Slavery responsibility. I have a friend who is openly, clearly, and proudly, far to the left politically. He is also a very bright man who is willing to listen. He has an extremely curious mind and sends me information on many topics.
Even though he is far left, this week he sent me a U-Tube video based on Thomas Sowell’s thinking. For those of you who do not know Thomas Sowell, he is a 93-year-old black economist, author, and social commentator. He calls himself an independent. From what I have read he is an independent thinker. The U-Tube presentation is a very independent discussion of slavery and Western Civilization.
Sowell is responding to the suggest that whites are responsible for slavery and should be held accountable. He does not believe whites are solely responsible for slavery. He suggests that rather than blaming Western Civilization for slavery we should recognize the role of whites and Western Civilization in the abolishment of slavery.
His thinking is bolstered by several excellent points. For example, he points out the British military blockade in the Atlantic was a major factor in halting the transfer of slaves to the West. He points out that slave activity from Africa into Asia continued long after stopping in the West because a blockade was limited to the east of Africa and the slave trade continued in that direction..
My take. In the current culture war in America, many are demanding we examine the mistakes in American history. I agree we should not hide from our history, but thinkers like Thomas Sowell make it clear to me we should look at the mistakes in a broader context than just America. His arguments are sound to me. Whites are not solely responsible for slavery and played a positive role in making slavery illegal.
Understandably, people tend to use their personal context for their thinking. Since the primary slavery relationship in America was the white ownership of Black slaves, that is the context most American people hold for slavery. In case you are curious the secondary slavery relationship in America was the practice of slavery by Native Americans.
A good student of history and culture, knows slave ownership is a human problem not solely a white problem. Yes, whites owned slaves in America, but slave ownership has not been an exclusively white activity throughout the world or throughout history.
In recent years the largest, most obvious, and very tragic example of slavery occurred in Africa. Joseph Kony is a Ugandan terrorist, who conscripted thousands of children to be soldiers and sex slaves. He was very influential in central and northern Africa in the latter part of the last century and early in this century. He is still at large. His slavery may still be happening, but in a lesser manner. The US has offered a 5-million-dollar reward for his capture. He is a clear demonstration that slave ownership is not an exclusively white issue.
A second current example demonstrates slavery is not an exclusively white problem. The movie, Sound of Freedom, gives evidence that in some Central and South American countries slavery for sex is happening.
Thus, in my lifetime, two of the more prominent examples of slavery have involved Black and brown slave owners.
I repeat, Sowell goes beyond pointing out that whites are not responsible for slavery from a broad cultural and history perspective. He also argues whites played a major and positive role in making slavery illegal.
The facts that whites are not solely responsible for slavery and deserved credit for making slavery illegal in no way detracts from the importance of working for justice in America. The facts do point to the need for a good education in world-wide history and culture.
The Sowell presentation can be seen at the following site: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6XZ1jQafGz4
Travels. Our trip was a success. I was concerned about driving. My back held up. I was careful and felt safe. We saw family and friends. We laughed and had a great time. I felt more confident about future travels. I will need to get ready as we have two granddaughters engaged and will not want to miss the weddings.
Apology. Because I knew I would be on the road last week, I prepared the last blog and got it out early. After I sent the blog out, I was reminded of Rosh Hashana, which began last Thursday. I am sorry I failed to wish my Jewish friends a Happy New Year.
Yom Kippur is this weekend. I am able to wish my friends a meaningful day of atonement.
Programs for suicide prevention. Previously I asked readers for help regarding suicide prevention programs. I learned most cities have mental health professionals who will come if asked by the person who is contemplating suicide. They are not able to come if asked by other people. However, if another person fears for a friend they can call 911 and law enforcement can make a wellness check.
Thanks to those who helped me learn.
Sometimes our politics prevents us from seeing good in humans in a country that is not an ally.
Acts of honesty