SLAVERY WAS NOT ALWAYS ABOUT BLACKS

white-slavesMuch attention and condemnation has been directed towards the tragedy of the African slave trade, which took place between the 16th and the 19th centuries. However, another equally despicable trade in humans was taking place around the same time in the Mediterranean.  It is estimated that up to 1.25 million Europeans were enslaved by the so-called Barbary corsairs, and their lives were just as pitiful as their African counterparts. They have come to be known as the white slaves of Barbary.

Slavery is one of the oldest trades known to man. We can first find records of the slave trade dating back to The Code of Hammurabi in Babylon in the 18th century BCE. People from virtually every major culture, civilization, and religious background have made slaves of their own and enslaved other peoples. However, comparatively little attention has been given to the prolific slave trade that was carried out by pirates, or corsairs, along the Barbary coast.

Anyone traveling in the Mediterranean at the time faced the real prospect of being captured by the Corsairs and taken to Barbary Coast cities and being sold as slaves.

However, not content with attacking ships and sailors, the corsairs also sometimes raided coastal settlements in Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, England, Ireland, and even as far away as the Netherlands and Iceland.  They landed on unguarded beaches, and crept up on villages in the dark to capture their victims.  Almost all the inhabitants of the village of Baltimore, in Ireland, were taken in this way in 1631.  (Ancient Origins)

The Barbary slave trade (White Slave trade) flourished on the Barbary Coast of North Africa between the 15th and 19th centuries. This area is modern-day Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and western Libya. European slaves were captured by Barbary pirates in raids on ships and coastal towns from Italy to Spain, Portugal, France, England, the Netherlands, Ireland and Iceland.

Men, women, and children were captured, to such a devastating extent that vast numbers of seacoast towns were abandoned. During the 13th and 14th centuries, Christian pirates, primarily from Catalonia and Sicily posed a constant threat to merchants. But the Barbary corsairs became menaces with the expansion of the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century.

Slaves in Barbary could be black, brown or white, Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, Jewish or Muslim. And the corsairs were not only Muslim, there were English privateers and Dutch captains.

galley-slaves-barbary-corsairsMany slaves died on the ships during the long voyage back to North Africa due to disease or lack of food and water. Those who survived were taken to slave markets where they would stand for hours while buyers inspected them before they were sold at auction.

Men were assigned to hard manual labor in quarries or for heavy construction, while women were used for housework or in sexual servitude. At night the slaves were put into prisons called ‘bagnios’ that were often hot and overcrowded.

The worst fate for a Barbary slave was being assigned to man the oars of galleys. Rowers were shackled where they sat, and never allowed to leave. Sleeping, eating, defecation and urination took place at the seat. Overseers would crack the whip over the bare backs of any slaves considered not to be working hard enough.

Europeans sometimes attempted to buy their people out of slavery, but no real system emerged before around 1640. Corsair activity began to diminish in the latter part of the 17th century, as the more powerful European navies forced pirates to cease attacking their shipping. In the 19th century, the United States of America and some European nations began to fight back more fervently against the Barbary pirates.

Algiers was frequently bombarded by the French, Spanish and Americans. After an Anglo-Dutch raid in 1816 on Algiers, the corsairs were forced to agree to terms which included a cessation of the practice of enslaving Christians, although slave trading of non-Europeans was allowed to continue.

“One of the things that both the public and many scholars have tended to take as given is that slavery was always racial in nature,” said historian Robert Davis, author of Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters: White Slavery in the Mediterranean, the Barbary Coast, and Italy. “But that is not true,” he added.

In comments which may stoke controversy, Davis claims that white slavery had been minimized or ignored because academics preferred to treat Europeans as evil colonialists rather than as victims. (Ancient Origins)

slavesThe notion that slavery is or was an attrition of humanity remains a subject matter that is moot to different scholars. Indeed the term ‘slavery’ has and still is a word that connotes deep resentment for many as it conjures a picture of tortuous pain and suffering against the refusal of those enslaved to wishes forced upon them.

In the period of the Barbary trade, people were captured and forced to work and were made to suffer inhumane circumstances. Muslims, Africans as well as other mercenaries were involved in this business It was purely economic by those involved and not always attached to a racist umbilical cord. Indeed many of the great cities, monuments and wonders of the world were built by’ slave labor’. And not all ‘slaves’ were treated inhumanely either.

“In both Egypt and Rome, slaves were actually treated quite well if they behaved. They were provided food, shelter, clothing and protection in return for them service. Additionally, in ancient Greece, a slave could actually work his or her way out of servitude and become a property, and even business, owner. In fact, the Greeks had a far different view of slaves and slavery. You weren’t automatically a lesser person just because you were a slave. And capitol crimes such as murder were handled differently. If a person murdered another, the murderer was sentenced to seven years of indentured servitude to the family of the victim. This isn’t to say that the murderer might not meet with an untimely demise, but slavery, in general, has had a very long existence and encompassed a multitude of both cultures and races.’ Scruffy Nerfherder

Regardless of which side of the spectrum you stand, restricting freedom, forcing labor, working under inhumane conditions and declaring that you ‘own’ a person just by the very nature of ‘buying’ them as you would a pound of meat, is wrong. Similarly employing persons under similar conditions is equally wrong, no matter how much you try and cloak it with so called ‘incentives’. This article attempted to show that slavery did not start with or end in Africa.  Indeed slavery is as old as humanity. Denying persons of their humanity is denying the person’s  existence.
Eckhart Tolle was quoted to say.. “Dogmas are collective conceptual prisons. And the strange thing is that people love their prison cells because they give them a sense of security and a false sense of ‘I know.’ Nothing has inflicted more suffering on humanity than its dogmas.”
The dogma that drives humanity to slavery is a tumor that is still very much malignant. There are treatments but it rears its ugly head frequently. Historians highlight what they deem necessary but knowing our history will make us aware of both the past and that history always has a way of repeating itself. It is for us to monitor, check, account and evade.

Sources: Thanks NeoMakeba for original post / Ancient Origins

CHRYSTALLIA , A PLACE FOR HUMANS, NOT FOR IDIOTS

I am a lover of technology. Actually I live technology. Inside my head I have created this country where  I live. a country called Chrystallia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, west of South and North America, it is a country so large it stretches from the north Pacific ocean to the south. It has 3 time zones, larger than South America and the US, Chrystallia is a country that mesmerises those that has the opportunity to visit.

In the world but not of the world, Chrystallia is governed by a Chairman and a board, parliament by other standards, made up from the greatest minds that live in our country. The history of the country is one shaped from battles of sovereignty from the Greeks and the many world generals that tried to colonize the country. Through blood and tears the people of Chrystallia fought for their right to be a sovereign nation and from the day of Incorporation,  March 29, 1859 , Chrystallia has as its charter to build a nation like no other on Earth where poverty is extinct and the nation’s citizens will be the primary assets of the country.

chrystalliaChrystallia is run like a business, not a typical country with cost and revenue paramount to the economy. Like any business it has a budget and covers all its cost before embarking on expenses. The country is profitable, dynamic, totally automated, zero unemployment, it operates on a 24 hour economic cycle where every business is operated on a 24 hour basis ensuring total employment and constant economic activity. No one works for more than 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. No one goes to the bank as every home is connected to the economic grid to conduct any and every activity. No cash his exist in Chrystallia, payment is by a chip implanted in citizens wrist. We do not have drug problems, medical problems, environmental problems, religious, social or political crises. Chrystallia is an ideal country where even visitors are managed, all requiring visa to enter from ‘Ports’ situated in all the continents of the world. No one is exempted, not even Presidents or Prime Ministers. We occupy a space in the world but not of the world. Our country is protected by super intelligent robotics with advanced machinery never seen by the outside world , 10 million in number, transportation by high speed rails and flying cars. We get involved in world conflicts only if one of our citizens are killed or captured by outside forces. Our motto is simple – A Chrystallian’s  blood is the blood of the country, a country  fought hard by its people.  Shed one drop of it,  and you declare war on Chrystallia.  We retaliate first THEN ask questions after.

In my world life is good, not devoid of problems but good as we fix the problems that exist and plan for every conceivable scenario. My world is not real or seemingly possible by human standards but that is to be expected as human standards are affected by the very humans, limited only by their propensity to change daily and their innate need to obey their baseless inhuman feelings. Is it utopia? Maybe it is but not one void of the realities that in our world everyone is accountable, everyone is discoverable by a chip placed on their personage, everyone  has to follow laws and like all business if it is broken, we fix it .

Chrystallia is a rare place. Some people have called us aliens, others say we are devoid of humanity and its realities. At 100% fully automated and technology driven our country is like Google and all the other fully automated companies of the world on steroids. But automation does not replace humanics.

This is where we differ from the rest. Simply put, in Chrystallia everything starts with humanics, the age-old Greek ideal of the balanced individual. We believe from our Greek heritage, that a person’s emotional, intellectual and physical lives are one, connected by our shared human birth into this world. The humanics philosophy calls for the total education of the body, the mind and the spirit as our shared humanity supersedes our individual existence

We uphold that value to be true, as the Americans hold to their value that “all men are created equal”  to be paramount to their existence.   In Chrystallia its not  about the automation, wealth and the utopian economy. People of Chystallia create a zen by balancing their bodies, mind and emotions to each other, understanding that there is nothing without the total whole of the sum of the people that exist. No person stands alone in Chrystallia hence we hold to be true that all men need each other, period.  Its about advancement, upward mobility and exceeding intelligence but it is also about balance.

Prince Ea, a resident of the US,  has seen this problem that is destroying the fibre of the people he shares his humanity. It is called a world of robotics, a world devoid of human feelings, touch, sight, hearing and emotions. He cries out from where he stands as he sees a  generation living a human caste system, driven by automation without management . He asks can you auto-correct humanity? Can you hit the backspace key and manually delete the errors of a society consuming robotics and turning themselves slaves to the world of machines?

The_Matrix_PosterReality as we know it , is heading for a dystopian society where Prince Ea sees his world slowly being consumed by machines and social media as the link that feeds them, the link that perpetuates the dream that all is normal. He sees a world where hellos and goodbyes are removed  from the vocabulary , replaced by tweets and messages. He sees a world where machines rule, waging a war on humanity that made them , only to conquer and turn the rebellious humans to nothing but social media zombies. We have seen this before. It was in 1999. Thanks to NEO and those awaken from the dream, The Matrix was a wake up call.

A whole generation is missing out on the human need to touch, see, hear and feel. A whole generation is growing up not knowing how to go on a date with each other.  A generation is walking into the sentient of machines and not knowing it is only a matter of time when they are wired literally to live, to speak, to do, to feel and to respond. Pretty soon machines will be the new terrorists.

I have let  you into my world. Chrystallia is open ready for visitors but there are caveats. Those that wish to travel and see our world must sign an application of humanity, one that states that in our world we are enlightened by our intelligence but governed by our humanity: our compassion, brotherly love, consideration, understanding, benevolence, charity,generosity and magnanimity.  Sign it and enter the world of Chrystallia. Don’t be fooled by the utopian lifestyle. Our humanity makes it real. We will never reach the point where our automation surpasses our human interaction. We strive to create a place for human existence, not a place for idiots.

© 2014. All Rights Reserved.

THIS IS PERFECTION

 “I have always been willing to put myself at great personal risk for the sake of entertainment. And I’ve always been willing to put you at great personal risk, for the same reason!”

Those are the words of George Carlin. Like any other person George had flaws however he was also a successful comedian. There was no subject he did not find the comic element much to the delight of his audience. Sometimes he was even controversial to the point of audience abuse if ever there was such a thing in a comedy show. But  he left a legacy behind and one of his legacy is his writings on social matters that relate to how we behave and why we do the things we do. By We I mean Us, human beings. Here is one of his social letters to humanity that really causes us to pause and think. It makes us realize, for better off for worse that we are our greatest enemy and that humanity is only a button away from self-destruction.

george_carlin_by_herbis-d5wyei8

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. We’ve added years to life not life to years. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but not better things.

We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.

Remember to spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.

Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent.

Remember, to say, ‘I love you’ to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.

Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.

And always remember, life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by those moments that take our breath away.

George Carlin

This friends, is perfection.

THERE IS ONLY ONE CHRISTIAN

THERE IS ONLY ONE CHRISTIAN

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This Pope is here to set fire to the years of hypocrisy and double standards that the Church has enjoyed for years , controlling the fickle minded and calling down abomination to the indifferent. Who gives them the right or anyone the right to cast any stone? All those preachers in the so-called churches that are jumping and pumping the so-called gospel of hate are nothing but modern-day pharisees, taking the people’s money and they willingly give them with their tongue hanging out of their head. They are creators of strife, conflict and division in society saving not one soul.

We are human. I recognise that. But frankly I am tired of those that wear their christianity on their sleeves, jumping and praising the Lord for saving their soul. If you are such a christian , save another soul but not by your method, by the one that you follow . If you say you are a christian then try this- go and eat, drink, talk and love the person that you hate the most. If you say that you love christ then give away half of your wealth to the very poor. If you say you are a church leader, dress as a dirty mad man and go to your church on a sunday and watch how your sheep treat you looking like an undesirable.

No human has the moral authority to cast any stone..NO ONE. There is only one Christian. He died on the cross many many years ago. Everybody else is trying to be like him. Lets work on that shall we? The only fire and brimstone you need to worry about is the one heading for your own soul.

 

BLACK AND WHITE -THE NEW COLOR

BLACK AND WHITE -THE NEW COLOR

we are the same 1

During one of my many web surfing I encountered upon this beautiful image. It caught my eyes. I went back and took another look. WoW…this is powerful. The model in the middle stood out in the midst of the other models like the sun on a dark gloomy day. I took the pic and put it on my Facebook page and sure enough it got a lot of likes.

Some 2 days later I saw the same pic again..but this time I had discovered who owned the image. It was a photographic duo from France by the name – Ankom-Dream. This time the model in the middle was featured more in the pic as his torso was exposed. This is powerful I said to myself. I took both pics and pinned them to my pintrest. This type of photography is to be preserved.

I see photography as an extension of the traditional artist only one uses a brush while the other uses an instrument called a camera. They are both presenting what they see through their eyes. Ankom-Dreams has drawn this amazing contrast of bodies and simply call it – “We are all the Same”.

When you look at the photograph its not making any political statement, it has no social or religious agenda. It just simply shows mankind in its original color- some black and one white, but all the same being.

The picture therefore asks..why are we so different? We may speak differently, have different height, size, hair, color of eyes may be different but we really are the same- we all eat different things, drink different things, wear different things. Cut us and we all have blood running through our veins.

This picture is in Black and White but it does not matter- it has enough emotions that pulls the living color into our eyes. There is no black and white situation here on earth – its either black or grey. Somehow we just cannot come to grips with the brutal truth that despite our differences we are all the same.

There is something powerful and modern about this image. It speaks truth and it evades numerous color in this black and grey world. Excellent shot Ankom -Dreams. Black and white is the new color.