Ben Carson started the typical liberal snowflake media blizzard this week when his initial speech to HUD included a reference to slavery.
The gist of the offense was that slaves, like immigrants, came to America to improve their lives with hope for the future for themselves and their children.
Of course, for a man of color to mention slavery without rant or rhetoric is a fairly unforgivable sin, and everyone immediately jumps to the conclusion that he was referring to Africans that were often prisoners of war or criminals who were sold by the victors of local tribes or forcibly taken from their homeland to be slaves in the United States.
There were incidents of slavery or indentured servants who did trade their freedom and autonomy for passage to the New World. These individuals did indeed gamble their very lives on the hope of a better future.
“Indentured servitude was a labor system in which people paid for their passage by working for an employer for a fixed term of years. It was widely employed in the 18th century in the British colonies in North American and elsewhere. It was a way for the poor in Britain and the German states to obtain passage to the American colonies.”
An employer was contractually bound to release the person from his or her indenture at the completion of the agreed upon term. Sometimes, this didn’t happen and the people were considered property. As the dishonest employer was deeper out of pocket than the servant, the outcome was often not favorable to those who were indentured.
Another forgotten group of slaves were the Irish. The first slaves in the British colonies were white slaves from Ireland.
King James II and Charles I led a concerted effort to enslave the Irish. It began when James II sold 30,000 Irish slaves to owners the New World. His proclamation in 1625 stated that Irish political prisoners were to be sold to English settlers in the West Indies. The Irish were considered human livestock for English merchants. The initial majority of slaves in the New World were Irish slaves.
If anyone mentions slavery in conversation it is almost a given that it is a reference to African slaves.
How it is that no one ever mentions how shabbily treated the Irish were treated by the English monarchs?
They weren’t treated too much better at the turn of the century when the Potato Famine forced so many to immigrate to the United States. Finding a job was difficult when the “Help Wanted” sign ended with “No Irish Need Apply.”
Yet the Irish have not formed an” Irish Lives Matter” group or demanded reparations for the years their ancestors spent as slaves or second class citizens.
So it seems that Ben Carson wasn’t so far off the mark, it is just that the listeners jumped to conclusions, and created yet another liberal tempest in a teapot.
Image: By Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30174899