It is kind of true, we didn’t cause a genocide but we did enslave a race of people. — Jay from Facebook
We? You have a mouse in your pocket with a time traveling machine?
I’m certainly not disputing the evils of slavery but to lump us all with the sins of some of our past ancestors is just silly. So – let’s analyze enslavement in the colonies and America just a bit.
It was African tribal/village leaders who sold the slaves to Muslims and Europeans first – long before the American slave trade. When you research “modern history accounts” such as this one from the History Channel, guess what they don’t mention?
Ever heard the name Anthony Johnson and the Casor Suit? By official records, Johnson was the first person to legally own a slave in the colonies – and he was black.
Johnson was captured by an enemy AFRICAN tribe and sold into ARAB slavery. Eventually, he was sold as a indentured servant to a merchant with the Virginia Company. Sometime before 1647, Johnson earned his freedom and by 1651 he owned 250 acres and the services of 4 white and 1 black indentured servants.
Concerning the Casor lawsuit, there were certainly cases of lifetime indentured servitude, but this was the first which wasn’t attributable to an “escape” and thus breach of contract. According to Casor, his indentured service had expired 7 years prior, but Johnson would not let him go. The first court sided with Casor, but the appeal sided with Johnson.
There were actually quite a few free blacks in the colonies and eventually America who owned a considerable number of slaves. One of the largest slave owners in Louisiana was a free black man named Antoine Dubuclet, who also happened to be the first black state Treasurer. These black slave owners weren’t just trying to use the system for “freeing” their slaves either.
Back to Maya Angelou’s comments, I daresay that many of the Cubans who have fled to the good ole USA might not consider themselves slaves per se, but I’m quite sure they feared Castro and Communism in much the same way. The Communist regime in China, North Korea, and even the former USSR held a sort of quasi-slavery rule over it’s people. Of course, now Russia and China both are moving (albeit slowly) towards capitalism and forms of democracy.
The point is that try to lump something into a box without realizing the full context is just stupidity. For Maya to support Castro and attempt to justify that by using inferences to slavery is just shallow and stupid.