Vice Magazine just published an article by Jim Goad (Redneck Manifesto, Answer Me! etc..) called "Dumb Myths and Smart Facts About Slavery". I couldn't paste the text here for some reason but the link is above. The basic premise is that the white-male view of slavery, and how we teach our youth about slavery is distorted. Goad believes less in racism and more in classism, but nonetheless, this article has people up in arms. What do you think? They also have a discussion forum on the articles page.
4. "RE: Why would we pay attention" In response to Reply # 2
>To a white man's view of slavery. At least in this context. >He has no way to relate. It's just an attempt to minimalize >the genocidal practice of the slave trade.
Here's the kicker - if you read the article, he's not attempting to minimalize the genocidal practice of the slave trade! He's actually trying to show that slavery is/was much more widespread than the Euro-centric/American focused history of slavery that is taught in schools. He's saying that slavery is/was a much bigger problem than most people think.
I think that is important to pay attention to, no?
IMO it's SSDD (same shit, different day). I think this article by Tim Wise is far more thoughful:
"Not very. At least not as the means to an ends...precisely because progress on racism has never been related to how whites felt about black people. Rather, progress has come via movement activity forcing elites to make changes, whether or not the mass of whites supported such changes. None of the civil rights acts of the 1960's were supported by the majority of whites. Neither was desegregation via the Brown v Board decision. And needless to say, neither was abolition of slavery. But interestingly, after laws were changed, more and more people (though admittedly not enough) came to accede to the new norm, and actually reduced their opposition to such laws and changes. Keep in mind, most people are conformist. They assume the laws are legitimate, and the state is legitimate. As a result, when activists force changes, over time (sometimes a very short time), most people come to at least passively accept those changes, and many even come to support them outright.
Never to my knowledge have most white people's perceptions of blacks in this country been:
a. based on what blacks did or did not do. b. that blacks were equally capable and deserving of opportunity c. the key to whether or not progress would be made for black people.
No matter how blacks have "behaved" or what their demands have been , whites, especially elites, have found ways to explicate white superiority. So if slaves ran away, they were mentally ill and dangerous, but if they didn't run away, they were happy and clearly inferior beings (since what rational person would accept bondage?). If blacks fought for their rights, they were agitators, commies, etc. but if they didn't, they were docile, and "recognized their own limitations and the need for white guidance." In other words, whites' support for challenging racism has never been dependent on what blacks did or did not do." - from http://www.raceandhistory.com/cgi-bin/forum/webbbs_config.pl/noframes/read/862