Americans Increasingly Crave Slavery History, Yet They Miss a Crucial Detail

In an otherwise fascinating read about changes in Charleston, I found the following paragraph… to be inconsistent and misleading.

But it’s impossible to ignore for both white and Black Americans trying to grapple with the country’s original sin, whether they are descendants of enslaved people or those who enslaved them.

False choice fallacy.

Don’t forget that slavery was banned in Georgia back in the 1730s, as well as banned in Vermont in the 1770s (first state to join the Union). Pennsylvania passed an Abolition Act in 1780.

Americans could be descendants of neither people enslaved, nor people who enslaved others. In fact, as an example that never gets enough attention, why not teach Americans that they could be descendants of people who abolished and fought slavery at every turn?

The idea that a white student should feel shame about being white is perpetuating the mistake of hiding the role of whites in ending slavery. That crucial detail could change everything. Ask a classroom of white kids, which one of you had relatives who fought against slavery?

Why should any white student be condemned to always ignore the contributions of a huge number of whites who were anti-racist, who did the right things?

One of the big mistakes in teaching American history is typically to leave out the John Brown equation, let alone a Robert Gould Shaw, Silas Soule or President Grant.

Who was Robert Carter and what did he do in 1791?

Seriously, ask any American who he was. Or who was Robert Gould Shaw? What did the men of the 54th do that was so important in a Civil War about slavery?

There were many white men who fought and WON the Civil War, yet somehow being white means shutting down all discussion of these heroes instead of celebrating them. President Grant was one of the greatest military and political leaders in history. Tell white kids to look up to him when they read about slavery.

But then again, when you read the SC State House education appropriation language, you can kind of see how screwed up they are.

…no monies shall be used by any school district or school to provide instruction in, to teach, instruct, or train any administrator, teacher, staff member, or employee to adopt or believe, or to approve for use, make use of, or carry out standards, curricula, lesson plans, textbooks, instructional materials, or instructional practices that serve to inculcate any of the following concepts… (7) meritocracy or traits such as a hard work ethic are racist or sexist, or were created by members of a particular race to oppress members of another race…

There’s a long and sordid history of racism that calls people lazy. It’s no secret. It’s well known and often getting racists into big trouble.

EEOC alleged that African-American employees were referred to as “lazy”…

The SC government has taken court decisions about being called lazy and cooked up censorship in schools. They seem to want to prevent someone from criticizing “meritocracy” (encoded racism), or to prevent someone from criticizing “hard work ethic” traits (encoded racism).

Their point seems to be if racists aren’t allowed to directly call some race lazy then those racists will write laws that protect the ability to say that racism is a meritocracy, and that racism is just proof of a hard work ethic.

See the problems? It’s basically a gag rule that prohibits calling out racists for being racist.

It reads to me like a page out of the Puritan book saying a hard work ethic is evidence of God choosing someone for salvation.

…racist policies were leading to racist ideas, and racist ideas were leading to ignorance and hate. I realized people were creating racist policies out of economic, political and cultural self-interest. And those racist policies were leading to racial inequalities, disparities and inequities.

Saying someone is superior is an inverse of saying someone is inferior. White supremacists are inherently racist. So if policies are written to protect superiority language, even prohibiting calling it racist… that’s still racist.

Racists play some long and complicated games, you have to admit. But maybe people getting more and more interested in the slavery history of America, let alone the genocide, will help push through the nonsense.

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