Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Ackee and saltfish from a very nice cookbook, "Tastes Like Home".
As I've said elsewhere, I post my best stuff at other people's blogs. I would encourage you to read Brother Peace Maker's excellent piece, "Never Owned A Slave". This was my comment:
"As a white man I’d like to ask a question. Why are white men so universally stupid? The answer is: because we have no incentive to stop being stupid. We have managed to so arrange the world that everyone else on Earth has to do our thinking for us. You all have to understand us, be aware of our needs, do all of the work we refuse to do and rush to comfort us if we feel disturbed. Not surprisingly, most of us like this arrangement just fine.
We have the minds of children or psychopaths. When we berate you for “playing the victim”, we are really saying, “How dare you squirm while we stand on your neck?”
OK, seriously, I was one of those people whose family “never owned a slave.” We were hardworking fishermen in the Canadian Maritimes. As far from the slave trade as you could get. Right?
Turns out those Canadian fisheries were subsidized by the British Empire to provide a cheap protein source for the vast slave plantations of the Caribbean.
My ancestors worked on ships called Grand Banks schooners, light fast sail powered fishing boats where cod could be salted and stored, then quickly transported south to the islands.
You know that traditional Jamaican fondness for “salt fish”? Yeah, that was my great, great grandfather’s work. My people lived off of the slave trade for generations.
For generations we were also members of the Anglican church. The head of the Anglican church, the Archbishop of Canterbury, oversees the church from an enormous complex of buildings called Lambeth Palace.
We in the church do not like to hear it mentioned that, at one time, The Church of England was the largest slave holder in the British Empire. Lambeth Palace was built with profits gained by working literally millions of slaves to death at an early age.
The fact is, when a great crime is perpetrated against humanity, the African slave trade, the destruction of the Native people of this continent, only a willing and deliberate fool could claim that there were no consequences involving their place in the modern world.
Now, stop bumming me out with all of that playing the victim. I’m going to go pretend that I come from simple fishing folk who lived in a tiny harbor community and worshipped at a humble wooden chapel. Oh, and I worked hard for everything I have."
I thought I was a pretty hip guy. I didn't know any of this stuff until I read "Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed The World." That fucked my head up so bad that I had to read Adam Hochshild's "Bury The Chains-Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire's Slaves".
You can learn something new every day.
Fisherman - The Congos
Posted by Your driver at 10:48 AM