A Political Stump That Shouldn’t Be Political

Gonna take a moment to share something that frankly shouldn’t be political, but judging by the party-lines vote so far, apparently is.

Someone shared a meme on Facebook to say that white men should be treated well because they won World War 2. This of course not only ignores the contributions from BIPOC members of the armed forces (and all women), but blatantly denies the history of why there were fewer non-white combatants than there could have been, such as official regulations which prevented enlisted black men from serving in the same capacity as enlisted white men. Dorie Miller shot down enemy planes at Pearl Harbor in a cook’s uniform because he was not allowed to be a gunner. He saved countless lives, was awarded a medal, and was sent back to continue as a cook until his death, because that was the regulated role of a black sailor.

This shared meme also ignores that tens of thousands of eligible Asian-American men could not fight alongside white soldiers because they had been taken from their homes without due process and imprisoned for years in camps where people were shot to death if they walked too near the fences—a thing which is Very Bad if it happens in Europe, but apparently is not worth mentioning in history classes when it happens here.

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On Today’s Slavery.

The Slave Market, by Gustave Boulanger
The Slave Market, by Gustave Boulanger

Serious post today, folks.

While writing Shard & Shield, I spent a lot of time researching Greco-Roman slavery, as slavery is integral to one of the cultures in the story. Research always leads one down unexpected roads, and I learned a lot about slavery in other areas of the world and in world history, too.

Persian slave, from the 1893 book Central Asia: Travels in Cashmere, Little Thibet and Central Asia.
Persian slave, from the 1893 book Central Asia: Travels in Cashmere, Little Thibet and Central Asia.

Most Americans, hearing the word “slavery,” think of the African trade to the American south, and they think it ended with the ratification of the 13th Amendment. That’s foremost in our cultural awareness — but it’s not quite the truth. In fact, slavery is far, far from ended.

There are more slaves today than at any previous period in world history. Continue reading