Tag Archives: slavery

The Irish Were Slaves Too. Why Does It Not Get Discussed Much?

UntitledThis is a very interesting blog post from the blog Exploring My Culture, Exploring Myself. The piece makes some great points to consider and is worth discussing. Here is an excerpt:

Why do some people think that acknowledging the suffering of others somehow diminishes their own?  That in order to validate their suffering, they must deny the suffering of others?

Was the African slave trade a blight on the face of humanity?  Was the African slave trade a horror that none of us can truly comprehend?   Is there anyone at all who will argue that the answer is anything but a most emphatic yes?

Since that is so, why isn’t the Irish slave trade similarly acknowledged as even existing, let alone acknowledged as that same blight, that same horror?  Why are the white slaves taken in Africa not likewise acknowledged as existing?

Why is acknowledging European slavery in Africa a threat to the memory of black slavery?

I’m not talking about racism, discrimination, civil rights issues.  I’m not talking about comparing the suffering as if one can be found to be more worthy of notice.

I’m talking about slavery.  Real slavery.

When the population of Ireland was cut by nearly two thirds within a single decade (1641 to 1652), with an estimated 300,000 Irish slaves shipped to the New World to work for English masters and another 500,000 killed outright, that is a reality of history.   They were every bit as much slaves as the Africans brought to the Americas.

During the 1650s, over 100,000 Irish children between the ages of 10 and 14 were taken from their parents and sold as slaves in the West Indies, Virginia and New England. In this decade, 52,000 Irish (mostly women and children) were sold to Barbados and Virginia. Another 30,000 Irish men and women were also transported and sold to the highest bidder. In 1656, Cromwell ordered that 2000 Irish children be taken to Jamaica and sold as slaves to English settlers.

And don’t kid yourself.  These were not indentured servants who labored for some years and then were set free.  They were slaves.  Every bit as much as the Africans were slaves.  They were slaves who were sent to the Americas to labor and die by the master’s hand, to be seen as property and chattel, not people.

In time, the English thought of a better way to use these [Irish] women (in many cases, girls as young as 12) to increase their market share: The settlers began to breed Irish women and girls with African men to produce slaves with a distinct complexion. These new “mulatto” slaves brought a higher price than Irish livestock and, likewise, enabled the settlers to save money rather than purchase new African slaves.

To read the full piece click here.

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Slavery As A Fashion Accessory?

How can they not have known this was wrong?

How can they not have known this was wrong?

Again, what is wrong with some people? From a piece in The Huffington Post:

News Flash: Slavery is not and will never be in vogue!

While most people don’t need such an obvious reminder, this pointed message goes out to Aamna Aqeel. The Pakistani designer has found herself in the middle of a racially charged backlash thanks to her editorial shoot entitled “Be My Slave.”

In the spread, which is published in Diva magazine, a white model is seen dressed in various Ageel designs while being catered to by a dark-skinned little boy who looks a lot like a slave. Our assumptions can’t be too far off considering the title of the story.

Since when did slavery become an appropriate marketing strategy? We’re shocked–as anyone who lays eyes on these images should be. And thankfully we’re not alone.

Good heavens, why would someone have to explain this to that designer. I am missing something. I really am. People cannot be that small-minded. Can they?

Here is the full article I read.

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How Many Slaves Does It Take?

A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

Geez. Yet another case of common sense being missing in action:

Two Manhattan teachers are in hot water over an offensive homework lesson that used killing and whipping slaves to teach subtraction and multiplication.
Public School 59 teacher Jane Youn, 32, sent the boneheaded questions home with her fourth-graders in January.
One question focused on a ship loaded with 3,799 slaves. “One day, the slaves took over the ship. 1,897 are dead. How many slaves are alive?” the question read.
Another word problem used the example of a slave who “got whipped five times a day,” then asked students to calculate the number of whippings he received in a month.



From what I read, the teachers may have meant well, as they were trying to get the students to combine what they were learning in their history class with their math lessons. But, uh, a little more thought here and they could have seen the inappropriateness of those questions.

Here is the full story.

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Mississippi Finally Bans Slavery – Officially

Is this state trying to keep its old reputation?

Is this state trying to keep its old reputation?

Wow, Mississippi, welcome to the 2013!

A middle-aged recent immigrant from India recently set into motion a series of events that eventually led to Mississippi finally ratifying the Constitutional amendment banning slavery. The rousing finale of the movie Lincoln served as inspiration. It sounds like a joke, but it’s true. And even though it’s been nearly 150 years since that fateful day in the Capitol in 1864, Mississippi’s becoming the final state to officially ratify the Thirteenth Amendment serves as the final punctuation mark on a dark chapter in American history.

According to this story, this whole non-ratification thing was a mistake. I hope so. But I have to tell you, something tells me back in the day somebody knew what they were doing and purposely objected to the amendment by uh, not filing the proper paperwork. And since then everyone assumed it was done.

Whatever happened, once again, Mississippi doesn’t come out looking too good on the matter of slavery. Wow. Somebody better check some other key laws in that state.

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Slavery Couldn’t Have Been That Bad, Right?

Ark. State Rep. Jon Hubbard is an un-wise old man.

OK, this goes under the “Some Republicans Have Simply Lost Their Minds” category.

Arkansas Republican State Representative Jon Hubbard  had this to say on the institution of slavery:

(T)he institution of slavery that the black race has long believed to be an abomination upon its people may actually have been a blessing in disguise. The blacks who could endure those conditions and circumstances would someday be rewarded with citizenship in the greatest nation ever established upon the face of the Earth.

Did he just imply that the horrors of slavery had  a reward built into it? Wow.

But wait. He is not alone. Another Republican lawmaker in Arkansas has written letters to the editor proudly proclaiming that he also does not believe slavery to have been such a big deal. This is what State Rep. Loy Mauch wrote:

If slavery were so God-awful, why didn’t Jesus or Paul condemn it, why was it in the Constitution and why wasn’t there a war before 1861?

Wow. Again, I am speechless. Sometimes ignorance is so bad there isn’t much you can say.

Here is a link to an article on Hubbard and here is the link to Mauch’s brilliant writings and thoughts.

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Tea Party Says Slavery Wasn’t All That Bad

Tea Party craziness

Come on now, people. At first I didn’t believe this story. But it is true. The Tea Party in Tennessee now wants the schools to go easy on slavery and slave owners, to point out that they weren’t all bad people or bad intentioned.


Check the story out here.

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A $32 Million Slave He Is Not

A $32 million slave?

Albert Haynesworth, the Washington Redskins defensive football player, wants everyone to know he’s not a slave.


But he is an idiot for even making such a statement.

To compare being a slave to being told what position to play on a football team that pays you millions of dollars every year is just plain stupid. And even more ridiculous that he would add a racial tone to his disagreement with the team.

“I mean, I’m not for sale. Yeah, I signed the contract and got paid a lot of money, but … that don’t mean I’m for sale or a slave or whatever.”


Here is a link to the article on Yahoo where I heard this nonsense. Some people really do want to fan the flames of racism when they think it suits their agenda.

It doesn’t always work. And this is one of those cases when I don’t think anybody will think the man is making any sense. You got paid  $32 million by the team, Albert. The point of slavery was forced labor. Nobody’s forcing him to be a millionaire.

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