“Who invented white people?” You heard of the Willie Lynch letter? The pseudo letter that so many people believe was true about how to make a slave. Well, I bet you never heard of the “Making of a white man” letter. Michael Harriot got his hands on it, and he is going to read it to you. TheGrio Daily is an original podcast by TheGrio Black Podcast Network. #BlackCultureAmplified
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Michael Harriot [00:00:05] I’m Michael Harriot. World famous wypipologist and this is theGrio daily.
[00:00:16] In the early 1990s, a letter purporting to be a speech by a slave breaker went viral. Supposedly a plan to teach white people how to control Black people for 300 years. It was titled Willy Lynch and the Making of a Slave. While we now know that the document was a hoax, there are many who still believe the Willie Lynch letter is historically accurate. For those people, theGrio daily presents the fake speech that took place in the back of the plantation at the same time. Well, he lynch and the making of a white man.
Michael Harriot [00:00:53] Gentlemen, I greet you here at the Lynch Plantation in the Year of our Lord 1712. I know many of you have heard about the speech by Mr. Lynch that is taking place in the big house. But do not fear. Since about 1619, there have been people who claim to know what to do to prevent uprisings, insolence and animosity. Gentlemen, you know what your problems are. I do not need to elaborate. I am not here to enumerate your problems. I am here to introduce you to a method of understanding why, for some reason, they never, ever suggest the most obvious solution to their problems. Freedom. I’m sure you can tell that these white men are building something. They call themselves settlers. But then again, when those Portuguese boys, Nuno Tristao showed up on our homeland in 1441 to begin the transatlantic slave trade. They didn’t call themselves human traffickers. I mean, if we had known that, we would have given them a few spears to take home with them as long as they could extract them from their muscle tissue. I mean, you know how we know now, human enslavement has been around since the beginning of time. Throughout history, there’s been all kinds of slaves. Forced marriages. Prisoners of war. Indentured servitude, unpaid agricultural labor, land peonage. And even compulsory wire conscription, to name a few.
[00:02:20] Well, this thing here is something we couldn’t have conceived of. We call it slavery because the language they put in our mouths is inadequate to explain that they have constructed a society using legally enshrined intergenerational perpetual servitude that reduces human beings to chattel based on nothing but skin color. So, I mean, we just call it slavery. Now, I’m not telling you this to scare you. I’m just letting you know what kind of people we’re dealing with. Now, you might be thinking that the people who kidnaped us and brought us here are Portuguese. And technically, you’re right. But see, there’s no way to understand this unless you know how they think. See, when we were building kingdoms and studying science and medicine and art. They were going through this thing called the Dark Ages, where less than 20% of them could even read and write their own language. And they believe crazy stuff like the sun revolved around Earth and the earth was flat. Look don’t laugh. It’s not their fault, you know, they’re dumb. Luckily, some of them were smart enough to come over to our homeland and take our knowledge back to their illiterate kinsmen. And these people became Greek philosophers, Roman scientists, and even kings and queens. And then they realized that they could go to other places, take over and make themselves smart or rich. And that’s why they came to the new world. But there was a problem. See, the aristocrats who first came to Jamestown is this place where we are now. They weren’t good at being free.
[00:03:47] Remember, they had just now started to learn things. They didn’t know how to grow food or build houses. And a lot of them who came over here to hide because they didn’t even know that you weren’t supposed to drink water out of the same place you poop. This white thing was not going well. Thankfully, these dookie breath land thieves found a solution to white mediocrity. In 1618, the colony of Virginia passed the orders and constitution, which included a provision that offered free land to anyone who brought over skilled workers. It was called Head Rights, and it’s one of the biggest scams that’s untold in all of American history. So this is how it went. See anyone who paid for a ticket to bring a poor person to what they called the new world. Even though, you know, the natives were still here. They would get 50 acres of free land. And the person they brought over, they would sign a contract to work for about seven years, and then they would be free. Well, you know, one year after they made that decision in 1619, they got their first taste of free labor. But in 1638, as dude name George Menifee, he put two and two together. You know, they didn’t know math until we taught him. So, like he really had to put two and two together. He realized that if he got 50 free acres for every worker he brought over and he could traffic Black people at a discount rate, then why would he bring over Irish and German workers when he could just bring over Africans and never give them freedom. Menifee received head rights for 3000 acres, 1150 of which he claimed for, quote, “Negroes, I brought out of England with me.” A year later when Menifee earned another 3000 acres for importing 60 more enslaved people.
Michael Harriot [00:05:39] Everyone jumped on this buy one slave, get 50 acres free deal. You in the future, you’re going to try to convince you that they built this country with hard work and education and ingenuity. They don’t even have, like, a white way of talking, but you must never trust the victors version of history. See, they’ll outlaw the truth. And if you even suggest otherwise, they’ll probably make history against the law. I know you think it’s crazy, but trust me. Like I could see the future. And they’ll tell you that you are the real racist for teaching facts. Because the only way that they can maintain their privilege is to make sure that you don’t know that they literally got rich off government sponsored welfare and their version of affirmative action. But remember, they do not know things. They do not even know God. Seriously, they believe in a whole different God than you. They might have the same name, but they will justify taking away your right to controlling your bodies by insisting that it’s what their God wants. That’s why Massachusetts first legalized slavery and specified that it was only for non-white non-Christians who were, quote unquote, “sold to us.” See their God told them that, that Massachusetts law comes from the 25th chapter of Leviticus. But God explains that the Israelites cannot enslave their own people. But it’s perfectly fine to ruthlessly enslave foreigners or outsiders of your land. And in the future they’re going to even tell you that their God allows them to murder Black people who don’t do what white people say. That’s going to happen. I promise you, you come to know it as police brutality and justify it by saying that the Black person resisted. But it will be based on an old 1669 Virginia law about the casual killing of slaves. Says, “Be it inacted and declared by this grand assembly, if any slave resists his master or others by his masters order correcting him and by the extremity of the correction, said chance to die that his death shall not be considered a felony.” End quote.
Michael Harriot [00:08:01] Can you see them making the white man? But if you notice, these laws were about so-called quote unquote “Negroes and slaves.” There werelaws about, quote, “Indians and free people,” too. But when this blight on the long walk of humanity is over and done with and it will be over, even if it takes a civil war, they’re going to erect a system that criminalizes Blackness, and they’ll make it illegal to read and to protest and even walk around. They’ll demonize us for asking for the same thing that gave them their wealth and their power. Just watch. This is how you make a white man and you might be wondering why they look at you as if you are all the same. Sure you’re from the same landmass, but from different cultures and different kingdoms. Some of you are Akan warriors. Some of you are Senegalese rice growers. Some of you are Congolese engineers. But to them, it’s all the same. And that’s because they are not just making a white man, they are transforming you into one amorphous lump of something they can hate called a Black man, but don’t call them racist. Seen for most of human history, the term race didn’t exist, emerged in the late 16th century to describe a type of thing like a race of wine or what they called a race of things. Before then, every culture on the planet had their own stratification. Greeks were different from Romans. The Irish were a whole different thing than English. But even when enlightenment ever philosophers begin categorizing species, they subdivided humans by geographic regions until white people needed slaves.
Michael Harriot [00:09:51] In a 1684 French Journal article, Francois Bernier used a curious term to describe his theory on human taxonomy. The article was titled Nouveau Division de la Terra Paris Differente es species ou races, lava tans. Now I don’t speak white people very well. So that’s like as close to French I can get. But it translates to a new division of earth by the different species or races which inhabited. In 1776, Frederick Blumembarks wrote “the natural varieties of mankind”, that the name of the book, created five different divisions of humanity. And to prove that his division was superior, Blumembark connected the Portuguese thieves to the ancient Greeks who stole their knowledge from Africa. He theoretically united the incompetent English colonizers and the Roman conquerors under one a genetically superior race called the Caucasian race. He invented white people. To be clear, the idea of whiteness and supremacy had already been entrenched in America and around the world. In fact, in the same year that Blumembark wrote book, Thomas Jefferson, the dude that was from like not even far from here, he wrote a breakup letter to King George based on the concept that what he said, all men are created equal. But privately, Jefferson, who is regarded as an anti-slavery advocate, even though he ain’t never freed a slave in his whole life, he wrote, “I advance it, therefore, as suspicion only that the Blacks are inferior to the whites in both endowments of the body and mind. This unfortunate difference of color and perhaps faculty, is a powerful obstacle to the emancipation of these people.”.
Michael Harriot [00:11:49] These people. But the British people who believed this already lived in the country with the Constitution and laws the same for Germany, France and other places. But America was a brand new world that had just been hijacked by whiteness. And so when the people who built this new idea of freedom sat down to form this thing called the Constitution, they enshrined human traffic in the fabric of their country and the foundational document. They would do the same thing they had just claim while created equal to 60% of the value of a white man. They didn’t count the indigenous people at all. And when all of their work was done, the first legislative body took up the question of who this country belonged to. The Naturalization Act of 1790 was passed by the very first Congress of the brand new United States of America, establishing citizenship to quote “any free white person of good character.” But this is not my opinion. 75 years after America declared its independence. Roger Taney, the head of the highest institution of justice and this title of nation, was tasked with writing the decision for the Dred Scott versus Sanford case. As chief justice of the United States Supreme Court. Taney’s only job was to interpret the wishes of the founders and establish the legal precedent that would last as long as this nation existed.
Michael Harriot [00:13:23] In doing so, he described the case in these terms. “The question is simply this Can a Negro whose ancestors were imported into this country and sold as slaves, become a member of the political community, formed and brought into existence by the Constitution of the United States, and as such, become entitled to all the rights and privileges and immunities guaranteed by that instrument to the citizen.” In his decision Taney wrote this for all the world to hear. Now, I know you’ve heard that quote from the Dred Scott decision that says Black people were, quote, “so far inferior, that they had no rights, which the white man was bound to respect.” Or the one that says “the men who framed this declaration knew that it would not in any part of the civilized world be suppose to embrace the Negro race.” But this speech is not about Black people. It’s about how you make a white man. But there is a quote in that decision that no one ever mentions. In it Taney recounts how the second Congress was required every free, able bodied white male citizen to enroll in their local militia before explaining what each word met in that sentence. He revealed our purpose for coming to you today. The word white, Taney writes, “is evidently used to exclude the Negro race,” to exclude the Negro race, to exclude the Negro race. And that, my dear oppressed people, is how you make a white man. 300 years from now, I hope you are free. And if you are, I hope you listen to theGrio Daily Podcast, download the app, subscribe and tell a friend. I know you have no idea what a podcast is, and I don’t either. It’s just in my speech. But then again, you know, white people don’t know what freedom means. But if in 400 years you are free, always remember the words of Method Man, RZA, Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, the GZA, Cappadonna, Inspectah Deck, Masta Killa, U-God and all of the men in the great Negro poetry troupe, collectively known as the Wu-Tang Clan. Now, they might change it in the future, but I believe what they will say is Freedom. Caucasity rules everything around me. Dollar. Dollar bill, y’all. If you like what you heard, please give us a five-star review. Download theGrio app. Subscribe to the show and share it with everyone you know. Please email all questions, suggestions and compliments to email@example.com.
[00:16:23] You are now listening to theGrio’s Black Podcast Network. Black Culture Amplified.