Is history racist?

caseyedwards

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This article discusses how John Marshall, influential early Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, was a dedicated slaveowner, buying up to 300 slaves during his life, and how this likely influenced his judicial opinions on issues relating to slavery and Native Americans:


When you read a story like this, it becomes hard to argue that slavery isn't intrinsic to the founding experience of the U.S. Certainly it was interwoven into the story from the beginning. The teaching of U.S. history has to acknowledge that. If it doesn't, it's selling a false narrative.
I know people have posted links to where some were taught slavery wasn’t that big a deal or slaves accepted it but just as false as those things are saying what 1619 project says which is United States was founded out of fear Britain was going to abolish slavery soon. Seems like mostly everyone was taught slavery was mostly economic and not social and certainly didn’t create barriers that still exist today! Now what people want to teach is that slavery was almost more about White supremacy rather than economics. And that the white supremacy that created slavery just was morphed into different forms of slavery after slavery was abolished! And you can argue some ways it was like with sharecropping and Jim Crow but really it was not all the same.
 

Prancer

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I know people have posted links to where some were taught slavery wasn’t that big a deal or slaves accepted it but just as false
So what is true? Let's see some evidence.
as those things are saying what 1619 project says which is United States was founded out of fear Britain was going to abolish slavery soon.
There are a number of historians who have objected to the 1619 Project because they dispute the facticity of some of the information. But that doesn't mean they disagree with the main argument. Take the Wilentz letter, for example:

“We applaud all efforts to address the foundational centrality of slavery and racism to our history,”

Seems like mostly everyone was taught slavery was mostly economic and not social and certainly didn’t create barriers that still exist today! Now what people want to teach is that slavery was almost more about White supremacy rather than economics. And that the white supremacy that created slavery just was morphed into different forms of slavery after slavery was abolished! And you can argue some ways it was like with sharecropping and Jim Crow but really it was not all the same.
Do you really want to try this argument? I mean, we can do this, but are you sure this is the position you want to take?

Slavery was about white supremacy, full stop; do you think it's a coincidence that white people owned black people? Whatever we may have been taught in school--and I was NOT taught that slavery was about economics; I was taught that the Civil War was, in part, about economics--but the primary economic issue was slavery. There is ample historical evidence of this. The fact that there are people who deny this does not make it any less true.

Do you want me to start piling on the links? I can and will. But I think it would be a nice change if you were the one to actually try to support what you are saying with citations from the historical record, as you are the one trying to argue that others are in error.

Let's say that we all agree that Jim Crow was different from slavery. Are you trying to argue that Jim Crow didn't create social barriers at all or just that they don't exist to this day? Or is it that Jim Crow just wasn't that bad?
 

caseyedwards

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All the historians agree on teaching slavery and the role of slavery in US history they rejected 1619 project because a main feature is saying the main motivation of support for the American revolution was fear if the colonies didn’t break away from Great Britain soon all slavery in the colonies was going to be abolished soon. That’s fundamental to 1619 project and the huge error of it can’t be brushed aside.

It was not just white people who owned black slaves. Free black Americans would also buy slaves because it made financial sense to. That’s also why whites would do it too. They would buy some slaves and when they didn’t need them they would free them sometimes or sell them. You need links to this info? You don’t need links to this. Lol
 

Prancer

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You don’t need links to this. Lol
No, dear. But I didn't ask for links to those things.

I know people have posted links to where some were taught slavery wasn’t that big a deal or slaves accepted it but just as false

So prove it. If people have links showing that some have been taught that slavery wasn't a big deal, show me that those links are false and that we are promoting lies.

You made the claim. Back it up.

Now what people want to teach is that slavery was almost more about White supremacy rather than economics.

Yes, and people have provided support for that claim. Your turn. Show us how white supremacy wasn't the reason for slavery. Let's see some reasoned arguments from reputable historians.

And that the white supremacy that created slavery just was morphed into different forms of slavery after slavery was abolished! And you can argue some ways it was like with sharecropping and Jim Crow but really it was not all the same.

So explain how it was different, including how Jim Crow didn't create social barriers that exist to this day. Find some reputable historians who make this argument and educate me.

It was not just white people who owned black slaves. Free black Americans would also buy slaves

Oh, well, there goes that whole white supremacy argument. Except, hmmm, why were all the slaves in question black?

Again, show me some reputable historians arguing that slavery was purely a matter of sensible economics.

And no, I am not interested in more semi-coherent, exclamation-point filled posts making arguments without support. Most posters here think you are nothing more than a idiot troll. Prove them wrong for once.
 

Prancer

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Meanwhile, on the subject of teaching, history and racism: How Textbooks Taught White Supremacy

During the 1920s, the 1930s, and the 1940s, it was astonishing to see positive assessments of slavery in American history textbooks, which taught that the African American’s natural environment was the institution of slavery, where they were cared for from cradle to grave. There was a legacy of African American writing about freedom, but the white power structure simply wouldn’t accept it as legitimate. They dismissed the slave narratives as propaganda, downplayed the history of Africans before slavery, and ignored the work of African American scholars such as W.E.B. Du Bois and others.

I distinctly remember one of my teachers saying that one of the good things about slavery was that slaves were cared for from cradle to grave; she would have been of this era. So were my parents, who did not say things like this (but there were mitigating factors there).

I thought a lot of the interview was very interesting, but this part especially:

Americans tend to see racism as a result of Southern slavery, and this thinking has all kinds of problems. First of all, slavery was in the North as well as in the South, and the people who formed the idea of American identity were not Southern slave owners, they were Northerners. The father of white supremacy was not a Southerner; it was John H. Van Evrie, a Canadian who ended up settling in New York City. Van Evrie argued that if no slaves existed, the class-based structure of Europe would have been transferred, kept, and developed in the American colonies. But with the African presence, Van Evrie said, the descendants of white Europeans saw that the difference among white people was virtually insignificant compared to what they perceived as differences between themselves and African Americans. This allowed democracy, which was an unpopular idea in the 17th and 18th century, to flourish and develop.

We always forget that democracy was not an idealized form of government back then. In fact, it was considered an evil. Van Evrie’s argument was that Americans had to reimagine a new kind of government and social order and they could do so because of the African presence. This can also explain why white supremacy has persisted for so long, because it is an identity of oneself in contrast to others, a sort of a self-fulfilling, reinforcing thought about one’s self-perceived superiority.


I cannot imagine any of my teachers from K-12 teaching any of this. I can't even imagine most of my professors teaching this. It is so far removed from anything they ever said in classes. I am going to have to think about this.

More on John Van Evrie.

Much longer article on how slavery has been presented in textbooks, including some contemporary examples.

What Kids Are Really Learning about Slavery--an Atlantic article about contemporary teaching about slavery
 

DORISPULASKI

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This newspaper article illustrates the problem with educating anybody about anything.

For those not from the US, the southern part of Fairfield county, CT, where the above story is unfolding, is a Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous kind of place, called the Gold Coast.


This all began when the Superintendent of Schools Cummings sent an email to a large distribution:

in which he noted increasing violence against Asian Americans, acknowledged the need for the community to recognize inherent biases and committed to anti-racism within the school district, according to court documents

One guy named Gladstone responded to the email, copying town officials and parents:

"I am truly offended that you would insinuate that I am inherently racist or biased," Gladstone wrote, court documents said. "You are truly out of bounds with your message and I am concerned that you are incapable of understanding this community and the people that reside here. Shocking would be a good word to describe your message

A recipient of the emails, RTM member [a minor town official] Karson asked First Selectwoman [in CT, like a mayor] Brenda Kupchick, asking her to defend Cummings and stating that Gladstone's words were an example of white fragility, court documents said. After sending the email, Karson posted a copy of the message in the political advocacy Facebook group Fairfield Standing United.

Karson is being sued by Gladstone over this post!

"It has affected my emotional wellbeing, my business relationships, my business reputation, my relationships with people of my community, my children and has severely and emotionally damaged me," Gladstone, a New Canaan attorney.

And thus we see the revulsion to teaching history is not just the worry that children will think their ancestors were racist, bad people. There is also the worry that the children will think their parents are racists.

And btw, this case is a huge example of white fragility.
 
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caseyedwards

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No, dear. But I didn't ask for links to those things.

I know people have posted links to where some were taught slavery wasn’t that big a deal or slaves accepted it but just as false

So prove it. If people have links showing that some have been taught that slavery wasn't a big deal, show me that those links are false and that we are promoting lies.

You made the claim. Back it up.

Now what people want to teach is that slavery was almost more about White supremacy rather than economics.

Yes, and people have provided support for that claim. Your turn. Show us how white supremacy wasn't the reason for slavery. Let's see some reasoned arguments from reputable historians.


And that the white supremacy that created slavery just was morphed into different forms of slavery after slavery was abolished! And you can argue some ways it was like with sharecropping and Jim Crow but really it was not all the same.

So explain how it was different, including how Jim Crow didn't create social barriers that exist to this day. Find some reputable historians who make this argument and educate me.

It was not just white people who owned black slaves. Free black Americans would also buy slaves

Oh, well, there goes that whole white supremacy argument. Except, hmmm, why were all the slaves in question black?

Again, show me some reputable historians arguing that slavery was purely a matter of sensible economics.

And no, I am not interested in more semi-coherent, exclamation-point filled posts making arguments without support. Most posters here think you are nothing more than a idiot troll. Prove them wrong for once.
Not all slaves were black

Please do not copy and paste entire entries from source material, as that is a violation of copyright. You may copy and paste a small selection, but you should make it clear that you are quoting.

So here you have facts that reveal slave trade in africa was huge and flourishing industry within africa. White europeans just bought slaves that already existed lots of the time

 

jenny12

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Everyone knows that slavery has existed in many forms throughout the world. But as it pertains to American history, the link between white supremacy and slavery cannot be ignored. I mean that statement is so obvious that it should be ridiculous that I felt the need to state it. Stating a bunch of information about worldwide slavery in order to justify and excuse American slavery is a reinforcement of a power structure that we should be trying to critique and disassemble. We should be learning about history in order to learn from our mistakes, not to desperately justify them.
 

Prancer

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Not all slaves were black
Why in all of your examples did the slave owners try to convince people that the white slaves were actually black and why was it common according to your source for slaves to try to claim to be white?

So here you have facts that reveal slave trade in africa was huge and flourishing industry within africa. White europeans just bought slaves that already existed lots of the time


Encyclopedia articles are not really what I had in mind, as they are both sixth-grade level sources and notoriously inaccurate. I asked for arguments from reputable historians, but okay--what is your point? That blacks sold blacks so it can't be racism?

Again, why is it that black slaves in the United States tried to pass as white?
 

caseyedwards

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I said the point already. Then you wanted sources but they aren’t good enough and now you want the point repeated! Lol! Ok whatever! The point was slavery was more economic than racial.
 

once_upon

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The point was slavery was more economic than racial.
If it was just about economics then black men and women would have remained indentured servants. But amazingly white continued to be indentured and blacks became slaves.


One of my great grandparents were indentured sometime before the start of Civil War. He met his contract and was freed. Im pretty sure, if he was black, he wouldn't have been able to have an indentured contract.
 

DORISPULASKI

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Slavery became more and more racial as the 17th century ended and the 18th began, culminating in the Virginia Slave Code of 1705, wherein enslaved people of color were declared to be no longer people, but real estate.

"All servants imported and brought into the Country...who were not Christians in their native Country...shall be accounted and be slaves. All Negro, mulatto and Indian slaves within this dominion...shall be held to be real estate. If any slave resist his master...correcting such slave, and shall happen to be killed in such correction...the master shall be free of all punishment...as if such accident never happened

More detail at these links:
And

This act became a model for many other states.

CT and VT did not follow suit, and other states opted out, too.

An example, the life of Venture Smith. Slaves could buy their freedom here.
https://connecticuthistory.org/venture-smith-from-slavery-to-freedom/

However, Smith still suffered from racism, especially if the law was involved. In old age, he published his autobiography which is one of the few accounts written by slaves who were kidnapped in Africa and spent their later lives in North America.

And Vermont banned slavery in its Constitution of 1777.

Indentured servitude continued into the 20th century. A friend's grandmother was an indentured servant in NY. She came from Ireland.
 
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NeilJLeonard

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Economics and racism has always been intertwined. An economic system that allows for and runs on slavery is a racist economic system.
Including Ancient Greece and Rome? Were the many thousands of Gauls that Caesar brought to Rome as slaves make Rome a racist state? Or any of the multitudes of people that were enslaved by the many "Empires" that have existed for a time for all of recorded history? If it is to describe the slave states the Europeans invented in the Americas you have a wealth of information to verify your statement, but I think it is too broad to be true for all places where slavery was used and enforced.

NJL
 

Prancer

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I said the point already. Then you wanted sources but they aren’t good enough and now you want the point repeated! Lol! Ok whatever! The point was slavery was more economic than racial.

I asked for arguments from reputable historians in the first place, so, yes, I am not looking for encyclopedia entries, especially ones that don't address the point.

I ask again, why did the slave owners in your source all claim that the white slaves in question were black?
 

jenny12

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Including Ancient Greece and Rome? Were the many thousands of Gauls that Caesar brought to Rome as slaves make Rome a racist state? Or any of the multitudes of people that were enslaved by the many "Empires" that have existed for a time for all of recorded history? If it is to describe the slave states the Europeans invented in the Americas you have a wealth of information to verify your statement, but I think it is too broad to be true for all places where slavery was used and enforced.

NJL

OK, so I should perhaps re-phrase my point to just focus on America. But overall, I think bringing in all these other arguments about how slavery has existed in all other times and in all other areas to somehow justify American slavery or to support the point that CRT is unnecessary misses the specific type of racism that is entrenched in the founding of this country and continues to be seen in the American criminal justice and economic systems. Slavery has been and continues to be an issue all over the world. I would think its fair to say that countries with a legacy of slavery cannot deal with it the same way since that legacy is specify to its time and culture. I am centering my argument around American slavery since that is my main understanding of it with regards to CRT.
 
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NeilJLeonard

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OK, so I should perhaps re-phrase my point to just focus on America. But overall, I think bringing in all these other arguments about how slavery has existed in all other times and in all other areas to somehow justify American slavery or to support the point that CRT is unnecessary misses the specific type of racism that is entrenched in the founding of this country and continues to be seen in the American criminal justice and economic systems. Slavery has been and continues to be an issue all over the world. I would think its fair to say that countries with a legacy of slavery cannot deal with it the same way since that legacy is specify to its time and culture. I am centering my argument around American slavery since that is my main understanding of it with regards to CRT.

My post in no way justified slavery in the Americas or in any way denigrated critical race theory. It simply pointed out that ours was based on race unlike anything that preceded it. Sadly our legacy lives on to bedevil us to this day.

Yours post made that particular legacy universal and comprehensive. It isn't. It belongs to the Americas generally and as devised here and, please read the post preceding mine - #135, to us in specific particulars. Sadly, much of critical race theory is necessary to understand that we have been dominated for nearly 400 years by some very bad ideas.

NJL
 

jenny12

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My post in no way justified slavery in the Americas or in any way denigrated critical race theory. It simply pointed out that ours was based on race unlike anything that preceded it. Sadly our legacy lives on to bedevil us to this day.

Yours post made that particular legacy universal and comprehensive. It isn't. It belongs to the Americas generally and as devised here and, please read the post preceding mine, to us in specific particulars. Sadly, much of critical race theory is necessary to understand that we have been dominated for nearly 400 years by a very bad idea.

NJL

I was actually responding to a post that was attempting to make slavery universal and comprehensive. I forgot to mention America in my post but I guess I wrongly assumed that this discussion was focusing on America since my knowledge of CRT is only as an American focused theory. I did not intend to be universal with my post since I don't see CRT as a universal theory.
 

caseyedwards

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A conservative activist didn’t invent anything with regard to CRT. Parents looking at their kids schoolwork did it.
 

DORISPULASKI

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How a Conservative Activist Invented the Conflict over Critical Race Theory

I had been wondering how and why CRT suddenly became a "thing" and now I know.

Carvill was right.

Critical race theory’ is the perfect villain,” Rufo wrote.

He thought that the phrase was a better description of what conservatives were opposing, but it also seemed like a promising political weapon. “Its connotations are all negative to most middle-class Americans, including racial minorities, who see the world as ‘creative’ rather than ‘critical,’ ‘individual’ rather than ‘racial,’ ‘practical’ rather than ‘theoretical.’ Strung together, the phrase ‘critical race theory’ connotes hostile, academic, divisive, race-obsessed, poisonous, elitist, anti-American.”


Most perfect of all, Rufo continued, critical race theory is not “an externally applied pejorative.” Instead, “it’s the label the critical race theorists chose themselves
 

Prancer

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A conservative activist didn’t invent anything with regard to CRT. Parents looking at their kids schoolwork did it.
Um, no. Unless you are referring to all the GOP activists on Fox News masquerading as concerned parents.

But again, if you think my link is spreading falsehood, prove it wrong. Show me evidence that what the New Yorker says in that article is a lie.

Critical race theory is not being taught in schools. Some schools might be trying to teach some sort of racial awareness, but that is not the same thing. The 1619 Project isn't critical race theory, either, although some of it is based on the work of critical race theorists.

No reputable historian arguing that slavery was an economic issue that had nothing to do with white supremacy? No answer to my question? I am shocked, shocked, I tell you.
 

caseyedwards

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Um, no. Unless you are referring to all the GOP activists on Fox News masquerading as concerned parents.

But again, if you think my link is spreading falsehood, prove it wrong. Show me evidence that what the New Yorker says in that article is a lie.

Critical race theory is not being taught in schools. Some schools might be trying to teach some sort of racial awareness, but that is not the same thing. The 1619 Project isn't critical race theory, either, although some of it is based on the work of critical race theorists.

No reputable historian arguing that slavery was an economic issue that had nothing to do with white supremacy? No answer to my question? I am shocked, shocked, I tell you.
I gave you a historian. You say he is not reputable even though he is from the Sorbonne! You will not accept anything that would support my point ever. So why bother?
 

Prancer

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I gave you a historian. You say he is not reputable even though he is from the Sorbonne! You will not accept anything that would support my point ever. So why bother?
I rejected your encyclopedia entry because it was an encyclopedia entry and I explained why I did so. I also told you that it was not on point, because it wasn't. No one here has ever argued any of the facts raised there; some of us, including me, have said that there were economic issues involved in slavery. What we reject is the argument that slavery was JUST about economics and white supremacy had nothing to do with it.

What I asked you for was a reputable historian who is making the argument that slavery was an economic issue unrelated to white supremacy. You did not do that. Find one and try me; even if I reject it, you will have proven that you at least have some support for your argument. Or just continue throwing out unsupported claims like people are actually going to think you know what you are talking about and prove Reuven's point again.
 

NeilJLeonard

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caseyedwards

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Because so many more parents were in the room or house with their kids during distance learning they go to see all the lessons on “white privilege” and “America is evil” lessons with their kids.
 

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