Every culture had its slaves,
usually from enemy tribes or subject peoples.
The Greeks had slaves from Sicily.
Galleys were rowed
by slaves and convicts from Persia to France
Nubia to Germany, Spain to the Crimea.
Romans like Cicero had Greek slaves
as secretaries, and they could be freed
by friendly masters, or buy their liberty.
But in medieval Europe, slavery was outlawed
by Church and State. A Frenchman could not keep
an Englishman as slave, nor a Spaniard
a dark Moroccan Muslim.
When the underpopulated Americas
(not subject to European law)
were split wide open for their gold and opportunities
to grow sugar-cane and cotton, the only place to go
for brute labour - not for secretaries - was Africa,
where they could be taken in their thousands,
very cheaply through networks of coastal traders.
These slaves were shades of black, completely ignorant
of European habits and hypocrisy.
So black-skinned became synonymous not just
with 'pagan' unenlightenment and stain and dirt
(white is the pure, immaculate colour
of a pinkish-grey European's shirt)
but with stupidity as well. Nor can you see
a blush or a bruise on black skin.
This is how European racism began.
The rest is ignorant indoctrination, hate, white misery
and fear of retribution.
Worst of all has been the many yokes of Christianity
still grinding down the African-American.
(Whatever the colour of the human hide
we are all hell-bent on speciecide.)