America is Structurally Anti-Racist

Source 1: American Thinker.

Source 2: History.com.

The list of things one is not allowed to say about slavery in America is long, but surely the number one thing one is not allowed to say is: Slavery in America wasn’t all bad.

The notion is obviously true on its face for the simple reason that nothing bad is all bad. And yet slavery in America is unique in bearing the presumption that all blacks of the period endured lives containing absolutely no good.

Recorded history suggests a different narrative. Even in the context of slavery, humanity — human relationships — flourished. It is not inconceivable that some slaves loved the families who owned them and were loved themselves. It is not inconceivable at all and, in fact, testimonials documenting such things are not hard to find, right along with every other variation of human feeling.

What fascinates me, though, is the lived experience of the sudden transition from slavery to freedom that occurred just following the Civil War. To hear today’s Marxists tell the story, black Americans went from oppression to oppression, from slavery straight to Jim Crow, harassed by the KKK all the while. But, as the links show, the transition was far more nuanced.

Most striking is that blacks as a group were better prepared for the transition than one might assume. And white America was more accepting than is generally appreciated. Within a generation, blacks went from slavery to political office and to civil service, among other things. The formation of an emergent black middle class was almost immediate.

That should have been impossible if slavery was the perfect and complete evil we imagine it to have been. I think we need to imagine slavery in America more realistically.

30 thoughts on “America is Structurally Anti-Racist

      1. It doesn’t matter.

        If the government doesn’t intervene to mess it up, the market effectively punishes racist behavior. So, even if a business owner is racist at heart, he pays too much for labor if he won’t hire the best qualified regardless of race, and he loses market share if he turns away, or mistreats, customers by race.

        In a competitive market, those faults are fatal to a business.

        The exception would be if the whole population is racist and he doesn’t have to compete with non-racist competitors, but that condition has not existed in the US for a long time.

        Like

    1. Well then, we have never had a free market in 400 years.

      Even today, minorities are steered away from some housing areas. Loans are charged higher rates to minorities than Whites with all other factors being equal. Sentencing is harsher for the same crimes and records.

      So let’s get rid of the vestiges of our apartheid and work for a free market economy.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. RE: “Free markets are inherently anti-racist.”

      Exactly right. Interesting, too, is the inference from history that a significant number of African Americans during slavery must have learned what they needed to know to become self-reliant, even prosperous, almost immediately upon emancipation. It’s as if the free market was part of their lives even before they became active players in it.

      Like

      1. There were also a lot of free Blacks, especially in Louisiana, many of whom were slave owners themselves and were accepted in society.

        And many other Southerners knew and accepted that slavery was an aberration that would end. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson opened a school to teach slaves on his and neighboring plantations to read and cipher in anticipation of eventual emancipation.

        Had Nat Turner not tried to bring a Haiti style slave rebellion to the US, it is likely that market forces would have ended slavery without the need for the Civil War.

        Like

  1. “ Within a generation, blacks went from slavery to political office and to civil service, among other things.”

    That was Reconstruction. As soon as the North withdrew, the backlash was brutal against the ex-slaves. So brutal that their descendants for many more generations were made 2nd class citizens by virtue of law and terror. Mostly in the South, but the rest of the nation was also complicit in enforced subjugation.

    Whites could not abide by Blacks as equals. Not then. Not 20 later, not 50 years later, not 100 years later. And to be honest as the rock was turned over by the current president, the racists crawled out and are at it again.

    We were, and still are to a lesser degree thank goodness, a racist nation. We practiced codified slavery and apartheid for near 4 centuries. Our laws were written to specify both slavery and second class citizenship.

    The excuses were many: Biblical, commerce, supremacy, intellect, sun exposure, heat tolerance. But the end result was the same in centuries of subjugation by writs and whips.

    How well do think 400 years of that cultural bias would work against Whites were the roles reversed in another nation?

    You are digging up all the revisionist histories. That slaves were happy. Better off here than in Africa, they should be grateful. That they were respected office holders after the Civil War.

    Well, the Greenwood massacre, still not researched well and considered verboten in polite conversation in Tulsa, was but one of many similar destruction of Black business districts. 4000-6000 lynchings of primarily innocent Black citizens. And rampant segregation in every aspect of American life, even today though much more subtle.

    In my opinion, and that of numerous others, the problem is that we never truly atoned for our racism in laws and culture. This does not mean reparations to individuals. It means that we accept that we were rampantly racist as a nation, and then address that with soul searching solutions.

    And try to actually give veracity to our own Declaration of Independence.

    IMHO

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed, much of the trade union movement in the US in the last century, especially in the North in response to the influx of Blacks fleeing the South, was really to exclude Blacks from the trades to avoid the necessity for white tradesmen to compete with skilled Blacks.

      But today, Rednecks wait in line to pay $80 a ticket to take their girlfriends to a Darius Rucker concert.

      Racism would die out very rapidly if liberal politicians did not keep it on life support.

      Like

      1. It would help in our president did not encourage the dark side of his base with racist tweets.

        We suffered a setback in race relations when a Obama took office. Not his doing, but rather the incessant backlash by those who could not abide by a Black President.

        The Birther movement, a favorite of Trump for a decade was just one indicator.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. You know you are pulling generalizations about me out of thin air. You and John.

            “Oh so you must mean we are all…”. “So, you are for looting and burning “

            I have viewpoints on race in America that are drawn from obvious signs. Trump has tweeted and retweeted racist comments and videos. Legally, racial biases have been outlawed for maybe a generation or two. You think that solved the issue or that everything is just perfect?

            Yes, there are those who exploit the issue, but that does not make the issue wrong.

            Can we do better? If not, why not?

            Why are minorities still packed into poor inner city ghettos after 55 years? 400 years?

            Why are Republican legislators trying to curtail Black voting in Georgia, Florida, North Carolina by, in some cases, “surgically precise rules“ or broad voter roll purges that only affect minorities. Why did the voting problems in GA recently only occur in Black districts? Do you really believe that centuries of racism are erased because the law says so? That Black upper and middle class families have “the talk” with their children about being ultra wary of cops is just like White families?

            If you can answer those and still say we have put racism behind us, then, I would say that “none are so blind as those who won’t see”.

            We can do better. But ignoring the issue is not a valid path.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. “Why are minorities still packed into poor inner city ghettos after 55 years? 400 years?”

            Because that’s where proponents of the welfare state keep them.

            There are no guards keeping them from moving to better neighborhoods. they are bound there by their own dependent behavior.

            If you don’t finish school. have children without a partner, and have no saleable skills, where else will you live but close to the welfare office?

            Like

          3. So we just ignore that.

            Ok, that’s what we are doing and it is obviously working. Don’t mess with success. Besides we need low wage workers that are “essential”.

            It is only a minority so who cares?

            (Sarcasm doesn’t translate well, so I’ll say that was sarcasm.)

            Liked by 1 person

          4. Ignoring it would be a step forward. The plight of about 1/4 of America’s Black population is the direct result of liberals trying to help them.

            Stop enabling irresponsible behavior and they will of necessity step up. But keep subsidizing irresponsible behavior that they will be held down forever.

            Like

          5. Blacks were held down by law and culture and now they are held down by assistance.

            Can’t win for losing, can they?

            During all the major immigrations, if an American child married a recent immigrant, like Irish or Polish or Italian or Jewish, at worst they might be shunned by the family or social group. A few generations and nothing would happen.

            But marry a Black and if you weren’t imprisoned, you might be hung by keepers of purity.

            This was until 1960 or so.

            If interracial marriage was accepted and legal from Emancipation, things might be different.

            Just sayin’.

            Liked by 1 person

          6. So we should have ignored the civil rights movement in the 50’s and 60’s and just let things alone to fix themselves? Do you really think that would have speeded things up?

            I agree that the War on Poverty was a faulty approach in its implementation. And it was a racist approach in the sense that we treated the Blacks like children and still kept them segregated, but with some welfare monkey.

            But here is the problem. Williams refers to the “legacy of slavery”.

            That is not the issue at all. It is the 100 years of apartheid. Any other immigrant minority treated the same? Special laws to enforce White supremacy just based on skin color. Or more demeaning, on blood lines. Even intermarriage was criminal and any “drop of Negro blood” was considered bad.

            That sets up a cultural model of inferiority for at least 5 generations after slavery. Parents taught children to be wary of Whites, avoid competition with Whites, to distrust the law and judicial system. Then the children pass this on to their children, etc. We know that by the time kids have grown, their personalities have been molded. So just those that are our age grew up sitting in the back of buses or not buying homes in the new suburbs. And they taught their children and grandchildren that they had to defer to Whites. You don’t think that lingers or affects how people are?

            You are denying Blacks the importance of cultural norms that you yourself relied on as a child to frame your place in society. You were taught that you could be anything you wanted in our free country. As were your ancestors.

            Not so for most Blacks. No matter how talented or driven, they had to toe the line or else. And this was passed on over and over.

            Once the laws changed in 1965, the backlash was still in effect for decades.

            It is fading now as the new generations taste genuine political power. But not without resentment lingering in the substrate of society. A substrate with powerful friends in government like NC and it’s attempt to depress Black votes.

            It is more than “pick yourself up, dust yourself off, a keep working”.

            Many hung from trees just for trying that over, and over and over for a century or more.

            That is where I am coming from. In a family situation, you can’t abuse your offspring and expect them to love you and succeed when they leave home.

            Why would cultural abuse not affect generations of people in any nation? The fact is it does. And we are no different.

            Liked by 1 person

          7. They do not live in poverty.

            It is only an illusion that most American Blacks live in urban poverty. Though that may well become true of the next generation if Democrats keep helping them.

            Like

      2. “Rednecks wait in line to pay $80 a ticket to take their girlfriends to a Darius Rucker concert.”

        Not until he side stepped to country music from Hootie and the Blowfish.

        Like

        1. Rucker didn’t just switch to country, he does very good country, and for those rednecks who are characterized as traditionally racist, common values and music mean more than race.

          And that is how it should be.

          Like

          1. I DID say he sidestepped. And I was not criticizing the move. I agree he does country. He also does good soft rock. He is a very talented musician with a wide range of tastes and appeal. Good for him.

            But how many of those “rednecks” know he is Black before they go to the concerts? And how many will stop listening to him when they find out?

            Like

          2. Every one of them knows he is black.

            Rednecks do have TV nowadays you know, and CMT is the Redneck MTV

            Rednecks, it would seem, are less concerned with race than you are.

            Like

          3. “Every one of them knows he is black.”

            Quite an absolutist statement. And keep in mind you started it off by saying they are taking their girlfriends to the concerts. Sounds to me like they are forced to go to satisfy the ladies’ desire to go. But do they really want to?

            Like

          4. “Rednecks, it would seem, are less concerned with race than you are.”

            Will they let their daughters marry someone from another race? Will they allow one from another race to live in their neighborhoods, shop in their stores (without following them around the store), come into the same bar (Some Black guys like country music too). By what you are saying it is like the old minstrel shows where the white folk paid to see the Black folk perform. The only difference today is that the Black folk get the majority of the money.

            Liked by 1 person

    2. RE: “You are digging up all the revisionist histories.”

      Not at all. The two stories I share in the post actually reveal you to be overly concerned about them poor little darkies who can never become human beings until people like you become sufficiently guilt-ridden.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s