Week Six: Questions and Answers about Slavery and the Reading

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Week Six: Questions and Answers about Slavery and the Reading

Dr. Brandon
Administrator


What questions did or do you have about the reading and about slavery in America?  You get points for asking questions which get others to think.  You get extra points for helping one another figure out answers to each question.  To get full credit for participating in the class discussion, you need to check the posts to the forum several times a week, and you need to participate in a discussion, not just post a single response of respond to others once a week.  
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Re: Week Six: Questions and Answers about Slavery and the Reading

Cynthia
The possibility of a Jewish becoming slave arose in the case of theft when the thief could not pay back the stolen goods. The court could then sell him into slavery. Another possibility could occur when a poor voluntarily if he sold into slavery to pay a debt to his work. This was just a form of regeneration, instead of being sent to prison, the thief was sold into slavery so that coexisted with his owner, noticing his mistake and learn to live an honest life. In each case, when it came Shemittah (the sabbatical year, which occurs every seven years), the "slave" had to be released.
This was the form of slavery in the Jewish religion. We also know that in ancient Greece slavery had another definition. What puzzles me is how slavery in America has another conception? Why blacks were considered inferior and had to work for free, living a miserable life in order to "survive"?
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Re: Week Six: Questions and Answers about Slavery and the Reading

Dr. Brandon
Administrator
Slavery in the Americas grew out of the peonage system used in Spain.  You must remember, it wasn't until 1492 that the Spanish had just gained soveriengty of Spain, and the harsh treatment of the moors and Jewish population helped determine how slaves were thought of and treated.  From the English side, how the Irish were thought of affected how African slaves were considered.

Initially, Native Americans were enslaved, but Natives tended to make poor slaves.  They could easily escape into the existing Native population, and Natives were more prone to European disease than were Africans.  As Natives died off, the human labor pool for rice, sugar, and indigo plantations needed to be refilled.  West Africans supplied this need.  The very idea of race based slavery developed as an ideology to support the need.  In other words, we invented race and the rhetorics of race as a means of justifying the economic and material needs of production. This was the reason that American slavery was a substantially different way of practicing slavery than previous incarnations.

Steve

Stephen Brandon, PhD
Professor, Composition and Rhetoric
J. Sargent Reynolds Community College
Richmond, VA 23221
[hidden email]
[hidden email]

Often the accurate answer to a usage question begins, "It depends." And what
it depends on most often is where you are, who you are, who your listeners
or readers are, and what your purpose in speaking or writing is.
-Kenneth G. Wilson, usage writer (b. 1923)



On Fri, Feb 18, 2011 at 1:28 PM, Cynthia [via General Assembly Online Discussion Forum, ENG 241, Spring 2011] <[hidden email]> wrote:
The possibility of a Jewish becoming slave arose in the case of theft when the thief could not pay back the stolen goods. The court could then sell him into slavery. Another possibility could occur when a poor voluntarily if he sold into slavery to pay a debt to his work. This was just a form of regeneration, instead of being sent to prison, the thief was sold into slavery so that coexisted with his owner, noticing his mistake and learn to live an honest life. In each case, when it came Shemittah (the sabbatical year, which occurs every seven years), the "slave" had to be released.
This was the form of slavery in the Jewish religion. We also know that in ancient Greece slavery had another definition. What puzzles me is how slavery in America has another conception? Why blacks were considered inferior and had to work for free, living a miserable life in order to "survive"?


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Re: Week Six: Questions and Answers about Slavery and the Reading

Cynthia
Thank you Dr. B.

I am trying to look at the fact as a necessity of survivor of the population, since someone had to the work. But I cannot deny that at the same time I see it as a selfish attitude, a situation where the man himself has crippled the rights of another to take advantage of their skills. But that it is just my point of view.

I really appreciate your answer!
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Re: Week Six: Questions and Answers about Slavery and the Reading

Dr. Brandon
Administrator
Cynthia,

It's difficult to understand, but often the slave owners saw the people they enslaved as chattel and human labor, or they found other means of justifying the practice to them selves. Some actually thought they were doing good for the slaves.

 Next week, you'll read a Southern apologist for slavery alongside other Abolitionist literature.  Fitzhugh, the apologist, might help you get a handle on the rhetorics that were used to justify the practice.  Another tactic might be to google  "blood diamonds" and "child slavery chocolate."  Today, we "condone" a number of practices that are evil because we are insulated from them.  

One of the functions of the romantic literature you are reading--Jacobs, Garrison, etc.--was to shine light on practices most Americans didn't want to acknowledge or see.  Like much of the goods we get from sweatshops, child, and slave labor today, most Americans knew that slavery was wrong, but they had rhetorics and ways of not noticing enough to have to do something about slavery.  It wasn't until the evidence mounted and writers like Jacobs, Garrison, Sojourner Truth, Stowe, etc. rubbed the noses of the North in the realities of slavery that change began to happen.  Even then, the change was couched in weaselly language like "gradual change." 

Romantic literature and the Romantic philosophy also allowed a means for Americans to justify feeling for others.  One of the best traits of America is its ability to feel for the underdog.  The literature we're reading was among that which allowed this ability to feel for others to enter the national character.  

Steve
Stephen Brandon, PhD
Professor, Composition and Rhetoric
J. Sargent Reynolds Community College
Richmond, VA 23221
[hidden email]
[hidden email]

Often the accurate answer to a usage question begins, "It depends." And what
it depends on most often is where you are, who you are, who your listeners
or readers are, and what your purpose in speaking or writing is.
-Kenneth G. Wilson, usage writer (b. 1923)



On Fri, Feb 18, 2011 at 3:09 PM, Cynthia [via General Assembly Online Discussion Forum, ENG 241, Spring 2011] <[hidden email]> wrote:
Thank you Dr. B.

I am trying to look at the fact as a necessity of survivor of the population, since someone had to the work. But I cannot deny that at the same time I see it as a selfish attitude, a situation where the man himself has crippled the rights of another to take advantage of their skills. But that it is just my point of view.

I really appreciate your answer!


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Re: Week Six: Questions and Answers about Slavery and the Reading

Nina
In reply to this post by Dr. Brandon
The discussion this week runs in very well with the lectures from my United States History class this semester as well. With the assigned reading from this week and the history background from my history lectures, there does bring up questions about the forming of slavery and the amount of time it went on for. When the English settled into America slavery was known as illegal until the Spanish introduced the main idea to the states. Although through out the world in different countries there were different race of people that were found to be inferior and turned into slaves, the Spanish kidnapped Africans and shipped them to America were they could be sold and forced to perform manual labor for their masters. Now the English men did not consider the Africans as completely “slaves” but in order to go around that law they bought them as indentured servants. Not only were the Africans made into indentured servants but as well as any poor white man or women whom owed money to the government, they would sign a seven year contract to serve as a indentured servant which after their time was due they would have the chance of starting over and given their own free land. My main question would be why didn’t they continue to do it this way? I feel that this, although still cruel and a harsh, indentured servants had a better chance and hope to have their opportunity to live part of their life in freedom. If the idea of indentured servants would have been continued on and not slavery, then the concept would not be based of racial facts, but on the main social statues of an individual. When the cotton gin was created and now the massive demand for blood sweating cotton pickers increase, why not use the prisoners or the people that were in dept to the country as indentured servants to pay off the dues?
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Re: Week Six: Questions and Answers about Slavery and the Reading

David Mistler
In reply to this post by Dr. Brandon
This week we have discussed the crazy topic of slavery. Looking back at this most people can see that slavery was in fact a terrible, inhumane, unreasonable thing. However when you try to get into the minds of the slave owners you can see that (however contrived it may be) their reasons for it can make the legality of it an issue. What I want to know is how do some of you get into that mindset, also how do you defend slavery as a moral issue? I tried to look at slavery and slave owners as a whole. And when you get to the bear basics you see that people just wanted free labor. Greed enticed them so badly that it consumed the idea that treating someone as lesser than a human is right. It twisted logic in ways that they would fight to the death for it. Another question I have is is there anything you feel so strongly about that you would give your life to protect it?
Now that every country has outlawed slavery, it is crazy to think that people still have them. But in some third world countries and even some modern countries they still deal in slavery. Either child slavery or sex slaves and in some places they mix the two. Its a sickening though I know. How do we change the mistreating of human life? The answer is there is very little... Most of the slave trade now is dealt through private firms or families. Imagine selling your son, daughter, little sister, brother off to a stranger just for a buck...
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Re: Week Six: Questions and Answers about Slavery and the Reading

Courtney DeLong
David-I really enjoyed reading your post. I really started to think about the questions, and how I would be able to answer them. First off, giving your life up to protect something that you feel strongly about is huge. I have strong opinions on many subjects, but I can’t say that I would be willing to give up my life for any of them. You only have one life and it is a huge decision to be willing to give that up. Now, on to the bigger question. How do we change the mistreating of human life? What a huge undertaking for starters. It is an absolute travesty that people are sold off for nothing like they are just a piece of property with no regard for human life. It is sickening and saddening at the same time. There are so many people working on this problem of human trafficking, but still, more needs to be done. The governments need to crack down on the people that head up these organizations and take them down, along with all the others that are affiliated with the trade. It seems for 1 person they get off the street, 3 more new people are out there. It is a never ending battle, and all we can do is try to decrease the number of girls that are being trafficked.
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Re: Week Six: Questions and Answers about Slavery and the Reading

Ben Morgan
In reply to this post by Dr. Brandon
Slavery… The questions and debates have already been sparked! Is it a racial matter, is it a matter of humanity, or is it a battle of morals? Questions, hungry for the perfect answers, have been left starved! Where is the right answer? I don’t know whether or not any answer will ever be given. I know how I stand on it, based off of my research as well as beliefs. I don’t want to offend anyone by any means, but rather spark the simple question: Is the concept of slavery really wrong?
I believe not!!! Throughout history, slavery has been a form of restitution to debt, thievery, and multiple offenses. It has been a means of redeeming ones own name and good standing. Slavery has also been derived from nations who battle against each other. The nation that is conquered is at their defeaters’ mercy. The conquerors have freedom to select their wives, their servants, and their lands. So, I question you, is the actual concept of slavery wrong? I believe that then, it was not.
Now, I will be the first to recognize and redeem my thoughts. Has slavery been abused? Absolutely! It is wrong for humans to become an object and have a value placed on them. It is wrong to take part in human trafficking. It is wrong to believe you can posses and mistreat another human no matter what age, sex, ethnicity, or nationality. Throughout history, we have seen many things abused and changed. Things that were meant to be one way are changed and abused. Look at our very nation. If the forefathers who started the principles our country was founded on were here today, would they agree with all the changes this nation has made? I think they would not. I think that many mistakes can be traced back to men who messed up, men who abused the original intentions and principles. So, that’s me.
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Re: Week Six: Questions and Answers about Slavery and the Reading

David Mistler
In reply to this post by Courtney DeLong
Well Thank you Courtney, I am glad you liked my post. Your incite to the trafficking of slaves was true they do seem to multiply every time one gets caught. But, in other countries the government does not seem to care about human life, all they want is power. "absolute power, corrupts absolutely." John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton, We don't see it in America because we use a moral code and people who don't abide by that code are punished severely.
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Re: Week Six: Questions and Answers about Slavery and the Reading

David Mistler
Ben- I enjoyed your essay. It made some really good points however I do believe that slavery in all its forms is evil. Whenever you take someone and make them sub-human is when you take everything from them. Yes some slaves were convicts but, prisons are where convicts belong not bound to serve someone and give up any human rights or freedoms.
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Re: Week Six: Questions and Answers about Slavery and the Reading

Dr. Brandon
Administrator
In reply to this post by Nina
Nina, 

The short answer to your question about why the southern colonies focused on slavery rather than indentured servitude is "cost."  Indentured servants could be treated much like slaves, but--at the end of their indentures--the indentured servant was released and usually given land.  This tended to dilute the holdings of large plantations and create a hodgepodge of small, freedman farms.  As voting became an established institution, the power of the large land owners was challenged by these yeoman farmers. Moreover, the yeoman farmers often moved to the frontier, where their limited funds could buy more land and provide a sustainable income.  The pressure for land caused problems for the centralized powers in the form of more difficult relationships with Natives, and such friction could challenge colonial power bases.  Look at Bacon's Rebellion as an example.

As an institution, slavery made more sense for a plantation based economy, and--oddly--slaved tended to be treated better than indentured servants, because the owners had a long term investment in the slave, their health, and ability to work.

Steve
 
  
Stephen Brandon, PhD
Professor, Composition and Rhetoric
J. Sargent Reynolds Community College
Richmond, VA 23221
[hidden email]
[hidden email]

Often the accurate answer to a usage question begins, "It depends." And what
it depends on most often is where you are, who you are, who your listeners
or readers are, and what your purpose in speaking or writing is.
-Kenneth G. Wilson, usage writer (b. 1923)



On Sun, Feb 20, 2011 at 4:47 PM, Nina [via General Assembly Online Discussion Forum, ENG 241, Spring 2011] <[hidden email]> wrote:
The discussion this week runs in very well with the lectures from my United States History class this semester as well. With the assigned reading from this week and the history background from my history lectures, there does bring up questions about the forming of slavery and the amount of time it went on for. When the English settled into America slavery was known as illegal until the Spanish introduced the main idea to the states. Although through out the world in different countries there were different race of people that were found to be inferior and turned into slaves, the Spanish kidnapped Africans and shipped them to America were they could be sold and forced to perform manual labor for their masters. Now the English men did not consider the Africans as completely “slaves” but in order to go around that law they bought them as indentured servants. Not only were the Africans made into indentured servants but as well as any poor white man or women whom owed money to the government, they would sign a seven year contract to serve as a indentured servant which after their time was due they would have the chance of starting over and given their own free land. My main question would be why didn’t they continue to do it this way? I feel that this, although still cruel and a harsh, indentured servants had a better chance and hope to have their opportunity to live part of their life in freedom. If the idea of indentured servants would have been continued on and not slavery, then the concept would not be based of racial facts, but on the main social statues of an individual. When the cotton gin was created and now the massive demand for blood sweating cotton pickers increase, why not use the prisoners or the people that were in dept to the country as indentured servants to pay off the dues?


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Re: Week Six: Questions and Answers about Slavery and the Reading

Dr. Brandon
Administrator
In reply to this post by David Mistler
David,

There is little doubt that slavery caused moral decay.  This coming week, read Fitzhugh, and you can see how slavery was defended morally.

One ideology used to defend slavery was the "civilized" vs "savage" distinction.  In this argument, one accepts that civilization is a net good leading to the physical and moral betterment of those who are civilized.  One then posits a set of criteria that define what it means to be civilized.  Usually, at least when used by Europeans, these included literacy, religious morality, a civil work ethic focused on helping society rather than self, and urbanization.  Some technologies were also used as measures of civilization.  Using the criteria thus set up, one does good by introducing the relatively more savage to civilization and the civilizing influence.  

A similar argument was used to say that one saved the souls of slaves by allowing them to be introduced to Christianity, and slavery in the temporal world was a small price to pay for being saved eternally in the next.  Of course, as you've seen in the slave spirituals, slaves often mocked the hypocritical difference between the professed Christianity and  actual treatment.  

The strongest ideologies used to justify slavery was the very notion of race.  It was invented as a means of linking slave to savagery and owners to civilization and justifying the different in power on "natural" or "scientific" grounds.  Racism proved a powerful ideology, so powerful that we're still dealing with its legacies today and many today continue to use race as a means of thinking.  In fact, it's built into many social institutions and underpins much of the historical reasons for access to opportunity remaining unequal.

Steve

PS  What would I die for?  To fight against tyranny, promote greater access to and circulation of knowledge and skills, my rights and the rights of others, the welfare of those about whom I care...  The question isn't what I would die for.  The question is what I've chosen to live for and spend my life doing.  Everyone dies; however, the worth of my life and death will be measured by the difference I make in using my life for good and for promoting happiness.  When we get to him, Tom Paine has good answers to these questions in "The American Crisis" and "Common Sense."  Thoreau also has good answers in the essay we'll soon read on John Brown and Civil Disobedience.  


 
Stephen Brandon, PhD
Professor, Composition and Rhetoric
J. Sargent Reynolds Community College
Richmond, VA 23221
[hidden email]
[hidden email]

Often the accurate answer to a usage question begins, "It depends." And what
it depends on most often is where you are, who you are, who your listeners
or readers are, and what your purpose in speaking or writing is.
-Kenneth G. Wilson, usage writer (b. 1923)



On Sun, Feb 20, 2011 at 8:02 PM, David Mistler [via General Assembly Online Discussion Forum, ENG 241, Spring 2011] <[hidden email]> wrote:
This week we have discussed the crazy topic of slavery. Looking back at this most people can see that slavery was in fact a terrible, inhumane, unreasonable thing. However when you try to get into the minds of the slave owners you can see that (however contrived it may be) their reasons for it can make the legality of it an issue. What I want to know is how do some of you get into that mindset, also how do you defend slavery as a moral issue? I tried to look at slavery and slave owners as a whole. And when you get to the bear basics you see that people just wanted free labor. Greed enticed them so badly that it consumed the idea that treating someone as lesser than a human is right. It twisted logic in ways that they would fight to the death for it. Another question I have is is there anything you feel so strongly about that you would give your life to protect it?
Now that every country has outlawed slavery, it is crazy to think that people still have them. But in some third world countries and even some modern countries they still deal in slavery. Either child slavery or sex slaves and in some places they mix the two. Its a sickening though I know. How do we change the mistreating of human life? The answer is there is very little... Most of the slave trade now is dealt through private firms or families. Imagine selling your son, daughter, little sister, brother off to a stranger just for a buck...


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Re: Week Six: Questions and Answers about Slavery and the Reading

Ben Morgan
In reply to this post by Dr. Brandon
David, I believe you are missing my point or not understanding exactly the concept. Not all slavery was to “take someone and make them sub-human”. It was not that way at all until later in life. The early ‘slaves, bond servants’ were not treated as an item or as a piece of equipment. Rather, they were treated fairly and respected. Often in fact, there were references where the slave found favor with their masters or debtors and stayed working for them earning wages and land. I believe this concept of enslaving oneself in the name of restitution is not wrong. The concepts were correct. But then men took these concepts and totally twisted them and abused them. The modern slavery I would agree is wrong.
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Re: Week Six: Questions and Answers about Slavery and the Reading

Courtney DeLong
In reply to this post by Ben Morgan
Ben-In response to your question, yes! The concept of slavery is wrong and immoral, and that’s without adding the work to it. I see your position and it’s nice to get the ball rolling on different perspectives. However, I cannot agree with you on this one. For people to be sold off like a piece of property is inhumane and disgusting. I do agree with you that slavery has been abused though. Too many people experienced too many hardships that were not necessary. On this topic, I was wondering if you thought that slavery should not have been abolished.
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Re: Week Six: Questions and Answers about Slavery and the Reading

Courtney DeLong
In reply to this post by Dr. Brandon
The reading on slavery was intriguing yet depressing at the same time. It’s hard to believe that people were actually bought and sold like property such as land. When slavery was abolished, we thought the hard part was over, but it’s not. Now we have people that are trafficking young women from other countries, and selling them. They have no options and nowhere to go. It is an absolute travesty. My question about slavery is this: Why was this necessary? I understand that the trials and tribulations that America has gone through have shaped it into what it is today. However though, I don’t really understand why. I can’t seem to understand how anyone thought that slavery was a good idea, and that it would benefit us somehow. It has only backfired and there is still so much racial tension in this world because of it. Lots of things have improved since that time, but still, many more need changed.
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Re: Week Six: Questions and Answers about Slavery and the Reading

Dr. Brandon
Administrator
Courtney,

The main why had to do with a chronic lack of labor and an unwillingness of many to move out of Europe.  The Americas were settled and trade begun to pump money back into the colonizing nations.  For Spain, conquest of the Americas allowed undreamed of wealth, and other nations saw opportunity.  The problem was that the main source of wealth for Spain--gold and plunder--was short lived, and in most places Native peoples had not stockpiled wealth to be shipped back to Europe. As the Dutch and French proved, trade was profitable but uncertain.  

Over time, plantation economies developed.  This meant that large tracks of land were put into production or "planted" and cultivated in order to produce a cash crop commodity in demand in Europe.  Usually, these were luxury goods--jute, coffee, tea, sugar, fruit, cotton, etc. Initially, Spain sought to exploit Native labor, but disease and conquest made this option untenable.  To fill the demand for labor, countries attempted to lure the European destitute to America.  They offered land and freedom for passage and a set number of years of labor.  This was the indentured servant system.  However, fewer Europeans than were needed responded to the call to immigrate and work.  The destination was little known, the work considered too hard, etc.  Think of how manual labor, low paying jobs today go wanting because people are unwilling to do the work or feel the reward isn't sufficient.  Ask yourself if you'd be willing to give up your current life for forty acres in a wilderness, and you can begin to see some of the recruitment problems.

The long and the short of it were that the demand for the cash, commodities produced in the Americans was relatively high, and it increased as more people lived longer and more people had more wealth due to the industrial and agricultural revolutions and the wealth being pumped into the European economies by American trade.  

The temptation to exploit Africans, especially after the rhetorics and ideologies suggesting Africans to be uncivilized, was enormous.  Add in the fact that the Americas were a long way away from Europe, and mass media hadn't been developed; so, the cruelties of the system could be safely keep hidden from the everyday experience of the consumer.  Here think of how we exploit people and child slavery, etc. to satisfy tastes for such commodities as clothes, chocolate, and diamonds, and you can begin to see how convenient it was for the majority of consumers to overlook the reality of how their tastes were satisfied.  Most just didn't consider the conditions of others in far away lands.  This is human nature; we tend to consider our immediate needs and the needs of those we see every day before those of relative strangers.  

Remember, most of this came into being well before the notion that people are equal was in wide circulation as a way of thinking.  Add into this jumble rhetorics and ideologies like race, civilization vs barbarism, taming the wilderness, etc., and you have a mix ready made to justify or overlook the exploitation of others.  

Nothing in this makes it right or moral under the dominant religions of Europe and the colonies, but people learned to rationalize the practices.  

In fact, it wasn't until machine labor could replace much human labor and the demand for human labor feel that slavery came into real question.  By this point, slavery was built into the economies, world view, and traditions of the plantations, and much of Europe and their colonies depended on the trade grounded in slavery.  Lots and lots of people proposed solutions, but most just argued that the problem seemed too big to solve or should be solved gradually.  

Finally, it took a decisive war to end Slavery in the Americas, and the winners wrote the morality.  Today, there are few who would argue the good of slavery and most acknowledge that not allowing others to pursue opportunity based on skin color is silly, evil, and tyrannical.  

Steve

  
Stephen Brandon, PhD
Professor, Composition and Rhetoric
J. Sargent Reynolds Community College
Richmond, VA 23221
[hidden email]
[hidden email]

Often the accurate answer to a usage question begins, "It depends." And what
it depends on most often is where you are, who you are, who your listeners
or readers are, and what your purpose in speaking or writing is.
-Kenneth G. Wilson, usage writer (b. 1923)



On Mon, Feb 21, 2011 at 10:15 AM, Courtney DeLong [via General Assembly Online Discussion Forum, ENG 241, Spring 2011] <[hidden email]> wrote:
The reading on slavery was intriguing yet depressing at the same time. It’s hard to believe that people were actually bought and sold like property such as land. When slavery was abolished, we thought the hard part was over, but it’s not. Now we have people that are trafficking young women from other countries, and selling them. They have no options and nowhere to go. It is an absolute travesty. My question about slavery is this: Why was this necessary? I understand that the trials and tribulations that America has gone through have shaped it into what it is today. However though, I don’t really understand why. I can’t seem to understand how anyone thought that slavery was a good idea, and that it would benefit us somehow. It has only backfired and there is still so much racial tension in this world because of it. Lots of things have improved since that time, but still, many more need changed.


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Re: Week Six: Questions and Answers about Slavery and the Reading

preston tran
In reply to this post by Dr. Brandon
slavery is a rough topic to talk about. When ever I have studied the civil war the aspect of slavery always gets to me. How can humans enslave other humans? it just boggles my mind that we could be so inhuman. My question is slavery still going on in this world? I believe the answer is yes, but where in the world is slavery still going on?
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Re: Week Six: Questions and Answers about Slavery and the Reading

Dr. Brandon
Administrator
Here is an article on child slavery in West Africa and chocholate:


I'll let you research the subject from there.  It's going on.

Here's a link to the 2002 "Trafficking in Persons Report."  It's from the US State Department:


Every year in the US there are reports of slave like conditions in migrant labor camps.  Just google the subject and research for yourself.


Steve

Stephen Brandon, PhD
Professor, Composition and Rhetoric
J. Sargent Reynolds Community College
Richmond, VA 23221
[hidden email]
[hidden email]

Often the accurate answer to a usage question begins, "It depends." And what
it depends on most often is where you are, who you are, who your listeners
or readers are, and what your purpose in speaking or writing is.
-Kenneth G. Wilson, usage writer (b. 1923)



On Mon, Feb 21, 2011 at 2:25 PM, preston tran [via General Assembly Online Discussion Forum, ENG 241, Spring 2011] <[hidden email]> wrote:
slavery is a rough topic to talk about. When ever I have studied the civil war the aspect of slavery always gets to me. How can humans enslave other humans? it just boggles my mind that we could be so inhuman. My question is slavery still going on in this world? I believe the answer is yes, but where in the world is slavery still going on?


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Re: Week Six: Questions and Answers about Slavery and the Reading

Rich Sena
In reply to this post by Dr. Brandon
Dr. B.
I fully agree that race was something that was created as a convenient way of justifying the mistreatment, and opression of someone else to achieve a fiscal need. But in the past we did the same things, they were just called something else. Like the feudal system in the Dark Ages, or sharecropping in other agrarian cultures. And like you mentioned the treatment of the Irish by the english. Those situations may not have had the same outcomes that slavery in the U.S. did but there was still definetely a mentality that the English were the superior race, in the case of the blacks they wer thought to be liberated to modern society, and freed from the tribal ways of their homelands, werent they? In the case of the Irish and the Scottish, the English just wanted to wipe them out correct? And I wanted to know if the case of opposing religeous beliefs might be what also made America's incarnation of slavery different? The Irish and the English had the Protestant and Catholic thing going, so did the Greeks and the Turks, and I belive there were relogeous differences in Ancient greece and Rome as well? And did the fact that America needed slaves to build infrastructure that was not already there make their incarnation differ as well. I mean Europe was already a booming society in the eighteenth century, America was a relatively unsettled nation at the time that only had colonial infrastructure in place. Could that have something to do as well?
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