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James, Ged Yo Shit Stray Whide Man!


James, in my opinion and I would like your thoughts on this, I think the reminder of African slavery in the collective mind of modern society and not earlier white slavery is 3-fold in that the literacy rate was much better for the poor in the mid-19th century then the 17th and 18th centuries also a greater concern for and documentation of the plight of the lower classes, then in previous times and also the horrific Civil War pounded in our history books and consciousness as a reminder of African slavery. I think if the Civil War never happened slavery would have come to an end by the end of the 1800s peacefully without the reconstruction period with led to the Jim Crow era and deepened the racial divide.

What do you think?.

Be safe.

Big Ron

Ron, here is the literacy rate of escaped slaves of Plantation America:

-1600s, no literacy among escaped slaves of any race

-1700s, a few escaped slaves of predominantly Caucasian origin

-1800s, a moderate number of escaped slaves of exclusively African origin.

The literacy of escaped whites depended on them being literate, previous to their bondage. There was Peter Williamson who was schooled by his owner, who adopted him and never bothered to escape. His master had been a runaway and gave his adopted chattel son the best chance he could to stay free upon his release. In fact, when Peter returned to Scotland and was jailed for claiming to have been sold into bondage by his hometown merchants, he gained his freedom and maintained it for only two reasons, his military patrons made in service and his literacy. In English society class was far, far, far more important than race. There was very little race consciousness compared to class consciousness.

For instance, White Nationalists point to the passages in the founding documents of this nation which specify rights being reserved for “free white men” and totally ignore the free part, assuming it was a redundancy, with free and white being synonymous. Noting that free is placed before white, one should lend more weight to that identifier.

Among escaped negroes, literacy was primarily an issue of post-escape education at the hands of a wealthy white patron aligned with the abolishionist cause.

As with whites, few black slaves were taught to read or write by their masters. However, where escaped whites found few sponsors among the upper class, blacks did find such patrons.

There, was, however, a group of whites that used their literacy to help black escape. Just as the poor white boys in Fells Point, Baltimore taught Frederick Douglas the alphabet, aiding his cause immensely. He was also aided in his escape by whites. Likewise, many an ad for mixed-race groups of runaways described a literate Irishman or other kind of white teaming up with a black, along with a warning that the two would likely impersonate a slave and his owner.

Ron, as for your last theory, we can look to Brazil as proof that chattel slavery systems were unsustainable in the third world past 1900, and would have come to an end sooner in a first tier nation like the U.S.

We may look to the economic ruin of most slave owners in the south before the Civil War. This was just a bad system. By 1860, the black slave population in Dixie was held by only 14% of the white population, and most of those slaves were owned by the top 1% with nearly the entire 86% of the non-slave holding white population living in poverty. How could a system that held perhaps 9 in 10 of whites [for many planters were impoverished [1]] in poverty be regarded as racist and not class-based?

The “racists” in the Civil War were the Free Soil Party, the homesteaders, farmers and pioneers who “won the west,” fought for the Union, hating blacks all along and saw the spread of the chattel slavery system as an attempt by “negro-loving” planters to “spread their beloved negroes” across the land at the expense of whites, for where slavery flourished wage work and free farming perished.

Indeed, 90% of the Southland lived in poverty due to the cruel economy of scale inherent in chattel systems. This led to economic crashes in the ancient world and also economic stagnation in the medieval world. Tellingly, before the Civil War, Chinese slave labor was being accessed in California. In Lothrop Stoddard’s book The Rising Tide of Color and White World Supremacy he quotes an American industrialist in a periodical declaring that the Chinese “coolie” was “the perfect industrial machine” and cold live with less food, shelter and care than whites and blacks. The real difference between the superrich agrarian 1% in The South and the Industrialists in the North, was that the Southern Man cared for his slaves [2] and saw it as his duty to be a patriarch of the inferior folk he owned, where the industrialist, operating more like those workhouse owners of 1700s Pennsylvania or the plantation owners of the 1600s, who used poor whites as temporary and therefore disposable chattel, saw the working man as an expendable unit effort, nothing but calories he was cursed to expend from his hoard.

Notes

1. Read Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup for a portrait of poverty-level slave owners.

2. Care might extend to love, de facto adoption and marriage or merely the brutal discipline that was also used to keep English speaking children in line, with adult blacks treated like children and beaten, just like his owner beat his own children. Of course, the mixed-race slave was very often the master’s child, with Roper, Douglas, Wells and Washington, all famously literate escaped slaves who had white fathers.

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