An Arkansas Politician dares to say that slavery, the worst sin of American history, might have been a “blessing in disguise” for some of the traded victims? Chapter V of E.A. Wallis Budge’s 1911 book, Osiris or the Egyptian Religion of Resurrection is entitled “Osiris and Cannibalism”. Chapter VI, which follows, is entitled “Osiris and Human Sacrifice.” E.A. Wallis was an contemporary of Sir James G. Frazer (author of the Golden Bough), and his use of anecdotal details from informal traveler’s and explorer’s ethnography, history & ethnology is similar. (Reprinted by Kessinger Publishing: http://www.kessinger.net, also available as a Dover Reprint).
Together these chapters run from page 167-230, a large proportion of which text Budge devote to a comparative study of the most ancient Egyptian texts and iconography with 18th-19th century traveler’s descriptions of cannibalism and human sacrifice in recent Africa. The first page of Chapter V ends with the statement, “it has been the custom to eat the bodies of the dead, as well as to kill systematically the old and infirm, and slaves, and prisoners of war, and strangers, and to eat them”. The balance of both chapters contain multiple anecdotal, historical, ethnohistorical, and ethnographic accounts of cannibalism of slaves in Africa. On page 188, Budge Reports:
“The people did not, as a rule, eat their own townsfolk and relatives, but they kept and fattened slaves for the butcher, just as we keep cattle and poultry. There used to be a constant traffic in slaves for that purpose between the Lulongo River and the Mubangi. The people on the Lulongo organized raids on the upper reaches of their river, or landed at some branch to raid the inland towns. They fought the unsuspecting and unprepared people, killed many in the prices, and brought the rest home with them. They divided up their human booty and kept them in their towns, tied up and starving, until they were fortunate enough to catch or buy some more, and so make a cargo worth taking to the Mubangi. When times were bad these poor starving wretches might be seen tied up in towns, just kept alive with a minimum of food. A party would be made up, and would fill two or three canoes with these human cattle; they would paddle down the Lulongo, cross the main river when the wind was not blowing, make up the Mubangi , and barter their freight in some of the towns for ivory. The purchasers would then fee up their starvelings until fat enough for the market, then butcher them, and sell their meat in small joints. What was left over, if there was much on the market, would be dried on a rack over the fire, or spitted, and the end of the spit stuck in the ground by a slow fire, until it could be kept for weeks and sold at leisure.”
On Page 189, “The Mubangi women were not admitted to cannibal feasts, but they were greatly valued as the material of the banquets, the Buaka and Banziri men preferring the flesh of women and infants, without, however, despising that of prisoners of war and mal slaves.”
Further quotation is not necessary here. The reader may decide for him or herself whether Budge, in trying to relate the cultures of recent African to most ancient Egypt, was relying on lies or fantasies of racist western observers. A minority of anthropologists and ethnologists discredit the entire notion of Cannibalism, as in the book, The Man Eating Myth: Anthropology and Anthropophagy (William Arens, 1979: Oxford University Press). Marvin Harris, Robert Carneiro, and Tim White, by contrast have documented the extent and antiquity of cannibalism around the world, see especially Harris’ (also 1979) quasi-popular textbook: Cannibals and Kings.
Let us imagine for a moment that the reports described above are true. Let us imagine for a moment that some tribes of pre-Colonial sub-Saharan West and Central Africa did in fact maintain slaves as Western Europeans keep cattle or poultry. IF these allegations of fact are historically true, does that change the history of Western Slavery and the “guilt” of the White Men of Europe and the Americas? If White (Christian, Islamic, and Jewish) Slave-Traders purchased chained collections of slaves from Black African-Slave Traders, is it any wonder that they loaded these slaves onto ships “like cattle?” If White (Christian, Jewish, or Muslim) Slave-Traders did not eat their slave cargo but traded them to become laborers in Barbados, Brazil, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guadalupe, Haiti, Hispaniola, Jamaica, Martinique, Trinidad & Tobago, and the Southern States of the American Union, were they not in fact preserving the genepool of individuals and families who might well have been extinguished by cannibalism?
The world is a brutal place, and world history proves this fact. How then can we be certain that the following highly controversial commentary by politicians from Arkansas (one of the more conservative of the Southern States, dominated in park by the “Hill Folk” of the Ozarks) is inaccurate or truly wrong/reprehensible?
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas Republicans tried to distance themselves Saturday from a Republican state representative’s assertion that slavery was a “blessing in disguise” and a Republican state House candidate who advocates deporting all Muslims.
The claims were made in books written, respectively, by Rep. Jon Hubbard of Jonesboro and House candidate Charlie Fuqua of Batesville. Those books received attention on Internet news sites Friday.
On Saturday, state GOP Chairman Doyle Webb called the books “highly offensive.” And U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford, a Republican who represents northeast Arkansas, called the writings “divisive and racially inflammatory.”
Hubbard wrote in his 2009 self-published book, “Letters To The Editor: Confessions Of A Frustrated Conservative,” that “the institution of slavery that the black race has long believed to be an abomination upon its people may actually have been a blessing in disguise.” He also wrote that African-Americans were better off than they would have been had they not been captured and shipped to the United States.
Fuqua, who served in the Arkansas House from 1996 to 1998, wrote there is “no solution to the Muslim problem short of expelling all followers of the religion from the United States,” in his 2012 book, titled “God’s Law.”
Fuqua said Saturday that he hadn’t realized he’d become a target within his own party, which he said surprised him.
“I think my views are fairly well-accepted by most people,” Fuqua said before hanging up, saying he was busy knocking on voters’ doors. The attorney is running against incumbent Democratic Rep. James McLean in House District 63.
Hubbard, a marketing representative, didn’t return voicemail messages seeking comment Saturday. He is running against Democrat Harold Copenhaver in House District 58.
The November elections could be a crucial turning point in Arkansas politics. Democrats hold narrow majorities in both chambers, but the GOP has been working hard to swing the Legislature its way for the first time since the end of the Civil War, buoyed by picking up three congressional seats in 2010. Their efforts have also been backed by an influx of money from national conservative groups.
Rep. Crawford said Saturday he was “disappointed and disturbed.”
“The statements that have been reported portray attitudes and beliefs that would return our state and country to a harmful and regrettable past,” Crawford said.
U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin, R-Ark., kicked off the GOP’s response Saturday by issuing a release, saying the “statements of Hubbard and Fuqua are ridiculous, outrageous and have no place in the civil discourse of either party.”
“Had I known of these statements, I would not have contributed to their campaigns. I am requesting that they give my contributions to charity,” said Griffin, who donated $100 to each candidate.
The Arkansas Republican House Caucus followed, saying the views of Hubbard and Fuqua “are in no way reflective of, or endorsed by, the Republican caucus. The constituencies they are seeking to represent will ultimately judge these statements at the ballot box.”
Then Webb, who has spearheaded the party’s attempt to control the Legislature, said the writings “were highly offensive to many Americans and do not reflect the viewpoints of the Republican Party of Arkansas. While we respect their right to freedom of expression and thought, we strongly disagree with those ideas.”
Webb, though, accused state Democrats of using the issue as a distraction.
Democrats themselves have been largely silent, aside from the state party’s tweet and Facebook post calling attention to the writings. A Democratic Party spokesman didn’t immediately return a call for comment Saturday.
The two candidates share other political and religious views on their campaign websites.
Hubbard, who sponsored a failed bill in 2011 that would have severely restricted immigration, wrote on his website that the issue is still among his priorities, as is doing “whatever I can to defend, protect and preserve our Christian heritage.”
Fuqua blogs on his website. One post is titled, “Christianity in Retreat,” and says “there is a strange alliance between the liberal left and the Muslim religion.”
“Both are antichrist in that they both deny that Jesus is God in the flesh of man, and the savior of mankind. They both also hold that their cause should take over the entire world through violent, bloody, revolution,” the post says.
In a separate passage, Fuqua wrote “we now have a president that has a well documented history with both the Muslim religion and Communism.”