So many, including myself, have used the acts of slavery as an excuse at one time or another. Now its time to say good bye to that excuse and stand up under my own power. To walk without the aid of a despicable act that has crippled this country long enough.
When we think of slavery, immediately the images of those draped in chains being subjected to weak masters and poorly considered decisions. The crimes were committed and maybe those who were truly responsible were never brought to justice but it is by no means cause to blame everyone else for the sins of another nor is it any reason to sit back and expect to be compensated for the pain and suffering of our forefathers. Its time to move forward. Slavery became a business long before the first ship sailed. “The institution of slavery is as old as civilization. Many nations and empires were built by the muscles of slaves.” “But what kinds of people were enslaved, and why? In ancient civilizations, slaves were usually war captives.” “The victors in battle might enslave the losers rather than killing them.” “Over time, people have found other reasons to justify slavery.” “Slaves were usually considered somehow different than their owners.” “They might belong to a different race, religion, nationality, or ethnic background.” “By focusing on such differences, slave owners felt they could deny basic human rights to their slaves.” (Unknown Author, Discovery Education, Understanding Slavery-A World of Slavery, Retrieved from www.school/discoveryeducation.com). One can only assume that this is where we got the adage “to the victors goes the spoils” originated.
“Who were the first slave owners in North America? Not Europeans, but several Native American tribes.” “The Klamath, Pawnee, Yurok, Creek, Mandan, and Comanche all had small numbers of slaves.” “The Shoshone woman Sacajawea-now famous for guiding the Lewis and Clark Expedition-had been captured as a slave and sold to the Mandan.” (Unknown Author, Discovery Education, A World of Slavery, Retrieved from www.school/discoveryeducation.com). It must be understood that slavery was among us before we could even define it and yet those before us may be still looking for reparations of justice. Justice will not come for those ancestors of those wronged by slavery except in the knowledge that what ones ancestors endured allowed us today to reach higher. Our current ability to reach for the stars and only be limited by our desire to raise our arms.
I would say that it has a lot to do with the knowledge of “white European-Americans created the institution of slavery that we are familiar with.” “Many people from northern states profited from the slave trade by shipping thousands of Africans to the Americas as slaves.” “Over time, most of these enslaved Africans went to the plantations of the American South.” “By 1860, there were nearly four million slaves in the country.” “Gradually, slaves lost their rights until they became mere property.” “The law gave masters total power over slaves, including the right to kill their slaves.” “Also, white slave owners thought they were superior to black people, which increased the gap between slaves and free.” (Unknown Author, Discovery Education, A World of Slavery, Retrieved from www.school/discoveryeducation.com). Either way that was then or this is now. The past should be used to learn from and not repeat, expecting things to be different only works if one could go back in time. Barring that, its time to move on. It is quite disappointing that a country of which I was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice treated those who look like me in that style of disrespect but I refuse to allow this recognition to be my guiding light and I would hope that many others will feel the same way too.