By Joshua D. Rothman
For my recently published book, “The Ledger and the Chain,” I visited more than 30 archives in over a dozen states, from Louisiana to Connecticut. Along the way, I uncovered mountains of material that exposed the depravity of the men who ran the largest domestic slave trading operation in American history and revealed the fortitude of the enslaved people they trafficked as merchandise.
But I also learned that many Americans do not realize that a domestic slave trade existed in the U.S. at all.
Mentioning my research to others repeatedly provoked questions about Africa, not America. They obviously assumed that a scholar working on the slave trade must be working on the trade that brought millions of Africans to the Western Hemisphere via the terrifying Atlantic Ocean crossing known as the Middle Passage.
They did not appear to know that by the time slavery ended in 1865, more than 1 million enslaved people had been forcibly moved across state lines in their own country, or that hundreds of thousands more had been bought and sold within individual states.
Americans continue to misunderstand how slavery worked and how vast was its reach – even as the histories of race and slavery are central to ongoing public conversations.\
Indifference to suffering
Enslaved people were bought and sold within the boundaries of what is now the United States dating back to the Colonial era. But the domestic slave trade accelerated dramatically in the decades after 1808.
That year, Congress outlawed the importation of enslaved people from overseas, and it did so at a moment when demand for enslaved laborers was booming in expanding cotton and sugar plantation regions of the lower South.
Growing numbers of professional slave traders stepped forward to satisfy that demand. They purchased enslaved people primarily in upper South states like Maryland and Virginia, where a declining tobacco economy left many slaveholders with a surplus of laborers. Traders then forced those enslaved people to migrate hundreds of miles over land and by ship, selling them in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and other states where traders hoped to turn a profit.
The domestic slave trade was a brutal and violent business. Enslaved people lived in constant fear that they or their loved ones would be sold.
William Anderson, who was enslaved in Virginia, remembered seeing “hundreds of slaves pass by for the Southern market, chained and handcuffed together.” Years after he fled the South, Anderson wrote of “wives taken from husbands and husbands from wives, never to see each other again – small and large children separated from their parents,” and he never forgot the sounds of their sorrow. “O, I have seen them and heard them howl like dogs or wolves,” he recalled, “when being under the painful obligation of parting to meet no more.”
Slave traders were largely indifferent to the suffering they caused. Asked in the 1830s whether he broke up slave families in the course of his operations, one trader admitted that he did so “very often,” because “his business is to purchase, and he must take such as are in the market.”
Domestic slave traders initially worked mostly out of taverns and hotels. Over time, an increasing number of them established offices, showrooms and prisons where they held enslaved people whom they intended to sell.
By the 1830s, the domestic slave trade was ubiquitous in the slave states. Newspaper advertisements blared “Cash for Negroes.” Storefront signs announced that “dealers in slaves” were inside. At ports and along roads, travelers reported seeing scores of enslaved people in chains.
Meanwhile, the money the trade generated and the credit that financed it circulated throughout the country and across the Atlantic, as even European banks and merchants looked to share in the gains.
The more visible the trade became, the more antislavery activists made it a core of their appeals. When abolitionist editor Benjamin Lundy, for example, asked white Americans in the 1820s how long they could look at the slave trade and “permit so disgraceful, so inhuman, and so wicked a practice to continue in our country, which has been emphatically termed THE HOME OF THE FREE,” he was one among a rising chorus.
But abolitionists made little headway. The domestic slave trade ended only when slavery ended in 1865.
Propaganda obscures history
Vital to the American economy, important to American politics and central to the experience of enslaved people, the domestic slave trade was an atrocity carried out on a massive scale. As British traveler Joseph Sturge noted, by the 1840s, the entire slaveholding portion of the United States could be characterized by division “into the ‘slave-breeding’ and ‘slave-consuming’ States.”
Yet popular historical knowledge of the domestic trade remains hazy, thanks largely to purposeful forgetting and to a propaganda campaign that began before the Civil War and continued long past its conclusion.
White Southerners made denial about the slave trade an important tenet in their defense of slavery. They claimed that slave sales were rare, that they detested the slave trade and that traders were outcasts disdained by respectable people.
Kentucky minister Nathan Lewis Rice’s assertion in 1845 that “the slave-trader is looked upon by decent men in the slave-holding States with disgust” was such a common sentiment that even white Northerners sometimes parroted it. Nehemiah Adams, for example, a Massachusetts resident who visited the South in 1854, came away from his time in the region believing that “Negro traders are the abhorrence of all flesh.”
Such claims were almost entirely lies. But downplaying the slave trade became a standard element of the racist mythology embedded in the defense of the Confederacy known as the Lost Cause, whose purveyors minimized slavery’s significance as they discounted its role in bringing about the Civil War.
And while the Confederacy may have lost on the battlefield, its supporters arguably triumphed in the cultural struggle to define the war and its meaning. Well into the 20th century, significant numbers of white Americans throughout the country accepted and embraced the notion that slavery had been relatively benign.
As they did so, the devastations of the domestic slave trade became buried beneath comforting fantasies of moonlight and magnolias evoked by movies like “Gone With the Wind.”
Recent years have seen monuments to the Confederacy coming down in cities and towns across the country. But the struggle over how Americans remember and talk about slavery, now perhaps more heated and controversial than ever, arguably remains stuck in terms that are legacies of the Lost Cause.
Slavery still conjures images of Southern farms and plantations. But the institution was grounded in the sales of nearly 2 million human beings in the domestic slave trade, the profits from which nurtured the economy of the entire country.
Until that history makes its way more deeply into our popular memory, it will be impossible to come to terms with slavery and its significance for the American past and present.
Joshua D. Rothman is Professor of History at the University of Alabama.
The Conversation arose out of deep-seated concerns for the fading quality of our public discourse and recognition of the vital role that academic experts could play in the public arena. Information has always been essential to democracy. It’s a societal good, like clean water. But many now find it difficult to put their trust in the media and experts who have spent years researching a topic. Instead, they listen to those who have the loudest voices. Those uninformed views are amplified by social media networks that reward those who spark outrage instead of insight or thoughtful discussion. The Conversation seeks to be part of the solution to this problem, to raise up the voices of true experts and to make their knowledge available to everyone. The Conversation publishes nightly at 9 p.m. on FlaglerLive.
All Americans need to know this truth no matter how young or old , we can never forget and never repeat.
No wonder the south fought to keep slavery, they were making a fortune. Imagine having all those workers and not pay them.
African Americans paved the road for the rest of the people that came to the US. Because of their suffering, the rest of the people are living in good conditions and with freedom.
If people don’t realize there was slave trade in American what rock have they been living under? The Civil War, Jim Crow, the KKK, the news, school………..
A dark time I the history of the world. Sad, but it still goes on today! The issue I have is, I never owned a slave and you were never a slave. We need to stop the CRT teaching and move on.
Bill C says
The famed G I Bill enabled veterans of WWII to get a college education, extended loans to buy a house or start a business. This gave them an advantage in the labor market and the ability to move into the middle class and accumulate generational wealth for their heirs. Black veterans were excluded from the G I Bill- it was for whites only .
Florida Voter says
That’s fine, except for a few issues:
1) Poverty is generational. What do you think happened once the slaves were freed? They didn’t get any of the money that they earned their owners while they were slaves. Yes, they were free, but many had nothing. What gets passed on to future generations then? Nothing begets nothing.
2) Trauma is generational. I’ve know people whose grandparents were born as slaves. Their grandparents’ trauma gets passed to their parents and that gets passed to them.
3) maybe some other stuff, but that’s enough to get started.
If one person’s actions did that to another single person, how much would a court award the victim? How much would be awarded for extorsion and wrongful death? How much for psychiatric care? Is the victim any less deserving of reparation, is the damage any less, because it was committed on a national level? Again, the damage is generational. The damage is still visible.
Bill C says
@Dennis ps CRT is not about “hating America”, nor does it refer only to slavery. Check this out:
How in the hell are we supposed to learn from history (and stop repeating massive mistakes) if we DO NOT teach the WHOLE TRUTH?
Ray W. says
According to the CDC, which has mortality charts dating from 1900, in 1904 the life expectancy of a white male was 46.6 years. Black males? 29.4. Two generations had passed since the end of the Civil War and black men born in 1904 could be expected to die before the age of 30. Florida Voter just might be right in asserting that poverty and trauma are generational.
As for Dennis, it is difficult to win an argument when one starts from a losing position. But, people like Dennis keep trying. What did Milton say? “Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.” Dennis wants others to surrender that liberty and “move on.” So do many others of his ilk. Some even pass legislation to inhibit that liberty in our state.
Teaching about history which includes lots of racial injustice is not critical race theory! Its American History in all its layers, good and bad.
CRT is the latest fear tactic of the right.
Here’s a Critical Race Theory Exercise for you. In the entire existence of this country, tell me one time when Whites were ever on the right side of history when it comes to race?
Waiting on a response?
Steven N. Gosney says
The premise of your question divides people by race. That beings said, the abolition of slavery was an early American Christian moral cause and brought together many groups. Have you ever heard of Benjamin Rush? How about Abraham Lincoln and the Union Army? Who elected Lincoln? The civil rights era also brought together Americans of all races. Locally, Mr. Dan Warren was a major figure, as were many Christian people of all races.
Ray W. says
To expand on Steve’s point, the Transcendentalist Movement, reaching full flower in America in the early to mid-19th century, held as a core value the abolition of slavery.
I posted a comment on this theme many months ago. Many American religious leaders, as well as literary figures such as Emerson and Thoreau, relied on the Socratic dialogue based on Meno’s slave. Socrates, in what today might be called a part of the mind-body debate, drew a geometric figure in the dirt and asked the slave a number of questions, eventually drawing the correct answer from the uneducated slave.
Transcendentalists argued that the knowledge necessary for the slave to correctly answer the geometric problem always existed within the his mind, thereby proving that the slave’s mind was a part of this world, not separate from this world. Transcendentalists further argued that if everyone’s mind is part of this world, no one can be a slave. Slave owners argued that if a slave’s mind is separate from the world, he can be enslaved. If the knowledge necessary to answer the geometric questions posed by Socrates was in the uneducated slave’s mind from the beginning, then the key lay in the ability to have the right teacher engage in a collaborative effort with every student to bring out that which already exists in everyone’s mind. This radically transformed 19th century thought concerning education. Our modern educational system, begun in the early-19th century, is based on this collaborative effort between the teacher and the student, just as Socrates collaborated with the slave to bring out the correct answer to the geometric problem.
The overall educational issue is much larger than my simplistic explanation, but the question raised by Jackson1955 requested that a commenter provide an example of white people being on the right side of history on the issue of slavery. Thank you, Jackson1955, for requesting proof of this significant thought-provoking issue. I assert that a healthy portion of the Transcendentalist Movement was on the right side of history on the issue of slavery. Many white Americans were Transcendentalists.
As an corollary point, as late as the early 19th century, a debate raged within religious communities in America and Europe about whether African slaves had souls. Slave owners argued against such a religious belief. After a significant passage of time, which I suggest was far too much time, the Catholic Church became the first American and European religious denomination to formally acknowledge that African slaves had souls. Protestant church leaders took much longer to adopt this position. One need only consider the central theme of the movie Blade Runner 2049 to consider the ramifications of characters portrayed as “replicants”, who are beings created by humans that must be defined by humans as lacking a soul. In the movie, use of this separating definition of the lack of a soul allows humans to exploit or kill replicants without ramification.
Steven N. Gosney says
Hey Ray! Miss you bud! Expanding on your point further, the Quakers (protestant) were very strong proponents of abolition in America. Of course there were abolitionists that were not necessarily Christian but I think the leading antislavery movement was primarily Christian in moral basis. Of course, Ben Franklin’s religious beliefs have always eluded me!
Ray W. says
That was my omission and my error, Steve. My maternal grandmother was Quaker and my Methodist father attended Guilford College, a Quaker-affiliated private college in Greensboro, North Carolina (founded by Quakers in the mid-18th century), before attending Stetson’s law school, a Baptist-affiliated private law school then in DeLand. While enrolled in Guilford College in the late 1940’s, my father joined a Quaker civil rights student group that sought integration of the civil services department of Greensboro’s city government. One of the main traffic arteries in Greensboro, Guilford County, North Carolina is Friendly Boulevard.
I have commented on this before. My father, a B-24 nose gunner, knew of the now-famous Red Tails, the Tuskegee airmen who flew fighter escort for bombers flying out of bases in Italy. It was no secret among bomber crews that the Red Tails would fly close escort through the flak barrages in order to be in formation with the bomber squadrons when the German fighter pilots bore in close to attack. Most of the white fighter pilots flew far above the flak barrages; they were often out of position when the German fighter pilots made their primary attacks. During law school, my father learned that Charles Bailey, a Black fighter pilot, lived in DeLand. My father knocked on Mr. Bailey’s door and introduced himself; they became life-long friends. Knowing that escorting Black fighter pilots would risk death from flak to better protect bomber crews had a profound influence on my father.
The Society of Friends and Guilford College was certainly oriented to the abolition of slavery and its influence on my father carried him throughout his career as a lawyer and a civil servant (city commissioner, justice of the peace, assistant state attorney and, later, elected State Attorney, and member of the city-county racing and recreational district from its legislative inception in 1953 to 1996).
Upon my father’s election to Daytona’s city commission in 1952, a friend by the name of Luther Harris drove my father to meet Bill France, Senior at his office on the beachside, where Mr. France drew out his plans on paper bearing the NASCAR letterhead (four digit telephone number) for a speedway to be located on airport land. My father agreed to make building a speedway the centerpiece of his commission platform. Decades later, my father donated that document, plus the original artist’s rendition for the speedway and the original architectural plans back to the France family. My father represented the speedway on a number of projects, including the successful hearing before a Miami-based FAA administrative hearing officer for the important variance that was needed to build the track’s west banking close to the airport’s east-west runway. Without the variance the track could not have been built where it is. One of my father’s early efforts that failed was the city attempt to finance the construction of the speedway. My father shepherded the bond effort, making it to New York City in 1956 as the city representative designated to sign the bond agreement. The night before the closing, steelworkers went on a national strike and the bond market reacted to the news by raising borrowing rates. The city withdrew from the now-more-expensive financing effort and Big Bill decided to raise the money on his own, which is a wonderful story in its own right, complete with Clint Murchison, Junior’s, role in providing partial funding for Big Bill’s effort via a small Arkansas insurance company. The rest is history.
One of my father’s first acts as city commissioner in 1953 was to appoint a Black minister to Daytona’s zoning board, a first in a southern city since Reconstruction. When my father announced his intention to run for city commission against the Ring candidate, Mary McLeod Bethune called him to discuss his political plans after reading in the (now) News-Journal that my father had been born in Concord, NC, the city where she had established her first girl’s school. Ms. Bethune supported my father in all of his efforts from that date and he joined one of her committees, which committee met once a month to discuss plans to advance the status of the Black community in Daytona Beach.
Steve, I still agree with your position that the most important civic act in American history was President Washington voluntarily relinquishing power and retiring to civilian life and his farm. Cincinnatus had nothing on Washington.
I miss our long discussions on law and policy. C. S. Lewis’ “The Abolition of Man” comes to mind, particularly the chapter titled “Men Without Chests.” It impresses me that Lewis, some 85 years ago, wrote of his anticipation of a confluence of the development and manipulation of mass media, the capacity to clone human beings, and the practice of eugenics, which when culminating in one super-generation the three prongs would remake mankind in such as way as to diminish, if not extinguish, the divine spark within our hearts that defines us all as human beings. How sad would Lewis be to drive through Flagler Beach on Friday evenings to the sight of “F— Biden” flags and screaming protesters who believe in the Big Lie, not fully knowing that a developed and manipulated version of mass media fuels the protests. Men without chests, indeed.
Steven N. Gosney says
Many readers will not know about the local history of the Ring and the anti-Ring. The Ring was KKK based (although the anti-Ring was not exactly sweetness and light) — but that discussion is for another time.
Your Dad always comes to mind when I think of local civil rights history. But of course, no one man is responsible for freedom — it takes everyone working together. That includes all races. This appeal to racial tribalism — whether left or right – is against the ideals of America going back to the Declaration and vividly explicated by MLK.
I agree on Washington. I think he is one of the greatest men in history for many many reasons.
I am so glad CS Lewis’ The Abolition of Man and ‘men without chests’ has influenced you! That is in my Must Read category for any educated citizen.
As you know, I do not completely agree with you as to the last two sentences of your post (again, a much longer discussion). But I do think that we need to be aware that big media and that includes both left and right wing media) thrives on division and protect ourselves from ad hominem categorizations. The best way to do that is to engage with people honestly, respectfully and without tribalizing the discussions with us/them rhetoric. Regardless, your wisdom and insight always make me a better person. God Bless!
Ray W. says
Sorry I didn’t see this until tonight.
I agree that media in its many forms can be used to manipulate thought, but what I depicted was the gathering of protesters, not members of the media, agitating for the Big Lie and demonizing the electoral college winner. Engaging with this kind of protester in an honest and respectful manner will only get one the finger and verbal abuse. The demonstrators will not ever watch left-wing media, so it is safe to argue that only right-wing media drives this particular effort. I just don’t think Lewis ever could see the sidewalk protesters as anything other than men without chests.
God Bless you, too. To me, you exemplify the rational virtuous man our founding fathers hoped the Constitution would foster. I often dropped by your office to discuss a thorny issue for a reason. Our founding fathers did not create checks and balances with you in mind, because you view common sense as a process that needs to be worked to a rational conclusion. They created checks and balances with the sidewalk mob (protesters) in mind, perhaps because the sidewalk protesters think common sense is a result, which means someone else can tell them what common sense means.
Ray W. says
As for the anti-Ring, the Davidson’s, as owners of the News-Journal, eventually took up the mantle of the effort to unseat the Ring throughout the county. When my father announced his candidacy for Daytona’s City Commission in 1952, he did so as an anti-Ring candidate. He dubbed the incumbent the “Dog-track Deacon.” The Ring incumbent held evening employment as the bookkeeper for the dog track while also serving as a deacon in a local Baptist church, which didn’t set well with the local Baptists when they found out. All five Ring incumbents lost to anti-Ring candidates. The next budget year saw a double-digit slash in the city budget, because the anti-Ring commission eliminated enough corrupt good-old-boy favors and waste that they could provide the same level of services to the citizens for far less money. I have read the newspaper articles detailing the savings in my father’s scrapbooks.
One of the central themes of my father’s political campaign was a before and after set of photographs of a newly paved portion of Orange Avenue near the fire station by a Ring-favored contractor. Within six months, the new pavement had completely deteriorated, necessitating repaving and another contract for the Ring-favored contractor. The year after defeating the Ring commission, the anti-Ring commissioners were recognized in a national publication as one of 11 communities across the nation that had thrown out the old corrupt network for the betterment of the populace.
My father resigned to run for a county council seat; he lost to the Ring incumbent.
While sitting as a city commissioner, my father opposed granting a permit to a developer who wanted to build small homes without sidewalks or adequate drainage on the beachside. The commission supported my father’s effort and the developer was forced to build larger, more expensive homes, complete with proper sidewalks and adequate drainage, just to make any money on the project. Today, that subdivision is one of the few on the northern beachside of Daytona Beach that does not flood during extremely heavy rains. It borders Our Lady of Lourdes, just north of University Blvd., and remains a prestigious small community. The developer never forgave my father and opposed his every political effort. Incidentally, my father became great friends with the developer’s son, who still practices law. Several of our mutual friends live in that community. I have been in their very nice homes and can see the quality of the build that the developer had to adopt. Otherwise, it would have been a collection of tiny two and three bedroom bungalows on relatively small lots, like so many of the homes on streets just to the north of the project. I can testify about these small homes. In the early 90’s, I owned one south of Silver Beach. Great location, close to the beach and the elementary school, with quite a few children in the neighborhood, but during a heavy rain, the screened breezeway between the garage and house flooded as rising water ran off the street through the breezeway into my backyard. The garage and house were raised, with the breezeway apparently intentionally set low by about four inches to allow for the runoff. At least the builder planned for flooding and graded the lot to facilitate water flow into the backyard.
Steven N. Gosney says
Extending this further for no reason:
“Big Lie and demonizing the electoral college winner.” Are you referring to the demonization of the last Republican President by protesters? Yes I agree, engaging with this kind of protester in an honest and respectful manner will only get one the finger and verbal abuse. Of course, those demonstrators will not ever watch right-wing media, so it is safe to argue that only left-wing media drives this particular effort.
You said: “I just don’t think Lewis ever could see the sidewalk protesters as anything other than men without chests.” Are you referring to the Big Lie that John Lewis was yelled racial insults when he walked through the Tea Party protesters on the way to the Capital? Because that was a Big Lie. If you have an open mind, you should watch the movie Hating Breitbart that debunks this false flag lie.
I guess where we part company is that I see danger from leftist ideology as well as right — in fact much more so. Leftists Stalin and Mao were just as evil as Hitler if you consider him on the right. My question to you is, can you go too far left? If so, what is the line you draw wherein the left goes too far? Is this a view commonly held by your D brethren or are you in the minority in that view? What protects the minority from leftist tyranny?
The people who say ‘get over it and move on’ obviously have no comprehension of the damage slavery caused to this country.
Over 12.5 million Africans were shipped to the ‘New World’ as slaves, only 10.7 million survived the journey (PBS, Henry Lewis Gates). The number of deaths alone should send shivers down your spine. Almost 2 million people killed and forgotten about because someone wanted to make a buck selling human flesh.
Of the survivors, a typical field hand could expect to live to the ripe old age of 27 – 30 years old. They died from over work, poor nourishment and lack of medical care. Why spend money on a sick slave when I can just get a new fresh one? A female house slave could be expected to have forced sex with her owner and if she became pregnant, the child would be sold as a slave.
So now in 1865 Congress grants freedom to the slaves via the 13th amendment but does nothing to help them grow out of slavery. Sure there was the 40 acres and a mule but how many carpetbaggers showed up to swindle them out of their land and mule? Yep those generous white guys sure did help things along.
There is no way that you can take a people who have been oppressed and repressed for hundreds of years and expect them to assimilate into a world that has been kept a secret to them – might as well ask me to grow gills and live in the ocean. Through the years we have done very little to make things right – Jim Crow, the KKK, the John Birchers, we did everything in our power to make sure those former slaves, now free-men knew ‘their place’.
Even today black families are having their land stolen from them because they cannot prove ownership except by means of family records. Why did they not have a title? Because the white folks kept them from filing deeds and recording the transfers of property knowing that soon they could take over the land.
I come to this from the perspective of a family who had a sugar plantation and owned slaves on the German Coast of the Mississippi River from the late 1700’s through the Civil War. A couple of years ago I was in the area and toured a museum and plantation which told the true story of the plantations (the Whitney Plantation), not the gussied up versions with the pretty houses and manicured grounds. I met a young man whose family were slaves on those plantations. It was awkward only because I made it so. I think I wanted him to forgive me for the sins of my fathers, but that was not possible for neither one of us was the cause or the effect.
Yes, slavery was real, it was and still is a stain on the earth and this country in particular. Do I need to be forgiven for my family that owned slaves, no. Do I need to do what I can to right the wrongs of slave ownership and the mistreatment of black and brown people today, yes. Do we need to teach the lessons of the past so that the wrongs of today can be stopped, yes. And that last one should be the goal of every breathing American.
“All men were created equal” – lofty words, if only we were good enough to deserve them.
Over It says
I find it very ironic that American media kisses the royal asses of the monarchy in England on an almost daily basis when it is clearly documented that England and Portugal started this hideous slave trade. If you point the finger of blame at the English royal family who incidentally are direct descendants of the monarchy that was in power when this atrocity started, it could relieve some of this guilt nonsense thats trying to be put on many of us here whose ancestors came to these shores long after slavery ended. My people came here with nothing but the clothes on their back and were able to become successful and prosper through hard work. There wasnt any EBT, Medicaid or interest free loans that are given to people coming into the country these days. Media and the like today will minimize their sacrifices and hard work as “white privilege”. We hear of calls for reparations from people who know practically nothing about history and probably dont even know the names of their ancestors that were actually enslaved. All this is simply about a money grab. If reparations are to ever be made make it in the form of tax deductions from money earned by working. My hunch is that wont be a popular concept.
Bill C says
The first black slaves were brought to what is now Georgia in 1526 by the Spanish. Then black slaves were brought to St. Augustine, again by the Spanish, in 1565. I assume “your people” were not brought here as slaves, and arrived fairly recently, compared to 1526.
Bill C says
ps the spanish word “florida” translates to english as “flowery”, and “matanzas” as “slaughter”.
Steven N. Gosney says
Yes – Matanzas does mean slaughter. But the naming has nothing to do with slaves but rather the Spanish execution of French colonists.
Timothy Patrick Welch says
massacre; as in the drowning of Spanish solders in Cuba by the Indigenous people.
@To whom it may concern
The wise and well informed comments opposing racism and bigotry are heartening; at the least — a triumph of hope over experience.
It belongs to human nature to hate those you have injured.
@To whom it obviously applies
There can be no happiness if the things we believe in are different from the things we do.
— Freya Stark
All too typical “whataboutism”! What difference does it make that other countries had slaves “first”? Really? England/Portugal (who ever) did NOT force slavery on our ancestors!
The FACT is that horrific “slavery” happened in our country. Human beings were owned and treated like animals. . . “beasts of burden”! The deep wounds have NOT been healed! The resulting “Fundamental Systemic Prejudice” happens TODAY and EVERY DAY in our country. . . and, that prejudice is continuously promoted by politicians at the highest levels of our government .
We should NOT be “white washing” (what a perfect term) that history and removing the WHOLE TRUTH from our educational curriculum at every level. . . of course in an age appropriate fashion. Just as we should not be “trying” to do the same for the violent insurrection by treasonous “White Supremacists” on Jan. 6th!
These are only two examples of how the leaders of the trump Republican party are pushing the agenda of “Authoritarian White Supremacy” . . . while tearing apart our trust in our constitution and our sacred Democratic processes with “The Big Lie” about the 2020 election.
Look at this through the lens of the “big picture”. . . factor in the complete Republican obstruction of comprehensive immigration reform, voting rights, policing reform, gun safety regulations. . . and on, and on. The packing of the Supreme Court. These are all “overlapping” puzzle pieces of the same long termed sinister agenda to move our country towards conservative, Fascism, and away from a Democratic Republic.
Thank you Denali. . . an excellent post!
Timothy Patrick Welch says
Indentured servitude and outright slavery is wrong. These practices were common and are still ongoing in some parts of the world.
Indians, Whites, Blacks, and all other peoples owned these types of servants. When America was formed it was a priority to abolish these inhumane practices. As the United States of America grew the spread of slavery was curtailed and finally abolished.
First slave owner was in America was a free black man.
Betsy Ross did not support slavery, and was in fact an outspoken critic against this practice.
Thank god for our freedom, our liberty and our happiness.
Ray W. says
Ran out of reply buttons.
Steve, you add an interesting twist to the Big Lie. There is only one Big Lie, which is Trump’s effort to undermine the 2020 presidential election by claiming widespread election fraud. His followers, including numerous members of our right-wing media, continually foster that Big Lie, driving it down hundreds of rabbit holes. There are many other lies, depending on perceptions, but trying to equate allegations of others to the actual Big Lie just will not work. Good try, though, Steve. Maybe one day soon, I will stop by your office with some Krispy Kreme doughnuts and enjoy a face-to-face debate.