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Royal weddings, British colonialism, empire and reparations and Caribbean mindlessness and spinelessness

“The royal wedding is in itself an urgent reminder of the need for reparations. The extravagant lifestyles of the monarchic family draw upon ill-gotten gains that have their roots in slavery. The opulent wedding ceremony was also no doubt connected to wealth that came from the subjugation of black and brown bodies during slavery and colonialism.

“How many of the diamonds, gold and other precious jewellery that adorn the Queen’s crown and the bodies of British nobility were also questionably obtained during this period?”

The following commentary on reactions to the Royal Wedding of Britain’s Prince Harry and US actress Meghan Markle was submitted to Wired868 by Tye Salandy, a Caribbean sociologist and writer at Trinicentre.com:

Photo: Britain’s Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, emerge from the West Door of St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle after their wedding ceremony on 19 May 2018.
(Copyright Ben Stansall/AFP 2018/Wired868)

Ten years ago, British ‘royalty,’ Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, visited the Caribbean; locals prostrated themselves before them. Local leaders made arrangements for them to play the steelpan and the sacred Rastafarian Nyabinghi drums. Leslie from Africaspeaks.com wrote an insightful article headlined “Royal visit highlights lingering colonialism,” which called attention to the dynamics of colonialism attested to by this visit.

Given the celebratory eruptions at the wedding of Britain’s Prince Harry and his bride Meghan Markle, this article is as relevant today as it was when it was written ten years ago, Yet the world is poorer today for elevating fake royalty to dizzying heights of reverence while neglecting the royalty inherent in resistant voices who have worked hard at being better examples of humanity.

While many people gush at royalty and the “power of love,” for people of the Caribbean and the wider global South, who are still faced with the structures of British coloniality imbedded deeply in our society and the world in which we live, the royal wedding provides an opportunity to reflect on several far-reaching issues.

The British Empire was held together by violence in two forms. The first was the military violence that invaded and conquered territories, set up slave plantations and brutally suppressed dissent and revolts. The second—and perhaps more dangerous—form of violence was the violence of “knowledge,” which involved propagating a set of narrow values, culture and information and an ideological system as if it was the best and only one.

Non-European and non-Christian ways of seeing and being were bastardised and destroyed. It is through this violence that Anglo-Saxonism first became the dominant European model of civilisation and progress, and later the global model of civilisation and progress. It also explains how, after more than 50 years of independence from Britain, the social, mental and global structures erected across the global South as part of colonial domination are still influential.

Photo: Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley (right) greets Queen Elizabeth II in April 2018.
(Copyright Office of the Prime Minister)

Generations of children had to sing “God Save the Queen” in local schools that instilled British and Christian values in young, impressionable minds. Within this British educational system, ideas of white superiority and black inferiority, subservience to colonial authority and demonisation of non-European cultures formed part of the structures that upheld the British colonial empire. This feeds into the global reverence for Britain and her monarchy.

While many people have very romantic images of the British monarchy, it is a racist and violent institution that has presided over a reign of global brutality that far exceeds that of Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin and the Butcher of Congo, King Leopold II of Belgium. Britain dominated the trade and enslavement of Africans and, at the height of its empire, had colonies across the globe, about which they boasted that the sun will never set on them. They also participated in the genocide of indigenous people in the Americas, Africa, Africa and Australia.

While in charge of India, British actions of increasing taxes and exporting crops grown by farmers caused a series of famines that resulted in the death of millions of Indians. In one of these famines, known as the Bengal Famine, Britain diverted food to its soldiers and caused the death of between three and ten million people.  During the Mau Mau uprising against British rule in Kenya, the Kikuyu people were imprisoned in concentration camps and subjected to torture, executions and sexual abuse.

Yet, despite being the most pervasive colonial power and with perhaps the most colonial crimes against humanity under its belt, Britain is still able to project an aura of respectability, honour and nobility. This allows them to avoid responsibility for their many atrocities.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago’s flag bearer Michelle-Lee Ahye leads the delegation during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games at the Carrara Stadium on 4 April 2018.
(Copyright Adrian Dennis/AFP 2018/Wired868)

Across the global South, most countries that were colonised by Britain still maintain membership in the Commonwealth of Nations. More properly styled the Stolenwealth of Nations, this organisation is headed symbolically by the Queen of England. Once every four years, athletes from all of these countries participate in the Commonwealth Games, established by the Commonwealth of Nations and again presided over by the Queen of England.

It is a travesty that most global South leaders see it fit to maintain membership in this colonial organisation rather than creating an independent global organisation to serve the interests of global South countries and to further advance the cause of de-coloniality. It also reminds us that the structures of domination have survived long past the point of political independence more than 50 years ago.

Let us not forget that in the Caribbean, Jamaica, St Lucia, Barbados, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua, Grenada and St Kitts and Nevis still retain the Queen of England as their symbolic head. Guadeloupe and Martinique still enjoy the status of French overseas territories.

In addition, given the situation in the former Netherlands Antilles (Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba), there have been concerns that there are moves to re-colonise the Caribbean. In 2010, the Netherlands took control of these areas and declared them as municipalities of the “Mother Country.”

This is a reminder that mental and political decolonisation is an ongoing process across the global South.

Photo: Late Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Patrick Augustus Mervyn Manning (centre) waves during the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, on 27 November 2009.
(Copyright AFP 2016/Luis Acosta)

How can global South people celebrate the romantic activities of the monarchy when the structures of coloniality are still at present so much a part of day-to-day realities? Caribbean thinkers have long pointed out the damaging presence of the colonial jumbie or duppy. Celebrating without considering all of this is tantamount to celebrating colonialism.

Consider this analogy. You are at home one evening, and intruders break into your house, kill some members of the family, rape some and torture some. They steal the valuables in the home and hold some members hostage.

What degree of psychological pressure would it take for those members of your house to accept guidance from the intruders on how to be a good person, how to educate your children and how and whom to worship? More so, to feel excited about one of the intruders’ impending marriage?

These are the circumstances in which we find ourselves today.

Scholars such as CLR James, Eric Williams, Joseph Inikori, Walter Rodney and, most recently, Hilary Beckles have explained the relationship between European colonial nations and their overseas colonies. In his seminal book, Capitalism and Slavery, Eric Williams explained how proceeds derived from slavery and colonialism were a key part of economic transformation in western Europe.

Photo: A scene from Brian MacFarlane’s controversial and abandoned section “La Belle Dame and Garçon de la Maison” in his 2017 Carnival band: “Cazabon: The Art of Living.”

In his book Britain’s Black Debt: Reparations for Caribbean Slavery and Native Genocide, Beckles develops Williams’ ideas by going into the archives and tracing how the British royal family, the British government, the established church, many elite families and institutions in the private and public sector all invested in and benefited directly from slavery.

In a lecture titled “Britain’s Perfect Caribbean Crime: Ignored Genocide, Faked Emancipation, Insincere Independence and No Reparations,” Professor Beckles explains how the 1934 Emancipation Act defined enslaved Africans as property and so paid slave owners 20 million pounds sterling for the loss of that property. This history forms part of CARICOM’s demands for reparations from Britain, which so far have been met with silence or, in the case of the former UK prime minister David Cameron, a response suggesting that Caribbean leaders “move on from this painful legacy.”

The royal wedding is in itself an urgent reminder of the need for reparations. The extravagant lifestyles of the monarchic family draw upon ill-gotten gains that have their roots in slavery. The opulent wedding ceremony was also no doubt connected to wealth that came from the subjugation of black and brown bodies during slavery and colonialism.

How many of the diamonds, gold and other precious jewellery that adorn the Queen’s crown and the bodies of British nobility were also questionably obtained during this period? How many crimes against humanity sanctioned by the monarchy have to be forgotten to celebrate this wedding?

Photo: Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II looks on during the wedding ceremony of Britain’s Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and US actress Meghan Markle in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle on 19 May 2018.
(Copyright Jonathan Brady/AFP 2018/Wired868)

That the near-white Meghan Markle has a mixed mother does not change the relations of empire and privilege that are at the centre of the wedding. In the wedding, the Black preacher won widespread acclaim for a sermon about the redemptive power of love. Yet this was part of feelgoodism and illusions of a wedding of Empire. Having a Black preacher, a Black musician and a Black gospel choir are all emotional trinkets to tug at heartstrings and thus distract people from seeing the relations of empire underneath the fairy-tale love-conquers-all illusion that is the royal wedding.

There is no “redemptive power of love” without first truth and justice. Will Prince Harry and his bride agitate for reparations and the return of stolen resources? Will they work to repair the damage done by British empire? I think not.

The wedding is also an opportunity for people to rethink the notions of royalty and monarchy. Why are European monarchies, who have presided over so many global crimes against humanity, viewed with so much esteem and reverence?

The fact that royalty is consistently portrayed in white or near-white bodies is psychologically damaging to all people, given the rampant racism and colourism that affects all countries and communities.

Who will stand up and ask the brave question, “What makes them royal?”

Photo: Queen Elizabeth II, monarch of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.
(Copyright Elle UK)

At best, the empire wedding of Harry and Meghan is a distraction away from the ongoing global struggles for justice taking place across the world. What about the Chagos Archipelago where journalist John Pilger exposed how Britain managed to wheel and deal and steal an entire nation, evicting the inhabitants who were later prevented from returning?

What about the Palestinian-Israel conflict which Britain was complicit in starting? It is telling that global media as well as media in the global South often give more attention to the royal wedding than atrocities happening in Palestine.

What of the illegal invasion of Iraq? Or Britain’s role in the 2011 invasion of Libya and the murder of its leader? What of the Windrush generation, children of Caribbean migrants who were maliciously denied citizenship of a country they helped to build? The fairy-tale royal wedding is part of the erasure of the memory of all those atrocities.

The feelgoodism that occurs when there is even just a slight departure from the lily-white faces in positions of leadership in colonial establishments does nothing to lessen or repair the damaging impact of coloniality. In fact, it does quite the opposite. The feelgoodism puts minds to sleep as people are far less likely to think critically, thereby allowing dominating structures to increase their control, without opposition.

This explains how Barack Obama as a two-term President of the United States was able to attract widespread global support, despite his drone strikes, increased military spending, increased financial support to Israel and illegal invasion of Libya.

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125 comments

  1. May 22, 2018 at 8:51 am
    During the Sermon delivered by Bishop Michael Curry at the Harry-Meghan Windsor (not Windrush) Wedding I wondered quite aloud about the credibility and appropriateness of the black Anglican Bishop preaching and expatiating about the saving, transcendental and utopian redemptive power of the LOVE when hatred, non-appreciation of others and ingratitude rivets his own community universally and which is amply demonstrated in the article on which I am commenting. Here was the Royal Family admitting one of the descendants of the so-called colonised into the very heart of Buckingham Palace and indeed making some reparations and yet we are assailed by the boring negativities of this poisoned pen writer who uses the Royal Wedding as a peg/clothes line to hang out/ exhibit to dry all the festering boring and hackneyed allegations against British colonialism while the PNM successor to Edward Beetham practices the more insidious and subtle and more disastrous onslaught on the Indians of Trinidad.
    Honestly I am fed up of these outpourings of ingratitude, intellectual aggression and ill-placed manufactured venom. Analyse the wedding for what it was and do not peregrinate into excursions of hate and anger for being rescued from the atrocities of tribal chiefs and Africa and thank the British for being the facilitator. Has anyone ever wondered why the Indians who were transported under indentureship and slaved on the cane-fields of Caroni do not have an aggressive response to British occupation of lands that they conquered even before slavery and indentureship and the eradication of the native Amerindians? If the British were to bring down heaven and place it at the feet of Black colonials they will still find fault as the writer has clearly demonstrated This is why I thought that the message delivered by Bishop Michael Curry as if he were preaching in a black American church will not resonate with his people because love is exclusively an intra-racial matter. He should have spoken of gratitude and appreciation that indeed can change the world and not deal with fire because that is an economic technological matter.
    These hackneyed anti-British/colonial sentiments used by Williams to parachute himself into governance are being replicated ad nauseam and bore me to death when the agenda should to get on with the present and the future and not harp back to the past as an excuse to extract free money but to show that you are better than the British which I am not seeing for all the gas and oil in T&T and the wealth of human diversity that God blessed Trinbago with in ample abundance and that is being sullied by murders gone wild.

    Stephen Kangal

  2. Bow sheepele bow after all sheepele do belong on their knees just recently that youth was in Afghanistan killing people over opium.

  3. Lol people still crying over slavery, time to move on

  4. What is a ‘slave plantation’ (from the article)? Is it a place where you harvest slaves? Let’s say 50 crew were on a slave ship that carried 600 slaves. How would ALL 50 men leave the ship, go into the jungle and ’rounds’ up 600 negroes without help? Slaves were reaped in Africa but who did the planting?

    Who received a ‘cut-arse’ to board the MV Empire Windrush in 1948?

    Furthermore, the UK has given over $1 trillion TT dollars in foriegn aid in 2016 alone to countries that make up the Global South.

    The article seems a bit strange to attack the monarchy because by doing some simple google searches before even picking up a Harriban (sociology bible from secondary school) to read would reveal those simple facts above.

    Am I to bite the hand that provided the 3Rs for me now that I have GATE and Garcia as Minister?

    Why fuss? The people probably don’t even want to be Royals and just want to lead normal lives.

    Ok, does Anthony Joshua fit the mould of someone who constantly clamours for reparations? How about Lindford Christie, Lennox Lewis, Daley Thompson, Robbie Earle…………. Mc Donald Bailey perhaps? If the monarchy is not Royal, why did these ‘black’ champions choose to represent it with pride.

    More so, is it that Sir Viv Richards, Sir Garfield Sobers ought to renounce their knighthoods on behest of Sir (Barbados) Hilary Beckles work on reparations? Maybe Beckles’ works on the collapse of West Indies Cricket will include the monarchy as the cause somewhere. Maybe the “near whiteness” of Meghan Markle contributed to the cause and her “near blackness” will be the answer.

    Thankfully the queen and Markle re-cycled a hundred year old tiara and didn’t go out and beat some slaves to dig up diamonds to make one, right?

    Additionally, should Sir Arthur Lewis have done the same thing an given back his knighthood and the ‘white people’ Noble Prize for work in economics that helps us to understand the Global South today?

    Mr. Salandy, please explain if all of these persons were/are ‘Mindless and Spineless’ as the Title of the Article reads. You have provoked my thought.

    I am not asking for the audience sake, but for myself; if I don’t get inspiration from them, should I get inspiration from you? Am I ‘Mindless’ and ‘Spineless’ for thinking this way?

  5. Brilliant article ; unfortunately many persons can only see the superficial and will not understand the depths of deceit that the monarchy is capable of .

  6. I have yet to see Wired868 post any article that was positive. Every article about sport shows the negative side, the gripes, the baccahnal…I haven’t seen 1 article interviewing our gold medalists and urging public support. Interviews are only done to further push whatever drama is next on the plate.
    Now negativity has to be found in the Royal wedding. Wired868 truly is nothing more than a tabloid at this point

  7. We should not!! I certainly didn’t!

  8. We can celebrate the marriage and union of two people in love without celebrating the opulent wedding. Ty Salandy is right.

  9. I haven’t read all of this article yet. And I already endorse it, who de hell is dem that an African child like me should be excited about anything they do?! Wake me up when they talking about Reparations!

  10. Really? It was a wedding. We need to move away from negativity.

  11. Give me a break!! You don’t understand how highly we rate our royal family and actually it was a break with tradition!!

  12. We spend so much of our lives judging others, I wonder how much time we spend looking at ourselves. He without sin, pleasee cast the first stone.

  13. Hey just wish the young people well and long happy life .

  14. We have enough bad news all around us so excuse me if I want to celebrate Love and happy news !

  15. Give me a break…. that’s your argument for reparations

  16. So what generation of slavery in the palace

  17. Curious. Did the writer have an epiphany? There have been two weddings that I recall having seen in my lifetime. Why did this one spark a discussion on reparations?

  18. I believe many are conscious of the atrocities of the past. If we played the past back globally to prohibit the present we would be like spinning top in mud. The dimension that humans can possibly deliver the positive will be lost.

  19. The question is how do we get them to return it,

  20. We should celebrate ALL acts of love. Happiness. Positive future. Why must Harry bear the weight of his fore fathers? Would you have wanted that on you if the shoe was on your feet? Emancipated your mind from mental slavery. We started as Kings and Queens.. were enslaved(mind you some of our own enslaved us also) and yet we still rise.

  21. Sharon Jorcil James i agree times are changing, but the historical, political , racial and economic subjugation of people of colour by whites is not going to change any time soon.love is love.nothing wrong with that but the above mentioned power structure will not change,at least not voluntarily.

  22. I NOW SEE WHY FATHER GOD DIDN’T BLESS U TO BE RICH AND FAMOUS BECAUSE U ARE A SON OF A JEALOUS BITCH

  23. Ty, I believe you missed the mark on the ‘redemptive power of love’. Sharon Sealey what is your take on this?

  24. ‍♀️‍♀️‍♀️‍♀️

  25. It is hard to drive if you are always looking in the rear view mirror.

  26. That article was well written and relevant.A lot of people just don’t have the consciousness to look deeper into certain realities.

  27. IF YOU DON’T WANT TO CELEBRATE ITS UP TO YOU EVERY ONE IS FREE To DO WHAT THEY PLEASE Is am happy for them

  28. And this is why in the fight to get reparations we will continue to lose as this article passed over a lot of readers heads

  29. God bless them i watch the wedding and the movie beautiful

  30. U can only judge tru love if n when it lasts from beginning to end and when u hv been living your life descent from the beginning and falls in love n marry that person for the sake of true love and nothing else. U dont sleep around hurt people then marry a stranger. Thats wrong n unacceptable by God. Marrying a divorcee is also committing adultery. Harry from evidence seen is a playboy and slept with lots of women. Colour is not the issue here where decency respect for your body etc. are concerned as your body is the temple of GOD.

    • What about forgiveness? Or about people making mistakes in their youth and moving on from it. Was Harry the first man to sleep around before getting married? Was Meghan the first woman to marry and divorce? Who are you or any of us to judge what true love is? Love thy neighbour as thy self.

    • Debi Davidson I am not into debates AS THE LAW OF GOD IS UNDEBATABLE AND STANDS. I am quoting the law of God n I am speaking in general. Has nothing to do with modern times as people say. Most People love to condone wrong because they revell in doing wrong. Just the minority do whay is acceptable. God’s law stands. One must not do the same wrong thing over n over, that is deliberate, n ask for forgiveness. Theres no tru happiness as both come with baggage n your conscience is not clear n at true peace. That cannot b compared with two people living descent falls in love n get married.

      Mark 10: 2-12; luke 16:18, 1 Corinthians 7:39; Ephesians 5:33; Mathew 19: 6-7; Romans 7: 2-3; Deuteronomy 22:19; Jeremiah 3:1; Malachi 2:16; Matthew 1:19; 1 Corinthians 7: 11 -13; Jeremiah 3:8; Isaiah 50:1; Deuteronomy 24: 1-4; Matthew 19: 8-9; Hebrews 13:14; Romans 7 -3

    • All sin is forgivable but blasphemy.. so all your holier than thou lecture is lost because your heart is not forgiving. MY God is a forgiving God and he knows the heart of everyone. One Law only we should follow is Love One Another. You live your life right and allow others to. When the time comes we ALL have to still answer to OUR MANY SINS. You included.

    • Debi Davidson My case is closed. The laws of God stand.

    • Eleanor Chaitoo you don’t have a case. Lol..

    • Hahaha hahaha. Hear na. I’m WEAK with this comment yes. …

    • Decent or descent 😣 u do u n let other pple do them. U may be surprised who u bounce up in Heaven

    • Debi Davidson she sounds like one of those church people who goes to church thinking she is holier than most and casting a dirty eye and heart at others. It is clear that she believes all that the media says or she is prince harry best friend to know that he is a playboy. The bible says Judge not. How does she not know that he was looking for love. Is she trying to say that once you date someone you are suppose to marry them ??? Eleanor Chaitoo plz stay out of ppl business and focus on your self and your household. U must be one holy woman 🤔🤔

  31. Had colonization in spite of its morbid form not taken place would things have been different, better? It is what it is. We learn from the past and try to do better in the future. Harry and Megan’s union is a positive first step.

  32. **yawn ** Nothing else to gripe about???? Funny how it escape you that Prince Harry fell in love and and married a black woman who will now be a part of the British Monarchy. Times have changed in case you didn’t know

  33. I didn’t think the thread was suppose to evolve into dissertations on slavery. I always thought that weddings were a time for celebration

  34. I would pay good money if Mr Salandy would just shut up.

  35. Much Ado about nothing. Two people in love just got married. I watched the whole show and was touched by this display of love. Trust some negative people to put a wet blanket on what was a beautiful event.

  36. What resources, apart from the people themselves were stolen? With respect to resources, wealth (wealth taking a capitalist definition) creation is the addition of monetary value to the “resource”.

    The Taino did not create wealth from the pitch lake. The natives of the Congo did not create wealth from the rubber trees. Ethiopians with their uninterrupted history require Arab and European help to mine their mineral resources. Nigeria’s energy industry is European created. Let’s see how far Guyana gets without European intervention in their energy industry. The entire African continent abounds with billions of dollars of mineral and precious stones deposits. Japan only became a wealthy industrial nation after US’s Commodore Perry sailed into their harbour. Compare cocoa growing nations vs chocolate producing nations. 365 days of sunlight around the Equator but solar powered technology is invented by the Europeans up north. Did they steal the sun? Yoga classes are a billion dollar industry for Europeans but not for Indians where yoga originated. Watch a documentary on the natives of Brazil (deep Amazon) and see what the men have been wearing for centuries now. Does it look familiar? A trip to Sincerely Yours might help. These bush men in the Amazon did not make one cent from thong underwear. How much did the Amerindians make from tobacco or coca? Compare the Masai herdsmen to the owners of Brazilian cattle ranches.

    Capitalism is supremely European.

    You don’t get wealthy because a comet with fancy metal crashes unto your land.

  37. I really thought he was gonna talk about how Trump and half that parliament of bigots in London wasn’t invited. But I guess we’ll ignore that message.

  38. Don’t worry.They will get it back in the alimony.

  39. Please It was beautiful and true love was represented

  40. I don’t have the time to read this entire article now, but I love the way it started , therefore I’ll be back to read it as soon as I can .

  41. White indentured servitude was so very different from black slavery as to be from another galaxy of human experience,” as Donald Harman Akenson put it in If the Irish Ran the World: Montserrat, 1630-1730. How so? Chattel slavery was perpetual, a slave was only free once they they were no longer alive; it was hereditary, the children of slaves were the property of their owner; the status of chattel slave was designated by ‘race’, there was no escaping your bloodline; a chattel slave was treated like livestock, you could kill your slaves while applying “moderate correction” and the homicide law would not apply; the execution of ‘insolent’ slaves was encouraged in these slavocracies to deter insurrections and disobedience, and their owners were paid generous compensation for their ‘loss’; an indentured servant could appeal to a court of law if they were mistreated, a slave had no recourse for justice. And so on.

    https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/liam-hogan/‘irish-slaves’-convenient-myth

  42. A small detail we all tend to forget is that there was WHITE slavery. It was called “serfdom” and it was prevalent throughout Europe before the First World War. There was also slavery throughout the world.

    • I think why most of us couldn’t be bothered is because monarchs have only been replaced by despots and societies have found themselves plunged into greater hardship and anarchy under communism and so called democracy, in many instances. See Iran, China and Russia as the most glaring examples.

    • Indentured bond servants can never be compared to slavery .

    • There was white slavery. But this ain’t it. Actually the word slave comes from Slav. There was arab enslavement of white people before. And also a short period of white enslavement in the new world. There are still tensions in Europe up to today which go right back to arab slavery.

    • Kayode Rotato Poti Anthony yes Arab but can it be compared to African slavery? In the new world it was indentured servitude, they were given choices between the new world or imprisonment most chose indentured servitude. Because it was a term not forever some even stayed and prospered.

    • african slavery was started by the arabs

    • it was worse than slavery in the New World

    • I think it was Crimea that was a slave port and part of why Russia took it back. If you look at it, it’s a peninsular in a sea. I have to look it up. Yeh Arabs didn’t play. And still don’t. Also there are still lingering tensions over this all over the place. It just doesn’t really enter into our realm very much. Pretty sure Bosnia had something to do with it as well. It’s not the whole story but it’s there.

    • It was the new world slavery which regulated ppl to sub-human status . Arab slave history had eunuchs which was dehumanizing in itself . But I disagree about worse than .

    • Lisa and Kyon I will ask Dr Claudius Fergus for a comparison on the Arab slavery.

    • Lisa Morris who is to undertake a measurement of human injustice? How do we measure? Number of bodies frozen to death or number of bodies whipped to death x numbers of bodies starved to death. Worse yet, human slavery continues today unabated in the factories in China from which we import technology that we brandish proudly in the form of smart phones, laptops, tablet etc…

    • Michele Celestine I was kind of waiting for someone to say this because someone always does. It’s a gross measurement but it can be done. Do we want to dwell in it? Not really. But it can be relatively put into context. And a lot I think depends on the intention of the measurement. If it’s to one up each other then that’s kinda lame, but nothing wrong with the truth.

    • Michele funny enough, other groups were able to agree a dollar figure on their sufferings. The Jews for instance.

    • Michele Celestine ppl have and will continue to put dollar values on human suffering and I stand by my statement there was no such thing as ‘white slavery ‘ in the new world.

    • Lasana Liburd only when reparations for African slavery comes up the conversation shifts.

    • You have people like former UK prime minister Dave Cameron telling us reparations are off the table and we should essentially get over it when he is a descendent of slave owners and still benefits today from the slave trade.
      For them, it is ridiculous to entertain talk about reparation because the slaves are long gone–even as their current privileged lifestyles still owe much to the slave trade.

    • Putting this here for everybody and partly to read later. Article on European slavery through time. Which is still going on today. http://www.meltingpotinternational.com/feature3.html

    • death toll by the arabs were higher and there were less children born to slaves due to the castration of both men and women. the sugar plantation economy was actually copied from arabs by the portugese

      the saharan death toll was greater because slaves were walked and dragged across the desert

    • Kyon a higher death toll means they were worse businessmen. Not necessarily that they hated slaves more.

    • “Although by 1860 the Atlantic slave trade had been effectively stopped, the slave trade from East Africa across the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf took longer to be reduced significantly.

      Off the east coast of Africa, smaller Arab vessels called dhows hugged the coastlines, in waters too shallow for the British warships to enter. One British commodore estimated that he captured one dhow for every eight that escaped.

      Nevertheless, during the period from 1866 to 1869, 129 slave vessels were captured and 3,380 slaves were freed. When the threat of being boarded seemed imminent, the Arabs would throw slaves overboard to drown, rather than have them be found on board, which could lead to British seizure of the vessel and punishment of those who manned it:
      The worst that could befall the slaves was when the slaver was overhauled by a British cruiser, and they might then be flung overboard to dispose of all evidence. Devereaux mentions a case where the Arabs, when pursued by an English cruiser, cut the throats of 24 slaves and threw them overboard. Cololm also states that Arabs would not hesitate to knock slaves on the head“head and throw them overboard to avoid capture.

      Because there were only a few naval ships available to cover a vast expanse of water in this region, British warships would often launch smaller boats to engage the Arab slave dhows. In these cases, as one study put it, “the slave traffickers frequently did not hesitate to attack boat crews in defence of their profits.” Battles between the Arabs’ vessels and the smaller British craft were especially likely when the larger ships that launched them were too far away to reach “the scene in time to join the battle. In other cases, the Arabs fled even from the smaller British vessels.An episode in 1866 was typical:
      On 26 April 1866, the Penguin set out after a dhow and fired several shots in an effort to make the crew come to.When the dhow failed to lower its sail, Gartorth felt certain that she was a slaver and ceased firing for the sake of the slaves onboard. However, he managed to close with the dhow which then made for the rocks through a heavy surf. By the time the ship’s boats could be lowered to follow, the Arab crew had fled but the pounding surf made any attempt by the slavers to salvage the human cargo too dangerous. To their horror, the boat crew found that they, too, could not reach the dhow which was rapidly filling with water drowning the slaves. The boat officer decided that he could not risk coming in close to the dhow but several of the crewmen of the cutter recklessly dived in and swam through the surf to the dhow. In a remarkable display of courage, the sailors managed to bring 28 of the slaves back to the boat. But the dhow appeared to have had more [than] 200 slaves on board and most died in the pounding waves.

      In another episode, the Arabs’ ruthlessness toward the slaves was further revealed:
      When the Daphne’s cutter captured a dhow with 156 slaves on board many were found to be in the final stages of starvation and dysentery. One woman was brought out of the dhow with a month-old infant in her arms.The baby’s forehead was crushed and when she was asked how the injury had happened she explained to the ship’s interpreter that as the boat came alongside the baby began to cry. One of the dhowmen, fearing that the sailors would hear the cries, picked up a stone and crushed the child’s head.

      This was not a unique act. British missionary and explorer David Livingstone related a similar incident on land:“One woman, who was unable to carry both her load and young child, had the child taken from her and saw its brains dashed out on a stone.” Dr. Livingstone also reported having nightmares for weeks after encountering Arab slave traders and their victims. Not only was this Christian missionary shocked by the brutality of the Arab slave traders, so was Mohammed Ali, the ruler of Egypt, who was a battle-hardened military commander.”

      Thomas Sowell.

    • I get the impression that the muslim trade is really Muslims against non-muslims though. Not so much race as religion. I have actually heard that when they first tried to make transatlantic slavery a race thing a lot of people could not understand the concept and would try to get around the system for shorter term profit. That whole part was more of a long range investment. and a broader plan by Europeans. There are even very similar people where part is Muslim and another is not and they fight each other tooth and nail in Sudan. Not unlike Israel actually, where Palestinians can join the Isreali army etc.

    • Kyon is that supposed to be worse than what Europeans or white Americans did to black slaves? You’re not serious.

    • Interestingly this also answers the question of how Africans sold each other into slavery. The simple answer is that a lot of times there were divisions that we are not aware of and that the dominant way that we might divide today because of our history did not exist in the same way.
      Religion was a much more in the way of thinking. Color or race was waaaaay behind and often would not even be understood the way that it would be now. So much so the idea of color having an effect confused people at first. In that way society has regressed.

    • “Lynching, as a form of punishment for presumed criminal offenses, performed by self-appointed commissions, mobs, or vigilantes without due process of law, took place in the United States both before and after the American Civil War, most commonly in Southern states and Western frontier settlements. It was most frequent in the late 19th century. At the first recorded lynching in St. Louis in 1835, a black man named McIntosh who killed a deputy sheriff while being taken to jail was captured, chained to a tree, and burned to death on a corner lot downtown in front of a crowd of over 1,000 people.[21]

      In the South in the antebellum era, members of the abolitionist movement or other people who opposed slavery were sometimes victims of mob violence. The largest lynching during the war and perhaps the largest lynching in all of U.S. history, was the lynching of 41 men in the Great Hanging at Gainesville, Texas in October 1862. Most of the victims were hanged after an extrajudicial “trial” but at least fourteen of them did not receive that formality.[22] The men had been accused of insurrection or treason. Five more men were hanged in Decatur, Texas as part of the same sweep.[23]

      After the war, southern whites struggled to maintain their social dominance. Secret vigilante and insurgent groups such as the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) instigated extrajudicial assaults and killings in order to keep whites in power and discourage freedmen from voting, working and getting educated. They also sometimes attacked Northerners, teachers, and agents of the Freedmen’s Bureau. A study of the period from 1868 to 1871 estimates that the KKK was involved in more than 400 lynchings. The aftermath of the war was a period of upheaval and social turmoil, in which most white men had been war veterans. Mobs usually alleged crimes for which they lynched blacks. In the late 19th century, however, journalist Ida B. Wells showed that many presumed crimes were either exaggerated or had not even occurred.[24]

      From the 1890s onwards, the majority of those lynched were black,[27] including at least 159 women.[28] Between 1882 and 1968, the Tuskegee Institute recorded 1,297 lynchings of whites and 3,446 lynchings of blacks.[19][29] However, lynchings of members of other ethnic groups, such as Mexicans and Chinese, were undercounted in the Tuskegee Institute’s records.[30] One of the largest mass lynchings in American history occurred in 1891, when a mob lynched eleven Italian immigrants in New Orleans, Louisiana, following their acquittal on charges that they had killed the local police chief.[31] The largest lynching was the Chinese massacre of 1871.

      Mob violence arose as a means of enforcing white supremacy and it frequently verged on systematic political terrorism. “The Ku Klux Klan, paramilitary groups, and other whites united by frustration and anger ruthlessly defended the interests of white supremacy. The magnitude of the extralegal violence which occurred during election campaigns reached epidemic proportions, leading the historian William Gillette to label it guerrilla warfare.”[32][33][34][35][36]

      During Reconstruction, the Ku Klux Klan and others used lynching as a means to control blacks, forcing them to work for planters and preventing them from exercising their right to vote.[32][33][34][35][36] Federal troops and courts enforcing the Civil Rights Act of 1871 largely broke up the Reconstruction-era Klan.

      By the end of Reconstruction in 1877, with fraud, intimidation and violence at the polls, white Democrats regained nearly total control of the state legislatures across the South. They passed laws to make voter registration more complicated, reducing black voters on the rolls. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, from 1890 to 1908, ten of eleven Southern legislatures ratified new constitutions and amendments to effectively disenfranchise most African Americans and many poor whites through devices such as poll taxes, property and residency requirements, and literacy tests. Although required of all voters, some provisions were selectively applied against African Americans. In addition, many states passed grandfather clauses to exempt white illiterates from literacy tests for a limited period. The result was that black voters were stripped from registration rolls and without political recourse. Since they could not vote, they could not serve on juries. They were without official political voice.

      The ideology behind lynching, directly connected with the denial of political and social equality, was stated forthrightly by Benjamin Tillman, governor of South Carolina and later a United States Senator:

      We of the South have never recognized the right of the negro to govern white men, and we never will. We have never believed him to be the equal of the white man, and we will not submit to his gratifying his lust on our wives and daughters without lynching him.[37]”

    • Lasana it was

      That’s just an account of the 19th century prohibition

      Rem this trade is 700 years older and the slaves didn’t have much issue because they weren’t allowed or able to have children

  43. Hmmm….don’t celebrate the wedding? He’s coming VERY late to the party, although the issues are still current.