example of gangs of cops pillaging and looting a community in America.

You can take your chances with a drug cartel if you like. But If I were you I would take my chances with the police. They are unlikely to harm you unless they see you as a threat. Black gangs however, kill huge numbers of mostly black people every year.

You need more police not less in those communities; and stirring up hatred of the police because you think its “progressive” or something, is a dangerously irresponsible thing to do. If you alienate the police from black communities, it is young black kids who will pay the price.

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Svetlana Voreskova’s story.