The Starting Point of Racism

What we get wrong about the roots of slavery in America
Eric Herschthal, February 19, 2019, The Washington Post


Four hundred years ago, Sir George Yeardley, the governor of the fledgling colony of Virginia, bought “20. and odd Negroes” from an English pirate named John Jope. Having attacked a Portuguese slave ship on its way to Mexico, Jope — technically a privateer, or a government-sponsored pirate — found 350 enslaved Angolans chained inside the fetid, overcrowded ship.

Jope took as many Angolans as he could, then made his way to Hampton, Va., where Yeardley bought several of them. Starved for labor, Yeardley did not think twice about putting these enslaved Africans to work alongside the colony’s many white indentured servants.

The arrival of those Angolans in 1619 has long served as the starting point of African American history, even of racism itself. This year, the 400th anniversary of their arrival, the date shows no signs of losing its prominence. Across thecountry, symposiums are being held, exhibitions planned and books published. But overemphasizing the date might, in fact, be damaging to today’s fight for racial justice.

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Indian Slavery

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absolute power depends on absolute control over knowledge, which in turn necessitates absolute corruption

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“Politicians, Priests, and psychiatrists often face the same problem: how to find the most rapid and permanent means of changing a man’s belief…The problem of the doctor and his nervously ill patient, and that of the religious leader who sets out to gain and hold new converts, has now become the problem of whole groups of nations, who wish not only to confirm certain political beliefs within their boundaries, but to proselytize the outside world.” – William Sargant “Battle of the Mind”

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