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As much as we want White people to acknolwedge and appreciate and be held accountable for those things which they have done in the past and their unfair actions which produce discrimination for African Americans, what, exactly, do you think the average White person today should accept responsibility for? We want them to acknowledge our pain and appreciate our present circumstances to a point of wanting them to do what is now necessary to right the wrongs of the past. In order to do that, they are going to have to accept that either their ancestors and/or their complicity in the perpetuation of things that are detrimental to African Americans, need to be addressed and compensated for.

If you were discussing this with a White person, what do you think you would tell them are their responsibilities in all of this?
 
 BLACK by NATURE, PROUD by CHOICE.
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1. Ring around the collar? Yes. Whitey's manual labor can often make folks sweat.

2. Irritable bowel syndrome? Yes. Whitey's fast food can sometimes wreak havoc with a black man's innards.

3. Sickle cell anemia? Maybe. Dr. Yakub might have unleashed that one on the ancient Africans, like HIV/AIDS today. We don't really know.

4. Ashy gray/dried out elbows and ankles? Yes. Black folks are from the humid tropics; their skin is not accustomed to the cool, dry air of the temperate zones.

5. Slavery? No. The whole notion that white people alive today share some kind of hereditary guilt for slavery in America is morally repulsive.
EBONY, if the White person dares claim their not "racist" and dare claim they acknowledge that there is racism and even go as far as to say Reparations should be "paid" in some way or something should be done to aid less fortunate African-Americans, etc. then.... IMO, their responsibility is to not only educate themselves (and if they are remotely genuine they are "educated" to some degree) but to Educate and Organize amongst "their" people, other White people and bring them up to speed.

I think this hinges on White Bill Cosby thread. The WHITENESS Studies and RACE Traitor, Anti-Racist Movements are a start. And, IMO, a White person is responsible for connecting with other Whites who at least speak about change and recognize that that change has to start with them.

One thing I've found that's common... Whites generally think it's Black people's "responsibility" to appeal to Whites for change. IMO, this is nothing but the assertion/insertion of White Supremacy. White Supremacy because, even when they call themselves informed and concerned, they leave all the heavy lifting to Blacks.

They expect Blacks not only to take "personal responsibility" for their own internal issues, problems and concerns... but they expect Blacks to Appeal To The Collective White Conscience, in essence, no even figuring they have a role or responsibility to do much of anything. For most, and I'm talking about them "Good White Folk", it's just enough they they acknowledge in word that Blacks have been dealt a "raw deal".

So, I think all those Whites who profess they're not racist and want there to be changes because they acknowledge racism either in the past and/or here in the present... I think their responsibility is to elevate the White Collective Conscience and work towards organizing for change even if its in the own interest. The parallel, again, from the other thread is how Whites, poor Whites have been "dealt a raw deal" too... so at least they can push for change on their own.

As far as Reparations is concerned, they can petition their congressperson and tell them to make sure Rep. John Conyers REPARATIONS bill passes. I suggest and have suggested that for Whites whether "liberal" (those that are supposedly down) or CONservative (those who know they ain't but will try to perpetrate). Matter of fact, for those who claim REPARATIONS is wrong and pretend as if it has no logical merit, etc. I tell them to petition for the REPARATIONS BILL as a big STFU exercise so Blacks can know once and for all how "wrong" Reparations is... since they try to project that as their actual position.

So, "friend" or foe, those are just little things we can entertain and request.

Also, some rethinking of Democracy from my perspective. There is a current in White America that's fed up with the Two-Party System. I'm against the absolute Majority Rule, Winner Take All and the Slavery Inherited Electorial College... Some creative ideas or just some more thinking and a belief that, given our technology is better than 1776, then we can come up with ideas that are equal to if not better equipped to deal with our reality as a nation today as the "founding" Americans were in coming up with this system.

Their fall back refrain is "this is the best"... as if we can't do better. I just fundamentally believe that's our jobs here... and I'm as much a romanticist as anyone.
Except for the personal acts of specific individuals, I don't ask any person to be responsible for the acts of others.

But that really seems like either denial, or a lack of understanding of what is going on.

We know European Americans are responsible the history of chattel slavery, oppression, AND the continuing repression of African American-Americans.

But what gets done if a single person is persuaded to accept this as his/her responsibility?

We know it's true. They know its true.

The problem is the system, the construction, that binds us. That includes the law, and the practice.

The responsibility acknowledged in the recent Senate Resolution 39 is an achievement. It should hang in every community center, and African American church in the nation.

If I may, I would like to broaden the question to include 'What should we hold ourselves responsible for'

We all know we are not blameless in our circumstance.

PEACE

Jim Chester
quote:
If I may, I would like to broaden the question to include 'What should we hold ourselves responsible for'

We all know we are not blameless in our circumstance.
No you may not. This is a particularly problematic when you direct it towards EBONY ROSE. She shares your "We Are Our Own Worst Enemy" ideology. Why is it such a reflex that even before this topic goes anywhere on the point, you just have to insert it here as if the "system", the years of things internalized as a result of RACISM haven't had it's impact and impositions on us if even to have us behave 1% in a way we can say we wouldn't if the "system" dynamics were different.

Hmmm.... Seems as if some people think there was a definite difference in the way we were during Segregation. So when those "superficial" (and beyond our locus of direct control) changes occurred then we can say the SYSTEM DYNAMICS, by definition, caused/influenced a change in us. In whole or in part, doesn't make a difference. The idea of forsaking or foregoing demanding changes from an outside force exerting, IMO, undue pressure, control and influence on your circumstances that naively you think you can correct internally, completely it seems is counterintutitive.... or .... in the very language "CHARLIE" loves a process with ALL DELIBERATE SPEED.

You would think you Accomodationist-Integrationist-Assimilationist would actually appreciate the fact that it was CONFRONTING THE SYSTEM that got us here. Otherwise, if we simply said "We Are Our Own Worst Enemy" then as obliviously as we do today then this lack of vision, lack of courage or whatever it is with this narrow analysis of yours (which is sorely lacking) would have had us still in Slavery or still in Segregation.

Yes, there are things we can do better for ourselves, etc., etc., etc. but I challenge you to name an item you feel is "All On Us" that's not touch by "the system" and its undue influence and/or impact on us.

quote:
The problem is the system, the construction, that binds us. That includes the law, and the practice.
Obviously, this is just empty rhetoric for you. Just as empty it seems as the very White person(s) who the author (EBONY) is directing her very legitimate question to.

With your statement alone, her question is justified. For if you say "the problem is the system" and actually have some conviction behind your rhetoric then you should be able to articulate something that says to people who by virtue of being in the "Majority" actually have more sway on the "system" than you do. Especially considering how you, apparently, have not and undoubtedly do not consider MAJORITY RULE as part of the "system's" problematics.

If I'm wrong, forward your SYSTEM CRITIQUES and SYSTEM CHANGE DEMANDS <<< HERE >>>. Otherwise, stop trying to change the topic and directing it, again, oddly at someone who holds your same ideological view.
quote:
As for an example, you AND I are two that can stand well.
Silly... don't speak EUROPEANISMS to me.

This INDIVIDUALISM you speak is the very indoctrination of the SYSTEM that shows evidence of its undue influence and impact on how we (or rather YOU) think and, hence, how we act.

Individual things don't change collective conditions. They change individual things. You had the nerve to talk about the SYSTEM... saying it was the problem but, yet again, none of your thoughts are SYSTEMATIC, institutional or COLLECTIVE CHANGE oriented.

SO, yes, you're down with the ALL DELIBERATE SPEED with this counterintuitive non-critique.

INDIVIDUALISM is exactly what "CHARLIE" wants you to embrace. Or do you ever actually listen to "CHARLIE"?? lol

So, JWC... in my working analogy for your type of logic... You're a Slave extolling the "value" of Manumission, saying Slavery is "wrong"... but saying and seeing the "freedom" of your people as coming through the wonders of Manumission.

Afterall, if them Negroes don't save up enough money to Buy Their Freedom.... It ain't the White Man's Fault. They know how the system works. The system gave them the wonder gift of Manumission. It's up to them to take advantage of it.

So, yes, you might be an example of a "Free" Negro but what does that have to do with your people?

Historically? Where did manumission lead us to? The Promise Land?
Well, I'm thinking here that while the average White American is not responsible for slavery ... I wonder how many of them here today have ancestors that did own slaves. How many are part of families that were not yet here on American soil during the time of slavery, but were able to freely immigrate over here since that time? Certainly those that do have direct ties to slavery would have a certain accountability than those who do not, right? But even those who do not have those direct ties have benefitted simply by virtue of their race with things that have been/still are denied to us, and therefore, are also "responsible" for the continuing discrimination practices that prevail today.

In dialogue with White people who are willing to listen (albeit, still have trouble really getting it!) honesty and understanding is what really moves the conversation forward. I don't "blame" any of my White friends for slavery, but not knowing the effects carried down from that time and not seeing how those effects hinder a lot of effective progress is something that I think I do put on them in a way. The way I see it, it's the least they can do. And the most is to do something about it once they know and understand.
I'll give an example of a bit of what turned me over. It was a simple but completely logical argument. The U.S. Government is guilty of enslavement and other immense persecutions upon all Blacks within the U.S., the Government is an entity that can be as culpable in a crime as any individual can. The argument that all the individuals who suffered this are dead doesn't entirely work, because the persecution wasn't so much against individuals who happened to fall in the same group, but the group itself. The group exists beyond the lifespan of the individuals, and hence the group still suffers the mark from the crime. It is basic justice that the criminal pay for their crime, the government must pay reparations to the group it committed such a huge crime against, U.S. Blacks must recieve reparations.

Reparations should be what the Government can LEGITIMATELY give, essentially money and public land. It cannot force people not to be racist. You don't have a right not to be discriminated against, a shopkeeper is the sole owner of their shop, if they wish to discriminate they may against any person for whatever reason they want, the Government doesn't have any ownership of that shop, it doesn't make the rules for it. If a shopkeeper doesn't want you coming into his shop, that is his/hers private property, they can call it trespassing, they also choose who they get to employ, they cannot be forced.

The Free Market is supposed to eventually take care of discrimination, especially racial discrimination. One loses money and employees when they discriminate, they will eventually be beaten in the market by a non-discriminating company.
quote:
Originally posted by EgbertSouse:

5. Slavery? No. The whole notion that white people alive today share some kind of hereditary guilt for slavery in America is morally repulsive.


So, ES, are you morally OK with the wealth and priviledge that exists in this country today as a result of the imorally acquired subsidized labor that slavery provided the American economy for hundreds of years?

Furthermore, while most whites, of course, did not own slaves, most whites did enjoy the benefit of an artificially strong economy - which lifted all whites to varying degrees. Remember Reagan's Trickle Down Economics? Well, the rich slaveowners consumed more "stuff" which actually did trickle down to the local merchant who sold more because of having slaveholders as customers, who was then able to hire more labor to work his store, who was then able to feed and clothe his family better than he otherwise might be able to and on and on. Maybe the guy who worked in the store was even able to buy a small home for himself back in the 1800's. Well, maybe that guy passed his home on to his heirs who made some money and invested some of the proceeds of the inheritance into buying some more property etc., etc., etc. (Remember, that at that time blacks could not legally own property - much less pass it on to their heirs.)

The bottom line is that there are a couple of incontrovertible facts about slavery.

1) It was all about money and greed.

2) It was probably the greatest single 'wealth transfer' in the history of humanity.

3) It codified racism against slave families as one of the most pernicious abominations in history.

4) Slavery and what followed - Jim Crow, the Black Codes et al - did its very best to prevent blacks in this country from advancing in any meaningful way toward the "American Dream". The disparities in indices like average net worth between white and black families in America is testament to this.

Bottom line -there is no "heriditary" linkage as you note. The link that exists, however, is real and comes from the impact of the combination of white priviledge - that all whites in America enjoy to varying degrees, and the consistent efforts to mute black progress. As I've written many many times here - poor and working class whites are also victims of classism and exploitation by rich white people. Unfortunately, they have been duped into directing their angst toward blacks and Mexicans and others as opposed to toward the group in society who are really standing on their necks. How any white person but the super rich, for example, can support our current president - who represents the absolute epitome of white priviledge - is beyond me. How someone who has struggled and worked their heart out for absolutely every little morsel that they have ever had can vote for someone who has had absolutely everything handed to him on a silver platter - is really beyond me. ek
quote:
Originally posted by Goshtoire:

I'll give an example of a bit of what turned me over. It was a simple but completely logical argument. The U.S. Government is guilty of enslavement and other immense persecutions upon all Blacks within the U.S., the Government is an entity that can be as culpable in a crime as any individual can. The argument that all the individuals who suffered this are dead doesn't entirely work, because the persecution wasn't so much against individuals who happened to fall in the same group, but the group itself. The group exists beyond the lifespan of the individuals, and hence the group still suffers the mark from the crime. It is basic justice that the criminal pay for their crime, the government must pay reparations to the group it committed such a huge crime against, U.S. Blacks must recieve reparations.

Reparations should be what the Government can LEGITIMATELY give, essentially money and public land. It cannot force people not to be racist. You don't have a right not to be discriminated against, a shopkeeper is the sole owner of their shop, if they wish to discriminate they may against any person for whatever reason they want, the Government doesn't have any ownership of that shop, it doesn't make the rules for it. If a shopkeeper doesn't want you coming into his shop, that is his/hers private property, they can call it trespassing, they also choose who they get to employ, they cannot be forced.

The Free Market is supposed to eventually take care of discrimination, especially racial discrimination. One loses money and employees when they discriminate, they will eventually be beaten in the market by a non-discriminating company.


Goshtoire - my man! tfro
The way I see it, it's the least they can do. And the most is to do something about it once they know and understand.---EbonyRose

I understand your question. And I think I understand your intent.

I see it as a personal choice. Your choice is not bad because I don't choose it. And...of course vice versa.

I agree with you that all European Americans benefit from chattel slavery. I say directly. And I say directly because that benefit is direct as long as any part of that system is still in place.

And Jim Crow is still in place both in law and in practice.

I choose not to not to seek discussion to persuade any European American that such is the case. It's bad for my blood pressure.

The level of ignorance is too high to surmount. And...if the person isn't ignorant, what is the point?

Assigning responsibility will lead to denial, and then you are off to the races. We have played that game for generations.

I have been in a jillion meetings, and discussions, and arguments that inevitably come the critical question by the European American.

Tell me what I can do?

I don't have the answer for the individual.

I asked my question because clearly something has to be fixed. I can control only those things over which I have domain.

I think the question is as valid for African American-Americans, as for European Americans, regardless of issues of proportionality.

We have a foreseeable chance for success addressing things we can control.

I don't see even an opportunity for success with European Americans.

And I hold them responsible for the history of chattel slavery, Jim Crow from then to now.

All of it.


PEACE

Jim Chester
Virginia was nearly half black, and the white population lived in constant fear of slave insurrection. The main instrument of control was the militia. So critical was the militia for slave control that, in the main, the southern states refused to commit their militia to the war against the British...

http://www.vpc.org/fact_sht/hidhist.htm

"...[the] armed and universally deputized white population was necessary to protect whites from European powers and Native Americans and to maintain effective control over slaves..."

http://www.guncite.com/journals/richards.html

The Uniform Militia Act [88] called for the enrollment of every free, able-bodied white male citizen between the ages of eighteen and forty-five into the militia.

http://www.foac-pac.org/laws/Cottrol.html#sn4

NOT ONLY WAS THAT BUT:

The slave owner was joined in his acts against African Americans by a host of others, including the slave traders, merchants and bankers who financed the slave trade, legislators who enacted constitutions and laws to protect the slave owner and to disfranchise the slave of rights, Northern industrialists who purchased the products of slave labor, consumers who purchased the products produced by raw materials provided by slave labor, the people who enjoyed an increased status and standard of living because of the national economic stability generated in part by the institution of slavery...


So, such anti-reparations arguments are groundless. The Slave System enjoined masses of Whites via all types of enterprises and one very indicative enterprise was the MILITIA that, as noted, served a definite function (SLAVE CONTROL) in Slavery of which White Men, generally (i.e. including most, by STATUTEs), were not only required but "deputized" to enforce the slave codes.
quote:
Slave patrols, rather than being desultory or inadequate, turn out to be one of the chief ways that the southern states enforced their peculiar institution. The patrols apprehended runaways, monitored the rigid pass requirements for blacks traversing the countryside, broke up large gatherings and assemblies of blacks, visited and searched slave quarters randomly, inflicted impromptu punishments, and as occasion arose, suppressed insurrections. The patrollers generally made their rounds at night, with their activity and regularity differing according to time and place. And patrol duty was often compulsory for most able-bodied white males. Some professions were exempt, but otherwise avoiding duty required paying a fine or hiring a substitute.

http://www.eh.net/bookreviews/library/0513.shtml


MORE THAN JUST ABOUT THE SLAVE MASTERS... They had plenty of help... by law...

quote:

Section 8 of "An Act to Govern Patrols" provided that white citizen patrols "shall enter into all negro houses and suspected places, and search for arms and other offensive or improper weapons, and may lawfully seize and take away all such arms, weapons, and ammunition . . . ."

http://www.foac-pac.org/laws/Cottrol.html#sn4
Hmmm.....
quote:
Originally posted by James Wesley Chester:
We all know we are not blameless in our circumstance.


No, Mr. Chester ... all of us don't know that. Several of the posters here have themselves stated that they know no such thing.

Also, I think Goshtoire has very aptly stated what happens when there is realization and knowledge and an awakening, so to speak.

Ultimately, fair is fair. It's not hard to discern the fairness about a situation, once you are willing and able to grasp both sides. The problem is that for many, there is no side but their own. And they believe that it is what is fair. If you don't flip the coin, you never know what's on the other side. And there are two distinct sides to every one of them.
quote:
Originally posted by EbonyRose:
quote:
Originally posted by James Wesley Chester:
We all know we are not blameless in our circumstance.


No, Mr. Chester ... all of us don't know that. Several of the posters here have themselves stated that they know no such thing.

Also, I think Goshtoire has very aptly stated what happens when there is realization and knowledge and an awakening, so to speak.

Ultimately, fair is fair. It's not hard to discern the fairness about a situation, once you are willing and able to grasp both sides. The problem is that for many, there is no side but their own. And they believe that it is what is fair. If you don't flip the coin, you never know what's on the other side. And there are two distinct sides to every one of them.


I should first say that my position is not about the validity of the responsibility. And I don't think 'fairness' is an issue.

There is no fairness in responsibility. Responsibility is either there, or it isn't.

You are right. All of us do not know we carry a responsibility for our circumstance.

Some of us still believe that we are only victims. Some still believe that little, or nothing of the adverse attributes of our circumstance have been contributed to, sometimes knowingly, by us.

Earlier, I offered the most recent, and one of the most significant, demonstrations of this.

The example is the petition being circulated by the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition to not make the Voting Rights Act of 1965 permanent, but rather extend it temporarily.

The sad part of this example is that it is based in a betrayal of the growth of African America.

They want it to be temporary because it will piss off European America!!!!

I blame the coalition for a decision made for apparently political reasons.

I blame the NAACP's legal arm from the bad, bad, bad advice made for reasons only God knows.

I blame of us 'who know, and remain silent.'


Maybe all of us don't know, but many of us do know.

PEACE

Jim Chester
Dred Scott was the slave of John Emerson, a United States Army surgeon who in 1834, took him from Missouri to live in Illinois and then Wisconsin Territory, both of which forbade slavery. Three years after Emerson's death in 1843, Scott sued the surgeon's widow for his freedom arguing that his residence in a free state and a free territory made him free. The case reached the U. S. Supreme Court, which decided in 1857 that the goVernment coUld not make citizens either free or slaves, and that NO BLACK COULD CLAIM U.S. CITIZENSHIP.(my caps) - Encarta Enclyclopedia


Now I don't know about the rest of you, but I don't have nary citizenship paper. I have a SS card and a birth certificate, making me easy to locate, and that's it.

You might be an African American. I'm an African born in America. Can't make one move without the Euro-American knowing about it. Nada!!

We have cops shooting our kids down like dogs in the streets, gangs shooting our kids down in the street, our kids shooting our kids down in the street and 2 million locked up in pens like dogs. Some guilty of crimes, some not guilty, but too poor to do a damn thing about getting themselves out of their situation.

I've never in my life heard a Euro-American say to me: "It's nice to have you as a Citizen of the United States."

Malcolm X said that Africans in America are AFRICANS. America is the home of the SLAVE OWNER. You can't be both the SLAVE and the OWNER. I am an AFRICAN IN AMERICA, trying not to get myself or mine caught up in the SNARES, because if something bad happens to one of them, I'll be LOCKED UP IN THE NEAREST PSYCHIATRIC INSTITUTION, 'cause I'll lose my remaining mind.
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
So, ES, are you morally OK with the wealth and priviledge that exists in this country today as a result of the imorally acquired subsidized labor that slavery provided the American economy for hundreds of years? ek


MBM,

I think you're letting your emotions cloud your judgment. For the duration of the slavery era in the 13 colonies later the United States (1609-1865), the number of black slaves and free blacks never exceeded 16% of the population at its high point, and was back to 11% in 1860. The vast majority of those black slaves were engaged in the picking of cotton and tobacco in certain southern states. To say the "wealth and privilege" that exists in America today was wholly or even in great part dependent on black slaves is ludicrous and ignores the massive contributions of non-black immigrants.
quote:
Originally posted by EgbertSouse:
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
So, ES, are you morally OK with the wealth and priviledge that exists in this country today as a result of the imorally acquired subsidized labor that slavery provided the American economy for hundreds of years? ek


MBM,

I think you're letting your emotions cloud your judgment. For the duration of the slavery era in the 13 colonies later the United States (1609-1865), the number of black slaves and free blacks never exceeded 16% of the population at its high point, and was back to 11% in 1860. The vast majority of those black slaves were engaged in the picking of cotton and tobacco in certain southern states. To say the "wealth and privilege" that exists in America today was wholly or even in great part dependent on black slaves is ludicrous and ignores the massive contributions of non-black immigrants.



** that is the biggest crock of shit I have heard from a white person this year...free labor is the most profitable thing there is....and it helped those lazy azz racist inbreds establish a agricultural industry in the south.....you got sorry southern motherf-kers still being born into passed down azz wealth....all kinds of companies participated in some relative industry because of the slave trade...insurance companies and the whole nine.....made money and some are still in existence...and since no reparations have been paid by these entities, do you really think they operated at zero profit or burned all monies made from slavery....that was some really stupid shit you just said eggbert.......
quote:
Originally posted by EgbertSouse:

quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
So, ES, are you morally OK with the wealth and priviledge that exists in this country today as a result of the imorally acquired subsidized labor that slavery provided the American economy for hundreds of years? ek


MBM,

I think you're letting your emotions cloud your judgment.


Quite the contrary. I think you'll find that my opinion about slavery and reparations is about as dispassionate a view as you're going to get.

quote:
For the duration of the slavery era in the 13 colonies later the United States (1609-1865), the number of black slaves and free blacks never exceeded 16% of the population at its high point, and was back to 11% in 1860.


C'mon - ES - first I never said that slavery is the sole source of US wealth. What I did say is that whatever contribution that slavery made to our economy, slave families deserve a return on their investment. Whether that number is in the trillions or whether it is $1 - we deserve our share of it.

Second, your numbers - wherever you've gotten them - no doubt are designed to minimize the impact and reach of slavery. (BTW - you should be aware that the impact of your words here is similar to if you were on a Jewish site trying to argue that really only a small percentage of all Jews were exterminated during WW2. It's very offensive.) Well, as you know, in some states (like South Carolina) there were more slaves than there were whites. Second, as you also know, there were about half the states that didn't participate in slavery at all. At the end of the day I say, "so what?" Whatever the number, whatever the economic contribution, families who contributed to this nation deserve a return on their investment.

quote:
To say the "wealth and privilege" that exists in America today was wholly or even in great part dependent on black slaves is ludicrous and ignores the massive contributions of non-black immigrants.


OK - now we cut to the chase. You feel as if your forbears' contributions are being shortchanged. What does slavery have to do with what the Irish (?) contributed to America? First, the Irish were not enslaved here - forced to labor in completely inhumane conditions - bought and sold as property - wantonly separated from their families at a whim - etc. for hundreds and hundreds of years. Second, they did not suffer from Jim Crow and the Black Codes etc. which were designed to drastically limit their rights and opportunty in America after emancipation. I'm not taking anything away from anyone's ancestors, and you will see that in the thousands and thousands of words that I've written on the topic here that I have NEVER said one word that disparages any others contributions to this nation. All I've ever said is give us ours. Period.

P.S. Immigrants came to the United States of their own free will seeking greater opportunity. While many of them faced discrimination and difficult times, largely, they found what they were looking for. Within a few generations they assimilated into America and embraced the 'American Dream'. That path has not been available to those of African descent who were enslaved here for hundreds of years. While European immigrants could lose their accent and change their name to become more Americanized, black skin was a clear barrier to black assimilation - even for those who desired to do so. Anyone seeking to compare the plight of an immigrant group with African Americans should be quite clear about the fundamental distinctions - IMO.
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quote:
Originally posted by EgbertSouse:

For the duration of the slavery era in the 13 colonies later the United States (1609-1865), the number of black slaves and free blacks never exceeded 16% of the population at its high point, and was back to 11% in 1860.


According to this week's Time Magazine the following represent the percentage of slaves to the over-all population at the start of the Civil War for the top 10 slaveholding states.

SC - 57.2%
MS - 55.2%
LA - 46.9%
AL - 45.1%
FL - 44.0%
GA - 43.7%
NC - 33.4%
TX - 30.2%
AK - 25.5%
TN - 24.8%

The over-all percentage of slaves to the total population was said to be 12.7% in the US and 38.7% in slaveholding states.

An interesting tidbit from the article (about Lincoln) was that 30.8% of all families in the Confederacy owned slaves. In states like MS and SC almost 50% of all families owned slaves. This attacks the argument that only the super-wealthy participated in the institution of slavery. It was clearly a much more widespread phenomenon - obviously spreading well down into the middle class of that day.

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