Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Problem with Anti-Confederate Floggers…

…is the blatant and egregious double standard they use. Take, for example, the efforts to protect Ulysses S. Grant from the term "slave owner" with this (from Al Mackey, but it’s a common defense) "Grant did free the only slave he ever owned, William Jones, in 1859 at a time when he needed money and could have gotten upwards of $1,000 if he sold Jones."

So if you own a slave and free him instead of selling him, that nullifies and neutralizes your slave-ownership? Well, if you’re barbaric Union army general, I guess so.

But then Mackey notes this, "Julia Dent Grant, though, never owned 18 slaves.  There is no evidence she ever owned any slaves.  The best we can establish is that she had the use of four of her father’s slaves."

So Grant and his wife Julia were members of a slave-owning family…. hummmm….

In my blog post, "Cookin’ the Books on Slave Ownership," I noted that critics of the South frequently wave away the number of slave owners — people who actually held title to slaves (393,975 persons, according to the 1860 census) — and focus instead of slave holding families.

I had asked about this on Facebook (basically asking how the number of slave holding families was arrived at) with a link to information about it on the website of James Epperson, an anti-Confederate professor. I was surprised when I got a private message from Mr. Epperson about it.

Epperson: "Each slaveholder in the census is assumed to represent his own family. Some of these would be individuals, some would be extended families (patriarch/ matriarch, children and spouses, etc.), some would be nuclear families. I don’t see a problem with this." (Emphasis mine. CW  So Julia would be the child of a slave holder and Grant the spouse of the child of a slave holder — and thus counted as one who was affected by, benefited from slavery, etc., which is implied as the same thing as slave-ownership by anti-Confederate floggers.)

Me: "It seems to me that a figure of 26% looks much more weighty and impressive than 13.8% — particularly to people who won’t take the time to discern the difference in what the two figures represent. The term "slave holding families" could be construed by some to mean all members of the family were slaveholders; to such people, that means 26% of the Southern population, not 13.8%, owned slaves. I think it gives a false impression."

Epperson: "The point of the exercise is to discern how many people were affected by or benefitting (sic) from or exposed to slavery. It would be more than the individuals who legally owned the slaves—it would include their wives and children. I am not the originator of this, it is the standard metric used by historians."

Unless they’re flogger historians, and unless one member of the slave-owning family was Ulysses S. Grant. Then the idea is to distance him as far as possible from slave-ownership and benefit.

This is by no means the only example of the flogger application of a blatant double standard. I’ve blogged about it before and you can read about it here. This is just the latest example of it.

A lot of things substantiate the flogger hatred of white Southerners, and their efforts to evilize them, past and present. The wielding of their despicable double standard is just one.

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