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No, they’re lying over benefitting from slavery

On Thursday, at a conference for the Black sorority Delta Sigma Theta, Harris condemned the updated education standards as “revisionist history”.

“Just yesterday in the state of Florida, they decided middle school students will be taught that enslaved people benefited from slavery,” the vice-president said. “They insult us in an attempt to gaslight us and we will not stand for it.”

Advocacy groups have denounced the Florida curriculum changes for providing a sanitized version of history.

No, that’s not what the new Florida Black History guidelines actually say. There is not a repetition of the old claim that Blacks, by being now Chrsitians in the US, were better off than unchristians in benighted Africa. Sure, it’s possible to claim at the extreme that some were – being a slave on a cotton plantation (less so a sugar one) might well be a better life outcome than being ceremonially eviscerated outside the court of the King of Dahomey.

But that isn’t the claim made. Rather, from the source:

Examine the various duties and trades performed by slaves (e.g., agricultural
work, painting, carpentry, tailoring, domestic service, blacksmithing,
Benchmark Clarifications:
Clarification 1: Instruction includes how slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be
applied for their personal benefit.

Some slaves with such skills were indeed allowed to sell their labour for their own benefit. As under Roman slave codes of course.

Personally I think they were a bit silly putting this in there because it would so obviosuly be picked up on to try to discredit the entire syllabus. But there we are.

I also think that they would have found something to use to try to discredit that syllabus. Because it actually tries to get slavery right, which is against that current insistence that chattel slavery was uniquely American, a founding institution, or even a defining feature. Slavery lasted longer in the South than in many other places, true. But other than that it was pretty much business as usual. Which the syllabus trie to point out:

6-8 African American History Strand
SS.68.AA.1 Understand the causes, courses and consequences of the slave trade in
the colonies.
Identify Afro-Eurasian trade routes and methods prior to the development of
the Atlantic slave trade.
Benchmark Clarifications:
Clarification 1: Instruction includes how slavery was utilized in Asian, European and African cultures.
Clarification 2: Instruction includes the similarities and differences between serfdom and slavery.
Clarification 3: Instruction includes the use of maps to identify trade routes.
Describe the contact of European explorers with systematic slave trading in
Examine the evolution of the labor force in the use of indentured servitude
Benchmark Clarifications:
Clarification 1: Instruction includes the comparative treatment of indentured servants of European and
African extraction.
Clarification 2: Instruction includes the transition from an indentured to a slave-based economy.
SS.68.AA.1.4 Describe the history and evolution of slave codes.
Benchmark Clarifications:
Clarification 1: Instruction includes judicial and legislative actions concerning slavery.
Analyze slave revolts that happened in early colonial America and how
political leaders reacted (e.g., 1712 revolt in New York City, Stono Rebellion
Examine the service and sacrifice of African patriots during the Revolutionary
Era (e.g., Crispus Attucks, Peter Salem, James Armistead Lafayette, 1st
Rhode Island Regiment).

That’s all pretty good (as is much of the rest of it in fact) but it’s against eh disctates of 1619 and so on. Therefore the whole thing must be attacked on whatever pretext.

Now, myself, I’d insist on telling the story of Anthony Johnson. A slave bought in Angola, freed into a indenture contract on arrival in 1621 (? date is not wholly known) and by late 1630s free, with own land and own indentured labourers. One of whom, a black from Afcia, he sued in order to keep for life. That’s the conversion from indenture to chattel lavery, right there in that case.

So, chattel slavery of blacks (he did not try that one with any white indentured) was invented by, first imposed by, an African ex-slave upon Africans. That is, an African practice imposed by an African upon Africans.

Now wouldn’t telling everybody that – true story – really put the cat amongst the pigeons?

But no. The new Florida history guide does not say that slaves benefitted from slavery. Read it for yourself.

13 thoughts on “No, they’re lying over benefitting from slavery”

  1. “I’m glad my granpappy got on the boat”. M. Ali, on seeing Africa for the first time.

    As i’ve mentioned before, the blacks sent across the Atlantic kept their cock and balls. Those sent to islam didn’t.

  2. “They insult us in an attempt to gaslight us and we will not stand for it.”

    “They”, “We”.

    Kamala Harris is the thicko* daughter of Indian biologist Shyamala Gopalan, and (mixed race) Jamaican Stanford economics professor called Donald J. Harris.

    She isn’t “black” and has nothing in common with African Americans, except for resentment towards whites.

    But note what is happening here: the Vice President of Our Greatest Ally and the Home Of Freedom and Bravery is openly race baiting white people for political advantage, with 100% backing from the US federal government and institutional press.

    But what if Our Greatest Ally turns into Cold Zimbabwe?

    WWWCD? What Would Winston Churchill Do?**


    **de Havilland Mosquito raid on Washington DC and a bottle of Pol Roger

  3. e.g., agricultural
    work, painting, carpentry, tailoring, domestic service, blacksmithing,

    There we have cultural appropriation and racial stereotyping in one.

    Who was this Black Smith guy anyway ?

  4. TL:DR it all. But the bit I did read seemed to cover the matter adequately. I was especially interested in the bits about transportation of convicts and indentured servitude. Being an Aussie.

    The bit about forced child migration sounds especially interesting.

  5. I hadn’t heard the tale of Anthony Johnson; thank you. Mind you, ever since the emergence of Toni Blair I have looked at Anthonys with a sceptical eye. Are Anthonys as suspect as Jeremys? Who can be sure?

  6. Given what slavery was supposed to have done to the US – the very basis without which the current 19 (or whatever) trillion dollar power house would simply not exist – why aren’t those countries in africa which have slaves today not the same, rather than the benighted, primeval, barbarous, murder and rape infested shiteholes they actually are?

  7. ISTR an episode of “Who do you think you are” where a distinctly “right-on” (black) “personality” was utterly horrified to discover that her (about 4 generations back) equally-black Grandfather kept slaves. Oh Tempora O Mores..

  8. What a revolting display of white ignorance, really nasty racism and desperate grasping at proffered straws these comments are. No surprise unfortunately as Worstall cultivates them. And no doubt will censor this.

  9. Must confess. I’ve been enjoying the benefits of slavery for years. Well done those slave traders! Even she agrees. She’d rather be here than in Africa. In the very unlikely event she’d even been born.
    Anyway can’t tarry. I’ve her chains to polish before I give her her daily whipping.

  10. Thank you BiS. I’m glad to hear from someone who’s actually gaining the benefits.

    I’m pleased your lady feels that way too.

  11. She does indeed, Boganboy. She’s heard a lot about Africa from the Nigerian girl’s been doing her hair extensions for years. And that’s compared with growing up in a favela in Brasil.

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