White Slavery & The Myth of White Privilege

image35DeAnna Calderon,
Austin, TX.

I grew up poor in the Southside of Chicago. We were extremely poor and even homeless at times. Sleeping outside in the middle of winter when I was a child. When I was 22 I joined the Army. The treatment I faced as a woman in the military felt like it was 1954, instead of 2004. A man of any color was treated better than a female. When black people and white liberal suburbanites talk of “White Privilege” I asked myself, “Where was my ‘White Privilege'”?’ A lot of poor whites live in the same neighborhoods as blacks and Hispanics, go to the same schools, and work at the same jobs; yet, white privilege is thrown in our face as if we do not have the same struggles. Slavery didn’t start with the Atlantic Slave Trade and black people were not the only victims. In the Bible, Egypt (in Africa) enslaved the Jews. Millions of Europeans were enslaved by North Africans and brought back to the Barbary Coast (http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/whtslav.htm). The first slaves in America didn’t come from Africa, but from Ireland. The Irish Slave Trade dropped the population in Ireland from 1,500,000 people to 600,000 within a decade. “African slaves were very expensive during the late 1600s (50 Sterling). Irish slaves came cheap (no more than 5 Sterling). If a planter whipped or branded or beat an Irish slave to death, it was never a crime. A death was a monetary setback, but far cheaper than killing a more expensive African” (http://www.africaresource.com/rasta/sesostris-the-great-the-egyptian-hercules/the-irish-slave-trade-forgotten-white-slaves/). The term slave actually comes from the Slavs or the ethnic Polish. The Slavs were enslaved by the Ancient Romans. Slavery even continues today in most countries, but the victims are women and children that are sold into sex trafficking. Life isn’t easy for anyone. The only privilege that exists today isn’t white, but green. Money and power will get you whatever you want. Michael Jordan, Russell Simmons, and other wealthy minorities have Green Privilege and with that privilege comes power.


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