How Some Minds Work

Could someone please explain the following statement (made in the comments section elsewhere)?

The anti-slavery cause, hypocrisy of white supremacy bias, is rarely confronted by any support for discussing the moral, sociopolitical and economic factors which slavery had inherently secured, because objective analysis is confronted by a wall of self-righteous ignorance and zealotry to wash the sin of it from human hands and the United States.

I’m finding the logic here a bit difficult to follow.

20 thoughts on “How Some Minds Work

    • Brooks D. Simpson June 13, 2013 / 11:54 pm

      As I said, it came from the comments section elsewhere on this blog.

      • Donald R. Shaffer June 14, 2013 / 12:15 am

        Ah. Maybe I’ve been grading for too long. Good night. 😦

      • Michael C. Lucas June 14, 2013 / 4:32 am

        What amazes me is the repetition of how you have cherry picked it and taken it out of its context, let alone your lack of comprehension of it. Post this!

        • Brooks D. Simpson June 14, 2013 / 8:00 am

          Oh, I think readers comprehend your message just fine. Your complaint simply reminds us why you need to start a blog of your own, so that you may spread your wisdom and awareness unfettered. Good luck with that, and we’ll see you in the blogosphere.

  1. wgdavis June 13, 2013 / 11:41 pm

    Logic? “Anti-slavery cause” is the same as “hypocrisy of white supremacy bias”? Sorry, it really doesn’t proceed from there.

  2. M.D. Blough June 14, 2013 / 12:20 am

    Possibly it means that since, in the person’s mind, the fact that quite a few abolitionists were not absolutely 100 % free of any racial prejudice somehow totally discredits the abolition movement and prevents us from looking at the “good” points of slavery. What this person will never see that, while the institution certain had many benefits for whites, the price of those benefits in the suffering of the enslaved was ultimately unsustainable in a nation that had its birth in enlightenment and unalienable rights. That didn’t require absolute equality in everything but that there were basic rights that all human beings had BECAUSE they were human beings and that no one had the right to take it away from them.

  3. Buck Buchanan June 14, 2013 / 7:29 am

    Proving once again that the gene pool needs more chlorine.

  4. Al Mackey June 14, 2013 / 8:16 am

    I read it as the individual is claiming that antislavery folks don’t consider all the wonderful things slavery did–whatever they were. Sounds like a defense of slavery to me.

  5. theravenspoke June 14, 2013 / 7:38 pm

    That comment reads like whoever wrote it read the second amendment too many times.

  6. Connie Chastain June 14, 2013 / 8:38 pm

    I’ll take a stab at it.

    Historically, the anti-slavery cause was biased by white supremacy, but anti-slavery white supremacists were hypocritical about it (they either didn’t acknowledge their white supremacy, or, more likely, considered theirs “good” or superior**, and Southern white supremacy bad).

    Regardless of whether the consideration was to maintain slavery, expand it, or end it, an objective discussion needed to include moral, sociopolitical and economic factors, and the abolitionists’ stance precluded talking about these factors objectively because their approach was largely emotion-based.

    I believe the anti-slavery “self-righteous ignorance and zealotry” that prevented objective discussion of these factors can be seen in the abolitionist effort (or at least desire) for slaves to rise up and kill white Southerners and in Julia Ward Howe’s abolitionist description of blacks in A Trip to Cuba.**

    The anti-slavery stance, of course, did not include maintaining or expansion. Abolitionists wanted slavery to end. However, they didn’t prefer that it be done in a positive manner. Their emotion-based view of it actually preferred ending it by violence that included the ruination of the culture where slavery had been seated, because it was a culture built on “bad” white supremacy.

    Some people see slavery as an inherent part of human nature, just as war is. People have a hard time being penitent and facing the truth of their own fallacies, let alone sins. The difference is that the South’s slavery “sins” are the only thing its critics ever say about it; and the north never has to deal with its sins, because it is held up as totally righteous.

    Even today, the desire to wash the sin of slavery from the United States and its people still prevents objective discussions of slavery, particularly the moral, sociopolitical and economic factors. Basically, attempts to discuss such things are met with highly emotional name-calling (“Racist!” “Slavery apologist!” etc.)

    **The negro of the North is the ideal negro; it is the negro refined by white culture, elevated by white blood, instructed even by white iniquity … the negro among negroes is … chiefly ambitious to be of no use to any in the world. View him as you will, his stock in trade is small; — he has but the tangible of instincts of all creatures, — love of life, of ease and of offspring. For all else, he must go to school to the white race, and his discipline must be long and laborious. Nassau, and all that we saw of it,
    suggested to us the unwelcome question whether compulsory labor be not better than none….” –Julia Ward Howe, A Trip to Cuba, 1861 (What kind of slavery abolitionist finds benefit in “compulsory labor”? This whole excerpt is an example of the hypocrisy referred to in the statement in question.)

    • Brooks D. Simpson June 14, 2013 / 8:45 pm

      Let me simply observe that for someone who complains about folks taking the views of a single individual and claiming that they are representative of the whole group, you sure seem fond of repeatedly recycling Howe’s quote and claiming that it was representative of the perspectives of all abolitionists.

  7. Connie Chastain June 15, 2013 / 6:00 am

    Well, she’s the one who indicates she is speaking for others as well as herself. In the three opening sentences of the paragraph I quoted, she used “we” four times, “our” once and “us” once, and she uses “us” once in the last sentence. Though she doesn’t use the word “abolitionist” in identifying the “we” and “us” in this paragraph, her description certainly sounds like that’s who she’s writing about — “Now we who write, and they for whom we write, are all orthodox upon this mighty question. We have all made our confession of faith in private and public; we all, on suitable occasions, walk up and apply the match to the keg of gunpowder which is to blow up the Union, but which, somehow, at the critical moment, fails to ignite.” And I note that she uses “all” in that description — three times.

    • Brooks D. Simpson June 15, 2013 / 4:29 pm

      I guess that is the best you can do. Yet you would assail the same logic if applied to one of the so-called defenders of Confederate heritage that you claim is not representative. Why, you’ve just whined:

      This is the oft-used tactic of focusing on a negative segment and palming it off as the whole.

      Try doing some actual reading on the abolitionists sometime instead of selecting a quote that reflects your own prejudices and preferences and then claiming it is a representative comment.

      Weak, Connie, very weak … but typical.

      • Ken Noe June 17, 2013 / 7:01 am

        In their new book, John Stauffer and Benjamin Soskis maintain that Howe at best had “an ambivalent relationship with the abolition movement.” While her estranged husband certainly supported the cause as one of the Secret Six, Julia couldn’t overcome the racial views she learned from her mother’s South Carolina family. No surprise then that Garrison printed a direct “rebuke” to her Cuba essays in the Liberator (5/6/59). They never represented a movement that she criticized as “incendiary and vulgar” in the pages of the Atlantic. (79-81).

  8. Michael Confoy June 15, 2013 / 9:23 pm

    It was so good to be a slave, I bet if Connie had been around back then that she would have been the first to prove Lincoln wrong and volunteer to become a slave. Actually, we need a lot of work done at the home, so if she wants to volunteer to do it for free, we will give her a room and let her grow her food in our backyard and guarantee that the master will respect her femaleness.

    • cc2001 June 16, 2013 / 8:30 am

      No, Michael–she cannot volunteer to serve you. You will have to go down there and grab her. Since it may be a long journey back home, you are welcome to stop at my place and chain her in my backyard garden shed/slave pen overnight while you enjoy the hospitality of our charming town. Don’t worry, my chihuahua Pokey will bark really loud if she tries to get out.

      Of course in 150 years her descendants may claim that what you did was immoral. But I’m sure there will be enough people to point out that many Southern heritage types were considered of no use to any in the world, whose stock in trade was small, and who needed laborious discipline, at least the academic kind.

        • cc2001 June 16, 2013 / 1:56 pm

          Not good, but if he keeps the shackles tight it shouldn’t be a problem.

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