“I think every heritage has things that are good about it, every heritage has things that are harmful about it,” replied Representative Tom Price recently to a question from Senator Tim Kaine. “And I’m happy to answer the specific question. I think slavery was an abomination.” Price was being interviewed for Donald Trump’s choice for Secretary of Health and Human Services, nothing but a political junkpile cabinet office.
Price, from Georgia, was interrogated by modern “Senators” who of course treat the South and its Confederate flag and history with disdain. Most of the politicians from the South who are hit by such questions from the interrogators always recoil like Price did. And not infrequently it is some smug carpetbagger like (Minnesota to Kansas to Virginia) Senator Tim Kaine who condescendingly smiles while posing his irrelevant question.
This, as if the South had introduced this evil in the 18th and 19th century or that great Moses from Illinois—replicated by a multi-million dollar carved stone monument—had freed any slaves. He didn’t.
The sadness, aside from the fact that it is simply not true, is that these untutored, untaught, or perhaps just dishonest men discharge this vomitus, leaving Southerners, historically the most patriotic lovers of freedom and republic government, as men who cannot be responsible alone for what they did not singularly do. And did in fact, led by the grandest of Southern states, Virginia, try to outlaw long before there even was a celebratory July 4th. Thomas Jefferson called it “this iniquitous traffic.”
The history of slavery covered every continent and virtually every region and state of the world. But the entire history of slavery in the Western Hemisphere—no, the entire history of slavery—for some reason seems to fall upon the American South. This is ahistorical. More slaves landed in Brazil—and the Spanish West Indies and the British West Indies and the French West Indies—than the South, 2000% more in fact.
Truth and honesty among these politicians would reveal that the first slave ship from American shores, the Desire, sailed from Salem, Massachusetts and all slave ships followed their Northern slave trading brothers from Northern ports (the navigation society as opposite the agrarian society of the South) to west Africa and the West Indies. To this end the North bought slaves from the western African people; those same people who had taken their African brothers and sold them to the Portuguese, Dutch, and English as well as the American New Englanders, all who had anchored their slave ships offshore.
Where is the sanctimonious scandalous outrage over these grand men of the North, “buying and selling souls”? Where is the constant clamorous censure over the Northern hatred of “those people of color”? And let’s not forget that black codes were a Yankee invention.
And please, no more of this nonsense about the South fighting a war where one in four of its men were killed because they could not bring themselves to free their slaves; nor 300,000 men from the North dying to free black men who were not even allowed to live (by law) in some Northern states.
I would like to believe most Southerners wince when they hear weak men like Price or silly women like Governor Nicky Haley spout what they are too cowardly(Price), or too unread (Haley) to understand. Of course, we know these are politicians, and most politicians have so little to offer they can almost be excused.
Except, I don’t excuse them. They beg for votes. They get paid from the public trough.
And they boast. And they boast!