Tag: Slavery

This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara Candal and guest co-host Derrell Bradford talk with David Blight, Sterling Professor of American History and director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale University. He is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning biography, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom. He shares what drew him as a teenager in Flint, Michigan to the study of America’s past, and to Douglass in particular. He explains the role of Walter O. Evans, to whom he dedicated the book. They explore how the former slave Douglass became America’s foremost abolitionist statesman, and his morally powerful rhetoric, including his famous 1852 speech, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” They also cover his involvement in the 19th-century women’s rights movement, his marriages and family, and his later life at his home in D.C., as an elder statesman writing and shaping his enduring legacy. Professor Blight concludes with a reading from his Douglass biography.

Stories of the WeekNew York City will require that all public school faculty, principals, and staff receive the COVID-19 vaccine. A Colorado school district is using innovative approaches, including billboard advertising, to address declining enrollment as a result of the pandemic.

Lincoln at Peoria

 

I hope today’s rather brief group writing post on “Truth” is informative on a topic I regard as significant. The reason for its significance surrounds the mounting accusations of racism involving our Republic, revisionist history with regard to the role of slavery, and the need to temper certain accusations with truth.

We are told almost on a daily basis, even by our leaders, that the United States is systemically racist. We are told that our founding was a product of slavery, as was the Second Amendment. We are told that some of our most revered persons bear the stain of slavery. In addition to the founding fathers, even Abraham Lincoln—in my view, our greatest President—has been subjected to scrutiny.

It is true that, until his address at Peoria, IL, on October 16, 1854, Lincoln had not focused on the issue of slavery. But, in 1854, the Kansas-Nebraska Act drew his scrutiny. The law permitted settlers to determine whether slavery would be permitted in their region, and Lincoln saw it as a de facto repeal of the Missouri Compromise, which outlawed slavery above the 36°30′ parallel.

Cancel Culture’s Latest Victim: Walt Whitman

 

Having worked in Camden, New Jersey, for 16 years, the 19th-century poet Walt Whitman is ubiquitous. Whitman’s final Camden home – the only one he ever owned – is a National Historic Landmark. Murals honoring or including Whitman are found throughout town. He’s also buried in Camden’s Harleigh Cemetery in an impressive mausoleum. The two leading bridges that connect Camden and Philadelphia are named after Benjamin Franklin and Walt Whitman.

Inscribed over City Hall are the words from a Whitman poem: “In a dream, I saw a city invincible.” Camden’s invincibility has been challenged for much of the last 50 years, which is still recovering from an exodus of people and manufacturing jobs. For a while, it had the nation’s highest murder rate. It continues to suffer high unemployment rates. But it is making an impressive comeback, thanks to a new medical school, its largest employer, Cooper University Hospital, and new corporate investments such as Subaru’s new North American headquarters and a new hotel on the waterfront. Police reforms of nearly a decade ago are a model for the nation.

And through it all, Camden has clung to Whitman and his brilliant career and contributions to American literature.

The 1860 Project

 

You may have heard of the thing called The 1619 Project, a series of essays shilled by the New York Times, and loved by woke progressives, that purports to demonstrate that America is a country built on and inextricably bound to slavery. It argues that racism infuses every aspect of our culture, is the unifying ideological foundation of our nation and should be seen as the beating heart and evil soul of America.

It’s widely regarded by real historians as tripe, as faulty and incompetent history, shot through with error and toxic reimagining of the past. I share that view.

Quote of the Day: Responsibility

 

“Responsibility without authority is slavery.” – Rollo Tomassi

This is a quote that cuts to the heart of what is wrong with Critical Race Theory. It assigns responsibility for actions to those who did not perform them while simultaneously denying those with responsibility for “fixing” the problem the authority to do so. All you can do is admit fault, accept guilt, and do what your masters demand of you. Isn’t that the very definition of slavery – of being a slave?

The Best Articles I Read in 2020

 

Here at the end of 2020, I’m trying to close up a number of tabs I have open on my browser. Many of them are articles, and of that number I’m certain several were suggested or linked to by fellow Ricochet members, mentioned in podcasts, or discovered through searches prompted by Ricochet discussions. I was originally going to say “The 10 Best Articles…”, but the list is more than ten articles and I’m sure I’m forgetting some additional ones that I read months ago…it’s been a long year.

For this post I loosely define “the best” articles as those that challenged my thinking on an issue, were educational, were unexpected or deservedly scandalous, courageously broke with prevailing current narratives, or discussed an important topic otherwise ignored or forgotten. I’m not going to say which characteristic applies to which article as I’m trying to keep this post relatively brief, and each article could form the foundation of a post and become fertile ground for discussion. Some of the articles were written in years prior to 2020, but I just got around to reading them this year and they were either prophetic or remain pertinent to current events. Grouped with some of the articles I have read, I’m also listing what I’m going to read next in regard to that topic. These will have “to be read” in parentheses next to them.

Member Post

 

One hundred fifty five years ago, the 13th Amendment became part of the United States Constitution, with Georgia’s ratification vote. This year, there is still involuntary servitude around the world, and not as punishment for crime. Indeed, President Trump’s State Department highlighted the well-documented problem of women forced into marriages, shipped into Communist China for […]

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Quote of the Day: Enslaved Once Again

 

“Miraculously, just as soon as we were given personal responsibility, it was taken away. In the darkest of ironies, after 345 years of having our personal responsibility stripped from us by governing white society, we allowed that same white society to take it right back. Their method for taking it had certainly changed. Rather than callously telling us we couldn’t be responsible for ourselves, by outwardly barring and banning us from various institutions, this time, they began telling us we shouldn’t be responsible for ourselves because it was unimaginable that blacks would suddenly be expected to perform at their level. This ushered in a period of black victimization, which our community readily embraces to this day.” –Candace Owen, Blackout

In part of her book, Candace Owen shined a light on the true purpose of the Great Society agenda. People close to Lyndon Johnson knew that he despised black people, and he made sure that they would see themselves as dependent on the government forever. By “enslaving” them once again, he guaranteed their political support of the Democrats into the foreseeable future.

Even though many of us on the Right realize that the Democrats often acted against the wellbeing of the black community (as in fighting the Civil Rights Act and participating in the Ku Klux Klan), they managed to hide their true identity. As time went on, blacks became convinced that in spite of evidence to the contrary, their lives should be entrusted to the Left. Although programs of the Left have repeatedly crippled blacks in America, they have remained loyal.

Member Post

 

Many American businesses seem to now feel it is incumbent on them to take positions on the political issues of the day, even at the cost  of alienating a substantial number of their customers. There is a historical precedent for this–the British actress Fanny Kemble, visiting the US circa 1830 observed with amusement a store […]

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Supreme Court Says Oklahoma Indian ‘Reservations’ Are Real

 

Well, this is interesting. Especially if you live in eastern Oklahoma, including the state’s second-largest city, Tulsa.

While much of the media will focus on the two US Supreme Court decisions involving whether 1) Congress or 2) Manhattan prosecutors may access President Trump’s tax returns, I find the McGirt v. Oklahoma State Appeals Court decision of greater interest. Justice Neil Gorsuch joined the court’s four “liberals” in what read to me like a walk through history, except the parts he glossed over (like, the post-Civil War treaties in 1866, which were described in great detail in Chief Justice John Roberts’ dissent).

I Am Not Your Slave

 

The constant attacks on American citizens who are white are absurd and insulting. The commentary insisting that all whites must be racist is bizarre and on a closer look, based on no facts at all. I’ve decided that I’ve had enough of these intended insults. (I can only be insulted if I accept the observations.) I’m pushing back. I realize that some black Americans and people on the Left would be outraged at my ideas, and if they had the opportunity would vehemently chastise me.

I don’t care.

I only care about living a life of integrity, about being a good person to my fellow man (no matter what the person’s color is), and to make good choices. No person has the right to force me to think or behave in a particular way—a person can certainly try, but I will ignore their intimidation tactics and efforts to humiliate me.

Member Post

 

  Is there any reason for the lingering existence of the New York Times other than to endlessly denigrate and undermine the United States of America?  Any casual perusal of its unobjective pages reveals its devotion to leftist ideology above any concern for truth or accuracy.  And leftist ideology demands the destruction of the United […]

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Member Post

 

Finally, the perfect marriage between Crony Capitalists and the Che shirt wearing Neo-Socialists Utopians. Crony Capitalist-Tranny-Chamber of Commerce lobby wants rock bottom, cheap labor. The Marxist progressive Utopians want people to give up all freedoms and liberties. So, let’s give’m what they both want–a match made in heaven (or Hell). Let the Crony-ists buy Utopians! […]

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Losing the ‘Narrative’ Narrative?

 

Foucault mis readerIn the process of critically assessing the New York Times’ “1619 Project,” an author at The Spectator managed to misread Foucault. Please hang in there! I promise this is worth your while. I offer some helpful context for the “1619 Project,” and show that it is very vulnerable to attack from a post-modern icon. You need not trot out conservative arguments that fall on deaf ears. You can turn Foucault on the New York Times.

John Hinderaker, of Power Line Blog, offered a commonsense analysis of the NYT “racism” narrative:

A normal person might wonder why the Democratic Party, in the person of the New York Times, is so obsessed with slavery, which was abolished 154 years ago. Isn’t it time to move on? Forty or fifty years ago, that is what just about everyone thought. But the Times, on behalf of the Democratic Party, is trying to stir up race hatred. Democrats think racial hostility is essential to defeating President Trump in 2020–their paramount goal, next to which everything else is an afterthought. They face a problem, in that Trump has been the best president for blacks, certainly since Reagan, maybe forever. So, they say, let’s focus on 1619. And then go out and vote for Democrats, the party of slavery and Jim Crow.

Quote of the Day: Slavery

 

“Of all forms of slavery there is none that is so harmful and degrading as that form of slavery which tempts one human being to hate another by reason of his race or color. One man cannot hold another man down in the ditch without remaining down in the ditch with him.” 

“In any country, regardless of what its laws say, wherever people act upon the idea that the disadvantage of one man is the good of another, there slavery exists. Wherever, in any country the whole people feel that the happiness of all is dependent upon the happiness of the weakest, there freedom exists.”

The Hackneyed Demand for Reparations Lives On

 

The Democrats are at it again. It’s election campaign time, and Kamala Harris, for one, is demanding reparations, 150 years after the Civil War, for black Americans who probably know as little about that war as most other Americans:

I think there has to be some form of reparations. We can discuss what that is, but look, we’re looking at more than 200 years of slavery. We’re looking at almost a hundred years of Jim Crow. We’re looking at legalized segregation and, in fact, segregation on so many levels that exists today, based on race. And there has not been any kind of intervention done understanding the harm and the damage that occurred to correct course, and so we are seeing the effects of all of those years play out still today.

Harvard Caught in Victim Vise

 

Haaah-vahd is caught in a virtuous-victims vise, and it couldn’t happen to a more deserving center of intersectional grievance mongers. For the past year, Harvard has been slowly bled by allegations and then ugly revelations about their administration’s racial problem with Asians. Now, Harvard is being sued for profiting today from the racist Harvard past, specifically by exploiting the image of a slave. The plaintiff claims she is a descendant of the exploited African-American and suffers harm herself in seeing the continued exploitation of her ancestor by Harvard.

So, Harvard University is being sued for discrimination against Asians, in the same way as they once discriminated against Jews, and is being separately sued for the present-day continuation of its 19th-century exploitation of an African-American slave. Perhaps the Harvard shield of arms should be updated, replacing “Veritas,” written across three open books, with a plain black bar sinister.

It couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch: