Sunday, July 12, 2009
Did Jews Dominate The Slave Trade?
There has been a recent upsurge in the number of postings on video sharing sites such as YouTube and on certain internet blogs that charge, among other things, that Jews dominated the worldwide - and in particular, the African-American - slave trade during the 18th and 19th centuries. While it is no secret to historians - and it is well documented - that some Jews were involved in the slave trade during that period in history, the question is: did we dominate the practice, like the anti-Semitic pundits would have us believe?
The only historical conclusion I can draw is.....no. Jews were a very small minority, both in trading and in ownership. Census records from the American South during the Civil War seem to indicate that all the Jewish slave owners and traders combined were a minute fraction of even the smallest single slave trading operation in the area.
If one wants to do honest research on the subject, they will discover that the majority of the blame for slavery can be laid squarely on the shoulders of Muslim and Christian rulers in Africa and Europe, who made up the majority of slavers throughout history, and the good, white, Protestant Christian owners of plantations across the Colonies who used them as cattle.
While slavery was and still is a vile and reprehensible practice, it does not seem to stop these hate mongers from picking through the trash bins of history and coming up with with this outrageous canard that all Jews were somehow wholly complicit in, or that we dominated - the practice of slavery. We did not, and frankly, these propagandists are damn liars for saying so. I do not use the accusation lightly - I shout it loud and clear so everyone can understand.
That being said, I can somewhat understand their motives for participating in this bit of anti-Semitic screeching and mud-slinging. People who do this fall into one of several categories of Jew haters. The first and most vocal group are the Muslims. This I can definitely understand, because if I were a Muslim, and my people were actively involved in profiting off the slave trade for 1400 years - including Mohammed who, in 627 CE slaughtered 800 male Jews of the Banu Qurayza tribe in the city of Medina, then sold their wives and children into slavery - I would want to deflect a little of the blame myself.
Then there are the followers of Tony Martin and his ilk like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and Louis Farrakhan, who are race-baiters. They may not have personally benefited from the slave trade, but they certainly benefit from, and have gotten rich off of, pounding the anti-Semitic pulpit. Its all about money and personal lifestyle with these people. An off shoot of this category are the anti-Semites known as the Black Hebrew Israelites. Videos by their supporters on the subject have been uploaded onto YouTube with an alarming frequency.
Lastly, there are the white supremacist organizations, whether secular or religious. While they and their ancestors have and still do benefit from the world slave trade, and they would just as soon hang their above-mentioned fellow slave-trade believers like Martin from the nearest tree as to look at them, they also do it to deflect blame. It seems the descendants of the main perpetrators of American slavery want to deny their true history, so they jump on the “Jews dominated the slave trade” bandwagon with the rest of the torch-wielding mob. With the number of white supremacist leaders and their appointed spokespeople on the internet crawling into bed with the radical Muslims (also at an alarming rate), they have managed to secure their place in history as the true dhimmis of the Islamists.
In the end, the common denominator among all of these groups is anti-Semitism.
Frankly, it is disheartening and rather sickening that humanity has sunk to such a low that it has to use scapegoats to deflect attention away from its own history of bigotry, intolerance, and hate; war, slavery, and conquest; murder and subjugation. Instead of meeting and overcoming the challenges head on like the rest of the civilized world, they choose to ignore the vast historical record of man's inhumanity to man, and concentrate all their efforts on hating, vilifying, and dehumanizing the one whipping boy everyone can rely on as a target - the Jews.