View Poll Results: Where would black Americans be if their ancestors had never been enslaved?

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  • They would be in the same position they are now.

    3 2.80%
  • They would be in a better position.

    67 62.62%
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Thread: Where would black Americans be if their ancestors had never been enslaved?

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    Re: Where would black Americans be if their ancestors had never been enslaved?

    When I first read this thread - my first thought was it was designed to show that had slavery never existed, then many descendants of 'black' Americans would still be in Africa. And since most of Africa is far worse off then America, they would be worse off financially. Therefore 'black' Americans descended from slaves are better off then they had of been had slavery never existed.

    My answer to that would be - I could care less even if they are now 1,000 times better off then had slavery never existed.

    NOTHING justifies slavery...nothing.


    And trying to decide if they are better off for it is a ridiculous question that cannot possibly be answered with any degree of accuracy.

    It's like asking are the descendants of holocaust survivors better off had there been no holocaust...it's a ridiculous question and impossible to answer and designed - imo - to justify in some way the crimes committed against these people.
    Last edited by DA60; 03-09-15 at 03:07 AM.

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    Re: Where would black Americans be if their ancestors had never been enslaved?

    Quote Originally Posted by ThePlayDrive View Post
    Yeah, this is why I asked Goshin for a source. The belief that "Africa has always been a mess" is a product of white supremacist history lessons that have been dominant in American history. The accomplishments of African civilizations were pretty much erased from history taught in Americans schools until Carter G. Woodson among others demanded that Black history become part of the curriculum. Africa's history is just as rich as everyone else's history. It genuinely saddens me that many people still don't know that.
    The civilisations and cities of the South American natives seem to have suffered similar extinctions. The numbers of peoples there reduced far more than has ever happened in Africa.

    But on the subject of slavery, peoples and their civilisations had to be reduced beyond the stone age so as to justify enslavement and treatment of peoples as sub-human. The impact of that history and way of thinking at does not get changed overnight nor even over 3-400 years.

    Quote Originally Posted by US Conservative View Post
    Na its always been a mess. Few written languages, some places hadn't discovered the wheel until it was introduced there in the 19th century. Many still believe things like ebola are caused by witchcraft, some think chants make them bulletproof, and some think raping a baby cures aids.

    I'd call it a mess.
    Your post has been largely dealt with by another however I work in the arts and pottery is a family subject (my sister is a professional ceramicist) - potter's wheels and the introduction of coil pottery goes back beyond Christ in Africa.

    The 15,000 ton walls of the city of Great Zimbabwe and its counterparts in Mozambique were not built by dragging huge boulders over the difficult terrain nor where they built by martians.

    However if you wish to continue in your belief, I am not here to waste further words.

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    Re: Where would black Americans be if their ancestors had never been enslaved?

    Had Africans come to America of their own free will, but had faced the same discrimination from the end of the Civil War to the end of Jim Crow, then their situation wouldn't be vastly different. Had the systemic racial discrimination not been in place, then they would be much better off.
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    Re: Where would black Americans be if their ancestors had never been enslaved?

    Depends. If the imagined circumstances were to happen, would they still have race baiting charlatans making excuses for failure and telling them why they cant succeed and how its really not their fault and an entire political party exploiting them? Cuz if so...probably about the same.

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    Re: Where would black Americans be if their ancestors had never been enslaved?

    While it has been infamously stipulated that slavery was a significant factor in the African American's underclass status in the late 20th century, we should keep in mind that racial hegemony and concepts of racial inferiority or superiority would have continued to reign. To whatever extent this would have thus dramatically improved their lot in life is difficult to gauge, but "white" (however it would be defined decade by decade) acceptance of the other races would still be key. Would I expect their status to be improved? Sure, but in a rather limited manner.
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    Re: Where would black Americans be if their ancestors had never been enslaved?

    Quote Originally Posted by ThePlayDrive View Post
    Where would black Americans be if their ancestors had never been enslaved? Assume that all black Americans in the country today were the descendants of people who willingly immigrated to the United States under various conditions (some came b/c of war back home, others wanted a new experiences, etc.).

    We obviously cannot answer this question definitively, but I would like people's thoughts on the matter regardless. Responding with "we can never really know", "there's just too many factors to come up with an answer" or similarly defeatist answers is not welcomed in this thread. This is a thought experiment, not a dissertation defense.

    So, again, given the narratives you use to explain racial inequality, your perceptions of black Americans and other factors, where do you think that the black population in the United States would be if their ancestors had never been enslaved?* Would they have the same employment, education, crime and other rates as White Americans? Would they be in the same position they are in now?

    *Note : I realize that not every black American in the United States is a descendant of slaves. This question addresses the ones that are. I hope that takes care of all the red herrings.
    Where would they be? It's hard to say.

    Entering as willing immigrants would likely give them at least some leg up as compared to entering as slaves. However, as Fiddy noted, it's unlikely that the society they met on arrival would've been much more tolerant of them than it was historically.

    Frankly, that's the whole problem with your scenario from the get go. Such a thing simply never could have happened in real life.

    American culture had a hard enough time simply tolerating, let alone integrating, Catholics from slightly different European backgrounds than those of the original Protestant English and German colonists. There is absolutely no way in Hell that a bunch of non-Christian African tribals would have been able to make any headway. Hell! Logistically speaking, they never would've even been able to make it here in the first place.

    For that reason, without slavery, the "black community" you seem to be envisioning here almost certainly wouldn't even exist, which renders the entire OP a moot point.

    Honestly, a more interesting question here is whether or not the concept of all-inclusive "melting pot whiteness" which is so intrinsic to modern Americans of European descent ever would have developed in the first place without a substantial African population for it to stand in opposition to. It's entirely possible that non-WASP groups like the Irish, Italians, and Jews might've borne the brunt of social scorn in the black community's absence, and never lost the societal stigma of "outsiderhood" which had carried over from European culture without the influence of African Americans on the American cultural experience.
    Last edited by Gathomas88; 03-09-15 at 04:35 AM.

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    Re: Where would black Americans be if their ancestors had never been enslaved?

    Quote Originally Posted by Infinite Chaos View Post
    The civilisations and cities of the South American natives seem to have suffered similar extinctions. The numbers of peoples there reduced far more than has ever happened in Africa.

    But on the subject of slavery, peoples and their civilisations had to be reduced beyond the stone age so as to justify enslavement and treatment of peoples as sub-human. The impact of that history and way of thinking at does not get changed overnight nor even over 3-400 years.



    Your post has been largely dealt with by another however I work in the arts and pottery is a family subject (my sister is a professional ceramicist) - potter's wheels and the introduction of coil pottery goes back beyond Christ in Africa.

    The 15,000 ton walls of the city of Great Zimbabwe and its counterparts in Mozambique were not built by dragging huge boulders over the difficult terrain nor where they built by martians.

    However if you wish to continue in your belief, I am not here to waste further words.
    It wasn't "dealt with" it was emoted upon.

    And while its nice some people had clay pots n stuff, its still the most primitive continent on earth.

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    Re: Where would black Americans be if their ancestors had never been enslaved?

    Quote Originally Posted by DA60 View Post
    When I first read this thread - my first thought was it was designed to show that had slavery never existed, then many descendants of 'black' Americans would still be in Africa. And since most of Africa is far worse off then America, they would be worse off financially. Therefore 'black' Americans descended from slaves are better off then they had of been had slavery never existed.

    My answer to that would be - I could care less even if they are now 1,000 times better off then had slavery never existed.

    NOTHING justifies slavery...nothing.


    And trying to decide if they are better off for it is a ridiculous question that cannot possibly be answered with any degree of accuracy.

    It's like asking are the descendants of holocaust survivors better off had there been no holocaust...it's a ridiculous question and impossible to answer and designed - imo - to justify in some way the crimes committed against these people.
    Slavery has been a part of human history since before we started keeping track of such things. Our modern, non-slavery having world is an aberration, not the norm.

    That's not an attempt to justify slavery, but rather to point out that it's been common and that it's not limited to the United States or to African Americans.

    If you or any other white man were to follow your own genes back in time from generation to generation, you would almost assuredly find that you have several ancestors who were slaves at one point in time.

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    Re: Where would black Americans be if their ancestors had never been enslaved?

    Quote Originally Posted by US Conservative View Post
    It wasn't "dealt with" it was emoted upon.
    Sorry, nothing you wrote backed up your position on the subject. You may never have heard of Robert Gayre but you are simply extending what he originally wrote in his writings of several ancient cities in Southern Africa.

    You probably never heard of Mapungubwe, Loropeni, Khami - all empires that had trade with China and other centres long before white colonialists arrived in Africa.

    Quote Originally Posted by US Conservative View Post
    And while its nice some people had clay pots n stuff, its still the most primitive continent on earth.
    That's true now, however what you wrote previously about language civilisation and technology were uninformed.

    I repeat from earlier: many of these cities were reduced to rubble by shelling from Portuguese ships. The portuguese even did the same thing in the 60's and 70's when they were kicked out of Mozambique and Angola by destroying all the infrastructure they had built as colonial masters.

    The irony is now that Portuguese citizens are leaving Portugal for employment in Brazil, Mozambique and Angola because Portugal as a power has diminished and shrunk - as all societies eventually do.

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    Re: Where would black Americans be if their ancestors had never been enslaved?

    Quote Originally Posted by Infinite Chaos View Post
    Sorry, nothing you wrote backed up your position on the subject. You may never have heard of Robert Gayre but you are simply extending what he originally wrote in his writings of several ancient cities in Southern Africa.

    You probably never heard of Mapungubwe, Loropeni, Khami - all empires that had trade with China and other centres long before white colonialists arrived in Africa.



    That's true now, however what you wrote previously about language civilisation and technology were uninformed.

    I repeat from earlier: many of these cities were reduced to rubble by shelling from Portuguese ships. The portuguese even did the same thing in the 60's and 70's when they were kicked out of Mozambique and Angola by destroying all the infrastructure they had built as colonial masters.

    The irony is now that Portuguese citizens are leaving Portugal for employment in Brazil, Mozambique and Angola because Portugal as a power has diminished and shrunk - as all societies eventually do.
    No, it was primitive then, as it is now. There were few written languages, much of africa STILL does not have written language. And its simply a fact, the wheel was unknown to much of africa (save the horn).

    Then you somehow fast forward to the 1960's, as if it was somehow more advanced in the interim. A few stone forts and clay pots dont make a magnificent civilisation. Remarkable for the place and time, maybe-but archaic nevertheless.

    And I know about post colonial africa, and all the africans that have died has a result.

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