Friday, May 4, 2018

Liberty and Death

Edwin Starr
War. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing.
On this, both Edwin Starr and Quark were wrong.

Just a random thought. Okay, what it really is: an excuse to quote a 70s R&B star and a Star Trek: Deep Space Nine character at the same time.

Kanye West’s public support of Donald Trump is far from new, but people began to take notice when West tweeted agreement with popular conservative activist Candace Owens. I talked about this on Saturday.

So, now the online public is paying close attention to everything West says, including this line, spoken during a TMZ interview:
400 years [of slavery] sounds like a choice.
I haven’t listened to the interview, so I don’t know the context but, guess what: he’s correct.

The choice was enslavement or death.

Now, before you decide that you already know where I’m going with this, keep in mind that I am often not going where you’re going and that I have a load of personal commentary to draw from to make my points.

On my Facebook feed, I have several people who are agreeing with West for all the wrong reasons. “The slaves should have gotten together and fought back. Look at Nat Turner,” I swear, these people think slaves could have sent out mass text messages to surrounding plantations and bought their equipment on Amazon.

And Nat Turner? There were close to 2 million slaves – obviously including women and children -- in the United States of 1831, the year of the Nat Turner Rebellion. That rebellion lasted for two days and consisted of a force that grew to 75 people before it was stopped dead in its tracks. And I do mean dead.

I’m retired from the USAF, so I haven’t experienced war up close and personal. But I have read a book or 20 about wars and violence. Off the top of my head, I know that, for a war to have any chance of success – especially a war of rebellion -- requires:
  • Clear chain of command
  • Training
  • Planning
  • Weapons
  • Ammunition
  • Food
  • Water
  • Shelter
  • Secure communication
  • Supply lines
  • Allies
These are the bare bones, but the bottom line is that a combat force seeking to free itself and its related non-combatants against a better-trained and better-armed foe needs to know WTF it’s doing in the short-term and have long-term goals – like what to do and where to go if victory is achieved.

Think about what slavery was back then. Most slaves could not read, much less read a map, and, of course, the whole reason for keep slaves illiterate was to reduce the likelihood of this very thing.

War against the master-class and other whites? Please.

So, it is that most slaves chose to live. Good thing, too, because dead people cannot procreate. Don’t believe me? Ask the descendants of the Trans-Saharan Slave Trade – if you can find any.
A comparison of the Islamic Slave Trade to the American Slave Trade reveals some extremely interesting contrasts.

While two out of every three slaves shipped across the Atlantic were men, the proportions were reversed in the Islamic Slave Trade: two women for every man were enslaved by the Muslims.

While the mortality rate of slaves being transported across the Atlantic was as high as ten percent, the percentage of slaves dying in transit in the Trans-Sahara[n] and East African Slave market was a staggering eighty to ninety percent. (...) 
While many children were born to slaves in the Americas--the millions of their descendants are citizens in Brazil and the United States of today--very few descendants of the slaves that ended up in the Middle East survived. 
While most slaves who went to the Americas could marry and have families, most of the male slaves destined for the Middle East were castrated and most of the children born to the women were killed at birth. 
– John Alembillah Azumah

Most of those slaves had no choices.

Personally, I’m glad that those on my mother's side of the woodpile chose to live. Their descendants received liberty anyway -- and those descendants include those who are still mad at Kanye West for being freer than they are and for taking advantage of it.

Every Tuesday and Saturday, I blog at the award-winning DaTechGuyBlog. Latest post: Kanye Has Them Shaking in Their Boots.

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