Saturday, 30 July 2016
There was antisemitism in the Middle Ages. Riding through a dark lane, Manse Everard nearly rides down a pedestrian and apologizes but:
"'It is nothing, sir, nothing.' The man pulled his muck-spattered gown close about him and backed meekly off. Everard made out the beard, broad cap, yellow emblem. Yes, a Jew. Frederick had decreed that Jews wear distinct dress, with no man to shave, and a long list of other restrictions."
-Poul Anderson, The Shield Of Time (New York, 1991), p. 403.
However, I think that racism of skin color began as an ideological justification for the trans-Atlantic slave trade. (Slaves escape from the Southern States in one chapter of Anderson's The Boat Of A Million Years.) In SM Stirling's Island In The Sea Of Time (New York, 1998), two black characters discuss race relations in 1250 B.C. Alston says:
"'You go to Egypt as of 1250 B.C., you're just another nigger barbarian, as far as they're concerned, and so am I.'" (p. 255)
- but she adds:
"'Anyone who isn't an Egyptian is a nigger to them.'" (ibid.)
So skin color was not the issue.
Stirling's Draka take racism and slavery to new heights. Every human being who is not a Draka is a "serf," either feral or under the yoke. Unfortunately, our species is capable even of this. The Draka have not committed genocide only because they have not seen it as in their interests to do so.