Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Suppose It’s The 1860’s – and No 13th Amendment – An Conservatives State Their Position on Ending Slavery

History That Didn’t Happen, But Could Have

Warning – Offensive Material Follows

[Editor’s note:  Given the posturing and position of Conservatives in the Gay Marriage debate The Dismal Political Economist wonders what the debate would have been like in the mid 1860’s if the Civil War had not occurred, the 13 Amendment banning slavery had not happened but the 14th Amendment guaranteeing due process and equal rights had been enacted.  He Thinks the debate would have gone something like this.]

Conservatives Argue That Prohibiting Slavery
Would Violate Slaveholder’s Freedom of Religion

Jackson, MS April, 1865 (AP).  A group of conservative religious leaders today argued that because slavery is present in the Bible, slavery itself is sanctified by God and the practice of slavery is a part of everyone’s right to practice religion.  The group, Concerned Religious Leaders for Freedom to Own Slaves said in a press release that everyone who believed in the right to practice their own religion as they see fit should be alarmed at the move to outlaw slavery.

“The Creator must have intended slavery to exist” said the release, “or else he would not have created it and made it a prominent part of the Holy Scriptures.  Anyone who denies the right of anyone to own a slave is going against the will of God.”  When asked how the slaves might feel about this a spokesman for the group said “Well they are heathens, you know, and not entitled to a religious belief that conflicts with the right religion.”

 Or something like this.

Conservatives Say Slavery Should be Kept Because
It Has Existed for Almost 250 Years

Charleston, SC June 1866 (UPI)  South Carolina became the 11th state to pass resolutions stating that since slavery has been a long and gloried tradition in the United States that tradition dictates that slavery remain in effect.  “The fact that slavery has existed since the 1620’s is sufficient reason to keep the practice” said the South Carolina statement.  “If something has been around that long then surely it must be meant to be.  To abolish slavery would go against what the brave men and women who came to this country fought so valiantly to protect.”

Or maybe something like this.

Slavery Supporters Reject Charge of
 Bigotry; Claim They Have
No Animus to Black People Just
 Because They are Inferior

Atlanta, October 1865 (Reuters)  Angry supporters of slavery rejected the charge that they were bigoted and prejudiced against Africans and said the charges were a slur intended to distract citizens from the real issue.  “The point is not our beliefs which are not directed at anyone” said a prominent member of Congress from Georgia, “But the fact that anyone of African heritage or descended from Africans is an inferior person, lacking much intellect and not capable of doing anything but manual labor” 

Or even something like this.

Americans Urged to ‘Go Slow’ on
Eliminating Slavery – Moving Too Fast
Could Upset Non Slaves

Washington August 1865 (AP)  A coalition of upstanding citizens today urged the United States to move very slowly in any action that would result in ending slavery and freeing millions of  American slaves.  “We don’t want to upset the free people of this nation by suddenly ending a practice that has stood the test of time” the group said, “and any sudden change in slavery such as making even a small group of slaves free might really bother the non-slave population.  It is their welfare we are most concerned about” the group added.

When asked whether or not the delays might perpetuate slavery and continue to make life horrible for the existing slaves the group said that was not the point, that slavery had been present for so long and was so much a part of American culture that keeping slavery for several more decades was the right thing to do.  Besides, they said we are sure the slaves won’t mind.

Yep, that’s probably how it would have gone.

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