Much attention and condemnation has been directed towards the tragedy of the African slave trade, which took place between the 16th and the 19th centuries. However, another equally despicable trade in humans was taking place around the same time in the Mediterranean. It has been estimated that up to 1.25 million Europeans were enslaved by the so-called Barbary corsairs, and their lives were just as pitiful as their African counterparts. They have come to be known as the white slaves of Barbary.
No it’s not interesting at all, it’s wrong and horrible given that the article later states that:
“While the Barbary slave trade is typically portrayed as Muslim corsairs capturing white Christian victims, this is far too simplistic. In reality, the corsairs were not concerned with the race or religious orientation of those they captured. Slaves in Barbary could be black, brown or white, Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, Jewish or Muslim. And the corsairs were not only Muslim; English privateers and Dutch captains also exploited the changing loyalties of an era in which friends could become enemies and enemies friends with the stroke of a pen.‘One of the things that both the public and many scholars have tended to take as given is that slavery was always racial in nature,’ said historian Robert Davis, author of Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters: White Slavery in the Mediterranean, the Barbary Coast, and Italy. ‘But that is not true,’ he added.”
So while the African slave trade was racist in nature, the Barbary slave trade was not.
Not only that, misrepresenting the Barbary slave trade as “The white slaves of Barbary” seems to recenter whiteness and white victims, while erasing non-white victims. It’s also erasing the fact that white people were also Barbary slave owners so their depiction here solely as victims is 100% wrong.
This whole post is racist garbage.
I just want to add on to this^
Time and time again I see white people derailing the slavery of Africans in the Americas by simply saying “Everyone was slaves” or “The _____ people were slaves too” or “But the Africans enslaved and sold their own people so who’s really at fault?” and basically any combination of derailing from the conversation of African slavery. That textbook post calling African people “workers” and “immigrants”? I’ve seen white people excuse it by saying “Well they were providing a service of labor just like every other group who was enslaved” and just NO NO NO NO NO.
The reason why the slavery of African people needs to be discussed and demonized so much is because it was entirely a system of slavery based on the exploitation and continuation of racist ideas for centuries.
Most slavery historically was based on conquering and taking over land. Thus of course everyone would’ve been slaves. However, many of these people were allowed to integrate into society (eventually and for the most part) and weren’t dehumanized for their race/origins. They were simply forced to become slaves due to being conquered. Which is shitty, yes.
However, the slavery of African people was based entirely around they idea that Africans were the most fit to work and NEEDED to work. They were called too stupid to live on their own. Slavery was seen as a greater good for the inferior and barbaric Africans who wouldn’t be able to survive any other way. They were hand selected for traits such as strength and forcefully bred to ensure stronger offspring. They had colorism in place in which lighter slaves were allowed inside the house and ONLY lighter slaves.
And when slavery ended? We had Jim Crow laws and a system of racial segregation until the 60′s.
The system of slavery in the Americas was extreme different than pretty much every system of slavery that has existed worldwide.
“Prison labor has its roots in slavery. After the 1861-1865 Civil War, a system of “hiring out prisoners” was introduced in order to continue the slavery tradition. Freed slaves were charged with not carrying out their sharecropping commitments (cultivating someone else’s land in exchange for part of the harvest) or petty thievery – which were almost never proven – and were then “hired out” for cotton picking, working in mines and building railroads. From 1870 until 1910 in the state of Georgia, 88% of hired-out convicts were Black. In Alabama, 93% of “hired-out” miners were Black. In Mississippi, a huge prison farm similar to the old slave plantations replaced the system of hiring out convicts. The notorious Parchman plantation existed until 1972.
During the post-Civil War period, Jim Crow racial segregation laws were imposed on every state, with legal segregation in schools, housing, marriages and many other aspects of daily life. “Today, a new set of markedly racist laws is imposing slave labor and sweatshops on the criminal justice system, now known as the prison industry complex,” comments the Left Business Observer.
Who is investing?
At least 37 states have legalized the contracting of prison labor by private corporations that mount their operations inside state prisons. The list of such companies contains the cream of U.S. corporate society: IBM, Boeing, Motorola, Microsoft, AT&T, Wireless, Texas Instrument, Dell, Compaq, Honeywell, Hewlett-Packard, Nortel, Lucent Technologies, 3Com, Intel, Northern Telecom, TWA, Nordstrom’s, Revlon, Macy’s, Pierre Cardin, Target Stores, and many more. All of these businesses are excited about the economic boom generation by prison labor. Just between 1980 and 1994, profits went up from $392 million to $1.31 billion. Inmates in state penitentiaries generally receive the minimum wage for their work, but not all; in Colorado, they get about $2 per hour, well under the minimum.
And in privately-run prisons, they receive as little as 17 cents per hour for a maximum of six hours a day, the equivalent of $20 per month. The highest-paying private prison is CCA in Tennessee, where prisoners receive 50 cents per hour for what they call “highly skilled positions.” At those rates, it is no surprise that inmates find the pay in federal prisons to be very generous. There, they can earn $1.25 an hour and work eight hours a day, and sometimes overtime. They can send home $200-$300 per month.
Thanks to prison labor, the United States is once again an attractive location for investment in work that was designed for Third World labor markets. A company that operated a maquiladora (assembly plant in Mexico near the border) closed down its operations there and relocated to San Quentin State Prison in California. In Texas, a factory fired its 150 workers and contracted the services of prisoner-workers from the private Lockhart Texas prison, where circuit boards are assembled for companies like IBM and Compaq.”
White people also don’t understand, that it is also this form of slave labor that also keeps their wages down, as well. Why bother to accede to the demands of highly skilled workers, when you can simply dump all of them, and procure captive labor.The same thing happened during slavery when White workers couldn’t get jobs because businesses already had free labor in the form of slavery. The same thing is happening within the prison industrial complex now.