SandRider wrote:I'll take issue with your "none of my ancestors were slave-holders" comment, Freak.
If your family is from the South, prior to The War, and not immigrants from after,
the chances of slave-holding is extremely high. Southern slavery did not just take
place in huge numbers on big Tara-like plantations. (There were actually very few
large plantations under one control as is currently believed or depicted in movies)
Most cotton production was done on small to medium family farms, brothers and
uncles and cousins working adjacent lands and often pooling their small slave force.
The true face of slavery in the South was not one big Master with hundreds of slaves,
but hundreds of ordinary citizens with one to three slaves each.
I take issue with your statement because I hear it all the time.
"I don't owe them nothin' - my people were too poor to own slaves".
Unless you can prove to me thru genealogical research that this is true, the numbers
are against that statement. People have forgotten or were not taught just how rich
and prosperous the South in general was before the War. We didn't turn into poor
white bare-footed trash until after the War.
Even if Freak's ancestors were rich enough to own slaves, that doesn't mean Freak bears any responsibility for what happened in the past.
didn't say that he did, luv. Just taking issue with an over-used cliche in the South ....
I think "responsibility" is a very personal thing. If Freak feels no responsibility towards blacks,
that's fine with me. I see things differently, because
of my heritage.
My people were slave holders and Confedate Veterans. They were full-fledged
Klansmen and Segregationists. The social and political situation of blacks
in the South are a direct result of the actions taken by members of
my family, some of whom I knew well, like my grandfather.
While I may not have a "personal responsibility" for those actions, or
owe anybody "reparations", I do think I have a responsibility
to treat the History with respect and truth, and work to make the
situation better for everyone in the South.
I find myself in the middle all the time. I certainly understand a black man's
anger and frustration at the legacy of institutional racism, and also
understand a white man's frustration at being "blamed" for things he
may not have agreed with or had any part of.
But I consider those personal feelings bullshit. Face the truth of History
squarely and honestly, and move on to a better future ....