The 1850s Response to the Racism of 2017 – The Atlantic

Oh my goodness! This article from The Atlantic has really got my little motor going today! Not only is it quoting from the first issues of The Atlantic (it started as an abolitionist magazine, you know), it is affirming my oft repeated phrase, I’m good, so everything I do is good. I use that phrase to describe the lack of self-awareness by Christians and others of the evil they spread and support: limiting access to birth control options for women and, especially, teenagers; limiting access to safe and legal abortion services; condemning LGBTQ+ folks to a life in the shadowy closets and bathrooms of their “gender” not of their identity; and other acts of barbarous cruelty all done with a complete obliviousness and righteous smugness that can only originate from a conceit of moral high ground.

Of course, Southern slavers began to justify slavery using evangelical Christian dogma and contending that it was the “goodness” of the slaver that made the institution of slavery “good.” Only evil men could perpetrate evil, after all, and they were good god-fearing Christians, so they did good things. Talk about circular masturbatory auto-fellatio.

With the hew and cry over the destruction of monuments honoring the traitorous slave owning history of the Old South, what’s next? Tearing down monuments to the slave owning Founding Fathers or re-instituting the peculiar institution?

The Atlantic has put together a very worthwhile, entertaining, and interesting look at how abolitionists argued against slavery in the mid-nineteenth century. Unfortunately, we haven’t really progressed beyond the argument that we had then.

How the writers of The Atlantic responded to defenses of slavery in the 19th century

How the writers of The Atlantic responded to defenses of slavery in the 19th century

Alexis C. Madrigal Aug 16, 2017

Last night, Tucker Carlson took on the subject of slavery on his Fox News show. Slavery is evil, he noted. However, slavery permeated the ancient world, he said, as reflected in the on-screen graphics.

From the original article,

Screengrab of Tucker Carlson’s Tuesday-night show

On Twitter, recent University of Toronto English Ph.D. graduate Anthony Oliveira noted, “Here’s Tucker Carlson right now on Fox making the *exact* pro-slavery case (bad but status-quo and well-precedented) made 160 years ago.”

It sounds like a particular variety of Twitter gallows humor, not meant to be taken quite seriously. But it is not a joke.

This precise series of ostensible mitigating factors around the institution of American slavery were, in fact, advanced by pro-slavery forces through the 19th century. And it got me wondering: Given that The Atlantic was founded as an abolitionist magazine before the Civil War, might there be an article or two that might address Carlson’s warmed-over proto-Confederate arguments?

And indeed, there are.

Continue reading at The Atlantic: The 1850s Response to the Racism of 2017 – The Atlantic

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3 replies »

  1. I think NK have just realised that if they wait a little longer the president himself will do the job for him of destroying America
    Like most world leaders (if it wasnt so serious) he must have had a good belly laugh. How pathetic & embarassing this president is.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Howdy Louise!

      The Ol’ Pussy Grabber is very pathetic and everyone is laughing at him. No one respects him. And, isn’t it interesting that with the Charlottesville mishegas taking up so much attention, Kim Jong Un has backed off from his threats against Guam? Hunh. Kinda like it has always gone if you’ve got a leader who has the self-esteem and impulse control to manage such situations.



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