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Forbidden History: The distraction of racism and the great American lie

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posted on Sep, 14 2010 @ 08:49 PM
Amazing and brilliantly written. When I took it upon myself to further my education (in my own manner, not to be spoon fed) I realized these truths as well.

Thank you for such a well written article!

posted on Sep, 14 2010 @ 08:51 PM
Very well put together Airspoon! S & F for the truth you tell. Even if your historical info is garbage, which it's not, the overall point is to bring us together as citizens of a nation....not a race.

I commend you and thanks for taking this step to portray truth, instead of convenient lies.

posted on Sep, 14 2010 @ 08:55 PM
reply to post by Blood Royal

First of all, you should use quote tags when quoting me or at the very least annotate that you are quoting me. Thanks.

Are you kidding me? So you are telling me that it was the blacks who owned the majority of the slaves?

You are kidding yourself, apparently. You do know what "per capita" means, don't you?

Per capita is a term adapted from Latin phrase pro capite meaning "per (each) head" with pro meaning "per" or "for each", and capite (caput ablative) meaning "head." Both words together equate to the phrase "for each head."

If you don't what it means(as it appears you don't), then I suggest you look it up, as the term is used often and can gove you very innaccurate results. Maybe, you just misread it so I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. I actually came up with this number through my own university research (along with several of my colleagues) and it was originally extracted through Census Bureau records. Your more than welcome to either sift through those records yourself or use "google", as others have come to just about that same number (+/- .2% "point two percent"). In fact, I don't think that number is really debated in academia.

Your suggestion that 10% of Americans owned slaves is way off base. That's a lot of people and I would even venture to say that not that many people owned property where keeping slaves would have benefitted them. Certainly, 10% of Americans couldn't even afford slaves, especially in the South. Most people had a hard enough time just feeding their own families. For the most part, slave ownership was an elitist venture (with a very few exceptions).

It sounds like you're not sure what leads me to think you haven't clearly did your research.

No, I'm quite sure. While 1.4 percent of the population doesn't seem like a lot, it still equates to a lot of people, given the population of America at the time. You also have to remember that the Northern states were far more populated than the Southern states and slave ownership was abolished in all of the Northern states by 1804 (the last of which).


edit on 14-9-2010 by airspoon because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 14 2010 @ 08:57 PM
I may quibble but overall it is an excellent post with a lot of insight. The post folowing yours said that slavery was a interal to the war. You are both right of course. For the South states rights revolved around the issue of slavery. For the north it was a minor issue. As you rightly pointed out Lincoln's concern was the preservation of the union. Slavery was a non issue overall.

reply to post by airspoon

posted on Sep, 14 2010 @ 09:02 PM
Lincoln and the Republicans brilliantly used the issue of slavery expansion in the Western territories to split the Democratic Party, and the split became official in 1860: it split almost 50-50, and many Northern Democrats ended up joining the Republican Party because they could not support the expansion of slavery to Kansas and other states.

Probably 40% of the Republicans were actually former Democrats, and Lincoln even had some of these in his Cabinet. Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles was a former Democrat, as was Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton. The latter was famous for wanting to fight a very hard war against the South and not let them up easily afterwards, as Lincoln wanted. When Andrew Johnson tried to fire him after the war, Stanton barricaded himself in his office, protected by troops sent by Gen. Grant and refused to leave. Then the Republicans in Congress impeached Johnson.

But it is true that Lincoln said many times that he did not want to abolish slavery where it already existed and even offered the South a constitutional amendment in 1861 that would have protected it. The offer was not accepted. He only came around to emancipation very gradually, and only at the very end of the war endorsed voting rights for "some" freed slaves. In fact, when he made that remark in a speech, John Wilkes Booth got extremely agitated and said "that's the last speech he'll ever give"--and so it was.

edit on 14-9-2010 by witness63 because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 15 2010 @ 01:26 AM
reply to post by airspoon

Sorry but your bit on slavery is a bit too twisted in my humble opinion. No one would willingly sign a document to be whipped to death while living in terrible conditions, under terrible rules and so on. Those marks that you say were signatures in contracts written in English (something that most fresh slaves couldn't read) was nothing more than something done after some coercion or leaving them in prison. Just so their "owners" wouldn't become outlaws.

And saying that very few white people had slaves is correct, but that's only because most white people didn't had the money to afford having slaves. So having slaves was a thing of rich people, owners of vast lands and profitable businesses.

Slavery trading was a huge and largely profitable business at that time and most of them (slaves) weren't criminals or outcasts of their original African villages/tribes as you say. They were captured after having their villages burned and part of their tribes murdered and the rest captured. Their back story was then created to make the whole operation more justifiable in the eyes of others.

Most of them were in fact fathers, ordinary people living ordinary lives on their own by the standards of their own culture in peace and not murderers, rapists and outcasts.

Many died in the boats during the journey from Africa to the Americas and were simply thrown into the waters. The documents with the logs of how many slaves was in each ship were constantly being re-written to suit the numbers of the alive ones so the ones in charge could keep their position and keep making money out of the ones who were the fleet owners (usually someone directly or indirectly related to some crown) or simply keep operating in such trade route.

It's a way too deep subject to be summarized in such a simplistic and positive view in so few lines.

If you want to learn about how slavery and slave trading really worked stop looking only at the American take on the subject and inform yourself a little better on the English, French, Spanish and Portuguese and all the atrocities involved. Those were the real owners of these trade routes and the answers are there not on how few Americans felt about slavery trading after the cargo had arrived with all the necessary documents filled and most often forged.

posted on Sep, 15 2010 @ 02:09 AM
It is true that indentured servants signed contracts in the 17th and 18th Centuries, usually for 4-5 years, and they were treated like semi-slaves. At the beginning, some blacks signed contracts of servtiude as well, which were for a limited time, but by the late-17th century slavery for blacks was for life, inherited through the mother. Most indentured servants were young, unmarried white men from Europe who could not pay for their passage across the Atantic so signed these contracts of indenture, which could be purchased as soon as they arrived. Many of them did not survive their first year, though. In Virginia and Maryland in the 17th Century, about 80% died in the first year of malaria and other diseases. A servant who was "seasoned" after surviving at least a year was far more valuable.

Since the great majority of slaves in the US by the 19th Century were BORN in to that condition rather than imported from Africa, there was no need to go through the pretense of signing contracts. Their condition as slaves from birth was defined by the state legislatures by statutes and had nothing to do with the law of contracts. In fact, slaves were not even allowed to sign contracts of any kind since they had no citizenship rights. If their owners wanted to hire or rent them out, they signed the agreements, not the slaves.

For the most part, slaves imported from Africa were just sold at auction, not contracted. Brazil, Cuba and the other islands imported far more of these than the US, since the slave population there was already reporducing itself by the 19th Century.

edit on 15-9-2010 by witness63 because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 15 2010 @ 02:10 AM
reply to post by thomas_

First of all, not all slaves were whipped or lived in horrible conditions, as were prevalent in Africa. What you hear on the popular media and grade-school textbooks is hogwash for the most part or over-exaggerated instances that have been blown out of proportion for political interests and related to the issue as a whole. For the most part, things like that didn't happen.

Think about it... Do ranchers beat their animals today? No of course not. Does it happen at all? Sure, but it's the exception as opposed to the rule. On high priced animals such as horses, they are treated very nice and still not the accommodations we would want or expect, though it isn't the horrible picture painted for us in the popular media. With that said, of course their were your sadistic clowns who did not know how to effectively manage workers. Most slaves were simply unpaid workers who worked for room and board instead of currency and as 2nd class citizens.

To give you a mindset of the average person's outlook on Africans during the early 19th century, they saw them as godless savages who couldn't care for themselves if left to their own devices. Slavery was actually seen as a favor to them, as in America and under the care of whites, they had food, shelter and sanitary conditions, all things that were lacking in their home country (for the most part). It's in this mindset that slavery was ignorantly accepted by the common man. It's also important to not that rarely would a slave owner manage the slaves and instead someone would be hired to take this role, especially on bigger plantations and this makes the mindset of the "average joe" more than relevant.

So, they were still seen as god's children, just incapable of caring for themselves. In fact, slavery was always foolishly justified by this notion.

Contrary to popular belief, most slaves weren't locked down and thrown into a cage when they weren't working. On the larger plantations, their would be whole "towns" of slaves who lived in shacks - without locks on the doors - and maintained their families within these homes, where they would forge friendships with not only whites, but other slaves too. For the most part, it was like having workers who worked for room and board only. This train of being was the rule.

If you had large groups of physically fit men and treated them bad, then rebellion would be the name of the game, as happened on a couple of occasions. Those rebellions were the hallmark of mistreated slaves and were rare, relatively speaking.

In fact, after the EP of 1962, Northern armies would march through the South notifying slaves of their new freedom and most slaves who could stay, did stay. Generally speaking, they only did leave their "masters", when the US Army either killed the owners or burned their property, thus disallowing the owner the proper means to feed and house the slaves. Furthermore, after the war when slavery was abolished in the Southern States, many slaves continued to work for their former masters. Also, many slaves actually fought in the armies of the CSA, with evidence to suggest that the numbers were in the thousands.

If the grisly picture that is painted for us today were true, none of the above would be true. There comes a time when you have to make reparations with yourself and come to the fork in the road. "Do I continue to buy the history that was written and provided for me, or do I seek the truth, as it actually happened?"

Here is the truth that pretty much all objective scholars agree on, for the most part, slaves were unpaid laborers, not prisoners who lived in deplorable conditions as the popular media and special interests would like us to believe.

As far as the "contract issue", I don't know what to tell you, other than to suggest that you do your own research and know when to pick out biases in bringing you that information. Most sources that aren't biased in a way that affects the data, is correspondence between people of the day. For the most part, these people had no political agenda mixed in with their letters, journals, diaries and chronicles. Also take a look at the surrounding circumstances to get a good picture of the variables contained within. They usually don't lie and are a dead give-away to the truth.

Another thing to consider, is that many of the slaves who were born in Africa, were actually sold into slavery in lue of death or dismemberment of a crime. So, in effect, slavery saved their lives. Whether they were captured by Africans for alleged criminal activity or whether they were captured as a result of warring tribes, hardly ever Africans just kidnapped outside or inside of their villages for no apparent reason.

It's also important to note the amount of people who were given the opportunity to volunteer was small in proportion to the number of slaves, as many slaves were born right here in the US and if you were born to a slave, you in fact were a slave.

In Africa, times were tough. Lack of food and adequate shelter as well as turmoil with warring tribes. Many Africans were dying of starvation so a contract to come to the promised land and work without pay for 10 - 20 years didn't sound like such a bad thing. This and the fact that Africa didn't even have a currency past trading jewelry or something of the sort. Working for pay just wasn't something they were used to anyway.

There were a good number of "free blacks" here in America and that was due to a couple of reasons. One being a slave who finished his/her contract. The other reason being a released slave. Slaves were freed for number of reasons, either because they were bought for that purpose, or as a reward for hard work. Another reason is if they showed responsibility (and conversion to Christianity), keeping in step with the mindset of the average joe at the time.

All in all, the chances that a slave was treated bad, are very slim. If you were a slave back then, you were most likely a laborer who worked for room and board and as a 2nd class citizen of course. Given the social climate of the time, it would be much better than the same situation today, as there weren't too many leisure activities back then and even non-slave whites (yes, whites were slaves too back then) didn't have leisure time to go on vacation or a nightclub.

You have to throw out the notion that slaves were constantly beat and kept shackled in their cages until it was time to get beat again, only to plow the fields before going back in their cages. This is inherently false and exaggerated for political motives. Hence the thread.


edit on 15-9-2010 by airspoon because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 15 2010 @ 04:19 AM
reply to post by airspoon

Airspoon, while I won't deny the research you've made here, the first sentence in your conclusion is troubling...

"The truth is, white people didn't oppress black people, the elites did."

The issue for me is that statements like that completely resolve what you would call 'non elites' I guess of any responsibility, and this seems to be a recurring theme on ATS regardless of the issue being discussed.

If repression/oppression = racism - which I think it must in this context, regardless of the colour of the oppressor and oppressee, either that conclusion sentence is absurd or there are an awful lot of 'elites' walking the streets - and posting on ATS (not implying you in there). As thoughts, opinions, prejudices pass through from previous generations in so many instances, I don't think you can separate what happened three centuries ago from last century and indeed this one.

As a rule Airspoon I always enjoy your posts, but not so sure about this one. Certainly provoking thought on here though

posted on Sep, 15 2010 @ 04:51 AM
A fantastic Opening Post. Clear, balanced, logical and informative.

It is time for people to WAKE UP. Resist being conditioned any further by this DIVIDE and CONQUER issue.

I doubt North America is the only place the Elite were able to successfully utilise this tactic...

edit on 15/9/2010 by Dark Ghost because: reworded

posted on Sep, 15 2010 @ 04:58 AM
Airspoon, while I have enjoyed the thought you have put into your thread, upon seeing the progression of thought which you display, I can only say your conclusions are either delusional or absurd and naive.

Slaves are slaves...even in the best of conditions, slavery is apalling. All men are created equal, and to somehow undercut the cruelty and evil of slavery in its slightest fashion is disturbing. The elites were primarily white or they English, French, Spanish, Irish, Scott, or German...they were primarily white.

In the 1850s a free black man got into an argument with the magistrate of court in Guilford County, NC. He crowned the obnoxious magistrate on the head with his cane...upon which he was rightfully arrested. However, he was sentenced to 500 lashes with a whip or a public hanging...his choice. He chose the hanging. So muc for proper and polite treatment of peoples of color.

If you would like more examples, I'll give them..but this will suffice.

How abaout the "underground rail road?" If you have an escape route that runs as deliberately as this did, you've got to have people wanting to use your arguments, Why would anyone want to escape the pleasant mild mannered work farms of dear old Dixie? They did it because they were abused and over worked and owned as property. A situation that men inherently defile. And use it in mass numbers they did...I even know of a house near me that stands today that has secret compartments in the house and barn used as part of that "underground railroad." Actually walked it.

You suggest we find the truth, Dear Sir..I suggest you read the actual acounts, diaries, and news paper articles written before the "victors wrote the history"...all prior to 1860. The picture I see and read is one of increasing intolerance and disdain for the black man, an increasing indifference to slavery, and the iggnorant notion that "that's just the way it is."

331,000 slaves in NC my entire county I live in, there are only 30,000 people. In NC, there are 100 counties..more than in 1860...and it still avges out to 3,310 slaves per county.

In closing, I still find the initial thought of your thread striking, but looking nows rings of the hollow argument that revisionist use when discussing slavery, Japanese Internment, and the Holocaust.

posted on Sep, 15 2010 @ 05:04 AM
reply to post by something wicked

Let us imagine for a moment that "people with Blue skin" [Blue People] were alleged to have done what White people are charged with. Would you then be so eager to say "look at what Blue people did to all those Black people"? I doubt it. Millions of people around the world have been BRAINWASHED to believe that using Guilt by Association is FINE when White People are the subjects. Do it to any other race and you are a bigot, stereotypical and RACIST!

edit on 15/9/2010 by Dark Ghost because: grammar

posted on Sep, 15 2010 @ 05:10 AM

Originally posted by Dark Ghost
reply to post by something wicked

Let us imagine for a moment that "people with Blue skin" [Blue People] were alleged to have done what White people are charged with. Would you then be so eager to say "look at what Blue people did to all those Black people"? I doubt it. Millions of people around the world have been BRAINWASHED to believe that using Guilt by Association is FINE when White People are the subjects. Do it to any other race and you are a bigot, stereotypical and RACIST!

edit on 15/9/2010 by Dark Ghost because: grammar

Dark ghost, please read my response again. I specifically said "regardless of the colour of the oppressor or the oppressee" for this reason.

Thanks in advance.

posted on Sep, 15 2010 @ 06:05 AM
reply to post by something wicked

I reread your post and still feel you have a strong desire to maintain that "White People", as opposed to "Those In Power", were responsible for these injustices. It seems your reply only confirms what the OP has been arguing.

edit on 15/9/2010 by Dark Ghost because: spelling

posted on Sep, 15 2010 @ 06:40 AM

Originally posted by Dark Ghost
reply to post by something wicked

I reread your post and still feel you have a strong desire to maintain that "White People", as opposed to "Those In Power", were responsible for these injustices. It seems your reply only confirms what the OP has been arguing.

edit on 15/9/2010 by Dark Ghost because: spelling

That is of course your prerogotive if you wish to second guess the words I clearly laid out. I personally prefer to take responsibility for my own actions and thoughts first before assuming I've been brainwashed, but that's just me.

Oh and by the way, if blue skinned people had treated people of another colour in a similar manner I would say so - however..... although it may be right to make reference to the difference in colour between the two parties, that does not mean the issue is systematic of all the people of that colour.

And yes, if you mean by 'Those in power' you are referring to some mystical elite, then I won't say that because I don't believe it. If you mean (staying within topic of this thread) those with the money and the ability to capture and enslave people then that may be people 'with power', and yes, they happened by and large to be white in the timeframe airspoon is referring to.

I know you may be referring to other forms of racism/bigotry and that's fine, it's a discussion worth having, but that doesn't alter the fact I believe the sentence I referred to in the first place is no more than a cop out.

posted on Sep, 15 2010 @ 06:41 AM
Racism is something that literally does my head in, and is in part due to the lack of knowledge and understanding of history of 99% of the population, so here's my 2 pennies...

Firstly, I don't understand why people today jump up and down and moan about slavery in the 18th and 19th Centuries.

No matter what colour the slaves, or their owners, this was something that happened to someone else, long since dead, that none of us knew, and the perpetrators, irrespective of their colour, are someone that none of us know since they too are long since dead.

So people "demanding" an apology from for example the British Government as happened a couple of years ago, are people who have had nothing done to them personally, demanding an apology from people who have nothing to do with the people who controlled slavery.

It's like someone today demanding an apology from bakers for causing the fire of London - it's ridiculous.

Secondly, and much more importantly, is the MYTH that whites abused blacks.

The truth is that 99.9% of white people were poor. They didn't have slaves. They were sent to work in dangerous jobs in mills, down mines, in foundries with no protective clothing, health and safety or anything else, FROM FIVE YEARS OLD!

If they couldn't work they were thrown out to starve.

This was done to them by the same people who did have slaves, otherwise known as THE RICH.

Yes, the truth is that there was no "white vs black" and never has been, it's just as it's always been - the rich taking advantage of the poor.

It didn't matter to them (as it doesn't today) if you're black, white, or purple, you're a commodity there to make them even richer, and once you can't earn them money any more they just dispose of you.

The truth is that in England slavery was abolished in 1833, but these philanthropists didn't see fit to stop children (mainly white children remember) going to work in factories and workshops until 1867 - and then it was only stopping children under 8 years old being employed.

A description of a child labourer in Victorian England:

‘Chained, belted, harnessed like dogs…black, saturated with wet, and more than half-naked, crawling upon their hands and knees, and dragging their heavy loads behind them’

Why don't I hear anyone moaning about them?

posted on Sep, 15 2010 @ 07:02 AM
reply to post by Power_Semi


While I agree with your sentiments, I do not believe that only 0.01% of people either kept slaves or oppressed people based on their race at the time in question.

Regarding the point that there has never been racism, just a quick question as I'm guessing you are also UK based... do you think notices in B&Bs in England up until at least the 1970s stating 'no blacks, no dogs, no Irish' is not racist? I'm sure every other country could give similar examples. I wouldn't call a B&B owner a member of an elite group, but maybe that's just me.

edit on 15-9-2010 by something wicked because: whoops, put in the wrong percentage

posted on Sep, 15 2010 @ 07:59 AM
This is a response to those who think that slavery wasn’t all that bad and that Africans volunteered to be slaves and in turn their children and their children’s children as well.

There was cruelty to the slaves from when they were first shipped. People were piled on top of each other, barely able to change positions, thrown overboard, and branded like cattle.

“She had taken in, on the coast of Africa, 336 males and 226 females, making in all 562, and had been out seventeen days, during which she had thrown overboard 55. The slaves were all inclosed under grated hatchways between decks. The space was so low that they sat between each other's legs and [were] stowed so close together that there was no possibility of their lying down or at all changing their position by night or day. As they belonged to and were shipped on account of different individuals, they were all branded like sheep with the owner's marks of different forms. These were impressed under their breasts or on their arms, and, as the mate informed me with perfect indifference 'burnt with the red-hot iron.'…”

"Aboard a Slave Ship, 1829," EyeWitness to History, (2000).

Hmmm… this sounds voluntary to me (sarcasm)
“. . . During my stay on the coast of Africa, I was an eye-witness of the following transaction: a black trader invited a Negro, who resided a lit¬tle way up the country, to come and see him. After the entertainment was over, the trader proposed to his guest, to treat him with a sight of one of the ships lying in the river. The unsuspicious countryman read¬ily consented, and accompanied the trader in a canoe to the side of the ship, which he viewed with pleasure and astonishment. While he was thus employed, some black traders on board, who appeared to be in the secret, leaped into the canoe, seized the unfortunate man, and dragging him into the ship, immediately sold him.”
And just a little more cruelty for good measure
“The traders frequently beat those Negroes which are objected to by the captains, and use them with great severity. It matters not whether they are refused on account of age, illness, deformity, or for any other reason. At New Calabar, in particular . . . the traders, when any of their Negroes have been objected to, have dropped their canoes under the stern of the vessel, and instantly be headed them, in sight of the captain.”
"Slave Trade: the African Connection, ca 1788" EyeWitness to History, (2007).

During the time of slavery, people were beaten, experimented upon, raped, and most of all not allowed to educate themselves.

After slavery, blacks have been beaten, murdered, and discriminated against, all in attempt to break our spirit. However, seeing where we are now, I’d say we’ve been bent but not broken.

I am not trying to demonize anybody – the actions speak for themselves.

posted on Sep, 15 2010 @ 08:34 AM
good points made by all the truth shall set you free

posted on Sep, 15 2010 @ 08:56 AM
The real american lie is the historic 'contextualiztion', all for the sake of keeping the flock from realizing the truth. A truth they fear and therefore refuse to accept. The fact is 'the people' have no control whatsoever over their government, while certain individuals wield great influence, but not thanks to an electoral process. Perhaps it has always been this way, and now that integrity has gone out of style, things have gotten much worse.
Money, money, money, money, ..... MONEY.
Racism is no lie, xenophobia has been a human problem since the beginning, it's impact is always devisive. Apparently some people have taken advantage of this natural human weakness to their own benefit, and so slavery and other 'cultural' products. But there are a great many forms to slavery. A slave is someone who works to his master's benefit and has little or no control of his own destiny. Sounds like the american middle class to me.
Don't get me wrong airspoon, I read your post, and I respect your perceptions, I just have my doubts about the trustworthiness of your precepts. I used to believe in the myths, served my community and my country. As I got older my values stopped coinciding, and the lies became much more apparent.

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