Historical Crock Pot: The National Slavery Museum

Commentary by Bill Vallante

Recently I was looking at the National Slavery Museum website’s "Lesson Plans" for teachers. It reminded me of something that I have often said – that if you don’t know what they’re teaching your kids in school, then you need to find out!

http://www.usnationalslaverymuseum.org/learningcenter.asp

(Click "Lesson Plans on American Slavery" – and download the large .PDF file.)

I don’t know why I should have expected to find anything other than what I found – perhaps I was hoping against hope that not everyone these days who proclaims himself or herself to be an expert in history has lost his or her mind.

To sum up what I found in 3 words – WHAT A CROCK!

One of the things that today’s grievance merchants and their sobbing historian allies have always had trouble dodging is the fact that slavery has existed the world over since the beginning of time. Why single out America for having had it? Not to worry though, thanks to the National Slavery Museum, they’ve now managed to weasel out of it.

You see, “New World Slavery”, (a euphemism for African servitude in America”) was – “DIFFERENT” from all the others!!! Gee, how creative!? I don’t know why these guys didn’t think of this excuse before? It was right under their noses! After all, the jails are full of people who claim that their cases are “DIFFERENT” from the cases of the guys in the adjoining cells!?!?

How was "New World Slavery” DIFFERENT from “slavery in classical antiquity, Africa, Asia or the Middle East?”

Well, for one thing, according to the lesson plan, slaves in the latter places were "RECRUITED"!? Huh? "Recruited"?????? Lemme see, this is sort of like Pete Carroll recruiting for USC, right???????????? (Err, no, not really!?)

And of course, "slavery in the classical and medieval worlds was not based on racial distinctions"………..

Ah yes, “racial distinctions” – the key to singling out “New World Slavery” while minimizing slavery as practiced by others, i.e., blacks in Africa, Moslems in the Middle East, millions of dead slaves under the Great Wall of China, etc….

The lesson plan here, it would seem, is: White man’s slavery is werry werry bad, but everyone else’s is ok!?? White kids go away feeling guilty, black kids go away feeling that African tribes whose societies flourished as a result of practicing slavery and indulging liberally in the slave trade were ok because their slavery was – “DIFFERENT”!? Slavery based on race is oh-so bad. Any other kind is ok I guess?

Perhaps someone forgot to tell the folks at the museum that slavery anywhere in any time has always been based on the same concept – “US vs THEM”. From the dawn of time, the story has always been the same wherever you look:

It’s always been – OUR group, OUR tribe, OUR race, OUR kingdom, OUR religion, OUR empire, OUR country – over – THEIR group, THEIR tribe, THEIR race, THEIR kingdom, THEIR religion, THEIR empire, THEIR country.

Pardon me, but I don’t see where “OUR race” over “THEIR race” is so much “DIFFERENT” than all the rest of the categories. The story of humanity is literally a struggle for supremacy by different groups, tribes, races, kingdoms, religions, empires and countries. If you’re talking about enslaving someone else, you’re doing it because they are DIFFERENT from you in some way! (There’s that word again!?)

What the Slavery Museum is really getting at though is that modern day bogeyman – “White Supremacy”! White supremacy of course hasn’t been the only type of supremacy out there and if anyone thinks it’s the worst kind of supremacy that ever was then maybe they should ask a Hindu or a Moslem on the Indian sub-continent what each thinks of the other’s brand of Supremacy? Or a Tutsi what he thinks of Hutu Supremacy? Or a Kosovan what he thinks about Serbian Supremacy? Or an Armenian about Turkish Supremacy? White people do not have a mortal lock on the history of slavery or “Supremacy”. What they do have is a lot of money and it’s my guess that the grievance merchants feel that white folks (specifically American white folks), are best able to PAY!

Another “difference” trumpeted by this group of grievance merchants is that in antiquity, slavery was often not a “permanent condition”. “In many societies, including ancient Greece and Rome, manumission of slaves was common and former slaves carried little stigma from their former status.”

Of course, what they neglect to mention is that while a slave could eventually become a citizen of Rome for example, he might have to survive a stint as a galley slave or a career as a gladiator in the arena in order to do it. If you killed enough opponents in the arena, you might become a crowd favorite, earn your freedom, become a Roman Citizen and then go on to own slaves yourself. Maybe then you could send them into the arena and hopefully they’d be as lucky as you were – then again, maybe not!? Oh yeah! Sounds real good to me!? Sign me up for that kind of slavery!!

And here’s another gem: (If the grammar seems to be a bit off, don’t blame me – I copied it word for word)

"Only in the new world that slavery provided the labor force for a high pressure profit making capitalist system of plantation agriculture producing cotton, sugar, coffee and cocoa for distant markets. Most slaves in Africa, in the Islamic World, and in the New World prior to European colonization worked as farmers or household servants, or served as concubines or eunuchs. They were symbols of prestige, luxury and power rather than a source of labor."

And this is a good thing????????? Gee, I’ve always wanted to be a "eunuch" – sign me up for that job by golly!? I wonder if the teachers have to explain to the kids what exactly a "eunuch" is? Or a "concubine" for that matter?????????

Yeah, go ahead, make me a symbol of “luxury” or “prestige” – castrate me, fatten me up and make my voice sound like I should be singing in the Vienna Boys Choir – I’m sure I’ll be a lot happier than being a laborer out in a field somewhere!?

This isn’t a “lesson plan”, it’s a lobotomy.

According to the National Slavery Museum, “Africa is the cradle of civilization”! I had to rub my eyes to make sure I was reading it right!? If it is the “cradle”, my guess is that the baby must have grown up, left home and moved to a better neighborhood about 20,000 years ago!? I guess these folks haven’t read the news recently about what’s going on in the “cradle of civilization”? Anyone ever hear of Sudan? Not having visited the museum itself, I cannot say for sure whether or not this facility has an exhibit in it devoted to the women and children of Southern Sudan, who today are routinely taken from their homes and made into “house servants” by Moslems in the north.

http://www.hrw.org/backgrounder/africa/sudanupdate.htm

If I had to guess, I’d guess that there is no such exhibit devoted to this or any other form of modern day slavery in the National Slavery Museum. And given the fact that there is no chance of earning any money or sympathy by having any such exhibit, I don’t expect I’ll be seeing one any time soon.

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