When you deny history
you are blind in the present.
The ridiculousness of the last few months with respect to the venom spouted by the Right, generally directed to anyone who is not a white male, has been nothing short of maddening. From the claim that people coming to this country are rapists, thieves, and likely terrorists to the mindless belittling via name calling, I’ve tried to disengage and wait for it to blow over.
BUT, at this moment I’m officially fed up, pissed, disgusted, and unable to ignore the claim made by Fox’s darling buffoon, Bill O’Reilly that slaves were “well fed and had decent lodgings provided by the government.” (This was in response to Michelle Obama’s speech when she said she lives in the White House, a place built by slaves.)
Why is my blood boiling? Perhaps it’s because the HUMAN BEINGS who were reduced to their physical selves and subjected to a brutal existence for the sake of others’ welfare are no longer with us. They cannot stand up and shout back at O’Reilly. Instead, people today must speak up in their place and remind those who wish to make ahistorical claims insulting the trauma endured by thousands, that their efforts to dismiss the sweat and blood drawn out in a dehumanizing fashion will not replace the truth.
From a logic standpoint I’m also peeved. The inherent nature of slavery is wrong. Families no more. Children abused. Rape. Beatings. Denied space to think, love, flourish. A life bought and used by an other. Humiliation constantly on the horizon. There cannot be too much or too little of slavery because at its core it is wrong.
There is no scale.
To reduce a HUMAN BEING to the status of object and property, robbing that HUMAN BEING of choice to exist as they desire embodies the essence of evil. Therefore, one cannot possibly treat a slave “well” because to classify a person as a slave in the first place negates the meaning of said “treatment.”
To put another way: there cannot be such a thing as a “good Nazi” because the definition of being a Nazi precludes any possibility of being “good.” Or, there cannot be such a thing as a “gentle rape” since the very definition of rape bears the idea of violence.
Likewise there is no such thing as a well treated slave!
There are records, there are stories, there are tales passed down through generations. I refuse to stay silent and pretend those voices do not matter. That their lives didn’t matter.