Bill Maher points out that slavery was not unique to America

 January 29, 2023

Slavery has become a renewed focus of conversation in recent years, with leftists taking down statues of American slave owners like Thomas Jefferson and removing their names from school.

Yet as one liberal media figure recently pointed out, slavery was by no means unique to white Americans. 

"It's not just a white thing"

According to the Daily Caller, that point was recently made by comedian Bill Maher during an episode of his "Club Random" podcast.

"I’ve talked about it on my show, I mean, slavery, for the people who are wanting to cancel Thomas Jefferson and George Washington because they had slaves, and everybody else, in an era when everyone had slaves who could afford it, including people of color in other parts of the world," Maher told actor Bryan Cranson.

"It was a human thing, it’s not just a white thing," the host continued. "Okay, so if you’re going to cancel Jefferson and Washington, you have to cancel Jesus, because he never spoke against it, it’s not in the Old Testament, there’s a million rules about slavery, none of them are 'don’t do it.'"

"You would think it was a uniquely American thing"

Maher went on to stress that "every civilization did it," adding, "The Romans did it, the Egyptians did it, you know, slave comes from the word Slav."

This was not the first time Maher has publicly addressed the issue of slavery, as he also did so last year as well on an episode of his show "Real Time."

"The way people talk about slavery these days, you would think it was a uniquely American thing that we invented in 1619," he declared.

Europeans taken as slaves by North African Muslims

One often overlooked form of slavery was that practiced in North Africa by Muslim pirates along the Barbary Coast who would target Christians for enslavement.

A BBC report from 2017 explained that slave catchers would venture far to the north, with raids taking place in Ireland and Great Britain during the 17th century.

"Almost all the inhabitants of the village of Baltimore, in Ireland, were taken in this way in 1631, and other attacks were launched against coastal villages in Devon and Cornwall," it noted.

The report estimated that as many as 1,250,000 white Europeans were captured and sold into slavery between 1530 and 1780.

What's more, a 2019 Wall Street Journal article by writer Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani detailed how slavery long was prevalent in Sub-Saharan Africa, with some African kingdoms profiting from the Transatlantic slave trade.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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