Sorry about responding back so late, I have been so busy. I am just reading your comments today!This is a response I wrote to someone. Thought you might like to read:
First, let me clarify something-When I said ignorant people I wasn’t talking about you directly but people in general. Many people have argued the same case you have. I have searched the web and found many discussions.
I am not undermining the horrors that happened to the Irish at the hands of English colonists. During the 19th century, many Irish immigrants were sent to the Caribbean Islands as Indentured Servants. English colonist used to mate Irish and blacks together so they could make more slaves! That’s one of the reasons why so many blacks are light skinned!
However, there is a difference between Indentured Servitude and Slavery. Indentured Servants have a contract, usually seven years long. Slaves are slaves until someone decides to abolish it. Indentured servants were taught training skills (many bought farms after their contracts were over), and the families they worked for often times covered their expenses if they wanted to travel to another country. Slaves could go nowhere except if they were transferred from one plantation to another. The biggest difference, however, was that indentured servants were allowed to keep their names.
I realize the situation of the Irish. They had to work for english absentee landlords in exchange for land so that they could grow enough food to feed their families. The difference between owning land and not owning land was the difference between life and death for many Irish people. The potato was the only crop that they could grow in abundance so, this is why they became so dependant on it. However, they received a bad shipment from South America (during the 1840’s) that had a type of fungus. They couldn’t even export anymore. However, even before happened, the Irish had had problems for years trying to stabilize the potato crop. It had been a problem for them since the 1700’s.
Although the Irish had many problems, most of their problems revolved around the fact that they had no food or money. The Great Hunger was primarily about the starvation of the Irish people. The Great Hunger was not about how the Irish were attacked by the English for speaking their language. Did you know that many Africans had their language taken from them?
Irelend’s population shrunk to about 20% because of the famine. There are similarities between the two hardships but it’s still very different. It’s one thing to loose your rights and land. However, being a slave was no picnic for blacks. You should read the book, From Slavery to Freedom, by John Hope Franklin. He explains the history of black people since the days of Mansa Musa in the 1300’s. You should also read, The Autobiography of Frederick Douglass. He enlightens us on what it was like to be a slave. He hated the institution so much that even after he escaped he still fought against it. He sent both of his sons off to fight in the Civil War! He didn’t even have to because at the time he was one of President Lincoln’s advisors!!
Also, I don’t think you have read WEB DuBois essay Double Consciousness. This was not just about “Consciousness” merely, but it was about blacks having to use survival techniques so they could survive long enough to seek their freedom from their oppressor! America!
I’ll check out your books too!
Also, slavery started for blacks in the 1500’s because that’s when the England East India Company first began capturing Africans. Slavery started in the U.S. much later of coarse because the colony had not yet been established until 1619. But I think you are thinking about when slavery started in the U.S. but not when it initially began.
However, you are right Jerry, Irelend was colonized.
But you got to really understand what actually happened to get a grasp of why African American criticism is so popular and why Tyson loves it!
Also, when the Irish left Irelend, some went to Austraila, Canada, Scotland, and the U.S. What I am saying is that they had a choice. Slaves don’t get a choice to go anywhere.
Some would argue that when the Irish came to America, there problems were all but over. However, after being scooped up in nets, and dragged across the Atlantic, and being thrown to the sharks as cargo,-black people’s nightmare didn’t begin until they first reached the auction block!!!
You should also understand that when most immigrants came to America (including the Irish) many changed their names! They also dropped their accents (if they had any) and most white Americans (of english ancestry or wasp) couldn’t tell themselves apart from the Irish because their was no identifier! The reason being is because Irish people have the same complexion as their english brethren! That’s why slavery didn’t work when Americans first tried to enslave their own because they couldn’t tell who was who if their slaves ran away! You can always tell with blacks. That’s why Irish people can infiltrate different organizations that blacks could not. Religion has nothing to do with it.
Also, blacks had slaves, but every race on the face of the earth has head slaves. Since most of these slave masters enslaved their own people, every race on the face of the earth has been enslaved! Slavery is one of the oldest occupations, besides prostitution!
However, taking people away from their continent across the Atlantic had never been done before. Every country in the world profited from black labor. No other race on the face of the earth has been used by everyone.
If blacks kept a tally, you know how much the world would owe us? Why do you think we talk so much about reperations!!! lol
In this country, right before the Industrial revolution, it was estimated that the cotton which blacks picked in the south alone constituted about seven percent of the world’s cotton.
There could not have been an Industrial revolution without black people.
In addition, the slavery you speak of between blacks and other blacks was based primarily upon captives being prisoners of war. It wasn’t about economic gain! At least not in Africa.
And very few blacks owned slaves in America and if they did it was for survival; but trying to survive is again very different from economic gain.
However, I appreciate this discussion because it enlightens us all, so its worth something. Maybe we both have a lot to learn about each other’s culture!
Thanks for responding!!!
P.S. Later we will talk about the Missouri Compromise and the Dred Scott Case-America’s broken promises!!!!