Slavery: A Shameful Legacy of America’s Past

This page was first published on the 4th of September, 2016 and last updated on the 4th of September, 2016 by Patrick Carpen.

Tonight, I was looking at a movie which depicted episodes of American enslavement of Africans. No doubt, the Africans were captured, chained and brought to America under harsh conditions. They were forced to work and treated cruelly.

In 1619, the first batch of African slaves were transported to the United States, in the state of Virginia. During the 17th of 18th century, European settlers in America had enslaved over 4 million Africans.

What sickness of the human mind would urge one human being to enslave another is beyond my understanding. What is more unfathomable is the level of warp-mindedness entailed in not just enslaving but maltreating other human beings to the point of severe punishment on a daily basis and being able to sleep well at nights. But what is even more sickening is that some of these slave masters and traffickers used the bible, God’s Holy Book, to justify their practices.

Is Slavery Biblical? What did Jesus really say?

“Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit”.

I have never read anywhere in the bible where it said “go and make slaves out of the every nation, beating them, maltreating them, keeping them in confinement and putting them to force labor”.

In the book of Proverbs we are warned “Do not plunder the poor because they are poor, because God will plunder the souls of those who plunder the poor.”

Will God plunder the souls of those Americans who enslaved the Africans? I dare not judge.

During the American Revolution, Patrick Henry said in his speech “The War Inevitable”, as follows:

I know not what course gentlemen may take, but I say this, “give me liberty or give me death”.

British settlers in the south of the then “British America” agreed that they felt the brunt of oppression at the hands of King George of England. Yet they at the same time saw no wrong in oppression and enslavement African.

“We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men were created equal, and are endowed by their creator with the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”.

Is there an implication in those lines that “all men” is supposed to mean “all white men”?

But all white men did not hold slaves. In fact, the northern states of the United States never practiced slavery. Only the southern states did. And this is what triggered the American Civil War, one of the bloodiest wars in American history. When Abraham Lincoln became President, he moved to oppose slavery in the United States and he ordered that all slaves should be freed in the south.

But the slave masters refused and this sparked the American Civil War which cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of white Americans and left untold devastation in its wake.

Related: The Thin Line.

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