Terry Donnelly’s rant about white privilege in his October 18 article “Question – Don’t Assume” is more of a reflection of an ideology rather than historical fact.
Thankfully, slavery has been illegal in this country for over 150 years and it is illegal throughout the world. And it is important to understand that slavery was never limited to the United States, nor was it limited to only “white” cultures.
In actuality slavery was a common and accepted practice in many societies and cultures dating back to ancient civilizations. For example, the ancient Mayans are known to have used war prisoners, criminals and others as slaves to do manual labor and for human sacrifice, and slaves were bought and sold by the Aztecs. The Egyptians are also known to have relied on hundreds of thousands of slaves to construct their pyramids.
In Africa, slaves were used for armies, household servants and for manual labor needs. Between 2000 and 3000 years ago the number of enslaved persons in Africa has been estimated at 30% to 50% of the population. During this period, slave trade with Muslim countries was common.
There is also evidence that slavery was practiced amongst the American Indians, typically with captives from tribal conflicts. Included in this group were tribes such as the Comanche in Texas, the Pawnee and the Klamath. The percentage of slaves held by NW Indian tribes has been estimated to be as much as 25% of their population.
Slaves were a source of cheap labor and during the height of the western slave trade, it was the African states that were primarily involved with raiding parties to obtain individuals for sale. At that time in history, the economies of some African states were based upon slave trade, and during times of conflicts, captors were more likely to be sold as slaves rather than to be killed. Also, during this time most Europeans refused to participate in raiding parties due to fear of disease and conflict with warring native tribes.
Unfortunately, slavery still exists today. An underground economy in human trafficking exists for the sex trade, and in 2015 ISIS went on record reinstituting slavery. They also went so far as to set a standard price for men, women and children slaves ranging from about $40 to over $170 per individual.
Regarding the on-field NFL player demonstrations, I fully agree with Mr. Donnelly and others. The players do have a right to protest. They also have a right to choose how and when they protest as long as it is done lawfully. However, protesters should understand that there may be consequences to their actions as has occurred in this instance (reduced viewership, fewer fans, cancelled advertising, negative publicity, etc). On the other hand, the public has the right to decide if they want to listen to or watch such protests. Those protesting have no rights nor guarantees that their protests be heard.
Finally, Mr. Donnelly is no longer a resident of Mesquite. He has been a full-time resident of Colorado for well over 1 year at his home near Denver.