The Crippling Legacy of Slavery - America's Original Sin
by Scott Rohter, November 2011
How America’s Original Sin of Slavery Still Affects Us Today
Slavery was a horrible price to pay for Africans to come to ‘the New World’! In the 17th and 18th centuries, some Americans might have said that it really wasn’t so bad, and that colored people actually needed the white man to look out for them and take care of them. I have learned that human beings can justify almost any sin imaginable, including murder and genocide! Today some people might still argue that indentured servitude was common in those days, and that slavery wasn't so bad. It was just their price of admission to America.
While it is true that we all paid something in order to come here, and many of our immigrant ancestors sold all of their belongings to pay for their journey from ‘the Old World’, I would simply say that 200 years of slavery was a very expensive boat ticket to America! It is absolutely true that indentured servitude was commonplace in the 17th and 18th centuries. Frequently that was how poor European immigrants were able to pay for their way over here, by selling themselves into servitude for a certain period of time. But it was their decision to do so, and their servitude was for a definite, and limited period of time, usually for 3 to 10 years. They were not plucked from their homelands, and away from their families, and forced against their will to go where they would not! They were not loaded into the hulls of slave boats to make the journey to the New World in wretched conditions that killed many of them! And once they arrived here, the real slavery that awaited them was much 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, lynching, and house burning! Slavery left a lasting legacy of hate, and real, mental and emotional trauma, that was inflicted upon an entire population of black Americans, which still plagues our society today. And white Americans are by no means untouched today by the consequences of 200 years of slavery! Slavery was the fundamental cause of the civil unrest that troubled America during the 1960s, and the 1970s. Even farther back, the issue of slavery was one of the principle causes of the Civil War. And the legacy of slavery is still the fundamental reason for so many things that are wrong with America today, like inner-city crime, drug dealing and drug abuse, single parent homes, the high rate of abortion in inner-city neighborhoods, and the breakdown of the black American family. These troubles which all have their roots in the sin of slavery are the basis of most big government social programs, like food stamps, welfare, aid to dependent children, subsidized government housing, racial quotas, and affirmative action programs. These big government entitlement programs are turning Americans from being independent and self-reliant, to becoming co-dependent and irresponsible! These entitlements have also contributed to America’s growing deficit and debt crisis. America is $15 trillion dollars in debt, and that debt is the single greatest problem facing our country today! And Congress failed just last week to pass a balanced budget amendment, primarily because the Democratic Party is opposed to it. They refuse to cut entitlements to their core constituency groups. One of the largest of these 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, can be traced back to The Crippling Legacy of Slavery.
"A journalist has no better friend than the truth." - Scott Rohter