Your last reply appears to show frustration on your part, and I can’t blame you. Contrarians like myself tend to be frustrating to deal with. We’ll hear the story of the side that’s wrong and tell them they’re full of crap, and then we’ll hear the story of the side that’s right and then tell them where they’re wrong, too.
As a result, both sides get pissed at the contrarian. But a contrarian (as I define it) cares less about being popular and cares more about being right and accurate. That’s what’s happening here. You are on the right side and I agree with you on so very much…but when I see mistakes or inaccuracies, I must point them out. That’s what I do. You’re apparently frustrated and perhaps even offended, and if you don’t reply in turn, I understand and won’t be offended.
Before I continue, please bear in mind these four quotes, the last of which is from the podcast you sent me:
- Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. (John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton, 1st Baron Acton)
- It is no accident that it was the Portuguese who arrived on the shores of black Africa and not black Africans who voyaged to Europe. The Portuguese had the three-mast ship, the compass, the quadrant, navigation charts, and a comparatively good knowledge of winds, currents, stars, and latitudes. (Dinesh D’Souza (I don’t like him at all, but that doesn’t mean his quote is wrong))
- To do evil, a human being must first of all believe that what he’s doing is good (Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn)
- It is all about power. It revolves on power. It is not prejudice. It is not racial prejudice It is not bigotry. It is power. (Suzanne Pljhcik, Racial Equity Institute, at about 37:50 on the podcast you sent me)
So I listened to the podcast, and the information presented therein is certainly factual within the scope of the presentation.
Note the last phrase of the previous sentence: “within the scope of the presentation”. The overall premise of the presentation is fatally limited in scope.
Here’s where the presentation succeeds:
- Whites were apparently the first to codify race, to address definitions and rights (and lack thereof) of different races, and to make these monstrous injustices part and parcel of the laws of the nation. This was done so in order to “legalize” slavery, to legitimize white superiority.
- American whites were apparently the first to use those definitions to essentially declare everyone of a particular race automatically a slave.
- Among the white nations, America continued this atrocity and maintained it longer than any other white nation. Even though a civil war was fought over slavery, the government still maintained and enforced Jim Crow.
- The definitions of race were promulgated through scientific and educational literature throughout the white nations, thus perpetuating the racist attitudes of whites towards other races, particularly blacks.
Here’s where the presentation fails:
- Except for one or two sentences in passing, the presentation completely ignored Asia east of modern-day Iraq, thus ignoring the experience of the great majority of humanity. Instead, it focused on Europeans and to an even greater extent to America, even though civilization in Asia is much, much older than in Europe and especially America (which is still but a child compared to Asian and European nations).
- The presentation does not address the obvious examples of racism that existed long before European civilization, such as the Babylonian Talmud’s “curse of Ham” or the 3rd-century Han Chinese description of blond-haired, green-eyed barbarians as resembling “ the monkeys from which they are descended”.
- The presentation also never pointed out that while European whites were the first to commit the above-described atrocities, European nations (beginning with Spain in 1811) were the first major nations to outlaw slavery. China didn’t outlaw slavery until 1910. Saudi Arabia and Yemen didn’t outlaw slavery until 1962. In a sense, though, America was still the worst since the Mississippi state legislature didn’t finalize ratification of the 13th Amendment banning slavery until 2013(!).
In other words, history clearly shows that racism and perceptions of race existed long before the rise of European civilization. Whites didn’t “invent” race and racism, but whites most certainly codified, legally defined, and enforced the categories of the terms to horrific effect.
Now consider once more the four quotes near the beginning of this response. As your own reference pointed out, it wasn’t about prejudice or bigotry. It was about power.
- Absolute power. In the 1500’s and afterwards, the Europeans had absolute power, regionally at first, but by the late 1600’s it was worldwide. The corruption of absolute power comes in the form of power for power’s sake…and the ones with such power will do anything to build and preserve that power.
- The beginnings of the European slave trade was no accident. When the Portuguese arrived on the shores of Africa, they effectively had absolute power over everyone they encountered. All the riches of Africa (and later, South America) was theirs for the taking…including the people. When an opportunity is presented where one can can become filthy rich with little or no risk of legal troubles or social backlash, most will quickly avail themselves of such an opportunity without paying heed to any moral qualms.
- To do evil, one must first believe that what one is doing is good. As with almost every atrocity in human history, the ones committing the atrocity believed that what they were doing was good and right. Concerning the slave trade, the Europeans (and later, and to a much greater extent, the Americans) began the above-described codification of races, dehumanized nonwhites in general and blacks in particular (as do both sides in almost any great war one cares to name), and told themselves that they were committing no crime, but that they were “helping” the slaves by giving them “Christianity” and Anglo-Saxon culture. This same excuse is commonly used today in the white supremacist community.
- It wasn’t bigotry or prejudice. It was power. The whites had absolute power, and wanted ever more power and riches. The skin color was the excuse, but the lust for power was the reason. As I pointed out in the beginning of our discussion, it was about trade and money…and a nation can’t have power without both of those. The growth of technology was what enabled the European and American whites to have their way with any less-advanced culture. And that’s exactly what they did…all in the never-ending pursuit of more money and more power.
If you’ve read this far, then I’m sincerely grateful to you…and again, if you’re sick and tired of my contrarian obstinacy, I can’t blame you if you don’t reply.