The South will Rise Againbyqhml1©
It really won't, I just titled it that to get the attention of a certain group of people.
I wrote a little story a while back, Boston to Birmingham, posted in Loving Wives, that got a lot of views. If you read it, thanks.
In the six part series set primarily in Alabama, I talked a lot about Southern traditions, and in one segment I talked about slavery for a few paragraphs, in passing. I didn't glorify it or apologize for it, just mentioned it as an historical fact.
I enjoy reading the feedback I get from these stories. I feel it helps me improve my craft.
However, I got a lot of comments from Northerners, people from foreign countries, blacks, and Southern apologists blasting me for bringing it up. I've been called a racist asshole as well as other colorful names. Usually comments don't bother me, but these people have it so wrong I feel the need to put the record straight.
I AM NOT A RACIST. I DO NOT GLORIFY SLAVERY.
That being said, it's a fact that slavery existed and wasn't a very nice institution. But before anyone denigrates me any further, let's look at the facts.
Slavery, like most things, was a matter economics. The South needed a cheap labor force to operate those big plantations and slavery filled that need.
They didn't form an expeditionary force to go to Africa and get them, they bought them from independent contractors. Africans, seeing a chance for profits, did the work for them. Black on Black, very little European or American involvement.
The slaves were sold, and put on ships for transport. Why did the sailors do this? There was a good profit in it. Many seem to forget a lot of the ships were owned by Northerners, who, while being against it on paper, didn't mind the nice profits.
So, while the South gets belittled, they were ultimately only the end users in a long chain of misery.
Slavery has been around since the beginning of time. Moses was a slave. So was Joseph. The serfs of Europe? Defacto slaves. The puritans brought indentured servants to America, think they wanted to come?
And as the North so often proclaimed, they abolished slavery early on. The sweat shops filled with child laborers living in slums were a vast improvement. And the treatment by people like Vanderbilt and Morgan, business magnates of the day, were deplorable.
Even today, the mining towns of the Appalachians are still pretty much under control of the mine owners.
Do we even want to talk about the honorable way we treated our Native Americans?
Slavery is still practiced in some countries even today.
And lest you think it is mostly an European tradition, there are numerous mentions through history of slave raids by Africans. In the middle 1100's for example, African slavers carried off the entire population of a coastal Irish village.
As late as 1965, the Catholic Church carried on its' own version of slavery. Don't believe me? Look up the Galway Laundry scandal. Teen girls forced into servitude because a member of the family reported they had impure thoughts. No other reason.
Slavery was not invented by Southerners, every example I've given is documented and verifiable.
My own personal history? My ancestors came down the Pennsylvania Highway in the early 1800's and settled in what is now Rutherford County, North Carolina. In almost two hundred years, we still haven't spread that far. I live two counties over. My great grandfather was with Lee all the way to just before Appomattox, when he was wounded in battle. In all my history I can't find one member of our family that actually owned a slave. We were mostly dirt poor farmers, my father was actually a sharecropper for a while in the late forties and early fifties.
The upshot of this? Every culture, every country in existence today, had at one time a history of slavery. Don't throw rocks when everybody lives in glass houses.
Thanks for reading, comment if you like.