User Profile: PubliusPencilman


Member Since: August 31, 2010


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  • [2] October 6, 2015 at 7:45am

    Then I suppose that the major disagreement here is that you seem to think, against all reason and statistics, that these very few black slaveholders constitute a significant counterpoint to the very real and important narratives about slavery that, as I said, still influence us today.

    Obviously you are desperately searching for some kind of proof that history fits your agenda. You’re not out for an accurate understanding–your simply out for validation. There is a good reason why this 28% number doesn’t normally enter into the conversation. This risk is that folks like you will focus in on this very small number of black slaveholders (who were likely descended from blacks who acquired slaves when Louisiana was a French colony and had more permissive racial codes) and somehow claim that the exception changes everything we know about slavery.

    It doesn’t. Nothing about the very limited numbers of black slaveholders in history tells us anything about the slave codes, Jim Crow, Reconstruction, segregation, or any of the white supremacist laws that dominated this country.

    But anyway, as I said, you aren’t out for truth or understanding.

  • [-1] October 5, 2015 at 3:16pm

    I keep asking the same question because you never actually answer the question with anything but vague generalizations and straw men. You don’t actually explain what this context is supposed to indicate. After all, the question of “white privilege” and the enduring legacy of slavery is not based on what proportion of whites owned slaves. Even the whites who did not own slaves themselves participated in a system that dehumanized blacks, restricted their movement, denied them their fundamental civil rights, and even made it illegal to educate them. Again, as I point out in the post above and you ignore: individual slaveholders were not the only one’s deeply involved in the slave system.
    This did not end with the end of slavery–even when there were NO slave-holders in the US, blacks were systematically oppressed, intimidated and victimized. They were segregated and often denied public resources. They were prevented from living certain places, holding certain jobs, and for a long time from marrying outside their race.
    So please, explain to me how the fact that a higher percentage of freed blacks in New Orleans in 1860 owning slaves somehow disproves the idea of white privilege.

  • [-2] October 5, 2015 at 2:21pm

    “The you posted..”the article presents no further source for that claim”…it was US census data, how many times do I have to tell you? The stats are accurate. Yes that was of New Orleans, but the percentage of whites owning slaves at the same time and location was much less. Hence, my original point is unflawed and substantiated.”
    So, since in the year 1860 there was higher percentage of free black individuals who owned slaves in just one city–New Orleans–then…. what? Keep in mind that you don’t provide the percentage of white slave owners in New Orleans for comparison, just the national and Southern percentages. So you don’t offer evidence for the same time and location.
    But anyway, as I say on a thread below, the 4% of whites who owned slaves statistic makes little sense, since it only looks at individual owners versus the population as a whole, which necessarily includes children and women whose property is owned by their husbands. Even in census data you keep crowing about, the statistic is measured in percentage of whites belong to slave-holding families. These numbers range from a third to almost one-half in core slave-holding states.
    And keep in mind, the slave-holding families statistic does not include all the other people involved in slavery, including those who worked at slave auctions, slave catchers, overseers, and other who actively patrolled for escaped slaves.

  • [-6] October 5, 2015 at 10:47am


    Your data is quite selective. The percentage of individual slave holders as a proportion of the total white population is not a useful percentage, since this number includes children, married women whose property is held by their husbands, etc.

    It would be much more useful to look at the percentage of FAMILIES who owned slaves, which you can read here:

    As you can see, in many of these states the numbers are higher than 30%, and they even approach 50%.

  • [-4] October 5, 2015 at 10:37am

    Haha Sleazy. No one is actually arguing that white people are inherently evil and black people inherently good. For someone who constantly accuses others of making straw man arguments, your lack of self-awareness is astonishing.

    It’s also astonishing how you take that 28% number as gospel. The article you linked said that this was the percentage of free blacks in New Orleans who owned slaves, not of the South as a whole. There is no evidence that this could be a representative percentage–the article presents no further source for that claim. Quite amazing that you are willing to believe such a suspicious figure right away.

    It’s also quite silly that you are attempting to argue things at the level of race, but you conveniently leave out the 4 million enslaved blacks from your statistics.

  • [-9] October 5, 2015 at 7:47am

    As much as I enjoy debating points with you, if you are not going to offer any, I would suggest that you sit this one out. You have yet to point out any fact I’ve ignored. Feel free to rant about “liberal statists” somewhere else.

  • [-5] October 5, 2015 at 6:15am

    First of all, again, what is this number intended to prove? What at all could the proportion of free black slave owners tell us? Note too that this 28% number doesn’t quite make sense, since it only seems to take into account free black populations in a handful of Southern cities. The article itself only mentions about 3,200 free blacks owning slaves in 1860, out of a population of 261,988. And how exactly does this constitute 28%?

    But anyway, this is a fairly meaningless number, since, as Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Carter G. Woodson point out:

    “In 1830, the year most carefully studied by Carter G. Woodson, about 13.7 percent (319,599) of the black population was free. Of these, 3,776 free Negroes owned 12,907 slaves, out of a total of 2,009,043 slaves owned in the entire United States”

    I’m sure that you can do the math and figure out that only a minuscule percentage of slaves were owned by black masters.

    So again, what do you hope to prove with these shady numbers?

  • [-9] October 4, 2015 at 9:53pm

    You are certainly not talking about anything actually taught in a classroom–this is a goofy cartoon version of what you think happens.

  • [-14] October 4, 2015 at 9:50pm


    No one is arguing against context at all, so it is unclear about what your rant there was focused on. Anyway, funny how you express such concern for black people, but you seem to think that the majority of them are somehow unable to make an informed political decision. I guess all those naive black folks need you to save them, right?

  • [-16] October 4, 2015 at 7:00pm

    No, I won’t admit that. There are many laws and policies that disproportionately penalize black populations. Whether this was the intention or not, it doesn’t change the fact that there is little to no will to change these biased policies. That, my friend, is institutionalized racism.

  • [-11] October 4, 2015 at 6:57pm

    No one is suggesting that Americans were the only ones who opened slaves. That is not how the history of slavery is taught. That said, in this country we naturally spend more a lot more time on the slave system in OUR own history.

    Your objections are just silly. You are just being needlessly defensive, and you are doing your country no favor.

  • [-16] October 4, 2015 at 6:55pm

    What in my post are you actually disagreeing with? Most of the “facts” offered are deflections or attempts to mischaracterize American slavery. If you honestly think that the fact that there were a few black slaveholders exonerates anyone, you’re out of your mind.

  • [-11] October 4, 2015 at 5:54pm

    “The total number of slaves brought to North America was about 680,000 not millions.”

    Regardless, there were tens of millions of blacks held in slavery over the duration of the slave system in North America.

    “One of the largest slave holders in the south was a black former slave.”

    So? If Himmler turned out to a Jew, would this exonerate Hitler or any of the other Nazis? Please, give me a proportion of how many slaves in America were owned by black masters, and how many by white? Go ahead, work out those numbers and we’ll see if this would be a significant percentage of total slave holdings.

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  • [-14] October 4, 2015 at 5:50pm

    Legal slavery ended 150 years ago, but discrimination against blacks as a result of the slave system endures today. Why deny it?

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  • [-7] October 4, 2015 at 5:48pm

    What does it matter that some black people owned slaves? What does it matter that Arabs traded in slaves? What are these “facts” supposed to demonstrate? They do nothing to disprove the fact that American slavery was a horrible and brutal institution that dehumanized generations of Africans, stole from them the fruits of their labor, denied them even the ownership of their own bodies, and justified violence and even murder against them.

  • [-10] October 4, 2015 at 5:45pm

    What exactly drives this impulse to deny the horrors of American slavery? How is anyone invested in defending the darkest aspects of our history? This Medved garbage reads like a whiny impudent child stomping his feet. Many of the Founders themselves declared slavery an evil institution, although this did not stop many of them from owning slaves.

    It’s not about blaming anyone specifically–it’s about recognizing an aspect of our history that, unfortunately, still influences our culture and institutions. Denying this doesn’t make it go away.

  • [-14] October 4, 2015 at 5:35pm


    1) Completely irrelevant. This kind of “fact” shows just how juvenile the defenders of slavery are. If everyone was doing it, it must be OK that we did it, right?

    2) The consensus before the Civil War was NOT that slavery would disappear. In fact, Southern planters fought hard for and won provisions in the Compromise of 1850 that opened up the West to slavery and forced Northern free states to return fugitive slaves under penalty of federal law.

    3) The assertion that slave masters would probably treat their property well doesn’t stand up against the mountains of evidence demonstrating the cruelty of slavery. Are you suggesting that Frederick Douglass was lying? Or Harriet Tubman? Solomon Northup? Harriet Jacobs? Somehow these first-hand accounts of victims don’t count?

    4) On balance, many Northern states were wealthier than Southern states, but few of even the richest Northerners could mach the wealth and influence of the Southern planters. Additionally, many of those rich Northerners got rich supply goods for and shipping slave-made products.

    5) America might have outlawed the importation of slaves from outside the US in 1808, but the domestic slave trade continued unabated. The British outlawed slavery throughout the empire in 1833, well before America.

  • [4] September 28, 2015 at 8:15am

    “They” hate Catholics, and yet you’re the one asserting that the Pope is doing Satan’s bidding.

  • [6] September 28, 2015 at 8:14am


    If you actually took the time to understand things, you probably wouldn’t hold half the views you do. I suppose I can’t expect such an effort.

  • [8] September 28, 2015 at 8:13am

    Thank God that Obama finally realized that his personal belief isn’t enough to deny rights to others.

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