Quick! Think Fast! Which nation was the last to abolish slavery?
Hint: It wasn’t the United States of America.
Mauritania was the last nation to abolish slavery–in 1981! Yes, you read that year correctly, it was 1981 that West African nation of Mauritania abolished slavery. And it wasn’t until 1997 that slavery was criminalized. Despite the laws to abolish slavery and criminalize the act of keeping a slave, only 1 person in the country has been successfully prosecuted for slave-holding despite the fact that 10 to 20 percent of Mauritania’s inhabitants are believed to be enslaved.
I’ll let you guess what color the bulk of Mauritania’s slave holders and slaves are.
What does this have to do with swirling? Well, a common argument from the anti-swirl crew is that a black women should not date white men because of the West’s history of enslaving African’s. But slavery has long been criminalized in the West–although it tragically still occurs in many parts of the world, included a smattering of it in Western nations. The “You can’t date a white man” line of thinking makes all white men out to be slave masters–despite the fact that they never owned slaves; White men are painted into the role of perpetual victimizer while black women (and, really, by extension all black people) are perpetual victims.
The people who spend so much time talking about the legacy of slavery are so wrapped up in their own faulty thinking that they fail to notice that for some black women and children slavery isn’t a legacy, it’s a daily reality.
What I like to refer to as the “Don’t Date Massa” argument is old, it’s tiring, and at this point it should be ineffective.
When the “Don’t Date Massa” crew starts talking, tell them they should spend more time watching CNN and less time talking to you.