Colonial Slavery: Sins of Our Past


  • mod

    Continuing the discussion from Status: Having my git changed to hg:

    @blakeyrat said:

    Status: Finished a book about king Leopold's Belgium Congo and the (in all things but name) genocide that took place there for a period of decades. Disgusting.

    Wondering if the Belgium people who post here know anything about that bit of their own history, the book makes the claim that it's not taught in Belgium schools?


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    Most (all?) countries prefer to gloss over the less-than-glorious parts of their history. It's rare that a country survives for long without having the capability to be a complete set of evil bastards somewhere in the national spirit (and just about every country that has built an empire is like this) but the results can be horrible and embarrassing, in some cases triggering unhealthy denial as reality conflicts with national myth.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    king Leopold's ■■■■■■■ Congo

    You mean King Leopold's Congo (Congo Free State). It only became Belgian Congo in 1908 after they forced the hand of Leopold II to give up something that was not wanted by the Belgian Government. At least he was allowed to keep his hands.



  • Oh yeah, it's not like the US is any better. (When's the last time you saw the US' experiment with colonialism in the Philippines in a textbook? Roughly never.) I was mostly just curiously whether that claim in the book was accurate or not.

    Unlike the US, Belgium's Congo colony was a large large percentage of their GNP for about 30 years.



  • @Luhmann said:

    You mean King Leopold's Congo (Congo Free State).

    Belgium gave him a 0% loan to found it, so the national government can't just wash their hands.

    @Luhmann said:

    It only became Belgian Congo in 1908 after they forced the hand of Leopold II to give up something that was not wanted by the Belgian Government.

    But serious reform didn't occur until the mid-20s. Again, the country can't just wash their hands and blame it on someone else.

    (Not to mention the idiotic reason why Leopold II was king in the first place. As an American, the type of thinking that could produce that result is mind-bogglingly stupid!)

    @Luhmann said:

    At least he was allowed to keep his hands.

    Reading that book makes me desperately want to believe in hell or at least reincarnation. Because that asshole certainly didn't get any justice here on Earth.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    As an American, the type of thinking that could produce that result is mind-bogglingly stupid!)

    Leto agrees, hence the Golden Path.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Oh yeah, it's not like the US is any better. (When's the last time you saw the US' experiment with colonialism in the Philippines in a textbook? Roughly never.)

    Native Hawaiians are still bitching about it. But our colonialism sins have always paled in light of slavery and we still talk about that a lot.



  • @boomzilla said:

    Native Hawaiians are still bitching about it. But our colonialism sins have always paled in light of slavery and we still talk about that a lot.

    That's true, but slavery is something you see as being "in the past" and the colonial bullshit was going on long into the modern era. Heck, Mobutu met with Ronald Reagan, I could conceivably remember experiencing that first-hand!



  • Was the US really so abnormally bad about slavery? I mean, until England started putting a stop to it, everyone did it. The segregation afterward seems worse in my estimation. "You're free; too bad you are lesser beings."



  • @Magus said:

    Was the US really so abnormally bad about slavery?

    No, but it lasted a lot longer here than most other countries of equivalent economic standards. By 30 years.



  • By 'lasted longer' you of course mean 'ended later' - slavery was certainly a thing for a lot longer in pretty much every country, because America is young.



  • I meant to type "pedantic dickweeds should be murdered", I don't know how it came out so wrong.



  • @Magus said:

    Was the US really so abnormally bad about slavery?

    No. It's just something that was very traumatic for us. In any case, it was an example of bad stuff we did in the past that hasn't simply been swept under the rug. People can :moving_goal_post: as much as they like, but my point is no less valid.

    @Magus said:

    The segregation afterward seems worse in my estimation.

    More stuff that we haven't swept under the rug.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @dkf said:

    less-than-glorious

    From the little I've read of this (basically, the Wikipedia summary), the phrase I've highlighted consists of some fairly heavy white-washing.

    Not singling the Belgians out here--lots of countries have bad things in their histories. But if you cover it up or minimize it, that enables people to forget and then do it--or something else bad--again.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @blakeyrat said:

    No, but it lasted a lot longer here than most other countries of equivalent economic standards. By 30 years.

    You have to put those qualifiers on it, though, to make it sound like the US was the worst. Brazil didn't abolish slavery until the late 1880s, and Central and South America were generally harder on their slaves.



  • University of Alabama 1956. That's waaay back in the past.



  • @Mikael_Svahnberg said:

    University of Alabama 1956. That's waaay back in the past.

    But...not slavery.


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    @FrostCat said:

    You have to put those qualifiers on it, though, to make it sound like the US was the worst. Brazil didn't abolish slavery until the late 1880s, and Central and South America were generally harder on their slaves.

    Exactly. Not to excuse our actions, but we imported a hell of a lot less slaves due to the fact that ours actually survived and continued living. In the Bahamas and Central and South America they had to continue importing them on a massive scale due to the fact that they literally worked them to death within a year.

    Even Europe imported many more slaves than the US did. A lot more.

    It was all a big pile of suck, but we were surely on the lower end of the suckitude.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @blakeyrat said:

    Oh yeah, it's not like the US is any better.

    I was more thinking about how fucking awful the UK was in the past. Both in terms of empire and to its own citizens. I'm aware of bad things having happened in quite a few other countries, and in others, I'm more aware that I don't know their history all that well.

    I stand by my assertion earlier, exactly as it was made. I tried to pick my words carefully. Read into it what you will.



  • What I mean is that the abolishment of slavery was not even skin deep.

    BTW, @boomzilla, if we are to believe some interpreters of Nostradamus, you'd better stay at home tomorrow...



  • @Mikael_Svahnberg said:

    What I mean is that the abolishment of slavery was not even skin deep.

    That's stupid. Not being allowed to go to a school or use a facility, etc, is still miles away from being a piece of property.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    the idiotic reason why Leopold II was king in the first place

    Because he was the son of Leopold I? I think you mean the silly reasons there was the need to invent a kingdom. And then to find a bugger to sit on the throne. That line of thinking went straight from Leopold I getting the throne to Leopold II getting Congo. You can't forget how special the US Constitution was in its day

    @blakeyrat said:

    any justice here on Earth

    How many dictators or leaders get that? And the other way around ... would Franco or Pinochet have given up power so easily when they wouldn't have had a way out?



  • You are right. Property has value.

    @Magus said:

    The segregation afterward seems worse in my estimation. "You're free; too bad you are lesser beings."

    This. Politically as well as economically. "You are free. But, since you have no money, you need to work. We set he salaries, and we set them so low so you have to take your kids out of school and work too. What's that? You don't like it? Weeel, then you can just take your family and move out into the woods and starve. Only... I, muzungu, own the woods to, so you will have to pay a ridiculously high rent."



  • You guys are crazy if you really think the segregation was worse than chattel slavery. We're getting into serious #SlatePitch territory here.



  • Of course it is not worse. All I'm saying is that just because slavery was abolished, things did not magically turn into roses overnight. And this continues into modern times, which is not "way back".



  • @Mikael_Svahnberg said:

    All I'm saying is that just because slavery was abolished, things did not magically turn into roses overnight.

    That's not what you were saying. I doubt anyone would disagree with that.

    @Mikael_Svahnberg said:

    And this continues into modern times, which is not "way back".

    Not in the US. Not much at all like what it used to be.


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    @boomzilla said:

    We're getting into serious #SlatePitch territory here.

    That's the second Twitter reference I've seen from you today. Has it just turned old enough to be allowed on your lawn?



  • @Jaloopa said:

    That's the second Twitter reference I've seen from you today.

    What was the first?

    @Jaloopa said:

    Has it just turned old enough to be allowed on your lawn?

    Expect me in unexpected places.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @boomzilla said:

    What was the first?

    You linked to a tweet somewhere. Tried to find it in your profile but your /t/1000 rate is a :barrier: to me being arsed



  • @Jaloopa said:

    You linked to a tweet somewhere.

    Ah, yes. I've linked to several. But I posted them yesterday, so I wasn't thinking about them.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @boomzilla said:

    But I posted them yesterday

    So? I read them today.You're dismissing what I said, that's triggering and MOD ABUSE



  • @Jaloopa said:

    You're dismissing what I said

    I've already pushed it clean out of my mind.





  • @Mikael_Svahnberg said:

    This. Politically as well as economically.

    Ridiculous.

    You know the difference? Once freed, the slaves can GET THE FUCK OUT OF DODGE! "Dodge" here meaning, "awful Southern states full of racist dicks."

    Why do you think Chicago has such a large black population, for example? How many blacks do you think lived in Chicago before 1865?

    The situation we have now is the same as when America was first settled. The people who are more interested in improving their position over lazily staying home are the pioneers, who go out and reap the rewards. The majority of the population stays where they've always been, and those are the people who suffer.

    The migration of blacks out of southern States was huge, huge huge huge. It's not written about because it happened over 50 years, not like a weekend.



  • So it's the peoples fault for not moving?


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Mikael_Svahnberg said:

    All I'm saying is that just because slavery was abolished, things did not magically turn into roses overnight. And this continues into modern times, which is not "way back".

    The funny thing is, things were slowly but steadily getting better, until someone started just throwing money at poor people.



  • There's no assignment of blame.

    But they had the equal opportunity to move, and people who moved generally enjoyed better outcomes. That's all I'm saying.


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