When I was 19 years old and studied Modern Greek Literature at the University of Amsterdam, we had something new: European Studies. That was nice, that was hot, that was inspiring. It meant we didn’t need to sit our heads in ancient literature all day long, but we could actually study something much more interesting: not one, but two languages and a third subject that you could even choose. We didn’t have this American system with bachelors and masters then, but we immediately did a master’s in four to six years, depending on the studies you did. You had to follow the programme and in the Netherlands there wasn’t a lot of space. So you couldn’t choose to specialise in linguistics, didactics or translation like in Greece. No, literature was literature. But then … in the eighties we had choice!
That third subject could be law, economics or … (don’t get shocked) women studies! It was the time of emancipation for women and I guess there was something scientific about that which you could study or so. I knew a couple of students who studied Russian, Greek and these women studies, but they didn’t really tell me what that actually was. Maybe they didn’t quite understand it themselves either. I may be a woman, but I think it really weird to study women studies on a university in order to get a job in the EU which was then still called EEC, but already planning to grow. Women studies still exist, but are now called gender studies. Seemingly there isn’t anything more to say about just women, so they broadened up.
Where it al started: a scientific study about intelligence and race
If we don’t play God, who will? A famous, but somewhat insensitive quote by Dr. James Watson who won the Nobel Prize in 1962 for his intensive research of DNA in animals and humans. He claimed that all tests and research point out that black people don’t have the same intelligence as other races. He isn’t the only one interested in the subject. Business Insider writes in 2015 about the top Ten of smartest people in the world. I quote: “Singapore is the smartest country in the world, followed by Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Finland, Estonia, Switzerland, Netherlands and Canada”. This discussion of course shocked the whole world, because who wants to see in scientific research that one race has in general a higher IQ than another? But this is the incitation for movements of racial equality to start war against the white, meaning all Western Europeans, no matter from what milieu they come. This discussion in which it seems to be proven that less blacks have a high IQ than others was the reason why Woke-thinking people attacked all whites.
Now of course if you are black, this is even more a shock to you than if you are white, even if it is actually proven that Asians have the highest intelligence in the world and not Europeans. White people got the biggest shock, because now they may not even exist anymore. They aren’t tolerated, because white is dirty, lazy and privileged. If you like my opinion about the subject, I will tell you this: I think this attack to Europeans is dumb, childish and evil. Any normal thinking adult would have said: “Well oh yes Mr. Watson, are we blacks dumber than you? Let’s see about that”. And then they would start a better test. And if the outcome was again that their IQ was lower in general, they would motivate black people to become more proactive and to go to school more than ever. Not only that: they would motivate their fellow people to be interested in science, in language, in history, in music and in anything a person can possibly know. That would be an adult reaction and if they had done that, they would have had all the sympathy and support of the whole world.
Slavery: an issue of hard discussion but easy facts
Anyway! Whiteness studies are about white privilege and how that came into life. The white privilege that doesn’t exist now, that never existed and that will never exist. As I have pointed out already many times, they mean by white privilege that white people find a job easier and have a better life, because they had black slaves in the 17th and 18th century in the United States and Central America. So let’s see how much of that is true. To begin with it’s not at all scientific to cut off one piece of the world and do only research there. You always have to look at the whole world and also answer the question from where the notion of slavery actually came, how long it has existed, where it had existed and when and why it stopped. If you do so, you will never have the idiot idea that all white people – that is people from Iceland until India including more than half of Russia, the Middle East and North Africa – had black slaves, as people who have racism issues do. Maybe it’s good if I show you the most important statistics of slavery. You can find my sources underneath the article.
First of all yes, white people are one race, but they are very much divided in culture, history, religion and even looks. Just like black people! Don’t forget the Aboriginals in Australia are also black. But here we go then, starting with black slaves:
- Black Africans from the regions of roughly Ghana – Mauretania – Nigeria have been taken slaves for 2,500 years – from 500 B.C. until 1965 AD – by Arabs who around 600 AD became Muslims. I can’t find the website anymore, but it is said that there were about 13 million slaves traded by Arabs.
- Black Africans were also recruted by ancient Romans for about 300 years, about 2,000 years ago
- Black Africans were kept slaves by Europeans in the Americas in the Atlantic Slave Trade period. These were about 12.5 millions and many slave traders were Ashkenazi Jews from the Caucasus, who had immigrated to different countries of Europe. Don’t forget there were also white slaves here, kept by both black and white families. Most black slaves were brought to South and Central America, not to the USA.
- Black Africans were traded by Moors to Spain and Portugal between the 8th and 15th century. Estimation: about 2 millions.
- About 1 million European slaves were traded by Barbary slave traders and another 1 million by Moors. It is the same people, but in different times.
- About 1 million Western Europeans were slaves of the Ottoman Turks and don’t forget Greek and other Eastern or Southern European, most women for in their harems. Total about 2.5 million or more.
- Arabs in the Middle East traded and kept about another 1 million. It is difficult to know exactly, because Ottomans and Arabs were both Muslims and are sometimes counted together, other times apart.
- During the Moorish occupation of the Iberian Peninsula all Spanish and Portuguese were slaves for 700 years, so that would be another 20 million or more.
Asian slaves, most of the time from India or South-East Asia:
- The Arabs didn’t keep track of their slaves and didn’t keep any administration about them. So we can only guess. Some time ago I found an article about it, but now I can’t find it anymore. It was between 3 and 5 millions if I remember correctly.
- Many Han Chinese have been kept slaves by Monguls, but it was also the other way round.
- Let’s not forget the Philippine women slaves for in the householding everywhere in the world in the second half of the 20th century. Officially they weren’t slaves, but in practice they were and they suffered a great deal.
- Scandinavian slaves were traded by Muslims, but also by their own people.
- Ancient Greeks had Roman slaves.
- South Americans kept each other slaves when they made war.
It was white people in Great-Britain who insisted on abolishing slavery, which happened in 1830. In the USA it started from 1805 on and became official for the whole country in 1865. Other countries followed, with the Netherlands in 1863. The Ottoman Turks and the Arabs in the Middle East needed to be forced to stop stealing and kidnapping people as slaves and they finally stopped in the 60s. The Turks abolished slavery during WWII, because they were afraid they would be condemned for cooperating with the Nazis, with their slavery as an “excuse” (read: reason).
We can conclude that each and every nation or people has somewhere in history both kept and been slaves. Black and Western European slaves were most wanted and so not only black people have been enslaved. Slavery is terrible, let us not forget that! To be someone else’s property, to be sold for money and to see your family divided to different owners is the worst thing one can imagine. Yet it happened to all of our ancestors and all our ancestors did it as well, so I would really propose to stop whining about how bad it all was and get a life. Today we all have the same chances and if you want to know why some races or nations may sometimes be a bit discriminated? Because they whine, they choose not to get educated but to go in criminality, drug use or prostitution and normal people who work for their income don’t like such people. If you aren’t proactive and a positive person, you aren’t appreciated. It’s as simple as that.
Where does that awful term ‘white privilege’ come from? Well, it’s older than you may think: it seems to date from the 1930s, when American black civil rights activist William Du Bois used it first. Later, in the 80s and 90s it became a popular subject to study, as we already saw. White privilege actually states that white people have more chances in life than black. And there something strange happens, because officially all people originating from Europe, North-Africa and the Middle East are white, but when the discussion is about white privilege ‘white’ suddenly means ‘Western European’. Having noticed that shift, do you see how impossible it is to be consistently calling all above-mentioned people just ‘white’? So the Arabs who kidnapped so many African, Asian and European slaves, are also white, aren’t they? Yet they are from a totally different universe than Europeans. This is why we ourselves, white people, divide our race into Christians and Muslims. Muslims have an entirely different religion, history, mentality and culture from Christians. For me being Greek in the Netherlands is already difficult and that is much and much more for Turks, Egyptians, Arabs or North-Africans. Even if we talk about privilege they are said to have less of it, but it’s them who have the oil for the whole world. Their countries are immensely rich. So now who has the highest privilege? Europeans or Arabs? (Yes, Arabs).
So if you look at the bare facts, Western Europeans don’t even have the highest privilege in the world. If we want to understand what white privilege means, we have to say goodbye to the facts and only look in the direction of the United States of America. There many black people arrived as slaves, while most others arrived as free people since the 16th century approximately. There black people had to fight to become equal, because after the official abolition of slavery in 1865 they were not immediately seen as exactly the same as other races. Some time went over that and quite some struggle too. Of course that is lamentable, but there was some logic in it also. Black people hadn’t had the same education as their white peers and didn’t know the culture and the country like them. But about a hundred years later they were as much as equal and the laws were anti racial discrimination. It wasn’t only the black people who weren’t equal: handicapped people were also laughed at and people with other religions and cultures. And what do you think about animals and children? It has always been like that in the world until the second half of the 20th century, when everyone in the whole world finally understood we’re all just people and no-one is inferior or superior. It was a lesson for everyone, not just for American white people.
Then again Western Europeans have had the best rate of cultivating and developing their life and society. They waged just as many wars as anyone else, yet they developed themselves at high speed by rediscovering the Roman and Greek inventions and literature and by building a new life on it. If you have such a family inheritance, it is indeed easier to study and have a good life than if you don’t. But don’t forget that many Western Europeans don’t come from rich families and don’t have more access to a college education than any black or coloured people. The white elite isn’t that large and it’s just so unfair to scream around that all whites are soooo privileged and that they are all racists and fascists. That is a crying shame! Moreover, many coloured people have entered this small elite in the US and have an extremely good life just like the white members of it. If you look at criminality records, all races do more or less the same ‘job’.
There are mobs and gangsters in every part of the world and that is because in every part of the world there are more and less privileged people. That is because we aren’t all equal! Some of us have to fight harder to become something in life than others. This is something that won’t change as long as complaining people are in charge of the world. We need positive and active people on the lead instead! If you want a good life, then create it. Work for it as hard as is required. If you manage to have it, your children will attain it much more easily. You know that, so roll up your sleeves and go!
Used sources slavery:
- We thought they were white – Dontell Jackson
- A brief history of slavery that you didn’t learn in school – The New York Times Magazine
- Slavery wasn’t only for Africans – Rory Carroll, The Guardian Weekly
- East Africa’s forgotten slave trade – Silja Fröhlich, DW (Deutsche Welle)
- Το δουλεμπόριο στην Οθωμανική Αυτοκρατορία – Ioannis Pagoulatos, The Huffington Post
- Arab slave trade – Wikipedia
- Slavery in Asia – Wikipedia
Used sources white privilege:
Fury at DNA pioneer’s theory: Africans are less intelligent than Westerners – Cahal Milmo, The Independent (UK)
What is white privilege? – Stephanie Rendall, the Scotsman
- Race and criminality – Wikipedia (I looked at many websites, but it was a blur of data)
- The 10 smartest countries in the world – Matthew Speiser, Business Insider
© Natassa Vassiliou
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