For all the loathing many white Americans may feel toward the rhetoric of Jeremiah Wright, and the anger and bitterness expressed by others, we should be aware that the divide was started centuries earlier, and not at all by the people who then pretty much all lived in sub-Saharan Africa.
That much is so apparent that it is beyond cliché. The question that interests me is why the timeline is measured in centuries. Why not millennia?
Search the scriptures, search the pagan writings of Romans and Greeks. We do find ethnic hatred. The 137th Psalm speaks of smashing infants against rocks. But we find only occasional acknowledgement of race, as in Jeremiah's brief mention of the skin color of Ethiopians.
Romans, having advanced beyond the rest of the world in the art of transporting water, granted themselves superiority for their cleanliness. Barbarians were inferior, largely because they were to be considered dirty. Their tribal organization was considered primitive, and in a crude form of early national Darwinism, outliers were thought somewhat lower because of their lack of military might. Not much enlightenment, but not much racism.
So there was a lot of ethnic consciousness, us-versus-them chauvinism. The raving racists we have seen in the last few hundred years seem strangely absent from what was otherwise a primitive ancient world.
Here is one thought. Over thousands of years, it gradually came to folks that one person owning another was wrong. Certainly, not everyone shared that view. But over time, folks came to feel odd about people being property.
One reaction to the realization that human beings are not to be owned was opposition to slavery. The 1600s saw the first whispering In England that grew to the abolitionist movement.
The opposite, and the more common, reaction was to color code humanity. It was okay to enslave the not-quite-human, easily identifiable people who could be found and captured in Africa. It was okay to own people who were … well … not really people.
We now live with the cultural after-effects. The rationalization survived the need for the rationalization. So Pat Buchanan, who says slavery had some wonderful benefits, and Rush Limbaugh, who is Rush, are with us still.
But racism seems not ingrained in human nature itself. Therein lies hope.
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White people in Europe only began their ascendancy to world dominance only after 1492, when Pope Alexander's Inter Caetera gave the Catholic Church ecclesiastical authority over the world and all lands inhabited by the "sons of Ham" (people of dark skin color). Spain and Portugal received legal authority from the Church and Monarchy to enslave all the "sons of Ham" - meaning all non-white indigenous peoples in Africa, North and South America, and even later, Australia.
This was no accident. It was a form of historical retaliation for how the Moors had subdued and enslaved many Caucasians in Europe and other parts of the world. This is how and why the complexion of many North Africans became lighter. It was the purchase of white women for the harems of North African kingdoms that produced children that changed and mixed the complexion of the African countries of Libya, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and the population of Egypt.
Nothing happens without a logical reason. See the film on Youtube called, “The Heralded Moors,” “The Moors in Medieval Art,” and “The Moors in Europe” just in case anyone wants to argue who the Moors were.
"The Golden Age of The Moors"..
THANK YOU!..peace out homies.
Can you please produce a simplistic version of the same essay so Ruth can also understand?
Your cooperation in this matter is greatly appreciated.
P.S. I don't think you need to punctuate the remedial version.
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