Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Slavery & Racism

African Slaves

On Sunday, I marked an awful event in our history: The official beginning of chattel slavery as such in Britains American colonies.

At first, John Casor, an African indentured servant, had gained some control of his life. He charged his master, Anthony Johnson, a free black, with having forced him to labor longer than the term of his indentureship. He won, was freed, and then indentured himself to one Robert Parker.

But Johnson sued, and, on March 8, 1655, won Casor back as a slave for life.

The case established a civil ground for slavery, also enabling free blacks to own slaves. Even as late as the Civil War, the South harbored families of obvious African descent who themselves owned African-Americans as slaves.

On the surface, American slavery wasnt about race. But in the 1640 case of John Punch, sentenced to a life of slavery as criminal punishment for running away from his indentured servitude, his fellow escapees whites merely got longer terms of forced labor.

Racism, Thomas Sowell explains, became increasingly important to the peculiar institutionas time went on. If you exalt the notion thatall men are created equal,how do you square that with your slave-holding?

By denigrating the humanity of blacks.

This vile ugliness of racism is still with us, to some degree . . . and slavery, too at least, in small pockets around the globe and in a much bigger way in the Muslim world. An estimated eleven million slaves are held in Africa and the Middle East. And black Africans are still the main victims.

Sunday was also the 240th anniversary of Tom Paines first American call for slaverys abolition.

Ending slavery: its way past time.

This is Common Sense. Im Paul Jacob.

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1 Comment

  1. […] racial divide. Your Common Sense column is greatly expanded — hugely! — from a Common Sense last week — worth reading, and debating. I […]

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