I just finished watching the made for TV series “Roots”…utterly fascinating and stimulating. But, as I watched the final scene where the great-great-grandson meets his ancestors I was deeply touched. An incredible journey for a family through time; and trials that no one should have to bear. But they did…and they survived. But, have we survived as a people, as a country, as souls?
I am forever a romantic, of that there is no doubt. But, I am also a realist as much of an oxymoron as that may sound. I want to know what the past means for us today, and how it will affect tomorrow. For if the future is not better, then the sufferings and trials of the past are simply in vain. And should we view ourselves as nothing but cannon fodder for the future or should be expect -no, demand- a future that is better, brighter, and filled with more hope that today?
Let there be no illusion…there were atrocities committed by white people via slavery here in the United States. It is a deep and dark stain on the soul of this country. Let no one, no one of any conscience, try to justify that period of human enslavement. Let no simpleton try to rationalize the abuse of another by taunting decency with words such as tradition, culture or ignorance. For that person would be a fool of the worst kind, a dancer for the Devil.
However, let us note that slavery was not uncommon throughout the entirety of mankind. For it truly is the very nature of man that once he acquires a little power or authority…he uses and abuses it, especially towards fellow man. History has proven that indisputably and unequivocally. My own father’s ancestors were used and abused by the English for many hundreds of years. Then once we were conquered they set us against another they called “enemy” based on political and religious motivations. Yes, religion -of all things- religion. God must have tremendous pity on us for the things done in His name. Atrocities that bear no reflection of His will.
Then there was, and is, the largest group of enslavers and slave holders the world has ever known…Muslims. The religion of Islam has placed more people into slavery than the rest of the world combined…and then some. Even Roots would never have been written had Islam never been at the foundation of that period of slavery. Even today, Muslims still practice slavery and practice is throughout the Middle East and beyond.
But, I write not about the English, Africans, Protestants, Catholics, Muslims, or Islam today. Today I write about America.
There is a song near and dear to most of us, it has these words;
“…sweet land of liberty…”
“…land of the noble free…”
“…with freedom’s holy light…”
I have traced my ancestors for many generations, we have served this country in wars since before the days of the American Revolution. We’ve served on the side of the Colonists and the Union nearly ninety years apart. Then thirty years later we served our country against enemies close to home and a world away. My father served in WWI, too young to be a soldier he was an ambulance driver. My mother’s father, his two brothers, and their father served all at the same time in Europe fighting the Germans the first time. My father, too old to be a soldier during WWII served as a mechanic keeping fighter planes in the air against Rommel and others. Those of us that are younger, but only relatively so, served during Vietnam. Even younger relatives served since then in the Middle East.
So, that gives me, through my family’s service, the right to make some observations. Those observations may be disagreeable to you and a rousing debate could take place. But, you would lose…at least in my not-so-humble opinion. Stop reading now if you care to, otherwise…you are on your own.
Ostensibly what are all wars fought for?
If you believe the political leadership of our country, they will lead you to believe “freedom!” Trace each war we’ve been entangled with since the Revolution…it has been freedom that has been sold to us by those that wish military men and women to do their bidding. To pick up the righteous cause of killing and destroying…all in the name of freedom. Only once was it actually true I propose…the War of 1812.
Still embarrassed that they could be beat by a bunch of measly, hayseed Colonists, the British invaded our shores with the intention of subduing us and placing us -as a country- back into slavery. The government of England had always seen us collectively as slaves for use as they deemed appropriate. They wanted us back serving their political and financial interests. Fortunately they didn’t succeed. We, as a country, remained a newly formed Constitutional Republic, not a political subsidiary of the government of England.
Please do not try and forward an intelligent argument regarding the Civil War and its cause being that of freedom. Clearly history shows it was an ideological difference of opinion on states’ rights and financial necessity. If you read your history you know that the slaves were freed by the Emancipation Proclamation two full years after the start of the Civil War. If the Civil War had truly been about freedom for slaves the Emancipation Proclamation would have pre-dated the start of the war and been the cause of it. Neither was the case. The War of 1812 was the last war to have freedom as its foundation.
Only the Second World War has any other sense of validity to it. The mass atrocities of the Germans -and to a lesser degree the Japanese, and their determination to conquer the world, or at least Europe, made war inevitable. Their attempt to eliminate a whole ethnic group was motivation enough for us to go to war to stop evil, the Devil himself.
Since then…wars, with United States involvement, have been fought for pride and profit. Nothing more, nothing less.
So, you are probably asking yourself right about now, “What in the world does this have to do with Roots and today’s world?”
Ah, yes…indeed a very good question you just asked.
Let’s cover a little ground first…then I will move on.
What was the purpose of slavery? Simply put it was profit. While slaves carried expense with them, it was a paltry sum compared to the cost of labor, even labor in those days.
Why was slavery tolerated, didn’t they know it was against God?
Of course they knew it was morally wrong. There is no one in their right mind, IQ above 40, which could argue that people actually thought it was right. Granted, many people espoused the concept of slavery was fine, appropriate, and agreeable because it involved the Africans, those dirty sub-human types from a land that was even called the “Dark Continent.” But, everyone knew it was wrong, morally or otherwise, they simply used those hollow arguments to justify their greed for money and power.
Was profit their only motivation? No, of course not. Man, throughout history has always conquered people different than themselves. So there is a very unhealthy dose of “pride” involved. Maybe more appropriately said, the love of power, power over others…the ultimate form of pride.
Coupled together we have a world in which serves the background for Roots was merely the love of money and power. Simple, easy to understand, uncomplicated…and indisputable.
Once more, “What the heck does that have to do with us today?”
Are we any different today?
There is a scene in Roots where the slaves have just been freed since the war had just concluded and the Confederacy surrendered. The “master” comes to the group of slaves in the field and offers to keep them working the land. He offers them a chicken, pig, and some meager food in exchange for backbreaking work doing the same thing the slaves had been doing before. Ah, but there was now a catch…the slaves would be required to rent their sheds that were then called home. But the master assured them the rent would be “reasonable.” The slaves, now free, were still slaves.
Fast forward with me…
In today’s world, by law, mothers and fathers must raise their children a certain way. If they deviate from that model of child rearing they risk having their children taken away and potential prison sentences. No regard is given as to the welfare of the child, simply conformity to society’s expectations that have been legally codified is the primary objective.
Once the child in more than just a few years old, society has passed laws requiring that child to go to school regardless of what the parents want. In that government school, government teaches drill government mandated educational materials into the children’s head. Should parents object too rigorously, then once again they run the risk of law enforcement seizing their children and the parents rotting in jail while the state raises their children.
Once a child finishes his basic government controlled education they are encouraged to continue their education to “better their chances in life” and to “make more money.” Unfortunately we find once again that the so-called “education” is once more very tightly controlled by the government. And an extension of the government, in the form of liberals and Progressives, working hard to ensure that these children are reared even deeper in pro-government, anti-family rhetoric. As if to add insult to injury the children then finish that indoctrination with mammoth debt which is now also controlled by the government.
Next comes entering into the workplace to earn money to pay to the government to satisfy government educational debt. But, that workplace is tightly controlled by the government. How many hours you can work, working conditions themselves, and strict laws about what you can and can’t do in the workplace…all controlled by the government. And what is the purpose of that employment? One half of the people employed in the country today pay 50%, sometimes much more, of their earnings to the government in the form of various government mandated taxes.
Home ownership is preached from a young age as a goal to be obtained and to be proud of. Once established in the workplace, most people then seek home ownership. But we find every aspect of home ownership is tightly controlled by one level of the government or another. Even the purchase process is tightly controlled by the government. And then we know that 98% of all home mortgages are directly related to the government.
We find ourselves working to pay student loans to the government, to pay taxes to the government, and to make mortgage payments to the government. And, to make matters worse, if miss a single tax payment on your property the government can, and does, swoop in and seize your property and sell it out from under you. You can find yourself homeless and all for missing a tax payment equaling less than 1% of your home’s actual value, sometimes, even less, far less.
Now, I want to ask a question…actually, I want to stir your mind and soul, “Are we in slavery today?”
Wait, let me ask the question differently,
- “Can we build a home the way we want to without government interference?”
- “Can we raise our children without government interference?”
- “Can we obtain the education and profession we want free from government interference?”
- “Can we do with our property what we wish free from the ever present hand of the government?”
- “Can we start a business free from government intrusion?”
- “Can we travel without government control…or even buy a car whose manufacture isn’t controlled by the government?”
- “Can you buy food for your family that the government doesn’t control?”
Let me try this again,
“Is there anything in your life that you can do that the government doesn’t have intrusion into or control over?”
“Is today’s slavery really that much different than that of any other time? Or do we just have a different master?”
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