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Response to coldmountain (Original post)

Sat Sep 7, 2013, 06:52 PM

7. Well, the question might not have bene asked, but we all know the answer

 

And in fact it dates way way back to a little after the end of the civil war.

"Reconciliation."

Though it wasn't any official, penned policy, there was a definite effort by the United States to mend the wounds between North and South, by basically letting the south's crimes and villains slip by under cover of the north's good graces. Slavery was romanticized, reconstruction demonized, and northern historians aided in this restructuring of reality. Omitted fro mthe discourse, of course were the former slaves themselves - their history, their experiences, their knowledge were simply deemed irrelevant to the "greater narrative." and were pointedly omitted, except for the very few occasions where a black voice spoke up to justify whites' treatments of blacks.

In school, we all learn that there was slavery. But we never really learn what that means, because to expose the truth would be to offend the sensibilities of the states that participated in the practice - and since one of them, Texas, is such a huge book-buyer that it actually gets to mandate what is and is not included in the history textbooks of the nation, well!

I went to school in Alabama. Know what the great crime of slavery was? That the slaves were unpaid. Oh, there was mention of whippings, but it was a throwaway passage, "some owners would whip or otherwise punish hteir slaves for not working hard enough" - yup, not just a throwaway line, but one that blamed the victims for the abuse they received! No mention was made of hte other humiliations, tortures, and indignities were inflicted upon the slaves. One book had a diagram of a slave ship that showed how men and women were stacked together in the cargo... but never really tells what that meant. These books certainly never traced the slave trade back to Africa to explain why the successful and powerful kingdoms of that continent were a smoking ruin by the time Europe decided they wanted new territory for rubber, cocoa and sugar plantations.

Thankfully while the books I had avoided the "they sold their own people into slavery!" canard, they did make an effort of pointing out that owners provided food, clothing, and shelter to their slaves - so it wasn't all bad! nevermind that all the food, clothing, and shelter was produced by the slaves, seized by the masters, and with only scraps thrown back!

It's not that a movie on slavery would be touching a raw wound - if that stopped movies, we'd never have so many films that talk about the Holocaust. it's that a movie on slavery would upset the efforts of "reconciliation," would upset the applecart of de-eviling slavery, would be somehow un-ironically labeled "racist incitement" by editorialists in southern newspapers, and would fly in the face of over a century of "common core" history texts which have had a mighty struggle to portray slavery as "just life on the farm, but with a boss!"

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coldmountain Sep 2013 OP
DavidDvorkin Sep 2013 #1
Le Taz Hot Sep 2013 #24
DavidDvorkin Sep 2013 #25
monmouth3 Sep 2013 #2
LostOne4Ever Sep 2013 #3
muriel_volestrangler Sep 2013 #4
silverweb Sep 2013 #5
riverwalker Sep 2013 #6
swilton Sep 2013 #9
LineReply Well, the question might not have bene asked, but we all know the answer
Scootaloo Sep 2013 #7
tblue37 Sep 2013 #8
Chiennoir54 Sep 2013 #10
Sheldon Cooper Sep 2013 #11
Ecumenist Sep 2013 #27
xfundy Sep 2013 #28
freshwest Sep 2013 #12
coldmountain Sep 2013 #13
freshwest Sep 2013 #14
Uncle Joe Sep 2013 #16
coldmountain Sep 2013 #19
Uncle Joe Sep 2013 #21
coldmountain Sep 2013 #22
Uncle Joe Sep 2013 #23
Jefferson23 Sep 2013 #26
cordelia Sep 2013 #29
reformist2 Sep 2013 #15
JustABozoOnThisBus Sep 2013 #17
Uncle Joe Sep 2013 #18
Matariki Sep 2013 #20
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