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The Crippling Legacy of Slavery
How America's Original Sin of Slavery Still Affects Us Today
by Scott Rohter, November 2011
Slavery was a horrible price for Africans to pay in order to come to the New World. In the 17th and 18th centuries, some Americans might have thought that it really wasn't so bad, and that Colored people actually needed the White man to look after them and take care of them. I have learned that human beings can justify almost anything... almost any sin imaginable, including murder and genocide. Today some people might still argue that since indentured servitude was quite common back in those days that slavery really wasn't such a bad thing. They might tell you that it was just the price of admission to America for Black people.
While it is true that all of our forebearers paid something in order to come here, and many of our immigrant ancestors did sell everything they had in order to pay for their journey from ‘the Old World’, I would simply say to those people who think like this, that 200 years of slavery was a huge price to pay to come to America, and that it was a very expensive boat ticket! While it is absolutely true that indentured servitude was commonplace in the 17th and 18th centuries, and frequently that was how poor European immigrants arranged to pay for their voyage over here, by selling themselves into servitude for a certain period of time, however it was their decision to do that, not someone elses, and their servitude was for a definite, and limited period of time, usually for 3 to 10 years. They were not plucked up from their homelands, and carried away involuntarily from their families, and all that they had ever known, and forced against their will to go where they did not want to go. They were not loaded into the hulls of slave ships and forced to make an unwanted journey to a new land in such wretched conditions that many of them died along the way. And once they got here, the real slavery that awaited them was far worse than any involuntary servitude that man has ever invented.
Slavery came complete with the accompanying indignities of racism, discrimination, and segregation, and the all too frequent horrors of rape, murder, house burnings and lynchings.Slavery has left a lasting legacy of hate in America, and produced the scars of mental and emotional trauma, that was inflicted upon an entire population of its citizens, which still plagues our society today. White Americans are by no means untouched by the consequences of those 200 years of slavery! Slavery was the fundamental cause of the civil unrest that troubled America during the 1960s and the 1970s. But even farther back than that, the issue of slavery was one of the principal divisive causes of the Civil War. And the legacy of slavery is one of the fundamental reasons for so many of the things that are still wrong in American society today, like the rampant crime rate that is spiraling out of control in our inner-city neighborhoods, the drug dealing and drug abuse that goes on there, all of the single parent homes and the young children being brought up without a mother or a father, the high rate of abortion in the African-American Community, and the breakdown of the Black American family. All of these ills have their roots in America's original sin of slavery.
These troubles which are the unfortunate legacy of slavery are the basis of most of our big government social welfare programs, like food stamps, aid to dependent children, subsidized government housing, racial quotas, and affirmative action programs. These big government entitlement programs are changing Americans from being an independent and self-reliant people, to becoming a co-dependent and irresponsible people. These social spending programs and the sense of entitlement that engenders them have contributed to America's growing National Deficit and our National Debt crisis. America is almost $17 trillion dollars in debt, and that debt is the single biggest problem facing our country today. Congress continually fails to pass a balanced budget amendment, primarily because the Democratic Party i.e. the Party of entitlements is opposed to it. They refuse to cut entitlements to their core constituency groups. And one of their largest constituet groups which is relied upon to vote solidly Democratic year after year is the African-American community. Even the failure to pass a balanced budget amendment in the current political climate on Capitol Hill, therefore can be traced back to The Crippling Legacy of Slavery.
"A journalist has no better friend than the truth." - Scott Rohter