Responding to Michael Medved’s rant against reparations Part 4 – 10.9.2007.4

Continued from Responding to Michael Medved’s rant against reparations Part 3…

    3.THOUGH BRUTAL, SLAVERY WASN’T GENOCIDAL: LIVE SLAVES WERE VALUABLE BUT DEAD CAPTIVES BROUGHT NO PROFIT. – Slaves that arrived in America had a value. Those that died in the slave ships were just flotsam. To ensure profitable trips, cargo ships overloaded their ships planning ahead of time for the deaths of a portion of the Africans. Photo found at

    By your own admission, probably millions of Africans died and there was no accounting for them. Just as there is no accounting of the chairs that were lost on those same voyages. How many people need to be killed for how long to claim genocide? How many died in the Holocaust? How many Serbians died before American troops were sent with the U.N. to stop the genocide? In Darfur today, it is considered genocide in action with over a million dead and that has been ongoing for 4 years at least.

    By your own admission slaves died en route to America for 300 YEARS, creating millions of dead, not counting untold numbers being killed once in America. Remember, you don’t need to account for, nor is it a crime to kill livestock. Slaves were less valuable than many livestock and there was no full accounting of them. How do these numbers not reach Genocidal numbers?

    Is it not a genocidal act because a far smaller number of Slaves lived than the total dead? By that logic some have denied the Holocaust. That is no less an ignorant answer. Just because the total population of Africa was not killed does not make it less of a horrific and despicable act.

    “By definition, the crime of genocide requires the deliberate slaughter of a specific group of people; slavers invariably preferred oppressing and exploiting live Africans rather than murdering them en masse.”

    As you stated slavers overcrowded their ships because they knew as many as 1/3 would die in the forced transport. That sounds like a deliberate slaughter. Causing the expected death of hundreds if not thousands of a specific people at a time, each time they moved their ships. While you try to drive sympathy to the slavers, I fail to join in that opinion. They committed knowing Genocide, without pause since they claimed that Africans were not human.

    Your further argument, implying that ALL slaves were considered as valuable as livestock, fails as well. First I’m not grateful that some slave owners felt as much pride in some of their slaves as they did their cattle or horses. The fact that some were selected as breeding stock does not make me feel better either. It is inhumane.

    Further it means that some slaves were NOT given this favored status. Much like some horses and cattle were put down to improve the heard, your logic means the same happened to slaves. The loss was considered acceptable. Since the value of ALL slaves was not the same, murder of some was par for the course as it would be with any livestock.

    4.IT’S NOT TRUE THAT THE U.S. BECAME A WEALTHY NATION THROUGH THE ABUSE OF SLAVE LABOR: THE MOST PROSPEROUS STATES IN THE COUNTRY WERE THOSE THAT FIRST FREED THEIR SLAVES. – Again you lie. America was not a manufacturing economy. That is a fact. America at that time was an agricultural nation, exporting sugar, cotton, and tobacco. Those were huge cash crops. Those crops came from slave labor.

    “50% of U.S. exports in 1855 were cotton”

    “American cotton production soared from 156,000 bales in 1800 to more than 4,000,000 bales in 1860… the number of slaves in America grew from 700,000 in 1790 to 4,000,000 in 1860”

    “New York rose to its preeminent position as the commercial and financial center of America because of cotton. It has been estimated that New York received forty percent of all cotton revenues since the city supplied insurance, shipping, and financing services and New York merchants sold goods to Southern planters. The trade with the South, which has been estimated at $200,000,000 annually, was an impressive sum at the time.”

    While the North made huge amounts of money from providing slaves, equipment, insurance and trade for the South, it was the crops of the South that was the source of American income until the industrial revolution took hold.

    One of the primary causes of the Civil War was the fact that the North, without the agricultural trade from the South could not sustain itself. Prosperity in the North was only attained from the slave labor in the South. From 1619 until well in the 1800’s America was a farming nation that is fact. We made virtually all our money at that time from that income source, again a fact.

    Another fact that needs to be noted is that Northern slaves were used to build the infrastructure that became the North. They were used to build city, streets, buildings and everything else. Similar work was done in the South. Jim Crow laws were in massive effect in the growth of the West. There is no aspect of the nation that exists today that does not have its roots in Slave labor. That is a fact.

    America could not exist as it does today without slave labor. Thus all the wealth that exists today has at its roots African Americans and their unpaid work, their blood, and their inhumane treatment and living conditions. There is no amount of double talk or distraction that takes away from these facts.

Continued in Part 5…

About the Author

Michael Vass
Born in 1968, a political commentator for over a decade. Has traveled the U.S. and lived in Moscow and Tsblisi, A former stockbroker and 2014 Congressional candidate. Passionate about politics with emphasis on 1st and 2nd Amendments.

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