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The Uncomfortable History of the Long Ignored White Slave Trade

March 1, 2013

   As we learn history in school, white students are made to feel that their ancestors were cruel, morally retarded, and plain evil. Especially toward blacks. They are made to feel that they owe Black people compensation, since they are taught, Black people’s problems today are the legacy of hundreds of years of slavery for which White people are responsible for.

  These liberal lies are countered by facts. The main fact is that many hundreds of thousands of White people were slaves in early America as well. White slavery was extremely common, until the late 18th century it was far more common than Black slavery in the United States. Also, the living and labor conditions for Black slaves, bad as they often were, were usually far better than those for White slaves. White slavery? That’s something that disappeared with the Romans and the Vikings right? Wrong!

In the 1600’s Ireland became the biggest source of human livestock for the English merchants. The majority of the early slaves to the New World were actually white, A LARGE Majority.

   From the 1640’s-1650’s over a half a million Irish were killed by the English, and another Quarter million plus were sold as slaves. Ireland’s population fell from about 1,500,000 to 600,000 in a single decade. Families were ripped apart. The British did not allow Irish fathers to take their wives or children with them across the Atlantic. This led to struggling population of homeless women and children. Britain’s solution? Auction them off as well.

   During the 1650s, over 100,000 Irish kids between the ages of 10 and 14 were taken from their parents and sold as slaves in the West Indies, Virginia and New England. In this decade, over 50,000 Irish, mostly women and children were sold to Barbados and Virginia. Another 30,000 Irish men and women were also transported and sold to the highest bidder. In 1656, 2000 Irish children were taken to Jamaica and sold as slaves to the English settlers. There were Irish sent to the West Indies to work the plantations along side the African slaves as well. Irish were also forced to build roads in the southern US states because they were considered less valuable then black slaves.


Some Things I would like to mention are:
1.) The first slave owner in American history was black, he owned a tobacco farm. 2.)Thousands of free blacks in the South were, themselves, slave owners. In 1860 the largest slave owner in South Carolina was black, he was a plantation owner.

3.) There were over 4,700 victims of lynching between 1882 and 1968. Of those about 1,300 were white and 3,400 were black.
4.)Lynchings occurred in 44 states. There were more whites than blacks lynched in 25 of those 44 states.


  Sure Blacks were taken away from their country to be used as slaves, and were beaten/abused/raped. So were White slaves. I am not going to get into the “who had it worse” bit. I often wonder why we focus on Black history more then white history. When we think slaves, we only think of African American slaves. I was taught absolutely nothing about white slavery in school. I only started learning about it when I researched the land grab against the Native Americans.


  We are led to believe that because of the black slave trade, the rest of the history is to be ignored.  We have black history Month, BET, Black Miss America, NAACP, and so fourth. The argument is the rest of the year is white history month. Give me a break. There were White only programs years ago sure, but that could never happen today. Could you imagine the lawsuits and the outrage if we had a White Miss America pageant? If we had a White Only television channel. These things would be considered racist. So it’s racist for White people but not Black people? Was there not a huge movement in our nation in regards to Black people having equal rights? If that is the case then why are things not treated equal? It’s equal for a black only pageant, but not a white only pageant?


  Slavery was two sided. If you knew your history, you would realize this. Blacks owned Black, Blacks owned Whites. Whites Owned Blacks, Whites owned Whites. There were just as many crimes against humanity for white people, and other races. If we are striving toward living in a fair and equal country then it’s my belief that there should be no special privileges for anyone. In order for every one to be treated equal, equality must be fair for all parties involved. One race should not be allowed to do something that another race would be called prejudice, or sued for. But, that’s just my opinion, and no one asked for it.

-Kay Horton



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One Comment
  1. teri mcintyre permalink

    very informative piece of work here…….great job Kay.

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