Every Monday, the WoW! community and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week’s question:Was Kanye West Correct In Saying 400 years of Slavery Sounds Like a Choice?
Rob Miller: For once, I and the always scintillating Mr. Surber disagree!
I actually dealt with this issue here and anyone who questions the following statements is welcome to read the article itself.
First of all, slavery in America was primarily white slavery until the mid to late 1700’s for reasons I clearly explain. Importing slaves to America from Africa was prohibited and essentially over in 1804. And black slaves in America were freed at the end of the civil war in 1865, so that makes the period of black slavery at most 100 years or less, not ‘400 years.’
Second, !865 to 2018 works out to 153 years, but blacks were not subject to slavery during those years. And I utterly reject the stance that bigotry or even segregation constitutes ‘slavery.’ Most ethnic groups have gone through similar challenges and overcome them, just as many blacks have.
Physical slavery is obviously not a choice. But embracing a slave mentality, where the mind embraces certain concepts that keep people dependent and unfree certainly is a choice. That’s exactly what Kanye West was talking about. He wasn’t wrong.
Laura Rambeau Lee: After his initial Tweet Kanye West clarified his comments, saying he knows “slaves did not get shackled and put on a boat by free will.” His greater point is why are blacks still talking about slavery in America today? And why do so many blame their problems on the suffering of their ancestors? Sadly we know they have been manipulated by progressives and Marxists, mostly in the Democrat Party, to feel victimized over this American “shame”. Our public education system does not permit slavery to be taught in a proper context; in American history or in the global history of humankind. Many of our ancestors have been slaves, or serfs, or indentured servants, whether Black, White or Asian; Christian, Jewish or Muslim. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if they understood that the intention of the Founding Fathers was to end slavery in America within a generation of winning its independence from England? Wouldn’t it be eye opening to realize that America is the only country in human history that engaged in a Civil War for the purpose of ending slavery? And wouldn’t it be enlightening if African Americans saw the Democrat Party for what it is; the party of the Ku Klux Klan and Woodrow Wilson’s segregation laws in 1914; the party of Lyndon B. Johnson whose Great Society created so much of the misery we see in black communities today; and the party that fought every civil rights act our country passed.
If West’s words caused one fan to open their eyes and really try to understand the history of slavery in America, how it began and encompassed all races of slave and slave owners, then good for him. It is going to take African Americans to reach other African Americans. Today we are seeing many more speak out and challenge the narrative of those who seek to keep African Americans from knowing the truth and giving them a chance to reach their full potential as free individuals. So many people on the left, in government and in the media, are calling him derogatory names and saying he is mentally ill. These personal attacks are straight out of the progressive playbook and should be called out as such. Although I am not a fan of Kanye West, this conversation will hopefully continue and for that he deserves our support.
Well, there it is!
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