White House senior adviser Cedric Richmond told “Axios on HBO” that it’s “doable” for President Biden to make first-term progress on breaking down barriers for people of color, while Congress studies reparations for slavery.

Now I’m certainly no fan of socialism but if the U.S. empire is feeling guilty about something the British empire did 364 years ago, and they think that they can ease their collective conscience by offering my family money, I’m certainly not going to decline.

Because I have the documentation (ship manifest, genealogy report) to prove that my great, great, great, great, great, great, great, Scots-Irish grandfather came to Henrico County Virginia in 1657 as an ‘indentured servant’ (which everybody knows is nothing but an euphemism for ‘slave.’)

And I’m guessing the article is not talking about ‘black’ Africans as we all remember from high school science classes that black is the absence of color. (My family is creamy colored.) Plus it’s only right that the Brits, the Scots and the Irish go first as they were enslaved before the Africans. And if anybody doesn’t know what I’m talking about, here’s a short history lesson.

In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, more than 300,000 British, Irish, And Scottish people were shipped to America as slaves. Urchins were swept up from London’s streets to labor in the tobacco fields, where life expectancy was no more than two years. Brothels were raided to provide “breeders” for Virginia. Hopeful migrants were duped into signing as indentured servants, unaware they would become personal property who could be bought, sold, and even gambled away. Transported convicts were paraded for sale like livestock.

Drawing on letters crying for help, diaries, and court and government archives, it can be shown that the brutalities usually associated with black African slavery alone were perpetrated on Anglo-Saxons and Celts throughout British rule. The indentured servitude of ‘whites’ was comparable in most respects to the slavery endured by ‘blacks’- and their servitude started long before black slavery was common.

Indentured slaves arriving in colonial America from Britain were sold on the block, subjected to backbreaking work on plantations, poorly fed and clothed, savagely punished for any disobedience, forbidden to marry without their master’s permission, and whipped and branded for running away. Nor were indentures always voluntary: tens of thousands of convicts, beggars, homeless children and other undesirable Britons were transported to America against their will. Given the hideous mortality rates, indentured contracts often amounted to a life sentence at hard labor—some convicts asked to be hanged rather than be sent to Virginia.

White Cargo: The Forgotten History of Britain’s White Slaves in America


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