Part III of a series of 12 excerpts from the new book “RACISM and HATE:an AMERICAN REALITY”

Posted by  Jimmy Cameron   in       1 year ago     626 Views     Leave your thoughts  

9781491815762_COVER_FQA.inddThis is the third excerpt from my book “RACISM and HATE: an AMERICAN REALITY.” For the last day of Black history month I thought I would deviate from the “Economic Inequality” theme of the first two posts and throw in my own “little known black history fact,” by looking at the origin of the “American Racism” that the book primarily concerns itself with.
Throughout most of my life I was always perplexed by the part that religion played in the country’s history and how it coexisted with slavery. When I started researching the subject matter back in 2008 it slowly begun to come into focus. I discovered that religion and the church played a key role in its foundation.
In 1452 Pope Nicholas V of the Catholic church of Rome, which was the dominant Christian religion at that time, a period that preceded the Protestant Reformation, issued a”Papal bull” or decree, known as the “Dum Diversas” giving permission to both the king of Portugal and the King of Spain permission to enslave, among other non-Christians, the people of West Africa. This “Dum Diversas” have been credited with ushering in the West African slave trade. It established the moral Christian authority to enslave other humans which was not of the Christian faith. This enslavement were to stay in place until the non-Christians was converted to Christianity. Here in America it stayed in place long past that point, through the founding of colonies, through the revolutionary war with England and was planted firmly in the psyche of the founders of the United States of America.
Although there were arguments on both sides of the moral equation here in the new colonies some 100 hundred years before the U.S. Constitution was completed in 1787 the Christians who engaged in the ownership of slaves bought into the notion that the Africans was somehow less human than they themselves and they were serving the will of God by enslaving them and converting them to Christianity. From about 1619 until the Civil War ended the institution they practiced this chattel slavery without paying too much attention to the part of their Christian religious faith which stated that when they succeeded in converting the slaves to Christians and bring them into this covenant with Almighty God they were to treat them as their equals.
This failure to adhere to their own faith was due mainly to the “idolatry of money” that the present Pope of that same Catholic Church, Pope Francis, is warning against today. It also made those who claimed to be Christians while enslaving their fellow humans, hypocrites.
This is just a brief outline of the origin of “American Racism” and how religion played a significant part in it. A more complete Genesis of the institution can be found in my book RACISM and HATE:an AMERICAN REALITY


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