As Southerners, we are often called upon to defend our noble heritage from those who yet wage war on us: scalawag traitors, mean-spirited venomous carpetbaggers and others, which include newspaper columnists, such as the black-hearted Dan Ruth. (Now, that is a name steeped in irony, eh?)
And we often times refer to how Black folk, though unwanted in the yankee climes, was in fact tolerated as long as that race abided its place in society. And sometimes not even then. In stark contrast, the Irish were venomously prohibited from even trying to earn a living in the land of the yankee. It was said that IF an Irishman was hired for work, that no safety measures would be used for his well being because he had no value, not even as a human being. But, greater measures were used to protect the Black if for no other reason than that he DID have value if only monetary.
So, suppose, just suppose, it had been the Irish who had been enslaved instead of the African. With all that seething hatred the yankees, who were mostly of English stock, had for the Irish, does anyone think there would have been this great outcry from those who were the abolitionists to "FREE THE SLAVES"? Though the African was unwanted in yankeeland, he was mostly deemed harmless by them, an inferior race incapable of contending with the superiority of the dominant White race. The Irish, though, were another matter. History had shown them to be quite troublesome as far as the English were concerned.
Therefore, with the hardwired guttural hatred the yankees had for the Irish, I believe slavery would never had been an issue in the U.S. Therefore, those who contend with us today, when they viciously attack our venerated symbols and hold us accountable for involuntary African servitude, need to be disabused of this notion by presenting them with this scenario. While the people of today may have issues with anyone being held in involuntary lifetime bondage, certainly those abolitionists of African bondage would have been quite content with the status quo, believing with all their hearts that slavery ought to be the proper condition for the Irish.
Jimmy L. Shirley Jr.