Slavery Really Wasn’t So Bad, According to the Tea Party

Scars of a whipped slave (April 2, 1863, Baton...

There should be a global outcry against the Tea Party for this one.

Apparently they want to change American school textbooks to make slavery look like it really wan’t that big a deal in our history. A Huffington Post article quotes a spokesperson:

According to reports, Hal Rounds, the Fayette County attorney and spokesman for the group, said during a recent news conference that there has been “an awful lot of made-up criticism about, for instance, the founders intruding on the Indians or having slaves or being hypocrites in one way or another.

Hmmm…”made-up criticism.” Let’s think about that. Did our founders “intrude on the Indians?” Intrude might not be the right word. How about “come crashing in, in a genocidal sort of way?”

And our Founding Fathers DID own slaves. That isn’t “made up,” and that needs to be a part of the conversation. Hal went on to say:

The thing we need to focus on about the founders is that, given the social structure of their time, they were revolutionaries who brought liberty into a world where it hadn’t existed, to everybody — not all equally instantly — and it was their progress that we need to look at,” Rounds said, according to The Commercial Appeal.

Yes, they were revolutionaries, and they did bring a new form of governance into the Western world (there is evidence that the US Constitution was significantly influenced by the structure of the Iroquois Confederacy, which existed long before the fledgeling United States). They did bring liberty into the world for some, but let’s keep in mind that abolition movements had been happening in various part of the world for millenia, so it was not a new idea that slavery was wrong. The idea was there, so they could have fast-tracked it a bit more if their own slaves weren’t helping them to stay rich.

To look at History without the “ugly parts” destroys the opportunity to learn from History. The world constantly struggles with threats to human rights. The complex web of issues that both nurtured slavery in the States and led to its downfall can give us insight into modern-day struggles for human rights.

Read more about the issue of slavery in textbooks in Texas.

Mark D. Jordahl

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About Mark D. Jordahl

Mark Jordahl is a writer, trip leader and naturalist who has lived much of the last 7 years in Uganda and currently calls Colorado home.
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One Response to Slavery Really Wasn’t So Bad, According to the Tea Party

  1. Pingback: Tennessee Tea Party Would Take Blacks Out of the History Books! « GoodOleWoody's Blog and Website

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