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Blatchford: America didn’t invent slavery, despite what college students may think | COMMENTARY

Most well-adjusted citizens seem to have accepted the near reality that — wait for it — the election’s over. Not all, but most of us. And yet we can still pick up a publication and read a piece beginning “I’m always amused when conservatives ... .” We’re quickly reminded that for some, political prodding never ceases. What’s a person to do?

I want to briefly address such comments (and similar actions) before moving onto the main topic. We’ve seen people in debates laugh (or smile) conspicuously at their opponent’s comments. The intention is usually to convey a reaction of disbelief about a presumed ridiculous statement and to display an assumed position of superiority — an attempt to demean the speaker. Often, the laughter and smiling are also used to cover for a lack of a logical response.

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Without belaboring the issue, let it be said that those who write words such as “I’m always amused when conservatives…” are doing exactly the same thing — attempting to assume a superior position, demean another, or cover for the lack of a logical response. I generally find it difficult to give credence to those who employ such actions or language. OK, on to more important stuff.

I recently read yet another attempt to discredit the Electoral College. (Again, the election’s essentially over.) The writer used a disquieting phrase when he wrote that the college “is casually linked to our nation’s original sin, slavery…” No attempt will be made here to address misconceptions about the Electoral College. Been there, done that. My concern is about the reference to slavery being “our nation’s original sin.”

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As evidence that such statements are misleading as well as ill-advised, it has been shown that an alarming number of college students today believe that slavery was an American invention. That fact alone makes such statements from those who should know better deplorable. (See? It’s not only conservatives who attract such adjectives.)

A 2019 issue of Forbes magazine noted that a professor “published the results of 11 years of … quizzing … students at the start of each year. ... By far the most shocking result to emerge from his years of polling is this: Students overwhelmingly believe that slavery ‘was an American problem … and they are very fuzzy about the history of slavery prior to the Colonial era. Their entire education about slavery was confined to America.’”

The following excerpts from the Forbes article by Tom Lindsay, “After All, Didn’t America Invent Slavery?’ from Aug. 30, 2019 are intended to enlighten the misinformed and the ill-informed:

“… It was nearly 9,000 years ago that slavery first appeared, in Mesopotamia (6800 B.C.). Enemies captured in war were commonly kept by the conquering country as slaves. And in the 1700s B.C. the Egyptian pharaohs enslaved Israelites, as is discussed in Exodus Chapter 21. Later, the pagan Greeks participated in slavery, for ancient Sparta as well as Athens relied fully on the slave labor of captives. But Greek slavery paled in comparison to that in ancient Rome.”

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“By the 8th century A.D., African slaves were being sold to Arab households…”

“By the year 1000 A.D., slavery had become common in England’s rural, agricultural economy.”

For those more influenced by cinematic offerings, I call your attention to Charlton Heston’s efforts in the movies “Ben Hur” and “The Ten Commandments.” In both, Heston portrayed a slave — a rower on a Roman galley and as a laborer building pyramids.

Slavery is “our nation’s original sin?” Come on, man! Don’t lead the young astray.

Slavery existed thousands of years before this country was a glimmer in anyone’s eye. American Indians held slaves. That’s a fact. The English, Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese and others introduced slaves to this country — not Americans.

This effort is not a defense of slavery. Quite the contrary. The goal is to attempt to eliminate the possibility of guilt for it being foisted upon today’s young people. Don’t forget that Americans fought a great war against it and abolished the practice in this country.

Lastly, if bleeding heart leftists are so concerned about slavery, let them attack the various forms of slavery that exist in our world today. If they’re ignorant of such, I refer them to www.freetheslaves.net. There’s real work to be done today for those genuinely concerned and not just blowin’ smoke.

If you do nothing else, read the Forbes article. Google “Didn’t America invent slavery?” The Forbes piece is first up. For real insight, check www.freetheslaves.net.

Decide for yourselves. Don’t be led down the path.

Rick Blatchford writes from Mount Airy. Contact him at rpblatch4d@comcast.net.

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