Richard Seymour on the “dammed if you do, dammed if you don’t” nature of responding to accusations, re: Corbyn & “””anti-Semitism”””.
@Andraydomise on the inanity of attempts to redefine slavery so as to exclude everything that isn’t chattel slavery:
“At some point we really are going to have to develop better language and frameworks around the concept of slavery, because yes Irish people were subjected to a form of slavery, and yes it is a form of slavery to have to choose between working four shit jobs and starving to death [1/3]
Chattel slavery is one of those forms, and it was unique in its depravity, violence, and alienation. Nothing in modern history approaches it. It is not a stand-in, however, for slavery of all kinds. [2/3]
Just try to have a conversation with a former restavek, or some East African worker that had to live through kafala work in Dubai, and try to tell yourself it isn’t a form of slavery to have all your possessions taken away, to get whipped and beaten, and have to sleep in a closet” [3/3]
I would add to Andraydomise’s point that creating definition of slavery which excludes prison labour, if it is intended to advance racial justice, is a spectacular own goal. In Australian politics there is sometimes (not often enough) discussion about the shameful history of slavery in Australia- including the indigenous people of this land and Pacific Islanders. Sometimes people reply to this by saying “what about the convicts, weren’t they slaves too?” There are many valid responses to this but “No they weren’t because their sentences weren’t for life and they were only being forced to labour because they’d committed a crime” isn’t one of them. Convicts were slaves, Irish indentured servants in America were slaves. In these kinds of circumstances, you have to grasp truth as it is, even if it requires you to add a bit of nuance to your message.
Me on what the fuck is wrong with America (Tweeted from a Facebook convo by @Sufjansimone:
The point is not that historical injustices don’t exist or shouldn’t be part of the conversation. The point is that they aren’t necessary to validate demands for more dignity, more security and more equality.