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It Was the Brits Who Instituted Slavery in the US, Not Americans, So Should THEY be Responsible for Reparations?

Teresa Neumann-Opinion : Jun 20, 2019  Breaking Christian News

There's only one solution and it ain't money, folks.

Slavery is unconscionable. Dehumanizing. Subjugating others for profit is just plain evil. In our country, it was outrage at the wholesale kidnapping of, and selling of, human flesh that culminated in the Civil War. Now, 180 years after the blood of over 360,000 Union soldiers was shed to liberate slaves, a fierce debate on reparations is raging. But the controversial topic, as with so many other moral failings, has become a political football and historical tunnel-vision obscures the true picture. (Screengrab Image: Actor Danny Glover speaks at the House Judiciary Committee meetings on Reparations for Slavery/via BBC News)

The fact is, Americans didn't institute slavery in this country. England did—clear up until colonials defeated the British in the Revolutionary War. By that time, there were over 2 MILLION slaves in the American colonies. Ruled by an overseas king at that time, colonials had no say in the law of the land.

Marika Sherwood, writing for History in Focus, said: "Britain followed in the footsteps of the Portuguese in voyaging to the west coast of Africa and enslaving Africans. The British participation in what has come to be called the 'nefarious trade' was begun by Sir John Hawkins with the support and investment of Elizabeth I in 1573.  By fair means and foul, Britain outwitted its European rivals and became the premier trader in the enslaved from the seventeenth century onwards, and retained this position till 1807. Britain supplied enslaved African women, men and children to all European colonies in the Americas."

Therefore, politicians who support the notion of additional reparations (beyond the sacrifices of the Civil War) must take their blame game across the Atlantic to England—a nation accused of trying to "bury" their responsibility for it.

Writing for The Guardian in 2015, reporter David Olusoga contends that Britain's ties to slavery "have been buried." He wrote: "That geographic distance made it possible for slavery to be largely airbrushed out of British history, following the Slavery Abolition Act in 1833. Many of us today have a more vivid image of American slavery than we have of life as it was for British-owned slaves on the plantations of the Caribbean. The word slavery is more likely to conjure up images of Alabama cotton fields and whitewashed plantation houses, of Roots, Gone With The Wind and 12 Years A Slave, than images of Jamaica or Barbados in the 18th century. This is not an accident." 

But it doesn't end there.

The British, according to historical documents, were simply following in the footsteps of their arch-enemies at the time. The Portuguese and the Spanish—who ran slave expeditions to Africa for their own countries—were responsible for sending upwards of 15 MILLION slaves to the Caribbean between 1492 and 1820. Sure, England abolished slavery in 1834; the US in 1864. But Spain's colony of Cuba didn't follow suit until 1886 and Portugal's New World colonies, not until 1888.

So, they were the bad guys, right?

Well—the Islamic slave trade began long before the Atlantic slave trade. According to a New York Times article by Adam Hochschild, the Arab world is estimated to have enslaved 11.5 million poor souls during a dozen centuries. Why is so little attention paid to Islamic slavery today? Says Hochschild: "One reason, suggests Segal, a South African-born editor and the author of ''The Black Diaspora,'' is that in the Muslim world slavery never became the publicly fought moral and political issue that it did in the United States and Europe.

Slavery may not have become a public issue in the Muslim world, but remember the famous 19th Scottish missionary to Africa, David Livingston? While trying to discover the source of the Nile, he dedicated his life to exposing the gruesome horrors of the Arab slave trade in East Africa which had been going on for centuries.

Notes Bill Federer with American Minute, Livingston was "horrified by the Arab Muslim slave trade. [He estimated that]each year 80,000 died while being captured or forced to march from the African interior to the Arab Muslim slave markets of Zanzibar. His letters, books, and journals stirred up a public outcry to abolish slavery. For example, Livingston noted that he 'often passed caravans of 1,000 slaves tied together with neck yokes or leg irons, marching single file 500 miles down to the sea carrying ivory and heavy loads. Slaves who complained were speared and left to die, resulting in slave caravans being traced by vultures and hyenas feasting on corpses. To overdraw its evils,' he concluded, 'is simply an impossibility.'"

Even Africans, themselves, engaged in the slave trade amongst each other. Notes a CNN report: "European slave traders, almost without exception, did not themselves capture slaves. They bought them from other Africans, usually kings or chiefs or wealthy merchants." 

Ask an Arab 1,500 years ago why they enslaved others and they'd probably shrug and say "Why not? The Romans did it." Ask a Roman and they'd say, "The Greeks did it." Ask the Greeks, and they'd say ...  And so it goes, all the way back to the beginning of the human race. Because, you see, it's the fallen human condition that's the culprit in all of this. Greed. Lust. Pride. In other words, SIN.

And there's more than enough of that to go around. The truth is, we're all guilty. We've all fallen short of the Glory of God. (Image: Teresa Neumann-BCN)

There's only one solution, and it ain't money, folks. The antidote is genuine repentance, forgiveness, love, and then—borrowing a term from the Left—we must MOVE ON. Subscribe for free to Breaking Christian News here







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