Combating Dystopia.

Monday, July 11, 2011

On Pledges, Preambles and Other Putridness.

Conservative group backtracks on marriage pledge slavery language - Maggie Haberman -

Ahhh, the day to day fascination that is following American politics. There's grandstanding. There's posturing. There's vast distortion...and there's this...

"Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA?s first African-American President,"

Some of the most vile, infuriatingly pat justifications I ever heard of Antebellum slavery in American History was that "at least it wasn't as brutal as slavery in other parts of the world"1 , or "Black people were happier or better off under slavery". A social institution that bred, bought and sold persons as though they were baseball cards (or Pokemon) , separated "families" as it was profitable, and generally denied the ability to have meaningful longterm relationships with their spouses and families should it have interfered with their prime directives was somehow the halmark of hearth and home. Or whatever other lies one will tell oneself in order to avoid the real, horrid human costs of southern history.

A quick internet query refutes the dizzy notion of two-parent household bliss in the Antebellum slavery system fairly succinctly, saying:

Marriage was not a locked-in-condition. Strings were attached which had an effect on slaves who tried to marry and live in the cities. Moreover, "a house was not a home." Slaves families cold hardly exist in bondage. A marriage contract was not recognized as law, the circumstances being a negative response. Children of this marriage were to become the property of the master and not the parents. This situation was the general condition of slavery.
the does considerably better, directly countering the absolute lunacy of the above "preamble", and fully debunks the falacy of the stable slave family with the appropriate
Because of the high premium placed on male labor, throughout every period of American slavery, black men were the most likely to be parted from their families. For slave owners, who considered the basic family unit to be comprised of mother and child, husbands and fathers could be, and were, easily replaced. Many a slave woman was assigned a new husband by her master. Male children were also frequently taken from slave mothers. The bond between an enslaved mother and daughter was the least likely to be disturbed through sale. Yet this tie was also fragile. Owners could reap large returns by selling pretty girls, especially light-skinned ones, into prostitution or concubinage.

Does that sound like a stable, loving familial environment to you? What I find curious about the Family Leader's eagerness to get a dig in at the standing President and bemoan the less than idyllic black single parent household that it would omit historical reality in order to do so. Its beyond contemptible, and its fairly damning that Bachman and Santorium signed this "lofty" pledge that disparages and ignores the complex social realities foisted upon American slaves so readily. Perhaps not as telling when we stop to consider Rick Santorium and Michelle Bachman have no lost love for other cultural minorities.

In the meantime, I'll just be rolling my eyes and wondering what other sorts of outlandish misconceptions the two of them could step in before the election cycle begins in earnest. Its going to be a very fun trainwreck.

And now a bit from the ultra-lovely new Bon Iver album (Its been on repeat for days and days on my ipod). I think a calming influence may be needed after trying to comprehend troll logic. Later days.

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