Friday, December 17, 2010

Slavery? What Slavery?

Pop quiz readers.

Why, in the simplest terms, did we fight the Civil War?

If you answered "Because white folks wanted to keep being allowed to own colored folks as property" then you're a liberal, race-baiter hellbent on ruining the good name and reputation of brave Southern soldiers.

No really, I'm serious.

Well, I would be serious if I was one of those folks who used phrases like "The War of Northern Aggression."  You know, the folks who like buzzwords like "states' rights" and "legacy" and "heritage" instead of words like "genocide" and "evil."

I grew up in the South, I know how white folks feel about the days of mint juleps, swinging parasols, and darkies in the fields. They swallow that garbage like a black man in the RNC swallows his pride. Gulp.

Some folks really believe the Confederacy was just trying to protect its way of life, and fight off the brazen advances of an unfair federal government. They actually have convinced themselves that slavery was an isolated and often times benign institution. They ignore maps from antebellum times that show that the enslaved population in many Southern states was at 40 to 60 percent of the total population, according to the 1860 census. Yep, they ignore that reality and instead cling to a fantasy that says that Confederate troops were really just good boys caught on the wrong side.

If that's the case, I wonder how they see Iraqi insurgents?

Actually, I don't wonder. I know that white folks are only able to see racial nuances when they want to. I know that certain white folks will twist and corrupt anything to protect themselves from dealing with the true reality of their ancestors' actions. I know that many white folks don't want to know what life was like for black folks in this country 160, 100, or even 50 years ago, and they damn sure don't care how the facts of the past impact our present.

Nah, they want to live in their fantasy world, and hand out their little awards and think about a time when lynching a nigger was just the way you dealt with insolence. They want to remember when it was impossible to rape a nigger wench because everybody knows a nigger wench always wants it. They want to celebrate evil because that evil made life a lot easier for folks who look like them.

I get the message loud and clear, and I understand exactly what it means. When you want to have your wedding at a plantation, and you want to have little marches to celebrate the exploits of Confederate troops, I know exactly what's going on.

I don't have any questions.


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6 comments:

LisaMJ said...

Big Man, yet again, you have taken thoughts that have rumbled around in my head for ages, and put them to paper (or in this case teh interwebs) very eloquently. In college a classmate and I used to joke we shared a brain b/c we were always articulating each others thoughts during discussion sessions in the 2 classes we had together one semester. I think you and I share a brain too but you are the one doing all the heavy lifting and talking. Big ups, Big man. Happy Holidays and Peace to you my brother.

LisaMJ said...

Big Man, yet again, you have taken thoughts that have rumbled around in my head for ages, and put them to paper (or in this case teh interwebs) very eloquently. In college a classmate and I used to joke we shared a brain b/c we were always articulating each others thoughts during discussion sessions in the 2 classes we had together one semester. I think you and I share a brain too but you are the one doing all the heavy lifting and talking. Big ups, Big man. Happy Holidays and Peace to you my brother.

Darth Whitey said...

Oh come on, it was a fair arrangement, even favorable to the so-called "slaves". They got free room and board, no responsibilities, and all they had to do was spend time outside getting fresh air and being one with the earth. The luckier women were even allowed to have sex with the man of the house, and some of the men got to impregnate the finest of females in order to produce the most optimal progeny. What are you complaining about, sounds pretty good to me!

Ahem.

Yea I don't get these southern republicans, they're insane. And I love how they trot out the one black person in the world who agrees the civil war wasn't about slavery to help make their point, it's really rich.

All I can say is that I am as outraged as you are, and I am sorry.

Will Capers said...

Damn, Rave! You did it again!

Everything you said was on point. Many whites are addicted to living in a fantasy world like a redneck is addicted to moonshine.

Big Man said...

Thanks for the compliments Lisa and Will.

Darth, there is no need for you to apologize for something you had no control over. Just take care of the things you have control over now.

Joanna said...

Growing up in NY, I cannot even tell you how many times I was told that "racism only happens in the South"... ummmm... ok....

Never mind the fact that we were singing things like "I wish I were in Dixie" and "Swanee River" in elementary school music classes!

And, oh yeah,the only Black people we learned about in school were Martin Luther King Jr. and Harriet Tubman. You know I was in college before I ever heard of Malcolm X?

Raving Black Lunatic