There are forces in America that try to soften or rewrite the horrific history of slavery by gently calling African slaves "immigrants" or "enslaved workers."

Though to talk about slavery, Jim Crow laws and the lingering residue of those periods (1619-1969) is at times uncomfortable and embarrassing to talk about for Americans, we must not forget it or weaken its historical impact.

I ask this question. If a white girl was kidnapped and sold from America and taken to China to work as a sex slave and maid, would we then call her an immigrant to China?

Words matter, but at times it seems that it only matters for a select group of people. African slaves were forced to come to America to provide free labor to work the new vast lands and help to fulfill the dream of Manifest Destiny. Slavery is not and will never be a "gift" to the black man as some proclaim.

Slaves were not on the shores of Africa begging to be sold to go to America to be with their families there. And yet slavery possesses stories of fortitude and endurance despite the horrors of its reality which is American.

Kimberley Yancy

La Marque

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(46) comments

Randy Chapman

A pointless, rambling statement.

Kimberley Jones Yancy

But a great teachable moment.

MissionaryMan
Walter Manuel

"How will old wounds ever heal when some continue to pull the scab off"?

Very well stated Mr. Briggs. It seems that there are still those individuals who prefer to keep the horrific memories of slavery alive in the minds of others just to keep feeding their own personal agendas?

Perhaps Mrs.Yancy's position of being an advocate for such discussion has something to do with her current involvement with the local NAACP? Who knows?

Rather than trying to promote healing and the unification of ALL races in America, not just the African American community, this article to me served no other purpose than to continue blaming others for what even the African American community hundreds of years ago did to their own people/family members.

There's plenty of blame to go around, trust me.

China and other countries are no different, slavery is still slavery no matter what the color of one's skin may be.

I suppose this is exactly how a writer keeps their own camp of supporters fired up when obviously their promoting their own agendas? [whistling]

Claudia Burnam

The slaves brought to America were more than likely already slaves in Africa. The kings there had slaves mostly from wars with neighboring kingdoms. They then sold those slaves to others. So get off your high horse. It wasn't only whites who had slaves. And yes, there are still plenty of slaves in the world today.

E G Wiley

Kimberley Jones Yancy

Ms. Burnum, slavery in Africa was very much different than in America. Slaves in Africa could marry within the family they were enslaved to, win their freedom after certain years of labor and in some tribes even participate in the tribal votes and customs. In America, slaves never could vote, attend schools, serve on a jury, obtain legal marriages, and basic human rights were denied for over 200 years.

Claudia Burnam

This is E G Wiley, Claudia's brother. My point was that blacks sold blacks into slavery. As far as know there was no slavery in Europe or American at the time.

Kimberley Jones Yancy

Mr. Wiley, the Portuguese were the first to introduce the Trans Atlantic African Slave Trade .

Doyle Beard

people in olden days as the Bible says had slaves then.

Carlos Ponce

"Life in America wasn't always easy. It wasn't always easy for new immigrants. Certainly, it wasn't easy for those of African heritage who had not come here voluntarily and yet in their own way were immigrants themselves. There was discrimination and hardship and poverty. But, like you, they no doubt found inspiration in all those who had come before them. And they were able to muster faith that, here in America, they might build a better life and give their children something more."
President Barack Obama December 15, 2015
http://www.usatoday.com/videos/news/usanow/2017/03/08/obama-also-called-slaves-%27immigrants%27/98892908/

Kimberley Jones Yancy

Thanks Carlos and notice the context and content of how President Obama explains it, " had not come voluntarily and yet in their own way..." And even with this speech he too received some criticism and push back from the African-American leaders and organizations. It is still quite difficult to talk about an issue whose negative psychological residue still lingers. Slavery demanded that you do what you had to do so survive and thrive. So therefore the America dream was embraced in order to LIVE within the bondage of chains and still HOPE that those chains would one day fall off. For scholars and history teachers this is always an awesome discussion of "immigrants" that we share concerning the slave trade and the push and pull theory of migration. Slaves were not "enslaved workers"- workers get paid. Many do not know but Texas History books for schools were delayed a few years back due to this debate over slavery and others topics that were being rewritten to soften or even change aspects of history. So believe me when I say its a much bigger debate than people think. Ben Carson's speech just brought the use of the word immigrant to a national audience. A great exercise in learning.

Carlos Ponce

So is President Obama trying to "rewrite the horrific history of slavery by gently calling African slaves 'immigrants' or 'enslaved workers' "?
You post "And even with this speech he too received some criticism and push back from the African-American leaders and organizations." What about you? If you are going to judge Ben Carson you must judge Barack Obama in the same manner. Or do you judge Republican Blacks with a different standard?

Kimberley Jones Yancy

Any one is fair game when interpreting history especially if it changes its historical impact. Hence, why context is crucial when talking about certain things such as the African Slave Trade in America. As an intellectual, I am more interested in fact checking and discussion; its good for the soul.

Steve Fouga

I'm curious why anytime someone posts an opinion decrying slavery, a gaggle of responses immediately appears, apparently supporting that institution, or at least hinting at support.

Folks, the only proper response to an article denouncing slavery, or denouncing those misrepresenting it, is AGREEMENT.

By arguing the point at all, you appear to support slavery. Randy, Carlos and E.G., is your main point that you support slavery? That you agree with Secretary Carson's words likening slaves to immigrants? Because it's hard to take your comments any other way.

Claudia Burnam

What an asinine statement!!!!!!!!!

Steve Fouga

Which one, E.G.? I made several. I'd be happy to stand by all of them in a debate, but sadly I'll be away from my computer for a few days, and no doubt in that time you will have spewed out some toothless defense of your pro-slavery stance...

Just kidding. I know you're not pro-slavery. Just wondering why you're so anxious to come across like you are.

It's amazing to me how you guys will defend even the nutty things this administration does.

Claudia Burnam

E G Wiley

Randy Chapman

No, I don't support slavery. No, slaves weren't immigrants.

The way to take MY comment is that this issue is a non-starter. Slavery ended long ago, not in 1969 as the writer suggests. It serves no purpose in today's society to keep bringing up slavery, other than to incite those who believe that somehow it affects their daily lives.

Should slavery be forgotten? He^^ no! We have remembrances for it. But at the same time, we don't need to be reminded on a daily basis what long dead ancestors did to each other. We as a species are better than that.

Steve Fouga

Excellent point. I believe she was responding to a speech by Secretary Carson. He shouldn't have reminded us. Like you say, counterproductive.

Carlos Ponce

" Randy, Carlos and E.G., is your main point that you support slavery? "
Where did you come up with THAT conclusion, Steve??????????????
NO, I am NOT in support of slavery. It is an evil that is unfortunately a part of history.
I have re-read my posts on this forum. NO WHERE can you deduce that.

Steve Fouga

Carlos, of course I know none of you supports slavery, so that's not really my conclusion. My point is that whenever the topic comes up, folks seem to get defensive about it, when the most obvious response is simply, "Agreed." Or my favorite, which is crickets.

But no, instead it's either "Ridiculous," or "Well your guy (or girl) did it too." Then it becomes a you-protest-too-much moment, which should be beneath you. My opinion. Peace, I don't really believe you support slavery, Carlos. I should have said "Hey, everyone, HERE COMES A RHETORICAL QUESTION..."

George Croix

Mr. Fouga, I speak for no one but myself, and for myself I say that 'defensive' is a wrong conclusion....too big a blanket to throw.....imho.
I don't have a dam_ thing to be in defense of on this subject, as neither I nor anyone I know has ever enslaved anybody, or encouraged anyone to do so. I was born in 1951, not 1851....
I, personally, am simply tired of slavery in this country of yore being used as anything...anything...other than a footnote in history and an object lesson in how not to treat one's fellow man.
In 2016, the present, that does not require regular trips back to pre-1865.
It does not even require trips back to the half century old days of pre-CRA.
Being tired of hearing about a long, long dead obscenity does not mean the tired person doesn't care that ot hapopened....in my case it simply means I'm glad it no longer...no longer....is...
The only 'slavery' in this country these days is mental.....a problem itself for sure....
Example: How does one reconcile faulting Carson saying the SAME thing as Obama...not a whit of actual difference in content or context...but giving a pass to the latter, unless it's all mental/ideological...?
Answer?
Can't.....

Carlos Ponce

Steve, but many will read your statement and take it as fact that we support slavery when we do not. Please don't put fodder out there for those who take it literally.

Steve Fouga

George and Carlos, first, I hope this ends up in the proper spot in this thread...

Hey, I hear you about being tired of this topic. A few years ago I probably would have had the same response, at least the tired-of-it part. But for some reason I've softened my stance on people relitigating the past when a deep injustice is involved, and especially if I see a lesson isn't entirely learned -- I don't mean by you, I mean by us. America.

As for Obama saying essentially the same thing, I'll openly admit I didn't know he had said it until I read this thread. My impression is that the context was different, but whether it is or isn't I think the weakest argument a person can make is "But but but... He did it too!"

Carlos Ponce

Steve posts: "My impression is that the context was different, but whether it is or isn't I think the weakest argument a person can make is 'But but but... He did it too!' "
From this post - you still don't get it. the context IS the same, the intent is the same, the meaning is the same. And my posts don't exactly say say "But but but... He did it too!". I am posting to show the hypocrisy of the Left. Obama said it - it must be okay. Carson said it, it must be wrong.The reason you don't remember Obama saying it is because the Leftist Media glossed it over a non event. But when Dr. Carson said it, we hear about it ad nauseam.

Steve Fouga

Actually, there is another way to take your comments: You will agree with anything a Republican office holder says, no matter how absurd.

And don't point out that Democrats have said things just as absurd. We need to hold whomever is in office NOW accountable for their statements and actions. Obama and both Clintons are old news. Invoking their missteps just muddies the discussion of what's happening now.

Carlos Ponce

The point I was trying to make is similar: Some will agree to anything a Democrat office holder says, no matter how absurd. Kimberly did not post anything in 2015 when President Obama said almost the same thing Dr. Carson said. That's very revealing.

Jim Forsythe

Slavery is never OK, but to say  "They then sold those slaves to others" to justify slavery , is just wrong.

"So get off your high horse. It wasn't only whites who had whites who had slaves " Were did Kimberley say anything  about whites only?

"The slaves brought to America were more than likely already slaves in Africa" No, not true, at least in the forms  slavery was .practiced  in America
Slavery in historical Africa was practiced in many different forms and some of these do not clearly fit the definitions of slavery elsewhere in the world. Debt slavery, enslavement of war captives, military slavery, and criminal slavery were all practiced in various parts of Africa 

Slavery and servitude are not the same.
Like most other regions of the world, slavery and forced labor existed in many kingdoms and societies of Africa for thousands of years. Precise evidence on slavery or the political and economic institutions of slavery before contact with the Arab or Atlantic slave trade is not available. Early European reports of slavery throughout Africa in the 1600s are unreliable because they often conflated various forms of servitude as equal to chattel slavery.The complex relationships and evidence from oral histories often incorrectly describe many forms of servitude or social status as slavery, even when the practices do not follow conceptualizations of slavery in other regions around the world    
 The best evidence of slave practices in Africa come from the major kingdoms, particularly along the coast, and there is little evidence of widespread slavery practices in stateless societies Slave trading was mostly secondary to other trade relationships; however, there is evidence of a trans-Saharan slave trade route from Roman times which persisted in the area after the fall of the Roman empire. However, kinship structures and rights provided to slaves (except those captured in war) appears to have limited the scope of slave trading before the start of the Arab slave trade and the Atlantic slave trade


George Croix

This is 2016, not 1865.

Anyone who wants to can try to pretend that Carson's words were somehow different from Obama's December 2015 words......
Good luck with that.....

Kimberley Jones Yancy

Hearty discussion! I love you guys and my country! The amazing blessing is that I can say that now even after the slaughtering of Black slaves for over 200 years. My generation is the first generation in the South who never experienced the legal separation of the races or overt dirty Jim Crow laws. I thank God we are able to discuss and share. Its a beautiful thing.

Willis Briggs

How will old wounds ever heal when some continue to pull the scab off?[sad]

Jim Forsythe

You right , lets not talk about anything from the past that might cause  someone pain,  as removing a scab does.
We can start with 9/11 ,as that changed the USA, and we should not reopen that time in our history.
The Vietnam War caused a lot of changed the USA, but this not talk about it, from this day forward as it may bring up bad thing from the past.  The internment of Japanese Americans in the United States was the forced relocation and incarceration during World War II , this pretend it did not happen, so the next generation will not have to know about it.The Trail of Tears was a series of forced relocations of Native American nations in the United States following the Indian Removal Act of 1830. Be quite about this and other events from  our pass, and it will just go away  

George Croix

Mr. Fouga, the 'argument' is about the two-faces, not the words.
One face for a person less liked, another for a person adored, when there's not 1 penny's difference between what either of the two said. Not a cent.
If pointing out an attempt at selective indignation by way of comparison strikes you as weak, then kindly tell us how you'd ever manage a 'strong' comparison, when only using one side's statement.
How does one compare a single item to itself with any effective result.....
Answer..
Can't....
Slavery in America was gone before a single living soul was born, and there is no good reason to use it as an excuse for contemporary problems......

Steve Fouga

George, my point was not really about Carson, Obama, or the words themselves. My point was that arguing about slavery on an Internet forum makes the respondent look somewhat bigoted, whether they are or not. And it made me wonder why someone would do it.

To your question above, of course the answer is you can't. But I'd say it's seldom productive to argue about hypocrisy to begin with. I could call out someone on this forum for hypocrisy every day, and I'm sure I'm guilty of it too.

Carlos Ponce

"My point was that arguing about slavery on an Internet forum makes the respondent look somewhat bigoted, whether they are or not."
Some are too quick to call someone a "bigot" without any evidence.I suspect the motives of the accuser, not the accused.

Paula Flinn

I believe that the point of the article was that slaves were neither "immigrants" or "enslaved workers." I agree with that. Ben Carson was wrong for calling them either "immigrants" or "enslaved workers." They were "slaves," and they suffered. Period. Good letter, Kimberley Yancy.

George Croix

The point was to condemn Carson.
No such condemnation for the same thing said by someone else.
Reckon why...?

Paula Flinn

"...who in their own way, were immigrants themselves." President Obama. He was criticized for calling them immigrants. I think "condemn" is too strong a word, for Secty. Carson or for Pres. Obama.

George Croix

I do, too, PF, so what's good for the goose...etc.....

Carlos Ponce

Funny, Paula, I searched Newspaperarchives.com for evidence of "He was criticized for calling them immigrants" for the time period in question and a month after and found nothing. Zero, Zip, Nada. In fact, no mention of it at all in the newspapers. Can you reference a newspaper or source that verifies your claim?

Doyle Beard

A true liberal always looking for one or two words to pile on. I bet liberals have never used the wrong words. If this is all one can find wrong then the complaint is weak.

Paula Flinn

Hey, Doyle! Would it hurt you to be kind for once? Your side won! You should not sweat the small stuff! LOL

Steve Fouga

Okay, I finally get it. Some, like Carlos and George, are posting to show the hypocrisy of the left. Show it to whom? Most people on this forum already believe in it; most of the "left" disagree it exists, and those of us in the center see it on both sides. So good luck accomplishing anything.

When all is said and done, it was dumb of Secretary Carson to compare slaves to immigrants. If you're calling President Obama dumb for doing the same thing, fine. I don't care, because he's not our current HUD Secretary. I'm more interested in, and concerned about CURRENT issues.

Carlos Ponce

You answered your own question. Show it to the "left" who disagree it exists. Just trying to show them a perspective that differs from their own.The Leftist media reinforces their belief that everyone thinks as they do. How sad.[sad]

Steve Fouga

Carlos, the Rightist media does the same, as I'm sure you know. And I agree it's sad, but, you know, paying customers...

George Croix

And what, Mr. Fouga, did you accomplish, besides giving your opinion about comments made as a result of an an issue raised by the author of the article?
Which just so happens to be the same thing I did.
I'm all over like white on rice interest in current events/situations/etc and living in the present, absolutely, you betcha, but in my simple mind it's often necessary to reference or compare the contemporary to the past, for some balance and perspective...or, perhaps, to determine if Joe getting hammered today by Bob is valid, not valid, ideological, all of the above. That way I can decide if Bob, or maybe Joe, is full of it, or maybe needs to use two mirrors at a time.....
Personally, it doesn't matter to me whether anyone else does that or not.

Only way I know I don't like asparagus is I tried it before.....
I see no reason to ignore that past learning experience if ever served it again....[wink]
Works the same when contemporary events are driven by or similar to past events...

Steve Fouga

Fair point about accomplishing anything, George, I was thinking along the same lines as I typed my last post!

Of course the past is a useful reference, being the only one we have. I just wish that discussions of national-level topics could focus more on the topics themselves, rather than something Obama or Clinton did. We will almost always be able to find a case where a prior Democrat did something just as wrong as a current Republican, but that doesn't mean it's always still relevant. In this particular case it IS relevant, but I still believe the best response to an article about slavery is either crickets or agreement.

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