Crossposted from Amren.com
How many times have you heard that slavery was “America’s original sin”? I’m not quite sure what that means, but I think the idea is that slavery was a uniquely horrible thing that defines the United States and will stain whites forever. It’s one of the few things Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Barack Obama agree on. There are books about it. Here’s a college course at UC Davis called “Slavery: America’s Original Sin: Part 1."
The fact is, there has been slavery in every period of history, and just about everywhere. The Greeks and Romans had it, the ancient Egyptians had it, it’s all over the Bible, the Chinese and the pre-Columbian Indians had it, the Maoris in New Zealand had it, and the Muslims had it in spades. But I have never, ever heard of slavery being anyone else’s “original sin.”
Tlingit and Haida Indians, who lived in the Pacific Northwest, went raiding for slaves as far South as California. About one quarter of the population were slaves, and the children of slaves were slaves. During potlatches, or huge ceremonial feasts, the Tlingit would sometimes burn property and kill slaves, just to show how rich they were. What’s a couple of slaves to a guy who lives in a house like this?