Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Black History

Hugh Muir makes a career of apologizing. ‘Tax Payers money spent on community relations enhancement via the medium of face paint ?’...”Yes I know it sounds silly but come on all join in , its only a little blah blah” . That’s his style . No surprise then ,that he is quick to pen a defense of meretricious left wing apologies .
Gordon Brown and Kevin Rudd will be rending their garments about British children sent to the colonies , Brown apologised for way gay second world war code-breaker Alan Turing was treated and so the breast beating goes on. Today black but posh Muir repeats the standard nonsense about slave trade which he describes as .."appalling acts committed, with pretty much malice aforethought, by governments. ... abuse of the power of the state against people who were in no position to raise significant objection or defend themselves ..”
Leaving aside the anachronistic assumptions there are at least two lies here , one outright the other implied by the context of "Apology"

1 The State – No the state was not involved the slave trade happened before Empire in Africa and had been abolished by Europeans (only) by the time we were there
2 Evil white people enslaved good black people – No blacks enslaved blacks mostly

*.Of the 11m - 15m African slaves transported across the Atlantic between the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries, all but a few thousands had been captured and enslaved by fellow Africans in a cultural practice that pre-dated by centuries the first sight of a European on those shores. Their pre-European market had been the Gulf and the Arab states. Right up until abolition, Europe hardly had a foot ashore in Africa; the vast continent was only colonised post-abolition, when Quinine prophylaxis, the breech-loading rifle and steam gunboats made it possible.
My eldest boy is one of few mixed race children at his Primary and I smirked slightly when ‘black history awareness month’ was trailed . I expect they’ll just dress up and dance around a bit , hope so , as an ancestor of both slaves and Henry Morgan , who owned plenty he may well end up apologising to himself.
*(Tip`o the hat to Raedwald where I pinched this bit from , you can tell by the flowing prose )


asquith said...

You can be sure that none of my forefathers owned or traded in slaves. In fact they probably had more in common with slaves than with the ruling classes at the time, being honest toilers & so on.

We lose sight of the fact that the average person in the past had no power whatsoever, so what the government & elites did has no connection to our lives. You could argue that we were slightly better off than people in the third world because of some exploitation & colonialism, but I don't actually view that as particularly helpful in bringing prosperity to the world's poor in this day & age. Better to support free trade, education, other forms of infrastructure, & contraception being made available to those who'd rather not have large families. (Which is our decision our forefathers made during the first half of the 20th century).

There is grounds for scepticism about how useful aid as it currently exists is, & I didn't much care for the commitment to spend a certain fixed amount, but we'll see.

I further do not have much time for being told I am a member of some priviliged super-elite because I am a white male & should be grateful for all the advantages society has lavished on me. Though I am in fact anti-racist & have personally talked people out of supporting the BNP.

Newmania said...

Though I am in fact anti-racist & have personally talked people out of supporting the BNP.

If they out grew the rather childish mish mash of genetic ideas and based their Nationalism on memory and alleigance would you accept they had a right to exist ?

Weekend Yachtsman said...

You speak glibly of "abolition" as if that were a point in the past which we have now, thank heavens, passed and left behind.

Not so, I am afraid. Abolition was a European thing only; slavery is still widespread across the world, especially in Muslim states.

In a free-ish society like ours, the productivity of free men is always better than that of slaves (Stalin did not believe this, but his successors did, and they were right), so there's not much benefit in having slaves. But in a primitive, low-productivity society, with little available capital and poor division of labour, there will always be an economic niche for slaves to fill.

Newmania said...

You speak glibly of "abolition" as if that were a point in the past which we have now, thank heavens, passed and left behind.

Au contraire by the words "and had been abolished by Europeans (only) " I am well aware that slavery continues so I agree with you

asquith said...

They have a right to exist, but I can't see any incarnation of the BNP getting my support. Certainly this one will be getting the full force of my opposition, so they won't be able to withstand that.

Plus their economic "policies" are ill thought out & objectionable, let's not be forgetting that.

I thought they could have done a far better job of slagging Griffin off than asking him WHY HE'S A FASCIST, WHY HE'S A NAZI & WHY HE'S EVIL. There should have been more specific ragging.

Newmania said...

I agree with all that Asquith but I look at Margaret Hodge and I look at the Labour vote in Barking and I think...thats not good. How do we get to a point where the Labour candidate is so loathed and has so little in common with her own voters

asquith said...

Because they got used to local dominance & became complacent. It is what happened in this city.

Once they no longer had Thatcher to unite themselves & their voters against, once Labour became the government, & given that there was no real Conservative or Liberal presence left, someone had to be the opposition & it became the BNP.

Despite the recent rise in immigration, it's actually noticeable how the BNP aren't a massive force as their counterpart is in France. They got fewer votes than the Green Party, for fuck's sake, & it could quite easily have happened that they got no MEPs if Labour weren't such a shite national government & got a few more votes.

I actually think various people are trying to make the BNP seem like a bigger force than they are, especially students' union types who think this & that can be got through with the excuse that it's necessary to stop them taking ovr the world.

Newmania said...

I have noticed that

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