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Thursday, December 09, 2004

Slavery sucked

179,000 men say you're wrong

School defends slavery booklet
Critic says text is 'window dressing'

By T. KEUNG HUI, Staff Writer

Students at one of the area's largest Christian schools are reading a controversial booklet that critics say whitewashes Southern slavery with its view that slaves lived "a life of plenty, of simple pleasures."

Leaders at Cary Christian School say they are not condoning slavery by using "Southern Slavery, As It Was," a booklet that attempts to provide a biblical justification for slavery and asserts that slaves weren't treated as badly as people think.

Principal Larry Stephenson said the school is only exposing students to different ideas, such as how the South justified slavery. He said the booklet is used because it is hard to find writings that are both sympathetic to the South and explore what the Bible says about slavery.

"You can have two different sides, a Northern perspective and a Southern perspective," he said.


Here are some excerpts from the booklet:

* "To say the least, it is strange that the thing the Bible condemns (slave-trading) brings very little opprobrium upon the North, yet that which the Bible allows (slave-ownership) has brought down all manner of condemnation upon the South." (page 22)

* "As we have already mentioned, the 'peculiar institution' of slavery was not perfect or sinless, but the reality was a far cry from the horrific descriptions given to us in modern histories." (page 22)

* "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." (page 24)

* "There has never been a multi-racial society which has existed with such mutual intimacy and harmony in the history of the world." (page 24)

* "Slave life was to them a life of plenty, of simple pleasures, of food, clothes, and good medical care." (page 25)

* "But many Southern blacks supported the South because of long established bonds of affection and trust that had been forged over generations with their white masters and friends." (page 27)

* "Nearly every slave in the South enjoyed a higher standard of living than the poor whites of the South -- and had a much easier existence." (page 30)

The booklet isn't the only connection its two co-authors have with the school.

One of the authors, Douglas Wilson, a pastor in Moscow, Idaho, wrote a book on classical education upon which the school bases its philosophy. Wilson's Association of Classical and Christian Schools accredited Cary Christian, and he is scheduled to speak at the school's graduation in May.

Some school leaders, including Stephenson, founded Christ Church in Cary, which is affiliated with Wilson's Idaho church.

The booklet's other author, Steve Wilkins, is a member of the board of directors of the Alabama-based League of the South. That is classified as a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights group.

"Doug Wilson and Steve Wilkins have essentially constructed the ruling theology of the neo-Confederate movement," said Mark Potok, editor of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Report.


Lawyer said he thinks few schools use the booklet, which is published by a company owned by Wilson's Idaho church.

But Lawyer said the authors stand by their central belief that the Civil War didn't have to happen and that slavery would have ended on its own.

"The Southern Poverty Law Center is just trying to make money out of this," Lawyer said. "The Southern Poverty Law Center is totally off base to think in any way that the book is neo-Confederate."

But the use of the booklet is leaving some area pastors concerned that it could promote intolerance.

"If there's any attempt to divide us, it's totally un-Christian," said Richard Dial, pastor of Cary Church of God.

Mike Woods, administrator of Wake Christian Academy, said he couldn't see his school using "Southern Slavery, As it Was," especially with younger students.

"It's so easy for some of them to take something they read and assume you're in favor of it," he said.

Now you know this is some motherfucking bullshit. Atrios posted this nonsense, because as an educated man, I guess he couldn't believe there was actually slavery denial.

The most widely known battle fought by African-Americans was the assault on Fort Wagner, South Carolina, by the 54th Massachusetts on July 18, 1863. The 54th volunteered to lead the assault on the strongly-fortified Confederate positions. The soldiers of the 54th scaled the fort's parapet, and were only driven back after brutal hand-to-hand combat.

Although black soldiers proved themselves as reputable soldiers, discrimination in pay and other areas remained widespread. According to the Militia Act of 1862, soldiers of African descent were to receive $10.00 a month, plus a clothing allowance of $3.50. Many regiments struggled for equal pay, some refusing any money until June 15, 1864, when Congress granted equal pay for all black soldiers.

African-American soldiers participated in every major campaign of 1864-1865 except Sherman's invasion of Georgia. The year 1864 was especially eventful for African-American troops. On April 12, 1864, at Fort Pillow, Tennessee, Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest led his 2,500 men against the Union-held fortification, occupied by 292 black and 285 white soldiers. After driving in the Union pickets and giving the garrison an opportunity to surrender, Forrest's men swarmed into the fort with little difficulty and drove the Federals down the river's bluff into a deadly crossfire. Casualties were high and only sixty-two of the U.S. Colored Troops survived the fight. Many accused the Confederates of perpetuating a massacre of black troops, and the controversy continues today. The battle cry for the Negro soldier east of the Mississippi River became "Remember Fort Pillow!"

The Battle of New Market Heights, Virginia (Chaffin's Farm) became one of the most heroic engagements involving African-Americans. On September 29, 1864, the African-American division of the Eighteenth Corps, after being pinned down by Confederate artillery fire for about 30 minutes, charged the earthworks and rushed up the slopes of the heights. During the hour-long engagement the division suffered tremendous casualties. Of the sixteen African-Americans who were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Civil War, fourteen received the honor as a result of their actions at New Market Heights.

In January, 1864, General Patrick Cleburne and several other Confederate officers in the Army of the Tennessee proposed using slaves as soldiers since the Union was using black troops. Cleburne recommended offering slaves their freedom if they fought and survived. Confederate President Jefferson Davis refused to consider Cleburne's proposal and forbade further discussion of the idea. The concept, however, did not die. By the fall of 1864, the South was losing more and more ground, and some believed that only by arming the slaves could defeat be averted. On March 13, the Confederate Congress passed General Order 14, and President Davis signed the order into law. The order was issued March 23, 1865, but only a few African-American companies were raised, and the war ended before they could be used in battle.

In actual numbers, African-American soldiers comprised 10% of the entire Union Army. losses among African-Americans were high, and from all reported casualties, approximately one-third of all African-Americans enrolled in the military lost their lives during the Civil War.

Blacks liked slavery so much that they crossed Union lines under fire.

A life of plenty?

This is their life of plenty

My mother then turned to him and cried, "Oh, master, do not take me from my child!" Without making any reply, he gave her two or three heavy blows on the shoulders with his raw-hide, snatched me from her arms, handed me to my master, and seizing her by one arm, dragged her back towards the place of sale. My master then quickened the pace of his horse; and as we advanced, the cries of my poor parent became more and more indistinct - at length they died away in the distance, and I never again heard the voice of my poor mother. Young as I was, the horrors of that day sank deeply into my heart, and even at this time, though half a century has elapsed, the terrors of the scene return with painful vividness upon my memory. Frightened at the sight of the cruelties inflicted upon my poor mother, I forgot my own sorrows at parting from her and clung to my new master, as an angel and a saviour, when compared with the hardened fiend into whose power she had fallen. She had been a kind and good mother to me; had warmed me in her bosom in the cold nights of winter; and had often divided the scanty pittance of food allowed her by her mistress, between my brothers, and sisters, and me, and gone supperless to bed herself. Whatever victuals she could obtain beyond the coarse food, salt fish and corn bread, allowed to slaves on the Patuxent and Potomac rivers, she carefully, distributed among her children, and treated us with all the tenderness which her own miserable condition would permit. I have no doubt that she was chained and driven to Carolina, and toiled out the residue of a forlorn and famished existence in the rice swamps, or indigo fields of the South

Slaves felt such a close bond to their owners

....he promised to be a mother to her grandchildren, so far as she might be permitted to do so; and strengthened by her love, I returned to my master's. I thought I should be allowed to go to my father's house the next morning; but I was ordered to go for flowers, that my mistress's house might be decorated for an evening party. I spent the day gathering flowers and weaving them into festoons, while the dead body of my father was lying within a mile of me. What cared my owners for that? he was merely a piece of property. Moreover, they thought he had spoiled his children, by teaching them to feel that they were human beings.

This was blasphemous doctrine for a slave to teach; presumptuous in him, and dangerous to the masters.

The next day I followed his remains to a humble grave beside that of my dear mother. There were those who knew my father's worth, and respected his memory.
Little attention was paid to the slaves' meals in Dr. Flint's house. If they could catch a bit of food while it was going, well and good. I gave myself no trouble on that score, for on my various errands I passed my grandmother's house, where there was always something to spare for me. I was frequently threatened with punishment if I stopped there; and my grandmother, to avoid detaining me, often stood at the gate with something for my breakfast or dinner. I was indebted to her for all my comforts, spiritual or temporal.

It was her labor that supplied my scanty wardrobe. I have a vivid recollection of the linsey-woolsey dress given me every winter by Mrs. Flint. How I hated it! It was one of the badges of slavery.

While my grandmother was thus helping to support me from her hard earnings, the three hundred dollars she had lent her mistress were never repaid. When her mistress died, her son-in-law, Dr. Flint, was appointed executor. When grandmother applied to him for payment, he said the estate was insolvent, and the law prohibited payment. It did not, however, prohibit him from retaining the silver candelabra, which had been purchased with that money. I presume they will be handed down in the family, from generation to generation.

My grandmother's mistress had always promised her that, at her death, she should be free; and it was said that in her will she made good the promise. But when the estate was settled, Dr. Flint told the faithful old servant that, under existing circumstances, it was necessary she should be sold

Slaves were so happy that they risked their lives to join the Union Army

Although Alfred had special privileges he had visions of a very different life. As the thundering booms of the Union guns shook Vicksburg, the bells of freedom began to ring more intensely in Alfred's heart. He lost all interest in the affairs of the plantation and began to develop plans for his escape to the Union lines.

The plantation was situated in a remote area, away from the active operations of the Union Army, and accessible to Vicksburg only by boat. It was bounded on the west by the Mississippi River, and on the south by the Yazoo River, with many other streams and bayous in the vicinity. The country was patrolled very intensely by the Confederate Cavalry who watched closely for any slaves trying to escape.

Alfred felt that an escape would be more successful if he traveled alone, but he did not want to escape without his wife, Margaret. He knew that he faced many obstacles, including the ever vigilant Rebel cavalry, and the bloodhounds he knew would quickly be on his tracks. Escape would be difficult. He made detailed plans, and one dark night, mounted one of the plantation horses, with Margaret behind him, and they started on a very dangerous journey.

They abandoned the horse and sought safety in the swamps, until reaching the Mississippi River. They hid for a time, waiting for the best moment to try and board a steamer which would be heading toward the Union lines. Finally an appropriate steamer took them aboard and they landed safely within the Union lines at Vicksburg.

Shortly after arriving in Vicksburg, Alfred secured employment as a body servant to Captain E.D. Osband, who commanded General Grant's escort, Company A, Fourth Illinois Cavalry. In October of 1863, the War Department gave the authorization to organize and recruit ex-slaves into the First Mississippi Cavalry Regiment (African Descent). Alfred's name was one of the first on its rolls and was detailed as an orderly at headquarters. Margaret, who was an outstanding cook, was put in charge of the culinary department. Margaret also tended to the sick and wounded. Nicknames were bestowed on both Alfred and Margaret. He was called Old Alf, and she became Aunt Margaret.

During the early days of the regiment, Alfred became a recruiter and was allowed to come and go at will. He was a keen observer of people, and made sharp and accurate perceptions about the motives of the people he met. While mingling with the people, he was often able to use his instincts to detect spies and traffickers in contraband goods.

On March 11, 1864, the First Mississippi Cavalry (African Descent) was redesignated the Third United States Colored Cavalry. The regiment was organized by former officers of the Fourth Illinois Cavalry. The first commander was Lieutenant Colonel J.B. Cook. The majority of the enlisted men were ex-slaves from Mississippi and Tennessee

Alfred was a superb horseman and became an expert rifleman. His skills were equal to, or better than, the best Union or Confederate scouts. Alfred possessed another skill that was extremely useful, he had a thorough knowledge of the terrain, roads, trails, rivers and plantations. This knowledge was of great value to the regiment in its frequent raids into the interior of the State of Mississippi.

Note to racists: every description of slavery here is from either family or from a primary source. Not a historian's version. Anyone who wants to say slavery wasn't so bad should use google and read slaves own words. They can't do Holocaust demial anymore so slavery denial is next.

posted by Steve @ 8:45:00 PM

8:45:00 PM

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