What you can’t say about slavery and racism
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.”
… 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. … Slavery is a despicable violation of human rights but the enslavement of my ancestors is history, and one of the immutable facts of history is that nothing can be done to change it. … Today’s American blacks have benefited enormously from the horrible suffering of our ancestors…. The standard of living and personal liberty of black Americans are better than what blacks living anywhere in Africa have.
… 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. … 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.
… 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.
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