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US Politics/Elections Thread

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54 minutes ago, DieselDaisy said:

It is a good question actually as there were a lot of positives for slavery in antebellum America which is why slavery took place in the first place, and proved such a stubborn bulwark to remove. Cotton exports fueled the American economy, decreasing the (southern) white race's reliance on wage labour and immigration which had both proliferated in the north, the negative connotation of wage labour being, factories, urban squalor - ''Dickensian'' territory. This was prevalent in Northern cities like New York and Boston, as was mass migration from places like Italy and Ireland, creating new social problems and eroding nativist identity. The south, southern exceptionalism, largely evaded these problems and retained a large degree of social-cultural cohesion: ''southern exceptionalism''.

But ................. slavery? :facepalm: 

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1 minute ago, Dazey said:

But ................. slavery? :facepalm: 

A historian does not make modern day value judgments like that - that would be a poor historian. A historian rather places himself in the mind of the people at that time, in their context. The context of antebellum America is of rampant economic growth based around chattel slavery. Slavery was so embedded in the socio-economic and cultural systems of the south, the south could not even comprehend its non-existence. 

The south is also a society which believed in racial superiority, a view which was also prevalent in the northern states and Europe. 

 

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1 minute ago, DieselDaisy said:

A historian does not make modern day value judgments like that - that would be a poor historian. A historian rather places himself in the mind of the people at that time, in their context. The context of antebellum America is of rampant economic growth based around chattel slavery. Slavery was so embedded in the socio-economic and cultural systems of the south, the south could not even comprehend its non-existence. 

The south is also a society which believed in racial superiority, a view which was also prevalent in the northern states and Europe. 

 

Yeah, I'm sticking with my initial comment.

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3 minutes ago, Kasanova King said:

You're happy your mother in law died?  :blink:

I'd say relieved more than happy.  

Edit: My original comment was about slavery though. :D

Edited by Dazey

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2 hours ago, downzy said:

What's inappropriate with asking students to weighs the pros and cons of slavery?

https://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/article/San-Antonio-school-responds-to-homework-12847564.php

Further evidence they'll let anyone and everyone be either a teacher or a cop in the US.  

Couldn't the students just say "there were no "pros" of slavery, especially for the slaves"?  That's what the picture in the article shows...the person wrote "N/A" next to "pros".

I think it's sad that students are no longer allowed to think for themselves....that's the bigger travesty.

 

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16 minutes ago, Dazey said:

Yeah, I'm sticking with my initial comment.

Your comment does not make sense considering there had to be some positive for somebody for slavery to take root and survive until it was eradicated by a very bloody war. 

I have a snakepit joke incidentally about free booty on demand but no snakepit to receive it!

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2 minutes ago, Kasanova King said:

Couldn't the students just say "there were no "pros" of slavery, especially for the slaves"?  That's what the picture in the article shows...the person wrote "N/A" next to "pros".

I think it's sad that students are no longer allowed to think for themselves....that's the bigger travesty.

 

Swap the word “slavery” with the word “holocaust” and have a think about what you just said. Love you Kass but come on man. :) 

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Just now, Dazey said:

Swap the word “slavery” with the word “holocaust” and have a think about what you just said. Love you Kass but come on man. :) 

That there were no positives about the holocaust, especially for the Jews?  Because that's what I said. ;)

 

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4 minutes ago, DieselDaisy said:

Your comment does not make sense considering there had to be some positive for somebody for slavery to take root and survive until it was eradicated by a very bloody war. 

 

Folks would rather re-write history instead of having an intellectual discussion. 

 Of course slavery is morally despicable, disgusting, inhumane and wrong. 

That doesn't change the fact that it benefited some people throughout history.  Slavery benefited the Romans during the Roman Empire.  It benefited warring tribes throughout Europe for most of Europe's history. etc .  Jewish slaves benefited the Egyptians during Biblical times, etc.   The Huns, the Ottomans, etc etc.  

You would know better than me, were there any major empires prior to the modern era that didn't include some form of slavery within it?

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Kasanova King said:

Folks would rather re-write history instead of having an intellectual discussion. 

 Of course slavery is morally despicable, disgusting, inhumane and wrong. 

That doesn't change the fact that it benefited some people throughout history.  Slavery benefited the Romans during the Roman Empire.  It benefited warring tribes throughout Europe for most of Europe's history. etc .  Jewish slaves benefited the Egyptians during Biblical times, etc.   The Huns, the Ottomans, etc etc.  

You would know better than me, were there any major empires prior to the modern era that didn't include some form of slavery within it?

 

 

I don't think so. Ancient Sparta had Helots. There were slaves in Athens. Rome of course. 

Even if some societies did not have mass slavery, or more to the point a whole socio-economic system based around slavery like Rome and antebellum United States, usually captive prisoners (and women) were made slaves as the ''spoils of war''. 

Ancient slavery though was different from modern trans-Atlantic slavery. It tended to not be determined by race; Rome for instance captured slaves of all nationalities, Britons, Greeks, North Africans, Syrians. Slavery in the ancient world was also much more varied and (dare I say) cosmopolitan than the African experience in the Americas. Slaves in Rome fulfilled roles of doctors, teachers (especially Greeks) and household domestics. Manumission was more common, and some manumitted slaves gained considerable wealth and political power (even acquiring slaves themselves). 

At the same time, slavery in the mines of Spain was a lot more like African trans-Atlantic slavery, i.e., the brutal economic exploitation of labour. 

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5 minutes ago, DieselDaisy said:

I don't think so. Ancient Sparta had Helots. There were slaves in Athens. Rome of course. 

Even if some societies did not have mass slavery, or more to the point a whole socio-economic system based around slavery like Rome and antebellum United States, usually captive prisoners (and women) were made slaves as the ''spoils of war''. 

Ancient slavery though was different from modern trans-Atlantic slavery. It tended to not be determined by race; Rome for instance captured slaves of all nationalities, Britons, Greeks, North Africans, Syrians. Slavery in the ancient world was also much more varied and (dare I say) cosmopolitan than the African experience in the Americas. Slaves in Rome fulfilled roles of doctors, teachers (especially Greeks) and household domestics. Manumission was more common, and some manumitted slaves gained considerable wealth and political power (even acquiring slaves themselves). 

At the same time, slavery in the mines of Spain was a lot more like African trans-Atlantic slavery, i.e., the brutal economic exploitation of labour. 

It is rather disturbing that slavery was an accepted practice, less than 200 years ago, within the United States.  

 

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Of course slavery was terrible but I think the question was meant to provoke thought from the students......as DD mentioned slavery did benefit somebody........A case of PC out of control....sad we can't discuss our past in an academic setting......

Edited by classicrawker
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3 hours ago, Kasanova King said:

Couldn't the students just say "there were no "pros" of slavery, especially for the slaves"?  That's what the picture in the article shows...the person wrote "N/A" next to "pros".

I think it's sad that students are no longer allowed to think for themselves....that's the bigger travesty.

 

The bigger travesty is that debating the pros and cons of slavery is a worthwhile and useful example of students thinking for themselves?  Really?

3 hours ago, DieselDaisy said:

A historian does not make modern day value judgments like that - that would be a poor historian. A historian rather places himself in the mind of the people at that time, in their context. The context of antebellum America is of rampant economic growth based around chattel slavery. Slavery was so embedded in the socio-economic and cultural systems of the south, the south could not even comprehend its non-existence. 

The south is also a society which believed in racial superiority, a view which was also prevalent in the northern states and Europe. 

 

Good to know.  That way historians can look back at the holocaust and not pass judgement, since, you know, it was in the past and from a different time.  

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1 hour ago, classicrawker said:

Of course slavery was terrible but I think the question was meant to provoke thought from the students......as DD mentioned slavery did benefit somebody........A case of PC out of control....sad we can't discuss our past in an academic setting......

What exact thoughts do you think we need to provoke here?  "Yeah slavery was bad, but..."  There shouldn't be a but here, no matter how much DD wants to practice moral and historical relativism.  

You can discuss the past in an academic setting, but the question is whether it's appropriate to have 13 and 14 year olds try to find the silver lining for an institution like slavery.  That isn't political-correctness run amok, it's just terrible teaching and can perpetuate historical relativism and racial bias for impressionable students (particularly those who come from ignorant and bigoted households).  

Just because atrocities might have benefited one person or a small minority shouldn't add a check to the positive column.  There shouldn't even be a positive column for atrocities like slavery.  Pointing to economic gains and national expansion as positives helps to justify the means.  

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17 minutes ago, downzy said:

What exact thoughts do you think we need to provoke here?  "Yeah slavery was bad, but..."  There shouldn't be a but here, no matter how much DD wants to practice moral and historical relativism.  

You can discuss the past in an academic setting, but the question is whether it's appropriate to have 13 and 14 year olds try to find the silver lining for an institution like slavery.  That isn't political-correctness run amok, it's just terrible teaching and can perpetuate historical relativism and racial bias for impressionable students (particularly those who come from ignorant and bigoted households).  

Just because atrocities might have benefited one person or a small minority shouldn't add a check to the positive column.  There shouldn't even be a positive column for atrocities like slavery.  Pointing to economic gains and national expansion as positives helps to justify the means.  

Well we  will have to agree to disagree on this one mate...I have 12 and 14 year old daughters and see no issue  in making them think about an issue............and yes, as a card carrying liberal, I think PC has gone to an extreme which limits free speech and thought.....

AS far as what thoughts it provokes how about the reasons slavery existed...instead of just drilling into the students heads it was bad why not explore the reasons...look at both sides of the arguments

Edited by classicrawker
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9 minutes ago, classicrawker said:

Well we  will have to agree to disagree on this one mate...I have 12 and 14 year old daughters and see no issue  in making them think about an issue............and yes, as a card carrying liberal, I think PC has gone to an extreme which limits free speech and thought.....

AS far as what thoughts it provokes how about the reasons slavery existed...instead of just drilling into the students heads it was bad why not explore the reasons...look at both sides of the arguments

But don't you think there are several other approaches to the issue versus simply putting them into a pro and con chart?  There are a variety of ways to get students to think about an issue without being deft about it.  The roots and explanation for the creation of slavery as institution can be understood without having students attempt to find the silver lining when none such exists.  

As someone who studied the issue rather extensively in University, I'm trying to understand how there are two sides of the issue of slavery.  There are many issues that don't have two sides.  Obama's nationality, the Holocaust, fascism, feudalism, rape - there are many issues and events that don't have two sides.  I would have thought that most people would and should feel the same way. 

 

 

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I agree the teacher could have approached it better than calling it pros  and  cons Downzy.....poor choice  of words no doubt for young teens but I have no issue looking at the issue from  both sides of the argument.  To Diesels point slavery has been a part of  human history and was part of our nation's history so discussing it from the North and South perspective I think is healthy discussion......I would have no issue if my daughters teacher asked them the same question to spark debate and think the school in question overreacted due to the PC world we live in today......:shrugs:

Edited by classicrawker
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5 minutes ago, classicrawker said:

I agree the teacher could have approached it better than calling it pros  and  cons Downzy.....poor choice  of words no doubt for young teens but I have no issue looking at the issue from  both sides of the argument.  To Diesels point slavery has been a part of  human history and was part of our nation's history so discussing it from the North and South perspective I think is healthy discussion......I would have no issue if my daughters teacher asked them the same question to spark debate and think the school in question overreacted due to the PC world we live in today......:shrugs:

I heavily disagree that this is PC run amuck.  You can talk about slavery from the perspective of north versus south, slave owners versus slaves, economic expansion versus the dehumanization of slaves without resorting to a positive or pejorative evaluation.  Such an approach provides space for someone to defend the institution of slavery in economic terms and ignore the human toll, which is unacceptable for middle school history class.  There are different perspectives, but more than one perspective does not allow for any of them to be considered positive.  

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Well like I said we will have to agree to disagree as I think it was an overreaction by the school due to the extreme PC atmosphere in our country today......

Edited by classicrawker

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29 minutes ago, classicrawker said:

Well like I said we will have to agree to disagree as I think it was an overreaction due to the extreme PC atmosphere in our country today......

I just don't understand where the disagreement is here.  

The teacher was essentially performing a cost-benefit analysis of slavery whereby students could evaluate the institution based on how they weigh each factor from their own perspective and ignore the connection and relationship between each factor.  

Use the example of a guy getting laid.  If we said Bill got laid last night, we'd probably would say good for Jack.  If we then find that the Bill we're talking about is Bill Cosby and he's using roofies, then we probably aren't going to congratulate Bill on getting laid.  It's basically what the teacher was doing with slavery; disconnecting one perspective (produced wealth for a small few) with the costs (oppression, violence, fear, dehumanization, etc.).

Cost-benefit analysis are used to defend or support one of two actions or perspectives.  There is just no defence of the other side of slavery.  There are many perspectives, but none of them should ever be considered positive considering the negatives.  And hence why it's an example of shitty teaching to 8th graders by someone who clearly knows little about the subject, is a terrible teacher, or has their own moral perspective that's impossible to defend.

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Then there's this.  https://eji.org/national-lynching-memorial and https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/lynching-memorial-montgomery-alabama/index.html  If I get to Alabama, I'll visit, no matter how difficult it is to face the facts.  Some of these lynchings happened when my parents were alive.  It's mind boggling and horrific.  

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2 hours ago, downzy said:

The bigger travesty is that debating the pros and cons of slavery is a worthwhile and useful example of students thinking for themselves?  Really?

Good to know.  That way historians can look back at the holocaust and not pass judgement, since, you know, it was in the past and from a different time.  

You completely missed the point.  The point is having students determine that there were no "pros" to slavery...certainly none that would outweigh the absolute atrocity it was, especially in the United States, where it happened less than 200 years ago.  You know, actually letting them think for themselves, instead of force feeding them some social justice warrior nonsense, telling them they're not allowed to talk about it.  That's complete rubbish.

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10 minutes ago, Kasanova King said:

You completely missed the point.  The point is having students determine that there were no "pros" to slavery...certainly none that would outweigh the absolute atrocity it was, especially in the United States, where it happened less than 200 years ago.  You know, actually letting them think for themselves, instead of force feeding them some social justice warrior nonsense, telling them they're not allowed to talk about it.  That's complete rubbish.

LOL, so we think so little of our kids that we need to break things down with a cost-benefit analysis to show that there are no benefits?  Really?  

And you're assuming that students wouldn't put things in the pro column.  As DD seems to want to argue, there were positives to come out of slavery for some people.  Moreover, are we to assume that a teacher who thinks it's fine to compartmentalize slavery is adept enough to argue why the positives aren't actually positives?  Maybe, but it certainly doesn't seem like it considering it was a dumb exercise to begin with.

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12 minutes ago, downzy said:

LOL, so we think so little of our kids that we need to break things down with a cost-benefit analysis to show that there are no benefits?  Really?  

And you're assuming that students wouldn't put things in the pro column.  As DD seems to want to argue, there were positives to come out of slavery for some people.  Moreover, are we to assume that a teacher who thinks it's fine to compartmentalize slavery is adept enough to argue why the positives aren't actually positives?  Maybe, but it certainly doesn't seem like it considering it was a dumb exercise to begin with.

You're putting the cart in front of the horse.  If some students put more things in the pro column (I doubt any would, but I guess you never know) and the teacher just let it go, without finding out why, and having a detailed discussion with the students as to why nothing in the "pro" column would ever outweigh the "con" column....then yes, at that point you would take action against the teacher, etc.

If it was my son that had that assignment, I would go into great detail with him about how non of the "pros" of slavery could ever overcome the absolute atrocity it was and the destruction it caused this country....all the suffering it caused....the thousands of lives it cost... slaves' lives.....soldiers' lives who fought the civil war over it.... and the permanent black mark it has left on this country's history.  That's what I would have done instead of telling him "it's a stupid assignment and your teacher shouldn't of given it to you."

 

Edited by Kasanova King
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