Slavery Claims Versus Truths Still Being Debated Without End
Slavery Was Wrong
First of all, I believe slavery was wrong! By the same token, I believe the expectations of the black population and culture in regard to current responsibilities for cure of the aftermath is also very wrong! They discount personal responsibility for their own lives, cultural advancement, and outlook for the future. They blame “others” for their status in life and expect “others” to provide them with a chosen, comfortable, responsibility-free lifestyle chosen by them. I also realize that this is not true for all, many have become very successful in their own right by personal achievement.
The Truth about Slavery
The “Truth” regarding slavery history and todays blacks claiming slave ancestry: they should all go out and find all of today’s whites, or others, with ancestors who were slaveholders and (stay away from me) kiss and shower them with signs of affection and adoration – they have benefitted immensely from the introduction of slavery into the USA, although wrong. John C. Calhoun, in the 1830s, along with many others, embraced slavery as a “positive good.” Without the chain of events emanating from introduction of slavery into the USA, most, if not all, would probably not be in the USA today. The attitudes of the majority of blacks today, I believe, do a grave injustice to the slaves that they claim relationship to. The liberal, Government-paid (taxpayer-paid), benefits they enjoy today would dwarf those of the countries of origin, if they exist at all. If any of them had been born, at all, in the countries their ancestors were shipped from, they would have been cast into the historic turmoil and savagery of those countries of origin. Additionally, those slaves being claimed as distant relatives earned their keep by hard labor.
Slave values were placed upon them by those who sold them into slavery – their own people. The slaveholders, most likely, placed a value on them higher than the monetary value paid. Upon being freed at the end of the Civil War, they probably fared better than did the poor whites, who were left to fend for themselves, due to continuing value of former slaves to the slaveholders who continued to employ their services when possible. Those poor white families were impacted in ways that continue today. But, those whites and others, including most legal immigrants since then, apparently, picked themselves up and moved on. Where are their demonstrations “against injustice?”
Slavery Following Civil War
Slavery following the Civil War was imposed upon the Southern poor, both black and white! Imposition of this post war slavery was accomplished by Northern industrialists. They moved their industries south and took advantage of the cheap labor and dire straits of the people suffering the aftermath of the war. Primary among these industries were the cotton processing mills. The farmers employed the services of both black and white labor, at what I think would today be called sub-poverty pay, to fuel their cotton processing mills. They also employed child labor.
My own father was employed at age eleven to contribute his meager cotton mill earnings to support of the family, along with his mother and father. His education was terminated at 5th or 6th grade. Later in life, after he and my mother were married, they both picked cotton in the fields of others – along with many of their relatives and friends. My father also dug ditches, painted houses, and performed other honest jobs to earn a living for his family. He took pride in earning his own way.
The Northern industrialist also enslaved their employees in another direct way – they built whole housing villages around their cotton processing mills. Food, housing, and services were provided through the company and the company store. Much has been said in Southern lore about this situation – “I owe my soul to the company store” was a song, I believe, dedicated to this station in life. After paying their accounts at the end of the pay period, they had little to nothing left of their pay. My parents worked hard, saved their earnings, and built their own home, never lived in the villages. The laborers of the cotton industry, both black and white, were slaves to other masters. So, slavery has, and still does, take on many forms! Another form of slavery is the lack of education.