There are claims circulating that there was an Irish Slavery Trade. A Global Research web-site article about this has gone viral. People circulating the piece claim that there has been a conspiracy to cover up the subject. This has caused an uproar, and historians such as Liam Hogan have rushed to unpack the claims.
The article is by John Martin; however, no reference exists as to who he is. He included a picture of the book cover for White Cargo written by Don Jordon and Michael Walsh. This book conflates slavery with indentured servitude. This can give rise to grave misconceptions.
Being a slave and experiencing slavery are separate concepts. The physical experience of slavery is surely horrific. However, this is different to the experience of slavery as a state of personhood. Beyond the esoteric idea that slavery is a state of mind, is the fact that a slave is the property of an owner. This ownership is a legal transaction that exists within a particular society’s framework that permits it. The life that a slave experiences, once they become chattel, would obviously vary.
But the fact remains, the slave has, by an external force, lost their personhood. Their owner writes their future, and the future of their children. The slave has no permission to dream for his or her own future. The slave is not permitted personal hope. They do not belong to themselves, according to the law. Their purchase did not take occur between them and their owner. The purchase took place by parties that don’t view the slave as having human rights.
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