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August 25, 2010

What Glenn Beck didn’t tell you about slavery in America

Filed under: TV shows — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 2:29 pm

On August 19, 2010 Glenn Beck gave a lesson on slavery in America on his TV show on Fox News.  You can hear what he said on his Fox News web site here.   It’s been almost a week since I watched this segment of his show, but I can’t get it out of my mind.  Glenn Beck has to be Politically Correct on his show if he wants to stay on TV, so I’ll have to tell you the rest of the story, the part that he left out.

Slaves were brought to America by the Dutch West India company which you can read about here on Wikipedia.  Here is the quote from Wikipedia:

The area where the company could operate consisted of West Africa (between the Tropic of Cancer and the Cape of Good Hope) and the Americas, which included the Pacific Ocean and the eastern part of New Guinea. The intended purpose of the charter was to eliminate competition, particularly Spanish or Portuguese, between the various trading posts established by the merchants.

Door of the West-Indisch Huis, headquarters of company that brought slaves to America

You can see a large photo of the whole West India House here.  The house is located in a section of Amsterdam that is called Haarlem.  Harlem in New York was named after Haarlem in Amsterdam.

What Glenn Beck didn’t tell you is that the slave traders, based in Haarlem, didn’t go to West Africa and sneak into the interior to capture the African natives and bring them to America in their ships.  No, the slave traders PURCHASED the slaves from the Africans who sold them to the slave traders.  They didn’t sell their own people, of course. They captured and sold people from the neighboring tribes.  The Africans even built prisons on the coast where they held the captured people until the slave ships arrived.

What Glenn Beck DID tell his viewers is that the first Africans, who were brought to America, were sold to the American colonists as indentured servants.  The buyer would pay the cost of bringing an African to America and that person became an indentured servant who had to work to pay off the cost of his passage.  White people also came to America as indentured servants and had to work to pay their passage.  A member of my extended family is descended from a 15-year-old boy who came from England to America and had to work as an indentured servant to pay for the trip.  While he was an indentured servant, he became an apprentice brick layer and learned a trade which he used to earn a living after he paid back the money to the man to whom he was indentured.

The first Africans who became indentured servants were also set free after they paid their debt to the person to whom they had been indentured.  Then one day, three indentured servants (two whites and one African) escaped from their masters, as Glenn Beck told his audience.  They were caught and put on trial; the African  was sentenced to a lifetime of servitude, but the two white indentured servants were not. That was the beginning of slavery in America.  What Glenn Beck didn’t tell you is that the reason the black indentured servant was given a harsher sentence is because he was the instigator; he had encouraged the two whites to run off from their masters along with him.  This had to be stopped because the whole system of indentured servitude was in danger if the Africans were going to persuade the whites to escape from their masters and not pay for their passage.

Another thing that Glenn Beck didn’t dare to tell his viewers was the religion of the owners of most of the ships.  You will have to look that up for yourself, if you don’t know already.

But there’s more!  Maybe Beck doesn’t know this, but there were also white slaves in America.  Have you ever heard of the battle of Culloden in Scotland? I went to see the battlefield when I visited Scotland many years ago and I learned from the museum there that the Scottish Highlanders who were the losers in the battle with the British were banished to America and some of these losers were sentenced by the British to be slaves for life.  I’m not sure of this, but I think the term “redneck” might have originated from the white slaves working in the fields alongside the black slaves; with their fair skin, they would have quickly developed red necks.

2 Comments

  1. “So many Slavs were enslaved for so many centuries that the very name ‘slave’ derived from their name, not only in English, but in other European languages and in Arabic.”

    “Genoese and Venetians merchants in Crimea were involved in the slave trade with the Golden Horde. Between 1414 and 1423, at least 10,000 eastern European slaves were sold in Venice.”

    “In a process called the “harvesting of the steppe”, they enslaved many Slavic peasants.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery_in_medieval_Europe

    The history courses on medieval history, the civil rights movement in the US, and the immigration policy of the US that I attended all preached the “scientific” scapegoat-theory that anti-semitism, especially the almost proverbial Eastern European one, is merely irrational, unfounded traditional hatred of backwards peoples against minorities during economically tough times.

    In movies about this topic, the victims of sex slavery are usually Western Europeans or Americans, and the perpetrators are Germans or Eastern Europeans, as seen in the movies Taken and Hostel. Makes me wonder how the real Ukranian sex slaves think about this explanation.

    Myself, I am half Sorbian (Slavic minority native to Germany).

    Comment by Rachel — August 26, 2010 @ 10:07 am

    • Glenn Beck did mention that the word slave comes from Slav and that Slavs were slaves at one time. He didn’t mention what is called “white slavery” in America. America passed the Mann Act long ago to stop “white slavery” which is now more commonly known as “human trafficking.” This is the first that I’ve ever heard of “Germans” engaging in “white slavery.” “Sex slaves” are not against the law in Israel and there have been news articles about this going on today in Israel.

      Comment by furtherglory — August 26, 2010 @ 11:14 am


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