Idiot Savvy-ant Open Thread: Ross Doubthat Has A Modest Proposal

Ten thousand bucks, cash on the barrelhead, if he never has to hear from You People again. No, really:

Instead of reparations as an addition to our current affirmative-action regime, then, maybe they should be considered as an alternative — one that directly addresses a unique government-sanctioned crime against part of the American people, without requiring a preference regime that makes lower-class white Americans feel like victims of a multicultural version of The Man.

So, this week’s immodest proposal: Abolish racial preferences in college admissions, phase out preferences in government hiring and contracting, eliminate the disparate-impact standard in the private sector, and allow state-sanctioned discrimination only on the basis of socioeconomic status, if at all. Then at the same time, create a reparations program — the Frederick Douglass Fund, let’s call it — that pays out exclusively, directly and one time only to the proven descendants of American slaves.

What would it pay out? Reparations advocates talk in trillions, which would take this already-unrealistic proposal into the realm of the utopian. But right now, giving every single African-American $10,000, perhaps in a specially-designed annuity, would cost about $370 billion, modest relative to supply-side tax plans and single-payer schemes alike. The wealth of the median black household in the United States was $11,200 as of 2013; a $10,000 per-person annuity would more than double it.

In so doing it would hardly eliminate racial disadvantage, but then again neither has 50 years of affirmative action. What it would offer is a meaningful response to an extraordinary injustice, but a response that does not involve permanent discrimination…

How does that man walk around without an umbrella, to protect him from the passers-by continually spitting at him?

I actually checked to make sure this appeared under the actual NYTimes banner — that it wasn’t a spoof site intended to mock revanchist apologists like Our Mr. Douthat. There are so many layers of wrongness to this idea, from the meagreness of his calculations to the voter-ID twist that surely every local authority would accept the testimony of a prospective “beneficiary” as to their ancestry. It would be nice if a qualified professional, like Jamelle Bouie or Ta-Nehisi Coates, were to fisk Douthat the way he deserves… but why should they waste their efforts on such a pitiful specimen?






93 replies
  1. 1
    Hunter Gathers says:

    White Men Can’t Think

  2. 2
    pat says:

    I read it three times and I can not believe that anyone could write such utter nonsense.

    Hey, let’s give every Native American some money too, to pay for the country we stole from them.

  3. 3
    Hal says:

    In so doing it would hardly eliminate racial disadvantage, but then again neither has 50 years of affirmative action.

    How many African Americans moved into the middle class and beyond as a result of college educations and affirmative action, Whether related to college acceptance and/or job hiring?

    The idea that AA has had no benefit or effects on the lives of minorities is asinine and would seem to be easily verifiable.

  4. 4
    Tenar Arha says:

    By weird happenstance, looks like Bouie is handling Friedersdorf beginning yesterday. (Anyway, because of this I suspect he wouldn’t be up for it 😉).

  5. 5
    Timurid says:

    Are the 40 acres and mule included?

  6. 6
    Baud says:

    The NYT is garbage.

  7. 7
    Walker says:

    This is the bargaining phase of people knowing they are on the way out.

    I have been reading admissions for my (well-known) university this past month. My group has accepted more asian + african american students than white ones. And this is not entirely because of affirmative action. You read an application from a white student at a fancy private school that barely has Calculus AB. Then you read one from an AA student from the local (seen as sketchier) public school in the same town. That student is dual enrolled in differential equations with the local community college.

    This type of coasting was fine when these students could go to a smaller regional college designed for lazy rich people. But those are the colleges that are dying.

  8. 8
    Kelly says:

    Greg Walden Oregon’s only Republican in Congress Chair of Energy and Commerce told Oregon Republicans at the Dorchester conference Saturday the bill to replace failing Obamacare will keep all the good parts and there is nothing unusual about keeping a bill secret until it is up for a vote.

  9. 9
    laura says:

    It’s going to be hard waiting a whole week for Driftglass and Blue Gal to take the flensing knife to this latest Cardinal Douthat supposition on the matter of racial injustice.
    Jamelle Bouie, Ta NeHisi Coates,
    Toure, Eugene Robinson, Melissa Harris Perry, Cornel West, will hopefully hand the cardinal his hat in their unique and individual ways.
    In a just world, Russ Douthat and David Brooks would be relegated to the local penny saver.

  10. 10
    Peale says:

    Says the guy who basically has his job because someone at the Times felt the need to fill in a square for the young conservative voice.

  11. 11
    Baud says:

    Then at the same time, create a reparations program — the Frederick Douglass Fund, let’s call it

    He really is being recognized more and more.

  12. 12
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Hunter Gathers: I beg your pardon. We can’t think good.

  13. 13
    ThresherK says:

    @Peale: Hey, Douthat’s a very square peg that fits into the squarist of affirmative-action quotas.

  14. 14
    Citizen_X says:

    @Peale: THAT.

  15. 15
    MattF says:

    Notice, just in passing, the way Doubt-that conflates ‘wealth’ and income. Stupid or evil, you choose.

  16. 16
    Baud says:

    @Tenar Arha: Conor had a piece about Trump in The Atlantic the other day. I only read it to see if he could talk about Trump without taking a dig at Dems. He couldn’t. (Specifically Hillary.)

  17. 17
    Hungry Joe says:

    That Brooks, Dowd, and Douthat are (highly!) paid columnists at the Fucking New Fucking York Fucking Times smacks my gob almost daily. I have a friend who writes a brilliant, funny, incisive column for one of our local alternative weeklies; she puts the three of them to shame — or would, if they had any. Another friend (also female, FWIW) writes an occasional column for a Tennessee paper that, were any one of them to run in the New Fucking York Etc. would generate a near-endless string of delighted comments from justifiably astonished readers.

  18. 18
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Douchehat’s head would look much better on a pike than on his shoulders.

  19. 19
    Baud says:

    It should go without saying but I’ll say it, the Republicans would never enact even Douthat’s silly plan.

  20. 20
    Vhh says:

    A Trumpkin approach. Screw over the help for a decade, century or two, then when they get stroppy, buy them off with a meagre settlement with a gag order to stop the complaining. All without admitting responsibility.

    This is whythe legal system invented punitive damages.

  21. 21
    RepubAnon says:

    Given the correlation between income and race, using income-based affirmative action could achieve much the same result as race-based affirmative action, without triggering some of the Republican “Teenage Immigrant Welfare Mothers on Drugs” talking points. (Title of a 20-year old satirical Austin Lounge Lizards song – still quite relevant today.)

    That said, there’s plenty of racism in society today – creeping out from the cracks like sewage from a long-leaking pipe that finally got serious enough to push through the walls into the living room. Removing the “racial quotas” talking point could help clarify the fairness issue.

    (On a side note – some conservatives are arguing for hiring quotas for college professors, requiring a certain percentage be reserved for registered Republicans. Funny how they want “special privileges” for their group enacted by law if they can’t achieve them by controlling the power structure.

  22. 22
    MJS says:

    Because I couldn’t bring myself to read it, I don’t know if Douthat was able to fit in an “of course, that $10,000 would be reduced by an amount equal to any public assistance already received”, but it wouldn’t surprise one bit if he did.

  23. 23
    Another Scott says:

    Yeah, Ross, pulling $10,000 out of your butt shows how much you understand the scale of the problem and why reparations are needed.

    Nominal US Per-Capita GDP is $57,409 according to FRED. $10,000 (minus obligatory taxes) is nothing. How much would $10,000 help you, Ross? How much would it help you – long term – if you had nothing?

    Oh, and Ross? Limiting the “reparations” to only the descendants of African slaves doesn’t help immigrants, and African Americans who were free, who have also suffered red-lining, Jim Crow, and the other state-sanctioned discrimination. They’re SOL?

    And, BTW, your “proposal” doesn’t even consider Native Americans, women, the mentally and physically disabled, etc., who have also suffered governmental discrimination and need Affirmative Action to address past and on-going issues..

    One-time solutions aren’t solutions. Society needs to change, and that means that Affirmative Action is still needed and will be needed for a long time to come.

    Affirmative Action benefits society – it’s not a cost. Making it easier and simpler for everyone to contribute as best they can enriches America.

    Cheers,
    Scott.
    (Who never reads Ross normally.)

  24. 24
    Honus says:

    @Hal: that affirmative action hasn’t worked, along with social security is broke and tax cuts increase revenue, are articles of faith on the right. In fact, AA has worked quite well as you note. The work isn’t finished, but to say there has been no effect is ludicrous.
    In contrast, I don’t hear much from republicans about the total uselessness of the farm subsidies.

  25. 25
    El Caganer says:

    Why didn’t he just come out and say what was really on his mind? “We’re tired of taking care of You Ungrateful People.” Or wouldn’t that fit in with his attempt at being post-racial or whatever other trendy words/phrases are used to sweep racism under the rug?

  26. 26
    danielx says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    HOPE: Heads On Pikes Everywhere

  27. 27
    Walker says:

    @RepubAnon:

    On a side note – some conservatives are arguing for hiring quotas for college professors, requiring a certain percentage be reserved for registered Republicans. Funny how they want “special privileges” for their group enacted by law if they can’t achieve them by controlling the power structure.

    Yes, this is the new thing. We had a non-binding student assembly vote on this recently. The debate got super heated and was voted down. These are going nowhere in private institutions, but they can be a threat to public institutions. The brain drain (as competitors go faculty shopping) at U. Wisc is exhibit A.

  28. 28
    cmorenc says:

    @pat:

    Hey, let’s give every Native American some money too, to pay for the country we stole from them.

    This is in fact, effectively what we did with Native Americans – except that we promised to pay what amounted to pennies on the dollar for their land, and then chiseled them out of most of that, and then starting a couple of decades ago, started to make good-in-kind by acknowledging NA tribes’ rights to open gaudy casinos on their residual tiny reservations to strip-mine money out of non-NAs.

  29. 29
    Craig McMahon says:

    Ugh, this fuckin’ guy. I feel like a version of him was in every American history/government class I ever took in high school. He’s as smug as he is thoughtless, and as other posters have noted, likely only has his job through affirmative action.

    Being confronted with the naked, craven immorality of the right is demoralizing. Is noon on a Sunday too early to start drinking?

  30. 30

    Didn’t read Chunky Bobo even when I had the Vichy Times subscription, I see no need to start now.

  31. 31
    Karen S. says:

    @Baud:
    Well, you know, Fred’s done a lot of good stuff for his community, so it’s about time he’s getting recognized more and more.

  32. 32
    sukabi says:

    @laura: no, in a just world they’d be cleaning toilets at the local McDonald’s….and they’d do a shitty job at that too.

  33. 33

    @Walker: My experience was that faculty who publish a lot get offers to move elsewhere every year. If you make them unhappy enough, they’ll eventually take one of those offers. This will affect your university’s rating, though, I suppose, the hostile legislature may not care.

  34. 34
    Yarrow says:

    @pat:

    I read it three times

    Wow. I couldn’t even read it once. I refuse to read that drivel.

  35. 35
    Gravenstone says:

    @pat: Sssssshhhhhh. Not so loud. Because Trump plans to steal what little was left to the Native Americans. There’s oil on them tribal lands, don’tchaknow?

  36. 36
    laura says:

    @Craig McMahon: Jeezus, it’s called brunch! So, no, not too early at all.

  37. 37
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @Walker: Funny… when did Republicans become a ‘protected class’?

    These A-holes make me want to puke…

    As far as the future of the country is concerned, I couldn’t help but notice that all three finalists in Jeopardy’s collegiate tournament last week were of Asian descent: 1 Indian & 2 Chinese…

  38. 38
    p.a. says:

    I won’t click through, I don’t subscribe, but I imagine the comments are delightful. Also too, is there any editing process at the NYT for their top tier columnists? No one to say…”eh, Ross, maybe a few tweaks. Like start with the concept…”

  39. 39
    Baud says:

    @p.a.: No. They love click bait.

  40. 40
    Craig McMahon says:

    @laura: is it still “brunch” when one is home alone and having a homebrew instead of a mimosa or bloody mary? Asking for a friend.

  41. 41
    Suzanne says:

    Ross Douthat is dumber than a bagful of hammers, and his sense of resentment is almost as large as the hole where his brain should be. HOLY MOTHER OF FSM. How does he possibly think $10K—which doesn’t even buy a used Honda Civic—would make up for thousands upon thousands of stolen lives and wealth, rape, lynching, redlining, police violence, etc etc etc? Oh wait, he doesn’t. He just feels worse for less-than-mediocre white people than he does for hardworking minorities. Fuck him with a spiky acid-tipped dick. Or the knife dildo from Se7en.

  42. 42
    Kyle says:

    Did anyone else notice that Doubt-that got the econ completely wrong too? It would be a one time only payment of $10,000 (italics in original). By the end of the next paragraph, it became a $10,000 annuity, which means that it would be paid out every year. He obviously intends for the payment to be one-time-only, but “annuity” was such a great econ-ish word that he had to include it, even though it means the exact opposite of what he wants.

  43. 43
    Cacti says:

    Another deplorable terrorist strikes.

    Sikh man shot in his driveway in Kent, WA, told “go back to your country” per witnesses.

  44. 44
    Gravenstone says:

    @RepubAnon: Funniest part about Republican quota bill you referred to; the author claims a “business management ” degree on his resume. It’s actually a bog standard corporate training module he got as a teen working at Sizzler.

  45. 45
    JWR says:

    OT: Just watched Martha Radditz on ABC tear this WH spokesperson, the southern accented Sanders lady, a new a**hole. Too funny/sad! Also, following up on a tweet posted earlier this morning, (the one from Louise Mensch), wouldn’t it be wild if Comey had really, according to Mensch, told the FISA court Three Fvcking Times that he so truly believed that Trump was a Foreign Agent, that getting to Trump was the real reason for his letter, 11 days before the election, taking HRC down and installing the Trump Crime Syndicate in the Oval Office just to be sure to get them all in one place?

    Also too, fvck Ross Douthat!

  46. 46
    Mike in NC says:

    @Craig McMahon: Nope. Noon on Sunday is when you can buy beer and wine in this state. I’ll be heading to the store shortly.

  47. 47
    WereBear says:

    @Baud: It should go without saying but I’ll say it, the Republicans would never enact even Douthat’s silly plan.

    Does not matter. Silly Republican Plans exist only so they can point at it and say, “See! You didn’t let us do it our way!”

  48. 48
    Immanentize says:

    @Hunter Gathers:

    White Men Can’t Think

    A friend of mine who lived in London once saw the best graffiti pairing ever. The was a big “WOGS OUT!” Sprayed on a wall and over it, someone sprayed: “WHITE MAN CAN’T FUCK”. About sums up so much underlying history.

  49. 49
    Mike in NC says:

    What Ross Douchebag and his pals really would like to do is buy one-way tickets for Those People to go back to “where they belong”.

  50. 50
    Craig McMahon says:

    @Mike in NC: then good, because I’m going to brag on behalf of my dear friend who brewed the beer.

    I “helped” him in the sense that I was carrying and cleaning things, but didn’t “help” with the brewing process in the sense that he chose all ingredients and did the hard work. The beer has been christened “Golden Laurel,” because a) it is gold colored and b) my friend lives on a street called Laurel St.

    First let me say I’m not a “beer guy” in the sense that I know a lot about beer, or am able to talk about beer, um… goodly. I am a “beer guy” in that I like drinking beer. That having been established, this is fantastic- somehow both crisp and sour, rather less carbonated than most commercial beers, and delicious at room temperature. Not particularly hoppy, which is just fine by me (I prefer stouts and porters to IPAs). About 6.x% alcohol according to my friend.

    My buddy decided to carbonate them in the bottle, so the 12-pack he gifted me will probably continue to change in carbonation level/flavor profile over the next however many days they last. I think he mentioned that if I want, I could refrigerate them to slow/stop that process. I might put some in the fridge and leave some out to compare how they change over the next week or so.

    @Mike in NC: There were people who actually tried to do that in the 1850s and ’60s, including, I believe, Licoln himself. It’s one of those things that “Lincoln was the REAL racist” types like to carry on about.

  51. 51
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Cacti:

    I find it intriguing that the shooter covered his face. That says to me that it’s probably one of the neighbors who didn’t want to be easily identified.

    And I’m glad the asshole either chickened out or had bad aim and only wounded the victim in the arm.

  52. 52
    mai naem mobile says:

    I was flipping radio channels to Larry Kudlow yesterday and he had some guy on from Commentary magazine who was going on about unemployed men and how the entitlement programs(incl. disabiltiy,Obamacare) encourages them not to work. Dontcha know medicaid caused the opioid problem because doctors prescribed opioids made possible by medicaid. Two people who have probably never done any physical labor beyond getting on their knees every two years and giving a bj to the Koch bros. Ask your freaking average contruction worker what kind of shape their back is when they reach 50. And then Kudlow the former cokehead talks about how his back has been hurting during the week because of extended travel but he doesn’t take pain meds because hes been clean and sober for 21 years. He didn’t talk about how he was doing coke,not some laborer who starting taking opiods because they had hurt themselves lifting something at work.

  53. 53

    A few more of the photos I took at yesterday’s anti-Trump march in Kansas City:

    Anti-Trump March in Kansas City – March 4, 2017 – part 2

  54. 54
    Immanentize says:

    I remember reading a while back when reparations was a hot topic, that the promised “forty acres and a mule” would be worth something north of 6 trillion in reparations today. 10 K my ass.

  55. 55
    Baud says:

    @mai naem mobile: If more people died in childbirth, they wouldn’t need government handouts.

  56. 56
    Aimai says:

    @Kyle: yes. I noticed that. So stupid. Guy should be retriactuveky stripped of his BA.

  57. 57
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @JWR: OT: Just watched Martha Radditz on ABC tear this WH spokesperson, the southern accented Sanders lady, a new a**hole.

    I do believe you’re referring to Sarah Huckabee Sanders, daughter the former governor of Arkansas

  58. 58

    @Kyle: Definition of A Conservative: Ignorant and proud of it.

  59. 59
    lgerard says:

    @mai naem mobile:

    Kudlow….stupidest man ever

    bush boom

  60. 60
    Just One More Canuck says:

    Douthat is not against affirmative action – he’s just against affirmative action for others who aren’t like him. The whole system of legacy admissions to university is nothing but affirmative action for the rich. And can he possibly think that he got jobs as a senior editor at the Atlantic and then as an op-ed columnist for the fuckin New York Times while in his 20’s based on his own merit and body of work (rhetorical question – of course he thinks that)

  61. 61
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    @Craig McMahon: From my Civil War reading, sometime in 1863, prior to the issuing of the Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln made an offer to the South that if they stopped the war, he would buy their slaves. The South refused that offer. They lost their slaves with no possibility of compensation, incurred more property damage and lost lives that could never be restored.

    Even during the creation of the Constitution, some of the writers had suggested compensated Emancipation which was also refused.

    Face it, slavery made the slaveowners dumb like Doubthat.

  62. 62
    Another Scott says:

    @RepubAnon: The guy who was pushing for that was claiming that his Sizzler training certificate was a business degree…. :-/

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  63. 63
    JWR says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I do believe you’re referring to Sarah Huckabee Sanders, daughter the former governor of Arkansas

    Yep, that’s the one. Thank you! Also, I don’t particularly care for this Martha Radditz person, but watching Sanders squirm was worth the watch.

  64. 64
    gex says:

    @MattF: I choose C) all of the above.

  65. 65
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Craig McMahon:

    IIRC, Lincoln was one of the people who publicly toyed with the idea of returning former slaves to Africa since that was where they had originally been stolen from, but he eventually realized that too many of them had been born here and it would be cruel to return them to a “homeland” where they didn’t know anyone or speak the language.

  66. 66
    OldDave says:

    @RepubAnon:

    “Teenage Immigrant Welfare Mothers on Drugs” talking points. (Title of a 20-year old satirical Austin Lounge Lizards song – still quite relevant today.)

    My favorite Lizards song: Rasputin’s HMO

  67. 67
    JWR says:

    Speaking of Ross Dumbass, has anyone else seen “White like me“? Maybe we could petition R. Dumbass to see it.

  68. 68
    laura says:

    @Craig McMahon: It’s Beer Week (more like beer fortnight) here in Sacramento. So tell your friend yes, green light.

  69. 69
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    O by the way, this black person gets annoyed at those who talk about Northern “wage slaves” as if the conditions were really equal or even worse. First of all, a wage slave could walk away-hell run away, if the opportunity presented itself. Wage slaves could go to school if they had the time, or could make the time, and learn to do something else, again, if they had the chance. Wage slaves were allowed their religion, their family, to freely associate after work, to vote. Those were actively denied slaves, with a few exceptions of those who were allowed training for some skills. Even then the skilled had to turn over their wages to their owner-so much for gaining capital, had no power over working hours or conditions.

    And there was the humiliating, debasing treatment-the demand for total submission, the lack of legal (or even moral) redress for abuse. Wage slaves were allowed some pride, access to the courts, at least some address with public opinion. A wage slave would be called Mr-Mrs-Miss and could at least assert that much-they could have basic dignity. Slaves-and even a lot of free black people-weren’t allowed that much.

  70. 70
    Cacti says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I find it intriguing that the shooter covered his face. That says to me that it’s probably one of the neighbors who didn’t want to be easily identified

    Agreed.

    While it’s possible that a masked shooter out to commit a hate crime just happened upon a sikh man at his home, it seems highly unlikely.

    It was almost certainly someone who already knew he lived there.

  71. 71
    trollhattan says:

    @Kyle:
    Maybe $10k paid out as an annuity, say, over a hundred years. Surely that’ll keep Those People happy.

  72. 72
    Craig McMahon says:

    @Mnemosyne, @CarolDuhart2:

    You two aren’t suggesting that people who push a “Lincoln was the REAL racist” line might not be advancing their point of view in good faith, are you?

    Anyway, it’s good that Lincoln considered and rejected this as being too cruel in his own lifetime. It places Douthat firmly pre-1860 in his political sophisticated. We can get him to admit something he thinks is TOO reactionary, we might be able to triangulate what time his political views might have been held as acceptable.

    He’s a Catholic, right? Curious that he’s more ideologically comfortable with the Klan than the black community.

  73. 73
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    @Craig McMahon: Liberia was the experiment. Not founded by Lincoln, but established as an experiment. I did the cost per person sent, and it was approx $39,000 per. At the time, there were 3 million known slaves in the US. The cost to transport them to Africa, not including supplies, and security would have been bankrupting. But Lincoln hoped that at least a few freed slaves would make the trip and give themselves a place that white society was not inclined to permit.

  74. 74
    Mnemosyne says:

    @CarolDuhart2:

    The one thing that white people in early America were subjected to that was kinda-sorta like slavery was indentured servitude, which was basically limited-term slavery, and the “masters” would frequently add years to the “contract” through dishonest means. Ads looking for runaway slaves and runaway indentured servants were pretty much the same. But that system was pretty much dead by the time of the American Revolution, and it was not a system that passed from mother to child like slavery did.

    If you ever saw the episode of “Finding Your Roots” that had Wanda Sykes on it, they discovered that her family had always been Free Black, because they were descended from a white female indentured servant who had children with an African male slave.

  75. 75
    Frankensteinbeck says:

    @RepubAnon:
    I’m afraid income-based affirmative action would not reduce white resentment at all. There is a long history demonstrating this, alas. Welfare, an income-based measure, became ‘t-bone steaks for strapping young bucks’, remember? They attack Obamacare for the same reason. The entire push to destroy the safety net grew out of white working class anger that blacks get anything, at all. They would rather starve themselves* than let people of color get the same benefit.

    *It has to be said that racists believe that they will magically not need help if everyone they hate is denied help. They make this argument and it’s complete Underpants Gnome logic.

  76. 76
    Repatriated says:

    I once did a back-of-the-envelope calculation based just on the wage-disparity effects of Jim Crow laws through 1965 (explicitly excluding slavery), adjusted for the fact that the government only controls about one-fourth of the economy, and came up with numbers that amounted to about 13 years of the current U.S. Gross National Product directly attributable to officially-mandated discrimination. And that’s a severe underestimate since I neglected to account for wealth accumulation.

    The fact that even that number isn’t on the table here (“trillions” in the article is doing some heavy lifting — should have been “tens of trillions” at the very least) shows how severely Americans underestimate the damage done, and how outlandish suggestions to “just get over it” are.

  77. 77
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    @Mnemosyne: And that’s the difference there. Indentured servitude wasn’t hereditary, and if you ran far enough away, you could make a new life and a new identity.

    Of course,by the time of the Civil War, that system was long gone. Even if it hadn’t completely gone away, the industrial needs of the North and its growing cities would have given a white runaway the opportunity to stay away. What the slaveowners were trying to do was equate the workers in Northern factories with the slaves and saying that “look at the North, how they treat those factory workers” when they were criticized about slave-holding. Not that the conditions were great either, but there were real differences that the factory worker had.

  78. 78
    debbie says:

    …but why should they waste their efforts on such a pitiful specimen?

    So no one tries this again.

  79. 79
    Mnemosyne says:

    @CarolDuhart2:

    Oh, yeah, it was total bullshit by the slave owners to claim that being paid a low wage was worse than actual slavery. And, as I said, the system of indentured servitude for white people was pretty much over by the time of the American Revolution, which is why the slaveowners in the 1850s were grasping at straws for a comparison.

    If you haven’t read any of David Blight’s books on the run-up to the Civil War, it’s really fascinating (in a horrifying sort of way) to see the lines being drawn as abolitionism gained stream, with more and more rights being taken away from enslaved people as the system came under more pressure. States that had allowed people to buy their own freedom just 10 or 20 years before started disallowing even that, and the laws became harsher and harsher.

  80. 80
    Baud says:

    Solve Racial Conflict with this One Neat Trick, by Ross Douthat.

  81. 81
    WereBear says:

    @CarolDuhart2: Lincoln made an offer to the South that if they stopped the war, he would buy their slaves. The South refused that offer. They lost their slaves with no possibility of compensation, incurred more property damage and lost lives that could never be restored.

    And they are still like that.

  82. 82
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    @Mnemosyne: I also read elsewhere was as the demand created by the cotton mills in England grew greater, the plantation system became more like the industrial factories of the North in terms of conditions. The demand for cotton grew to the point that new owners came into the system who basically saw slavery as a get-rich-quick scheme and who had little incentive to even allow minor concessions. Not only that, but the slave system was being squeezed. True, the West never really was good for cotton-based slavery (although they probably could have done mining), but demands of free farmers meant they couldn’t just move on or expand easily. And the Northwest Territory forever forbade slavery, so Ohio, Indiana, and other well-watered places were blocked as well. So the entry price of being a planter-and keeping a plantation going-got more and more expensive.

    That was the economic issue underlying the Civil War. Secession was seen as a way to re-open the West, (expand-Cuba, Mexico, parts of the Caribbean), and get out from under the growing disapproval of slavery from the North.

  83. 83
    germy says:

    @Baud:

    Solve Racial Conflict with this One Neat Trick, by Ross Douthat.

    “Balloon-Juicers hate it!”

  84. 84
    Mnemosyne says:

    @CarolDuhart2:

    Also, I posted a link to this at the height of my Hamilmania, but a genealogist found a really fascinating love story in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s family history. Short version seems to be that, in 1812, a white man fell in love with an enslaved woman (possibly owned by his family) and the two of them fled west together and lived as husband and wife for more than 20 years. Eventually, the family ended up in Mexico where they could safely live as free people, which is why LMM’s half-Mexican mother’s maiden name was Townes.

    There are some very poignant written statements from the husband trying to get his family freed while they lived in Texas and explaining how painful it is for him to know that he owns his wife and children. One of the horrors of slavery and anti-miscegenation laws was that it was actually safer for his family to legally be his property, because then no one could steal them and sell them back into slavery.

  85. 85
    J R in WV says:

    @Baud:

    I only read it to see if he could talk about Trump without taking a dig at Dems. He couldn’t. (Specifically Hillary.)

    How could you tell whether he was taking a swipe at Democratic party members, OR a swipe at females~?

  86. 86
    Baud says:

    @J R in WV: I don’t follow him closely. I didn’t realize he had a reputation for misogyny.

  87. 87
    J R in WV says:

    @Craig McMahon:

    Not too early to start drinking at any time when we have a fascist government installed right here in the US of America. That’s a big part of what’s wrong in Russia, they start drinking with breakfast to blot out the horror of their (dead) bodies politic.

  88. 88
    Groucho48 says:

    @Baud:

    I’m surprised they didn’t ask him to run the program.

  89. 89
    J R in WV says:

    @Baud:

    I don’t follow him at all !! but those defective thinking patterns seem to run in groups. Hate black or brown people, hate females too…. Seems that he would hate Catholics if he weren’t one hisself!

  90. 90
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    but then again neither has 50 years of affirmative action

    So what are Collion Powell, Condilica Rice and Barrack Obama turnips to this dumb ass? There is no way they could have gotten to the highs offices they without the legal push backs against racism, the Old, White, Male and above all Stupid Trump administration shows racism is live and well in American society. As the twitter says, if this slob gets to be paid to write intertubes Troll level shit like this, why not me?

  91. 91
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Walker: Like the way with sports, the AA see it was way of poverty so they are the hungry ones.

    Oh that’s right, bootstraps need to be cut to keep the fucking Old Stupid White guys happy and they don’t get shown up by some hard working minority.

  92. 92
  93. My grad school professor, a former militant radical who ran with Stokely Carmichael did a calculation in class the showed the US would have to give what amounted to the entire confederacy to African Americans to begin to compensate. I become more convinced of the brilliance of his vision with every passing year.

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