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School defends slavery booklet (Critic says text is 'window dressing')
News Observer ^ | Dec 9, 2004 | T. KEUNG HUI

Posted on 12/12/2004 12:21:53 PM PST by mac_truck

Students at one of the area's largest Christian schools are reading a controversial booklet that critics say whitewashes Southern slavery with its view that slaves lived "a life of plenty, of simple pleasures." Leaders at Cary Christian School say they are not condoning slavery by using "Southern Slavery, As It Was," a booklet that attempts to provide a biblical justification for slavery and asserts that slaves weren't treated as badly as people think.

Principal Larry Stephenson said the school is only exposing students to different ideas, such as how the South justified slavery. He said the booklet is used because it is hard to find writings that are both sympathetic to the South and explore what the Bible says about slavery.

"You can have two different sides, a Northern perspective and a Southern perspective," he said.

'SOUTHERN SLAVERY, AS IT WAS' Here are some excerpts from the booklet:

* "To say the least, it is strange that the thing the Bible condemns (slave-trading) brings very little opprobrium upon the North, yet that which the Bible allows (slave-ownership) has brought down all manner of condemnation upon the South." (page 22)

* "As we have already mentioned, the 'peculiar institution' of slavery was not perfect or sinless, but the reality was a far cry from the horrific descriptions given to us in modern histories." (page 22)

* "Slavery as it existed in the South was not an adversarial relationship with pervasive racial animosity. Because of its dominantly patriarchal character, it was a relationship based upon mutual affection and confidence." (page 24)

* "Slave life was to them a life of plenty, of simple pleasures, of food, clothes, and good medical care." (page 25)

(Excerpt) Read more at newsobserver.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Extended News; Philosophy; US: North Carolina
KEYWORDS: cary; christian; christianschools; classicaleducation; confederacy; confederate; dixie; fact; history; opinion; pc; slave; slavery; south; thoughtpolice
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"As a classical Christian school, we think it's important for our students to be able to think and not be slanted to a particular position," Stephenson said. "We want them to think for themselves."

It's hard to argue with that sentiment, and as a private institution the school is not beholden to the government for resources.

1 posted on 12/12/2004 12:21:54 PM PST by mac_truck
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To: mac_truck

...another hit piece to hassle anything that competes with the NEA-run gummit skewls and their huge sucking sound.


2 posted on 12/12/2004 12:27:53 PM PST by The Spirit Of Allegiance (FREE people needn't apply to a Government of/by/for the People for a gun (PERSONAL PROPERTY) permit!)
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To: mac_truck
Defending slavery. 2004.

Beam me up.


3 posted on 12/12/2004 12:28:29 PM PST by rdb3 (Can I join the Pajamahadeen even if I sleep in the nude?)
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To: mac_truck

What a crock. Nothing defensible about slavery.


4 posted on 12/12/2004 12:33:09 PM PST by cyborg (http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/flamelily.html)
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To: mac_truck

Schools have been hiding the truth about slavery ever since the War Between the States ended. Northerners ran nearly all of the slave trading ships, while a black lady in South Carolina owned the most slaves in the country. Also, approximately 25% of free blacks in the south owned slaves, which is a higher percentage than that of whites.


5 posted on 12/12/2004 12:33:35 PM PST by skutter
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http://www.modbee.com/24hour/opinions/story/1916916p-9868385c.html


6 posted on 12/12/2004 12:35:20 PM PST by Ellesu
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To: mac_truck
I don't see a problem with teaching both sides of an important historical dispute. That's how you learn critical thinking skills.

Of course I've received a lot of hate mail for including (with disclaimers) the 1861 text The Bible View of Slavery on my website, even though the article is linked to two contemporary, anti-slavery essays.

7 posted on 12/12/2004 12:36:12 PM PST by Alouette ("Who is for the LORD, come with me!" -- Mattisyahu ben Yohanon, father of Judah Maccabee)
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To: stainlessbanner


8 posted on 12/12/2004 12:36:31 PM PST by Libertarianize the GOP (Make all taxes truly voluntary)
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To: skutter

Slavery was wrong no matter who was doing it. What is the name of the lady who you say owned most of the slaves in the country? And was she BLACK or was she mostly white as most 'free people of color' were? It's a stupid booklet and I won't defend it just because the schools may not be PC.


9 posted on 12/12/2004 12:36:43 PM PST by cyborg (http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/flamelily.html)
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To: Alouette

Mutual affection and confidence???? It's one thing to teach both side but another to excuse.


10 posted on 12/12/2004 12:37:43 PM PST by cyborg (http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/flamelily.html)
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To: rdb3; Khepera; elwoodp; MAKnight; condolinda; mafree; Trueblackman; FRlurker; Teacher317; ...
a booklet that attempts to provide a biblical justification for slavery and asserts that slaves weren't treated as badly as people think.

This is a joke, right (and not a very good one at that)?

Black conservative ping

If you want on (or off) of my black conservative ping list, please let me know via FREEPmail. (And no, you don't have to be black to be on the list!)

Extra warning: this is a high-volume ping list.

11 posted on 12/12/2004 12:37:50 PM PST by mhking (Vote for Ramblings' Journal for best conservative blog @ http://2004weblogawards.com/)
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To: cyborg
I think the school's intent is to expose their students to differing viewpoints/perspectives on the subject of slavery with an eye toward understanding the mindset of mid-ninteenth century southern society. The booklet apparently is used as a counterbalance to the works of Harriet Beecher Stowe and others that are also part of the curiculum.
12 posted on 12/12/2004 12:41:46 PM PST by mac_truck (Aide toi et dieu l’aidera)
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To: cyborg

Now no. Once upon a time when slaves were actually conquered enemies it was actually the humane thing to do as opposed to killing them outright. But that was thousands of years ago.


13 posted on 12/12/2004 12:45:14 PM PST by Harmless Teddy Bear (Interdum feror cupidine partium magnarum europe vincendarum (Happy Hanukkah!))
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To: mac_truck

Do they also have a booklet to explain "the other side" of the holocaust and how Auschwitz was actually more like a holiday camp?


14 posted on 12/12/2004 12:47:29 PM PST by saquin
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To: mac_truck

I'm skeptical in light of the discussions I've had with some followers of Doug Wilson and his ilk. Anyone can go and search out the different sides of a story. I've read similar booklets and it's all about making excuses. They don't want to appear to be giving into the likes of the SPLC (not that I can blame them).


15 posted on 12/12/2004 12:47:45 PM PST by cyborg (http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/flamelily.html)
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To: mac_truck

It was unfortunate that they used this material. At least they are trying to get their students to see all sides of an issue.


16 posted on 12/12/2004 12:48:43 PM PST by ladylib ("Marc Tucker Letter to Hillary Clinton" says it all.)
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To: mac_truck

Revisionist historians are also trying to claim the holocaust never happened.

Just becuase you can emphasize or de-emphasize aspects of a situation to suit your purposes and call it showing both sides of the equation doesn't mean you have a moral responsibility to do so.

Using that warped logic we should be extolling the positives of how drugs make you feel good and allow you to escape to a 'happy place' or saying that giving in to peer pressure will make you feel like part of 'the cool club' and that they really arent so bad as a counter-point to the 'Just say no' campaign.


17 posted on 12/12/2004 12:50:41 PM PST by contemplator
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To: rdb3

Here, I'll try to explain it. You see, slavery in the south was more benign that folks realize, and would have gone away within a generation or two or three, Civil War or not. Folks just needed to be more patient.

On the other hand, if the city requires a permit to add a wing to your house, or if a cop writes you a seatbelt ticket, or if the city inspector writes you a citation for the junk car in your front yard, well, those are all outrages tantamount to slavery, and cause to take up arms to overthrow the government now if not yesterday.

Does that make it clearer?


18 posted on 12/12/2004 12:53:16 PM PST by Larry Lucido
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To: Larry Lucido

LOL


19 posted on 12/12/2004 12:54:05 PM PST by cyborg (http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/flamelily.html)
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To: mhking

I don't think they're trying to justify what people did then, but just trying to give the slave owners viewpoint. That not all slaveowners were monsters, some saw themselves as good Christians and did treat their slaves fairly by their standards.

This might explain the not uncommon incidents of slaves hiding and protecting their owners property after the owners had fled and Union troops arrived. This behavior doesn't make any sense from the soon to be freed slaves viewpoint if the owners had treated them pooorly.

It was a strange system that warped peoples decisions and perceptions. The only upside is that this country ended up with a lot of great contributions from citizens that otherwise would have never immigrated here.


20 posted on 12/12/2004 12:57:03 PM PST by E.Allen
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To: saquin
Should students (at the appropriate level) be prevented from reading exerpts from "Mein Kampf" to help them understand the origins of nazism?

I would argue not.

21 posted on 12/12/2004 12:58:38 PM PST by mac_truck (Aide toi et dieu l’aidera)
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To: rdb3
It gets worse.

The "pastor" who wrote the bilge supporting slavery is Doug Wilson, one of the Federal Visionary school -- he's Reformed.

22 posted on 12/12/2004 1:01:37 PM PST by jude24 (sola gratia)
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To: mac_truck

Mein Kampf was written by Hitler himself, not some skinhead meth coke head looking to make an excuse why the Jooz are evil. There are more than enough writings of people who owned slaves to know why slavery existed in the States.


23 posted on 12/12/2004 1:02:50 PM PST by cyborg (http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/flamelily.html)
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To: jude24

It's pretty sad he'd write such a thing. I've read some of his other books, esp. about marriage.


24 posted on 12/12/2004 1:05:09 PM PST by cyborg (http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/flamelily.html)
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To: mac_truck

"Mein Kampf" is a historical document that, read in the right context, gives insight into Hitler's warped thinking.

On the other hand, I don't think the pamphlet of a holocaust denier should be added to the WWII curriculum to provide "balance".


25 posted on 12/12/2004 1:11:57 PM PST by saquin
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To: mac_truck
Please do not jump on me, I am not defending slavery. I will say it is a hateful practice right off the bat, but it was not the bull whips and plantation jails of the imagination, even though those things existed and were used. One of the best works of fiction that I have ever read that I think got it right is "Uncle Tom's Cabin" Everyone has formed an opinion about this book but few have read it. I suggest looking it over. Considering I am a pro-South Freeper I hope that endorsement will carry some weight considering the reputation that book has received for starting that late unpleasantness.

One fact to consider is this. Large areas of the South had absentee owners and high slave population. As an example South Carolina's low country, some counties had 3000 slaves to every white freeman. Diaries and letters from the era record the concern overseers had with upsetting the slave population. This concern was real since slaves were allowed to carry rifles. They had to because they needed them to hunt for meat and in areas where Indian attacks were still to be expected. I tell you I found this shocking when I read it.

Scholars reviewing the records believe the slave system in that area was largely self regulating. The rice crop took 11-12 months to bring to harvest. For most of that time tending to the crop took very little daily labor. Large numbers of slaves were needed only at harvest time when long back breaking days were required. For the next 10 months the workday started at sunup and was over shortly after noon. Most of the day to day management was done by one of the older and trusted slaves. As a result of the short workday slave owners provided very, very little in the way of provisions (shockingly little including clothing). The slaves were free to raise their own crops and livestock. The Charleston markets were dominated by a slave economy. White fishermen complained but could do little to undercut the slave driven markets. By the way slaves kept their profits, the little that it was.

Here in Virginia it was very different. The workday was much longer and much harder work. On the other hand provisions were much better. The slaves were better trained in such trades as blacksmithing, carpentry, joinery, etc. Free blacks were more common than in the low country but more likely to be very very poor. Free black in SC were often quite well off but very rare.

For the record there are 3 books I recommend that deal in part with slavery and all support what I state above.

Slave Counterpoint - deals with the development of slavery from the beginning up to the American Revolution. The areas of Virginia and South Carolina are highlighted as the centers of this peculiar institution. A very heavy read but well documented. I can not remember the authors name.

Plantation Mistress - the subject is white women from 1830-1850 and was meant to complement a book on the role of New England women. The role of slavery is a major part of the book and does not contradict Slave Counterpoint other than the differences in periods discussed. I can not remember the authors name, but it was a woman. This is the lightest reading of the 3 I mention here.

Black Confederates and Afro-Americans in Civil War Virginia. By Jordan. A (black) professor at the University of Virginia who caught holy H-E-double toothpick for writing this book. It deals with life for all aspects of black life during the four years of the Civil War. He hits it all, slaves on the plantation, slaves in the cities, free blacks, slave owning blacks, slaves who ran away to fight for the North, slaves who ran away to get away, everything. What he really wanted to explore and he tried to explain is why on earth would slave fight for the South. Many even received a pension for their services from the various states after the war, even slaves who stayed to fight when their coward of a master deserted. The was a fascinating book with many stories that are hard to reason or explain. It really shows the complexity that was slavery. It is a bit of a heavy read for most but not as heavy as Slave counterpoint.
26 posted on 12/12/2004 1:14:35 PM PST by Mark in the Old South (Note to GOP "Deliver or perish" Re: Specter I guess the GOP "chooses" to perish)
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To: E.Allen

The "Stockholm Syndrome" is also a well-known psychological phenomenom of some hostages beginning to identify with their captors after long periods of captivity and dependence on them. That doesn't make the hostage-taking any less of a crime or imply that some hostages were really quite content being hostages.


27 posted on 12/12/2004 1:15:04 PM PST by saquin
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To: skutter

OK, I'll bite. I've never heard about the story about a black lady from NC owning a large number of slaves. As they say there, do tell!


28 posted on 12/12/2004 1:15:55 PM PST by Free Vulcan
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To: Mark in the Old South

mark and bump for a well informed post


29 posted on 12/12/2004 1:17:07 PM PST by cyborg (http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/flamelily.html)
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To: mac_truck

Some of my ancestors owned slaves in the South. I don't think they were monsters or evil people.


30 posted on 12/12/2004 1:19:41 PM PST by mikegi
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To: mac_truck

We have contemporary accounts from some former slaves that stated their lives were not a living hell, unlike the 'Northern' version of slavery. But it cannot change the fact that slavery was evil, no matter how benign the master may have been. The human spirit is not suited to bondage, and so a war had to be fought to free those in chains, real or figurative.


31 posted on 12/12/2004 1:22:28 PM PST by ex 98C MI Dude (Proud Member of the Reagan Republicans)
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To: mikegi
Some of my ancestors owned slaves in the South. I don't think they were monsters or evil people.

Of course you don't.

And perhaps they weren't. But the system was. And to deny that a system that enslaved human beings was not monstrous or evil is, in my mind, as reprehensible as those who deny the holocaust.

32 posted on 12/12/2004 1:25:25 PM PST by saquin
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To: mac_truck
Re: "The booklet apparently is used as a counterbalance to the works of Harriet Beecher Stowe and others that are also part of the curiculum."

I've read Stowe, I really don't think it is possible to counterbalance her work. Most of the point of Uncle Tom's Cabin was to show how even good and well meaning slave owners could not make the institution okay. In fact there is only one truly bad actor (Simon Legree) two of Uncle Tom's owners were almost saintly and most of the others somewhere in-between (selfish would be the best word to describe them) but far from evil.

I still can not figure how Uncle Tome became a pejorative term considering Uncle Tom was the only slave that stood up to the evil Simon Legree, and paid for it with his life. You really have to read the book. I fear most only think they know what it is about. It is really a morality tale. Very powerful, very moving.
33 posted on 12/12/2004 1:27:54 PM PST by Mark in the Old South (Note to GOP "Deliver or perish" Re: Specter I guess the GOP "chooses" to perish)
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To: saquin

Here is a statement from the school:

http://www.carychristianschool.org/NewsAndEvents/default.cfm


34 posted on 12/12/2004 1:30:07 PM PST by ladylib ("Marc Tucker Letter to Hillary Clinton" says it all.)
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To: mikegi
Some of my ancestors owned slaves in the South. I don't think they were monsters or evil people.

Probably not. Not all Nazi party members were monsters or evil people either. But such is the ability of even decent people to do unspeakably evil things, especially when the culture is blind to it.

35 posted on 12/12/2004 1:30:40 PM PST by jude24 (sola gratia)
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To: skutter

I have never heard of this woman. Could you tell us more? As to the slave owning blacks most were slave owners of their own family members. A free black who bought his wife or son etc. The reason they remained slaves even though it was largely in name only (let us not get off topic about the slavery of women in the 18th & 19th century please) was due to the laws governing newly free slaves. They had to leave the state unless they got government exemption (which was common enough here in Virginia) There were large slave owners who were black but they were not very common. The black owners of Melrose Plantation in LA were richer and had more slaves than their white neighbors but that was not very common as I said.


36 posted on 12/12/2004 1:36:17 PM PST by Mark in the Old South (Note to GOP "Deliver or perish" Re: Specter I guess the GOP "chooses" to perish)
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To: ladylib

very interesting


37 posted on 12/12/2004 1:38:52 PM PST by cyborg (http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/flamelily.html)
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To: mac_truck
When I was an undergrad, one of our history professors had obtained the journal of a plantation owner who lived near Eufala, Alabama. His name was Dent.

He kept a detailed account of every thing which happened on his farm. Each student was given maybe 30 xeroxed pages which we were to study then discuss in class. It was more than fascinating. My pages included a couple of shopping lists which showed purchases he had made in Eufala.

First of all, he did whip his slaves, at least some of them. He was very strict. Had rules which must be obeyed. For instance he would give them each a portion of whiskey every day, but it must be consumed that day and not saved.

In another way he seemed quite benevolent. Among the items he purchased was candy and toys for the slave children. Also clothing. I remember one thing he listed was "Osnabrucks" which I still don't know exactly what it was or why a slave needed them.

He also was religious and seemed to be of very high moral character. He also did not like Yankees and this was before the war.

Some of his descendents became prominent. Including a U.S. Senator, representatives and an ambassador.

38 posted on 12/12/2004 1:40:07 PM PST by yarddog
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To: Mark in the Old South

I don't blame people in the South for being defensive about their history. The libs want a one sided discussion and don't think anyone else has anything to contribute to the discussion.


39 posted on 12/12/2004 1:41:18 PM PST by cyborg (http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/flamelily.html)
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To: Mark in the Old South
I've read Stowe, I really don't think it is possible to counterbalance her work.

I agree that Uncle Tom's Cabin has been and continues to be greatly misinterpreted by all sides of the slavery issue. Stowe wrote the book after traveling in the south and being greatly moved by what she saw of that peculiar institution. The villian of the story, Simon Legree, was a yankee.

Yet when Uncle Tom's Cabin was published in 1851 it enraged southern society and was quickly banned in the south. Her book also galvinized support in the north for ending (or at least not extending) slavery in the United States.

40 posted on 12/12/2004 1:42:33 PM PST by mac_truck (Aide toi et dieu l’aidera)
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To: mhking
Please note my post #26 and #36. Have you seen the books I mention? You may find them interesting. I got very interested in black history when I lived in Petersburg Virginia. That city has a very interesting black history. Up until the Civil War the city was 50% black with about 1/3 free persons of color. Many of the "slaves" had very strange relationships with their owners. They would pay their owners a small fee (rent themselves out to use the terminology of the day) then work for themselves. I don't know if the situation was an antebellum form of extortion or a precursor to our relationship with the government today.
41 posted on 12/12/2004 1:47:08 PM PST by Mark in the Old South (Note to GOP "Deliver or perish" Re: Specter I guess the GOP "chooses" to perish)
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To: mac_truck
I grew up hearing Stowe never was in the South but she lived in Ohio across the river from Kentucky. It seems it was common practice to send slaves across the river to run errands for their masters, including caring money to pay accounts, pick up provisions etc. The more you read on the day to day relationship of master and slave the more you have to scratch your head. 21st century man thinks he knows what he has not the foggiest, but don't try telling him.
Slavery was evil but most have no clue why therefore they are at risk for falling for the same evil but not in the form of slavery. (Everyone should be thinking socialism right about now)(I try to be helpful with my brackets)
42 posted on 12/12/2004 1:55:23 PM PST by Mark in the Old South (Note to GOP "Deliver or perish" Re: Specter I guess the GOP "chooses" to perish)
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To: mac_truck
Slave life was to them a life of plenty, of simple pleasures

Happy indeed is he who sees the cotton harvest and the lash as simple pleasures.

43 posted on 12/12/2004 1:57:03 PM PST by SedVictaCatoni (<><)
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To: rdb3

Sherman did his best, but some people really can't take a hint.


44 posted on 12/12/2004 1:59:30 PM PST by SedVictaCatoni (<><)
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To: mac_truck
In discussions such as this it is difficult to point out the 'other side' w/o sounding like you are defending the indefensiable. But slavery was a fact at the time. There are a couple of things that can be pointed out:

A stong high quality slave was an expensive asset from the perspective of the slave owner. As such a smart business man used those assets wisely in order to maximize his return in his investment. I would suspect that the treatment of slaves was in many cases proportional to their cost to the owner and this owners business acumen.

When a slave owner had particularly dangerous tasks that needed to be done, rather then risk a costly asset, he would sub contract this task out to others, who were less valuable then his own slaves. Much of this type of work fell to new immigrants, many of which were Irish, at this time.

45 posted on 12/12/2004 2:04:22 PM PST by Michael.SF. ("My only regret in life is that none of my children are gay." - Sharon Osborne)
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To: mac_truck
Oh yes I just remembered another old South story. Your point about Legree being a yankee (remember he was a fictional character) reminded me.

In New Orleans there was a wealthy doctor and his wife who lived in a large mansion in the French Quarter (it still stands, but is a private home) They lived secretive lives but there were all sorts of rumors, people would hear screams and cries coming for the home. One night a slave in the dungeon managed to start a fire. The French Quarter being a tightly packed city (and having burned once before) people rushed in to put out the fire, thereby saving their own homes. The site they found shocked them (I wonder if this story was the inspiration for Legree) It so enraged the WHITE community there was a riot. The doctor and his wife barely escaped with their lives. In fact they had to leave the country that very night.

Of course people had a sense of outrage then. They lived with slavery, even promoted it but there were limits. I wonder what they would have done to an abortion doctor?
46 posted on 12/12/2004 2:06:57 PM PST by Mark in the Old South (Note to GOP "Deliver or perish" Re: Specter I guess the GOP "chooses" to perish)
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To: Mark in the Old South
They lived with slavery, even promoted it but there were limits.

Fortunately, tens of thousands of emissaries from civilization finally fought their way down to Louisiana and reset the "limits" to "if nobody has slaves, nobody has dungeons."

47 posted on 12/12/2004 2:10:38 PM PST by SedVictaCatoni (<><)
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To: Michael.SF.
Re: "A stong high quality slave was an expensive asset from the perspective of the slave owner. As such a smart business man used those assets wisely in order to maximize his return in his investment."

An interesting point, one I used to use myself but there is a flaw. Not everyone is a smart business man. By this logic there would never be reckless driving of expensive automobiles nor would there be poorly maintained vehicles. There will always be stupid people but with slavery it was a human being that would pay for the neglect. Still more slaves were left alone more than we commonly think.
48 posted on 12/12/2004 2:13:13 PM PST by Mark in the Old South (Note to GOP "Deliver or perish" Re: Specter I guess the GOP "chooses" to perish)
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To: mac_truck

I can't remember ever reading an article about a similar incident in an Islamic school. Of course, that's unlikely to happen, either. Most Islamic schools wouldn't present the PC side of things, I'm sure.

I'm glad this article is written so fairly, without any hint of bias, and a completely fair treatment. And of course, it's convenient that the principal probably has loads of experience with the media cherrypicking-a-damning-sound-bite approach. /sarcasm


49 posted on 12/12/2004 2:17:21 PM PST by LibertarianInExile (NO BLOOD FOR CHOCOLATE! Get the UN-ignoring, unilateralist Frogs out of Ivory Coast!)
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To: SedVictaCatoni
Re: "...to "if nobody has slaves, nobody has dungeons.""

Don't kid yourself for one second. You should never expect the solution of one problem (legal slavery) puts an end to mans depravity and cruelty to his fellow man.

Consider our more enlightened times:

The prostitution industry, here and abroad, where exploitation rivals any Old South crime.

The abortion mills. This country 40-50 million babies, that is in little babies. World wide since it became legal, and even enforced it may be as high as 600 million babies. Luck us to live in such compassionate times.

The illegal immigration racket that often is slavery by another name. And yes here in this country too.

Like I said before slavery is evil but most have no clue why so they do not see the same evil by a different name. You have given a good example of what I mean. But heah the South lost, slavery is gone, problem solved right?
50 posted on 12/12/2004 2:23:04 PM PST by Mark in the Old South (Note to GOP "Deliver or perish" Re: Specter I guess the GOP "chooses" to perish)
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