Reason Podcast

Interesting New York Times Slavery Project Hobbled by Anti-Capitalism

Also: the politics of recession, Bernie's criminal justice plan, and stanning for Barry Manilow, all on the Reason Podcast


It has been a helluva weekend for national conversations about race. There was the Proud Boys vs. Antifa street theater in Portland. There was a campaign-pivoting Beto O'Rourke declaring that "Our country was founded on racism—and is still racist today." There was Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.), in the midst of unveiling a sweeping new criminal justice plan, offering this vow: "We will go to war against white nationalism and racism in every aspect of our lives." And as always, there was a Trump tweet.

What was the president referring to? Perhaps the Paper of Record's sweeping and controversial new 1619 Project, which aims "to reframe American history, making explicit how slavery is the foundation on which this country is built." In the back half of today's Editors' Roundtable edition of the Reason Podcast, Nick Gillespie, Katherine Mangu-Ward, Peter Suderman, and Matt Welch offer a mixed preliminary verdict about the package, praising its ambition, agreeing with the importance of the topic, and disagreeing strenuously with its King Cottonesque take on capitalism.

Other items that come up for discussion: the potential impending global recession and its perceived culprits, where Democrats are at on trade, how ancient aliens did the prehistoric cave-paintings, and which podcaster has two thumbs and watched the key-changingest Ron Paul supporter this weekend (hint: this guy!!!).

Audio production by Ian Keyser.

'Railroad's Whiskey Co' by Jahzzar is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Relevant links from the show:

"Slavery Did Not Make America Rich," by Deirdre McCloskey

"White Supremacy Is Alien to Liberal and Libertarian Ideals," by J.D. Tuccille

"White Identity Politics, Not Trump's Racist Tweets, Is National Conservatism's Real Problem," by Steven Greenhut

"Libertarianism, the Anti-Slavery Movement, and Black History Month," by Damon Root

"Classical Liberalism and the Fight for Equal Rights," by Damon Root

"Proud Boys and Antifa Playact Protest in Portland," by Nancy Rommelmann

"Beto's Reboot: So You're Saying There's Still a Chance?" by Matt Welch

"Bernie Sanders Introduces Bill to Eliminate Cash Bail," by Scott Shackford

"Sanders Suddenly Becomes Pot-Friendliest Major-Party Candidate," by Jacob Sullum

"Bernie Sanders Calls for 'Automatic' Federal Investigations of Deaths in Police Custody," by Anthony Fisher

"Why Bernie Sanders Is Wrong About Private Prisons," by Leonard Gilroy and Adrian Moore

"Beto vs. Warren Is the Trade Policy Debate Democrats Need To Have," by Eric Boehm

"Biden Is Turning Trump's Trade War Into a Major Campaign Issue. More Democrats Should Follow His Lead," by Eric Boehm

"Elizabeth Warren Wants to Make Your Life More Annoying and More Expensive," by Peter Suderman

"Is Deregulation to Blame?" by Katherine Mangu-Ward

"Is Barry Manilow a Closet Libertarian? (He Gave $2,300 to Ron Paul's Campaign)," by Nick Gillespie

What are we consuming this week?

Matt Welch

  • Broadway performance of Barry Manilow- "Could this be the Magic"

Peter Suderman

  • Beyond Burger, a plant-based burger alternative

NEXT: Justice Department Shakes Up Bureau of Prisons Leadership Following Jeffrey Epstein's Death

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  1. “Repeat after me, loyal readers: Down with capitalism and its handmaiden, white supremacy!”

    1. “Wait, scrap that slogan, we’ve just been informed that ‘handmaiden’ is sexist. How about: Capitalism bad, Democrats good!”

      1. Why the outrage? I don’t get it. Let the NYT write about whatever they want. You’ll need a subscription to read it anyway, so there is no danger to any of you to be even accidentally exposed to any of this information. I think y’all are safe.

        1. Why should I pay to get the same talking points which people inflict on me for free?

          1. Sometimes I buy a collection which the NYT puts out of its articles on a particular subject, or a book by one of their star correspondents – this is them putting their best foot forward, and it’s better than the paywalled stuff they allow me to see.

            Maybe they’re hiding their super-excellent stuff behind a paywall and not anthologizing it?

        2. You really think the NYT is the only media org (in light of Russiagate dying) that’s gonna pivot to how irredeemably racist America is and that we should vote in Democrats to prove that we aren’t?

          1. I just think this pivot is old news. The left has been pushing the idea that the founding was about protecting slavery, and that was the paramount, perhaps even exclusive purpose of the Constitution, for at least a decade.

            1. And the institution of marriage was for the sole purpose of keeping gays down. Hello!

            2. I recall that the left’s favorite explanation was Charles Beard’s quasi-Marxist economic interpretation of the Founding. That is, the Framers devised a Constitution that frustrated majority rule in order to protect the oligarchic class and their wealth. Sure, slavery was part of that but not the main one which was economics. This is new although your timeline is pretty spot on. It’s replacing the economic deterministic explanation of America with a racial deterministic one.

        3. The NYT editor blatantly admitted that “racism” was going to be the next talking point generator after “Russian collusion!!” fell flat on its face.

          They aren’t even trying to hide that they’re a propaganda organ for the DNC anymore.

          1. Even some of my lefty friends have stopped paying for the NYT. One told me he can’t tell what’s news and what’s opinion when he reads it, so he canceled his subscription.

            1. “can’t tell what’s news and what’s opinion”

              make that simple: it’s ALL propaganda

              1. It’s still good to know which propaganda is factual and which is opinion or made up

            2. In no way do I intend to defend or justify in any way the NYT, but your friend needs to learn to pick out facts for himself.
              You pick out the facts, strip away the opinion/characterization, then add them up in your head.
              Very revealing that way.

  2. There is very little interesting about stilted hackneyed propaganda.

    I wonder, the next time some some Prog expounds on the “Golden Age of Islam”, if slavery’s foundational role will be front and center. Ditto the achievements of ancient Egyptians, Persians, Chinese, etc

    1. I guess the history “classes” at Super Woke College left out the facts that slavery existed in just about every society on every continent, was not invented just to found America, and that brown people owned brown people (and sometimes sold them to white people).

      1. The idea that “The US was built on slavery” is preposterous on its face.
        The Colonies were built on slavery, 5 of the original 13 that had them, and 1 or 2 that built and piloted the shipping.
        The US was founded on a compromise to keep slavery past its sell-by date. The US was an economic backwater until it shed slavery. The Confederates lost the Civil war because of their pre-industrial economy that didn’t produce enough modern weapons and supplies.

        1. I agree, but aren’t we missing the bigger picture? Why is the New York Times focusing on 1619 rather than, I don’t know 2019?

          Leave history to the history books and historians, please. A newspaper should focus on current events. (And I say that as someone whose minor in college was history and who still reads about history for fun.)

          1. The early edition is always old news by the time it gets out

          2. Not to defend the Times, but you that old quote about history and dinner to repeat it? Can’t report the present without understanding the past…

        2. No, the South lost the War for Southern Independence because its military strategy was flawed (going on the offensive instead of recognizing how inferior numbers could be successful on defense) .

          1. War for Southern Independence. Lol.

            1. The War of the Rebellion? The Late Unpleasantness? The War Between the States?

              1. The War of Northern Aggression.

            2. What? It WAS a war for southern independence. They lost. Mainly because they were hugely outnumbered and didn’t have the industrial capacity to keep up with the north either.

              1. Yeah, this is just “gray soldiers bad” idiotic gainsaying

                1. Yup. I mean it WAS Chipper, so it’s to be expected.

        3. “The US was founded on a compromise to keep slavery past its sell-by date.”

          They’d thought slavery was on it’s way out, and that they could kick the can down the road and let it die a natural death, instead of tearing the country apart in a dangerous world. And they’d likely have been right about that if the cotton gin hadn’t made slavery profitable again in the South.

          1. And they’d likely have been right about that if the cotton gin hadn’t made slavery profitable again in the South.

            They’d likely been right about that if the cotton gin hadn’t made slavery profitable again. Steam-powered gins largely obsoleted hand gins within a decade of the war.

            1. To be clear, the cotton gin made slavery profitable because the increased profitability of cotton at a lower price drove the need for field labor, not labor to run the gins. So the advent of powered cotton gins probably wouldn’t have resolved the issue, you’d have needed to automate quite a bit more of the process to obsolete the slavery.

        4. The US was founded on a compromise to keep slavery past its sell-by date.

          By Western sensibilities. Slavery was, and still is, practiced in Africa and S. Asia today.

          1. Yup. Because while immoral, it is a semi-practical institution.

            I’m of the mind that people who have calculated that slaves are less productive than free people are correct, hence it doesn’t even make rational/practical sense at any level… But it may be close, and humans do like to power trip over other humans.

  3. So bringing back slavery will end or prevent the next recession?

    1. If we bring industry to a halt, we’re all poor together, so it’s not really a recession.

      1. “all poor together,” perfectly describes Socialist Democrats

  4. The Times’ project more shows the Left’s growing obsession with race as the only important thing in the past, present and future. An obsession that is increasingly dividing th he country. It is important, the same as injecting poison into one’s veins is important because it is unhealthy.

    1. As the Editor said, they built the newsroom to cover 1 big story (Russia!), and now it is time to shift focus

    2. The more cognizant realize that the opposite of white supremacy is not equality. They’re not stopping the bus in the middle.

  5. Dear Reason Editors — Trump’s tweet was referring to the Slate article about how the NYT was planning to switch to “racism” since Russian collusion and then obstruction of justice weren’t working. The 1619 thing is just obfuscation. — jb

    1. +10,000

      The Reason editors have to know this. They’re just more interested in establishing their woke cred inside the Beltway.

  6. >>>agreeing with the importance of the topic

    nope. be the forefront of letting it die.

    also, agreeing *about* the importance maybe?

    1. Reason’s raison d’etre in the Trump ers is to carry water for Progs and excuse all of their underhanded doings

    2. I wouldn’t say the topic needs to die (though the idea of collective guilt for historical sins does). But the idea that it doesn’t get enough exposure seems pretty silly. Is anyone unaware of the history of slavery and racial discrimination in the US?

      It’s both a political distraction and a distraction from the other problems contributing to racial disparities that people don’t want to talk about. Of course racism still exists. It just isn’t the main problem anymore.

  7. Quotes from NYT Executive Editor Dean Baquet:

    “And I do think that race and understanding of race should be a part of how we cover the American story. Sometimes news organizations sort of forget that in the moment. But of course it should be. I mean, one reason we all signed off on the 1619 Project and made it so ambitious and expansive was to teach our readers to think a little bit more like that. Race in the next year—and I think this is, to be frank, what I would hope you come away from this discussion with—race in the next year is going to be a huge part of the American story. And I mean, race in terms of not only African Americans and their relationship with Donald Trump, but Latinos and immigration. And I think that one of the things I would love to come out of this with is for people to feel very comfortable coming to me and saying, here’s how I would like you to consider telling that story. Because the reason you have a diverse newsroom, to be frank, is so that you can have people pull together to try to tell that story. I think that’s the closest answer I can come….

    “Baquet: OK. I mean, let me go back a little bit for one second to just repeat what I said in my in my short preamble about coverage. Chapter 1 of the story of Donald Trump, not only for our newsroom but, frankly, for our readers, was: Did Donald Trump have untoward relationships with the Russians, and was there obstruction of justice? That was a really hard story, by the way, let’s not forget that. We set ourselves up to cover that story. I’m going to say it. We won two Pulitzer Prizes covering that story. And I think we covered that story better than anybody else.

    The day Bob Mueller walked off that witness stand, two things happened. Our readers who want Donald Trump to go away suddenly thought, “Holy shit, Bob Mueller is not going to do it.” And Donald Trump got a little emboldened politically, I think. Because, you know, for obvious reasons. And I think that the story changed. A lot of the stuff we’re talking about started to emerge like six or seven weeks ago. We’re a little tiny bit flat-footed. I mean, that’s what happens when a story looks a certain way for two years. Right?

    “I think that we’ve got to change. I mean, the vision for coverage for the next two years is what I talked about earlier: How do we cover a guy who makes these kinds of remarks? How do we cover the world’s reaction to him? How do we do that while continuing to cover his policies? How do we cover America, that’s become so divided by Donald Trump? How do we grapple with all the stuff you all are talking about? How do we write about race in a thoughtful way, something we haven’t done in a large way in a long time? That, to me, is the vision for coverage. You all are going to have to help us shape that vision. But I think that’s what we’re going to have to do for the rest of the next two years.”

    1. Slate seems to have published an abbreviated transcript of some sort of self-criticism session Baquet went through with the staff, reassuring them that the NYT is a member in good standing of the #resistance.

      1. Thanks for posting this. The 1619 stuff is all about pivoting from “Russia Russia Russia” to “Racist Racist Racist” in the NYT’s drive to make sure a Dem wins in 2020.

        It doesn’t deserve to be taken seriously.

  8. Ok, at this point they’re just trolling. Or shark-jumping. Journalism is often referred to as the first rough draft of history and now you’re suggesting that the newspaper of record taking on the task of re-interpreting and re-writing 400 years of history is “interesting” and “ambitious” and “important”? Well, sure, in the same way my childhood fascination with The Island of Doctor Moreau led to some interesting and ambitious and important medical experiments involving my baby brother and the neighbors dog, but a decade or so in the mental institution taught me that some projects cross a moral line that shouldn’t be crossed.

    1. FOUR LEGS – bad? good? I cant keep up with the revisionism

      1. “Not to go on four legs, that is the law. Are we not Men?

      2. FOUR LEGS – bad? good? I cant keep up with the revisionism

        To really hit the revisionism aspect it’s–

        ‘Four legs good, two legs BETTER!’

    2. A moral line that shouldn’t be crossed…unless your little brother needs to herd sheep or lead some blind people around.,

  9. Let me make explicit what Beto left out:

    Our country was founded on racism—and is still racist today, but I will address that by sending people to labor camps, mental institutions, and in front of firing squads until we have eliminated every citizen who does not conform to the ideal of the New American Man! Vote for a Strong Leader! Vote Beto!

  10. I expect as much integrity and honesty from this 1619 project as they delivered with the Red Century project, and as their man Walter Duranty delivered concerning Stalin.

    1. “Confederate Women had better Sex”

      1. If Weiss and Benioff had gone through with their Confederate HBO series, th as t might have been the case.

        1. After seeing the last Season GoT, Im glad they didnt.

          “General Forrest, line your cavalry up in the front of the army and charge those cannons on top of that ridge”. After a 6 hour battle where only Forrest and Lee are left standing, Forrest leaps thru the air and runs Lee thru with his sword because Lee has become jealous of Forrest’s press, which led him to burn Andersonville POW camp the week before.

          1. At press time, it has been reported that Lee said nothing as he expired, nor did Forrest.

            Advised via telegraph wire that the Confederacy would be offering its surrender, Gen Grant said only “I don’t want it.”

      2. Didn’t you see North and South?

    2. It’ll be opinion journalism, for sure. And, as the transcript that Eddy linked to shows, the Times’ executive editor understands who makes up his readership.

  11. Observing right-wing malcontents nip at The New York Times’ ankles is nearly as entertaining as watching The Volokh Conspiracy’s incessant partisan ankle-biting with respect to strong liberal-libertarian schools.

    Carry on, clingers. So far as the losers in our culture war can carry anything in modern America, that is.

    1. “The day Bob Mueller walked off that witness stand, two things happened. Our readers who want Donald Trump to go away suddenly thought, “Holy shit, Bob Mueller is not going to do it.” And Donald Trump got a little emboldened politically, I think. Because, you know, for obvious reasons. And I think that the story changed.”

    2. You are boring, and an asshole.

      1. Sorry, Kirkland, I’m afraid I’ll have to agree. You’re literally more of a colossal douchebag than the guy whose screen name is Colossal Douchebag.

    3. It takes a lot to be a bigger piece of shit than shriek, but man do you rise to the challenge.

    4. It’s “carry on deplorables”. I know 4 syllables is a challenge for you, but do make the effort.

      1. Clingers is a clear homage to Obama you racist revisionist piece of shit!

  12. Hard to tell what Trump is ranting about most of the time.

    So the Times magazine is writing about some history. It sounds like an interesting topic. These publications write about all kinds of stuff and I expect them to do as well with this as they do medicine and science. So don’t expect much.

    I have no idea what Trump meant. Given up on his tweets.

    1. You obviously missed the 100 year retrospective on how great Communism was, til Reagan ruined it

      1. I dont care what the NYT publishes. I do not subscribe to nor read their stuff.

        1. You may not read it, but you certainly do subscribe to a lot of their stuff

    2. It probably had to do with Slate (of all places) publishing a transcript where the editor in chief essentially says “We did awesome covering the conspiracy theory of Russia, but Muller totally fucked us, so we’re gonna pivot to racism and try to guilt people into voting for the pro-slavery party.”

    3. Some kind of witch-racing? I think it’s a Harry Potter reference.

  13. Of the 11 million or so enslaved Africans brought to the Western Hemisphere, about 4.4% came to North America, so of course we’re responsible for the whole problem.

    It’s sort’a like the U.S. reducing carbon emissions 10% between 2005 and 2014, while global carbon emissions increased 20% during the same period, so we’re responsible for climate change.

    1. This is where the money is. There’s no profit to be made guilting poor people.

      1. There’s no profit to be made guilting poor people.

        For now, their votes are enough..

        1. The only time they lay a guilt trip on poor people is if they haven’t voted – the assumption is that they were going to vote Dem, but then they got high. For shame! Get high *and* vote, it’s not either/or!

        2. If we can get them here in time…

      2. There’s no profit to be made guilting poor people.

        The Catholic Church disagrees. (As do others)

        1. Solid point. If communism has taught us anything, it’s that a population is never so poor that they can’t be stolen from.

    2. Of the 11 million or so enslaved Africans brought to the Western Hemisphere, about 4.4% came to North America, so of course we’re responsible for the whole problem.

      It’s also important to note that it’s not like the Native Africans were shedding tears at getting rid of these 11 million people. The US wasn’t deploying Chinook helicopters to secretly pluck these otherwise peaceful people out of the jungle by the village-full against their national sovereignty. The vast majority were enslaved by Native Africans first and bought by Americans. Many of them were to be sacrificed or traded for goods in parts of the world where they wouldn’t fare as well as even the poor conditions in the US treated them.

      The larger problem with white supremacy is that it causes many to see slavery through a strict white supremacist lens. It wasn’t a bunch of evil white guys trying to figure out how to get black people to Georgia and keep them enslaved. It was far more socio-organic; would you trade 40M Trump voters to China for cheap goods? Slavery. Trade 7M Clinton voters for the population of Hong Kong? Slavery. Take in refugees from brutal dictatorships and put them to work at a discount? Slavery.

      1. Yup.

        Slavery was just a natural part of everywhere in the world at the time. Amazingly enough the way Europeans went about it was probably the most humane. In the Arab world they castrated basically 100% of black slaves.

        Slavery is fucked… But I just get furious at the way the left portrays it as being something ONLY evil white people did. It’s utter bullshit. White people ENDED global slavery. The British Empire literally fought wars to end slavery. The way they slant things is about as wrong as you can be.

  14. Meh. Anybody who doesnt know the slant of the NYT doesn’t want to know. When the 1st amendment was adopted, newspapers were stridently partisian, and it was only for a brief time in the later half of the 20th century that they aspired to objectivity. I’m fine with that, as long as they are not cited as unbiased sources, nor read as such.

    1. True enough.

      The NYT is still trying to live down the time when its editor was chairman of the Republican National Committee.

      But there was a time when they put a bit more effort into evenhandedness and – perhaps just as important in the pre-Internet age – publishing an annual Index letting people look up the paper’s old articles, thus making themselves a Respectable Historical Source.

  15. I guess Nick doesn’t edit content anymore.
    “…where Democrats are at on trade…”

    1. His educational history includes a B.A. in English and psychology from Rutgers University and a M.A. in English from Temple University, as well as a Ph.D. in English literature from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

      Nuff said.

    2. “Where Democrats *am* on trade”, right?

  16. It probably had to do with Slate (of all places) publishing a transcript where the editor in chief essentially says “We did awesome covering the conspiracy theory of Russia, but Muller totally fucked us, so we’re gonna pivot to racism and try to guilt people into voting for the pro-slavery party.”

    Call Girls In Bangalore

    1. Such a bone-headed move would be par for the course with Slate. For journalists, being mouthpieces for the Democrats is like Fight Club–you’re not supposed to talk about it, and if you do, it has to be in a contained environment, like the Journolist.

  17. Nothing interesting about it at all. And if you’re a typical America-hating leftist and you really want to go down this road of “America has always sucked”, it’s far more true that America was built on the invasion and theft of indigenous native lands and nearly wiping them off the face of the earth than it was built on slavery. The Native Americans are and always have been treated worse than the African slaves and their descendants. As horrible as slavery is, genocide to the point of near extinction is a lot worse! Even if you live in a large, diverse urban area, how many indigenous Americans do you see in a typical day? A week? A month? Even a year? Think about it.

    So why don’t the leftards in the media want to talk about them more? My guess is that it’s because they don’t have enough votes to really make a difference.

    1. Meh.

      Yeah, we conquered America. That’s important! I’m part native on both sides… A LOT more than Liz Warren to be sure! But I would disagree a bit.

      If you actually look at the numbers, basically disease handed us the continent. If you add up ALL the casualties inflicted from EVERY Indian War in America, it’s basically nothing. The Spanish killed more natives in several single campaigns than we did over centuries.

      North America never had the dense population that South/Central America had, because the natives here were more primitive and hadn’t built up large scale civilization. Then disease killed most of them. The land was mostly up for grabs with very few people around to even have to kill to take it.

      We didn’t kill very many natives in actual wars… What we did was immigrate like crazy, and then we simply outnumbered them. There are more natives now than there was saaay 100 or 200 years ago… Although perhaps not more than 500 or 600 years ago, people debate the pre-Columbian population numbers. We also absorbed a shit ton of their population into the white population, as both sides of my family did.

      Also, Indians were generally considered “better” than blacks throughout most of American history. They weren’t as good as proper white people of course, but often got more respect than blacks.

  18. I get the distinct impression that many commenters here do not think the topic of slavery and its effects and legacy, is a relevant topic today in 2019.

    1. I have the impression that the Democratic Party and its associated institutions have nothing to contribute to the race debate.

      And they’re going to claim that their various pet peeves have been rediscovered to be “legacies of slavery” – evidence neither asked nor given.

    2. The problem, Jeff, is this– when the left talks about slavery they do so in ways that leave them, the instigators, purveyors and perpetuators OF slavery blameless.

      Additionally, slavery is treated as a uniquely North American activity–why the very name using ‘1619’ is a glaring instance of this. The Spanish, Portuguese, and French all brought slave populations to these shores for over a century before that date–yet none of that is ever taken into account. In fact, if one does delve into it, one finds that the persistent rape carried out by the Spanish and Portuguese is called ‘determined race mixing’ that led to the creation of what we today refer to as ‘hispanic’.

      Likewise, slavery is also blamed on a party that not only didn’t exist when the Americas were colonized, but was founded as an abolitionist party.

      And no one tries to use any discussions about this to help–rather they are used as clubs, BY the party that fought and killed to maintain slavery, to keep black people and other minority people in a second class station–or less.

      There is definitely a conversation that needs to occur. But it is not the usual one the leftists at the Times are trying to employ once again.

      1. When I hear reparations, I wonder how much England and the Dutch should kick in.

      2. My favorite question to ask people about slavery in America is this:

        Do you know who the last people to practice slavery in America were?

        Native Americans in the western states.

        It of course freaks them the fuck out, being retard progs and all… But Indians LOVED slaves of course. Other Indians, whites, blacks, they liked all kinds! And they still had them after the US fought the civil war. It’s just one of those things that Woke people don’t like to think about, so I love fucking with them.

    3. It’s not if the point is to use it to falsely claim that America is uniquely evil, which is exactly the lie that you lefty scumbags push every day of your miserable, pathetic little lives in your quest for total, absolute power.

    4. “”I get the distinct impression that many commenters here do not think the topic of slavery and its effects and legacy, is a relevant topic today in 2019.””

      But pointing out democrats as the party of racism is wrong because it’s old news and they have changed. How is it that hundreds of years ago is relative and important, but 70 to 125 years ago isn’t?

    5. Hey Jeff, how long will slavery be a valid excuse for problems in the black community?

      Legit question.

      If they’re still dysfunctional in another 100 years will it be their own fault at that point? 200? 500? 10,000?

      I mean, illegal immigrants that don’t even speak English show up here and have higher incomes than native born blacks… Even though they have less education and basically everything stacked against them even harder… So just wondering how long we have to accept “But muh slavery!” as a legit excuse…

  19. “to reframe American history, making explicit how slavery is the foundation on which this country is built.”

    So the Civil War statues are going back up?

  20. To read the 1619 Manifesto for Progtards (I am being polite), you’d think that the settlers who came here were nothing but deplorable, bloodthirsty savages, looking to enslave everyone they met – utterly amoral. This mis-statement and miscasting of American history is simply breathtaking. Clearly, these people attended the Howard Zinn School of Twisted and Fucked Up American History.

    Let’s stipulate one thing right now: The best thing that ever happened to black people as a race, NOT the individual slaves themselves, was their own brothers and sisters sold them into slavery and shipped them to the US colonies. Blacks in the US presently enjoy the highest standard of living of any blacks anywhere in the world, period. That is the objective reality.

    Two, the 1619 Progtards gloss over the inherent goodness and greatness of our beloved Republic. No other country in recorded history has given as much, done as much, sacrificed as much as America for the betterment of humanity. Not even close. If you think I am wrong: Name another country has has done more. So the horseshit these Progtards are pushing is just that much more incredible. My country is not perfect, but it is a damned sight better than anywhere else out there.

    Three, the word slavery is not mentioned at all in the Constitution. Newsflash to Progtards: That was by design. Frederick Douglas said it well, “Now, take the Constitution according to its plain reading, and I defy the presentation of a single pro-slavery clause in it. On the other hand it will be found to contain principles and purposes, entirely hostile to the existence of slavery.” Collectively, the Founders knew the days of slavery were numbered. It was only a matter of time.

    Four, the very idea that this country was built mainly by the labor is slaves is ridiculous on it’s face. We are to believe vast cities, towns, industry and agriculture was somehow magically built by roughly 10% of the total 1860 US population. Clearly, reason and logic have exited the Progtard brain.

    Look, if we want to debate the inherent immorality of slavery, and its role in America, fine. Let’s have that discussion. If you want to try and make the case (however badly) that reparations are needed, fine – make the case. What is especially irksome is the deliberate ignorance being bandied about regarding American history, and the role slavery played in it’s development. At best, the contribution of slavery was on the periphery.

    With or without slaves, America would have become the greatest country on the face of the Earth. That is because of the inherent goodness of the people who came here, and began our on-going American Experiment.

  21. What are De Soto and the Army of Florida? Chopped liver? They were here in the territory of the USA oppressing people 80 years before Jamestown.

  22. Nick Gillespie, Katherine Mangu-Ward, Peter Suderman, and Matt Welch offer a mixed preliminary verdict about the package, praising its ambition, agreeing with the importance of the topic, and disagreeing strenuously with its King Cottonesque take on capitalism.

    Trying to eat your cake and have it, too, eh? The past three weeks have been the sorriest I’ve ever seen from Reason.

    1. And that’s saying a lot, considering that they’ve been getting “progressively” worse and worse for about 12 years now.

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  24. Look, to all you people who want to whitewash (ZING!) US history… Stop it.

    America WAS founded as a racist nation. Only white men of good character were allowed to be citizens. All the founders that wrote on the subject believed blacks to be inferior to whites, even the ones that were against slavery. Jefferson thought blacks were inferior and should not live alongside white men as free people, BUT he also opposed slavery as an institution. He was basically in favor of shipping them back to Africa or somewhere else. Most of the founders were Nordic/Germanic supremacists too, if not honing that down to specifically being Anglo-Saxon supremacists like Ben Franklin. That’s just reality.

    We don’t need to lie about this shit. Why? Because if a European had walked into the court of the Chinese emperor at the time the Chinese would have thought them to be filthy barbarians too. And I’m pretty sure the Arabs still thought they were the shit as well. That’s just how people are.

    Next, slavery didn’t build America. They were a small portion of the population, that if anything, probably were LESS important to the growth of America than their percentage of the population implies. All the main actions, ideas, etc that built America AND the overwhelming majority of the labor was done by white people. Who worked in the fields, mines, factories, steel mills etc of all the most prosperous states? White people.

    Slavery is fucked and all, but the way these leftists try to spin this stuff is just ridiculous. And I think the people that try to white wash away the fact that people, even the best of them, were racist are retarded too. People should be able to have a realistic and sober view of history. In the grand scheme of things it’s not all that bad. And we sure as hell got a lot of things more right than anybody else ever has in all of human history.

    I don’t feel shame for a damn thing that happened because you can’t judge the past as if it were the present. If you go down that road then the Muslim slave traders were STILL far more cruel and evil to their slaves, which included many European slaves!

    Just take it all for what it really was and deal with it.

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