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vinny_46
12-20-2004, 10:37 PM
The Good Ol’ Days of Slavery <_<

By William Jelani Cobb

These days it’s getting harder to tell whether history is repeating itself or if human beings are just becoming more cliché. This was underscored last week when it came to light that Cary Christian Academy, a private school in North Carolina, was using the deceptively titled pamphlet “Southern Slavery, As It Was” in their curriculum. Among the more notable claims presented by authors Doug Wilson and Stephen Wilkins were neglected virtues like: “Many Southern blacks supported the South because of long established bonds of affection and trust that had been forged over generations with their white masters and friends." Or this gem: “There has never been a multi-racial society which has existed with such mutual intimacy and harmony in the history of the world."
Listen close and you can almost hear the banjoes strumming in the background. Officials at the school defended the 43-page tract, arguing that they want to present students with “both sides” of the Civil War story and that students also read speeches by Abraham Lincoln. Ironically enough, the “both sides” approach does not include the perspectives of the actual black people who lived through slavery. A random selection from John Blassingame’s Slave Testimony yields this first-person dissenting opinion: [The mistress] took her in the morning, before sunrise, into a room and had all the doors shut. She tied her hands and then took her frock over her head, and gathered it up in her left hand, and with her right commenced to beating her naked body with bunches of willow twigs. She would beat her until her arm was tired and then thrash her on the floor, and stamp on her with her foot and kick her and choke her to stop her screams. She continued the torture until ten o’clock. The poor child never recovered. A white swelling came from the bruises on her legs of which she died in two or three years.

Any few pages in your college-worn copy of The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass would put the lie to Wilson and Wilkins claim that “Slave life was to them a life of plenty, of simple pleasures, of food, clothes, and good medical care." And one wonders where Harriet Tubman, bludgeoned so badly as a child that she suffered from bouts of narcolepsy for the rest of her life, fits into this backdrop of happy plantation scenery. And far from supporting the South out of their “bonds of affection,” nearly all black Confederates, as James McPherson points out in The Negro’s Civil War, were conscript laborers who constantly sought means to escape across Union lines. To put it simply, this was a case of bondage not bonds. It is pathetic that five years into the 21st century, the societal learning curve is so obtuse that we must still make statements like: American slavery was a violent, oppressive institution responsible for the brutal subjugation and dehumanization of millions of people over the course of three centuries. Wilson and Wilkins claims that slave life was characterized by “good medical care” is particularly bizarre given the fact that enslaved black people were frequently used as subjects of 19th century medical experimentation. The historian Katherine Bankole, in fact, pointed out in her book Slavery and Medicine that given the high mortality rates for the most minor surgeries during the era, doctors in antebellum Louisiana “perfected” their Caesarian-section technique on black women before applying it to white ones.

This is not about accurate history, but about providing the South with a human rights alibi, 139 years past slavery. It is about a vast capacity for willful self-delusion, the need to provide self-absolution for the sins of the so-deemed Peculiar Institution. Thus you see the kind of historical hairsplitting of “Southern Slavery, As It Was”: Slavery was wrong…but not as bad you might think.

And sadly enough, it’s not only in the far precincts of the Christian right that we hear these kinds of weak rationales. The Southern Alibi tradition rests upon the now — outmoded arguments of historian Ulrich B. Phillips’ American Negro Slavery. First published in 1918, the book glazed the old arguments that slavery had been a benign and beneficial institution to the enslaved with a new scholarly sheen. Phillips’ perspective had a striking longevity, finding expression even in the dissenting works that appeared in the 1950s and 1960s, all the way down to Robert Fogel and Stanley Engerman’s Time on the Cross which appeared in 1974 arguing that poor treatment of blacks would have made slavery unprofitable as an economic institution. Back in my graduate school days, my friend and fellow historian Khalil Muhammad and I were amazed to find that we — and a single white student — were the sole voices in a 15-person colloquium who were willing to argue that slavery was an unqualified moral wrong.

All these defenses — whether presented at academic conferences or passed out to adolescents in private academies of the far-right, are invested in viewing slavery as a labor system operated by rational, managerial white folk — the plantation equivalents of Jack Welch or Lee Iacocca. But in order for these theories to work, they also have to overlook the concomitant cruelties of sexual exploitation of enslaved black women, which was common enough to be a defining characteristic of the institution. Again, even a commonplace text like Harriet Jacobs’ Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl or Deborah White’s Aren’t I a Woman would illustrate the fact that rape was an intricate part of enslavement in this country. Nor can these depictions of slavery-lite explain away the dissolution of families for profit and the inhuman breeding of blacks to produce additional chattel for the slave owners.

It would be easy to dismiss these disputes as the arid exercises of the History Forensics Society were the implications for our everyday lives not so serious. Truth told, Wilkins and Wilson are only inches away from the “happy darky” illustrations of black life and if this is “Southern Slavery, As It Was” then they would be hard-pressed to explain the literal hundred of slave revolts, attempted revolts, poisonings and fires that defined the South between the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. In airbrushing the brutality of slavery, we make it possible to ignore the tremendous power that race had — and continues to have — in shaping this society. To cut to the quick, until we are willing to grapple with slavery as it was, we will remain incapable of dealing with America as it is.

PrincessDrRe
12-21-2004, 02:37 AM
WTF?

:pop:

This one is gonna cause massive chaos......Massive.

:pop:

Shanna
12-21-2004, 02:45 AM
Some people have watched "Gone with Wind", "Imitation of Life", et al. one time too many. :icon_headshake:

pookeylou
12-21-2004, 02:54 AM
Insanity.

The individuals who say, "Slavery was not that bad" wont be able to see the atrocity in it. They dont want to.

I used to wonder how someone could be so blind and calloused. Then I remembered Hitler.

Ace9
12-21-2004, 04:01 AM
Originally posted by pookeylou@Dec 21 2004, 03:54 AM
Insanity.

The individuals who say, "Slavery was not that bad" wont be able to see the atrocity in it. They dont want to.

I used to wonder how someone could be so blind and calloused. Then I remembered Hitler.

650903



I had a young white guy at the age of 20 say that to me. He said slavery was a great thing and he couldn&#39;t understand why blacks are so upset about it. He&#39;s like would you like to be an african who&#39;s dieing of aids and hunger.

And I had to sit there roll my eyes and of course take on again the roll of the teaching black woman. So I told him....the amount of african&#39;s dieing in Africa is rivaled by many countries. America included. Not to mention there are people in aFrica...that could pay him a six figure salary for taking out their garbage and some of them are black.

I can&#39;t tolerate being surrounded by idiots....but we are. And sickos are all over America. I can tell you this right now.

People sit there and talk about the neo-natzi&#39;s, the KKK...what blacks and all minorities have to watch out for are educated whites....because in the end 90% if not all have some sort of stupid prejudice against us that is completely unfounded.


And this also makes me want to give a call out....we need more dominant Black and Minority Anthropologists and Historians..because if we don&#39;t watch out...our children will be taught the lies that we were being fed.

vinny_46
12-21-2004, 05:45 PM
Originally posted by Ace9@Dec 20 2004, 09:01 PM
And this also makes me want to give a call out....we need more dominant Black and Minority Anthropologists and Historians..because if we don&#39;t watch out...our children will be taught the lies that we were being fed.

650969


:smil3f72836ee752e:

feepee
12-21-2004, 06:23 PM
hmpf, not surprising that they could only come up with a 43 page pamplet of b.s. <_<

Nappilocs
12-21-2004, 06:27 PM
He&#39;s like would you like to be an african who&#39;s dieing of aids and hunger.
I heard this from a black person as well. :rolleyes:

~*welekevu*~
12-25-2004, 01:17 PM
Originally posted by Nappilocs@Dec 21 2004, 02:27 PM
I heard this from a black person as well. :rolleyes:

651575


Will wonders never cease? My grandma said that to me.

welekevu (my smilies aren&#39;t working but I&#39;m imagining the Doh! one)

QueenLocks
12-26-2004, 03:07 AM
If we should be happy for slavery, then white folk should be equally happy if not more happy! After all we built this country! and they benefit from our labor, we have served them for more than 400 years without vengence!
To ask us if we&#39;d rather be in Afrika, starving or dying, {first off, who&#39;s to say we WOULD be dying/starving!}.... second, does anyone ask whites would they rather be in the caves and hillsides of Europe?

Peaches
12-26-2004, 04:28 AM
It&#39;s appaling that someone could publish this kind of trash in 2004, but honestly it doesn&#39;t surprise me. It&#39;s evidence that these white people who run around saying "Why are you mad at me? I didn&#39;t own slaves.. my grandfather did" are fake as hell. This stuff is passed down from generation to generation and the kids don&#39;t know any more than what their parents teach them.

I am not suprised at the fact that they&#39;re teaching it at Cary Christian Academy either. Cary is a suburb of Raleigh-Durham. It&#39;s mostly lilly white and extremely segregated. I used to work out there and hated to even shop there. These people simply want to teach their children that black people are lazy, ungrateful, whiney, violent, azzholes. If they had any decency, they would be happy that slave owners gave them troths of slop for dinner.

Once the children learn that, the Christian Academy has accomplished it&#39;s goal! <_<

lsubabiedee
12-29-2004, 06:20 AM
Originally posted by Ace9@Dec 20 2004, 11:01 PM
And this also makes me want to give a call out....we need more dominant Black and Minority Anthropologists and Historians..because if we don&#39;t watch out...our children will be taught the lies that we were being fed.

650969


hey...im working on being one and hopefully i will be able to edumacate some folks one day

deecoily
12-29-2004, 10:48 AM
I got to this part:
“Many Southern blacks supported the South because of long established bonds of affection and trust that had been forged over generations with their white masters and friends." Or this gem: “There has never been a multi-racial society which has existed with such mutual intimacy and harmony in the history of the world."

I need to cool down before I read anymore.

Never have I read such a bunch of crap. You know, it&#39;s just typical. Typical of out of touch, ignorant, superiorist morons who claim to know how people "feel" about situations where they are not allowed to "feel" anything for themselves.

Punish them enough and they&#39;ll get used to it. THEN they&#39;ll actually thank you for it and love you. They LOVE being slaves. They LOVE being treated worse than animals. After all, that&#39;s what they are. They appreciate a good whipping.

Tell you what. They should try teaching this crap in a public school. They they&#39;ll find out what a good whippin is quick smart.

Idiots.

~Dee~

deecoily
12-29-2004, 10:56 AM
One more thing.

THESE are the people who put Bush into office. Again.

Case rested.

~Dee~

ValleyOfDecision
12-29-2004, 12:37 PM
Originally posted by deecoily@Dec 29 2004, 06:56 AM
One more thing.

THESE are the people who put Bush into office. Again.

Case rested.

~Dee~

658237

YEP. <_<

And as for the original post - <_< <_< <_< <_<

I&#39;m not one bit surprised that people believe this, including Black people. <_<

Nappalonia
12-29-2004, 02:31 PM
I&#39;ve heard this BS before, I couldn&#39;t even get past the first paragraph, gimme a break <_<

morena23
12-29-2004, 09:12 PM
Is this for real? I can&#39;t believe that this is true.

frau
12-30-2004, 01:11 AM
i just finished reading "incidents in the life of a slave girl" by harriet jacobs. please, please, please go, wait, run and buy this book.
http://a1055.g.akamai.net/f/1055/1401/5h/images.barnesandnoble.com/images/970000/978278.gif
if you happen to shop in barnes and noble just read a couple of pages in the store, i promise you&#39;ll be compelled to buy it.

one of the things someone pointed out to me that leads people to believe slavery wasn&#39;t so bad may be due to some of the slave narratives that were taken years after slavery. when asked about their treatment some former slaves claim they were treated very well by thier masters and they were very happy and content.

however, if the interviewer pressed on and asked other specific questions like, "were you ever whipped with the lash?" they might answer, "about six or seven times in my lifetime." when asked if those whippings drew blood the slave responded, "oh, yes." i don&#39;t think that slave was treated well at all, but perhaps in comparison with the brutality of the times (which is quite incomprehensible) to that slave he or she was treated well.

i remember reading that many slaves were not fed. they had to forge for food on their own. in harriet jacob&#39;s book she writes that a new mistress decided that n1ggers to old to work would get no ration of food, they were to eat grass.

deecoily
12-30-2004, 01:14 AM
Ooo Frau that book sounds good!

**runnin out to get it**

~Dee~

Ace9
12-30-2004, 02:55 AM
Originally posted by deecoily@Dec 29 2004, 11:56 AM
One more thing.

THESE are the people who put Bush into office. Again.

Case rested.

~Dee~

658237



Hey Dee..no fair. I wanted Bush to win. And there is no way in hell I agree with the above. I think there should be more discussion as to why some blacks have decided to actually want Bush in Presidency than shooting down them as being in some way agreement with anything demoralizing blacks.

A9

morena23
12-30-2004, 01:12 PM
Bush would have won no matter what. He&#39;s just that crooked.

deecoily
12-31-2004, 11:41 AM
Originally posted by Ace9@Dec 30 2004, 01:55 PM
Hey Dee..no fair. I wanted Bush to win. And there is no way in hell I agree with the above. I think there should be more discussion as to why some blacks have decided to actually want Bush in Presidency than shooting down them as being in some way agreement with anything demoralizing blacks.

A9

659047


Yes, I think that would make a very interesting discussion! I&#39;d like to hear some views myself.

~Dee~

delightfulflame
12-31-2004, 05:32 PM
I can&#39;t say that I&#39;m surprised by reading this. I&#39;m surprised that someone actually wrote it down, but I think that there are a great many folks who think crazy like this. That&#39;s the way Amerikka and other "civilized" countries have always worked. If history doesn&#39;t show them in a favorable light...just re-write it to say what you want it to.

aisha1033
01-04-2005, 02:02 PM
You can read the Harriet Jacobs book in its entirety here (http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/JACOBS/hj-site-index.htm) in case it&#39;s unavailable at your local bookstore. Just scoll down to the bottom for the chapters list.

pReCioUsLiL1
01-04-2005, 05:07 PM
and then this makes me think about affirmative action, and is it right to use it as a response to historical injustice...

of course not, since it wasn&#39;t that baad....

jmnappy
01-05-2005, 03:47 PM
:Angry_boese008: :Angry_boese008:

There&#39;s no way I&#39;m going to read that whole thing.