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October 3- Conservative Talk Show Host says Slavery wasn’t as bad as initially reported

In History, jerks, racism, stupidity on October 9, 2007 by Editor Z

Film critic turned conservative columnist, radio talk show host, and activist Michael Medved, posted a column on the conservative blog Townhall.com, entitled “Six in Convenient Truths About Slavery”,. in which he downplays the horrors of Americans slavery. Here are some of the Arguments he makes and i will respond to them one by one.

> Slavery was an ancient and universal Institution, Not a distinctively American innovation.

True America didn’t create the concept of slavery which has been around for centuries. A great many nation’s had a caste system that distinguished a person’s level on the latter of respect and economic as well as social advancement. Those in the upper echelons as in the United States exploited the position of those peoples in the lower tier of the caste system for their own political, economic, social, and personal advancement. That isn’t meant to excuse slavery but it’s a fact.

>Slavery existed only briefly and in limited locales , In the history of the Republic, involving only a tiny percentage of the ancestors of today’s Americans.

Really? I believe all of the states that were part of the union at that time and below the mason-Dixon line. Much of the land considered settled ,of which about fifteen states by the time the civil war came around, employed slavery, all located in the south..Many of whom briefly succeeded from the Union if not because of slavery itself, issues relating to slavery.
Besides the fact that slavery “only” involved a “tiny” percentage of modern day black America, is shaky at best and repulsive at worst.

> Though Brutal slavery wasn’t genocidal. Live slaves were valuable, but dead captives brought no profits.

Oh that’s a good line “Hey at least it’s not genocide”. Besides many slaves were kept in squallier and conditions that were beyond unsanitary which caused them to contract diseases which would then probably kill them. Not to mention they were treated horribly with near endless work hours, being forced to be almost completely reliant on those who “owned” them. So well it may not have killed them, it made their lives a living hell.

> It is not true that the U.S became a wealthy nation through the abuse of slave labor: the most prosperous states in the country first freed their slaves.

Maybe not, but many of their owners did. Besides I think those states who freed their slaves first, contained a more educated public as well as the industrial revolution that began in the U.S in the late 19th century, while the southerners were still owning and operating plantations of crops and cotton.

> While America deserves no unique blame for the existence of slavery , the U.S merits special credit for it’s rapid abolition.

Well I bet Russia could use that same argument about it’s enslavement of the surfs in Czarist Russia. Besides, what followed that “Abolition of slavery? one hundred and four years of repressive segregation and exploitation, that some called ” slavery without the chains”. They were denied residences, pay, bathrooms, drinking fountains, waiting rooms, restaurants and everything else under the sun. They were denied justice when they were wronged and prevented from gaining any semblance of a quality education much of the time. Not to mention the racial verbal attacks the rapes, false imprisonment, and lynching of African-Americans. I would hardly consider that to be a great emancipation.

> There is no reason to suggest that Today’s African Americans would be better off, if their ancestors had remained behind in Africa.

Really? So it was okay cause in the long run. We just placed them in fields and treated them like inanimate appliances, personal utilities and property, so they can come to America? This is by far his most egregious point in the article. I don’t think I need to say much more. That’s how ridiculous it is. So decades and decades and decades of lynching, injustice, and persecution as well as continuing economic and social inequality as well.

Comment: Now why does he call them inconvenient truths? Well first of all from what I know they aren’t truths just Potemkin truths, designed to debunk certain painful facts and brand them hateful lies. Medved appears to be another one of the people who wants to paint a picture of a perfect one dimensional America in which our past is unblemished by any injustices and which our victories dominate. That is great for some. But the aim of history is to show us a full and complex representation of a country and in that sense our country is no different.

America is a great land with much bounty and shoulders strong enough to bare burdens, as well as generous and skilled enough to set the course of the world. However history is most useful when it also shows faults. Many of those who condemn a full representation of history, whether it be in the medium of documentary, text, or education are scornful of what they see as “elite liberals” or as former U.S Ambassador Jeanne Kirkpatrick put it the “blame America first crowd”.

It is understandable for people to take offense, bristle, and maybe even be somewhat resentful,when their national histories wounds are exposed to the light of reality. But if we are to grasp the usefulness of an accurate history, we must not only analyze the folklore, heroism, greatness, and achievements, but also our follies, errors, and defeats; as well as everything that falls into the gray area of nuance in between. Remember History isn’t a fairy tale.

This guy should return to just writing movie reviews and read a History book.

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