White People and American Slavery

white folks dodge racism discussionI’ve said it before; white people will do whatever it takes to NOT talk about American Slavery.  It’s almost like every white person other than Tim Wise wish they could perform Jason Bourne escape and evasion techniques when the topic shows up.  White people practically become Matrix agents, programmed to duck and dodge race discussions, especially slavery discussions, as if they were bullets out to kill them.

Things get even more strange when the white person attempts to continue the discussion.  The white person, who for some strange reason feels he needs to uphold white supremacy at all costs, typically will engage by mentioning “Irish Slaves.”  Yeah, that.

riley-eye
Bitch, Please.

When an American white person mentions Irish Slaves, they usually do it to gaslight black people, and legitimize the suppression/oppression of black people in America.

Typically, the white person poses this statement in the guise of a “debate”, and will have the most polite posture as if his calm-by-way-of-white-privilege self needs to have his calmness mirrored by the minority, who is getting gaslit.  This white privileged calm disposition is a measure of tone policing, but there’s a lot written on that already.

Nowadays, I’m becoming less likely to debate alt-right, Americanized Nazi,  confederate, American Taliban, racist, bigoted, white supremacist, Ku Klux fucks.  A debate assumes that their position is legitimate when it’s far from being so.  White people have this notion in their heads that anger/frustration of the non-privileged, suppressed minority makes that minority’s humanity less valid.  So no; I have no reason to entertain any radically stupid white person.

Hanging from Trees

There is a myriad of reasons why the Irish slaves myth as a deflection is so horrendously stupid.

Technically, the list of demands of equivalence can continue:  can someone show me the schematics of an Irish slave ship?

What about the follow-up racism that continues today?  Where are these photos of Irish being lynched for just existing?  Where’s the Irish Emmett Till?  The Irish George Stinney?   Where’s the anti-Irish KKK who murdered, mutilated, lynched, incinerated and otherwise terrorized the Irish from the South?

Where are the photos of Irish women being raped and lynched from trees?  White supremacy had the audacity to place these lynchings on postcards even — so where’s the proof of oppression, my historical revisionist friend?

Take a Look at why I don’t bother

Backwoods Adam

Enter Adam Defibaugh, a random white supremacist I just so happen to bump into.  I don’t care to deal with white people this willfully ignorant but if I did, this is what it would look like.  Here, I’m going to objectively lay down all the faults and flaws of his position.

The first (1) lie was the fact that he for some reason thought that the American institution of slavery was not a deciding factor in building this (United States) nation.  Um, wrong.  Super wrong.  Adam, often clad in fatigues and confederate flags when he’s not trolling with a face that’s not his own, seems to be from the Bible Belt South.  With that being said, he can most certainly do his research to find that his Klancestors most certainly felt that upkeeping American Slavery was of the utmost importance.  Anyone with a brain can research the Declarations of Secession from any confederate state and see them in plain sight agree with their white selves, that Slavery was more than a “deciding factor”.

“Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery– the greatest material interest of the world.” ~ Declaration of Causes which Justify the Secession of Mississippi

percent of slaves, backwoods.jpg

The second (2) flaw in his reasoning was the fact that he tried to say that black slaves were a minority, as if numbers of black slaves were so minute that American Slavery was a ridiculously tiny thing.  Once again, anyone with the sense of due diligence would look up census information to confirm this; Mississippi in 1860 boasted a 55% black population, for starters.  But then again, being a backwoods American white conservative fundamentalist, facts are not something that are routinely checked.  One must realize that a person like this hails from the Steve Bannon School of Disinformation.  A white person like Adam here, is not going to give a damn about confirming the status of his lies, and frankly he’s more interested in tiring you out when you point out his lack of critical thinking over a thousand times.

The third (3) problem was that Adam became sociopathic on how adamant he was when he says, “It wasn’t free labor; we paid for it”.   These are the things that white people say online, but never in a black person’s face.  One shouldn’t have to demand that this country, backwoods white guy have a human soul.  Also, with that being said, I highly suggest to every minority… if you see a white guy (or anyone) display that level of sociopathy… if you can’t kill them immediately, walk away.  From that point, realize you are talking to a complete monster, who honestly, doesn’t deserve your attention.

holysmoke_zps4e70be37
See a white sociopath? Run.

I’ll also point out that Adam with his sociopathic self, is not the majority of white conservatives (sociopaths are roughly 2% of the population), but he does provide a convenient example what to watch out for when discussing race relations.  If you do identify a sociopath, just know that they really don’t give a damn about being honest, finding the truth, in addition to being highly manipulative.  If you can’t kill him, walk away.  Backwards.  Never turn your back on a sociopathic white confederate.

One more thing — that thing you call “white guilt”?  That is your conscience speaking.

Problem number (4) four: “Slaves were allowed to own businesses.”  Here, Adam seeks to conflate things like selling your own teeth for dentures white people can use as “business”.  At this point, he’s not even trying.  I picture a slim red-necked white guy laughing his ass off, trolling through his iphone.  Similar to a person selling cigarettes in prison, that’s not a fucking business in the spirit of the word.  To act like black slaves’ “businesses” were bustling metropolises, is flat out asinine.  One could demand the guy to provide proof of such a stupid claim, but why bother? He’s clearly bullshitting.

Backwoods 1Adam

Problem (5) five: Most being agricultural doesn’t subtract from the FACT that in many places/times in the South, they were a (A) numeric majority; and (B) that agricultural FREE LABOR made America very wealthy nation at break-neck speeds.  The fact that most were on plantations were just testimony of how large some plantations were; how important plantations were to the American economy; and how dependent whites were on slave labor.

Backwoods 2Adam

And here we have the part where he mentions “Irish Slaves”.

Actually, this last portion has a compound error  in logic (problems 6 and 7) being that he tried with the “blacks sold blacks” argument, and then went with the Irish slaves myth.

The SELLING argument is asinine, because it seeks to diminish the responsibility and accountability of the OWNER when the owner owns said merchandise.  As a conservative in the backwoods with his guns, I’m sure he wouldn’t blame gun violence in the fact that guns of sold, and then turn his argument against gun sellers.  This point I tried to have him realize, totally evades him, but before I speak on the Irish slave bit, I have a lot more to say about the selling argument.

“Blacks Sold Blacks into Slavery”

There’s a internal error (6a) in reasoning white supremacists like himself suffer from when even mentioning Africa.  You see, white supremacists talk about Africa as if it’s one homogenous ethnic group, or one entire nation.  From this position, they speak as if “by golly wow, those Africans sold themselves!”  Technically, Africa, much like pre-white America, had millions of nations within it.  Africa currently has more languages within it than any other continent, so one must at least see a clue that Africa isn’t a homogenous mass of people.  You never see white people act like “by golly wow, those whites did it to themselves,” when it came to the myriad of intra-European wars that took place, the mass murders of tribes between Anglos, Saxons, Gauls, Celts, etc.  For some strange reason white supremacists always understand the fact that European is a collection of nations, but never get that EVERY CONTINENT share that same trait.

Think he's a coon
That look when that white confederate asshole realizes you ain’t the one to fuck with.

The bigger problem (6b) with his selling argument is that the seller has NOTHING TO DO WITH AMERICAN LAW AND CUSTOMS.  The Africans who sold blacks to whites, did not also draft loopholes in the Constitution, or created slave codes for America to abide by.  Africans never sold whips and chains to those whites (and actually it was the whites who sold guns and weapons of war to those Africans which helped perpetuate war in the region and the slave trade).  African slave sellers never told whites what to do, and how to do racism in America.

African slave sellers also, if one is not tracking, never invented Jim Crow, and placed systems of rewards and punishments to continue racial separations in America.  And just in case anyone is wondering, African slave sellers never invented the Ku Klux Klan, which sought to terrorize and murder people on a racial basis, to upkeep white supremacy.

And sure, of course slavery existed all throughout the history of mankind.  But if the Italians (Romans) are not actively suppressing/oppressing Gauls (French) and Celts (Irish-Scottish), then there’s no fucking context to bring it up.  CLEARLY, America has a racism problem today, that draws massive context from the Slavery Codes of the old.

Stop. Playing. Stupid.

“But But But, Suzy and Billy stole cookies too!”

It’s also a ridiculously asinine position  (problem 6c) to seek to nullify the problem with something by announcing that someone else did it too.  At this point, you have to realize how childish and infantile white people get when American Slavery is of discussion; “I stole cookies from the cookie jar because Suzy and Billy stole from a cookie jar too.  Thousands of years ago.  Even though Suzy and Billy have no context to our house and home.”  Yeah.

Where does this logic ever work!?  Can you for example, get out of a speeding ticket by claiming other people have been speeding, for thousands of years?  Can you get out of a speeding ticket by pointing out the fact that speeding has always existed throughout mankind?  Does this makes sense anywhere?

This is the type of guy who would rape someone, and then claim that rape has always existed all over the world, throughout world history, as if that exonerates him.

The fact that someone else done the crime before doesn’t exonerate YOU when you have committed that same crime.

Finally, the Irish slave myth.

Just simply not on my level

The first problem (7a) with Adam’s nonsensical argument, is that his flawed point #6 (blacks sold blacks into slavery, and therefore are to blame) effectively neutralizes his point #7 (Irish slaves).

If his argument against mine is “black sold blacks so take that!”, then he effectively killed his own argument.  Irish slaves, were really indentured servants who agreed with their subjugation.

The Irish were a set of people who, under no duress, literally signed contracts to bind themselves to 6-10 years of indentured servitude.  So if his argument was “blacks did it do themselves”, then how can he prop up the Irish indentured servitude argument?  The Irish “did it” to themselves, literally.

Adam’s foot, meet Adam’s mouth.

So no, I don’t engage fools like these.  But since I never do, I’ll continue to lay out the problem with whites talking this nonsense.

Other considerations

white history month, AfroSapiophile3
Since when were the Irish lynched by mobs of whites as blacks were?  If the Irish were treated worse than blacks in America, where’s the proof? Where’s the receipts? The truth is the fact that Irish Americans usually lead these lynchings.

Many of the problems of the Irish slaves myth were already mentioned, but just in case I wasn’t clear, here’s a couple of facts concerning:

  1. Irish indentured servants were not born into servitude; the contract binded the person who agreed to it, not his children.  Black slaves however, were born into slavery when offspring gave breath on American soil. Big difference there.
  2. This brings us to our next point: Irish indentured servants were not bred only to be slaves sold like cattle; black slaves were.  This means that Irish indentured servants didn’t suffer from any forced breeding (read: rape) that was against their will. In addition to this, families weren’t separated by selling families apart… you know, like how they did black slaves.
  3. Branching off of the last point, Irish indentured servants kept their self-identity and all ethnic artifacts pertaining to their people.  The fact that Irish Americans claiming they were descendants of “Irish slaves”, while still holding Irish surnames in the face of majority of black people of America who clearly are not sporting names from their actual ethnic group is pure ignorance.  Irish indentured servants were not renamed, as black slaves were.
  4. Irish indentured servants were permitted to read and write, black slaves were not.  This is among the most significant differences, because black slaves suffered the pain of death if they were able to read. Historical documents hold that whites figured that a person able to read would be technically impossible to keep as a slave, so this fact alone kills any notion that Irish were slaves in America.  It’s easier to make a man a slave if that man cannot read the wealth of information concerning equality or warfare.
  5. Indentured servants were temporary; 5-6 to 10 years.  Slavery upon blacks was not.
  6. An indentured servant can testify in the court of law; a black slave could not. So the indentured servant was afforded more rights towards citizenry.
  7. When indentured servitude was up, many Irish took low-lying jobs — such as the overseer job at black slave plantations, and slave patrols, ensuring the the Irish will soon join the rest of the Anglo-Saxons into that thing called white privilege.
  8. Irish indentured servitude took place primarily under the British Crown, not under the American Constitution.  I don’t give a damn about what took place under the British Crown; I give a damn about what took place under AMERICAN RULE OF LAW because from there, AMERICA was responsible for herself, and should be held accountable as such.
  9. Most importantly, there was no follow-up, modified, mutated, refined, adapt-to-the-times form of suppression/oppression placed onto Irish people after indentured servitude.  This is why there’s no Irish Emmett Tills, no Irish George Stinneys, no Irish Malcolm Xs, no Irish MLKs, no Irish Rosa Parks, no Irish Booker T. Washingtons, no Irish Harriet Tubmans or Irish Sojourner Truths. In addition, there was no Irish Frederick Douglasses, no Irish Marcus Garveys.  No Irish Eldridge Cleavers, no Irish James Baldwins.  For those who deem the facts ambiguous, there was no Irish terrorizing KKK equivalent, no antagonizing flags or symbols aimed at Irish progression, no Irish hands-up don’t shoot, no Irish Tamir Rices, no Irish Sandra Blands.  There’s no white ladies yelling at Irish girls because of school integration.  There’s no such thing as an Irish Lives Matter, because it would be impossible to racially profile people of Irish descent without profiling white people as a whole.  No one gives a damn about being Irish because to be Irish is to be white, and America is a white supremacist nation. The long this list goes, the more stupid you realize this Irish slaves false equivalence is.
  10. The American Irish were more than willing to oppress black people in order to join Whiteness, to join white supremacy, and that did in fact happened. Whiteness, in return, was more than happy to accept the Irish, due to the fact that if Whiteness didn’t accept the Irish and the Italians, white would be a minority today.
  11. Can you show me a schematic to an Irish slave ship?  Don’t rack your brain, there wasn’t any.
  12. You won’t find any AMERICAN law stating that an Irish “indentured servant” is deemed 3/5ths human;
  13. You won’t find any AMERICAN laws written in order to prevent Irish-Americans from voting which haven’t been neutralized until the Civil Rights Act;
  14. You won’t find AMERICAN Fugitive Slave Laws which stated any white person can snatch any “free” northern Irish-American and throw them into Southern Slavery;
  15. You won’t find any AMERICAN amalgamation laws which is a Jim Crow variant which prevented whites from mating and marrying Irish-Americans which got neutralized by Loving vs. Virginia.
  16. They were NOT slaves, they were indentured servants.  This exist today; Americans traveling to Korea can find indentured Russian and Filipino indentured servants all around U.S. military bases.  Those people signed contracts, just like those Irish of the past.
  17. This Irish slaves lie is so stupid even actual Irish folk (real Irish folk, not the American variant that’s more watered down than that happy-hour cocktail) such as Irish-history Historian Liam Hogan actively condemns this lie, and consistently makes an attempt to eradicate this stupidity.

“The Irish slave myth is not supported by the historical evidence. Thousands of Irish were sent to colonies like Barbados against their will, never to return. Upon their arrival, however, they were socially and legally distinct from the enslaved Africans with whom they often labored.

While not denying the vast hardships endured by indentured servants, it is necessary to recognize the differences between forms of labor in order to understand the depths of the inhumane system of chattel slavery that endured in the region for several centuries, as well as the legacies of race-based slavery in our own times.” ~ Liam Hogan, Irish Historian (a real one)

I’m tired of whipping whites when they say stupid shit.

whipping whitey 2
What happens when you debate a white conservative with facts.

Overall, I’m tired of beating the crap out of confederate historical-revisionism whites, who get all their alt-facts from the alt-right who have no idea how flat out wrong they are.  So no, I’m done talking to confederate whites, racist conservative whites, alt-right whites, neo-Nazi whites, Richard Spencer Nazi-in-a-suit whites, polite yet still racist whites, toxic liberal whites.  I’m tired of whipping all of their asses and never being credited in doing so.  They don’t shut up, and they are woefully ignorant.  Like, why on earth would a confederate flag waving white male think they know black history (which is by the way, honest white history), more than a black person?

So, no thanks.  You can have your worthless debate.

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Written by Johnny Silvercloud

The Soul Brother #1 of a Kind. Consequentialist street photographer abolitionist writer/speaker who stands for any oppressed peoples. I do it because every man and woman deserves freedom of thought -- especially black folks.

19 comments

  1. Thank you for tirelessly writing, and evenmoreso for all the endless battles. I am sorry for all the reasons your blog needs to exist, and for all the problems and frustration and pain everything that stands against you and truth and justice must bring with it. You are most definitely fighting the good fight. And you are not alone. Few are those strong enough or patient enough or caring enough to do what you’re doing, and I really admire you for it. May you be rewarded greatly, and may love and peace and understanding continue to flourish in and around and through you.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. As someone who can trace his family back to Irish indentured servants in the south, I completely agree with your article.

    Yes, there was poverty, far more than almost any other white person around them. My family had to work the fields, and even had to work Panama Canal (that was poverty, not indentured servitude). That being said it was still never close to what the African American experience is.

    The indentured servitude ended after a pre-arranged time. The poverty was there, but not the beatings, or lynchings or public treatment. I personally still don’t believe if there were Irish signs up, that they were more than an outlier. After all white privilege trumped anything a person of color had to go through.

    Some of my family get angry when I say this, they do throw out the “but my family was Irish indentured servants”. It was horrible, but not on the scale of what people of color went through then, and definitely not what even as a very poor white person (I was homeless as a family as a kid) goes through now. Even homeless, most interactions went far better than my friends of color.

    Only side note, my family did get a cross burned in their years. It wasn’t the Irish thing, but the Catholic thing that caused it. Still not as terror inducing as what happened to others, not on the scale of what happened to the African Americans, Native Americans or Chinese, but the Catholics weren’t accepted by the KKK and that is probably what the whites that say they had it as bad think is the same as the lynchings that regularly occurred (it isn’t, but then again those white people are stupid).

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Oh! I’ve heard some of that shit too! “Well, the Irish built the railroads along with the blacks and Chinese, so the Irish MUST have been discriminated against, too!” Yeah, pat yourselves on the back for suffering a few (as far as I know, unverified) ‘no blacks no dogs no Irish’ signs as you go on to change your name, lose the brogue, and be a privileged white like the others. Poor babies, being able to pass for white by actually being white.

    By the way, I live in Ireland…

    Like

  4. I tried to read your whole article, but biting my lip through your grossly inaccurate generalizations only got me to the beginning of the source of your argument.

    Don’t misunderstand me, I do not see any path for rationality in comparing harm, especially when slavery is the topic. However I do not condone. Your perspective should not be extrapolated.

    I am a socio-cultural documentarian and a middle school teacher in the heart of New Orleans, should I poison my students to believe that the white man is the devil? — Voodoo goes a long way down here.

    Vile prejudices have shattered mankind historically and your opening salvo only perpetuates hate and dilutes your valid position.

    Alt-right, neo nazi, white supremacists can all eat ass but my white sons and daughters will be on the front lines in pursuit of unity and justice! That’s what I’ll teach them. That’s what I instill in my students.

    Like

    1. I am a socio-cultural documentarian and a middle school teacher in the heart of New Orleans, should I poison my students to believe that the white man is the devil? — Voodoo goes a long way down here.”

      ^Your white fragility is showing. No one said anything about devils, demons, etc. Please stop hallucinating, seeing words that are not there. It helps.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. There is a lot of generalisation in your article. In the very first sentence you state that white people will never want to talk about slavery in Americas. But I personally have nothing against talking about slavery. I do not feel anyhow responsible for it, since nothing connects me to it. Well, nothing except for similar situation of my ancestors. They were also treated as slaves, although this term is never used. If you ever heard about serfs, they were basically slaves. Could not leave their land, could not marry without lord’s agreement, were sold together with land. If anything differs them from slaves it is the fact that if they were killed, the landowner had to repay it to their families.
    Not to mention that the ones that abolished serfdom earlier conquered the nation of my ancestors and treated them as a lower race. And they did not need pigment difference to do so.
    Racism in my country appeared quite recently, since earlier nobody cared about the differences. It was the social class that mattered, not skin colour or ethnic origin. When I spoke with people of African origin, they said that they never met with racists. I know that they exist here and I personally met some, but they are just the intellectual margin of the society and blame others for their own stupidity. Therefore,slavery is not an easy topic for me and my kin, but not due to guilt, yet due to experience of our ancestors, and we try to condemn all xenophobia that caused so much pain to our people.

    Like

  6. There is a point in engaging in debates with those people but it’s not to achieve anything with them but rather with people who read those posts.

    You aren’t likely to change the mind of someone who’s only capable of listing talking points (interestingly I noticed one of the easiest ways to spot implicit racism is people being completely unimaginative in expressing it) and made a mission out of spreading them.
    What disproving those points does achieve is preventing them to be spread and opening the eyes of at least some people who follow the discussion and maybe creating less of a safe space for white supremacism because let’s face it any “mainstream” comment section etc. will lean at least somewhat white supremacist.

    Like

  7. Thank you for this insightful article. I am equally offended by the arguments by the same crowd that “slaves were treated like family”, “they didn’t want to be freed, they volunteered to stay” and “life on the plantation was very good”. I, too, am tired of arguing the points of slavery. And I would like to kill an alt-right sociopath! Oh, and I’m a 50 year old white guy.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. There was NEVER any Irish slaves, please understand this, this post, I will not even read all of it, it’s an irrelevant post. The southern poverty law center debunked the myth of the Irish slaves.

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  9. Urg. I’d never even heard the “Irish slaves” argument before, but it really is idiotic. What gets me about a lot of the “other people were slaves too” types of arguments is that yes, a lot of cultures around the world and throughout time have had slavery of one type or another, but it turns out not all slavery is the same. American black slavery was an institution intrinsically worse than any other type of slavery I’ve ever heard of.

    Like

  10. “Congolese men were rounded up by a brutal Belgian-officered security force, their wives were interned to ensure compliance and were brutalised during their captivity. The men were then forced to go into the jungle and harvest the rubber.
    Disobedience or resistance was met by immediate punishment – flogging, severing of hands, and death. Millions perished.
    Tribal leaders capable of resisting were murdered, indigenous society decimated, proper education denied.” THIS is exactly what they did to capture slaves in Africa
    source: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-24396390

    Like

  11. Mr. Silvercloud, THANK YOU SIR for this excellent piece! I first noticed your work in the Everyday Feminism article you wrote on losing friends while fighting racism. That led me to this excellent piece. I just wanted to comment that I had noticed, long before Trump ever got elected, the white conservatives were pushing this “Irish slavery” myth and it was working it’s way steadily into the mainstream media. I remember back in 2013 and 2014 even, going into left-wing, anti-racist forums to complain about how this myth was being pushed and accepted but other so-called “liberals” just brushed off my comments and I remember even one (dumb) white chick telling me that, yes, Irish indentured servants were like slaves!!! I was flabbergasted and no one ever took any of my complaints about this growing problem seriously until now that Trump has been elected. Now! Suddenly, “liberals” are starting to notice and attack the myth. Even the Prime Minister of Ireland came before the Irish Parliament in 2015 to condemn this myth, a full year before Trump was elected, but even then, the Left couldn’t take seriously how popular this myth was becoming until Trump got elected. That’s reason also to be angry. The Left has got to start doing better in attacking this kind of revisionism.

    Liked by 2 people

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