What Fresh Hell Is This?

August 10, 2011

More On Michele Bachmann and Slavery

GOP front runner and Tea Party darling Michele Bachmann in the news these past coupla days regarding this Newsweek cover:

From the Washington Post blog:
As soon as Newsweek tweeted this week’s cover of the magazine, featuring a particuarly bad picture of presidential candidate Michele Bachmann, bloggers were up in arms.

NewsBusters argued that Newsweek intentionally chose a photo that made Bachmann look “crazy.” Slate asked whether the picture showed the magazine was “sexist.”
And so on. The charges and counter charges (and their defenses) will quarantine not a small amount of the news cycle. Which is a pity because there's another Bachmann story that might not get the air time it should because of it.

Bachmann's views on antebellum slavery. From Adam Swerver at the American Prospect:
Ryan Lizza's profile of Bachmann reveals that Bachmann's odd perspective on slavery isn't a series of gaffes, but rather "a world view." Lizza explains that Bachmann is a believer in a kind of Christian conservative reimagining of slavery, where "many Christians opposed slavery" but owned them anyway and didn't free them because "“it might be very difficult for a freed slave to make a living in that economy; under such circumstances setting slaves free was both inhumane and irresponsible.” How charitable of them!
Wait, there's more:
She is also a fan of Robert E. Lee biographer J. Steven Williams, (sic) whom Lizza describes as a "leading proponent of the theory that the South was an orthodox Christian nation unjustly attacked by the godless North." Wilkins "approvingly" cites Lee's conviction that abolition was premature because it was necessary for "the sanctifying effects of Christianity” to take their time “to work in the black race and fit its people for freedom.”
Actually it's J. Steven Wilkins but that's besides the point. What did have to say about antebellum slavery? You have to read it for yourself:
Slavery, as it operated in the pervasively Christian society which was the old South, was not an adversarial relationship founded upon racial animosity. In fact, it bred on the whole, not contempt, but, over time, mutual respect. This produced a mutual esteem of the sort that always results when men give themselves to a common cause. The credit for this startling reality must go to the Christian faith
And they're worrying about the photo making Bachmann look crazie?

1 comment:

EdHeath said...

I will say that slave owners showed concern for slaves to the extent that anyone shows concern for a productive piece of property (probably closest to one's view of useful machinery). I would suspect that from the slave's point of view they did not always and absolutely see the slave owner as evil and cruel; after all since they lived in a world where they knew they had no alternative that they could control some slaves probably saw some masters as less cruel than others.

But mutual respect because of Christianity?

I offer this book about the "Christian" behavior of white southerners after the Civil War as a counter argument.