RACIAL HIERARCHY AND SLAVERY
COLONIAL RACIAL THEORY • During the 18th and 19th century imperialist (empire-building) nations looking for colonies believed in a racial hierarchy. • This hierarchy determined how they treated people living in countries they made into their colonies.
HIERARCHY OF THE RACES • EUROPEAN (British, Celts, Irish, Germanic people, Italians, French, Portugese…) • ASIAN (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Mongol, Vietnamese…) • ‘BROWN NATIONS’ (Maori, Indians, Arabs, Turkish, Native Americans) • NEGROID (African, Aboriginal, Papua New Guinean…)
THE WHITE MAN Joseph Chamberlain, Secretary of State for the colonies declared, “I believe in this race, this greatest governing race, so proud, self-confident and determined, this race, which neither climate nor change can degenerate, which will infallibly be the predominant force of future history and universal civilisation.:
RACISM AND THE OTHER Racial theory was used to do two things: • Taking land from and destroying indigenous peoples. • Enslaving Africans to work the land.
The modern theorist who perhaps captures best the complex essence of slavery is MaulanaKaranga. He postulates that American slavery was predicated on three major factors: its profitability, its practicality and its justifiability; without slavery, America could not have evolved and sustained itself as a free independent player in the growing global capitalist system of trade and politics. The profitability of 220 years of free labor is self-evident. African enslavement was clearly more practical than that originally attempted with white indentured servants and indigenous natives. Thus, the massive importation of Africans became the next best option. The first two factors could only be achieved and sustained if in fact an ideology could be developed to justify slavery.
Racism as an ideology became a justification and encouragement for enslavement. It expressed itself in religious' absurdities, biological absurdities and cultural absurdities. Thus, religiously it was argued God ordained whites to conquer, then civilize and Christianize the African "heathen." The biological absurdities included redefinition of Africans out of the human race, denying their history and humanity and giving them animal characteristics to suit their bestial treatment.
Social Darwinism • This was a so-called ‘science’ where theorists applied Darwin’s theories to people and to societies. • Natural selection was twisted to become ‘survival of the fittest.’ • The strongest would survive over the weaker or inferior.
Lincoln 1862 My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it; and if I could do it by freeing some and leave others alone, I would also do it."