I believe that Christianity was largely responsible for the success of slavery in America. Human beings from Africa, by their labour and suffering, supported the economy of America. These so-called "savages" were kept under control by the lash - but perhaps more so, by the indoctrination into Christianity. They were taught to be peaceful, docile, and obedient to their white masters, forgiving them for their trespasses in return for the most meagre living conditions and a promise of reward in heaven.
And so the wounded and scarred and raped and humiliated African people prayed as they picked the cotton and reaped tobacco under the scorching sun. And they sang to the Lord melodiously.
To this day, so many of the descendents of the African slaves are devout Christians who continue to forgive their white masters. They are among the sweetest, kindest people you will ever meet in church. But many of their grandchildren are rebellious and we see them on the television news and wonder why.
We live many miles apart, but are victims of the same heartless system where authorities can abuse the innocent without any consequences. At least now, with the Internet, we - the victims - can join together around the world and cry out against these injustices. We are no longer silent and we are no longer alone. I invite you to read my blogs. You won't need Agatha Christie.
THE DAWN MCSWEENEY ROBBERY
PHYLLIS CARTER'S JOURNAL
One Essay At A Time
I will read your blogs. Thank you again and Happy Holidays to you. -- Robin.
Thank you very much for taking the time to write about this, Robin. I have heard all this before and I do not agree. I am glad we live in a society where people are free to think differently, but after decades of bible study and serious consideration, I conclude that injustice thrives because the church has taught victims to forgive. In that way, the good suffer and die while the evil ones thrive and multiply. I welcome your friendship and good will but I will not keep you as a Facebook friend if I see messages like this. I must reserve all my strength to fight for justice. Those who plead for forgiveness for criminals drain my energy and I have none to spare. I have serious battles to fight so that the innocent might have a chance to survive crime and injustice while good people pray for God to help them.
I sincerely wish you well.
Here I present some brief excerpts on the history of slavery in America.
The other crucial event that would play a role in the development of America was the arrival of Africans to Jamestown. A Dutch slave trader exchanged his cargo of Africans for food in 1619. The Africans became indentured servants, similar in legal position to many poor Englishmen who traded several years labor in exchange for passage to America. The popular conception of a racial-based slave system did not develop until the 1680's. (A Brief History of Jamestown, The Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, Richmond, VA 23220.
Although the number of African American slaves grew slowly at first, by the 1680s they had become essential to the economy of Virginia. During the 17th and 18th centuries, African American slaves lived in all of England's North American colonies. Before Great Britain prohibited its subjects from participating in the slave trade, between 600,000 and 650,000 Africans had been forcibly transported to North America. ("Immigration," Microsoft Encarta 98 Encyclopedia. Microsoft Corporation.)
In fact, the first twenty "Negar" slaves had arrived from the West Indies in a Dutch vessel and were sold to the governor and a merchant in Jamestown in late August of 1619, as reported by John Rolfe to John Smith back in London. (Robinson, Donald L. Slavery and the Structure of American Politics, 1765 - 1820. NY: Harcourt, Brace Jovanovich, 1971)
By 1625, ten slaves were listed in the first census of Jamestown. The first public slave auction of 23 individuals, disgracefully, was held in Jamestown square itself in 1638
Whipping and branding, borrowed from Roman practice via the Iberian-American colonies, appeared early and with vicious audacity. One Virginian slave, named Emanuel, was convicted of trying to escape in July, 1640, and was condemned to thirty stripes, with the letter "R" for "runaway" branded on his cheek and "work in a shackle one year or more as his master shall see cause." Charles P.M. Outwin, Securing the Leg Irons: Restriction of Legal Rights for Slaves in Virginia and Maryland, 1625 – 1791,
One characteristic which set American slavery apart was its racial basis. In America, with only a few early and insignificant exceptions, all slaves were Africans, and almost all Africans were slaves. This placed the label of inferiority on black skin and on African culture. In other societies, it had been possible for a slave who obtained his freedom to take his place in his society with relative ease.
In America, however, when a slave became free, he was still obviously an African. The taint of inferiority clung to him. Not only did white America become convinced of white superiority and black inferiority, but it strove to impose these racial beliefs on the Africans themselves. Slave masters gave a great deal of attention to the education and training of the ideal slave, In general, there were five steps in molding the character of such a slave: strict discipline, a sense of his own inferiority, belief in the master's superior power, acceptance of the master's standards, and, finally, a deep sense of his own helplessness and dependence. At every point this education was built on the belief in white superiority and black inferiority. Besides teaching the slave to despise his own history and culture, the master strove to inculcate his own value system into the African's outlook. The white man's belief in the African's inferiority paralleled African self hate.