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Most college students think America invented slavery, professor finds (Ignorance compounds ignorance)

Wednesday, November 2, 2016 7:54
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If this is really true it is an amazing statistic that explains at least some of the special form of myopic insanity we see around issue of race in this country. To repeat, these are COLLEGE students, the supposed educated, or at least somewhat informed.

Slavery is a horrible, dehumanizing, brutal institution that should never ever be tolerated. And yet, it is in fact tolerated all around the world even today. Millions of people live in slavery right at this very moment.

Image: Washington PostImage: Washington Post

I’ve actually met someone who was essentially a slave. I once visited the home of a friend of mine where I met their servant/nanna/cook/something. We’d watch TV and she’d bring us snacks. She made sure we were happy and in need of nothing. She spoke with my friend who had grown up with this woman with deference in her native language which was all she knew. She spoke no English. Then at dinner as we gathered to eat the meal cooked by this woman in her 60s she sat in the kitchen while we ate. I was a bit uncomfortable, but my friend’s family was from the Middle East and I just assumed that this was the way it was. My friend’s family was actually quite “liberal” in the modern American sense. I figured there was a reason this woman sat in the kitchen while we ate and drank. I figured that she was a special kind of servant.

In a sense she was. My friend later told me that the woman who had served us all day was in fact originally bought by his family back when they lived in the Middle East. Since the day she was bought, as a young girl, she had been with the family. She had been, and really still was, a slave.

My friend’s family didn’t refer to her as a slave of course. My friend explained to me that they paid the woman in question but she didn’t know the value of money. She couldn’t read. She couldn’t write. She couldn’t drive. She couldn’t speak English. It was then, after learning all about slavery through school and in other places that I really got a sense of what slavery actually was. This woman lived in a psychological cul-de-sac. Her world was little beyond the walls of the house. Hers was a life that many of us can hardly even contemplate.

My friend’s family of course treated this woman with respect. But even still, even though the family was “liberal” and generally good natured it was clear where her place was. But also it must be said that this woman’s fate had she not been bought so many years ago would likely have been really terrible. Which is sad to write but it is likely very true. Life is often brutal.

Almost every culture has embraced slavery at some point. It is not an American invention by any means. And as we see slavery still exists and is incorporated into everyday life in many parts of the world, but not so much, thank God, in the USA. (With the odd exception like the one I identified above.)

(From The College Fix)

Before even distributing the syllabus for his courses, Pesta administered his short quizzes with basic questions about American history, economics and Western culture. For instance, the questions asked students to circle which of three historical figures was a president of the United States, or to name three slave-holding countries over the last 2,000 years, or define “capitalism” and “socialism” in one sentence each.

Often, more students connected Thomas Jefferson to slavery than could identify him as president, according to Pesta. On one quiz, 29 out of 32 students responding knew that Jefferson owned slaves, but only three out of the 32 correctly identified him as president. Interestingly, more students— six of 32—actually believed Ben Franklin had been president.

Pesta said he believes these students were given an overwhelmingly negative view of American history in high school, perpetuated by scholars such as Howard Zinn in “A People’s History of the United States,” a frequently assigned textbook.

Click here for the article.


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