A Legacy of Cliches

Discussion in 'News / Current Events' started by Revmitchell, Jul 7, 2015.

  1. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,287
    Likes Received:
    780
    Thomas Sowell | Jul 07, 2015

    Discussions of racial problems almost invariably bring out the cliche of "a legacy of slavery." But anyone who is being serious, as distinguished from being political, would surely want to know if whatever he is talking about -- whether fatherless children, crime or whatever -- is in fact a legacy of slavery or of some of the many other things that have been done in the century and a half since slavery ended.

    Another cliche that has come into vogue is that slavery is "America's original sin." The great Supreme Court justice Oliver Wendell Holmes said that a good catch phrase could stop thinking for fifty years. Catch phrases about slavery have stopped people from thinking, even longer than that.

    Today the moral horror of slavery is so widely condemned that it is hard to realize that there were thousands of years when slavery was practiced around the world by people of virtually every race. Even the leading moral and religious thinkers in different societies accepted slavery as just a fact of life.

    No one wanted to be a slave. But their rejection of slavery as a fate for themselves in no way meant that they were unwilling to enslave others. It was just not an issue -- until the 18th century, and then it became an issue only in Western civilization.

    Neither Africans, Asians, Polynesians nor the indigenous peoples of the Western Hemisphere saw anything wrong with slavery, even after small segments of British and American societies began to condemn slavery as morally wrong in the 18th century.

    What was special about America was not that it had slavery, which existed all over the world, but that Americans were among the very few peoples who began to question the morality of holding human beings in bondage. That was not yet a majority view among Americans in the 18th century, but it was not even a serious minority view in non-Western societies at that time.

    http://townhall.com/columnists/thomassowell/2015/07/07/a-legacy-of-cliches-n2021930
     
  2. church mouse guy

    church mouse guy
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2002
    Messages:
    10,988
    Likes Received:
    79
    Did you think that the Dems were going to talk about the legacy of welfare?
     

Share This Page

Loading...