Most Australians are owed an apology from the English nobility for the treatment of their English Irish, Welsh and Scottish peasant ancestors who were slaves in all but name.
While we are apologizing; the Danes and Norwegians owe the British and Irish an apology for kidnapping many of their citizens and selling them into slavery around the world during the early Middle Ages.
The Irish owe the British an apology for their slaving during the Dark Ages when Britons like St. Patrick were used as slaves in Ireland.
The Italians owe every nationality an apology for the ancient Romans. Rome, while not built in a day, was built in by slaves of every race the Romans encountered.
The problem of course, is that we are all descended from both the slaves and the slave masters. Anyone in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, or Africa who could accurately trace their ancestry back 100 generations (give or take 2,000 years), would find many slaves and slave owners in their bloodline. Those who claim a monopoly on being descended from oppressed people are con artists; those who feel historical guilt are ignorant.Bristol was sending English slaves to Ireland in the 11th century. The great St Wulfstan, then Bishop of Worcester, preached in Bristol against the practice, and on one occasion a slave merchant had his eyes put out by an angry mob.
Unfortunately the Arabs and Moors won't have to pay much compo for the descendants of the black African slaves sold at the great markets in Marrakesh and Cairo. As the males were all castrated (killing about 1 out of 3) and the females were all used for service of every kind (their male children also being castrated), after a few generations there were no recognisibly 'black African' people descended from the original slaves.
If Queen Elizabeth I had lived in the 20th Century. she would have been viewed with the same horror as Hitler and Stalin. Her policy of Irish genocide was pursued with such evil zest it boggles the mind of modern men. But Elizabeth was only setting the stage for the even more savage program that was to follow her, directed specifically to exterminate the Irish. James II and Charles I continued Elizabeth�s campaign, but Cromwell almost perfected it. Few people in modern so-called �civilized history� can match the horrors of Cromwell in Ireland. It is amazing what one man can do to his fellow man under the banner that God sanctions his actions!
During the reign of Elizabeth I, English privateers captured 300 African Negroes, sold them as slaves, and initiated the English slave trade. Slavery was, of course, an old established commerce dating back into earliest history. Julius Caesar brought over a million slaves from defeated armies back to Rome. By the 16th century, the Arabs were the most active, generally capturing native peoples, not just Africans, marching them to a seaport and selling them to ship owners. Dutch, Portuguese and Spanish ships were originally the most active, supplying slaves to the Spanish colonies in America. It was not a big business in the beginning, but a very profitable one, and ship owners were primarily interested only in profits. The morality of selling human beings was never a factor to them.
After the Battle of Kinsale at the beginning of the 17th century, the English were faced with a problem of some 30,000 military prisoners, which they solved by creating an official policy of banishment. Other Irish leaders had voluntarily exiled to the continent, in fact, the Battle of Kinsale marked the beginning of the so-called �Wild Geese�, those Irish banished from their homeland. Banishment, however, did not solve the problem entirely, so James II encouraged selling the Irish as slaves to planters and settlers in the New World colonies. The first Irish slaves were sold to a settlement on the Amazon River In South America in 1612. It would probably be more accurate to say that the first �recorded� sale of Irish slaves was in 1612, because the English, who were noted for their meticulous record keeping, simply did not keep track of things Irish, whether it be goods or people, unless such was being shipped to England. The disappearance of a few hundred or a few thousand Irish was not a cause for alarm, but rather for rejoicing. Who cared what their names were anyway, they were gone.
America's nonviolent prisoner population exceeds the combined general population of Alaska and Wyoming. 2002 statistics
America's nonviolent prisoner population is three times the violent and nonviolent prisoner populations of the entire European Union. Those nations have a combined general population of 370 million people, compared to America's population of 274 million.
America's 1.2 million nonviolent prisoners is five times the number of people held in India's entire prison system, even though India is a country with roughly four times our population. The growth of America's prison system has become so large that it has spawned numerous family support and advocacy groups which were unthinkable 20 years ago. For example, this study comes a day before scores of people whose family members are incarcerated for nonviolent crimes will convene in Washington for a national gathering of Families Against Mandatory Minimums.
"The scale of this problem has become truly massive, with populations the size of several states now behind bars" said Julie Stewart of Families Against Mandatory Minimums. "But each one of them is an individual human being, who has left behind a family and loved ones. The statistics are merely a backdrop to their continuing loss."
From April 11 - 18, a newly-created organization called Critical Resistance is preparing a series of prison visitations at institutions around the country to highlight the overuse of incarceration. "Between mandatory minimums and increasing construction, we are on a collision course with our childrenís future," stated Ellen Barry of Critical Resistance. "It is time for us to focus more on improving our system of education than expanding our prison industry."
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- ----- Family members of people imprisoned for non-violent offenses can be reached through the FAMM conference organizers at (202) 822-6700. The Justice Policy Institute is a private, nonprofit research and policy institute based in Washington, DC. This research was conducted with a grant from the Center on Crime, Communities and Culture.