Posted by Lilly from ? (18.104.22.168) on Thursday, June 20, 2002 at 11:20AM :
In Reply to: Re: You read me completely wrong posted by panch from pool0278.cvx24-bradley.dialup.earthlink.net (22.214.171.124) on Thursday, June 20, 2002 at 9:06AM :
You are sounding like one of those idiots who thinks that every white male in the South was a rich plantation owner - there was, in fact, a second class of dirt poor white people who felt the real brunt of the Civil War. The rich ones - sure they lost a bit of property, couldn't own slaves, whatever - but the poor here lost what little they might have had to scrape by on especially since the economy was shot to hell & people were swindling them out of the nothing that they had. You don't understand that it is the economic divide (even between "white" people) that still continues to cause problems to this day. You think it is & was merely a question of skin color - that was true to some extent as a residual imperialist perspective, but it is also not true to another extent. Northern industrialists wanted to increase the labor market - what better way than to free a nascent population of people who were not yet a part of the existing market? There was more than one reason, back then, to advocate the abolitionist cause.
Another thing that you stereotype incorrectly is that all Southerners were pro-slavery. A majority of *influential*, rich white Southerners were pro-slavery, but there were rich white Southerners who were anti-slavery. & then there were the poor whites, who did not own slaves, whose opinion did not count in political matters, even at the state level who made up the *majority* of the free population in the South.
The way the Civil War ended was good because it gave African Americans freedom from slavery, full citizenship, & the right to vote. I never said that THAT was bad - I never said that I wished they had never gotten these rights. & frankly, I believe that they were given these rights proved a landmark in the history of the US, whether anyone wanted this population to succeed & become wealthy in a capitalist society or to merely become another faction of competing laborers chewed up & spit out. It was very good they got these rights - they should have had them from the beginning - but these rights were, given the social & political context, not more than empty promises. It took many, many years for these rights to actually benefit African Americans, & still, TO THIS DAY, many people in the population do not have the opportunities that ought to be granted to them as societal equals of the middle class or the wealthy.
I WAS saying that there were influential people who wanted to give these people freedom for reasons OTHER than mercy or kindness. & I was questioning why African Americans still had to struggle for civil rights for 100 years after the war. Where was the federal government then? Who fought for them? Who paved the way for them? Why weren't they given more federal help? These people had to fight for themselves - they've had to fight not mere blind racism, but were simulataneously looked at as competition in the same miserable job market the rest of the poor had to struggle with - which fed into racism.
& finally, you can NOT simplify a war like that & demonize a people incorrectly. Learn your facts. After the war, Northern racism was just as common, if not more prevalent.
I will say, then, that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races--that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which will ever forbid the two races living together in terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together, there must be the position of superior and inferior. I am as much as any other man in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.
...notwithstanding all this, there is no reason in the world why the negro is not entitled to all the rights enumerated in the Declaration of Independence--the right of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I hold that he is as much entitled to these as the white man. I agree with Judge Douglas that he is not my equal in many respects, certainly not in color--perhaps not in intellectual and moral endowments; but in the right to eat bread without leave of anybody else which his own hand earns [the Republican version of what the other rights amount to?], he is my equal and the equal of Judge Douglas and the equal of every other man.
(v. 3, pp. 247-8. Sixth Debate with Steven A. Douglas at Quincy, Ill., Oct. 13, 1858)
But for your race among us there could not be war, although many men engaged on either side do not care for you one way or the other. Nevertheless, I repeat, without the institution of Slavery and the colored race as a basis, the war could not have an existence [blame the victim].
It is better for us both, therefore, to be separated. ...I suppose one of the principal difficulties in the way of colonization is that the free colored man cannot see that his comfort would be advanced by it. You may believe you can live in Washington or elsewhere in the United States the remainder of your life, perhaps more so than in any foreign country, and hence you have come to the conclusion that you have nothing to do with the idea of going to a foreign country. This is (I speak in no unkind sense) an extremely selfish view of the case.
(v. 5, pp. 372-5. Address on Colonization to a Deputation of Negroes, Aug. 14, 1862)
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