Special Notice 6

By William J. Dodwell    May 7, 2018
The debate about race is rarely honest.  Political sensitivities cause the focus to center only on black grievances and attendant accommodations as the solution to their difficulties.  This “the glass is half full” view suppresses inconvenient realities about black behavior and history.  Indeed, the pursuit of truth also requires a consideration of the role of personal responsibility and the deleterious reliance on excuses in “the glass is half empty approach”.  In particular, that contemplation should include an understanding of the complete reality of slavery, which is commonly ascribed to ongoing problems in the black community.
Last week rapper Tanye West created a furor suggesting that, because slavery in America lasted as long as 400 years, some slaves tolerated slavery by choice.  After all, if slaves opposed their plight en masse the resistance would have reached a critical mass that would have ended slavery much earlier.  Predictably, Tanye’s words created vitriol on the left.  True to form, some black thugs called for violence against him in a display of animus that is symptomatic of problematic black behavior writ large.  On the right, Laura Ingraham suggested Tanye meant to say something less toxic that did not diminish slavery as the sacred cow it is.  No, Tanye said what he meant.  What’s more, he’s right, the extent to which has to be determined.

I have long harbored Tanye’s thought about what might be considered certain benign slavery but have not dared to address it in my extensive writings on race.  But since Tanye opened the door, I will enter the fray.  Of course, this is not to ignore lynchings, whippings and other atrocities inflicted on slaves in undeniable bondage.  We also know that slaves were abducted and many tried to escape as their owners chased them in pursuit.  Involuntary servitude was a reality.  But could it be that for some, perhaps most, slavery was benign?  Consider, they got three square meals a day and a roof over their heads that might not otherwise have been available to them in a highly discriminatory society.  This phenomenon is seen among some long-term convicts who do not want their freedom when their sentence expires.  They only know prison life and they are comfortable with the succor it offers.  This acquiescence may have prolonged slavery as Kanye suggests.  To what extent was slavery benign, akin to the relationship of a Jack Benny to his domestic, Rochester?  The question is verboten because it undermines slavery as an excuse for the ongoing black plight that deflects from real solutions in the debate about race.  As always, politics trumps truth.

I continue to denounce Kanye West as a purveyor of cultural rot that corrupts our youth and degrades our civilization.  But if his expressed allegiance to Trump garners substantial black support for the president, as evidenced in the immediate doubling of Trump’s approval rating in the black community, I’ll give him a temporary pass.  And I’ll give him eternal credit for broaching slavery by choice, a notion heretofore never even whispered. 

                                                                                                                ©2018 William J. Dodwell
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