Thursday, August 19, 2004

Misplaced Outrage

I expect more from Condi. It seems today she couldn't resist the following oft-cited (but mistaken) cheap shot. From an AP article:
And so far, said Rice, an African-American, Iraq's postwar leaders have not made a compromise comparable to the one by the framers of the U.S. Constitution, who "made my ancestors three-fifths of a man."

She was referring to the provision in the Constitution that designated slaves as three fifths of a person in calculating the population of states for elections to Congress. The slaves also were denied the vote.
Yes, this was a compromise, but in the opposite direction from what is usually supposed! We are to feel shamed, are we not, that the blacks were counted only fractionally, implying they were seen as only 60% human or something, whenever this is brought up.

But that's totally wrong! The actual anti-slavery, pro-black position at the time was to count the slaves as ZERO for purposes of representation. Clearly, since slaves couldn't vote, to count them as full citizens would only reward the Slave States with greater power in Congress, and give greater weight to the interests of slaveholders. It would make slaveholding a political advantage!

The Slave States wanted the slaves to be counted fully! Should they have gotten their way?

But rather than laud the Founders for at least taking a partial anti-slavery stand by refusing to allow the fiction of full representation for people who couldn't vote, they are always, ALWAYS, instead slammed for this "3/5" business, because, frankly, people are woefully ignorant of the Constitutional foundations of this great nation.

It is also a gross mischaracterization because free blacks were counted fully, like everyone else -- except for "Indians not taxed" who weren't counted at all, because they weren't part of the system...and nobody is squawking about that!

Of course, better to not have had slavery at all, but it existed, and without such a compromise, we would have had no country at all. And furthermore, the additional "compromises" during the 1800s about new States being either Slave or Free, were also quite necessary, as triggering a Civil War anytime earlier, before the North had built up such an overwhelming industrial advantage, would have resulted in a smashing Confederate victory -- the consequences of which for subsequent world history, let alone for blacks, are too grim to contemplate.

African-Americans should be delighted the slaves were only counted as 3/5 a person -- indeed, the only legitimate complaint is that they were counted at all!

It is this same kind of fuzzy thinking that has led to calls for allowing non-citizens, and even illegal aliens, to be able to vote, which is an Abomination. They already can vote in some local elections. This is nothing but a blatant assault on the concept of citizenship; a deconstruction of the notion of a nation-state, to pave the way for domination by unaccountable transnational bureaucrats.

Think that's a bit off the reservation? A little too "black helicopter"?

I admit it's an outlandish thought.

But then again, I wouldn't have believed what's going on today with the European Union, either.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even so it was wrong for black people to be used at all as political pawns for advantage or disadvantage. In other words a person shouldn't be used unknowingly and thrown away like a piece of trash.

5:39 PM, October 24, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also some Indians did have black slaves.

5:40 PM, October 24, 2005  

Post a Comment

<< Home