I just finished watching 12 Years a Slave and so many thoughts are running through my head. I’ve seen slave movies before, Roots, Django Unchained and a host of others. I learned nothing new. But it did reconfirm my belief that the people back then, and by people I mean “white people” were seriously lacking moral values. Now I understand that not all white people were of the same wicked mind. But I do think it is fair to say that the majority of the white people, especially those living in slave states were really fucked up.
Excuse my French. But we are grown folks rights. I mean if we can watch a film using the “N-word” and watch human beings being sold, chained, whipped and hung for only the sake of a white man’s desires to be richer, well then, the “F-word” should surely not be as offensive as watching this Academy Award winning movie. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not criticizing this movie at all! It was well written, well directed and very well acted.
Can you even imagine? I mean really imagine what the black actors must have experienced emotionally to recreate this epic film? I don’t think many of us can. To allow yourself to be treated with such disgust and ignorance, even if only for make-believe when you yourself know in your mind that the story being told is not made up, and that it not only happened to ONE black man, but happened to many other black men and women whether they lived as a free man or woman or not.
I can only say how very thankful I am that my ancestors arrived in this North American Continent from their European counties in the early 1900’s. How proud I am that my ancestors were not among those slave owners or cruel hired hands working for the slave owners.
My son and I have had several conversations about slavery and the world today. And honestly, I do get somewhat frustrated when I hear the white privilege complain about other races, making their ignorant assumptions of how lazy certain races are and how the whites have to pay higher taxes because not everyone is pulling their weight. I will tell you that in my thirty plus years of working, most of which has been in a large metropolitan area, I’ve worked with equal amounts of dedicated, reliable and loyal African, Latino and Asian American co-workers as well as Caucasian-European American co-workers.
But that’s not even the issue.
What the white privileged of America seem to forget is that slavery made this country VERY RICH. I seriously doubt that we even would have had the status of the RICHEST country in the world had it not been for the hundreds of years, HUNDREDS OF YEARS of slavery; free workers who made slave owners, business owners, politicians and many other average white men very rich. Economically, money was flowing, products were being bought and sold. But at what cost?
These black men and women not only worked for free wages (which the indentured servants did as well) but they were held captive, beat mercifully and treated like animals and sometimes much worse. To be torn away from your own children because human traffickers could get more money by separating the family, and then to be told, “you will forget all about them [children]” is an unforgivable act. That’s what they told birth mothers, too, just before money would exchange for the newborn infant.
I wonder how many of us today, no matter what color our skin is, could last as a slave. I often wonder had America not have had slaves, would it have flourished or even still exist as it is today. How dirty is our land, our money, our country? Does it make you proud to be an American knowing that we are rich and free because of the sacrifices that were forced upon human beings who were trafficked and sold and gave their entire life to a country that saw them as no more or less than an animal.
So you will excuse me if I don’t sympathize with you for having to pay a little more taxes that helps pay for unemployment, food stamps, wic, Welfare and Medicaid, which I have also been the recipient of and that many of you falsely claim is mostly used and abused by other races rather than the all righteous white race. Considering we all still have our freedom, paying taxes to help a needy person, especially single mothers is a small inconvenience as compared to the hundreds of years the slaves worked for free to build this rich, bountiful and free country that so many of us take for granted.
And don’t even get me started on the Emancipation and the Civil Rights Era.