Skip to comments.What You Can't Say
Posted on 10/24/2012 4:41:21 AM PDT by Kaslin
Jon Hubbard, a Republican member of the Arkansas House of Representatives, has a book, titled "Letters to the Editor: Confessions of a Frustrated Conservative." Among its statements for which Hubbard has been criticized and disavowed by the Republican Party is, "The institution of slavery that the black race has long believed to be an abomination upon its people may actually have been a blessing in disguise. The blacks who could endure those conditions and circumstances would someday be rewarded with citizenship in the greatest nation ever established upon the face of the Earth."
Hubbard's observation reminded me of my 1972 job interview at the University of Massachusetts. During a reception, one of the Marxist professors asked me what I thought about the relationship between capitalism and slavery. My response was that slavery has existed everywhere in the world, under every political and economic system, and was by no means unique to capitalism or the United States. Perturbed by my response, he asked me what my feelings were about the enslavement of my ancestors. I answered that slavery is a despicable violation of human rights but that the enslavement of my ancestors is history, and one of the immutable facts of history is that nothing can be done to change it.
The matter could have been left there, but I volunteered that today's American blacks have benefited enormously from the horrible suffering of our ancestors. Why? I said the standard of living and personal liberty of black Americans are better than what blacks living anywhere in Africa have. I then asked the professor what it was that explained how tens of millions of blacks came to be born in the U.S. instead of Africa. He wouldn't answer, but an answer other than slavery would have been sheer idiocy. I attempted to assuage the professor's and his colleagues' shock by explaining to them that to morally condemn a practice such as slavery does not require one to also deny its effects.
My yet-to-be-learned lesson -- and perhaps that of Rep. Hubbard -- is that there are certain topics or arguments that one should not bring up in the presence of children or those with little understanding. Both might see that explaining a phenomenon is the same as giving it moral sanction or justification. It's as if one's explanation that the independent influence of gravity on a falling object is to cause it to accelerate at 32 feet per second per second could be interpreted as giving moral sanction and justification to gravity.
Slavery is widely misunderstood, and as such has been a tool for hustlers and demagogues. Slavery has been part of the human condition throughout recorded history and everywhere on the globe. Romans enslaved other Europeans; Greeks enslaved other Greeks; Asians enslaved Asians; Africans enslaved Africans; and in the New World, Aztecs enslaved Aztecs and other native groups. Even the word slave is derived from the fact that Slavic people were among the early European slaves.
Though racism has been used to justify slavery, the origins of slavery had little to do with racism. In recent history, the major slave traders and slave owners have been Arabs, who enslaved Europeans, black Africans and Asians. A unique aspect of slavery in the Western world was the moral outrage against it, which began to emerge in the 18th century and led to massive efforts to eliminate it. It was Britain's military might and the sight of the Union Jack on the high seas that ultimately put an end to the slave trade.
Unfortunately, the facts about slavery are not the lessons taught in our schools and colleges. The gross misrepresentation and suggestion in textbooks and lectures is that slavery was a uniquely American practice done by racist white people to black people. Despite abundant historical evidence, youngsters are taught nothing about how the Founding Fathers quarreled, debated and agonized over the slave issue.
I did not glance at the author’s name before I started reading but didn’t have to read very far to realize that this was none other than Walter Williams, one of the great thinkers of our age.
Excellent insightful article. Thanks for posting it.
Reminds me of an anecdote I once read about Frederick Douglass. One of the remarkable things he realized about slavery — after he had escaped from the plantation where he was raised in Maryland and fled to Massachusetts — was that it really hampered prosperity even for people who supposedly benefitted from it. The first thing he noticed when he began working in a shipyard in Mass. was that his fellow black workers (none of whom were U.S. citizens even though they were no longer slaves) had a better standard of living than the family that owned his former plantation in Maryland.
If you want something to really test your ablilty to think clearly and with no other bias than the firm belief that God loves us and His Word is true, no matter how it contradicts “conventional wisdom”, read pages 59-66 in “Productive Christians in an Age of Guilt-Manipulators”
Yep. Arabs--- including many in BO's patriarchal lineage. Ending the slave trade was the driving force behind the Brit's colonization of Kenya. BO's fathers were driven from the lucrative profession of trading slaves in the Zanzibar enclave to herding cattle inland. It was a great insult to both their financial and social status and explains a lot of the roots of their rage toward all things British.
Walt Williams consistently gives me goosebumps. I very much enjoy reading about black history in America and am proud to call some very influential, conservative black men and women my friends. They truly understand how blessed they are to live in America regardless of the disposition of their ancestors, and I believe that Mr. Williams not only understands that but espouses and disseminates the understanding that the black condition in America is not hopeless but just as hopeful and available to any black man or woman as it is to any white, Asian, or Hispanic man or woman.
Thank God for Walter Williams.
He's exactly right, as always.
Schools teach - the South fought to keep slavery and slavery is bad so the South was wrong.
IMHO, the reason for this lesson (other than the basis for Critical Race Theory or 'everything-under-the-sun is 'racist', is so that no one will bother looking at the fact that Constitutionally, the South was right.
And it left a huge, gaping hole in the Compact for Socialism to walk right through.
Please read the info below with the understanding that it is to illustrate the shift of authoritative power, not argue on the morality of slavery:
and we may find when it is too late, that the patience of the south, however well founded upon principle, from repeated aggression will become exhausted. These considerations would have no influence with me if I could satisfy myself of the unconstitutionality of the law of congress; but I can never contribute in any manner, either directly or indirectly, to the abolition of slavery, however great an evil it may be, in violation of the constitution and laws of the country, and in violation of the solemn compact which was made by our forefathers at the adoption of the constitution, and which their posterity are bound to preserve inviolate.
A Constitutional View of the Late War Between the States1868
"The obvious deductions, which may be, and indeed have been drawn, from considering the Constitution as a Compact between the States, are, that it operates as a mere treaty, or convention between them, and has an obligatory force upon each State no longer than it suits its pleasure, or its consent continues;, that each State has a right to judge for itself in relation to the nature, extent, and obligations of the instrument, without being at all bound by the interpretation of the Federal Government, or by that of any other State; and that each retains the power to withdraw from the Confederacy, and to dissolve the connection, when such shall be its choice; and may suspend the operations of the Federal Government, and nullify its acts within its own territorial limits, whenever, in its own opinion, the exigency of the case may require. These conclusions may not always be avowed; but they flow naturally from the doctrines which we have under consideration. They go to the extent of reducing the Government to a mere Confederacy during pleasure; and of thus presenting the extraordinary spectacle of a nation existing only at the will of each of its constituent parts."
Story on the Constitution, vol. I, Book 3, Sec. 321 [page 499]
THANK YOU DR. WILLIAMS! Again you have exposed the main purpose of our Marxist educational system. Until everyone looks with both eyes open and SEES where it all went wrong, the Original authority will NEVER be able to Reclaim their Rights.
A great, great man.
Its premise is wrong. I couldn't finish it because I disagreed with its premise pretty strongly.
The bible does not approve of slavery any more than it approves of divorce. It merely recognizes the reality of slavery and instructs Christians how to behave within that reality.
You cannot close your eyes to the fact that slaves here were thought to be racially inferior and were bred to produce a better slave: slave husbandry as it were. In too many cases. Slaves were treated and thought of as animals. That is very different than in other eras.
So yes blacks have it much better NOW than they did and one could argue that they were done a “favor” to be imported here, but they were treated as inferior. Other cultures did not do that, tho they may have worked their slaves as hard and more cruelly, in some cases.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.