Was Slavery a Good Thing? Examining Doug Wilson

Sometimes I see a story come up and wonder if I should weigh in. Sometimes the same story keeps coming up, passed around the blogosphere that I read. That’s what happened this last week, and it’s time I finally weigh in. The stories, which are both different and yet related, involve the Bible, slavery in the Old South, and the stoning of rebellious children. Today I’m going to handle slavery, and tomorrow stoning of rebellious children.

Blogger JT brought up the opinions on slavery held by a candidate for public office in Arkansas in 1996, soon followed by similar views from a candidate in the same state today:

An Alabama state senator (meaning he’s already been elected to one office) running for Congress [in 1996], Charles Davidson, [wrote] a speech arguing that slavery was a moral good for blacks.

An Alabama State Senator running for Congress has written a speech arguing that slavery was justified by the Bible and that it was good for blacks.

The lawmaker, Charles Davidson, a first-term Republican from Jasper, made the arguments in a speech he prepared for a Senate debate over his proposal to fly the Confederate battle flag atop the State Capitol. The measure was quickly tabled on Tuesday before Mr. Davidson could deliver the speech, so he passed out copies of it.

Mr. Davidson referred to Leviticus 25:44 — “You may acquire male and female slaves from the pagan nations that are around you” — and quoted I Timothy 6:1 as saying slaves should “regard their own masters as worthy of all honor.”

“The incidence of abuse, rape, broken homes and murder are 100 times greater, today, in the housing projects than they ever were on the slave plantations in the Old South,” he wrote. “The truth is that nowhere on the face of the earth, in all of time, were servants better treated or better loved than they were in the Old South by white, black, Hispanic and Indian slave owners.”

One can only wonder why they were so keen to be free if the conditions for slaves were so good.

And the second story…

Meet Representative John Hubbard (who is up for re-election…which means this racist sack of poo got elected once already)..

Representative Jon Hubbard’s book, “Letters to the Editor: Confessions of  a Frustrated Conservative,” was self published in 2009.

However it’s now grabbing the attention of many because of a comment in the book where Hubbard wrote, ” slavery just might have been a blessing in disguise.”

“… even while in the throes of slavery, their lives as Americans are likely much better than they ever would have enjoyed living in sub-Saharan Africa… Knowing what we know today about life on the African continent, would an existence spent in slavery have been any crueler than a life spent in sub-Saharan Africa?”

Okay, so, I think this calls for a bit of background. Personally, I grew up in an evangelical family that never sought to defend slavery in any way, shape, or form. There was no defense of the Confederacy. Lincoln was seen as the third best president, next to Reagan and Washington. I am speaking here not so much from my experience in the family and community I grew up in as from my general knowledge of a wider swath of evangelicalism, fundamentalism, and Christian homeschooling.

There is a segment of the Christian Patriarchy movement that is pro-Confederacy. I’m not completely sure where Doug Phillips of Vision Forum stands, though his son was photographed standing proudly by a monument to the founder of the Ku Klux Klan last year, and I have no idea at all where Bill Gothard stands. I do, however, have some familiarity with where Doug Wilson stands, and I think his position is fairly representative of the pro-Confederacy sentiments in some segments of the Christian Patriarchy movement.

Quick word of background on Wilson. Wilson has founded a college, a seminary, a publishing house, a denomination, and an association of Christian schools. He has written dozens of books, and his educational curriculum, which combines theology, literature, and history, is extremely popular with homeschoolers. Wilson isn’t simply fringe, either; he has connections with mainstream evangelicals like Chuck Colson and John Piper. This is the same Doug Wilson whose comments on dominance and submission in the marriage bed made him infamous in the blogosphere this past summer.

In 1996, Doug Wilson, together with co-author Steve Wilkins, published Southern Slavery As It Was. (Read the whole book here.) Let me offer you a few excerpts:

“Slavery as it existed in the South was not an adversarial relationship with pervasive racial animosity. Because of its dominantly patriarchal character, it was a relationship based on mutual affection and confidence. There has never been a multi-racial society which has existed with such mutual intimacy and harmony in the history of the world.” (pp. 23-24)

“Slave life was to them [the slaves] a life of plenty, of simple pleasures, of food, clothes, and good medical care.” (p. 25)

“If slavery had been as bad as the abolitionists maintained that it was, and as we have been reminded countless times on supposedly good authority, then why were there not thousands of rabid abolitionists demanding an end to the evil? Or, even more to the point, why were there not hundreds of slave rebellions?” (p. 22)

Wilson has since distanced himself from Southern Slavery As It Was, claiming that it was misinterpreted and misunderstood, and the book is no longer published. But I think it’s important to note that the views outlined above are not as marginal as you might thing. Back in 2011, Michelle Bachman signed a marriage pact that stated that black children were more likely to grow up in stable families under slavery than today. It seems that this idea that slavery wasn’t really that bad because slaves had their basic needs met by kindly southern slave owners just won’t ever completely die, it seems.

But there’s something else going on in Wilson’s southern apology. Part of the reason that Wilson and others like him feel the need to justify slavery is that it is important to them to be able to see the antebellum South as their ideal, godly society. It is to this ideal that they strive to return, and their embrace of the patriarchal family is part of this. Here is a quote from Wilson in his 2005 book, Angels in the Architecture:

“The American South was the last nation of the first Christendom. … The South will rise again.” (pp. 203, 205)

In order to clarify what Wilson meant, we need to look also at this quote:

“You’re not going to scare me away from the word Confederate.” Wilson identifies as a “paleo-confederate.” “We’re fighting in a long war, and that [the Civil War] was one battle that we lost.” (Christianity Today, April 17, 2009)

In other words, Doug Wilson views the Civil War as a battle between the a truly godly, Christian nation and a hedonistic, dictatorial, ungodly North. To understand Wilson’s view of the North during the Civil War, let’s return to Southern Slavery As It Was.

In the early nineteenth century, the intellectual leadership of the North apostatized from their previous cultural commitment to the Christian faith. The watershed event in this regard was the capture of Harvard by the Unitarians in 1805. This cultural apostasy was not nearly as advanced in the South, although there were some signs of it. By the time of the War, the intellectual leadership of the South was conservative, orthodox, and Christian. In contrast, the leadership of the North was radical and Unitarian. This is not to say there were no Christians in the North, or that no believers fought for the North. It is simply the recognition that the drums of war were being beaten by the abolitionists, who were in turn driven by a zealous hatred of the Word of God. (p. 13)

Wilson idealizes the antebellum South as the closest we’ve come to a truly Christian society. When he says that “the South will rise again” he means that he and those who agree with him will eventually someday, with the help of God, restore the country to the ideal Christian society he thinks the South was. When he calls himself a “paleo-confederate” and calls the Civil War just one lost battle in a longer war, he is talking about the struggle to create a Christian society here on earth, a struggle that he, as a postmillenialist, believes must and will be won before the second coming of Christ.

In his effort to portray the South as an ideal Christian society, Wilson has a problem. Slavery. He has to somehow explain slavery away. And in come all the justifications. The idea that even as slaves, they were better off than they would have been in Africa. (For instance, they had exposure to Christianity and the salvation of their souls, a strong contrast to the demonic influence supposedly practically omnipresent in darkest Africa.) The idea that southern masters, being good Christians, were kind to their slaves, giving them food, shelter, and medical care. The idea that slave families were stable and intact, a sharp contrast to black families today (forgetting all about the fact that slave families knew they could at any moment be torn apart by sale).

This mythology is not new. The myth of the Old South was created before the Confederate and Union dead were quite buried. White southern children growing up after the Civil War were taught to view slavery as a time of ideal race relations, when whites and blacks lived together in love and harmony in contrast to the animosity and hatred brought by freedom. The age of this mythology means that people like Wilson have a lot of source material to pull from in their quest to prove that slavery really wasn’t so bad after all. And if you read Southern Slavery As It Was, you’ll find it relying on some of the original slavery apologists. Here’s another quote:

Slavery as it existed in the South was not an adversarial relationship with pervasive racial animosity. Because of its dominantly patriarchal character, it was a relationship based upon mutual affection and confidence. There has never been a multi-racial society which has existed with such mutual intimacy and harmony in the history of the world. The credit for this must go to the predominance of Christianity. The gospel enabled men who were distinct in nearly every way, to live and work together, to be friends and often intimates. This happened to such an extent that moderns indoctrinated on “civil rights” propaganda would be thunderstruck to know the half of it.

It hardly bares saying, but Wilson is wrong. The “propaganda” here is the writings of the postbellum southerners who responded to their loss by creating the Myth of the Old South, with its supposed ideal race relations and friendly intimacy. Forgotten are the backs whipped raw and forever scarred. Forgotten are the interracial children of coerced liaisons between masters and female slaves. Forgotten are the “fancy maids,” light-skinned black female teens commonly sold as sex slaves in large slave markets like New Orleans. Forgotten are the families ripped apart by sale never to find each other again.

And if slavery was half as brutal as historians say it was, Wilson’s idealization of the Old South as a perfect Christian nation is a problem.

About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.

  • AnotherOne

    Smithsonian Magazine recently published an excerpt from Henry Wiencek’s upcoming book on Jefferson and slavery. It’s a long, sad, moving piece that gives a sense of how morally bankrupt even best case scenario slavery was. One of the most damning aspects of the whole thing when it comes to the views of people like Doug Wilson is that slaveowners like Jefferson in Virginia kept their slaves in check by threatening to sell them to the Deep South and the West Indies–a prospect that absolutely terrified the slaves in Virginia. Jefferson made an example of a slave boy by selling him to Georgia; a move designed to strike fear into the hearts of the rest of the boys doing forced labor in his nail factory. So much for that oh so wonderfully kind master-slave relationship in the Deep South. I can barely get hold of my rage when people start yammering about how slavery was actually fine.

    Anyway, here’s the article. I’ve already ordered the book.

    http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/The-Little-Known-Dark-Side-of-Thomas-Jefferson-169780996.html

  • machintelligence

    It seems to me to be only a small step from believing that one person can control another (patriarchy) to believing one person can own another (slavery). Both should be rejected.

  • neadods

    Libby Anne,

    It seems to me that this isn’t just Confederate nostalgia. You’ve written before about how the patriarchy treats women and children today as chattel slaves – not allowed to make up their own minds, direct their own lives, or even relate to God without going through their fathers/husbands. In order for this to work, isn’t it necessary to rewrite the history of slavery to make it look protective and beneficial? Mutual intimacy, harmony, a life of plenty… these are all things the patriarchy claims to provide women, if we’ll just shut up, do all the domestic work, and obey our master, I mean “head” instantly in all things.

    • Red

      Indeed.

      Further, if you look at his rationale for why slavery wasn’t so bad (and note the logical fallacy behind it), it echoes very closely the rationale for patriarchal gender relationships.

      His rationale is that slavery wasn’t bad because 1. It was better than life in Africa, and 2. The slave masters treated the slaves well. So that’s an argument for the goodness of the institution based on perceived outcome in certain areas (food, clothing, treatment by others.) And, as we’ve mentioned, it really wasn’t all that good, even in those categories!

      This completely (purposefully?) ignores the deeper dynamic; owning someone is against human dignity, no matter what the circumstance. Let’s say, for the sake of argument (not that I believe this), let’s just SAY that life in Africa would have been harder than living on a plantation with a nice master. Does that automatically make owning a person okay? Wouldn’t the *best* thing be to bring that person out of Africa and then let them live as a free man, alongside yourself?

      Playing the comparison game doesn’t make something morally okay.

      I hear this very argument used in the gender relationships debate. People say that patriarchal relationships are okay when the husband treats the wife nicely. They pick an example of a secular marriage where the husband was a lazy slob, and compare it to an idealized picture of patriarchal marriage, and say, “See? The patriarch provides more money than the secular slob, so that makes bossing a wife around okay, right?”

  • Anonymouse

    The pro-slavery mindset helps explain the otherwise-inexplicable love of the Elsie Dinsmore books. I was given the books as a kid and found them horrific, especially the treatment of the slaves.

    • http://www.mymusingcorner.wordpress.com/ Lana

      Right, and that links to Vision Forum. I don’t think they are idolized because of the slavery but because of the Victorianism. Victorianism and homeschooling go hand in hand. its another stereotype.

  • Niemand

    I’m kind of nauseated just now. I’ve heard the argument that slavery was a good thing for African-Americans now because of it got them the “American” part and life in the US is better than life in Africa. It seems to me that there are several fallacies in that argument, but at least it makes some sort of sense. But even being from the south, I’d never heard the argument that slavery was good for the people who were enslaved before*. That’s just beyond insane.

    *Except in historical documents from the time and they were held up as examples of just how warped the thinking of slaveholders had become.

    • lucrezaborgia

      One has to wonder what Africa would be like right now if they had not been robbed of millions of people.

      • Niemand

        Not to mention subject to the whims of various colonial powers for a couple of hundred years. And the continued exploitation by ex-colonizers, etc.

    • Attackfish

      My dad went to school in Alabama in the sixties, and this is what all of his public school history classes taught. Fortunately, he didn’t buy it, but it happened. It was also taught post segregation. They tried teaching this to little black boys and girls. Talk about warping young minds.

  • http://thaliasmusingsnovels.com/ Amethyst

    Norway, by certain measurable standards, is ranked as offering a higher quality of life than the United States. Does that mean it would be a blessing for Doug Wilson or John Hubbard to be kidnapped at gunpoint, shipped to Norway chained in the cargo hold of a freighter, and forced to work for Norwegians compensated only with whatever room and board his new masters saw fit to bestow upon him?

    http://www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org/countries/norway/

    • http://eschaton2012.ca Eamon Knight

      Hey, they’d probably give him free healthcare….[evil grin]

      • Scotlyn

        You mean they’d FORCE him to have free healthcare & violate his religious freedom…[eviller grin]

    • Sarah

      No, because Jesus.

      Presumably, even the worst circumstances on Earth are tolerable, nay, enjoyable, if you have Jesus. In a heathen nation like Norway, there’s little point in laboring for your master if he’s a godless atheist.

  • Emma

    This made me think of a blog post I read a while ago, talking about a related issue in a different context. In the post, the author describes a number of anecdotes that embody a bizarre combination of both kindly treatment of slaves, and actions that served as reminders that, kindly treatment or no, the slaves were still slaves.

    Anyhow, at one point the author makes this argument: “Slavery wasn’t evil because some masters were. Slavery was evil because, however humane its conditions, it is a crime against humanity.” That, I think, sums it up pretty well.

    Unfortunately, I don’t think people like Wilson would see it that way. He thinks that wives and children should unquestioningly obey the patriarch, and in return the patriarch will love and care for them. He doesn’t take the possibility that the patriarch will abuse that obedience seriously at all. It’s not surprising that he would take the same problematic view of the master slave relationship.

    • Niemand

      The alternating of kindness and random cruelty is a classic for an abusive relationship. It allows the abuser to look at him or herself as a kind or good person and view any acts of abuse as the victims fault. I’m sure that Jefferson in AnotherOne’s example felt that he was practically forced to sell the kid into an even worse situation. And he probably also believed that Sally Hemming loved him or at least lusted after him. Denial is an extremely strong mental defense mechanism.

      • Squire Bramble

        It makes one wonder how a person with an authoritarian mindset like Wilson’s would react in the situation Amethyst suggested above. Kidnapped in a large group, simulating the conditions of slavery, would he be the one most likely to develop Stockholm Syndrome?

        I don’t know anything about Wilson’s upbringing, but if he was trained within a patriarchal family as a child he might well revert to type and submit to the demands of those in power over him with relative ease. If he began advocating this patriarchy crap as an adult it would probably be a different matter. The experiment would be an interesting one, if only to reveal his true beliefs.

      • http://eschaton2012.ca Eamon Knight

        @Squire Bramble: Think: the Alec Guiness character in Bridge on the River Kwai. All that stereotypical British belief in discipline….

      • AnotherOne

        Yes, one of the things mentioned in the article is Jefferson’s adeptness at distancing himself from the violence his system required. He was fine being kind until profits dropped, at which point he hired brutal overseers, stepped back, and looked away. Patriarchalists are good at doing just that–distancing themselves from the violence and oppression inherent in their ordering of the world.

  • Rilian

    “White southern children growing up after the Civil War were taught to view slavery as a time of ideal race relations, when whites and blacks lived together in love and harmony in contrast to the animosity and hatred brought by freedom.”

    I.e., everything was so great when we had power over other people.

    What about whether the slaves thought it was harmonious? Oh, their opinion doesn’t matter.

    • Rosa

      A blogger I really like, Ta-Nehisi Coates, has written a lot about the Civil War and how that history is taught and discussed. One of the things he’s pointed out repeatedly, with examples, is how we still tend to talk about “Southerners” thoughts and actions in the war as if the enslaved black people were not also Southerners.

      • Rilian

        Oh, cool. I guess it’s because they weren’t considered people, and we kind of held onto their way of talking about it. But then again, I wouldn’t consider myself, like, indian, if I were kidnapped and taken to india against my will. So i don’t know, but I will look that Ta-Nehisi Coates up.

      • Rosa

        He’s just starting a book club of a really good history of the trade, Soul By Soul. Few years ago we all read Battle Cry of Freedom.

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        Yeah, that drives my mom crazy too–when people say things like “Almost all southerners were pro-slavery” when the Southerners who were slaves themselves (plus a handful of free Blacks) were, you know, presumably not pro-slavery. She is a history prof who teaches about the antebellum era freqently and always makes a point of specifying “white Southerners” when that’s who she’s really talking about. I always try to do the same.

  • plch

    ahhh, the land of Freedom… well, at least for white rich adult men, the rest arn’t really people anyway… *argh*

  • Niemand

    “If slavery had been as bad as the abolitionists maintained that it was, and as we have been reminded countless times on supposedly good authority, then why were there not thousands of rabid abolitionists demanding an end to the evil? Or, even more to the point, why were there not hundreds of slave rebellions?” (p. 22)

    Sorry, just had to quote this one because of its astonishing stupidity. There were hundreds of slave rebellions. Some were even successful? Ever heard of Haiti? Not to mention the thousands of acts of rebellion known as running away. As for rabid abolitionists, there was this little event called the Civil War…In short, hasn’t he ever taken a history class?

    • Rosa

      yes, but only at a conservative Christian university, so this is what he learned.

    • http://ripeningreason.com/ Bix

      And then he contradicts himself by saying the abolitionists were beating the drums of war. Downplay their existence to make one point and blame them to make another, I guess. It’s also bemusing that he believes the abolitionists were driven by a zealous hatred of the word of god, given how many abolitionists used religious arguments against slavery. But I guess they weren’t real Christians, per Wilson’s definition.

      There was a lot of passive resistance like breaking tools on slave plantations as well.

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        Yes, both that insanely stupid quote and the contradiction struck me too. Before the Civil War, there were also abolitionist organizations, abolitionist newspapers…it was THE hot-button political issue of the day? And, yeah, how did he miss running away as an act of rebellion? There were organized slave rebellions in North America too–where the rebels were punished by death. I believe that slave rebellion was the only thing that was ever punished by burning at the stake in America, although I’m not sure of that (hanging was more usual, I think.) It would generally be a better bet to just run away yourself.

        And, um, yeah, how has he managed not to know that many abolitionists were evangelicals themselves?

  • smrnda

    I think this comes down to whether or not a person believes that goodness comes from equality between people (so everybody counts) or whether or not goodness means “obeying the proper authorities.” Authoritarians think that, as long as the right people are in charge, if everybody fulfills their proper roles all is well. The idea that power corrupts seems to be outside of their thought process.

    • http://eschaton2012.ca Eamon Knight

      Power only corrupts *other* people. But proper Christian people like us, whose consciences are submitted to God (who, conveniently, wants us to be rich and comfortable, and hates the same people we hate) are immune to such temptations.

  • Judy L.

    Yep, Slavery in the American South was so damn ideal that after Empancipation ruined everything they had to set up the Jim Crow Laws to put things a-right.

  • Adele

    I find it highly amusing that Doug Wilson considers a “watershed event” in the apostatizing of the North to be “the capture of Harvard by the Unitarians in 1805″, no doubt because I am a Harvard alumna and a Unitarian Universalist. ;-)

    • Rilian

      omigod the unitarians!! I had no idea they were considered, like, evil by xtians. I’ve always thought unitarians were watered-down xtians. Not exactly opposing. ???

      • machintelligence

        Well, they deny the triune nature of God, so they must be evil.
        */snark*

      • AnotherOne

        Oh, hon. It’s obvious you didn’t grow up in this mindset :). Unitarians are WORSE than those godless immoral atheists. They are the lukewarm whom God spits out of his mouth. Either that or false prophets, or sheep in wolves’ clothing. Or all of the above.

    • Petticoat Philosopher

      lol, I giggled at the phrase “captured by Unitarians.” It makes it sound like a literal act of war by an army and, well, that’s just kind of hilarious when I think about every Unitarian I’ve ever known. HEAD FOR THE HILLS IT’S THE UNITARIANS!!!!! lol

      • http://eschaton2012.ca Eamon Knight

        Gotta watch those Unitarians: they’ll create a study group and discuss you to death!

  • Rae

    Regarding the argument that conditions in sub-Saharan Africa are so bad that slavery has given them a better opportunity: Much of the reason that conditions in sub-Saharan Africa are as bad as they are in the first place has to do with the way the Europeans tore up the region, enslaved entire communities, and pillaged its natural resources. If they had just been left alone, to develop their own forms of government, and to participate in cultural exchanges on a more equitable basis, Africa would be very, very different than it is today. But no, Europeans couldn’t just explore somewhere for the sake of exploring, they had to explore for the sake of profit and power.

    • Attackfish

      THANK YOU! QFT!

    • Petticoat Philosopher

      This.

  • Karen

    Wilson has a post up today saying he supported “some aspects” of the Confederacy. Please font let himpaper over his advocacy of slavery; call him out for this.

  • lucrezaborgia

    I wonder what Dougie Fresh has to say about apartheid…the parallels between the Southern slave owners and the Afrikaaners is startling…

    • Petticoat Philosopher

      Just feel the need to point out that slave owners were a class and the Afrikaaners are an ethnic group and you want to be careful when characterizing an entire ethnic group. Not all Afrikaaners necessarily supported apartheid.

      • http://biblicalpersonhood.wordpress.com Retha Faurie

        As a young-ish Afrikaner, I want to thank you for saying that.

  • Phillip Waite

    Ironically, Doug Wilson is also a big fan of C.S. Lewis. Lewis, in his essay on democracy, said that he agreed with Aristotle that some people are only fit to be slaves. However, and it’s a big HOWEVER, Lewis goes on to qualify that statement by saying that while some people may be fit to be slaves, he has yet to meet a man that is fit to be a master. And that would exclude us all from participating in slavery.

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  • DataSnake

    The “but masters were nice” argument reminds me of a joke:
    A slave runs away from the plantation. When he’s caught, he’s brought before a judge. The judge says “Why did you run away? Your master feeds you, clothes you, doesn’t work you too hard, and doesn’t beat you. Seems to me you had it pretty good.”
    The slave replies, “the job’s still there if you want it.”

  • http://fiddlrts.blogspot.com fiddlrts

    Just so you know, Douglas Phillips is very much in the same camp as Douglas Wilson regarding Neo-Confederacy. Both Dougs proudly announce that foundational to their theology and outlook are two writers. R. L. Dabney and Rousas Rushdoony. Go to their blogs and search for those names. You will be surprised. Dabney wrote A Defense of Virginia, which was wholesale plagiarized by Wilson in Slavery as it Was. Rushdoony was greatly influenced by Dabney, and founded the Christian Reconstructionist movement – the idea of “rebuilding” a Christian kingdom here on earth, largely along the lines of the Antebellum South. Rushdoony advocated for segregation, holocaust denial, and full imposition of the Old Testament Law, including the death penalty for women who don’t bleed on the wedding night. Oh, and both Dabney and Rushdoony preached that “feminism” was going to ruin the world.

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  • Alchemist

    I agree utterly with Machintelligence. But would go a bit further.
    To me, denying an adult person their liberty, self direction, their self respect and the right to determine the use of their own bodies is slavery. Slaves are livestock, to be worked and bred at the direction of another. Slaves were forced to endure physical, emotional and sexual abuse without hope of relief because the society around them determined that their owners had ultimate authority over them.
    Patriarchy denies women of any age, and to some extent adult men ( think whom he may marry), their liberty, their self respect, self direction and the right to determine the use of their very bodies. These women work where they are told, bear children without choice and must accept physical, emotional and sexual abuse in silence and with a gentle and willing spirit. 
    Sound familiar? While women and children cannot be bought or sold under patriarchy, the other basic tennents of slavery are met. 

    I do not mean to say that what African slaves suffered was anything short of horrendous, revolting and abhorrent to any right minded person. It turns my stomach to think about what was done to these people, when seeing it portrayed in movies or tv it fills my heart with sorrow and anger.

    It is my belief that the comments made regarding the “mutual benefit” relationships of African slaves and slave owners are indicative of a deepseated belief that white men are supreme over all. If the terrible practise of slave ownership in the fairly recent American past can be seen as “not so bad” for the slaves, then justifying the enslavement of thousands if wives and daughters becomes easy.
    You can put a pretty dress on a mule, but it’s still a mule.
    These comments are disgusting and twisted, but unsurprising.

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