An Unthinkable History: The Haitian Revolution


In some ways this reading was a very necessary understanding into the mentality of the Enlightenment. At times very insulting and disgusting, due to the lack of under- standing that went into the thinking and "categorization" of humanity, I could not turn away for a second as my disgust turned to pity for the ignorance that was the most crucial era of learning about the world in history.
The fact that white male Europeans thought of themselves as the highest form of humanity was ridiculous. How they thought that Blacks and other non-whites were categorically below them and only good for manual labor as a horse or cattle were was truly disturbing. What's more is the revelation that although many writers and political thinkers of the time were against slavery, they were not actually for the fact that blacks and non-whites were equal. Instead they saw the idea of slavery as expensive and sought to end due to it's costly outcome.
However the most disturbing part of the reading was why the Haitian revolution was "unthinkable." The whole basis for never being able to see it coming was that the slave owners never believed that the slaves were actually unhappy being abused the way they were. To them the idea of dogs, horses, cattle or other livestock being able to organize themselves and revolt against their masters was ridiculous. Animals are not capable of organizing themselves that way and why would they. They needed to be tamed and put to good use. This was the same mentality that led the Haitian Revolution to the point of being impossible.
Overall this reading was very essential in order to understand a large part of world history. I enjoyed it a lot because it stimulated me to ask certain questions like why is this not told to high school children why is this not found in any textbook. It's sad really, to find out that the world is not the place that you thought it was. However, awful our past …

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