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Ham (Son of Noah)
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Biblical Character
    Son of Noah
    Traditionally the forefather of the nations of Africa
    'Uncovered the nakedness' of his father when Noah got drunk one post-flood day
    Noah responded by cursing Ham's son Canaan to be 'servant of servants' for Ham's brothers, Shem and Japheth
    To explain the severity of the curse, the Talmud suggests that Ham's real transgression may have been either castrating Noah or sodomizing him.
    Based on passages in Leviticus, other Biblical scholars suggest that 'uncovered his father's nakedness' was a euphemism for Ham having sex with his mother.
    The 'curse of Ham' was used by generations of racists to justify slavery and discrimination against blacks.
    Many modern Biblical scholars see the 'curse of Ham' as a rationalization for Israel's conquest of the Canaanites.
    Maybe the severity of the curse was simply the result of Noah being in a bad mood when hungover.
    Most modern-day racists don't use pseudo-religious arguments like the 'curse of Ham' to justify their beliefs. (They prefer pseudo-scientific arguments like 'The Bell Curve' these days.)

Credit: C. Fishel

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