REPENTING FOR RACISM
Why were blacks originally brought to America to become slaves? Why were Africans willing to sell their slave to the slave traders? Why were the slaves in Africa beheaded if they were not purchased? These questions a usually avoided. Surely, American slavery was evil, became more and more eviil, and remnants of that evil still plague society.
African slave traders did not see slaves as 'their ... people.' Some were people who had fallen into debt, and thereby were enslaved to pay off their debts. We see that same idea in the Bible, where vessels were miraculously filled with oil for the mother to sell, to pay off her debt so her sons would not be enslaved to pay her debt.
Were the original slaves sold due to the quest for money and power? The story of the African slave trade goes much deeper than that superficial thinking.
The Mossi Kingdom is an example of a state that resisted the slave trade until the 1800s when it began trading in slaves as well. Islam states within the empire warred often with other faiths. Some Mossi inhabitants became Christian, and were, for that faith, they were enslaved to the Muslims. The Christian witness began to influence the Muslims, and the Christians were killed to stop that Christian revival.
The king of the Kongo, Afonso I, converted to Catholicism, tried to stop the sale of slaves to Portuguese traders. Unable to control of Islam areas, Muslims sold converted Christians, as and option to beheading them due to wealth benefitted them more than dead bodies. Alfonso tried to the convince the Portuguese king forcibly stop Islamic traders. The king ignored his plea.
The Benin Empire sold slaves, while it was fighting many wars - which produced prisoners of war who were Christian. It stopped slave trade for a short time, but when Christian slave began to witness their faith, and to disturb the Muslim masters, the state resumed slave trade.
Why am I showing the history of slave trade? Am I a racist? No, for my Jesus chose to be born a Person of color when He was incarnated. His lineage shows descendants of Ham and of Shem, the original people of color. No ancestors of Japheth (another son of Noah, are found in His lineage. So, Jesus is my Lord, Savior, and coming King of kings. I have no inclination to be racist.
I am showing the ignored facts of the sins of that time. Aldous Huxley. In 1927 said: “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”
However, confronting the evils of slave trade requires more than what any race simplifies or twists to explain racism and bigotry.
The white man did not introduce slavery to Africa. By the fifteenth century, men with dark skin had become comfortable with slavery, the owning of another human as personal property. White nations chose to evilly take advantage of the slavery heresy. Though they saved the Christian slaves from being beheaded for refusing to convert to Islam, the new owners continued the enslavement in America.
More than 20 million Africans were sold to American slave traders who continued the evils of slavery. Historians estimate that ten million of the purchased slaves never made it to the slave ships. Many died on the march to the sea, chained, yoked, and shackled before they were sold to the white slave trader. The survivors of that kind of march to the slave boats were either purchased by the white purchasers, or beheaded by the Muslim law.
Failure to explain the history of slavery divides our nation. Education should not promote half-truths about history. The history of the slave trade proves that virtually everyone participated and profited, whites and blacks; Christians, Muslims, and Jews.
Once we recognize the history of slave trade, we can turn our attention to
repentance for any racist concepts that still survive.
Islam’s history with slave trade is purposely hidden in todays society. Yet still today in some nations of Islam, one can be beheaded for not renouncing Christianity. The origins do not make the whites of that day innocent of their evils. Today’s bigotry and racism does is not justifiable either. Still, Islam for some is a militant creed that for centuries has killed maimed or enslaved all in the name of “holy war,” jihad.
Islam’s role in slave trade is almost always presented as an exclusively American enterprise. Slavery is almost as old as humanity. Even centuries before Islam began, many peoples were fully engaged in the slave trade. With Christianity, many devoted Christians were enslaved for their faith. Christianity began to see the evils of slavery. Other so called Christians warred the Christians for their enlightened doctrine.
Islam, at one time had enslaved 15 million Europeans. Then, Malta’s Knights of Saint John responded to Islamic slave raids by enslaving the raiders and other Muslims. Islamic slave raids into Africa began in the mid to late seventh century; then, according to Muslim records, astronomical numbers of Africans were enslaved in the name of jihad. By the time seafaring Europeans reached the coasts of West Africa, the Islamic slave trade was bustling.
John Alembillah Azumah, author of The Legacy of Arab-Islam in Africa said: :
“Slavery was a very important part of Islamic expansion in West Africa, and in fact in the Sudan, and from the very earliest period of Islamic penetration of Africa. … Slavery was a very endemic part of Islamic interaction with Africa. And in West Africa, the jihad’s period of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries involved massive slave raiding and slave trading; and many of the slaves that were captured and sold and sent to the transatlantic slave trade [were captured by Muslims]; most of those who were doing the slaving at the time were Muslim communities.”
The western coast of Africa, where captives were enslaved and sold to Americans were hotbeds of jihadi slave raids. The populations from Senegal to Angola—the regions where arguably most African-Americans trace their bloodlines—were roughly half Islamic, half pagan. Christianity became a revival. Islam was terrified of this resurgence.
Christians—who were actually the ones to outlaw slavery, still battle racism, bigoytry. We need to repent of any such sins. Though we cannot repent for the racism of former centuries, we can make sure we do not allow its remnants to affect us toward non Christian concepts.