Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Slavery: A Tragic Recipe for World Domination

The following story is a fictional representation of what slaves have provided for the United States, the world’s most powerful nation:

There are twenty students in Mr. Sam’s math class. Out of the twenty students, only two of them are smart enough to pass the class, which is a requirement for graduation. The rest of the class is full of slackers who are willing to do anything other than the work itself to avoid failing. The lazy students understand that graduation is in jeopardy, so they devise a scheme that will ensure their success. Unfortunately for the two ambitious students, the plan revolves around them doing everyone else’s work. They are oblivious to the scheme until one day after class, when the slackers take them by surprise and beat them senseless in an abandoned parking lot. The slackers impose their will on their defenseless classmates beyond the point of surrender. Scared for their lives, the ambitious students agree to do homework and projects for the rest of the class.

As time progresses, the good students continue to do work for the everyone else. Their peers’ work is now their main priority due to the brutality they may otherwise encounter, and they have no time to do their own assignments. While their grades are plummeting, the slackers’ grades are skyrocketing. In the end, the abusers graduate the class and move on to bigger and better things, and the students responsible for the others‘ success, become failures themselves.

This is a portrayal of how historical slavery built the United States' economy. However, due to the brutal mistreatment of slaves, people don't often refer to free labor as the most profitable practice in history. It's important that americans, african americans especially, understand the impact that their ancestors had (and still have) on the world's greatest superpower. It is blatantly unfair for slave owners to reap the benefits of slave labor without properly crediting the workers themselves. Awareness needs to be spread regarding the impact of slaves on the united states economy, so perhaps they can finally be 'paid back'.

1 comment:

  1. Many universities across the country have been investigating precisely how much they have profited from the slave trade. It's an interesting turn in the intellectual project of understanding slavery. If the universities model good research and productive discourse regarding the impact of slavery on their institutions, perhaps that kind of project will become more common and discussion of these issues will become more prevalent.