Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Rewriting History - The South Did It! Not Us!

*cough* Okay, this is a 'soap box' issue for me. This post is basically nothing more than a rant.

You've been warned.

*climbs up onto soap box*

"Actually, you are wrong there. I’m not denying that blacks were discriminated in some areas of the south but that is far from the whole country and it was not LEGAL. Also, when slavery was legal it was not legal in the whole country only parts of the south. If you are interested in the history of blacks in this country there is all kinds of information out there. All you have to do is look." - this is a quote from another comment on another blog. The original post is all about Saudi Arabia and why the West is viewed as being so immoral and of course slavery got brought up, along with about a million other things. I'm not bothering to reply to this over there because it's an old comment on an old post and, well, hell. I'm just not going to bother because I know it won't be seen.

*clears throat*


It was *legal* in the entire country. That includes your precious freaking North, okay?

Did it die out earlier in the North than it did in the South? Yeah. By nearly a hundred years. And that means diddly squat, got it? The Northern slave owners were not any more humane or loving toward their slaves than the ones in the South. *Both* treated other human beings as property. This is *wrong*. But that's the way it was historically.

We keep getting it thrown at us by the high and holy Yankees that the South was a slave economy and blah blah blah. So were you! Just because you've collectively rewritten history and made us out to be the bad guys doesn't make it so!

I am *proud* to be a Southerner. I am *proud* of our history. Does it have dark sides to it? Yes. So does every other region or country in the world. That doesn't mean we can't have pride in who we are and our culture! And it doesn't mean that we have to roll over and let you guys make us out to be the villains. We were *all* bad guys. I feel no personal guilt for the history of slavery in any form. *I* never owned slaves. I wouldn't own slaves and I know how cruel and evil a practice it was. But let's be honest here. If we were living back in the time and culture where slavery was a common and accepted practice, how many of us would think nothing of it? A good portion, I wager. Much of our moral compass is determined by the culture and the time that we are raised in.

As for blacks not being discriminated against in the North? I have to ask what the hell you're smoking if you think that's true. Just because it was *illegal* (some of the time, some of the places and it depends on how you define 'discrimination') doesn't mean it didn't happen. Not all discrimination is violent in nature. Look at the history. Not just the broad strokes, but personal stories. Find out how many children were removed from their mothers because they were mixed race babies? When did it stop being illegal to intermarry? Some states didn't repeal those laws until the 1960's. Maryland (which, last time I checked was in the North) didn't repeal theirs until 1967. But yeah. Discrimination against blacks didn't happen in the North. Because it was 'illegal'. Hah. HAH!

I have to agree with the original commenter on one thing though. If you want to know history, there's all kinds of information out there. Look it up. But don't just take one books word for it. Or what your parents told you. Actually do your research. Find the truth. It's not always pretty, or comfortable, but it is what it is.


  1. nicely stated! I enjoyed hearing your talk from the soapbox! :)

  2. Yeah, we definitely get a sterilized and biased view of history as kids in the north. Being a history minor meant I got a lot of uncomfortable eye-opening moments.

    It was easy for the north to outlaw slavery, and more a convenient way to demonize the south and gain support than an actual moral concern. Northern economy was based on different things that just weren't as well served by slavery. The southern states would have suffered much more loss. That doesn't make it ok to treat other people that way, but it explains why the northern states were so much more willing to toss it aside - they didn't have as much to lose. Pretending it was because of some superior moral code or assuming black people were initially treated as equals in the north doesn't have any foundation.

  3. Susanne,

    Every so often you just need to get a good rant in! :D

  4. sanil,

    Exactly! I'm not saying that the history taught in the South is 100% accurate by any means, but at least they don't try to sugar coat this sort of stuff.

    And yeah, that's about the long and short of why it was so much easier for the North to stop having slaves. It was a financial decision, not a moral one.

    And it definitely didn't stop the racism and discrimination.

  5. *hops up on soap box next to you* YEAH! Thank you, Amber! We all know the winners of wars write the textbooks. Thanks for setting the record straight!


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