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  #21  
Old 04 March 2016, 09:51 PM
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For what it's worth, the dictionaries I consulted (the first several that came up on Google, as well as a large unabridged dictionary I have easy access to) have as a primary definition of "slave" that the person is held as chattel. Other definitions are figurative uses (like being a slave to drugs, or one's boss's slave) and only the unabridged dictionary included a definition referencing servitude. That definition included all in a condition of servitude, and gave the synonym "servant," so it was not about indentured servitude specifically.

I am not bringing this up to prove what "slave" ought to mean, but to show that there likely is something to the author's contention that, without some modifier at least, chattel slavery is what is meant by "slave" for most people.
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  #22  
Old 04 March 2016, 10:00 PM
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I think the distinction is helpful and appropriate when discussing American colonial and US history.
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  #23  
Old 04 March 2016, 11:20 PM
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The big claims here should not get drawn into a debate about what constitutes slavery. The Irish were never systematically treated as another race, period. Indentured servitude was not limited to the Irish (or white people as another version of these memes claims). Indentured servitude is not chattel slavery - being different in every aspect: scope, severity, violence, duration, legal status, racial motivation, long-term effects, etc, etc.

More recently, and, to my mind one of the more obnoxious false claims, is the assertion that whites or Irish took all kinds of abuse "without rioting or complaining". That is a giant load of steaming history horsespit. Riots and protests have been quite common and rather violent throughout US history and until the middle of last century nearly all of them were whites (because in those rare cases when blacks did do it, they were quite often executed for it). The idea that black people in Ferguson and Baltimore invented rioting is an audacious and racist lie.

What we really need to teach in black history month is the actual history refutes these racist lies. I don't know if they're any more common than they were 40 years ago but they're popping up more and more frequently in social media. Some of this is white supremacists slyly and deliberately attempting to deny history. People who don't know any better (and, many who really should) are unwitting reposting this spit without knowing (or, perhaps just as often not really caring) that they are part of this deliberate effort that is exactly akin to the whole Birth of a Nation era movements.

Last edited by ganzfeld; 04 March 2016 at 11:25 PM.
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  #24  
Old 05 March 2016, 01:26 PM
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http://www.virtualjamestown.org/servlaws.html#1 Found this awhile back when this argument popped up somewhere else.

http://ldhi.library.cofc.edu/exhibit...systems--europ I mainly posted this because I found the pictures of the primary documents interesting.

http://nationalhumanitiescenter.org/.../text5read.htm Contains some first person accounts.
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  #25  
Old 05 March 2016, 05:45 PM
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It's important to remember as well that during the historical period at issue, even free servants were treated, or could be treated, in an appalling manner. So just reciting the conditions for indentured servants sounds horrible, but in context, while still horrible, many are the same as for free servants. For example, in England, (I'm still looking for US sources, but they will likely be very similar) it was legal until sometime in the 19th century to beat servants for correction. Servants who left their place of employment without permission for even a short time could be punished or charged with a crime. Leaving an employer altogether before one's contract of employment was up was a crime--punishable by imprisonment at hard labor.

No one should rely on my shaky historical research here, but rather on the actual historians who have reached conclusions based on their research. For me, though, it helped to know the context a bit--to know some of the things they might be considering.
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  #26  
Old 07 March 2016, 07:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fitz1980 View Post
In this case the OP's article is talking about chattel slavery because that's what black people in America were subjected to.
This.
Quote:
The reason is that there is a whole revisionist history thing taking root about how the Irish in America just as bad. Just recently I saw one making the rounds on facebook about how the Irish in the US came here as slaves but today we don't look for a handout" or some such thing.

Here it is.

Thanks for sharing that. The author of the OP, Liam Hogan, has tracked the origin of that and similar memes in his article Debunking the imagery of the "Irish slaves" meme 14 September 2015. Here's the origin of that one.

Quote:
The meme below was shared by a Tea Party Leader in 2013. It accompanied her advice to African Americans to "move on" from slavery.

But this photograph is not from the U.S., nor does it depict "White Irish slaves."

Historian Matthew C. Reilly has done extensive research on the “poor white” community of Barbados. This photo was taken in Barbados in 1908, none of those pictured have Irish surnames, and these families appear to have both African and European ancestry.
He has thirteen other examples that he debunks. I also recommend Part Four where he debunks the claim in the meme above that indentured servitude was worse than chattel slavery.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
The big claims here should not get drawn into a debate about what constitutes slavery. The Irish were never systematically treated as another race, period. Indentured servitude was not limited to the Irish (or white people as another version of these memes claims). Indentured servitude is not chattel slavery - being different in every aspect: scope, severity, violence, duration, legal status, racial motivation, long-term effects, etc, etc.
Yes. All of this.
Quote:
People who don't know any better (and, many who really should) are unwitting reposting this spit without knowing (or, perhaps just as often not really caring) that they are part of this deliberate effort that is exactly akin to the whole Birth of a Nation era movements.
My biggest time waster for the past couple of days has been going through Mr. Hogan's tweets. Here he shows that novelist Anne Rice tweeted this meme and here he shows that the newspaper the Irish Examiner fell for the meme. So, unfortunately, people who aren't white supremacists have been spreading a racist meme. Fortunately, it look like Ms. Rice has deleted that tweet. So, some progress, at least.

Brian
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  #27  
Old 07 March 2016, 07:11 PM
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This thread prompted me to be more curious about what is or is not "slavery", not necessarily relating to any American context or Irish heritage. As I stated earlier, much of my interest stems from what I saw in the Nepali Far-Western Terai in the late 1990's.

BONDED LABOUR

Quote:
Bonded labour is the most widespread – yet the least known - form of slavery in the world. A person becomes a bonded labourer when their labour is demanded as a means of repayment for a loan. The person is then tricked or trapped into working for very little or no pay. The value of their work becomes invariably greater than the original sum of money borrowed. Often the debts are passed onto the next generations.
BONDED LABOUR IN NEPAL

Quote:
Kamaiya is a traditional system of bonded labour in the western plains of Nepal affecting mostly the indigenous Tharu community. Although the system was abolished by law in 2002 and thousands of kamaiya bonded labourers were released, the practice still persists today.

Traditionally an agricultural labourer became bonded by a loan (saunki) given to them by their landlord at the beginning of their working relationship. The kamaiya would be unable to pay back the loan because they received little or no wages; and because they were often compelled to borrow additional money from the landlord to cover expenses for food, medicines, and other unforeseen circumstances.
The Bonded Labor System in Nepal: Exploring
Halia and Kamaiya Children’s Life-worlds


Quote:
However, the kamaiya system is commonly known as an agriculturally based bonded labor system in which a kamaiya makes a verbal contract with a kisan or a moneylender to work for him for a year (Sharma et al. 2001). The practice of payment-in-kind (typically a small share of the produce, ranging from three to six quintals of unhusked rice) rather than wages barely allows a kamaiya to make a living from mono-cropped land. In times of crop failure or family hardships, his family will be forced to take loans at high interest, which can be repaid only by working for the creditor. Once the kamaiya becomes indebted, his lender may impose all kinds of conditions unilaterally, including demanding his (and often the entire family’s) labor without pay. The compounding situation could lead to long-term debt bondage, which may even become generational in the cases where debt is transferable to the offspring

THE KAMAIYA SYSTEM OF BONDED LABOUR IN NEPAL

Quote:
On the surface, the Kamaiya system is a contractual agreement for a year contracted in Maghi (approximately on the 14th of January) between the landowner and an agricultural labourer, where labour is exchanged for payment in nominal cash or kind. Theoretically, at that time, both parties may agree or refuse to enter the contract. They both have the choice to make the agreement, but in practice bonded labourers do not have this freedom of choice. They are forced by social, economic, political and other compulsions to accept the agreement with any conditions dictated by their masters. The Kamaiya system also allows landlords to buy and sell one or more Kamaiyas. The debt attached to a Kamaiya passes on to his son and grandson in case of his death prior to the complete repayment of the loan.

ETA: I don't have much point to this post. The previous discussion piqued my curiosity. The best I can tell is that the indentured servants in America during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries would not be considered slaves under any current definition. African and African-American people held as chattel during the same time period would be considered slaves under most any definition. Kamaiya bonded labor as practiced in Nepal is considered slavery by many modern anti-slavery organizations, but that use of the word is not universally accepted.

Last edited by crescent; 07 March 2016 at 07:29 PM.
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  #28  
Old 08 March 2016, 06:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crescent View Post
ETA: I don't have much point to this post.
I definitely see a point. I really appreciate you sharing these links. I've read the first two articles and downloaded the two PDFs, which I will read later. I've found them very informative. Thanks. Alas, slavery is still a problem affecting millions of people.
Quote:
Kamaiya bonded labor as practiced in Nepal is considered slavery by many modern anti-slavery organizations, but that use of the word is not universally accepted.
I would definitely refer to that as slavery. As you said here
Quote:
Originally Posted by crescent View Post
There are different kinds of slavery.
is correct. Just as the enslavement currently conducted by Islamic State (Daesh) you cited is slavery and the slavery of the ancient Greco-Roman world was slavery.

However, the OP only refers to chattel slavery as it was practiced in the Americas because it's the only form that is relevant to this racist meme created by white supremacists, who are trying to do two things: 1) erase the horrors of chattel slavery and 2) use the erasure from history to silence people who speak up about discrimination. The OP is important because of this
Quote:
Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
People who don't know any better (and, many who really should) are unwitting reposting this spit without knowing (or, perhaps just as often not really caring) that they are part of this deliberate effort that is exactly akin to the whole Birth of a Nation era movements.
Racists will, obviously, continue to spread this meme. Unfortunately, right now it looks pretty grim. For example, here's the spread of this meme around the world.


And for the US:


However, if non racists can learn how racists this meme is, know its racists origins, and know its racist intent (the purpose of the OP) they'll (hopefully) stop spreading it.

Brian
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  #29  
Old 09 March 2016, 09:53 AM
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Although much of the oppression the Irish suffered was based on anti-Catholicism, the Irish were considered a different race, at least by racists.

As you can see, the Irish were racially classified with Hispanics, and I understand Trump wants to build a wall in Ireland, too.
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  #30  
Old 09 March 2016, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eoin View Post
As you can see, [...]
No, I cannot see. Nor can I see the provenance of the gif I cannot see. Please elaborate on what you are showing and where it came from.
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  #31  
Old 09 March 2016, 02:16 PM
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Material Modernism:The politics of the page the picture posted is here. The caption mentions it is from Ireland from one or two neglected points of view, 1899 but I do not know yet where it may have originally come from.
http://glc.yale.edu/day-we-celebrate-cartoon
Nast often depicted some Irish that way but this article mentions that it wasn't all Irish but certain groups of Irish that he did(which leaves me no closer to an answer then before) http://www.printmag.com/illustration/nast-irish/

This is the article that I found the other links posted fromhttp://www.racismreview.com/blog/201...-of-whiteness/

I'm a fan of old editorial cartoons and what not so found this article interesting for 2 reasons. https://thesocietypages.org/socimage...-of-the-irish/
the first the reprints and the second her comment at the end.
Quote:
In a comment, Macon D asked how I address the ways in which Whites of some ancestries (Irish, Italian, etc.) often point to the fact that there was discrimination against those groups as a way of invalidating arguments about systemic racism. The logic is that both non-Whites and some White groups faced prejudice and discrimination but European groups overcame it through their own hard work, and thus any other group could too. If they continue to experience high levels of poverty, unemployment, or any other social problem, it is due to their own lack of hard work, intelligence, or some other characteristic.

I do indeed discuss this argument at length whenever I teach about race. A great reading to address it is Charles Gallagher’s article “Playing the White Ethnic Card: Using Ethnic Identity to Deny Contemporary Racism,” p. 145-158 in White Out: The Continuing Significance of Racism (2003, Ashley W. Doane and Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, editors, New York: Routledge). The tone might put some students off, because it doesn’t baby them or try to sugar-coat the issue of how Whites use their (often imagined) family stories of discrimination as a way to argue that systemic racism doesn’t exist and that they got to where they are by their family’s hard work, and nothing more. I know other professors often use the “How Jews Became White Folks” reading by Karen Brodkin, which also looks at this issue.

I also spend a good part of the semester looking at how government policies have had the effect of transferring enormous amounts of wealth into the hands of European immigrants and helping them accumulate resources over time–we look at the Homestead Act of 1862, the G.I. Bill (which Black veterans were often excluded from using), and how government subsidies for building suburban subdivisions were actively denied to groups wanting to build integrated communities. All these are examples of ways in which White Americans were aided in acquiring wealth and moving up the socio-economic ladder, while non-Whites often were explicitly excluded from these benefits.

I also point out that, while in these images the Irish are negatively stereotyped, it is clear that they are still viewed less negatively than, say, Africans or African Americans. If the Irish are the “missing link” between Africans and Caucasians…that still means they’re considered more evolved than Africans–at least somewhat more fully human. So even at the height of discrimination against White European groups, that did not necessarily mean they were treated “the same” as, say, American Indians or Blacks.
Eta: this is as close as I can come to the previously mentioned One or two neglected points of view so far. Not having any luck finding anything but excerpts from the book at this point. (considering the description I really shouldn't be surprised) http://thosewhowillnotbedrowned.blog...neglected.html

Last edited by firefighter_raven; 09 March 2016 at 02:42 PM.
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  #32  
Old 09 March 2016, 02:32 PM
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That some people compared them is no indication that there was any systematic racism. That they were different in every aspect (legally, socially, etc.) was the reason these comparisons were made in cartoons - with the intent to be shocking. There had already been at least two presidents of Irish descent even before emancipation. Irish wasn't part of any real racist concept at all. Except in cartoons - which is why it was in the cartoons! It was intended to be incongruous. There were not laws against marriage. There were not laws against mixing or education. Yes, there was prejudice in many cases but to call that racism is the offense intended by those cartoons, not the reality of life in the US or in Britain for that matter.
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  #33  
Old 10 March 2016, 03:07 AM
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Quote:
The most influential book to claim that there was ‘white slavery’ in Colonial America was Michael Hoffman’s They Were White and They Were Slaves: The Untold History of the Enslavement of Whites in Early America. Self-published in 1993, Hoffman, a Holocaust denier, unsurprisingly blames the Atlantic slave trade on the Jews. By blurring the lines between the different forms of unfree labour, these white supremacists seek to conceal the incontestable fact that these slavocracies were controlled by—and operated for the benefit of—white Europeans.
I thought this novel, Testimony of An Irish Slave Girl, was the book that started this whole bro-ha-ha. A few years ago you could find copies of this book at every yard sale and Half Price Books, so it must have been popular.
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  #34  
Old 10 March 2016, 08:05 AM
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Nice find, Horse Chestnut! I've been going through the reviews and most are fine but there is this doozy:
Quote:
In some ways, the Irish "indentured servants" were worse off than the black slaves -- for one thing, they were worth less money, therefore were more dispensable.
And this one:
Quote:
Blacks weren't the only slaves and research we've done shows that in most cases the white slaves were treated even worse than the black slaves because they couldn't work as hard and therefore were considered much less valuable than their black counterparts.
Also, I looked to see if the author of the OP has written about this novel and he has. (Note: PDF.) If you scroll to the end of PDF you'll see this footnote:
Quote:
(2) "Irish Slaves" - appeared in web searches in 2006 due to Kate McCafferty's novel "Testimony of an Irish Slave Girl" and searches grew exponentially after the release of White Cargo[: The Forgotten History of Britain's White Slaves in America]. Massive spike due to endorsement by Irish Central [website] et al.
.
While not the origin of the myth it looks like it helped it along.

Brian
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  #35  
Old 10 March 2016, 03:32 PM
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In all this discussion about treatment, it would be good to remember one particularly horrifying aspect of chattel slavery as practiced in the Americas, particularly once the trans-Atlantic slave trade had stopped: American slavery included institutionalized rape. We have documentation of slave auctions in which individual slaves commanded a higher price for their value as breeding stock.

No matter how oppressed other ethnic minorities may have been, proponents of that particular meme are either incredibly ignorant as to the realities of the African-American slave experience, or else must possess the biggest proverbial stones on the planet to seriously claim that the Irish and African situations were meaningfully equivalent.
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  #36  
Old 10 March 2016, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianB View Post

Also, I looked to see if the author of the OP has written about this novel and he has. (Note: PDF.) If you scroll to the end of PDF you'll see this footnote:
.
While not the origin of the myth it looks like it helped it along.

Brian
It goes back at least to the 1920's. Captain Blood mentions Dr. Blood being sent to Barbados after being arrested and convicted of treason.
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/1965/...m#link2HCH0004

Quote:
Peter Blood prayed that the offer might be rejected. For no reason that he could have given you, he was taken with repugnance at the thought of becoming the property of this gross animal, and in some sort the property of that hazel-eyed young girl. But it would need more than repugnance to save him from his destiny. A slave is a slave, and has no power to shape his fate. Peter Blood was sold to Colonel Bishop—a disdainful buyer—for the ignominious sum of ten pounds.
Quote:
... but amongst Bishop's slaves Peter Blood came and went freely, ...
So the idea is at least almost 100yrs old

eta- Found a mention of it in The Miscellaneous Works of the Right Honourable Sir James Mackintosh page 281? (hard to see the page numbers) 1846 in reference to the Bloody Assizes (trials held after the failure of the Monmouth Rebellion in 1685 England.) Real nasty piece of work that was. "Lord Sunderland had apprised Jeffreys of the King's pleasure to bestow a thousand convicts on several courtiers, and one hundred on a favourite of the Queen, on these persons finding security that the prisoners should be enslaved for ten years in some West India island:"
Sir James mentions in a footnote that he had access to many of the original records of this circuit and an account written by Lord Lonsdale written in 1688 but I am unable to determine if the above quote is from Sir James or from another source. I might try to see if the Lord Lonsdale account or others he mentioned still exist somewhere later on.

Last edited by firefighter_raven; 10 March 2016 at 04:01 PM.
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  #37  
Old 11 March 2016, 06:27 PM
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My apologies. I just realized that I forgot to include this link in my last reply
The miscellaneous works of the Right Honourable Sir James Mackintosh
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  #38  
Old 18 March 2016, 07:27 AM
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United States Black Lives Matter and the 'Irish slave' myth

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/fea...092722167.html
Quote:
Yet, as the Irish diaspora celebrate their culture, many are falling prey to a myth sweeping the internet that the Irish were themselves slaves in the US.

It has given rise to a plethora of racist memes, and is gaining traction among some white Americans despite the objections of historians.

These "Irish slave" memes are frequently used to derail conversations about slavery and racism.

When they proclaim that "Irish slaves were treated worse than any other race in the US", they attempt to diminish the history of the slave trade, the popular Black Lives Matter movement and calls for reparations for slavery in the US and the Caribbean.
Brian
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  #39  
Old 18 March 2016, 09:05 AM
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Since when was Barbados considered part of the U.S.? Every reference I've seen so far, in this thread anyway, say the "Irish slaves" were used in the Caribbean. That's a long way from the cotton fields and mansions of Georgia.
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  #40  
Old 18 March 2016, 02:32 PM
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I would guess that someone saw an article about the use of Irish indentured servants in "the Americas" meaning N and S America and the Caribbean and took that to mean the US.
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