Happy New Year GKS readers! Let us start out 2020 with a powerful (but little mentioned) historical fact that changes the *slavery reparations* debate a bit. Who was John Casor?
a tobacco field, much like John Casor likely worked
John Casor was a Negro indentured servant in early Virginia, likely employed in the tobacco fields. Casor was born in Africa. Casor was indentured for a period of 7 (or 8?) years, but in a 1665 court case Virginia declared him to be a slave for life. Not counting those under punishment for a crime, Casor appears to have been the first indentured servant to be declared a slave for life under Virginia law. And who was Casor’s owner? Why that was Anthony Johnson, a former indentured servant turned plantation owner. Anthony Johnson was another Negro.
Yes indeed. Negroes were a minority in colonial Virginia, and they were usually slaves. But a few of them were free (but not citizens), and a very few actually *owned* other Negroes as slaves. Did your public school teacher ever tell you that? To be sure, Whites owned most of the Negro slaves, and Negroes did not ever own any White slaves. (And a bit farther South, some Cherokee Indians developed farms, and also owned Negro slaves!) Further, large numbers of White folk were indentured servants, which was basically a self-sold slave who had sold/indentured themselves for a fixed period of years (not for life). These Whites would indenture themselves to apprentice/learn a trade, pay a debt, or to pay their passage across the Atlantic to America. Slavery in the Colonial and Antebellum South is a bit more than just the simplistic White vs. Black racial arrangement taught by modern liberals, though racial distinctions played a clear part. Slavery and race are two different discussions, though in America they are connected.
Biblically, and in historical hindsight, it probably would have been best for us if we had never imported the Negroes to America in the first place. It is generally best if different peoples live in different countries; there are some scriptures about this, including a passage about the dispersion from Babel. If different peoples live in the same territory, they need to remain separate, not intermarrying. Granting citizenship to both peoples will be problematic, especially if one group is not a 90% or so majority. And if slavery exists there, it will be only natural for it to be based on race. This is the Bible, world history, and logic.
Some misguided people have called for reparations to be paid to the descendants of slaves in America. I have come across this in person, not just online. They dream of the government giving a cash payment to the descendants of the long dead slaves, for things that occurred to their ancestors between 150 and 400 years ago. A few of my ancestors in Virginia owned slaves, and I feel no need to apologize for this, much less pay reparations for their non-crime.
This dream of *reparations for slave descendants* presumes that all slavery is Biblically wrong, which it is not; and, it also brings the penalty on the descendants of the alleged offenders, by requiring the descendants to pay a tax. Biblically, the son is not to be punished for his father’s crime, much less punished for a Biblical social relation that is now viewed as taboo by those in power over 21st century American culture.
But there is more. How does one prove their descent from slaves? What if they are of mixed race, only part Negro? Or what if they are all Black, but descended from both slaves and the relatively few free Negroes? In those two cases, do they then get a partial payment, figured on their percentage of slave ancestry? Should their 21st century descendants pay themselves reparations?
Further, if these reparation payments come from tax money, and if present-day Black folk are productive citizens, will they not be contributing (through income tax) to the coffers from which they are to be paid a reparation? They will be (in part) funding their own reparations, unless one assumes that most Negroes are already tax beneficiaries, not taxpayers. Hmm. Does this not put the Black folk’s modern leftist political benefactors in the position of making *racist* assumptions about the productivity of the 21st century slave descendants that they wish to give a reparation to? This is getting deliciously interesting.
The verified truth about Anthony Johnson and John Casor is out there, including on the Smithsonian website, in their March 8, 2017 piece The Horrible Fate of John Casor, the First Black Man to be Declared Slave for Life in America by Kat Eschner. And there is even a Wikipedia article on Casor. The story of John Casor is true, but not popular, as it does not fit the modern American narrative.