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25.10.20

A Slave To Ignorance

 

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Of the many crimes against humanity committed by modern schooling - I don't use "education" because it doesn't exist - is the lack of language study.  This is certainly by design, because buried in the very words we use is the history of civilization, slapping us in the face every time we write, read, speak, or listen.  It is no mistake that the Trivium of true education were the essential skills of grammar, logic and rhetoric, nor is it a mistake that the word for tedious detail is "trivia".

It would be funny, were it not so tragic, that the social justice warriors (SJWs) who bellow themselves blue about systemic racism and the injustice of black slavery are using a term that literally means "white slave".

The word "race" is rather interesting.  There are two parallel origins for the two distinct meanings.  In Old Norse, it meant "current," like the flow of water, and ultimately came to mean a sontest of speed.

More interesting is the meaning of "race" referring to someone's ethnicity.  This sense of the word came to English in the 1600s, from Middle French meaning "origins, lineage, family".  In other words, a "racist" is simply someone who is proud or bullish on their family or lineage.  In the true sense of the word, nearly every human on the planet is racist.  And if every human on the planet is racist, then no one is.  Even in the modern fad of urban tribalism popular among the SJWs, promoting their group or "tribe" is, by definition, racist.

While all of this is fan and fascinating, as real education is, the word that will blow the dear reader out of his or her chair is "slave".

Slave literally refers to the Slavic people of Eastern Europe.  That's right, the very word "slave" comes from a race of WHITE European people who were valued as excellent slaves as late as the 16th century.  In fact, it seems that the Romans adopted the word "sclavus" from the name of this race of people.

The origin, or etymology, of the word "slave" can be found pretty much anywhere educated people congregate.  There are extensive citations in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), which is the go-to source for the history of English words.

To quote one online source, etymonline.com:

"The oldest written history of the Slavs can be shortly summarised--myriads of slave hunts and the enthralment of entire peoples. The Slav was the most prized of human goods. With increased strength outside his marshy land of origin, hardened to the utmost against all privation, industrious, content with little, good-humoured, and cheerful, he filled the slave markets of Europe, Asia, and Africa."

What is particularly notable here is that the Slavs were highly prized as slaves across three continents, including Africa.  Thus, white slaves were being traded in Africa BEFORE the first known African slaves were brought to the New World.

It would seem that the vaunted New York Times' 1619 Project is crumbling before our eyes, and all we've done so far is look only at the history of two words, so far.  We haven't even touched the reasons why so many Europeans were escaping to the New World.

The history and, thus, the truth about racism and slavery are buried deep in the English language, and by extension, global history and culture.  We can point to Biblical accounts of the Hebrews enslaved in Egypt, or the 140,000 American and European POWs in Japan in World War 2, or the "coyotes" running humans across the southern US border as you read this.

Slavery is as old as humanity.  Since records have been kept, humans have bought and sold other humans to do the jobs no one else wanted.  As the previous quote shows, certain races were prized for their qualities as slaves (Slavs).  The Irish and Welsh were (are?) valued for their mining experience and as domestic servants.  Mohawks were legendary ironworkers in the constuction of Manhattan.  Even today, Asians are pressed into service for meticulous and repetitive assembly work.

The Barbary pirates were legendary slave traders along the north and west coasts of Africa.  These people, know as the Berbers, were Turkish and Arab Muslims who began trading slaves after the conquests of Libya, Algeria and Morocco in the 1500s (note the date).  These pirates or corsairs captured and sold thousands of African and European slaves, and were likely not only the source of slaves for the New World, but expanded operations to become the (or at least some) pirates of the Caribbean, as well.

A common form of slavery, even today, is indentured servitude.  Think of it as a kind of "voluntary" or contractual slavery, where one sells one's self or a family member into slavery for a period of time, in the hopes of gaining a skill or craft, or transport to a new land.  The modern internship is nothing but a form of contractual slavery, where one works for little or nothing to gain experience and possibly have an inside track to employment.

My uncle Patrick was the only surviving male of his generation, because his indentured servitude as a house boy in Butte, Montana, kept him out of the coal mines, while his brothers all died of black lung.  In a sense, my mother's family survives thanks to slavery.

The foregoing is not to excuse slavery.  It is a horrid and inhumane practice, especially where it is involuntary.  It is not, however, a reason to offer one group of people victim points over another.  The SJWs and various activist groups have no valid claim to slavery as their personal excuse to inflict mayhem and pain on others.  There is hardly a race (family, lineage, tribe) on the planet that has not been enslaved at some point by another race, or even their own.

The very words "race" and "slave" carry with them the amazingly diverse history of their origins.  To call someone a racist is literally saying they are concerned with their family first, over any others.  To claim exclusive victimhood over slavery defies the root of the word itself  Blaming Europeans for slavery is precisely saying they are responsible for "European chattel humans".

The absurdity of the SJW argument and the apologetics for looting and rioting are, prima facie, circular arguments that tie themselves into literal and historical knots.

Ultimately, this ridiculous situation is the fault of schooling and the dearth of education.  Those who spout their slogans in defense of the indefensible have no clue what they are saying, and defeat their own arguments with the very words they choose.

We can never end the barbaric practice (itself a slander against men with beards) of slavery until we realize that the word itself is multi-racial.  We also need to reclaim the word "race" as not something evil or vile, but in fact celebrates our individual and collective heritage.  Race is an affirmation of family, not a slur to weaponize in service of ideology.

Next time you welsh on a bet, go dutch treat, get your irish up, complain about an indian giver, or call someone a slave, remember that you are using someone's race as a derogatory term.  And next time someone calls you racist, thank them for acknowledging your family comes first.

We cannot solve problems until we fully admit what the problems are.  If you lance one boil, but leave another to fester, you have done nothing to begin the healing.