Day: September 20, 2007

The ugly face of racism

Trouble is returning to Floyd’s annual Arts and Crafts Festival and it is trouble the local Women’s Club could have avoided.

At issue is Wytheville native Gary C. Walker, a self-proclaimed Civil War historian and self-published author of books that defend slavery. Walker’s presence at the weekend event at Floyd County High School for the past two years sparked protests from local citizens and a debate between letter writers to The Floyd Press.

A friend emailed me excerpts from one of Walker’s books, The Truth About Slavery, and it is disgusting reading — an apologist’s attempt to rewrite history to support the despicable practice of slavery.

An example:

MASTER-SLAVE PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS

What type of relationship was it? There were many variations and shades of those variations, but as a general rule, it developed into a parent-child relationship. The family relationship is an economic institution, which is relatively stable, well-defined, and has served all societies since recorded history. The family structure introduced from Europe in the 1600’s had changed little by the 1800’s and is still common and viable in the 1900’s.

Generally speaking the parent is responsible for the supervision and care of the children. The children must work under the rules the parents establish. The relationship is not easily terminated: the children just can’t quit or run away; the parents can’t fire the children or simply quit caring for them. The slaves were grafted into the master’s family. There were many signs of this “grafting.” There are numerous examples of true love, acts of courtesy, and heroism between the master’s family and the slave family. Terms of endearment were commonly used: “Mammy, Uncle Joe. My boy (as in son), (later just) boy.”

The master or the mistress viewed themselves as the “good parent.” They provided for the physical needs of their slave “children.”

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