*The American Slave Coast*

I very much liked this lengthy but highly readable book by Ned and Constance Sublette, subtitled A History of the Slave-Breeding Industry, and that subtitle does indeed reflect the emphasis.  Here are a few of the things I learned from it:

1. Barbados took in more African slaves than did the entire United States; Alex had a related post on the size of American importation.

2. President James Polk speculated in slaves, based on inside information he obtained from being President and shaping policy toward slaves and slave importation.

3. In the South there were slave “breeding farms,” where the number of women and children far outnumbered the number of men.

4. The price of a slave peaked in his or her late teens.  There was another price spike upwards at about age eight, when child mortality declined.

5. Much of the University of Virginia was built by slaves; is anyone calling for those buildings to be torn down?

6. Quite possibly the sugar plantations model, including for slave deployment, stems from São Tomé, starting in the late 15th century.

7. George Mason wanted to cut off the African slave trade into Virginia, although the authors suggest many people supported this view because they wished to increase the value of the stock of slaves already in the state.  I could not tell whether this was Mason’s motive or not.

8. The Anglo-American settlers of Louisiana were primarily from Kentucky.

9. In the time of slavery, the South was generally considered to be less anti-Semitic toward Jews than the North.

Recommended, here is the Amazon link.  And here is Jason Kottke on the book.  And here is a good Malcolm Harris review.


"1. Barbados took in more African slaves than did the entire United States;"

It's been an interesting question for decades why Barbadian blacks tends to be more genteel than Jamaican or American blacks. One theory was offered by the late Robert MacNeil`s PBS series "The Story Of English" in which he suggested that selection played a role: “[Barbados] was the first main port of call for the slave ships. It is said that unruly slaves from the least domesticated tribes were progressively shipped up the `claw` of the West Indies until they reached Jamaica.” [p. 220])

"It’s been an interesting question for decades why Barbadian blacks tends to be more genteel than Jamaican or American blacks."

Really? Where exactly have these interesting questions been considered? Citation? This sounds suspiciously close to weasel words.

He's kind of the resident racist here.

"Where exactly have these interesting questions been considered?"

I think we can all safely conclude its not with Steve's extensive network of black friends from the UCLA basketball program.

Thomas Sowell, on the other hand.. ;)

Not 'kind of.'

Totally... he repeatedly advocates in favor of African Americans and against interests of illegal immigrants, most of which the US government classifies as white. He must be a Black Panther or an Afro Nationalist of some kind!

That Barbados tends to be better educated and less violent that Jamaica is not in much dispute among those who are not ignorant. The question is: why?

That Germany tends to be better educated and less violent than the USA is not in much dispute among those who are not ignorant. The question is: why?

Well, there was a certain answer floating around in the 30s, one might remember from modern history (an answer definitely shared by the founders of the Pioneer Fund, it should be noted). But I'm sure that no racist ever believes themselves to be members of an inferior race, right? Regardless of whatever other, apparently less scientific, racists might think about it.

I get that your are (in typical cloying fashion) trying to be witty, but why again should I be bothered by the fact that Nazis felt I belonged to an inferior race? Again I am perfectly willing to have my "race" put up for comparison against any other "race." It's you guys that get pissed off any time Steve presents statiscal data bearing out intergroup disparities.

"That Germany tends to be better educated and less violent than the USA is not in much dispute among those who are not ignorant."

Controlling for race eliminates most of the difference.

Huh? What's the evidence that Germany is better-educated than the U.S.? Their college graduation rate is lower, last I checked. And I can't think of a field where the preponderance of the current top scholarship is German, though of course I am hardly not with every field of scholarship.

@prior-test: Way to go Godwin's Law within two rounds of an exchange of views.

I think the current state of the West (ideology, birthrates, cohesion) suggests who the inferior race is. You don't win at natural selection by not showing up for the Darwinian struggle. If Western resources and technology quadruple Africa's population in 60 years and promises another quadrupling in the next 80, then it's obvious who thrives best in the environment that the West creates and it's not the Westerners who are busy self-immolating, even though individual comparisons based on current standards of well-being would obviously point to the Westerners as being better off.

Anyway, I think a sufficient sense of self-worth can enable a person to talk openly about group differences in which his group comes out looking bad.

Maybe we should widen the net and, instead of race as a biological or social construct, we also take a Spenglerian view of it as a spiritual construct. Comparing the Brits that built the empire and invented the modern world with their descendants just a few generations later, one gets the sense that there is a much greater difference between them than between Brits these days and their problematic soon-to-be-pluralities.

Did you read the rest of his quote?

Hi, Sailer.

From someone who is a first generation Bajan and Jamaican, I believe I have at least some authority to assess this claim. Yes, the perception you described on the temperament between Barbadians and Jamaicans is widely conceived. Based on observations, I can say that Jamaicans have a lot of positive characteristics that aren't associated with Bajans. West Indians describe Bajans as being snobby and arrogant. Jamaicans, on the other hand, are hospitable and accommodating. Again, these are mere observations held in the West Indian community.

Yes, Jamaica might have higher crime, but that has a lot to do with the cultural evolution of the country and socioeconomic divide. In essence, a lot of problems that face Jamaica has a lot to do with its historical development and policy choices. Following abolishment, Jamaican black populations dispersed to establish autonomous enclaves. Where areas, due to limited geography, Bajans were forced to work as serfs under white planters, which lead to cultural and behaviorial adoption from white-paternalistic tendencies. In the early 20th century, both countries deployed laborers to the Panama Canal Zone. Barbados had the bigger share. Many Barbadians believe remittances and returnees were instrumental in the development of the island during the agrarian to industrial transition. Up to the 1970s, both countries were on equal economic footing. Unfortunately, Jamaica chose different policy prescriptions that were detrimental in the long run. Barbados allowed for more trade and fiscal solvency.

As for the selection theory you mentioned, it doesn't stand up to any historical validity. Both colonies received slaves from the same West-African regions.

Cultural and institutional evolution are the best explanations.

Thank you Inquisitive for that informative post.

I breed black and white creatures together too: black roosters with white hens to produce CX meat birds (so called 45 day birds) here in the Philippines. What I've observed with animals I believe works with people too: breeding two different sub-species or races will produce a stronger offspring. So black and white gives offspring superior to either parent.

This technique of animal husbandry can also be applied to people.

I'm building a bigger incubator while I type this. I hope to have 300+ eggs held in this incubator, and with the conventional 50% hatch rate, that means 150 little chicks. Cute little fuzzballs that will become meat next to my potatoes (or more profits, as I sell most of what I raise). I sound like a slaver, and maybe 100 years from now, when they grow meat in test tubes, people will abhor this post, but that's life.

Horse breeders may have different opinions on this.

@TMC - you do realize a race horse is less robust than a regular horse (which proves my point)? Same with fighting cocks vs regular native chickens.

Genetic evidence from some Caribbean islands has shown Irish ancestry prevalent in the Black population. This is attributable to breeding between Irish and African slaves. Some indications that Irish women were purposely bred with African men.

But all is not nefarious. There is a 17th century, I believe, Maryland law governing the consensual marriage of English women with slaves. In marriage, the woman follows the husband's condition and the offspring also are slaves (property of the owner) but upon divorce the woman would regain her freedom. That the law specifically covers English women at a time when the Irish were being forcibly migrated to the New World, indicates the condition of the Irish women under the law.

The Irish immigrating to the Americas in the 17th century (whether voluntarily or forcibly) were almost all Orange Irish: the Scots-Irish of Ulster. Catholic Irish did not begin immigrating until the Famine in the 1800s.


These days we try not to call certain groups of people "superior" to others. Studies have indicated that mixed-race people are considered more attractive on average. However black-white IQ gap is about 15 points and mixed race African Americans certainly do not get to or above the white mean.

IQ is a function of nutrition. Google the literature on this, start with "IQ by Country" and then read the Economist article on this topic Blacks have poorer nutrition than whites due to economic factors (junk food is favored by the poor).

Mixed race is superior, nobody can seriously dispute that unless you're a racist. Nuff said.

Try inserting "gives a fuck about trying hard on stupid tests that have no impact on their lives" and see how the regression turns out.

And a million other explanations.

Maybe there's a 1% difference between groups. That you so easily lend credence to the idea that there is a full standard deviation, and are not interested in explanations which do not relate to genetics or ancestry, makes it easy to identify you as an old fashioned racist.

So ... wanna cite some studies?

@Cliff: Are mixed race people more attractive on average than both parents? Or is there a selection effect going on, where people most likely to cross the race barriers for childbirth are already conventionally beautiful? There is a category of attractive people who are also very plain and standard looking, which you would get only if their parents are from the same group, so more closely related in an ethnic sense. There is more possible variation in how a mixed-race child will turn out, obviously, so without that subset of plain attractiveness, you may be left only with exceptional strikes. I'd also think that a part of this mixed race sexiness has something to do with certain racial traits that some may consider less desirable (very dark skin), or mixed race traits that are now fashionable, like brownish skin (caramel?). In the end, I'm pretty sure that the offspring of a Swede or a pygmy will at least be more attractive than the pygmy.

Claiming hybrid vigor is a very selective way of proving the racists right while appearing not to do so.

I do not think it will apply to people, since the criteria by which we judge their worth are a lot more varied, unless your two people would have otherwise started inbreeding, which is what actually happens to animal breeds that makes hybrid pairing so useful. What could happen is that the child is superior to one of his parents for a given set of criteria, like intelligence. This is, after all, why light skinned African-Americans are the most likely to succeed from the community (also google the leadership of the NAACP). If an average Swede and a pygmy have a child, which one of the parents will feel his posterity has gained the most? Disregarding skin color. Height is correlated with attractiveness, dominance and ultimately wealth. IQ is important too, through not as important in a personal sense as personality, which is, again, inheritable. Physical features also matter for attractiveness.

There is lots of genotypic diversity, and at the level of ethnic populations no relevant levels of inbreedings, which makes the argument that interbreeding is needed to exchange of genes is irrelevant. This might apply if there were two extremely small and inbred populations. But it's completely irrelevant with two large populations of large genotypic variation. So, hybrid vigour is completely irrelevant in this discussion.

But I'm very interested in your theory that mixed progeny seems to be more attractive because the most attractive are most likely to interbreed across groups. This seems very plausible to me, and I had never thought about it before. I can't think of any inconvenient truths which might in any plausible way be attached to such a theory. It seems very plausible, because if people are on average a little bit racist, then on average it will take greater beauty to overcome the racism, an imagined smoking gun which would confirm your theory.

"Cultural and institutional evolution are the best explanations."

It would seem far more plausible to me, that the Barbados and Jamaica had different institutions and culture, than that there was some selection effect. Long term, non-isolated, successful cultures and institutions can handled a wide variety of inputs or they wouldn't have lasted.

Racists hate cultural and institutional explanations. But unlike some others, I believe that Sailor has a genuine intellectual curiosity in exploring such ideas as well. But would never be convinced regardless how convincing the hypothetical proof.

The trying-hard hypothesis has been considered, tested, and lacks evidence. I doubt that a million other explanations have been tested, but the main "just talking off the top of my head" explanations have been, and they also lack evidence. But apparently out of the millions of explanations, there is one you are sure cannot be true, and thus have to resort to calling names and sneering in hopes of shutting down debate. Most HBD folks, BTW, regard white intelligence scores as consistently lower that Ashkenazi Jews and Northeast Asians, and about the same at the Igbo in Nigeria.

Thank you for the info.

I just have a thing to add. Isn't it possible that behaviors, habits, taboos and social norms related to hospitality arise more quickly in societies that are more violent and untrustworthy as a lubricant for critical interactions? The key point of a culture honoring guests is that the guests eventually leave or their luck may run out, as I believe Captain Cook discovered. Tribes need to trade, exchange genes, learn information and establish alliances, so laws of hospitality preventing anything from happening to you under your host's roof without severely damaging the host's honor would naturally appear.

So, if Germans are gruff and the English snobbish or whatever the stereotype, it may be because their long practiced and rooted civility makes it less necessary to maintain rituals for keeping the peace and not provoking violence. After all, the common law of the English allowed them not just to stay aloof from each other, but also to work well together.

"9. In the time of slavery, the South was generally considered to be less anti-Semitic toward Jews than the North."

"In general, Jews were more welcomed by Southern elites. Much as in medieval Poland, where the nobles invited in Jewish merchants to provide them the financial services that their own people were too innumerate to undertake, rich Southern Protestants generally saw themselves as an agrarian warrior class. So Jewish commercial facilitators, such as the slave-owning Lehman Brothers, who founded the future investment bank in Alabama in 1855, tended to be welcomed as complementary to the landowners.

"In contrast, rich Northern Protestants, who were generally descendants of literate Puritans, were more likely than their Southern counterparts to be in commerce rather than plantations. So WASP firms competed with Jewish firms on Wall Street. Relations between Jews and Protestants tended to be relatively cordial in both the North and the South, but there was more rivalry in the North, where the Yankees of New England had similar commercial and intellectual skills.

"In many Southern small towns, however, where the general tenor of life was less enterprising, the Jewish dry goods merchant, cotton broker, or banker was a valued part of the local establishment. For example, when the Augusta National Golf Club (home of the Masters) opened in 1932 in rural Georgia, local Jewish commercial leaders were invited to join. But as the membership became more dominated by Northern corporate titans while President Eisenhower was a member, several decades went by before any more Jews were let in."


Steve, had you read this book before writing that 2014 article?

The book hadn't been published at that time, so I'd guess no.

I'm beginning to lose track of the times I read something by Sailer that ends up in some form on the Mainstream media after months or even years. He consistently delivers some of the most interesting commentary out there, even if ~70% of his posts are forgettable filler pieces. I'm a moderate center-left guy, but Sailer deserves way more readers.

But those articles come, in turn, from existing scholarship. It's not causative. You could do better by seeking out experts.

"You could do better by seeking out experts."...I'm sure I could, but there's a reason why journalists/commentators exist and people read them. I'm not going to peruse dense academic journals from sociology to game theory to postmodern literary criticism to get my daily fill of interesting news.

Also, the angle and focus Steve brings into his stories is impressive. Whether he's writing about how Marco Rubio simply didn't have the brainpower to outwit Chuck Schumer (and his brainpower is precisely what's pulling him down now) or how the Left's obsession with the recession/subprime bubble is actually a result of the Left and Right's obsession with immigration, he shows the truth hiding in plain sight. The more obvious something is, the more the "respectable" media wants to hide/spin it.

'his brainpower is precisely what’s pulling him down now'

Really? I thought it was the lack of something that people like Trump (or Reagan beforehand) have in abundance. But then, an innate sense of how to perform in front of an adoring crowd is not something that many Republicans have had a chance to gain experience with in the last couple of decades.

My job is to read the academic experts and apply it to the real world.

And very well you do it too, Mr iSteve. Though you are too modest: I'm sure there's quite a lot you've noticed that the academics haven't, many of them being wilfully blind.

The "experts" for the most part don't know how to talk to real people or are so tied to their spreadsheets and theories that they can't make real world applications. Steve does that very well and I too have lost count of how many times his stuff ends up in the mainstream without attribution. He does deserve more readers. He's certainly more interesting than 90% of the regular columnists at the NYT.

If they have evidence of organized slave breeding it will be very interesting. Like elephants, slaves are usually thought of as too slow to mature to be worth breeding. But big claims need strong evidence. I wonder what theirs is.

The fact that this is a book written by someone otherwise notable for writing about Cuban popular music and it couldn't get an academic publisher suggests to me the evidence will not be strong.

3. Do we know which traits slave owners selected for when choosing pairings? Size, strength, docility, fertility? I'd be curious to know if anyone has a source. There does not seem to be a lot of academic work on this subject, understandably.

As far as I know, the only evidence for slave owner preference is for wanting their slaves to marry other slaves on the same plantation. The evidence seems to be slaves refused. This is understandable - children raised together very often regard each other as siblings and do not find each other attractive. Children raised in Israeli Kibbutzs for instance rarely married each other.

Which also implies that the owners could not do much about it. They lived in a Christian world where consent was necessary for a marriage and they seem to have applied that to slaves as well. Which rules purposeful slave breeding out.

It seems to be a Northern and/or Abolitionist myth. I am unimpressed by anyone claiming otherwise without a lot of evidence.

Consent was certainly not part of the deal. Families were broken up. You have calumnied all "Abolitionist" (!!! Disgracefully biased against slavery!) scholarship on the basis of, nothing, or a comparison to a totally voluntary agricultural co-operative system in Israel.

"They lived in a Christian world"

Yes. In addition to the reasons you cited, I don't think it could have even occurred to a Christian slave owner in a pre-Darwinian world to purposely breed Man. Unless they viewed slaves nothing more than animals, in which case, the lessons of selective breeding from animal husbandry could have been easily extrapolated to the breeding of slaves.

"Unless they viewed slaves nothing more than animals": what an extraordinary remark. All that was required was that they view slaves as being, among other things, animals - just like the rest of us.

Dearime I get that you are a bitter atheist and as such cut off from most of Western culture (the atheist part) and access to much non-Internet human interaction (the bitter English person part), but the fact is that Christendom didn't bread people like livestock. That was anon's point- it took the arrival of your precious darwinianism to introduce that conception of human kind into European culture. Europeans weren't perfect-far from it- although most of Europe didn't have the penchant for brigandry and piracy of your island. But they did have a conception of mans place in the world that foreclosed on the possibility of breeding people even slaves like cattle.

I thought the whole point underlying slavery was that slaves were not considered people but were indeed farm animals? How could people be treated like that? If they aren't people.

@ msgkings

Thomas Jefferson took on a slave as a mistress. Do you think in his mind that he believed he was screwing an animal? It seems like he kind of liked her.

They could be treated cruelly if they were inferior humans and savages in the minds of the owners. They were the descendants of Ham, so cruelty was justified. But I think it's another leap to suggest that the owners viewed them as animals. Perhaps some did.

I was talking to an old Southern genteel woman many years ago who spoke with high affection about her black nanny growing up. The woman did not have a positive upbringing, so the nanny served as a mother figure for her. Female slaves in antebellum times were nannies too. Did those sorts of positive and patronizing relationships between slave and master exist then? I would imagine so.

Slavery in the popular mind is viewed with such cartoonish one dimensionality. e.g. Mandingo. It deserves to be studied with a little more subtlety.

That's total nonsense. Of course breeding was part of slavery - how else did it survive after the British decision to abolish the slave trade?

Natural pairings between slaves?

Millian February 11, 2016 at 4:47 am

Consent was certainly not part of the deal. Families were broken up. You have calumnied all “Abolitionist” (!!! Disgracefully biased against slavery!) scholarship on the basis of, nothing, or a comparison to a totally voluntary agricultural co-operative system in Israel.

Selling families apart has nothing to do with consent for marriage. What scholarship? Name three scholars of slavery who think that slave breeding took place. I correctly pointed out that "slave breeding" seems to be a myth put about by people who wanted to abolish slavery. It may have existed but if it did, the people claiming it did need some evidence as it flies in the face of what we know.

There was no comparison between slavery and Israelis kibbutz. Asking for a minimum of literacy is not asking too much is it?

Millian February 11, 2016 at 4:46 am

That’s total nonsense. Of course breeding was part of slavery – how else did it survive after the British decision to abolish the slave trade?

It survived because slaves successfully reared children. That does not mean that their owners purposefully bred them. Obviously.

Turns out being enslaved doesn't magically prevent people wanting children and a family?

Because unlike your precious Muslims New World slave holders didn't castrate or simple extirpate their male slaves.

If slave breeding was an important thing for slave owners, it would be reflected in the price of female slaves. All over the world, young female slaves were the most expensive category of slave. In the Muslim world, they often just killed the adult males as they had no value.

The exception is the Atlantic Slave Trade where two thirds of the slaves taken to the New World were male, and young adult males were the most expensive. As the female slaves had no particular value - not no value at all, as reflected by their prices, but it was clearly not the most important value.

I am willing to bet that in the territory that was or became the United States, female slaves were consistently valued less than male slaves. As all the owners wanted was their laboring. The exception, perhaps, is New Orleans.

Probably depended on lifespan. In areas where mortality was high (overwork, horrible conditions, disease) there's no point in paying for possible children.

The slave trade in the South boomed after the invention of the cotton gin. The growing and harvesting of cotton is very labor intensive, so I'd think you'd want men doing a lot of the work.

I grew up in the deep south, and my father picked cotton as a child during the Great Depression. He quit after one day because the work was so hard and the pay so low (a penny a pound).

Well clearly, the cotton growers needed immigrant labor to keep those cotton bolls from rotting in the fields. Better yet, just recreate the socio-economic conditions of the immigrants' homelands so uppity men like Original D's father will take that penny a pound and be grateful for it!

'Barbados took in more African slaves than did the entire United States'

Really? Because it sounds like Barbados was actually a transshipment point, at least when one looks at the wiki entry for the island - 'It is 34 kilometres (21 mi) in length and up to 23 kilometres (14 mi) in width, covering an area of 432 square kilometres (167 sq mi).' And how does one account for the importation of slaves into areas that would later become part of the U.S., particularly French and Spanish North American territory?

'Much of the University of Virginia was built by slaves; is anyone calling for those buildings to be torn down?'

I don't know - basically most of the surviving Colonial buildings of note in Virginia were built by slave labor, and really, isn't this just commonplace knowledge by now? Though it would be fascinating to see how much slave labor was involved in building various iterations of the White House (though one can be fairly confident the British were not motivated by a distaste for slave labor when they burned the White House down). Though I could see some of the more devoted members of the Mercatus Center advocating the tearing down of any buildings built by the unfree members of unions.

'I could not tell whether this was Mason’s motive or not.'

What, a GMU econ dept leading light is not out there claiming that Mason was not a thorough devotee of the rich getting richer through regulatory market manipulation? How the mighty have fallen.

I thought the mortality rate of slaves in Barbados was very high. Didn't they keep working slaves to death and importing a new batch? That would account for the importation numbers.

That is quite true. And the information at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Barbados#1640.E2.80.931790 is fascinating - including the fact that slavery imports into Badados seem to have also occurred (or caused, depending on interpretation) at a pace that replaced English settlers with slaves in less than a generation, as the island became the property of a concentrated group of wealthy planation owners.

This is a very different pattern of colonization than what occurred in North America, and depended on the fantastic wealth generated by sugar - to such an extent that the island imported food, that being more cost effective. A fact that just might provide a bit of a hint what contributed to a high mortality rate - transportation in 1670 was not precisely reliable (as the Spanish already knew all too well), and the owners probably had little problem treating their labor with the same sort of perspective that a modern livestock farmer looks at the price of feed compared to anticipated future revenue.

Brazil imported over 4 million slaves and it has a lot to do with high mortality rate and easiness of importing more slaves particularly from Central Africa (Portugal had great relations with the powerful kingdom of Kongo and founded Angola colony in 1576).

Brazilian slaves, like those in the US, had the option of running away. On the islands there was no where to run to.

None of the claims in this book seem all that original or interesting to me. Except the claim about slave breeding.

1. The distribution of slave imports is well known. Tropical sugar cane islands killed slaves. I dimly remember the average life expectancy in Jamaica was three and a half years. North America is the oddity in world slavery because slaves lived and reproduced. Nowhere else did they do so. The Middle East took roughly as many slaves but did not end up with much of an Afro-Arab population.

Of course the price of slaves peak when they are at the peak of their working ability. As American slavery was about labor and not sex as most other places. The interesting question would be how different was it for male and female slaves.

It is often claimed that the restrictions on slave trading was to push up the value of existing slave owner's slaves. Ever since the cynical crypto-Marxists of the 60s if not earlier.

It is well known that the plantation complex was copied from a Mediterranean model - probably from Cyprus - and taken to places like São Tomé before coming to the New World.

So the question remains - what is the evidence of slave breeding? I am going to go out on a limb and say there is none. Slave owners liked married slaves because it reduced run aways. Nothing else.

"American slavery was about labor and not sex as most other places"

What are you talking about?

Yeah, this comment doesn't sound correct. It doesn't even agree with the rest of his post.

I think a better statement would be that "American slavery tended to treat slaves as valuable possessions instead of disposable short term assets.".

I think that they (slaves) were used as labour (male and female), and not sexual slavery (female) as in some other places. But I think the difference is not as relevant as he seems to think it might be. Maybe he will elaborate.

Re: North America is the oddity in world slavery because slaves lived and reproduced.

That's also true in Brazil, which has a huge African-derived population. The distinction seems to be that both Brazilian and US slaves had somewhere to escape to if conditions became too severe. And in the 19th century when the slave trade was being shut down by the British, slave-owners could no longer import new slaves so they had to lighten up enough to allow the existing population to survive and multiply.

" slave-owners could no longer import new slaves so they had to lighten up enough to allow the existing population to survive and multiply."

I'm not sure of the extent to which the end of slavery in the British Empire influenced slavery elsewhere, but this must at least have been relevant in the British Empire. Anyways, it's an interesting point that hadn't crossed my mind before.

The British very actively suppressed the slave trade in Africa-- it's what led to the involvement of Britain on the continent and ultimately to the British Empire expanding there. The scene at the end of "Amistad" where a British warship destroys a Portuguese (I think) slave depot represents things that actually did happen.

In the US the slave trade exploded after the invention of the cotton gin. Did other slave-owning countries get the cotton gin at the same time? Or was that intellectual property kept inside the US for a generation or two?

JC February 11, 2016 at 11:07 am

What are you talking about?

In most of the world slaves are not wanted for their ability to work but for sex. The Middle East for instance - about two thirds of the slaves they imported from Africa were female. The West is unusual in wanting young adult males - that is, for their ability to work.

JonFraz February 11, 2016 at 1:07 pm

That’s also true in Brazil, which has a huge African-derived population.

I don't think it is actually. Brazil imported a lot of slaves and worked them to death. The trade was on-going when the system ended. So the African derived population is partly because Brazilians freed a lot more slaves than America did and partly from that very last generation of slaves who arrived. So basically you arrived, if you managed to be freed in a year or two you lived, if you didn't, you died rapidly. Unless slavery was abolished just as you got off the boat.

1. No mention of whites slaves in north america, even though tens of millions of modern white americans are descendants of white slaves who were often sold at auction in colonial america

2. No mention of the fact that the 1860 census shows that only 1.5% of all white americans owned slaves, which is not surprising, seeing as how it took several years income to buy one slaves, thus making slaveholding primarily an activity of the rich.

3. No mention of the fact that the 1860 census showed that something like 4% of all slaveowners were nonwhite.

Yeah, these marginal revolution blogpost conforms to the usual trendsucking model for this this...

96% of all slaveowners were white?


Who was the first slave owner in the United States, by the way?

Anthony Johnson, why?

'Anthony Johnson (b. c. 1600 – d. 1670) was an Angolan who achieved freedom in the early 17th-century Colony of Virginia, where he became one of the first African American property owners and slaveholders. Held as an indentured servant in 1621, he earned his freedom after several years, which was accompanied by a grant of land. He later became a successful tobacco farmer.' https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Johnson_(colonist)

This might be really hard to grasp, but slave owners are scum because they own slaves, and it has nothing to do with their skin color. And it is quite possible, as Lincoln demonstrated, to be a racist and still despise the institution of slavery as being evil.

Pointing out that slave owners own slaves is not exactly brilliant commentary.

"This might be really hard to grasp, but slave owners are scum because they own slaves, and it has nothing to do with their skin color."

I agree with your sentiments, but do they teach children this in school?

If you polled African-Americans would they understand that not all white people owned slaves, and not all slave-owners were white?

My fellow Angolan Anthony Johnson!

Slavery was common in many parts of the world, the way some slavers treated/overworked their slaves was the main concern.

Some African monarchs who were slave traders themselves expressed countless times their dislike of mistreatment of enslaved Africans in the New World upon getting reports.

In Angola of the time, most landlords and nobels owned slaves or serfs but “industrial slavery” was not part of the African culture.

and 99% of slaves were owned by the rich...but the establishment (and their plutocrat backers) want to place the blame of slavery on whites in general instead of on the rich, where it belongs...and of course the trendsucking bloggers on this site go along with the establishment

Interesting points. Maybe you should write your own book instead of complaining that someone else doesn't talk about the stuff that you want to talk about.

if you were as well read as me, you would know that these facts have already been published in several books....but of course the establishment media/academia hides these facts...but all you read is what the elite-centric establishment puts in your feeding trough, right?

"if you were as well read as me"

Oh, do go on. Very compelling arguments here.

"these facts have already been published in several books" "but of course the establishment media/academia hides these facts"

Wait, I thought the facts were hidden. How were they published?? Very confusing. Guess I need to read more.

"No mention of whites slaves..."

You mean indentured servants. And perhaps the reason there is no mention is that the topic is slavery and not indentured servitude. The very first African slaves had a status roughly comparable with that of indentured servants but the laws quickly started distinguishing the two cases. First, the law made distinctions based on whether the servant/slave was Christian or not but race became the key distinguishing factor soon enough once black slaves started getting baptized.

the distinguishing began after a mixed race rebellion burned jamestown to the ground.,..after that the property owner elite created laws to separate blacks and poor whites...divide and conquer...once again, the rich are to blame...but this fact is of course hidden by the plutocrat-owned establishment, which puts the blame on whites in general instead

As you say, only a small fraction of the American population owned slaves yet, slavery was not abolished through democratic means among the vast majority of the population who did not own slaves. That makes any attempt to lay the blame for slavery entirely at the hands of plutocrats a very lame exercise in vulgar pseudo-Marxism. Slavery persisted for as long as it did for probably the same reason apartheid persisted in South Africa -- even whites who didn't benefit much from the system were terrified of a Haiti-style violent uprising or ethnic cleansing once blacks gained equal rights. Slavery wasn't just a white thing, nor just a southern thing, nor, in terms of public support or apathy, just a plutocrat thing. Since you claim to be well-read, you surely know this.

Surely you know that voting was restricted to land-owners and there was no popular election of the Senate

A percentage of free black people owned slaves. I don't know how that compared to 1.5% for white people.

I recently read the book Washington and Hamilton by Knott and Williams. Hamilton was born and lived in the West Indies until his late teens. A fact the authors cited was that in the island sugar plantations, the slave mortality rate was huge (I didn't write notes on it) say 70% dead within five years of arrival. They (English) worked them to death and brought in replacements. It seemingly worked for the sugar planters. For the poor slaves not so much.

White American "slaves" were in fact indentured servants, which was a separate legal category. Their labor was still owned by their masters, but they were still reckoned as legal persons with basic rights under the law. An indentured servant's marriage was legally recognized and his children were born free. And indenture came with a term-- generally seven years, after which the person was entirely free.

Nowadays, I first of all think "what are the odds this is not sensationalist claptrap?"

You would get on well with the person above thread who talked about measuring black people's genteelness.

It must be much easier to get through life if you decide everyone else is wrong and trying to deceive you.

But you are the one that assumes that measuring people's differing levels of genteelness is ipso facto discrediting. I'm kind of baffled by the cluelessness of your comment translated into real terms your comment reads "hey loser you probally have enough of an open mind to consider an idea i dismiss out of hand. You probally think everything is wrong just like I did with Steve's idea earlier. That Steve is just trying to deceive me and you are so stupid that you probally think everyone is out to deceive you."

I don't think anyone thinks Steve or you or others are trying to deceive. Rather, they look at the same picture and determine that social and cultural factors are most relevant, and are not very interested in "race" in the biological sense (but perhaps in the socially constructed sense) or premature genetic explanations.

I take it your life of unconditional trust in the writings of distant strangers has proven difficult and disappointing?

The surprising thing about slavery is how normal it was. Almost every civilisation and tribe owned people.

It's estimated that 30-40% of the people in ancient Rome were slaves. Most Russians until the beginning of the 20th century were bought and sold with the land. In the Americas over 90% of slaves from Africa went to South America, not the USA.

We live in a remarkable time. So many people don't recognise that.

It was reading about Algerians taking slaves from Iceland which surprised me.

Entire villages along the Irish coast simply disappeared, their inhabitants stolen by North African raiders. Over a million Europeans ended up as slaves in places like Tunis and Egypt.

Entire armies in Egypt and Turkey were made up of largely European and Turkic children raised as warriors. The Mamluk slave army in Egypt was the first to inflict a defeat on the Mongols.

The Japanese slowly did away with slavery by the 1600s - for aesthetic rather than moral reasons - but of course enslaved millions in WWII.

In China just several years ago there were hundreds or thousands of child slaves rescued from factory owners.

I'm skeptical that Algerian corsairs would have fared so far north, except in the earlier Middle Ages. They definitely did ply the Mediterranean, however (hence our own Barbary War with them under Jefferson). At one time however northern Europe was routinely pillaged by the Vikings who, yep, took lots and lots of slaves. Half the genome of Iceland's population is of Celtic derivation.

1627: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkish_Abductions

The early 17th century is believable. The British navy had been reduced to a shell owing to the financial difficulties of the Crown. Everyone else was too busy with the Thirty Years War to concern themselves with much else.

Iceland, and Ireland, and England, plus lots from the European mediterranean coast, and lots from anywhere who were captured at sea.

Be it known to you, that the Traffic in Slaves is a matter on which all Sects and Nations have agreed from the time of the sons of Adam, on whom be the Peace of God, up to this day -- and we are not aware of its being prohibited by the Laws of any Sect, and no one need ask this question, the same being manifest to both high and low and requires no more demonstration than the light of day.
-'Abd ar-Rah.mân ibn Hishâm, Sultân of Morocco (1822-1859)

Serfdom was abolished in Russia in 1863 (same years as our Emancipation Proclamation). Slavery had been abolished earlier, I think by Catherine the Great.

5. Of course, GMU was once a part of UVA. Those who wish to purge America of its past remind me of those who wish to purge the Republican Party of heretics, or Stalin and his purge of counter-revolutionaries from the Communist Party. Does purity in the name of the cause justify vandalism?

I agree. does the self-righteousness and mindless purity of voting for a male socialist justify the cultural vandalism of setting back the cause of women for centuries. Bernie Sanders wants to inaugurate an age that makes the Handmaiden's Tale seem like a fantasy. Say isn't that a Bernie Sanders sticker on your 1992 Subaru rayward?

You mean Atwood's Handmaiden's Tale, right? And does Bernie want to make this seem a fantasy in that it is totally inconceivable or does he want to make it a fantasy in that it would seem like a nice place? I'm so confused.

Yeah , the Handmaiden's Tale is the exact opposite dystopia from anything Sanders would want, his stupid rape/submission essay not withstanding.

" the cultural vandalism of setting back the cause of women for centuries."

Huh? What does that mean? One could easily make the case that the feminist movement, or whatever it is, currently running amok in Western society is cultural vandalism on an epic scale. As further mollification of the deranged, there's now a move afoot to subject females to Selective Service registration, a program that has been in suspension since since 1973. http://nailheadtom.blogspot.com/2014/01/you-must-register.html
Whether this is just another instance of a federal bureaucracy attempting to create more work for itself, an attempt to potentially fill unfilled military slots, or just make women feel better about themselves, no civilized civilization sends its mothers and daughters to war. Cultural vandalism indeed.

"no civilized civilization sends its mothers and daughters to war." How anti-semitic!

I love MR comments, where slavery can still be controversial. Let's not forget that America is a divine gift. Manifest destiny.

We enjoy having vibrant debate in this comments section, unlike most of the echo chambers on the left and the right. Tyler's commitment to the free exchange of ideas is welcome relief in this status driven, PC era. Breathe the free air...you might find that you enjoy it.

That kind of free debate is right up my alley. Can I interest you in some sovereign citizenship? Very popular among those unconstrained by conventional thought or morality.

2. How does Polk maintain such high regard among historians? The fact that he started an illegal, racist war should be enough to lower his standing, but this just makes him look so much worse.

Those are some big claims. Show your work there little guy.

"Little guy?" Oh, you have no idea how comical that is.

Well, it depends if you're big like Schwarzenegger or big like Michael Moore.

Either way:


James Polk maintains a high standard? I had no idea. I didn't think there were any Presidents between Monroe and Lincoln that historians thought well of.

Because he won. History likes winners. He started an unjust war, but won it, and doubled the size of the United States (while also avoiding war with the UK over the Oregon territory).
He was a president who achieved his aims. And even though this great expansion of land ended up leading to the civil war - as Lincoln pledged to do what he could to prevent slavery in these new territories - he had an agenda and carried it through.
He also looked good in comparison to the Presidents who followed him.

The January 1988 issue of the Journal of Legal Studies has in it an article by Gary Anderson, Charles Rowley, and Robert Tollison that explores the protectionist roots of the Constitutional prohibition, after 1808, of importing slaves into the United States:

What puzzles me is how someone can write a 700 page book about slavery in the U.S. with no reference to the work of Robert Fogel or Richard Steckel

Although the US practice of slave-breeding is indeed stomach turning, it may be worth mentioning that even more foul still was the practice of castration and infanticide practiced upon African slaves in the Arab slave trade. In Saudi Arabia, for example, where slavery was not banned until the late 1960s, being castrated was a selling point. http://www.frontpagemag.com/point/167540/saudi-offers-castrated-african-slave-sale-facebook-daniel-greenfield

But circumcision doesn't turn your stomach? http://nailheadtom.blogspot.com/2016/02/female-genital-mutilation.html

Circumcision, female mutilation, and castration are all completely different things.

Vastly different things.

The widespread practice of castration was not limited to African slaves. http://atlantablackstar.com/2014/06/02/10-facts-about-the-arab-enslavement-of-black-people-not-taught-in-schools/

"President James Polk speculated in slaves, based on inside information he obtained from being President and shaping policy toward slaves and slave importation."
It was a different time (e.g. the president speculated in slaves based on inside information), nowadays, he would be busted by the SEC). By the way, didn't Mr. Kennedy buy lots of Cuban cigars before he oredered the embargo. It

Slave importation was banned in 1808. Polk was elected in 1844. How could he shape policy or benefit from the slave trade?

Even if the claim is he did it before he was President, that timing doesn't work. He was 13 when the slave trade was banned.

Possibly the poster meant the internal slave trade. The African trade was indeed banned, and the British shut it down more generally. But there was still plenty of trade in slaves within the US, and it was big business.

9. The low country was a magnet for Jewish immigrants in the early 19th century. The Jewish population of Charleston is large and prosperous, which comes as a surprise to those unfamiliar with the city. Pat Conroy's book, Beach Music, is about Jews in his home town, Beaufort, SC (though he doesn't identify the place as Beaufort but anyone familiar with Conroy or his background knows it's Beaufort). My Jewish family immigrated to the low country in the early 19th century along with scores of others. They were merchants, selling goods and extending credit to the Gentile farmers who grew cotton and tobacco. At least one ancestor fought in the Civil War on the side of the South. Family lore has it that they left the low country (the entire clan moving together) because of drought and the boll weevil. The romantic in me likes to believe they were run out of town by irate Gentiles seeking to avoid repayment of their debts.

5. Much of the University of Virginia was built by slaves; is anyone calling for those buildings to be torn down?

Are you kidding me Tyler? For all of the reading that you do, for all of the degrees that you hold, for all of the cultural awareness that you claim to possess, you surely are an ignorant, racist, and privelaged little man. If kareem abdul jabaar wasnt such a house negro, he would have smote you where you stood.

Why would you make a sidebar comment about buildings being torn down at the UVA campus? Wtf does that have to do with us building the damn thing? Why are u speculating as to if black people r calling for the buildings to be destroyed, as if the wants and needs of black people are just so mysterious and perplexing to you that you must pose it as a question to the general audience. Oh, you must not have time to think about the answer your damn self because you are too caught up thinking about...i dunno...whatever insignificant things you normally think about.

Lets cut the bullshit... ur real point in saying what u said was to make a commentary on the recent movements across campuses nationwide to demand more representation and a better learning environment for students of ethnic backgrpunds. Your side comment was aimed at marginalizing this movement by framing it as some fringe, ambiguous mishmosh of ideas and principles unrelated to the true work of an acedmic institution.

To answer your dumbass question... no. Noone wants the damn buildings torn down. My anceators built those buildings and tho i know you would love to see them come down... though you would love to see black people advocate for the destruction of a building they themselves built, it will NOT happen today Satan. Not on my watch. Black people built up this whole damn country.. if we tear down uva, we should also tear down everything else we created too.... and mr. Tyler, that includes you because everything you know, every convinence that you indulge in, every interest that you have has its Genises or some other direct correlation to the mother land. So next time u right a post on black people, be reapectful or ur gunna get called out again.


"for all of the cultural awareness that you claim to possess"

Tyler seems to be one up on you. He's referring to the recent calls to removing names from buildings and removing statues of historical figures who were racist in a time where racism was the norm. It was a poke at the ignorant who want to rewrite history.

TMC. You obviously don't get it. Removing the names of racist, murderous, rapists from buildings or calling for the destruction of monuments dedicated to their honor (which is often directly related to their racist/murderous ways) is COMPLETELY understandable and not in the least an unreasonable request. The point of demanding that the monuments be renamed or taken down is not to rewrite history, but to ensure that the f ing historical record is accurate. Its funny that you think destroying monuments that praise and glorify rapists, devils and murderers is a form of revising or rewriting hsitory when EVERY attempt is made in America to cover up those crimes.... thats why Tyler also questioned if george mason was a racist or not when in fact....he was one of the most racist. You have to dig deep to find the info, but read his letters and check out his paper trail. He was as racist and devilish as the ol georgey washington.

The true revisionist history is in the destruction of structures that black people built while in bondage. Destroying those buildings means wiping away the stains of americas past, destroying evidence of the crime, and erasing the history and contributions of blacks in America. THAT is revising history.... and dont tell me that Tyler is one step ahead of me and was being sarcastic or making a puny joke. He was serious and just like you, his white privelage shined through.

As a Satanist I find it offensive that you find it not only acceptable but uncontroversial to destroy monuments to devils and that you disparage critical figures in our faith by comparing them to a slave owner. Check your religious privilege!

Valid point.... I know you were being facetious but honestly, that is the most sound point ice heard on here in a long time. You stumbled into some truth! Congratulations...

Now, since those devils are currently being portrayed as holy saints, who never tell lies and ensure the protection and liberty of all men, lets me and you, the satanist, work together to make sure the history is avcurate. We can leave up the monuments if you dont want them taken down...but lets be sure to get the record straight. Every monument should be enshrined with the word satanist or devil so that the legacy and history of ur culture and these men are clear. Again, i can check my religious privelage at the door. Im all for leaving up the statues...i just want the record to be clear. Thats all.

Apparently some white supremacists want people to self censor white supremacy style.

You're being think skinned and too defensive (although you seem to have mastered the art of being offensive at the same time). It's sort of pathetic, actually.

The obvious answer is that it would be stupid to pull down the building. Don't cry over spilt milk. We won't use slaves next time.

The "offensive" tone you hear is called SELF DEFENSE. Get used to it WB

What does "WB" mean in the lexicon of a white supremacist?

Did you mistake a BLM for a White supremacist?

Cliff - I think I might have.

Lol. How could u mistake me for a white supremacist?????? Loooool. Definetly not a white supremacist. But dont call me blm either. Those doods are soft. They are young. Just being exposed to race. They dont know the intracacies of this monster...but some of us are well trained in navigating this beast and we know the intracacies of the system. You should not fear blm. You should fear those which cnn and fox never show. U shuld fear those who are seasoned in this game, not the young yuppies whose voice is bigger than their brain. I am one of the wiley vets, not a blm. With all that being said, i support 10000000000 percent my blm brothers and sisters.

Looks like this blog is also read by the Eldridge Cleavers of the world.

Mark - Calling Kareem the house negro. That's how. Nothing pisses off white supremacists more than putting a black man on the stand and calling him credible and taking his opinions seriously on anything other than fried chicken.

Hey, please come back. You're probably the first openly black guy this site has seen in ages. Now, you're not stupid, but don't you remember from school that large numbers get a comma every three zeros, and please spell your words in full, or the likes of Harding and SMFS will be ever more sure that black people are not only stupid, but genetically inferior.

You are representin'. Don't be an ass.

Nathan W.

I represent my community, that is correct. In saying that, I could not care less how you or your peers percieve me. Im not here to save your souls or make my message appealing to you all. I am here to set the record straight and to inform those that have a mind to understand that there is an alternative to the white mans reality... and that alternative is TRUTH. I can be as scholarly as any man, but my focus here is not scholarship...in many ways, it is anti-scholarship... so my stlye of writing reflects that. If you all cannot understand my points because of the style that I choose to use, maybe it is YOU who is the idiot....

I stik to my style because i am tired of putting black issues into white language.... its exhausting and oppresive. And ive learned that at the end of the day, white people do not take blak people seriously anyway. They just like to see the chimpanzee talk proper. Its amuzing to them. Ive been told many times "wow, you are so articulate..." that is the biggest insult i have ever recieved because it showed that noone was listening to WHAT i said, they were only watching me perform. So... i bring the truth in my style and dont try to transform it or code switch it to be more presentable for the white audience.

If that style is unatteactive to you, so be it....but you cannot deny that i speak truth...and that is the point of debate abd economics in general... to analyE the world and discover truth...

"If kareem abdul jabaar wasnt such a house negro,.."

Wow, just wow.

It's kind of strange to know that people actually think in categories like that.

It is strange.... like when the europeans made laws restricting the basic human rights of BLACK people.... unfortunately, these categorizations were brought on by ur people, and while u have obviously moved on from them (how convinent), others of us, are still left to not only pick up the pieces and deal with the after effects, but deal with new versions of that same monster...ala police brutaloty, economic disenfranchisement, education gaps and underfunded schools... LED IN OUR F ING WATER...etc. Etc

I'm enjoying your non sequitur and ALL CAPS style of argumentation.

You're obviously over-exposed to racist propaganda but also seem to understand the legitimacy of a lot of social concerns. So, I just don't get you.

I dunno man, keep on reading and come to your opinions and all, but just don't let anyone try to shame you into racism or extremism. Be proud of your humanity, not your skin colour.

Police brutality is not a racial issue, Unfortunately your ilk have tried to make it so and as a result have made it much harder to address. If you actually care about evidence, you will find white policemen are less likely to shoot a black suspect than a white suspect. So clearly it is not racially motivated. Unarmed white people, including children, get gunned down by police all the time. But I guess only #BLM

"white policemen are less likely to shoot a black suspect than a white suspect."

Um, there are ten times are many white people. The shootings are disproportionate.

I think the subconscious (?) goal is to delegitimize any position of credibility of any black person, assuming that the only way that a black man could make it anywhere is as a "token black guy" sort of thing.

Nathan w.... my skin color is not just happenstance. Its not an insignificant factor that can or should be ignored. My skin color means my dna is different. It means my culture is different, it means im exposed to different biological and physical realities. Simply put, skin color has REAL implications.

Race is not a social construct. Race is Real. Social constructs have been formed around race, yes, but dont tell me to fucus on my humanity and forget my skin color, as if blackness is only skin deep. U need to go over there with kareem with that sort of talk.

Judge me by the content of my character AND the color of my skin because Im proud to be black and im proud of the history and story of BLACK people

"Race is not a social construct. Race is Real."

Yes, I agree. But you'll find that there's a whole lot of people who employ a lot of sophistry and rationalize their way around a lot of empirical evidence to deny this.

"Judge me by the content of my character AND the color of my skin"

And here I strongly disagree. You'll get no penalties nor bonuses points from me due to the color of your skin. I don't give a rat's ass. Sink or swim on your own personal merits.

mark - your skin colour means you have more skin melanin.

Aside from this, the most reasonable assumption is that all other differences are cultural.

Your skin colour would be irrelevant if there weren't racists. Presumably cultural differences would persist for some time, perhaps for eternity, but it just wouldn't be very relevant. In my opinion, be proud of the strength of character that allows you to put up with racist bullshit without becoming a monster, not the amount of melanin your skin cells are able to produce.

But whatever ... if you want to celebrate colour then celebrate colour, so long as it's not demonstrated in the act of this celebration that the other colour is inherently inferior in some way.

"Race is not a social construct. Race is Real."

If you study first year biology in uni, you might meet some uni professor with quite a lot of knowledge. They might say some statistical babbledygook like "the intragroup different is greater than the intergroup difference". When you understand enough statistics to understand what that statement means in the context of systematic genetic difference between one "race" and another, you will understand why serious geneticists almost universally reject the notion that there is a biological basis of "race".

In other words, yeah, I can tell you you're different because you look different, but the statistical analysis tells me that we're not different enough to care.

LOL NATHAN W. -- There you go with the statistics! We are also 99.6 percent genetically similar to monkeys and chimpanzees, but obviously that small percentage difference means A WHOLE LOT!

So basically, your viewpoint on race is that it is basically inconsequential, outside of the social constructs that have been formed around it. Your viewpoint is that race is attributable to a difference in melanin and that's where the story ends....

Except, that's where the story only begins because MELANIN fundamentally changes your relationship to nature. For example black people need more sunlight than whites to get the same amount of vitamin D. Whites get sunburned, most blacks do not. Whites are far more likely to develop skin cancer than blacks. Blacks in cold climates, or climates that receive little sun, often develop chemical imbalances that affect their mood. These are biological differences that result from differing levels of melanin -- which determines skin color. So lets not act like melanins only function is to color the skin.

Furthermore, black people are phenotypically different from white people - we have bigger noses, fuller lips, wider hips and thighs etc. Thus, we move differently, form our words differently due to how our mouths and nasal passages are set up. I agree that we are all the human race, as I think you are trying to point out, but why cant we be adult enough to acknowledge the biological diversity that exists within our species?

I am proud of my differences, and embrace and celebrate the beauty of all people, particularly black people. I do not see how denying that these differences exist elevates the conversation about race in any way. Again, to me, if you see my blackness as just some random part of who I am, you arent seeing me. In fact, you are disrespecting me because my blackness is a CENTRAL part of who I am...biologically and culturally.

Am i lying?

Hes been neutered, culturally speaking. He is a prime example of a respectable negro...which is why tyler felt so comfortable talking to him. Y not talk to some ppl who truly represent the black experience in America??? Oh...that would be too real for yall... besides, what do blacks know about economics and history and debate and world politics anyway????? I mean, we only INVINTED IT!!

"“If kareem abdul jabaar wasnt such a house negro, ... Am i lying?"

I'm fairly confident that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar would disagree with that statement. And there's no evidence to back up that statement. So yes you are lying.

Sure hed disagree...and there are facts and evidence... true or false, kareem is less revolutionary or militariatic than say, malcolm x or huey newton?

I think 100 percent of peoplw would say true... thus, he is a house negro, comparitively speaking. He certainly does not advocate for black rights with the aggresiveness and fore that I do and im nowhere near as militant or revolutionary as malcolm x or huey newton.

Also, absence of evidence or facts does not prove the veracity of a claim.

Wow mark, you're as bad as the conservative extremists who call moderates "cucks" in order to try to shame them into extremism.

The value of one's contribution to the cause should not be measured by willingness to promote militant approaches.

What's the value of aggressiveness, for example, in fighting for civil rights? No one likes a terrorist. If you turn to violence, people will easily shrug when you get dead. The maturity required to unreservedly pursue peaceful means to accomplish objectives is almost certain to be more effective, in general, but definitely especially in the context of the USA, where any militant anti-state black movement would, shall we say, not receive the careful consideration that the Bundy's did. And then people will just hate blacks more and feel vindicated in their racism for the fact of a militant black movement existing.

But since I'm obviously white, you probably find this patronizing at best, and wlil summarily ignore such perspectives. To the loss of your cause, I do believe.

It would be very romantic to be a black warrior, literally battling for your freedoms and successes in the most powerful nation in the history of the planet. But be realistic. If the actual objective is to have a better future for blacks in the USA, or to celebrate black culture, then it is virtually impossible to see how the militant approach could possibly be consistent with what you actually want.

Focus on what you actually want, not on romanticized notions of how some (soon to be dead) militant hero might get there.

Nathan W --

Its funny that you think of militant leaders like Huey and Malcolm as ACTUAL soldiers... like they were running around shooting white people and going wild. These two gentlemen did nothing of the sort. They were VERY focused on LIVING for the revolution and bringing about change in smart, productive ways. THey just weren't into putting things in white peoples terms to appease them.

You say... "If the actual objective is to have a better future for blacks in the USA, or to celebrate black culture, then it is virtually impossible to see how the militant approach could possibly be consistent with what you actually want."

but having a better future for blacks was only half of the goal of huey or Malcolm... the second part was to be a man and assert their basic human rights to self defense and self determination....even to their detriment. If we are looking to only have a better life in America, it implies we need to sit down and bargain with you.... but what kind of man BARGAINS for his basic human rights????

That's hypocrisy. So when I call Kareem a house negro, I simply mean he is into bargaining and discussing his basic human rights, whereas more militaristic types are into asserting their rights, for better or worse.

Ugh. Development of political systems is a collective process that spans centuries. No one group gets credit for that. We share ideas and work best.

It is even more silly to try to say that African nations "invented" that stuff than to credit white Europeans 100% for anything the ever learned themselves r from someone else.

NATHAN W... these are facts bruh.... when europeans were living in caves and humping neanderthals, we were building civilizations, mastering geometry and physics and philosophy and government administration. Chek the history of Nubia and Kemet and Punt. I will once again assert my point ....

Blacks INVINTED Economics and history and debate and world politics. These are FACTS. I dunnobif ur black or white, but u need to stop being so humanist...because while u are being humanist and loving everybody, the world is profiting off of colored bodies.

I see the perspective now.

But mastering geometry does not mean yo can take credit for the magna carta, the American constitution or any of that stuff. I mean, who really cares ... all those ideas are not there for all of us to use.

I encourage you to share lots of information about various historical breakthroughs that should be credited to non-whites, whereas many people of European ancestry generally credit just about any discovery to

And also ... while things might have been as you say 2-3000 years ago, it's a pretty clear fact that almost all 20th century advances in almost all areas relevant to anything were made by Europeans. In a context where the world is completely different than a century ago, and almost all aspects of our living are dictated by new discoveries ... sorry man, but that cool historical stuff about discovering algebra, etc., is just not such a big deal any more.

I suggest a better line of thinking. Instead of trying to take credit for EVERYTHING, suggest that European discoveries were only possible in a context of earlier discoveries by non-white people. The important thing today, I think, I a context of much racism and beliefs that European victories were evidence that we are genetically better .... is just to point out you're obviously just as capable, since there was a time where Europeans were behind.

I would go perhaps so far as ...

"There was a time when Europeans were very far behind, but they adopted much knowledge from other civilizations and even achieved a period of advantage following industrialization."

I'm sure you know how annoying it is when white people try to claim that they did everything good that ever happened on the planet. As a result, it should be very easy for you to understand why this is not an effective communication strategy to do precisely the same in the opposite direction.

Also, you made this mistake before ... it's INVENTED, not INVINTED. (Hey, racist mofos who believe in genetic determinism ... do you see how irrelevant invented versus invinted is in the big picture of communication and actual intelligence, whereas just a handful of pesky mistakes like this on a standardized test might tell you something like ... they are one standard deviation stupider ... and a hundred other reasons to discredit the notion that standardized test outcomes are reliable evidence about "intelligence".)

Maybe your high school teacher didn't think it was worth correcting your spelling, but honestly, there are a lot of jobs where your odds of getting fired would probably double for some stupid little thing like the above spelling mistake, because they would think you're dumb.

I'm curious, and I'm not American so forgive my ignorance, what do you think of Thomas Sowell?

Thomas Sowell is the worst. I think of him and clarence thomas in the same vein. They are both black men that ry to think with and operate inside of a white worldview.... its pathetic.

More specificially, they eschew white values in that they have a tendency to rely heavily on data and statistics to shape their world views when a) data and statistics are only a means of describing reality (not actual reality) and b) data and statistics can be shaped to say ANYTHING.

So the classic difference between white and black people when it comes to black issues is that black people KNOW because we live it and white people navigate black issues using statistics and data because they dont live it. When black people make a claim that x y z is happening, other blacks know it to be true or not right away. White people need to see proof in the form of numbers. And if the nbers dont support the claim, white people have a tendency to dismiss the claim which is terrible logic but whatever.

Thomas sowell is an embarrassment because hes black, which means he should KNOW, but instead of KNOWING, he defers to biased, white statistics to form his opinions and worldviews. When u rely on data and stats to form your worldviews, your opinions are only as good as the data it comes from...and as economists, we all know how corruptible data and statistics can be....

So thomas sowells opinions arent worth a shit to me. Sorry tommy.

"black people KNOW because we live it and white people navigate black issues using statistics and data because they dont live it"

I think this is a very important perspective. I do not wish to discredit it, but please be at least aware of the risk that anecdote is not evidence. We really need the numbers. Stories are important, but without the stats to prove the general picture one cannot prove that action is needed.

But come ON, if you're been carded 60 times, obviously there is racist profiling. I challenge a single white person on this board to mention a single time ever that a police officer has pulled them over or asked for ID when there when obviously no reason to do so. I promise I would truly hate cops if I got the kind of profiling I'm told is common, regardless of whether it's arguably sensible in some particularly high crime areas.

Nathan W.

"Stories are important, but without the stats to prove the general picture one cannot prove that action is needed. "

Wow Nathan W. Your wheels are churning! You are starting to get it!

So, i agree with you that anecdotes are not data, but why is it that we must have data to prove our suffering when it is as plain as day, when ONE is too many? When one personbis harmed by another personbor company, they have the right to sue. We dont ask them to come forward with 400 other people befoee they file a claim...

You see, It is as if black suffering or problems are not real until a white man, or some white acedemic verifirifies it NUMERICALLY and publishes it in a journal. Its offensive as hell. As I said before, STATISTICS LIE - any seasoned economist knows that you can make a regression model say ANYTHING you want it to (sadly, isnt that how we get published!!!!????). Its even easier to convince lay persons, or the general public that your results have actual significance.

Generally speaking, people are of the mindset that "numbers dont lie" and so they search out statistics to back up whatever claim they have.... and of course, due to the nature of statistics, they will find what they are looking for and tout it as indisputable evidence in favor of their point, because "numbers dont lie!". Now, to be clear, Im not saying statistics has no value; im just saying statistics is not a substitute for reality. Statistics is only a way to DESCRIBE reality and its descriptions are one dimensional and subject to the same biases held by the statistician putting them together. Thats why true Economists are born, not made... because it takes ABSOLUTE objectivity to do the job. It takes someone who is able to identify and properly handle those biases to come to a proper conclusion about whats really going on. Its not something that can be taught; to a large extent, objectivity is a personality trait.

So to speed things along let me just paraphrase all that ive said in a general point....

White people have a tendency to ignore black issues and say, "well, if its truly an issue, mr. Black man, it would be reflected in THIS piece of data." Meanwhile, the data is being compilled under the bias of white academics, which is to say it is not at all concerned with the DIMENSIONS of the problem, only the observable or testable elements of it.

Im not into "proving" how america oppresses me daily. Its apparent. Im not into "proving" how white people have benefited from slavery and jim crow - that too is apparent. Its a white supremacist game to look for evidence of black suffering in the DATA because whatever is found can be shaped and contoured to their liking. Im just not into proving things to the people who oppress me. I will not dance for you. I refuse. And its offensive that you would ask....

Do you get where im coming from?

I've been reading this blog for many years and this is the first time I've seen a black nationalist in the MR comments section. Did you just discover the blog? Stick around! Your perspective makes conversation about these topics more interesting. Though, Tyler is pretty open minded and seems like a nice guy, so I don't think he means any harm.

Long time reader but thanks for the welcome. And tyler is nice. Hes very nice and very open....but still racist and privelaged.

I have to admit the "torn down" line had me lifting my hat for a scratch. I can't see a sensible meaning or a worthwhile joke. "Should we put up a plaque" would still be playing it straighter, while still leaving upen the humor of ironic insensitivity.

His point was to make a mockery of black peoples demands to have a place at the table in this society. His point was to make it seem like black people have such a large list of "insignificant" demands that he can no longer keep up with them, nor does he care to since they are so "trivial."

His gwneral sentiments would be exactly expressed if he had said something to the effect of....... "oh lord. What do these crrrrazy blacks want THIS time -- to take over the universe as a form of reparations for the few years they were in slavery?"

His point was to belittle and i see right thru that.

u soun dum. ur dum. mark of a loser.

His spelling is atrocious and maybe intentionally so, but he's not dumb. I find his writing easier to read than most of Thomas Freidman's meandering articles and his comments are more genuine than anything by David Brooks or Paul Krugman. That being said he's emotional and irrational but a lot of very smart people are emotional and irrational.

To be clear, I'm not putting mark into the same intellectual category as any of those three pundits, but instead I am making the point that even obviously smart people that are professional commentators have their faults. It's always important to look past the form at the underlying message.

He was pissed, which is a bit different than "being" emotional. To paraphrase your dig, a lot of smart people get pissed off at some point.

Wow. Why is my intelligence being questioned? What the hell? Its obvious i know what im talking about whether you agree with me or not. My conclusions are fact based and logical and based on complex analyses of multiple variables. Yes, i am emotional at the same time because these issues arent just numbers and facts to me, they are real. I live them, breathe them.. i am them. So when i discuss them, yes, i do it in an animated style....

But seriously guys? You question my intelligence???? Hahaha. That says a lot about you all and further emphasises everything i have said in my posts.

And i am not the strongest speller. Im even worse without spell check, worse still typing on a phone, worse still when im involved in an INFORMAL, animated discussion....

But spelling has what to do with my intellect again? Last time i checked being a good speller, using correct grammar and having intelligence were not mutually exclusive concepts...

And just for the record, im far more intelligent than paul krugman or david brooks. They are more trained, and perhaps smarter, but their intelligence, or in other words, their ability to make use of what they know, transforming that knowledge into creative, thoughtful and useful conclusions, IS NOT ON PAR WITH MINE. Any intelligent person would readily see that. As we say round the way... Real recognize real.

mark - I think you're getting a little over confident, but hey, keep on trying.

You aren't actually surprised that someone's turning the conversation to your intelligence are you? Several of the most regular contributors on this board have unshaken belief that black people are plain and simply stupid compared to others, and are active in berating those who question their conclusions or the conclusions of the low grade research they occasionally cite.

We cite low grade research at times because there isnt a lot of QUALITY research on us and our institutions. You see, weve been kind of ahut out and disenfanchised from the whole academic thing for quite a while now...... and i certainly dont expect white people to overcome their biases overnight and be familiar or intimate enough with black issues to put forth quality research.... but you all know this already.... thats why you all feel comfortable asking for higher quality proof.

I do wonder about the source of the "breeding farms". I would certainly have expected some references to such in this exposition by General William T. Sherman as a dinner party at the Louisiana governors home just a short time before the outbreak of the war. At the time, Sherman was commandant of a new academy that is now LSU. Nor was their mention of such "breeding" farms in his expeditions across MS, AL, SC or his sweep through GA, which was specifically designed to impact the plantations but also to break the loyalty of the populace to the gentry through the imposition of hardship.

pg 177--Memoirs of General William T. Sherman, Vol I

Then said [Governor of Louisiana] Moore : " Give us your own views of daily life
you see it here and throughout the South."

I answered in effect that the people of Louisiana were
hardly responsible for slavery, as they had inherited it ; that I
found two distinct conditions of slavery, domestic and field hands.
The domestic slaves, employed by the families, were probably
better treated than any slaves on earth; but the condition of the
field-hands was different, depending more on the temper and
disposition of their masters and overseers than were those em-
ployed about the house;" and I went on to say that, "were I a
citizen of Louisiana, and a member of the Legislature, I would
deem it wise to bring the legal condition of the slaves more near
the status of human beings under all Christian and civilized
governments. In the first place, I argued that, in sales of slaves
made by the State, I would forbid the separation of families,
letting the father, mother, and children, be sold together to one
person, instead of each to the highest bidder. And, again, I
would advise the repeal of the statute which enacted a severe
penalty for even the owner to teach his slave to read and write,
because that actually qualified properly and took away a part of
its value ; illustrating the assertion by the case of Henry Samp-
son, who had been the slave of Colonel Chambers, of Rapides
Parish, who had gone to California as the servant of an officer
of the army, and who was afterward employed by me in the
bank at San Francisco. At first he could not write or read, and
I could only afford to pay him one hundred dollars a month ;
but he was taught to read and write by Reilley, our bank-teller,
when his services became worth two hundred and fifty dollars a
month, which enabled him to buy his own freedom and that of
his brother and his family."

What I said was listened to by all with the most profound
attention ; and, when I was through, some one (I think it was
Hr. Hyams) struck the table with his fist, making the glasses jin-
gle, and said, " By God, he is right I " and at once he took up the
debate, which went on, for an hour or more, on both sides with
ability and fairness. Of course, I was glad to be thus relieved,
because at the time all men in Louisiana were dreadfully ex-
cited on questions affecting their slaves, who constituted the
bulk of their wealth, and without whom they honestly believed
that sugar, cotton and rice, could not possibly be cultivated.

Interesting, but the fact that someone else didn't say so is ridiculously weak contrary proof. One could make all kinds of excuses for how he might have known and decided to to mention it.

But surely SOMEONE would have mentioned it before?

Yes. I haven't mined the bibliography so i don't know.

I also wonder if he might just refer to increasing headcount when he says "breeding", without any sort of Darwinist perspective intended. In which case, he's just referring to a fairly uncontroversial (as in, numbers of slaves increased "naturally") point of history using a word that could be misinterpreted.

The sample of the book available at Amazon is very strident and written to be so provocative. It is interesting all these new works coming out these days that grasp so tightly to the, often exaggerated, abuses of slavery and serfdom. Those pushing abolition highlighted such to overcome the humanitarian arguments to continue such institutions.

"When liberalism set out, in the eighteenth and the first half of the nineteenth century, to abolish the serfdom and subjection of the peasant population in Europe and the slavery of the Negroes in the overseas colonies, not a few sincere humanitarians declared themselves in opposition. Unfree laborers are used to their bondage and do not feel it as an evil. They are not ready for freedom and would not know how to make use of it. The discontinuation of the master’s care would be very harmful to them. They would not be capable of managing their affairs in such a way as always to provide more than just the bare necessities of life, and they would soon fall into want and misery. Emancipation would thus not only fail to gain for them anything of real value, but would seriously impair their material well-being.

"What was astonishing was that one could hear these views expressed even by many of the slaves whom one questioned. In order to counter such opinions, many liberals believed it necessary to represent as the general rule and even on occasion to depict in an exaggerated manner the exceptional cases in which serfs and slaves had been cruelly abused.
Mises, Ludwig von (2010-12-10). Liberalism (p. 21). Ludwig von Mises Institute. Kindle Edition.

But as terrible as the verifiable stories of abuse were, they do not present an unassailable case against slavery. In the future, someone could offer "protections" against the abuses and proffer the humanitarian's argument for some purportedly "inferior" group.

The more fundamental case against slavery is economic. Or as Mises pointed out, "that free labor is incomparably more productive than slave labor." This productivity benefits both the now free labor but also the former slave holder.

But a more impactful argument against slavery is in this passage on socialism below. Namely, the slave regardless of treatment is denied the liberty to improve their condition in life through productive investment of any surplus they earn. A gilded cage is still a prison.

“Socialism; a speech delivered in Faneuil hall, February 7th, 1903, by Frederic J. Stimson

"First, what is the best the socialists, in their writings, can offer us? What do the most optimistic of them say? That our subsistence will be guaranteed, while we work; that some of us, the best of us, may earn a surplus above what is actually necessary for our subsistence; and that surplus, like a good child, we may "keep to spend." We may not use it to better our condition, we may not, if a fisherman, buy another boat with it, if a farmer, another field ; we may not invest it, or use it productively ; but we can spend it like the good child, on candy — on something we consume, or waste it, or throw it away.

"Could not the African slave do as much? In fact, is not this whole position exactly that of the negro slave? He, too, was guaranteed his sustenance; he, too, was allowed to keep and spend the extra money he made by working overtime; but he was not allowed to better his condition, to engage in trade, to invest it, to change his lot in life. Precisely what makes a slave is that he is allowed no use of productive capital to make wealth on his own account. The only difference is that under socialism, I may not be compelled to labor (I don't even know as to that — socialists differ on the point), actually compelled, by the lash, or any other force than hunger. And the only other difference is that the negro slave was under the orders of one man, while the subject of socialism will be under the orders of a committee of ward heelers. You will say, the slave could not choose his master, but we shall elect the ward politician. So we do now. Will that help much? Suppose the man with a grievance didn't vote for him?"

Slavery was brought to the New World by the British. Sorry to disappoint all the US haters.

The Dutch brought slaves to New York before the British got it.

The Spanish beat them both.

Slavery is an inevitable part of human history. It was never introduced. It just was. The Cherokee were enormous slave owners for instance. No one introduced them to the concept.

Slavery was in the New World long before the Europeans arrived.

"9. In the time of slavery, the South was generally considered to be less anti-Semitic toward Jews than the North."

How would one be anti-Semitic towards non-Jews?

While the Semitic languages including Arabic and various Beoudin languages and Northern Ethiopian languages, antipathy towards Arabs, Beoudins and Ethiopians is not encompassed within the meaning of the term anti-Semitism which has a narrower meaning confined to people who are Jewish or believed to be Jewish by some definition or another.

> 5. Much of the University of Virginia was built by slaves; is anyone calling for those buildings to be torn down?

Hahaha, nope! What a bunch of hypocrites I guess

"George Mason wanted to cut off the African slave trade into Virginia, although the authors suggest many people supported this view because they wished to increase the value of the stock of slaves already in the state. I could not tell whether this was Mason’s motive or not"


1788: The augmentation of slaves weakens the states; and such a trade is diabolical in itself, and disgraceful to mankind. Yet by this constitution it is continued for twenty years, As much as I value an [sic] union of all the states, I would not admit the southern states into the union, unless they agreed to the discontinuance of this disgraceful trade, because it would bring weakness and not strength to the union. And though this infamous traffic be continued, we have no security for the property of that kind which we have already. There is no clause in this constitution to secure it; for they may lay such a tax as will amount to manumission. And should the government be amended, still this detestable kind of commerce cannot be discontinued till after the expiration of twenty years. For the fifth article [of the Constitution], which provides for amendments, expressly excepts this clause. I have ever looked upon this as a most disgraceful thing to America. I cannot express my detestation of it. Yet they have not secured us the property of the slaves we have already. So that “they have done what they ought not to have done, and left undone what they ought to have done.”

--Although opposed to slavery, Mason remained a slave owner until the end of his life. His lengthy will, which named 36 slaves individually, manumitted none of them--

Comments for this post are closed