What is Slavery?

Contributed by Vince Williams

There is one thing this country does not like to talk about.  That thing is slavery.  We have a past that, through the eyes of current morality, is very difficult for us to look at and understand.  The concept of owning another person is so foreign to us that we might as well be talking about having 12 eyes or 17 legs.  Yet, a slave can be someone that does not have papers that says he or she is owned, but is none the less in fact owned.  To understand this concept we must first understand what slavery is.

When we picture slavery in our mind we all probably picture the same thing.  We picture a black man, woman or child working on the southern plantation with a slave master standing over them with a whip.  What made this slavery?  Was it working in the fields of the plantation day after day after day?  No, because if those slaves had been set free, they would have probably worked in those same, or similar, fields for their wages.  Was it working harder for less than the owners of the plantation?  No, because we do the same thing today and we call ourselves a free country.  Slavery, was not forcing people to work.  Slavery was the choices it took away from the black family.

If Al Gore had been born in the early 1800’s and our country had had the benefit of the internet before the Civil War, does anyone think the plantation owners would have cared if the slaves looked at porn on the internet at night?  Does anyone think the slave masters cared how many conjugal relations occurred in the shelters they provided for the slaves.  Does anyone think the slave masters cared how much the slaves drank at night when it was too dark for them to work?  Do you think they cared if they gambled at night, practiced Voodoo, prayed, sang, cried or wrote poems?  They didn’t care about those kinds of things.  They cared about two things.  First and foremost, having slaves that could and would work, and secondly, having slaves that didn’t incite rebellion.  As long as the slaves were willing and capable of working and didn’t start a riot, the slave masters weren’t all that concerned with their moral standing.  Did that make them free men?  Heck no!

What made them slaves was the freedom that was taken away from them.  That is such a simple statement, but one that has lost so much meaning today.  The freedom that was taken away from them was “the pursuit happiness.”  Does that phrase ring a bell with anyone?  The pursuit of happiness does not involve the ability to drink, look at porn, be as promiscuous as possible, take drugs, smoke or any number of things.  The pursuit of happiness is the pursuit of self improvement.  What were the slaves not allowed to do?  They weren’t allowed to marry.   Sure they could call themselves married, but if their owner decided he wanted to sell their spouse, well that’s too bad.  They weren’t allowed to raise children.  Sure some of them had children and raised them, but it was a gamble that their children wouldn’t get sold.  They couldn’t save money for retirement.  They couldn’t buy a house.  They couldn’t vote.  They couldn’t get an education.  They couldn’t get health insurance.  They couldn’t change jobs.

In fact their owner determined what the meaning of their marriage was.  Their owner decided what kind of retirement plan they had.  Their owner decided what kind of house they could live in.  Their owner decided who was in charge of them.  There owner decided what they were allowed to learn.  Their owner decided what kind of and how much health insurance they were to have.  Their owner decided where they were allowed to work.  That is was made them slaves.  If all their papers that declared them slaves had burned in a fire, they would have still been slaves.

Does any of that sound familiar to today?  I’m not saying we are slaves.  That would be a ridiculous statement.  Tyranny does exist today and tyranny is just another form of slavery.  It doesn’t exist in this country.  I hope it never does.  But we the people need to decide, before it’s too late, if we are going to prevent it from appearing here.  In my last post I discussed freedom.  I would like you to ask yourself.  Are we closer to the freedom our Founding Fathers fought and died to give us, or are we closer to the tyranny of King George III.  After you answer that question you must decide what you are going to do about it.  Our Founding Fathers fought and died for that freedom.  They gave us this amazing document, The Constitution.  Because of that Constitution we don’t have to fight with a gun.  We fight with a ballot box.  Are you willing to drag yourself away from “Housewives” to fight for your country every few months?


4 Comments to “What is Slavery?”

  1. “It is the duty and obligation of every free man to die a free man.” – LT. GEN. Honore

  2. Edmund Burke said, ‘The only thing necessary for the triumph [of evil] is for good men to do nothing.’

  3. Excellent post. I completely agree. I would add that with the “progress” that has been made in technology, education, and scientific advancement makes this concept is even more terrifying. Some of the things that we can be forced to participate in through financial funding (abortion, providing birth control to minors without parental consent, welfare, etc…) take the situation up a notch. Slavery was morally reprehensible, but in most cases slaves were forced to work only, not participate in anything that could damage their souls or other people. I’m not saying I would like to be a slave, but I am betting that most slaves went to bed with clear consciences. Will we be able to do that?

  4. Traci,

    Excellent point.

    Amen, Paul and Win!

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