T Nation

Slavery Good?


I read the Abe Lincoln thread and didn't give a shit, but it reminded me of Out of America by Keith Richburg. Since that thread was already too long, I started a new one.
Was slavery good for blacks today? Should they be celebrating their ancestors and their ancestors owners instead blaming whites for everything and talking about that African pride stuff.
Richburg contended that blacks in America, even the poor ones, are much better off than most blacks in Africa.Africa is a horrid place and American blacks should be thankful they don't live there. He says he is thankful to have been descended from slaves and not the wonderfully backward and ignorant people who stayed in Africa.
I think his arguements work well to support that blacks today should be thankful for slavery. Without it, a lot of them would be in shit city, not chocolate city. I bet not one person here would rather be in Africa right now than America. Also, since the white slave owners were so beneficial to todays blacks, I think there shouldn't be any more whining about being held back, withholding oportunity, being kept down and all that. Much less reparations. I know that I will catch shit for this, so flame on and discuss.


oh boy. I'll let othes flame you, I just want to point out a logical fallacy.

False Dilemma. You are saying that if we hadn't taken Africans as slaves, they would still be stuck there living in poverty, and thus taking them even in slavery was better than leaving them. Unfortunetely this isn't the only option that could have been taken.

Say, for example, that we had actually applied the concept that - every man has the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness - correctly, then things would have turned out differently. We may still have shipped some Africans here, but not as slaves. It would have been more like immigration. Considering the poverty they were living in they would have been happy to work for less. Similar to the Mexican immigrants now (I think).

Basically, if slavery wasn't an option, it doesn't necessarily mean that all the Africans would have been stuck there.


The 'end' justifies the means?

In the short snapshot of history since the introduction of slavery till now, it is certainly possible that there are financial benefits for the ancestors of the victims of slavery.
This doesn't mean that slavery was good or justifiable.

'Backward' and 'ignorant' are often terms used by those who can themselves be perceived as being culturally backward and ignorant by the targets of their judgement.
Cultures are different; the merits of 'progress', 'development' and 'knowledge' is subjective.


Another idea for discussion in this thread; would Africa be in the situation it is now without the substantial meddling of foreign powers - if we erased African slavery from history what would Africa look like today?


Let me see if I understand the topic of discussion are we questioning if it was more beneficial for Africans to be bought to America and exploited or left at home and later exploited and raped of is natural resource and wealth by colonization and left in shambles without any viable institutions after the colonial powers left or apartheid? Also was this mentioned but ever heard of Jim Crowe, after the Civil War (reconstruction period) when the slaves were emancipated that their lives were now worth less than slave property and people were lynched and killed cartes blanches that is with Unrestricted power to act at one's own discretion; unconditional authority. Really I am just asking, trying not to be too selective with the history of exploitation. I know you are not from Mississippi that?s for sure. Personally the discussion should be was slavery better than reconstruction period YES without a Doubt.


There isn't much to discuss. If you are honestly this backwards as far as understanding history, the repercussions of it, or the actions of more powerful countries in regards to Africa, trying to force logic and reasoning into your head would be a wasted effort. I have better things to do today.

If anyone with a better grasp of reality makes a point worthy of a response, I'll chime in then. Pretzel logic? No shit.




I agree with vyapada and Professor X in terms of the history of Africa. How can anyone claim to know what condition most of the nations on that continent would be today if it had not been for colonization by France, Belgium, the Netherlands, England, et. al?

But on the more troubling note, I was thinking the same thing in terms of the end justifying the means. To make some kind of argument that slavery ended up having any kind of financial benefit to the ancestors of those slaves is ridiculous.

For example. You are walking down the street today, minding your own business and are suddenly abducted by a bunch of thugs who drag you back to a warehouse and sodomize you for days on end while filming it for the Internet. You escape (eventually) and end up filing umpteen million lawsuits and collect a chunk of cash that sets up your family for life.

Now, should your family somehow feel grateful for all of this? That the thugs did them some kind of service because without all of that money they never would have been in this super financial position they now "enjoy"?

It's like trying to put a price on human dignity - there is none.

Tube Steak Boogie



Slavery took blacks away from their families. It took them away from their homes. It took them away from their religion and their culture and their racial identity. It subjected them to cruelty and injustice that most people today simply cannot comprehend.

All of this was wrong. All of this was bad. All of this should not have happened. Ever. Those who did it should have been ashamed. Since they were not, we must be ashamed for them, if only because we sort of look like them.

It is not our responsibility to apologise for what was done, because we had nothing to do with it. It is not necessary to discard everything ever said or done by a slave owner as worthless, because that's just stupid. But we must never leave any doubt that we understand what was done, and that it was wrong, and that it should not have been done.

Suggesting that blacks are better off because of it creates such a doubt. How can you possibly understand what it is to buy a human being as property and treat him like a piece of farm equipment, if you suggest that he should be grateful for this violation of his basic human rights simply because he is now "better off"?

Says who?

I've been to Africa. It is a life-altering experience. There is nothing like it. You are never the same once you have been there. I believe I am a better man simply for having set foot on African soil and looked out across those plains to a sky that cannot be seen anywhere else on this planet. It was like a part of me had been sleeping, and only there could it awaken. Photographs do not do it justice, any more than they do the aurora borealis. There is magic in Africa, a magic deeper and more affecting than I can communicate. And I believe anyone who doesn't know that magic is the worse for it.

So when you suggest that blacks are better off because they live in cities instead of tribes, because they work in corporate offices instead of fields, and because they watch television instead of singing and dancing around a fire... I suggest that you don't know what the hell you're talking about.

These trappings, this crude dross, it isn't what matters. The slavers tore these people away from something beautiful and magical, and now we try to placate their descendants with this crap? That's just foul. It's like offering to trade dog shit for someone's children.

Better off? Bullshit. Pure, unadulterated bullshit. And the single most hideous abomination of the bunch: we have poisoned their hearts and minds so thoroughly, they don't know it's bullshit. They only know they're half-dead inside, and it's some white asshole's fault.


Yea...sure slavery is a wonderful thing...I wish I were enslaved right now so that generations from now my great great great grandchildren could thank me....YIKES!


When I say 'financial benefit' I'd like to clarify that I mean owning more dollars. More dollars does not not mean a more favourable situation.


Tube Steak Cumbia. Boogie doesn't even begin.

Oh wait, the cumbia was invented by slaves in Latin America. So they must be better off because of the great dance they invented in slavery...

Please don't procreate.


Someone has been pissing in the gene pool again...


I'm not trying to argue whether Africa would be better today if it hadn't been "colonized". You can't change history, so who cares if they would have been better off without European influence or immigrants versus slaves. I hear a lot of bitching by blacks about slavery when they don't know any more about it than I do.

They didn't even have to go through segregation, much less slavery. Then they use slavery to justify the idea of reparations. I just think they should look at it in another way. They are blessed to be here and given opportunities because of slavery.

I admit, I have never been to Africa, but when it comes to the whole of Africa, I haven't seen any evidence that it is a great place today. I liked when Jamie Foxx was talking about going to Africa to film Ali. I wish I could get the transcript to quote, but for him, going back to the ?motherland? was a real eye-opener, and not necessarily in a good way.


Wow, where do I begin?

First, slaves were brought to this country for their specific agricultural knowledge, not just menial unskilled labor. You can thank the ancestors of today's blacks for America's rice, cotton, sweet potato and other crops and the economic boon those slaves and crops help jumpstart in this great nation of ours.

Second, African cultures are far from "backward" and "ignorant". I would recommend you take some sociology and African culture courses at your university or local community college.

Unfortunately many truly ignorant individuals like yourself measure the "progress" of other cultures based on the paradigms of their own - in the case of the overall American culture, that would be technology. With an open mind, you'll discover that the paradigms of other cultures are far different and don't hold technological advancements in high regard. As an example, you'll find that some social aspects of many African cultures are far more advanced than our own.


Have you ever heard the expression "Down South trees grow Strange Fruit", The expression comes from people being hanged and killed to the degree that it was referred if like fruit from trees, How can you be so ignorant that you think it was good times after slavery ended clear on up through the forties black African Americans were killed, property taken with out regard, often the law was involve.

Now do you believe these people and there Children are dead? Do you think desegregation was because African Americans just wanted to hang out with fellow White Americans, No! They felt if by forcing White America to deal get to know and relate to them as people it would not be so easy not to regard them as people less than animals thus making it so easy to kill or let others who did so without conscience to get away with it! And for the most part that worked I say again you can't be from the Deep South

Jim Crowe, after the Civil War (reconstruction period) personally the discussion should be was slavery better than reconstruction period, slavery YES without a Doubt.


Good reply (sympathetic to my own, if I may say so), but I feel that our efforts are to nil effect - Professor X was right, logic and reasoning are a wasted effort on some.

Or we're experiencing trolling.


Thanks Vyapada. I see you noticed my piggyback on your post. It's pretty unfortunate that there are so many people in the world that actually think like this guy.


You are right I can't believe He acually got Me to respond twice!


Dude, in another thread you said that blacks are too dumb to be admitted into college on their own merit. And now you're offering up this piece of crap?

What decade are you living in?

I'm actually surprised you didn't drop the "n" word in this thread, given your self-professed love of racial slurs.