Honey buns…..

So those of us with time, resources and motivation are left to bridge the void through self-education, which often involves grappling with significant facts and figures.

The numbers of Africans estimated to have been trafficked by Europeans to their American and Caribbean colonies: 12 million-plus. Deaths on the Middle Passage alone, across the Atlantic: 1.5 million at a highly conservative estimate. The cumulative individual tragedies on slave trails to the coast, in the barracoons, and on the beaches: no one can even count.

So the four centuries of African enslavement by Europeans remains an abstract story.

The longer, larger and with greater transport losses enslavement of sub-Saharan Africans by Arabs might also get a look in. But as that doesn’t fit the political narrative it don’t, do it?

Further, Honey Buns, a little examination of your own Akan forbears in the trade might be worthwhile. There are recorded instances of said Akan buying slaves off the Portuguese in the 1440s……it’s the partiality that grates, no?

19 thoughts on “Honey buns…..”

  1. “Anyone wondering at the anger towards prominent memorials of slavers such as Edward Colston, might understand it better having seen how the enslaved are, by contrast, still disrespected and dishonoured.”

    Does this silly cow think anyone in that crowd could name or place any of these ships?

  2. Has she ever considered moving? Can’t suffer from racism/ anti-semitism unless you live in a white country sweetie.

  3. I’m assuming that Colston got rich because he was good at slave trading. Otherwise anyone could have done it. Presumably he didn’t lose ships, hired good navigators, and transferred a greater % of slaves to buyers in reasonable condition than the competition.
    Like a less deadly virus that kills say 10% compared to 20%: you still don’t want it, would like to see it wiped out, but you’d rather live in a world where the more deadly version is replaced by the less deadly.

  4. jgh,

    Indeed. Comments used to be on for nearly every article in the Guardian. The only ones which were closed were ones where individuals had recounted recent horrible experiences like bereavement, rape, and the like.

    They started turning them off around the time of the “groping jihad” in Germany. Whether or not this had actually happened, dozens of posters were flooding all comments with questions about the total lack of coverage. This coincided with the minor moral panic about offshore funds and taxation, and, of course, the Guardian didn’t want that particular one airing.

    After a risible attempt to school posters in how to comment (they had “model comments”, and featured the types of people they would like to see more of) they now rely on more aggressive moderation, and have fewer articles with comments activated. This saves money, of course – they have recently laid staff off, and I guess getting rid of mods is a saving.

    Thus, the narrative is preserved. But now that we have hundreds of internet freelancers and nerds offering opinions and digging out facts and actually holding people to account, miserable echo-chambers like the Guardian are in steady decline, thank goodness.

  5. Bongo:

    Excellent point, and bear in mind that those who did survive were not only luckier than those who died, they were luckier than those who evaded their Arab and African captors. They lived to found a diaspora who – economically and politically – did far better than those left to stagnate in Africa.

  6. So Much For Subtlety

    So the four centuries of African enslavement by Europeans remains an abstract story.

    Well it is a problem if you come from a culture without writing. You tend not to leave written accounts. The West is close to unique in that slaves have left accounts. Which enables her to whine.

    No doubt we would all know more if only there had been an African Anne Frank. We have Roots instead.

  7. To steal a line from Joan Robinson, the only thing worse than being captured by an Arab slave trader was not being captured by an Arab slave trader.

    While bad Muslims were capturing slaves, good Muslims were setting them free, as advocated by the Qur’an as a good deed and an expiation of sins. Slaves also had the right to earn their freedom. This had the effect of converting many blacks to Islam.

    As for those who were not captured, they stayed behind and worshipped trees and stones. Some are still doing that.

  8. I would imagine given medical practices at the time that the Arab preference for eunuchs lead to a reasonable % of deaths during the process

  9. How many slaves arrived in the USA and British colonies in the Carribean?
    When did the first black African enslavement by a mediaeval European occur?
    Since Columbus discovered America in 1492 and England abolished the slave trade in 1833 just *when* did the four centuries of European enslavement of Africans occur?

  10. “Well it is a problem if you come from a culture without writing.”

    Zactly. That’s why I smirk when I hear “black history month.” They have no fvcking history; it’s all in someone else’s history. Caribbean, American, or British.

  11. So Much For Subtlety

    phoenix_rising October 8, 2020 at 6:46 pm

    To steal a line from Joan Robinson, the only thing worse than being captured by an Arab slave trader was not being captured by an Arab slave trader.

    What an interesting defence of Islamic slavery. You rarely get this outside Islamist websites these days.

    While bad Muslims were capturing slaves, good Muslims were setting them free, as advocated by the Qur’an as a good deed and an expiation of sins. Slaves also had the right to earn their freedom. This had the effect of converting many blacks to Islam.

    Actually the gun to the head probably resulted in many Blacks converting to Islam. Bad Muslims? Good Muslims? What is the evidence that bad Muslims were enslaving free Blacks? They likely thought that they were good Muslims. They were considered good Muslims. Most Muslims today consider them good Muslims. For instance, Dan Folio built an Empire on enslaving other Blacks. Who condemns him as a bad Muslim?

    As for those who were not captured, they stayed behind and worshipped trees and stones. Some are still doing that.

    Sounds dreadful. Of course if they became Muslims they could go on Hajj and worship a stone to this day.

  12. So Much For Subtlety,

    Islam is an occasionalist religion, i.e., everything comes from God. As such, there is no such thing as human acts, only divine acts. Humans acquire acts, good or evil, in accordance with their nature. This is Ash’arite theology, which preserves both divine sovereignty and human responsibility. The majority of Muslims in the world are Ash’arites, apart from the small minority of Wahhabis/Salafis in Saudi Arabia who are not, and their ilk in al-Qaeda and ISIS.

    “They likely thought that they were good Muslims.”

    That’s a moot point. Again, Islam is an occasionalist religion, which to say that even then, they were doing God’s will. Having said that, they’ll probably end up in the Fire.

    “Sounds dreadful. Of course if they became Muslims they could go on Hajj and worship a stone to this day.”

    It’s sad that you see only stones in the Hajj.

    The rites of the Hajj are symbolic of the journey of the mystic, i.e., the one who travels the path and attains to enlightenment. This involves the death of the ego. Because the path is arduous, God in his mercy has lightened the burden for most, instead asking them to travel the mystic path at a symbolic level.

  13. One estimate is that a Coptic church/monastery performed the operation and the death rate was 90%.

  14. I don’t know about the death rate because the Italians were apparently very good at it. This from Quora:

    “The Catholic Church was involved in ‘voice breaking’ aka castration. This was church policy from the 1600’s to modernity. No one thought ill of the church or this practice, including the families of the boys who were castrated, as they received a good living from giving their child to The Church. It was not illegal. Many people of note were fans of the Castrati, including Napoleon.

    Having castrated males in the choir became a perceived necessity after females were banned from the church choirs in the 1600’s. The boys made castrati had unique high voices when they sang and were much sought after by the public. They were like rock stars of their era, enjoying a high status position in society. The last Castrato, the Angel of Rome, Alessandro Moreschi, was recorded. His voice can be heard singing ‘Ave Maria’ on YouTube.com

    It was estimated 4,000 boys were altered a year to sing soprano parts. The great composers from Handel to Mozart wrote music for the Castrati.”

    Also, it seems they were sought after as lovers:

    “Long live the knife, the blessed knife!” screamed ecstatic female fans at opera houses as the craze for Italian castrati reached its peak in the 18th century — a cry that was supposedly echoed in the bedrooms of Europe’s most fashionable women.

    For Europe’s high society women, the obvious benefit of built-in contraception made castrati ideal targets for discreet affairs. Soon popular songs and pamphlets began suggesting that castration actually enhanced a man’s sexual performance, as the lack of sensation ensured extra endurance; stories spread of the castrati as considerate lovers, whose attention was entirely focused on the woman. As one groupie eagerly put it, the best of the singers enjoyed “a spirit in no wise dulled, and a growth of hair that differs not from other men.” When the most handsome castrato of all, Farinelli, visited London in 1734, a poem written by an anonymous female admirer derided local men as “Bragging Boasters” whose enthusiasm “expires too fast, While F—–lli stands it to the last.

    English women seemed particularly susceptible to Italian eunuchs. Another castrato, Consolino, made clever use of his delicate, feminine features in London. He would arrive at trysts disguised in a dress then conduct a torrid affair right under the husband’s nose.”

    source: Why Castrati Made Better Lovers

    https://www.thesmartset.com/article0806070116/

  15. Different process. Castrati involved crushing the pre-pubertal testicles (at least, that’s one explanation). The Copts and therefore, I assume, the whole Arab thing, were making eunuchs by slicing off all external genitalia.

  16. Why would you ‘crush their testicles’? (Brings tears to the eyes just thinking about it.) There must have been thousands of farmers who’d carried out thousands of castrations on domestic animals, surely they knew how to do this safely?

  17. “The orchidectomies (as they are technically known) were shrouded in secrecy. Only the dodgiest surgeons would attempt them, and they were often a lucrative sideline for village barbers. In the absence of anaesthetic, boys were doped with opium and bathed in milk before having their testicles removed by slitting the groin and severing the spermatic chord. Those who survived were tall, beardless and tended to run to fat. They also had no Adam’s apple (the famous 18th-century castrato Farinelli wore a tactical cravat) and their voices did not break. Their larynxes failed to put on the growth spurt that occurs in boys at puberty, meaning that their vocal chords stayed close to the resonating chambers, creating a sound that was sublime, voluptuous and strange.” —The Guardian

    Given that medicine in Europe came through Islamic writings, some of it copied from the Greeks and others, it’s hard to believe that they somehow regressed in their knowledge of medicine.

    “What is only now becoming clear (to many in the west) is that during the dark ages of medieval Europe, incredible scientific advances were made in the Muslim world. Geniuses in Baghdad, Cairo, Damascus and Cordoba took on the scholarly works of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Persia, Greece, India and China, developing what we would call “modern” science. New disciplines emerged – algebra, trigonometry and chemistry as well as major advances in medicine, astronomy, engineering and agriculture. Arabic texts replaced Greek as the fonts of wisdom, helping to shape the scientific revolution of the Renaissance.” —The Guardian

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