Monday, October 24, 2005

Slave descendants seek satisfaction

Slave descendants seek satisfaction

For many foreign visitors, Copenhagen's cosy cobblestone streets, gabled town houses, and stately palaces may be a charming reminder of Denmark's colonial past. Some of the charm, however, may be lost on Shelley Moorhead, who arrived in Copenhagen on Sunday. Moorhead leads a campaign to raise awareness about Denmark's 175-year record of slavery in the former Danish West Indies, the source of a considerable part of the country's wealth and splendour in the colonial era. 'Danes ruled a slave regime that lasted from 1673 to 1848,' he said. 'If slavery existed, there also existed a mentality that allowed that institution to exist.' Danish slavery began when Christian V and the West Indian Company decided to boost Denmark's economy with spices, tobacco, cotton, rum, and sugar. When Danish and Norwegian workers proved useless for labor in the country's Caribbean colonies, St. Croix, St. Thomas, and St. Jan, African slaves were shipped in to do the work for them. At least 100,000 people were transported alive from what is now Ghana, and an equal number is believed to have perished on the long journey over the Atlantic. The figures grant Denmark the dubious honor of a seventh place in the rank of the world's biggest slave-trading nations - right after the United States.


At October 24, 2005 10:32 PM, Blogger Ole said...

There is no doubt, in the western world, that slavery is a horrible thing. But, until just recently, slavery has been around as part of the human history. The ancients, Rome, Greece had slaves. The Vikings captured Englishmen and Irishmen and brought them home as slaves or even sold them to other nations. Tibes of North American Indians had slaves. Tibes in Africa had other blacks as slave.

To say that modern people, who have had nothing to do with slavery, owe something to people whose ancestry were slaves is absolutely absurd.

At October 24, 2005 11:33 PM, Blogger John Sobieski said...

In America, they claim a similar thing, that they are owed the 'fair back wages' of their ancestors. It hasn't got much traction except from the extreme moonbats. Where does it stop? You can just keep going back in time and finding where your 'ancestors' were not given a fair shake.

At October 25, 2005 12:25 AM, Blogger heather said...


David Horowitz (frontpage) had a list of 10 reasons why reparations aren't owed. I like this one the best:

"Only a tiny minority of Americans ever owned slaves. This is true even for those who lived in the ante-bellum South where only one white in five was a slaveholder. Why should their descendants owe a debt? What about the descendants of the 350,000 Union soldiers who died to free the slaves? They gave their lives."

At October 25, 2005 3:16 AM, Blogger Bombs_Away said...


What a small, small, world...

I am building a house in the USVI right now in fact, and have been going down there for at least 30 years, and am pretty familiar with this story.

I can save us all a lot of time on this.

It comes down to this: "where can we get some free money? Washington's not going to give us any reperations; so let's try politically correct Denmark in PC euroland, that's where colonial guilt (real and especially imagined) is mandatory learning for all young school kids!!"

To quote Nancy Reagan: just say no...and it will all go away.

A better idea perhaps?

Send all single Danish women between the ages of 18 and 35 on extended vacations to the USVI ;)

(There are a few already, but given their beauty and charm, I know I would be speaking for all Cruzians when I say "many, many more would be most welcome" :)

At October 25, 2005 5:35 AM, Blogger ik said...

I seriously doubt the number 7 rank for Denmark - There are so many Arab countries which continuously practiced slavery for so long - there is no way a country that transported 100,000 slaves would be at number 7.

At November 14, 2005 10:41 AM, Blogger oskar said...

I always think it's good that people learn about the history of their countries, both glorious and not so glorious. Slavery certainly seems to be one such less glorious part of Danish history that Danes should lear about. Nothing wrong about that.

You could even take it a step further and say that Denmark, as a nation, "owes" these people or this country something. Not in a legal sense, but in a moral sense.

I'm all in favor of general reparations, like Germany to Israel after WWII, but not individual 'reparations', which implies that individual persons are entitled to a certain amount of money.

PS. Just to get is straight, slavery/slave trading during the 1700s was more about opportunity than morality.

At December 17, 2005 6:10 AM, Blogger Stug Guts said...

Let's get real! Who speaks and fights for TODAY'S coerced child sex-slaves in the Middle East and Far East? Who speaks and fights for the slaves in the ghoulish gulags of North Korea, China, Mexico, and the various '--stans'?

Where is the DNA evidence supporting claims of descendancy for present day "heirs" to the estates owed to enslaved ancestors?
To what extent has the debt been paid by benefits to intermediary ancestors and to the present plaintiffs?

ole's points are on the mark. Where do we start in the chains of slavery and how do we calculate detriments and benefits since the end of the ancestors' slavery, for each person (or group?)now claiming compensation?


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