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What this discussion can be...

#145: Apr. - June 2016 (Non-Fiction)
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LevV

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Re: What this discussion can be...

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Taylor wrote:
LanDroid wrote:perhaps a better way of stating it is the original Constitution required slavery to be permitted
LanDroid wrote: it unequivocally COULD NOT be banned!
LanDroid wrote:Chapter 3 titled "The Silence" in Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation by Joseph Ellis.
I'm just finishing reading the Ellis book, In it Ellis makes the case for LanDroid's points quite clearly and based on this reading I am prepared to think that Landroid (Ellis) are right.

Slavery was written into the Constitution.

The Supremacy clause of article six still leaves me with some doubt, but in the case of slavery it appears to have been toothless.
I found this short YouTube clip to show very succinctly why there may be confusion over slavery and the Constitution. We are informed that the word slavery does not even appear anywhere in the document, slaves were simply refered to as three-fifths of a person.
Ellis here explains why the Constitution may have been deliberately vague on the subject of slavery, "The Constitution was an artfully, ambiguous document that was specifically designed to permit the Northern delegates to go back to their constituents claiming that slavery was going to be ending and the Southern delegates to go back to their constituents claiming that slavery was now safe and protected".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNnXj5NSR64
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LanDroid

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We've had a very good discussion on slavery and the Constitution, let's hope it continues with the rest of this book...
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DWill

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Re: What this discussion can be...

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DWill wrote:
LanDroid wrote:It's tough to be objective about slavery. The tendency is to reject any nuance in favor of blanket moral condemnation. That is the 'right" attitude, but it may get in the way of objectivity.
I don't get it, what is the "objective" stance on slavery? Are you with brother bob, who justified it all by claiming if parents were prevented from selling their children into slavery they would starve to death?
Did I say "justified" anywhere? No, I simply meant that, as our great national sin, it is difficult to bring to the subject anything but a sense of outrage, which is not usually promising for doing history. It's not about having a "stance" on slavery, but following the facts wherever they may lead.
Taylor wrote:The problem is that no matter how enlightened or benevolent the owner, there was still the crack of the whip.
If the owner was benevolent, presumably he wouldn't be cracking the whip at all.
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Taylor

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DWill wrote:If the owner was benevolent, presumably he wouldn't be cracking the whip at all.
Agreed.

There is a contradiction in thinking or equating that the ownership of people and the altruism of benevolence are compatible . Stampp in "the Peculiar Institution" repeatedly makes the same point. The presumption was on the part of the owners, not with us in the here and now.
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I'd like to reread that book by Stampp. Well, there are a lot of books I say that about, but...

I believe slavery is one historical practice of the U.S that pretty much everyone today labels as an unmitigated evil. That's fine and all, but it might be good to appreciate just how cost-free and easy that attitude is for us. We think, "Surely these people could have and should have done something about this horror, I certainly would have"--forgetting that there could have been no "I" in those times. There are evils that insinuate themselves into contemporary lives that we aren't as good at recognizing, much less doing anything about. Our descendants may have harsh judgments on our blindness and selfishness.
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That's fine and all, but it might be good to appreciate just how cost-free and easy that attitude is for us.
Yes. Also consider any white person expressing dismay at slavery in the deep south probably would have been killed.
Our descendants may have harsh judgments on our blindness and selfishness.
Talking to young folks, it seems clear our attitudes towards race and homosex will receive the very harsh judgement of history. Consider the treatment of Alan Turing, one of the main heroes of WWII.

What else? Probably the U.S. drone program - bombing hospitals and wedding parties hoping to kill at least one suspect terrorist. This may take quite a while, it's still too soon to view Hiroshima and Nagasaki as acts of terror.
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