If slaves could be whisked suddenly to modern America, they would be dumbfounded by people who use slavery – 156 years “after freedom broke” – to create the illusion that white oppression still cripples blacks at every turn.
They’d see Oprah, Obama, black mayors, black police chiefs, black surgeons, black attorneys, black scientists, athletes, astronauts, and entrepreneurs, and wonder if something magical happened in America. It did. Freedom.
Still, Ibram X. Kendi wrote the column, “We’re Still Living and Dying in the Slaveholders’ Republic,” for The Atlantic in May. Calls to lift the COVID-19 stay-at-home policy, he wrote, is an example of “the psyche of the slaveholder” never leaving America. Conservatives wanting to open the economy is “the slaveholder clamoring for his freedom to infect, and the enslaved clamoring for our freedom from infection.”
So being forced to lock down is freedom and being free to choose is slavery. Got it.
It takes a doctorate in African-American Studies to make such mush ring like truth. People like Kendi are doing it a lot these days. And why not? The hellish history of human bondage glitters with caverns of rhetorical gold. If looking backward is your thing, there are mountains