Sunday, December 17, 2017

Great morons in history

In the past, human beings were really, really, really stupid. This is one of the lessons you learn when you read history.

For example, in 1573, a Dominican friar named Francisco de la Cruz argued in favour of enslaving Africans, testifying to the Spanish Inquisition that an angel had come to him and told him that “the blacks are justly captives by reason of the sins of their forefathers...”

Now say what you like about the modern world, but nowadays you would hardly find any person who’s not mentally disturbed asserting that it’s okay to oppress a whole group of people because a messenger from God said so. 

It’s true that, when the apartheid regime was enacted in South Africa in 1948, religious leaders justified it by pointing to the Tower of Babel story as proof that God wanted the different human groups to be kept separate. However, in this 21st century, a person would have to have a small brain, a smaller heart, and a smallest penis to use Bible exegesis to justify not giving equal rights to any group of human beings.

This explains why Adolf Hitler in his autobiography Mein Kampf wrote: “It was and is Jews who bring Negroes into the Rhineland, always with the same secret thought and clear aim of ruining the hated white race by the necessarily resulting bastardisation...”

It’s not surprising that someone who believed that that moustache looked good should have linked racism with sex, because racists were often secretly attracted to the people they denigrated. Thus did United States senator Strom Thurmond oppose the Civil Rights Bill in 1957, although he had fathered a child with his black maid. Nowadays, however, only sexually repressed ignoramuses would reject equal rights for any group of persons by spending half-an-hour on a religious Sunday morning radio programme talking about the male anus.

Which is not to say that Trinidad was always free of bigots or latrines or bigots who are latrines. Governor Lord Harris in his 1847 Blue Book report heaped calumny on the two major races, writing, “They are not, neither Coolies nor Africans, fit to be placed in a position which the labourers of civilised countries may at once occupy; they must be treated like children, and wayward ones too; the former from their habits and their religion, the latter from the utterly savage state in which they arrive.”

But, 169 years later, only people deficient in both education and sanitary napkins would ever argue that a whole group of human beings are, by reason of their lifestyle, unfit to have the same rights and opportunities for employment as another group. 

It’s true that many such persons existed up to two centuries ago. Charles Darwin in his 1839 book The Voyage of the Beagle records meeting an old woman who had screws to crush the fingers of her female slaves; a mulatto who was whipped and cursed and humiliated every day by his master; and a six-year-old slave who was hit on the face with a horsewhip before Darwin could stop his owner. “And these deeds are done and palliated by men, who profess to love their neighbours as themselves, who believe in God, and pray that his Will be done on earth!” wrote Darwin.

Those persons, who were considered decent and respectable in their time, are now reviled in this 21st century. That is why only utterly dotish people would claim to embody higher love while preaching hate-filled messages about a group of human beings: for, in the history of the future, such bigots will also be reviled as hypocritical, small-minded, and really flatulent.