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One Thing Is Certain, Michael Medved is a Lunatic

October 3, 2007

Unbelievably, in 2007, there are still people who will defend slavery.  Michael Medved, the Political Pundit/Movie Critic has a column at Townhall.com called: "Six inconvenient truths about the U.S. and slavery".  And you guest it, it is a defense of America’s slave-holding history. Oh, and yes, it’s as bad as you think it is.

This revisionist fiction Medved dares to present has incensed me. In it he details six of what he calls the  "inconvenient truths" about slavery in relation to America which are (paraphrased):

  • It wasn’t an American Invention: Michael, who cares if slavery was invented in America!  It remains that America was a participant in its use as a means of commerce. That it was de-humanizing and reprehensible practice.It is a fact, that slavery in the Americas continued after it had been judged immoral and barbaric by the other culprit nations being served by the practice of human enslavement.
  • Slavery didn’t last that long in America: This is the kind of thing that makes me want to holler, and why it’s hard for black people to view whites as honest participants in the recording of history.  Medved minimizes the effect of slavery to a period of 89 years. 89 years does not nearly represent the toll that slavery has placed on the African American.  Medved tries to solidify his argument by separating the fruits of slavery’s metamorphosis into Jim Crow laws and segregation as different issues.  Micheal, there was and still is no difference in these issues -they are all rooted in the system of racism/white supremacy; and 89 years does not nearly account for that.
  • Slavery wasn’t genocidal: According to Medved, "Dead captives brought no profit." Obviously, Michael, your not acquainted with the reality of the slave corridor.  Slave ships were regularly and repeatedly overloaded resulting in the deaths of at least a third of the captive Africans. But that doesn’t matter to Medved. No, that’s not genocide, that’s not the deliberate and systematic destruction of a race of people – oh I forgot, they did deliberate overload those ships, knowing that multiple upon multiple Africans would die.  But according to Medved the American slave owner had different sensibilities:

"For slave owners and
slave dealers in the New World, however, death of your human property
cost you money, just as the death of your domestic animals would cause
financial damage. And as with their horses and cows, slave owners took
pride and care in breeding as many new slaves as possible. Rather than
eliminating the slave population, profit-oriented masters wanted to
produce as many new, young slaves as they could."

Shocking isn’t it?  But he wrote it.  As if it made the situation better!

  • It’s not true that the U.S. became wealthy through the abuse of slave labor: Michael how do we account for the fact that 50% of U.S. exports in 1855 were cotton, and who did the cotton picking – slaves. 
  • There should be special credit for America for its rapid abolition: So, black people, Michael Medved thinks we should give thanks because white folks started realizing slavery was bad. No, I don’t think so.
  • I couldn’t paraphrase this one, "THERE IS NO REASON TO
    BELIEVE THAT TODAY’S AFRICAN-AMERICANS WOULD BE BETTER OFF IF THEIR
    ANCESTORS HAD REMAINED BEHIND IN AFRICA.":
    No comment necessary.

There are a couple of things we need to take away from this 1) Michael Medved deserved Keith Olberman’s "Worst Person In the World" designation,


and 2) he suffers (in my opinion) with what James Baldwin called "white anguish".  In The Fire Next Time, Baldwin writes:

"A vast amount of the energy that goes into what we call the Negro problem is produced by the white man’s profound desire not to be judged by those who are not white, not to be seen as he is, and at the same time a vast amount of the white anguish is rooted in the white man’s equally profound need to be seen as he is. To be released from the tyranny of his mirror."

If America is truly going to be the "land of the free and the home of the brave", white men like Medved will have to see this country for what is has been historically, and give up their deliberate blindness of the impact of white supremacy in America.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. October 4, 2007 12:04 AM

    Medved is an idiot. How’d he go from film critic to political commentary? I’d give as much credence to his opinion as I would a garden snake.

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