"ROOTS": Exposing the Pulitzer Prize-winning hoax

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RStacy2229

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Jul 14, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/14/96
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I am grateful to Dr. Gary Mills of the University of Alabama for sending
me three articles which expose the fraudulent nature of Alex Haley's
"Roots." I will elsewhere comment upon the probable origins of the hoax,
but I have been asked to summarize these articles. Here goes:

"Alex Haley's Hoax" by Philip Nobile, Village Voice, NY, Feb. 23, 1993, p.
31
In 1978, Haley settled a plagiarism suit for $650,000 with Harold
Courtlander, author of the 1967 novel, "The African." More than 80
passages of "Roots" were apparently copied from Courtlander's novel.
Coincidentally or not, the very year that "The African" was published,
Haley had written to friend James Baldwin about a breakthrough in his
research: "I've got a big one baby." This article delves into many other
unsavory aspects of Haley and his "Roots" hoax, including the fact that
editor Murray Fisher wrote entire chapters of the book.

"Roots and the New "Faction": A Legitimate Tool for Clio?" by Gary B. and
Elizabeth Shown Mills, "The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography,"
Jan.
1981, p. 3.
This was one of the major articles to really rip "Roots" apart. Suffice it
to say the job was thoroughly done by Mills, a University of Alabama
history professor, and his wife, a certified geneaologist. Interestingly,
they had begun their quest hoping to authenticate Haley's work. It turns
out that Toby -- the slave Haley identified as Kunte Kinte and whom he
said arrived in Maryland in 1767 -- was actually listed on Virginia court
records as early as 1762 and had probably been there for some years
previous. The North Carolinian, Tom Lea, whom Haley characterized as
"white trash" was no such thing, nor did he own a female slave named
Kizzy: The novel's infamous "rape of Kizzy" scene was pure fiction. As the
Millses show, dozens of events and depictions in "Roots" are either not
confirmed by records or, more commonly, contradicted by records.

"Uprooting Kunta Kinte: On the Perils of Relying on Encyclopedic
Informants,"
by Donald R. Wright, "History in Africa" Vol. 8, 1981.
Wright shows, among other things, that the story of Kunta Kinte's
abduction by British slavers was certainly false. Haley more or less
bribed high officials of the Gambian government to validate a story of his
(Haley's) own creation.

Robert Stacy McCain
Rome GA

David A. Kearns

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Jul 14, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/14/96
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In the approximately forty historical studies of American Slavery that
I have read, not one mention has been made of Alex Haley or any of his
writings.

Journalists hawked Haley's work. Journalists created the Pulitzer
Prize. When you denounce those who propagated the Haley farce, be
sure to include the largest group of contributors...your
"professional" colleagues.

David Kearns


efr...@cc.memphis.edu

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Jul 15, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/15/96
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David Kearns wrote:

> In the approximately forty historical studies of American Slavery that
> I have read, not one mention has been made of Alex Haley or any of his
> writings.

And this was meant for RSMc in particular:

> Journalists hawked Haley's work. Journalists created the Pulitzer
> Prize. When you denounce those who propagated the Haley farce, be
> sure to include the largest group of contributors...your
> "professional" colleagues.

In fairness, some journalists also helped
expose the fraud. Underpaid and overworked
as they are....

Ed "some of my best friends are journalists" Frank


Lynn Berkowitz

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Jul 15, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/15/96
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On 15 Jul 96 08:25:04 -0500, efr...@cc.memphis.edu wrote:

:Lynn Berkowitz writes:
:
:> Pheobe Yates Pember is dead. Her book "A Southern Woman's Story" is
:> public domain. Yet dozens of pages were copied, almost word for word,
:> in Thomas Keneally's novel CONFEDERATES. It pains me, because this is
:> the same man who wrote the highly acclaimed "Schindler's List."
:
:Uuugh. I enjoyed _Confederates_ much more than
:I did _SL_.
:
:> Has anyone else noticed this in Keneally's book?
:
:Well, I haven't. Could you provide even rough
:pagination of the palgiarized parts? (I have
:never read Pember...)
:
Here goes. <sigh>

CONFEDS. P. 72-73 SWS. P. 19-21
CONFEDS. P. 74-75 SWS. P. 28-29
CONFEDS. P. 54-155 SWS. P. 46-47

That's just opening CONFEDS to every "Mrs. Whipple" scene and locating
the corresponding episode in Pember's memoirs. It's been a while since
I read Pember and I haven't finished reading CONFEDS, so this is an
incomplete listing as far as I have read in CONFEDS. Is this enough or
you want more?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Lynn Berkowitz lynn...@ix.netcom.com

Maury

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Jul 15, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/15/96
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~<31e98b0a...@nntp.ix.netcom.com>, lynn...@ix.netcom.com wrote:

>On 14 Jul 1996 12:35:31 -0400, rstac...@aol.com (RStacy2229) wrote:

>:"Alex Haley's Hoax" by Philip Nobile, Village Voice, NY, Feb. 23, 1993, p.


>:31
>:In 1978, Haley settled a plagiarism suit for $650,000 with Harold
>:Courtlander, author of the 1967 novel, "The African." More than 80
>:passages of "Roots" were apparently copied from Courtlander's novel.

>Pheobe Yates Pember is dead. Her book "A Southern Woman's Story" is


>public domain. Yet dozens of pages were copied, almost word for word,
>in Thomas Keneally's novel CONFEDERATES. It pains me, because this is
>the same man who wrote the highly acclaimed "Schindler's List."

For once you know what it feels like to be a modern, white, Southerner.
These sorts of things have to be combated. Is there an area on internet
where such discussions on authors and/or films take place that covers
these sorts of things *specifically* ? I know of none that does.

Accolades to both Robert Stacy McCain for exposing Haley as a fraud,
and to you for your above post.

I haven't seen nor read "Schindler's List" but "ROOTS" is still
showing. It showed this past week, or prior to that. I didn't watch
it as I've seen it twice previously. One gets far more exposure,
and is accepted as factual history than the other (ROOTS), and
perhaps by a preference of some. I recall that Melanie Masengale
didn't like how "Andersonville" was done. These films and authors
are affecting thousands if not millions in a bad sort of why when
they don't produce works that are historically accurate. Our only
defense against such authors and books is to share, as you did
above. The History Channel at least has discussions of the films
it shows discussing "historical accuracy" of the films it shows.

Kind Regards,

-- Maury



efr...@cc.memphis.edu

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Jul 15, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/15/96
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Lynn Berkowitz writes:

> Pheobe Yates Pember is dead. Her book "A Southern Woman's Story" is
> public domain. Yet dozens of pages were copied, almost word for word,
> in Thomas Keneally's novel CONFEDERATES. It pains me, because this is
> the same man who wrote the highly acclaimed "Schindler's List."

Uuugh. I enjoyed _Confederates_ much more than
I did _SL_.

> Has anyone else noticed this in Keneally's book?

Well, I haven't. Could you provide even rough
pagination of the palgiarized parts? (I have
never read Pember...)

Ed "Another Idol Toppled" Frank

Lynn Berkowitz

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Jul 15, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/15/96
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On 14 Jul 1996 12:35:31 -0400, rstac...@aol.com (RStacy2229) wrote:

:"Alex Haley's Hoax" by Philip Nobile, Village Voice, NY, Feb. 23, 1993, p.
:31
:In 1978, Haley settled a plagiarism suit for $650,000 with Harold
:Courtlander, author of the 1967 novel, "The African." More than 80
:passages of "Roots" were apparently copied from Courtlander's novel.

Pheobe Yates Pember is dead. Her book "A Southern Woman's Story" is


public domain. Yet dozens of pages were copied, almost word for word,
in Thomas Keneally's novel CONFEDERATES. It pains me, because this is
the same man who wrote the highly acclaimed "Schindler's List."

Has anyone else noticed this in Keneally's book?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Lynn Berkowitz lynn...@ix.netcom.com

David Alan Kearns

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Jul 16, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/16/96
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This is me:


> > Journalists hawked Haley's work. Journalists created the Pulitzer
> > Prize. When you denounce those who propagated the Haley farce, be
> > sure to include the largest group of contributors...your
> > "professional" colleagues.

and Ed replied


> In fairness, some journalists also helped
> expose the fraud.

And rightly so...they made the mess, they should clean it up. But
looking at Stacy's list of articles, there are two historians and one
person whose career is unspecified. By no means is his list exhaustive,
I'm sure...

Regards,

David Kearns


Lynn Berkowitz

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Jul 16, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/16/96
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On 14 Jul 1996 12:35:31 -0400, rstac...@aol.com (RStacy2229) wrote:

:I am grateful to Dr. Gary Mills of the University of Alabama for sending


:me three articles which expose the fraudulent nature of Alex Haley's
:"Roots." I will elsewhere comment upon the probable origins of the hoax,
:but I have been asked to summarize these articles. Here goes:

:
Whistle-blowing articles snipped.

<Cough> Yes. Well. Now what do you say to all those African nations
with "Kunta Kinte lived here" theme parks and souvenir stands that
represent about 97% of the combined GNP of Gambia, Ghana and Rawanda
combined?

Lynn "Still in sackcloth & ashes over discovery of plagiarism by
author of SCHINDLER'S LIST" Berkowitz
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Lynn Berkowitz lynn...@ix.netcom.com

thomas kavanagh

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Jul 16, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/16/96
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Lynn Berkowitz wrote:

> <Cough> Yes. Well. Now what do you say to all those African nations
> with "Kunta Kinte lived here" theme parks and souvenir stands that
> represent about 97% of the combined GNP of Gambia, Ghana and Rawanda
> combined?

Despite the fact that Harold Courlander lives/d in Silver Springs, MD, Annapolis
still has a bronze placque on the city dock says "Kunta kinte landed here."

[FWIW: Haley always said he settled just to bring the issue to an end.
He never admitted guilt. Courlander used the proceeds from the settlement to do the
research for his books on the Hopi Indians.]

tk

Maury

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Jul 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/17/96
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~In article
~<Pine.SGI.3.93.960716...@sunset.backbone.olemiss.edu>,
~dke...@sunset.backbone.olemiss.edu says...


~>This is me:

>I'm sure... >>Regards>>David Kearns
=====================================


"But in looking at Stacy's list of articles, there are two


historians and one person whose career is unspecified".


David, I submit that not only did Stacy point out a historical farce
worse than the accusations that Grant was a "binge drinker", but he
also provided those few sources whereby anyone can seek them out if
it's desirable. -- Maury
=========


" By no means is his list exhaustive, I'm sure "

Need it be? Did he state that it is? No, he didn't.

Stacy provided more than anyone else here for everyone.

If you, David, are so "sure" then perhaps you can provide
some of the sources *you* are "sure" about ? -- Maury

David A. Kearns

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Jul 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/17/96
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Maury wrote:

>David, I submit that not only did Stacy point out a historical farce
>worse than the accusations that Grant was a "binge drinker", but he
>also provided those few sources whereby anyone can seek them out if
>it's desirable. -- Maury

I don't think you understand my point, Maury. Stacy brought up the
topic of Alex Haley to discredit historians by claiming that
historians were at fault for the populace swallowing _Roots_, hook,
line, and sinker.

I pointed out that despite widespread *popular* acceptance of Roots as
history, no *historian* that I know of has ever cited, or indeed
mentioned _Roots_ or Haley in a historical study of American slavery
(and I have read a lot of works on American slavery).

Further, I pointed out that of the three sources he mentions, two are
written by historians, which could give the impression that historians
predominated in uncovering the scam (I know that Stacy would never
have wanted to give that impression). In my comment...

>> " By no means is his list exhaustive, I'm sure "

...I was negating that impression, pointing out that three articles
(from what probably is a ka-gillion total) are not sufficient to make
a scientific analysis.

> Stacy provided more than anyone else here for everyone.

...because he wanted to use the topic to discredit historians.

There is a problem in his argument, though:

If historians do not refer to Roots as a source for information on
American Slavery (and I have never seen one do so), and if Historians
were among the persons discrediting Roots, then who is to blame for
the populace accepting Roots as history? Certainly not historians,
as Stacy wishes us to believe.

My answer, in order of importance, Haley, the media, and the general
population.

If Stacy wants to decry the acceptance of popular myth, that's fine.
I just want to make sure he places the blame where it is due...on
those who create the myth, those who publicized the myth, those who
awarded honors to the myth-maker, and those who accepted the myth.

From my studies of American slavery historiography, historians do not
fit into any of those categories.

> If you, David, are so "sure" then perhaps you can provide
>some of the sources *you* are "sure" about ? -- Maury

[altering the lyrics of an old blues tune]....The only source I am
"sure" about is my mother...and sometimes she lies to me. ;-)

Seriously, I am not interested in the least in Haley...never have
been. I never accepted _Roots_ as anything more than a historical
drama, and so when the truth came out it didn't change anything for
me.

What I am interested in is keeping the record straight. Stacy accused
historians of deceiving the masses. Stacy was wrong. It was Haley
and the media...Stacy's profession...that created the deception.

Regards,

David Kearns


RStacy2229

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Jul 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/17/96
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In article <4sie3k$q...@nntp2.backbone.olemiss.edu>, dke...@teclink.net
(David A. Kearns) writes:

> Stacy brought up the
>topic of Alex Haley to discredit historians by claiming that
>historians were at fault for the populace swallowing _Roots_, hook,
>line, and sinker.
>

Not at all, David: I brought up "Roots" as being, in great measure,
responsible for the modern-day horror toward the Old South. There are a
great many people today for whom "Roots" is the all-time definition of
life under slavery. It is a fiction, of course.

This entire thing began when someone in the Group responded to one of my
posts by saying that he hated to see myth presented as history. I
retorted: "Then denounce Alex Haley." For the mythos of "Roots" -- slavery
as the Holocaust -- is the driving force behind the campaign of cultural
genocide being waged against the South. Until the record-breaking
broadcast of "Roots," streets named for Confederate generals and
high-school Rebel mascots were just an everyday part of our region's
milieu, with no racist intent either intended nor assumed.

As Philip Nobile points out, Haley plagiarized 80 or more scenes from a
1967 novel, and also lifted passages from other works in composing the
story told in "Roots." As Gary and Elizabeth Mills wrote, "182 pages and
thirty-nine chapters [of 'Roots] ... have no basis in fact," yet this
violent saga of kidnapping, mutilation, rape and torture -- crimes
committed by who against whom? -- was portrayed as fact to an audience
that exceeded 130 million people. This elaborate piece of fiction has
REPEATEDLY been shown AS IF IT WERE A DOCUMENTARY in public schools for
the past 15 years or more during Black History Month. I submit that this
has had a cultural impact which can hardly be underestimated.

Speak of the Old South to any person young enough to have been
indoctrinated by a February classroom presentation of "Roots," and the
reaction is instant revulsion, as the mutilation of Kunta Kinte and the
rape of Kizzy spring instantly to mind. That IS the Old South, isn't it?
No amount of facts about the economic and social history of the region
will suffice to ease the disdain which such young people feel toward
Dixie. Lincoln once spoke of Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of "Uncle Tom's
Cabin," as "the little lady who started the big war." I wish I had some
clever aphorism with which to express the centrality of Haley's work to
the current PC purge of the South's history.

And it was this, David, to which I was aiming when I brought up "Roots."
For when I or other Southerners begin to discuss the war, we are
repeatedly confronted with the charge that the Confederacy existed only to
further the continuance of chattel slavery. But when some say "slavery,"
they do not refer merely to the daily drudgery of agricultural or domestic
labor. Oh, no. They mean to invoke every horrific scene of "Roots" -- the
Old South as the Third Reich; antebellum slavery as the Final Solution. It
is a lie, and must be recognized as such, if we are to discuss rationally
the war and its origins.

Robert Stacy McCain

Maury

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Jul 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/17/96
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CC: E-mail
================

~ <Pine.SGI.3.93.960717...@sunset.backbone.olemiss.edu>,
~dke...@sunset.backbone.olemiss.edu says...


>On Wed, 17 Jul 1996, David A. Kearns wrote:
>
>Please forgive the multiple postings...


I replied to a message of yours moments ago before I
came to the above. You have a new account, don't you?

Briefly, "No problem". All you have to do is go to that statue
of General Maury standing in Vicksburg, Mississippi, take a photo
of that statue, and snail mail it to me because I have never seen
that statue. I've heard of it recently from 4 people and had
heard of it long ago and had forgotten about it.

Maj.Gen.Dabney Herndon Maury is buried in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
He died at his son's home in Peoria, Illinois.

He was a most impressive fellow to me, serious when need be but
playful when allowed. And it's amazing to me that he started the
Southern Historical Society which ended up being 52 volumes of
CSA history -- that's "American History"! In working on e-text,
I read about an hour ago, a very impressive speech by
President Jeff Davis on the importance of the SHS and
it's "Papers" for all Americans.


RStacy2229

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Jul 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/17/96
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In article <4sc31b$7...@nntp2.backbone.olemiss.edu>, dke...@teclink.net
(David A. Kearns) writes:

>When you denounce those who propagated the Haley farce, be
>sure to include the largest group of contributors...your
>"professional" colleagues.
>

Well, Dave, I don't see how you can hold me responsible for the Ben
Bradlees and Dan Rathers and Cokie Robertses of the world. That's like
blaming the guy at the gas pump for the doings of the Arab oil cartel.
Janitors in New York City schools make more than twice what I'm paid, and
I seldom reach more than 20,000 readers at a time: And THOSE get a
viewpoint which is just a little milder than the ones you see here.

RSMc

David A. Kearns

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Jul 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/17/96
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Maury wrote:

>David, I submit that not only did Stacy point out a historical farce
>worse than the accusations that Grant was a "binge drinker", but he
>also provided those few sources whereby anyone can seek them out if
>it's desirable. -- Maury

I don't think you understand my point, Maury. Stacy brought up the


topic of Alex Haley to discredit historians by claiming that
historians were at fault for the populace swallowing _Roots_, hook,
line, and sinker.

I pointed out that despite widespread *popular* acceptance of Roots as

David A. Kearns

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Jul 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/17/96
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David Alan Kearns

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Jul 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/17/96
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David Alan Kearns

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Jul 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/17/96
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I wrote:
>> In the approximately forty historical studies of American Slavery that
>> I have read, not one mention has been made of Alex Haley or any of his
>> writings.

Maury replied:
> There are thousands if not millions that have seen and/or read
> "ROOTS" and believed in it as history, including myself. It's not
> so important to pont an accusing finger as it is to simply learn
> the Truths and bring those to the surface for History and for us,
[remainder snipped]

Maury, all of this is completely immaterial to the point I was making.

That point was that professional historians have not promoted _Roots_ as
*truth* and so Stacy's denunciation of historians is unfounded and
misleading.

David Kearns


David Alan Kearns

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Jul 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/17/96
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On 17 Jul 1996, RStacy2229 wrote:

I wrote:
> >When you denounce those who propagated the Haley farce, be
> >sure to include the largest group of contributors...your
> >"professional" colleagues.

and Stacy replied:


> Well, Dave, I don't see how you can hold me responsible for the Ben
> Bradlees and Dan Rathers and Cokie Robertses of the world.

[snip]

Come on, Stacy, I know your reading comprehension skills are better than
that. I hold you responsible only for the statements that you make in
this forum.

If you are going to denounce someone for the publicity and popular
acceptance of _Roots_ then denounce the right people. Your blame was
mis-placed.

David Kearns


Maury

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Jul 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/17/96
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CC: E-Mail; posted openly
===========================


>David wrote:
>>> In the approximately forty historical studies of American Slavery that
>>> I have read, not one mention has been made of Alex Haley or any of his
>>> writings.

>Maury replied:
>> There are thousands if not millions that have seen and/or read
>> "ROOTS" and believed in it as history, including myself. It's not
>> so important to pont an accusing finger as it is to simply learn
>> the Truths and bring those to the surface for History and for us,
>[remainder snipped]


David writes:
>Maury, all of this is completely immaterial to the point I was making.

Okay, okay already. You posted your point three times, a triple
post with the exact same statements. The message you quote above
was written yesterday at the same time the other one was.

I see what your "point", your *focus* is, and for now I'll state
only that I see it and that my own *focus* differs. My interest is
in more "sources" that shoot down the Haley's works as "facts".

If I understand you correctly, you're more interested in who
is to blame -- historians vs journalists. But what comes of that?
I mean, what can you do that will un-do what has been done or
possibly prevent the same or a similar thing from happening again?

While my statement, posted yesterday at the same time as the other,
may well be "immaterial" to your viewpoints, it isn't to mine.

I suspect it also isn't immaterial to many others.

One view doesn't negate the other. There is simply more
than one way to focus upon things and many ways of approach
to counter-act the deeds already done, the literary, historical "truths"
seeds already sown and deeply planted in the psyche of thousands.

Again, I am also looking at how this can harm race relationships.
I see no good can come of such things.

Now, please, elaborate on some worthiness of how you are viewing
historians vs journalists.


>That point was that professional historians have not promoted _Roots_ as
>*truth* and so Stacy's denunciation of historians is unfounded and
>misleading.

Alright, perhaps he intended it to be "misleading",
(although I don't think so), but regardless, how can
this resolve what has already taken place with Haley's
two books (Roots/Queen) and a mini-series on TV, videotapes
for private purchase, rentals, magazine articles, and more?

These are Seeds of Lies long planted, well watered, and in some
areas fully flowered into falsehoods in history. What *remedy*
do you see from your "point of view" of historian vs journalist?

Please don't answer in triplicate again. :-)

>David Kearns

Kind regards,
-- Maury


Maury

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Jul 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/18/96
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~<4sk6nj$8...@newsbf02.news.aol.com>, rstac...@aol.com says...

><4sie3k$q...@nntp2.backbone.olemiss.edu>, dke...@teclink.net


>(David A. Kearns) writes:
>
>> Stacy brought up the
>>topic of Alex Haley to discredit historians by claiming that
>>historians were at fault for the populace swallowing _Roots_, hook,
>>line, and sinker.

>Not at all, David:


Ah! So you see, David, you were wrong afterall.
One must be careful when conjecturing another's intent
and speaking (writing) of it so boldly as to place words
into that poster's intent that was never meant.
It's easier to ask. :-) Y/N? Sure it is. -- Maury
=====================================================

I brought up "Roots" as being, in great measure,
>responsible for the modern-day horror toward the Old South. There are a
>great many people today for whom "Roots" is the all-time definition of
>life under slavery. It is a fiction, of course.
>
>This entire thing began when someone in the Group responded to one of my
>posts by saying that he hated to see myth presented as history. I
>retorted: "Then denounce Alex Haley."

==========================
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ....and when I saw that, with
Alex Haley being one of my very favorite authors, and a man I
admired highly for all of his genealigical/family-in-history
research, I pounced upon Robert Stacy McCain and questioned
him as to "WHY" should anyone "denounce Alex Haley"!?

Then came the cold-water-in-the-face-awakening as Robert posted
information on Haley, which I couldn't exactly accept at first
and subsequently asked him to post more information and with
sources if possible. Robert did *everyone* here a favor for,
well, it's "sharing truths" about history. We're all indebeted
to Robert you know.

And then Lynn got her chance and followed up with her posts
on Shindler's<sp?> List, -- another plagerism.

I don't know which authors to trust.

I know one I wouldn't trust for Truths about the civil war.


Kind Regards,
-- Maury


{deletia for brevity, see original}

>
>Robert Stacy McCain


David A. Kearns

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Jul 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/18/96
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Maury wrote:
>I replied to a message of yours moments ago before I
>came to the above. You have a new account, don't you?

No, just one that is very difficult to access via modem, so I only use
it when I'm on campus.

>Briefly, "No problem". All you have to do is go to that statue
>of General Maury standing in Vicksburg, Mississippi, take a photo
>of that statue, and snail mail it to me because I have never seen
>that statue. I've heard of it recently from 4 people and had
>heard of it long ago and had forgotten about it.

I was surfing the web one day and found a homepage for Vicksburg
Chamber of Commerce. I'm sorry I didn't bookmark it, or I would give
you the URL. I don't remember if the statue is featured on the web
page, but it may. As far as visiting Vicksburg, that isn't possible
anytime in the present, but if and when I do get there, be prepared to
send me your address....

I also want to get up to Shiloh sometime this fall...

David "have camera, will travel" Kearns


David A. Kearns

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Jul 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/18/96
to

Maury wrote:
> I see what your "point", your *focus* is, and for now I'll state
>only that I see it and that my own *focus* differs. My interest is
>in more "sources" that shoot down the Haley's works as "facts".

Exactly. We were approaching the topic with different interests.

>If I understand you correctly, you're more interested in who
>is to blame -- historians vs journalists. But what comes of that?
>I mean, what can you do that will un-do what has been done or
>possibly prevent the same or a similar thing from happening again?

Actually, I don't care who is to blame. *BUT*, if blame is going to
be placed, I do want it to be placed upon the right heads. As far as
preventing a similar deception, that's a difficult question. I'll
give you an example:

When Augusta,GA was planning a founders day celebration (I think it
was the 200th anniversary), a history professor new to the local
college did some research. He found that not only was the founding
date that the city claimed incorrect by over a year (IIRC), the
details of the founding were incorrect as well. When he went with his
information to the committee that was preparing the celebration, he
was told to keep his mouth shut.

He eventually became a highly respected historian of Colonial Georgia
and just retired as the History department head of that same college.
I find it interesting that in each of the three classes I took from
him, he told that story. The lesson in each lecture was that
sometimes people prefer myth to history.

[snips]

>Again, I am also looking at how this can harm race relationships.
>I see no good can come of such things.

Well, as far as I know, all of this is old news...I know you have only
just found out about it, but I seem to remember this revelation was
made a long time ago. Any effect upon race relations would already be
realized.

>Now, please, elaborate on some worthiness of how you are viewing
>historians vs journalists.

Though it may seem that I have some axe to grind against journalists
(since you only have these posts to construct a view of my opinions),
I do not. My axe is against dissemination of false information.

>>That point was that professional historians have not promoted _Roots_ as
>>*truth* and so Stacy's denunciation of historians is unfounded and
>>misleading.

> Alright, perhaps he intended it to be "misleading",
>(although I don't think so), but regardless, how can
>this resolve what has already taken place with Haley's
>two books (Roots/Queen) and a mini-series on TV, videotapes
>for private purchase, rentals, magazine articles, and more?

I am not attempting to resolve anything but the fact that professional
historians have not used Haley's work as a source for teaching or
writing about American slavery.

>These are Seeds of Lies long planted, well watered, and in some
>areas fully flowered into falsehoods in history. What *remedy*
>do you see from your "point of view" of historian vs journalist?

From my perspective these lies have fully flowered into falsehoods in
popular myth, not history. As far as a remedy, I would simply
instruct others to rely upon reliably researched and documented (and
examined) historical studies. As a teacher, I plan to teach those
things that I have learned from studies that conform to the above
criteria.

Historians do not have the pulpit that journalists readily have, and
so in many cases, popular myth will always be difficult to debunk.

>Please don't answer in triplicate again. :-)

Once again, I'm sorry. The newsreader kept hanging when I attempted
to post the article, so I actually did not realize it had been posted
even once until several hours later. Imagine my surprise when I found
it three times!

David Kearns

David A. Kearns

unread,
Jul 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/18/96
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Stacy wrote:

>Not at all, David: I brought up "Roots" as being, in great measure,


>responsible for the modern-day horror toward the Old South.

Did I err? I thought I read quite a lot about how historians had
taken _Roots_ and turned it into the PC version of the Old South. If
I didn't, then I'm sorry for mis-understanding.

>There are a
>great many people today for whom "Roots" is the all-time definition of
>life under slavery. It is a fiction, of course.

Historical fiction. Sure, the characters were falsified, but the
scenes that they depicted certainly occured throughout the slave
holding states. There is plenty of evidence to support them.

>This entire thing began when someone in the Group responded to one of my
>posts by saying that he hated to see myth presented as history. I
>retorted: "Then denounce Alex Haley."

Yes, a classic McCain response. It hasn't been very productive, has
it?

>For the mythos of "Roots" -- slavery
>as the Holocaust -- is the driving force behind the campaign of cultural
>genocide being waged against the South.

Cultural genocide? Slavery as the Holocaust? Give me a break. The
fact is that after 100 years of blocking the race question out of the
entire nation's consciousness, people began to ask questions. That
the answers aren't very pretty is what seems to bother you.

>Until the record-breaking
>broadcast of "Roots," streets named for Confederate generals and
>high-school Rebel mascots were just an everyday part of our region's
>milieu, with no racist intent either intended nor assumed.

That depends on your perspective, of course.

>As Philip Nobile points out, Haley plagiarized 80 or more scenes from a
>1967 novel, and also lifted passages from other works in composing the
>story told in "Roots." As Gary and Elizabeth Mills wrote, "182 pages and
>thirty-nine chapters [of 'Roots] ... have no basis in fact," yet this
>violent saga of kidnapping, mutilation, rape and torture -- crimes
>committed by who against whom? -- was portrayed as fact to an audience
>that exceeded 130 million people. This elaborate piece of fiction has
>REPEATEDLY been shown AS IF IT WERE A DOCUMENTARY in public schools for
>the past 15 years or more during Black History Month. I submit that this
>has had a cultural impact which can hardly be underestimated.

Haley's crime is well known....As far as the Mills, I suspect their
statement refers to the geneological aspects of his writings, not the
treatments of slaves that he depicts. If I am wrong, then their
statement is completely unsupportable. Do they claim that kidnapping,
mutilation, rape and torture did not occur? If this *made for TV
movie* has any value, it would be as a depiction of some of the
aspects of American slavery, but I am sure that much shorter
documentaries have been made about slavery that would suffice. As far
as cultural impact, if the screening of Roots has any success in
debunking the "happy slave" myth that you seem to support in another
thread, then more power to it.

>Speak of the Old South to any person young enough to have been
>indoctrinated by a February classroom presentation of "Roots," and the
>reaction is instant revulsion, as the mutilation of Kunta Kinte and the
>rape of Kizzy spring instantly to mind. That IS the Old South, isn't it?

The Old South in its entirety? No. An integral part of the Old
South? Absolutely.

>No amount of facts about the economic and social history of the region
>will suffice to ease the disdain which such young people feel toward
>Dixie.

Are the social and economic histories reasonable excuses for slavery?
No, they are not. I do agree that the Old South (indeed all history)
should be approached from all perspectives, social, political and
economic. I don't believe that one can be used to excuse another.

Neither do I believe that history can be constructively viewed with
emotion. Though I often find things that are personally distasteful
(understatement), I accept those things as the historical evidence
supports them. Slavery was a blight upon the United States. So was
our Latin American policy at the beginning of this century. That I
have determined these things to be "wrong" does not mean that I am
defensive or sensitive about their existence.

As you said in a different post...we can not be held responsible for
the actions of others. So why try to defend them when they are
clearly in the wrong?

>Lincoln once spoke of Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of "Uncle Tom's
>Cabin," as "the little lady who started the big war." I wish I had some
>clever aphorism with which to express the centrality of Haley's work to
>the current PC purge of the South's history.

Well, "little fish in a big pond" is already taken, but I'll try to
think of something...

You are giving Haley a far too much influence. Historians had already
begun the process of delving more deeply into the nature of American
slavery before Haley published _Roots_.

As far as the whole concept of a "current PC purge," I would say that
the "PC" has become a completely worthless phrase, used to denounce
anything with which the user does not agree.

>And it was this, David, to which I was aiming when I brought up "Roots."
>For when I or other Southerners begin to discuss the war, we are
>repeatedly confronted with the charge that the Confederacy existed only to
>further the continuance of chattel slavery.

Nope, you are confronted with the charge that the Confederacy existed
*primarily* to further the continuance of chattel slavery. Most
importantly, that statement is completely accurate.

But really, if you wanted to discuss the war, there are a lot of
people that would love to join with you. You are the one who seems to
be fixated on the slavery issue. This entire discussion has been a
result of your bringing up the topic.

>But when some say "slavery,"
>they do not refer merely to the daily drudgery of agricultural or domestic
>labor. Oh, no. They mean to invoke every horrific scene of "Roots" -- the
>Old South as the Third Reich; antebellum slavery as the Final Solution. It
>is a lie, and must be recognized as such, if we are to discuss rationally
>the war and its origins.

I do wish you would stop comparing the Old South to Nazi Germany.

David Kearns

Maury

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Jul 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/18/96
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>On 17 Jul 1996, RStacy2229 wrote:


Fooey on the blame, what is the remedy? -- Maury

RStacy2229

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Jul 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/18/96
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In article <31ebe453...@nntp.ix.netcom.com>, lynn...@ix.netcom.com
(Lynn Berkowitz) writes:

>Yes. Well. Now what do you say to all those African nations
>with "Kunta Kinte lived here" theme parks and souvenir stands that
>represent about 97% of the combined GNP of Gambia, Ghana and Rawanda
>combined?

Get it while the getting's good -- the American way. It's like visiting
Dollywood and thinking you've learned something about Appalachian
folkways.

RSMc

RStacy2229

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Jul 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/18/96
to

In article
<Pine.SGI.3.93.960717...@sunset.backbone.olemiss.edu>,

David Alan Kearns <dke...@sunset.backbone.olemiss.edu> writes:

>That point was that professional historians have not promoted _Roots_ as
>*truth* and so Stacy's denunciation of historians is unfounded and
>misleading.
>

Again: I was not denouncing historians, only asking that historians
denounce Haley. How my remarks were so misconstrued is beyond me.
But let me ask David to settle something here, for those of us who have
devoted relatively little time to the study of chattel slavery in America.
My impression is that Haley, like others before him, attempted to cram
into his mythic antebellum geneaology virtually all possible abuses which
servants might have suffered under that institution: Mutilation, rape,
family dissolution, being "sold South" and so on. It is further my belief
-- based upon what little research into the matter I have done -- that in
so doing, Haley constructed a thoroughly unrepresentative portrait of
slavery.
For example, I am aware, just from glimpsing at "Roll, Jordan, Roll," that
there is good evidence that sexual relations between masters and female
servants was fairly uncommon in plantation culture, whatever Mrs. Chesnut
might have said. But further, and from the same source, I get the idea
that even where such relations existed, forcible rape was not the usual
modus operandi of the miscegenist Lothario. And so by including a "rape of
Kizzy" in his fictional antebellum family history, Haley was presenting a
credulous public with an entirely atypical view of slavery.
Other examples could be cited, but my point is that it seems Haley's
repeated portrayals of antebellum atrocities committed against slaves was
no accident. I believe that Haley was grinding a racial axe, intent upon
placing Southern whites in the worst possible "historical" light, while
emphasizing African-American status as historical victims of white malice.
What do you think, Dave? How "typical" was the familial experience of the
Kinte clan as portrayed by Haley? And is my supposition of Haley's intent
fair?

Robert Stacy McCain

REB 4 LIFE

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Jul 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/18/96
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In article <4sk6nj$8...@newsbf02.news.aol.com>, rstac...@aol.com
(RStacy2229) writes:

>And it was this, David, to which I was aiming when I brought up "Roots."
>For when I or other Southerners begin to discuss the war, we are
>repeatedly confronted with the charge that the Confederacy existed only
to

>further the continuance of chattel slavery. But when some say "slavery,"


>they do not refer merely to the daily drudgery of agricultural or
domestic
>labor. Oh, no. They mean to invoke every horrific scene of "Roots" -- the
>Old South as the Third Reich; antebellum slavery as the Final Solution.
It
>is a lie, and must be recognized as such, if we are to discuss rationally
>the war and its origins.


I believe that most of the posters here would subscribe to the above
statement, and most particularly to the last sentence therein. However,
it is my observance that none of the pro-Union people I have encountered,
here or elsewhere, have any interest in actively working to counter this
"lie", in spite of their professions of wanting to see "true history
written".
After all, it is not *their* heritage or *their* present-day culture that
is
being harmed. I find their inaction to be hypocritical in the extreme.

R4L


RStacy2229

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Jul 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/19/96
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In article <4skquh$4...@nntp2.backbone.olemiss.edu>, dke...@teclink.net
(David A. Kearns) writes:

>The lesson in each lecture was that
>sometimes people prefer myth to history.

Especially true of local legends, and there are some of those floating
around Rome, as well. Have you ever read one of the books -- I could get
the titles -- which debunk the old "Mound Builder" myth of non-Indian
races being responsible for the earthworks of the East and Southeast? I
was just FASCINATED by that story.

RSMc

RStacy2229

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Jul 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/19/96
to

In article <4skqv1$4...@nntp2.backbone.olemiss.edu>, dke...@teclink.net
(David A. Kearns) writes:

>Historical fiction. Sure, the characters were falsified, but the
>scenes that they depicted certainly occured throughout the slave
>holding states. There is plenty of evidence to support them.
>

BINGO. OK, Dave, just how prevalent was the mutilation of slaves, a la,
the cutting off of Toby's foot to prevent his running away? How prevalent
was the purchase of female slaves by "white trash" Tom Lea, apparently for
the express purpose of raping her? Did this happen every day? Every week?
Every month? In every family?

YOU HAVE INDICTED YOURSELF WITH YOUR OWN WORDS, DAVE.
Extreme abuse of slaves was never so pervasive or frequent as Haley has
portrayed it, as you must surely know, and yet you have just let him off
the hook because these abuses "certainly occurred ... plenty of evidence
to support them." Yes, but there is plenty of evidence precisely because
these were aberrant events -- unusual, and therefore remarked upon in
antebellum writings. The Simpson/Goldman murders got a lot of ink, Dave,
but they were not TYPICAL of daily life and death in America in the 1990s.
It is THIS which galls me: The pretense that Haley's work was
"symbolically true," and therefore is an acceptable representation of the
history of African-Americans under slavery. By the way, Nobile noted
something about "Roots": Except for those characters whom Haley portrays
to be his ancestors, the rest of the slaves are represented as crude,
ignorant types. Hmmmmm.

Robert Stacy McCain

RStacy2229

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Jul 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/19/96
to

In article <4sk6nj$8...@newsbf02.news.aol.com>, rstac...@aol.com
(RStacy2229) writes:

> with no racist intent either intended nor assumed.

My goodness, but I really tortured THAT sentence. Let's try:

"... with no racist motive, either intended or assumed."

Stacy
Who sometimes fails to proofread his posts

Mark T Pitcavage

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Jul 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/19/96
to

In article <4so9rj$t...@newsbf02.news.aol.com>,

RStacy2229 <rstac...@aol.com> wrote:
>In article <4skqv1$4...@nntp2.backbone.olemiss.edu>, dke...@teclink.net
>(David A. Kearns) writes:
>
>>Historical fiction. Sure, the characters were falsified, but the
>>scenes that they depicted certainly occured throughout the slave
>>holding states. There is plenty of evidence to support them.
>>
>BINGO. OK, Dave, just how prevalent was the mutilation of slaves, a la,
>the cutting off of Toby's foot to prevent his running away? How prevalent
>was the purchase of female slaves by "white trash" Tom Lea, apparently for
>the express purpose of raping her? Did this happen every day? Every week?
>Every month? In every family?

I've never read ROOTS or seen the mini-series, so perhaps you can satisfy my
curiosity. Does Alex Haley state that all runaway slaves had their feet cut
off? Does he suggest that all female slaves were purchased in order to be
raped?

>
>YOU HAVE INDICTED YOURSELF WITH YOUR OWN WORDS, DAVE.
>Extreme abuse of slaves was never so pervasive or frequent as Haley has
>portrayed it, as you must surely know, and yet you have just let him off

>the hook because these abuses "certainly occurred ... plenty of evidence
>to support them."

In what passages does Haley say they are pervasive?

RStacy2229

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Jul 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/19/96
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In article <4skqv1$4...@nntp2.backbone.olemiss.edu>, dke...@teclink.net
(David A. Kearns) writes:

>As far
>as cultural impact, if the screening of Roots has any success in
>debunking the "happy slave" myth that you seem to support in another
>thread, then more power to it.
>

EH? Are you referring to a post in which I quoted a former slave on the
subject?

I do not subscribe to myths. I suppose that slaves were no more happy with
their lot in life than I am, and probably a good deal less happy. But
there are many people in my station who are far more content, and others
who are far more discontented, than I am. Happiness, you see, sir, is an
individual attitude. Saint Paul was happy in prison, as were Thoreau and
Dr. King. Some people are happy living in a ghetto, while some people who
live in mansions are discontented.

The intent of ROOTS -- and your intent in endorsing Haley's fraud -- seems
to have been to say that those slaves who were happy were fools, and that
all those who are not outraged by the historical fact of slavery are
either fools or malefactors.

Sir, as the descendant of Scots, Irish and Welsh forbears, I have every
reason to resent the English for their centuries of oppression against my
ancestors. But I am too busy defending myself against accusations of
racism (for that is what you mean, sir) to waste time hating the English.
So why is it that some people seem to have so much time to hate ME? Our
tax dollars at work, Mr. Edu.Site

Robert Stacy McCain

Lynn Berkowitz

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Jul 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/19/96
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On Fri, 19 Jul 1996 15:00:23 -0600, bi...@execpc.com (Dave Gorski)
wrote:

<snips hither & yon>

: Agreed , but in the context of 1850, (we are taking about history)
:slavery was acceptable, particularly in the Southern United States,
:as a means of agricultural labor. In my opinion, Even in 1850, the
:acts of the Nazi's in Nazi occupied Europe would have been considered
:atrocities by slaveholders.
:
GASP!! What an amazing concept! If everyone were so quick to grasp
this fundamental concept, as Mr. Gorski so ably demonstrates, this ng
wouldn't be any fun.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Lynn Berkowitz lynn...@ix.netcom.com

David A. Kearns

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Jul 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/19/96
to

I wrote:
>>The lesson in each lecture was that
>>sometimes people prefer myth to history.

Stacy replied:


>Especially true of local legends, and there are some of those floating
>around Rome, as well. Have you ever read one of the books -- I could get
>the titles -- which debunk the old "Mound Builder" myth of non-Indian
>races being responsible for the earthworks of the East and Southeast? I
>was just FASCINATED by that story.

Can you believe it? I can redirect this to an ObCivWar:

Another of the popular myths of Augusta, GA is that Sherman bypassed
and spared that city because he had a former girlfriend living there.
The story goes that Sherman had been stationed at the Augusta Arsenal
during his early army career, and become romantically involved with
one of the local daughters. When planning his route through GA, he
purposely spared Augusta from his torch out of sentimental devotion to
this particular Lady. Of course, there is no historical basis for the
story.

While attending a lecture by Dr. Marzelek (sp) who recently published
an interesting biography on Sherman, I had the opportunity to discuss
this story with him. He related that Augusta's story is not unique;
that quite a few towns in GA and SC have similar tails explaining why
they were spared.

Also, Dr. Edward Cashin recently pubilshed a short work entitled
_Sherman's Girlfriend: and other myths in Augusta History_ (or
something to that effect). Though I haven't read it, I understand
that it is quite an entertaining.

David Kearns


David A. Kearns

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Jul 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/19/96
to

I wrote:
>> If this *made for TV
>>movie* has any value, it would be as a depiction of some of the
>>aspects of American slavery, but I am sure that much shorter
>>documentaries have been made about slavery that would suffice.

Stacy replied:
>The way you make this insinuation is instructive, reminding me of those
>radical feminists who insist that all heterosexual intercourse is rape.

I am convinced that you have not made a single attempt to understand
what I wrote above.

>Your argument has the effect of: Since some minority of slaveholders
>mistreated their chattel, therefore all slaveholders were brutal monsters;
>or rather, incidents of mistreatment within slavery, committed by
>individuals against individuals, are to be viewed as the wrongs of one
>class against another, with every slaveholder sharing in the guilt of the
>worst representative of the class, and with even the most kindly-treated
>slave equally victimized by the abuse received by the wretched few.

Wrong. My argument is: Since MOST slaveholders employed tactics of
violence and intimidation to maintain their power over their slaves,
and ALL slaveholders deprived FELLOW HUMAN BEINGS of their dignity
and natural rights as HUMAN BEINGS, slaveholders were WRONG. I don't
deal with classes, per se, as slaveholders came from all classes.

[snip]

> If you wish to discuss slavery, discuss slavery and discuss it honestly. But
>to gestalt your detestation of slavery into a destestation of the
>Confederacy and her soldiers is to condemn those men unfairly.

I have never condemned the soldiers. My condemnation of the
Confederacy has much less to do with slavery than you seem to think,
and has much to do with the same reasons I condemn the Southern
League.

David Kearns


David A. Kearns

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Jul 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/19/96
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I wrote:
>>Historical fiction. Sure, the characters were falsified, but the
>>scenes that they depicted certainly occured throughout the slave
>>holding states. There is plenty of evidence to support them.

Stacy replied:
[snip]


>YOU HAVE INDICTED YOURSELF WITH YOUR OWN WORDS, DAVE.

[snip]

I am reminded of an old joke...

Interviewer : Have you ever been convicted of a felony?

Applicant : Convicted? No.

David Kearns


Lynn Berkowitz

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Jul 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/19/96
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On 17 Jul 1996 22:15:15 -0400, rstac...@aol.com (RStacy2229) wrote:

<snips above and below>

:Not at all, David: I brought up "Roots" as being, in great measure,
:responsible for the modern-day horror toward the Old South. There are a


:great many people today for whom "Roots" is the all-time definition of
:life under slavery. It is a fiction, of course.

:
There were a great many people in the 1860's for whom "Uncle Tom's
Cabin" was the all-time definition of life under slavery. It is a
fiction, of course.

:As Philip Nobile points out, Haley plagiarized 80 or more scenes from a


:1967 novel, and also lifted passages from other works in composing the
:story told in "Roots."

It would seem that bigshot authors can commit plagiarism with no
compunction, as I demonstrated in my sample comparison of Thomas
Keneally's novel with Phoebe Pember's memoirs. If a student tried to
pull off a similar stunt in a term paper, thesis or dissertation, he
or she would be flunked, disqualified and otherwise disgraced.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Lynn Berkowitz lynn...@ix.netcom.com

Dave Gorski

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Jul 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/19/96
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In article <4sor68$i...@charm.magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu>,
mpit...@magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu (Mark T Pitcavage) wrote:


>
> But there were -plenty- of people in 1860 who thought slavery was wrong,
> probably the majority of people in the United States (not all of them were
> prepared to end it, nor were they necessarily not racists). And by 1860,
> almost all other western countries had abolished slavery. So even in the
> context of its times, it was considered immoral by most.

We could probable discuss this point back and forth, without
either of us ever having any evidence to back what WE THINK people
really thought about the institution of slavery in 1860. If so many
people thought it was wrong, especially in the South where the economy
was dependent on slave labor,why didn't the South use the law to ban
slavery ? For the same reason the North had inhumane working conditions
in so many of it's factories. It was a transitional period in our
history, a change was made,very painfully, but I still don't think
you can condemn the people of that time for being on what today WE THINK
is the wrong side.

> > Agreed , but in the context of 1850, (we are taking about history)
> >slavery was acceptable, particularly in the Southern United States,
> >as a means of agricultural labor. In my opinion, Even in 1850, the
> >acts of the Nazi's in Nazi occupied Europe would have been considered
> >atrocities by slaveholders.
>

> You are confusing your contexts here. The appropriate analogy to the
> acceptability of slavery in the Southern United States would be the
> acceptability of the Nazis in Germany.

Nazi's were accepted, but the death camps were not acceptable.
I may be wrong here, but my understanding of the Nazi party is
that it portrayed itself as a political party, the death camps were
kept a secret even from most of the party members. There were only
rumors of the camps up until they were liberated. They were kept a
secret because even most Nazis would have seen the "Final Solution"
as an atrocity. G. Washington and T. Jefferson are not the same as
A Hitler and H Goring.

> I hope I would not have, but who knows? If I had, I would hope my
descendants
> would be condemning me now.

I don't see that it is criminal to live your life, in your time,
the way that people in that time and place live. Even if it takes
years for US to realize that something is wrong, and a transition
period, even a war, to change it.

Dave Gorski

Dave Gorski

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Jul 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/19/96
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>
> As for comparisons between slavery and the Holocaust, I think they are quite
> apt.

I would have to disagree, on the basis of taking slavery
out of the context of its time. In the nearly 100 years
between the events, the morals, cultural practices, and attitudes
of people have changed ( I would hope ) a great deal.Today, whaling
is considered wrong, 100 years ago it was an occupation. We don't
attack the whalers or furriers of the past because in the context
of their time what they did was acceptable. I am not trying to be
trivial with my example, I know that it is different when you are
talking about human lives, but I hope you can see past my example
and see my point.

But they are both clearly evidence of the
> grossest ways in which humanity can be inhumane.

Agreed , but in the context of 1850, (we are taking about history)
slavery was acceptable, particularly in the Southern United States,
as a means of agricultural labor. In my opinion, Even in 1850, the
acts of the Nazi's in Nazi occupied Europe would have been considered
atrocities by slaveholders.

> What is worse, killing six million Jews and six million non-Jews in
> concenetration camps and elsewhere over the period of a half-dozen years, or
> enslaving and keeping in bondage millions of slaves over a period of hundreds
> of years?

Both are horrible, but I don't think they can be compared.

But I'll say this: both were horrible blots upon the history of
> humanity

Agreed, but they must be viewed in the context of history,I think
it likely that if I found myself in a position of wealth,in 1850,
with acres of cotton to bring in, that I might use slave labor. I
think that most people if theyare honest with themselves, and put
themselves in the context of thetime, would do the same thing. If you
can say you would not, my hat is off to you, too bad there were not
more like you in 1850.

Dave Gorski

Justin M Sanders

unread,
Jul 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/19/96
to

Maury (w...@cstone.net) wrote:

> ~article <4smpmg$g...@hermes.acs.unt.edu>, jsan...@jove.acs.unt.edu says...
> I am a bit surprised that you would "open a can of worms", Justin.
> If you refer to T.W., all that he posted was not in error and
> he posted so much that there was information that could be gleaned
> of worth from what he posted. There was only one (1) person who
> focused upon denial of T.W.'s posts, L.B. who was, like
> Southerners, defending her own heritage as the two of them
> *flamed* back and forth daily for several months. They were the
> longest posts, with quotes, I've ever seen here.

> T.W. was not posting anti-South.

[Remainder snipped]

The facts I claimed were these:
1. In the past, there was a person who posted some things about the
South (among other things) which were not true. I stand behind that
statement. The person *did* post several things about the South that were
not true. I did not claim that the errors were anti-South; although, in a
sense, any false statement about the South can be considered anti-South.

2. Some people (plural) associated with TheGroup(tm) took a leading
role in disputing those points which were not true. I stand behind that
statement as well. I can immediately recall two well-known Group members
who tried long and hard to correct the errors.

I did not claim anything else. I did not claim, for example, that the
poster in question posted *only* falsehoods-- he didn't.

--
Justin M. Sanders "I shot an arrow into the air. It fell
Dept. of Physics to earth I know not where." --Henry
Univ. of South Alabama Wadsworth Longfellow confessing
jsan...@jaguar1.usouthal.edu to a sad ignorance of ballistics.

RStacy2229

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Jul 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/19/96
to

In article <4skqv1$4...@nntp2.backbone.olemiss.edu>, dke...@teclink.net
(David A. Kearns) writes:

>Cultural genocide? Slavery as the Holocaust? Give me a break.

Just the other day, in attacking the Georgia state flag, former Atlanta
mayor Maynard Jackson referred to "the Confederate swastiza." A member of
a protest group yesterday termed the battle flag "the world's best-known
symbol of racism."
It was filmmaker Steve Spielberg, defending "Schindler's List" from
attacks by African-American audiences, who said a few years ago that
blacks had their own Holocaust, which was slavery -- as if that flimsy
analogy could survive even cursory examination.
And as for cultural genocide against the South, I suppose that in Oxford
y'all annually commemorate the University Greys and that all the state's
social, political and academic leaders turn out to fulsomely praise the
memory of those Confederate heros? No?
Confederate history and Southern culture are being marginalized, and
purposefully so.

Justin M Sanders

unread,
Jul 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/19/96
to

REB 4 LIFE (reb4...@aol.com) wrote:

> However, it is my observance that none of the pro-Union people I have
> encountered, here or elsewhere, have any interest in actively working to
> counter this "lie", in spite of their professions of wanting to see "true
> history written". After all, it is not *their* heritage or *their*
> present-day culture that is being harmed. I find their inaction to be
> hypocritical in the extreme.

If Allen had joined this newsgroup a little earlier than I recall that he
did, he would have seen a poster-- who shall remain nameless-- who posted
quite a few falsehoods about slavery and the South (and North, and certain
ethnic groups, and God-knows what all). Allen would have also seen that a
couple of those who are usually considered to be ring-leaders in
TheGroup(tm) took the lead in refuting those falsehoods.

David Alan Kearns

unread,
Jul 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/19/96
to

I wrote:
> >As far
> >as cultural impact, if the screening of Roots has any success in
> >debunking the "happy slave" myth that you seem to support in another
> >thread, then more power to it.

Stacy asked:


> EH? Are you referring to a post in which I quoted a former slave on the
> subject?

No, actually I was refering to your use of Genovese.

> I do not subscribe to myths.

What did I do with that dixinet URL?

[snip]


> The intent of ROOTS -- and your intent in endorsing Haley's fraud --

Huh? Boy that was a logical leap...

> seems
> to have been to say that those slaves who were happy were fools, and that
> all those who are not outraged by the historical fact of slavery are
> either fools or malefactors.

What? Didn't I say that there probably were slaves that were happy? Yes.
Did I comment on that negatively? No, indeed I infered that it was
inevitable that there were some slaves that were satisfied with their lot.
Have I made any comment (or even mention) on "those who are not outraged
by the fact of slavery?" No. But by God, you have.

Where is all of this coming from, Stacy? I have never expressed or implied
any of these sentiments.

Next you're going to say that I didn't say those things but I wanted to do
so, right?

> Sir, as the descendant of Scots, Irish and Welsh forbears, I have every
> reason to resent the English for their centuries of oppression against my
> ancestors.

Sure, why not?

> But I am too busy defending myself against accusations of
> racism (for that is what you mean, sir)

When? When have I ever accused you of racism? NEVER. One thing that you
have been exactly correct on is that the people in this newsgroup are very
sensitive about accusations of racism. I have never accused any
participant in this newsgroup a racist, and I have defended members of
your own Southern League against like accusations. You take your finger
pointing and stick it. I don't play that game.

> to waste time hating the English.
> So why is it that some people seem to have so much time to hate ME?

Nobody hates you, Stacy. We like you, really. You just seem to have a
persecution complex.

> Our
> tax dollars at work, Mr. Edu.Site

(insert witty yet scathing retort #17)

David Kearns


RStacy2229

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Jul 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/19/96
to

In article <4skqv1$4...@nntp2.backbone.olemiss.edu>, dke...@teclink.net
(David A. Kearns) writes:

> Slavery was a blight upon the United States. So was
>our Latin American policy at the beginning of this century.

And you APPROVE of our more recent policies in re Latin America?

alt.us.bayofpigs?

RStacy2229

unread,
Jul 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/19/96
to

In article <4skqv1$4...@nntp2.backbone.olemiss.edu>, dke...@teclink.net
(David A. Kearns) writes:

> The
>fact is that after 100 years of blocking the race question out of the
>entire nation's consciousness, people began to ask questions. That
>the answers aren't very pretty is what seems to bother you.
>

Gee, what ****ING part of the nation are you FROM, Dave? "The race
question," as you style it, has paraded before the eyes of the South every
day for the past 350 years or so. If YOU blocked it out of your
conciousness, that's YOUR problem. And what questions are you referring
to? And what are your answers?

As for "what seems to bother" me, I am bothered by carpetbaggers and
scalawags who style themselves historians of the war, when they are really
nothing more nor less than anti-Confederate propagandists. Then, when they
see their own tactics used against them, they hop up on the high horse and
denounce us as apologists for slavery, Jim Crow and so forth. And the
accusation, they suppose, is tatamount to conviction.

Look: Have you folks ever considered that there are such things as
self-fulfilling prophecies? That if you demean and stereotype others, they
might just get the idea that they should live up to your stereotypes?

I am a native Atlantan, and am proud to have been born in the "city too
busy to hate," HOWEVER if it would make you happy, I'll try to find the
time to hate some folks, like the ones who Friday (7-19-96) will burn my
state's flag on the steps of the state capitol.

Robert Stacy McCain

Christopher M Grimsley

unread,
Jul 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/19/96
to

Having seen the mini-series (twice), I think that Kunta Kinte (Toby) was the
only character to suffer this extreme fate. The other slave characters
certainly understood, however, that if pushed far enough the slaveholders would
resort to such measures.

If I recall correctly, the man portrayed by Chuck Connors is the only white
character who rapes a slave woman. However, the master of the slave ship
carrying Kunta Kinte to America strongly insinuates that slave women are preyed
upon sexually, and a slave woman is brought to a man's cabin (the character
played by Ed Asner) with the clear implication that she is his to violate if he
wishes. The idea in the mini-series, then, is that the sexual exploitation of
slave woman was common.

The question of whether this idea is accurate is another matter. It would be
strange indeed to find much documentary evidence one way or another. How many
slaveholders wrote letter or diary entries in which they admitted to having
raped slave women (or denied having done so)? One would have to get at this
issue indirectly, by noting the number of children of mixed parentage. Until
recent decades it was common to document mixed parentage quite
precisely--mulattoes, quadroons, octoroons, etc.--and since children born to
slave mothers were automatically slaves themselves no matter their degree of
white ancestry, it sometimes happened that women of 1/32nd or even 1/64th
African ancestry were nevertheless slaves. The number of persons categorized
as of mixed ancestry was quite large.

It is plain that many African Americans then and now are of mixed racial
heritage (which in itself indicates how artificial "race" is as a human
attribute. Can a "white" woman have a "black" child? Certainly. Can a
"black"
woman have a "white" child? Certainly not.) The question is, how did this
apparent racial mixture come about? I don't find it at all unreasonable to
suppose that a man who would enslave a woman would balk at exploiting her
sexually. This strikes me as the most straightforward and likely possibility.
A person who wished to account for the number of African Africans of
mixed heritage in a different way--that it came about through liaisons
between free whites and free blacks--would bear the burden of demonstrating as
much. One would *not* expect to find much documentary evidence of rape,
because it is hard to see how such evidence would ever have been created in the
first place. But one *would* expect to find documentary evidence of widespread
sexual liaisons between free whites and free blacks, because this sort of
behavior was socially and legally condemned in the colonial and antebellum
south and would have attracted considerable notice.

Mark G.
--
Mark Grimsley grims...@osu.edu
Department of History
The Ohio State University

Mark T Pitcavage

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Jul 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/19/96
to

In article <bigg-19079...@goat.execpc.com>,

Dave Gorski <bi...@execpc.com> wrote:
>
>>
>> As for comparisons between slavery and the Holocaust, I think they are quite
>> apt.
>
> I would have to disagree, on the basis of taking slavery
>out of the context of its time. In the nearly 100 years
>between the events, the morals, cultural practices, and attitudes
>of people have changed ( I would hope ) a great deal.Today, whaling
>is considered wrong, 100 years ago it was an occupation. We don't
>attack the whalers or furriers of the past because in the context
>of their time what they did was acceptable. I am not trying to be
>trivial with my example, I know that it is different when you are
>talking about human lives, but I hope you can see past my example
>and see my point.

But there were -plenty- of people in 1860 who thought slavery was wrong,

probably the majority of people in the United States (not all of them were
prepared to end it, nor were they necessarily not racists). And by 1860,
almost all other western countries had abolished slavery. So even in the
context of its times, it was considered immoral by most.

>


> But they are both clearly evidence of the
>> grossest ways in which humanity can be inhumane.
>
> Agreed , but in the context of 1850, (we are taking about history)
>slavery was acceptable, particularly in the Southern United States,
>as a means of agricultural labor. In my opinion, Even in 1850, the
>acts of the Nazi's in Nazi occupied Europe would have been considered
>atrocities by slaveholders.

You are confusing your contexts here. The appropriate analogy to the

acceptability of slavery in the Southern United States would be the
acceptability of the Nazis in Germany.

>> What is worse, killing six million Jews and six million non-Jews in
>> concenetration camps and elsewhere over the period of a half-dozen years, or
>> enslaving and keeping in bondage millions of slaves over a period of hundred
s
>> of years?
>
>Both are horrible, but I don't think they can be compared.
>
> But I'll say this: both were horrible blots upon the history of
>> humanity
>
> Agreed, but they must be viewed in the context of history,I think
> it likely that if I found myself in a position of wealth,in 1850,
> with acres of cotton to bring in, that I might use slave labor. I
>think that most people if theyare honest with themselves, and put
>themselves in the context of thetime, would do the same thing. If you
> can say you would not, my hat is off to you, too bad there were not
> more like you in 1850.

I hope I would not have, but who knows? If I had, I would hope my descendants

Stephen Schmidt

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Jul 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/19/96
to

bow...@toad.orl.lmco.com (Trey Bowman) writes:
>But David, since many people believe it to be true; Have professional historians
>done enough to denounce his work? If not, then Stacy's denunciation of
>historians is justified. I believe they have a duty to do so. And thus far,
>they have not.
Oh, I think they've probably done more to denounce _Roots_ than
they did to denounce, say, _The South was Right!_.

;)

Steve


--
Stephen Schmidt Department of Economics
210A Social Sciences Union College
(518) 388-6078 Schenectady NY 12308

Mark T Pitcavage

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Jul 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/20/96
to

In article <bigg-19079...@brainchild.execpc.com>,

Dave Gorski <bi...@execpc.com> wrote:
>In article <4sor68$i...@charm.magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu>,
>mpit...@magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu (Mark T Pitcavage) wrote:
>
>
>>
>> But there were -plenty- of people in 1860 who thought slavery was wrong,
>> probably the majority of people in the United States (not all of them were
>> prepared to end it, nor were they necessarily not racists). And by 1860,
>> almost all other western countries had abolished slavery. So even in the
>> context of its times, it was considered immoral by most.
>
> We could probable discuss this point back and forth, without
> either of us ever having any evidence to back what WE THINK people
> really thought about the institution of slavery in 1860. If so many
> people thought it was wrong, especially in the South where the economy
> was dependent on slave labor,why didn't the South use the law to ban
> slavery ? For the same reason the North had inhumane working conditions
> in so many of it's factories. It was a transitional period in our
> history, a change was made,very painfully, but I still don't think
> you can condemn the people of that time for being on what today WE THINK
> is the wrong side.

I said that the majority of people in the United States thought slavery was
wrong, not the majority of people in the southern states. And there is plenty
of evidence to think so, including the rise of the Republican party and the
perception on the part of Southerners that Northern Democrats also opposed
slavery. (and many other, less grand pieces of evidence)

>> > Agreed , but in the context of 1850, (we are taking about history)
>> >slavery was acceptable, particularly in the Southern United States,
>> >as a means of agricultural labor. In my opinion, Even in 1850, the
>> >acts of the Nazi's in Nazi occupied Europe would have been considered
>> >atrocities by slaveholders.
>>
>> You are confusing your contexts here. The appropriate analogy to the
>> acceptability of slavery in the Southern United States would be the
>> acceptability of the Nazis in Germany.
>

> Nazi's were accepted, but the death camps were not acceptable.
> I may be wrong here, but my understanding of the Nazi party is
> that it portrayed itself as a political party, the death camps were
> kept a secret even from most of the party members. There were only
> rumors of the camps up until they were liberated. They were kept a
> secret because even most Nazis would have seen the "Final Solution"
> as an atrocity. G. Washington and T. Jefferson are not the same as
> A Hitler and H Goring.

The notion that concentration camps were great secrets is largely a myth; only
a few, such as Auschwitz-Birkenau, were really concealed. Do you think that
the people surrounding Dachau were unaware of went on there? And certainly no
one in the Nazi Party was aware that Jews were being killed, nor any soldier on
the Eastern Front. It was not just Nazi Party people who were killing jews--it
was German citizens (see the book _Ordinary Men_ for one case study).


>> I hope I would not have, but who knows? If I had, I would hope my
>descendants
>> would be condemning me now.
>

> I don't see that it is criminal to live your life, in your time,
>the way that people in that time and place live. Even if it takes
>years for US to realize that something is wrong, and a transition
>period, even a war, to change it.

I guess we should not have executed Ribbentrop, Ley, and all the others, right?
After all, they were just living their lives, in their times, the way the
Nazis lived, right?

Ted Waltrip

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Jul 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/20/96
to

In <4sor68$i...@charm.magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu>

mpit...@magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu (Mark T Pitcavage) writes:
>

>>
>> Agreed, but they must be viewed in the context of history,I think
>> it likely that if I found myself in a position of wealth,in 1850,
>> with acres of cotton to bring in, that I might use slave labor. I
>>think that most people if theyare honest with themselves, and put
>>themselves in the context of thetime, would do the same thing. If you
>> can say you would not, my hat is off to you, too bad there were not
>> more like you in 1850.
>

>I hope I would not have, but who knows? If I had, I would hope my
descendants
>would be condemning me now.

Your descendants will condemn you for ruining the air with your
automobile and screwing up the ozone with your air conditioners and
refrigerators. So start walking everywhere and get used to salt pork
or you're a hypocrite. TW

Mark T Pitcavage

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Jul 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/20/96
to

In article <4sq30e$q...@newsbf02.news.aol.com>,
RStacy2229 <rstac...@aol.com> wrote:
>In article <4socjh$g...@charm.magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu>,

>mpit...@magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu (Mark T Pitcavage) writes:
>
>>In what passages does Haley say they are pervasive?
>
>Such abuses are pervasive in "Roots," the hoax in question.

As I said before, I've never read the book or seen the mini-series. So I am
genuinely curious as to how Haley suggests those practices are pervasive.

Mark T Pitcavage

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Jul 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/20/96
to

In article <4spt26$i...@dfw-ixnews6.ix.netcom.com>,
Ted Waltrip <ted...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:
>In <4sor68$i...@charm.magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu>

>mpit...@magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu (Mark T Pitcavage) writes:
>>I hope I would not have, but who knows? If I had, I would hope my
>descendants would be condemning me now.
>
>Your descendants will condemn you for ruining the air with your
>automobile and screwing up the ozone with your air conditioners and
>refrigerators. So start walking everywhere and get used to salt pork
>or you're a hypocrite. TW


Ve Vere Just Following Orders!

RStacy2229

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Jul 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/20/96
to

In article <4socjh$g...@charm.magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu>,

mpit...@magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu (Mark T Pitcavage) writes:

>In what passages does Haley say they are pervasive?

Such abuses are pervasive in "Roots," the hoax in question.

RSMc

Stephen Schmidt

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Jul 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/20/96
to

rstac...@aol.com (RStacy2229) writes:

>Mark P. said:
>>I've never read ROOTS or seen the mini-series, so perhaps you can satisfy
>my
>>curiosity. Does Alex Haley state that all runaway slaves had their feet
>cut
>>off? Does he suggest that all female slaves were purchased in order to
>be
>>raped?

>Does he suggest otherwise?

I guess we better condemn JFK as a fraud too, then. Most
presidents don't get assassinated, and Stone never suggested
otherwise...

Dave Gorski

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Jul 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/20/96
to

In article <4spjm2$l...@charm.magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu>,

mpit...@magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu (Mark T Pitcavage) wrote:
>
> I said that the majority of people in the United States thought slavery was
> wrong, not the majority of people in the southern states. And there is
plenty
> of evidence to think so, including the rise of the Republican party and the
> perception on the part of Southerners that Northern Democrats also opposed
> slavery. (and many other, less grand pieces of evidence)
>
...and I have seen evidence to the contrary.
1. James M. McPherson " What They Fought For " pg 60
" A good many Union soldiers disagreed. (with emancipation)
A backlash of antiemancipation sentiment began to surface
in letters in 1862." He goes on to give examples from a dozen
or so letters. He goes on to say that the soldiers stated that
they were willing to fight to preserve the Union, but NOT for
Black freedom.
2. In " The Civil War Diary of C.F. Boyd, 15 Iowa Infantry"
entry for March 6 1863 page 375... A poll was taken by the
Col. of the regiment, ( he was a vocal supporter of emancipation)
the poll was conducted openly, 50 % were in favor of emancipation
25% were against, and 25% had no opinion. To me, that's 50 %
NOT in favor of emancipation, even with the Col. watching you.
3.Can't give you numbers here but the desertion rates rose
dramaticly with the Emancipation Proclamation. In one regiment
4 Captians sent in their resignations giving emancipation as cause.

Like I said, I'm sure we could trade evidence for quite a while,
I could never convince you, but you can't convince me that the majority
of Americans in 1850 did not either believe slavery was OK, or at least
were not against the institution. As time went on it BECAME less
acceptable, a transition was being made, but the slaveholders were
engaged in an activity that was generally acceptable in their time
and place. Howerver wrong, or immoral, or unaceptable it is. It was
not any less immoral or wrong then, but it was accepted, perhaps to
our shame but as I have said before, you can't condemn them for doing
what WAS acceptable. Condemn the Egyptians for using slave labor to
build the pyramids ?? Horrible, but think in the context of the time.
How about the Union treatment of Native Americans AFTER the Civil War.
The " Savages " were herded together on reservations and given new
desease's, at least the ones that were not killed outright by the
"human rights " conscious Union troopers. Wouldn't this be a better
comparison ? Maybe to the Holocaust ?

> The notion that concentration camps were great secrets is largely a
myth; only
> a few, such as Auschwitz-Birkenau, were really concealed. Do you think that
> the people surrounding Dachau were unaware of went on there? And
certainly no
> one in the Nazi Party was aware that Jews were being killed, nor any
soldier on
> the Eastern Front. It was not just Nazi Party people who were killing
jews--it
> was German citizens (see the book _Ordinary Men_ for one case study).

Can't debate the issue of who knew what when, I'll admit my ignorance
in this area.


> I guess we should not have executed Ribbentrop, Ley, and all the others,
right?
> After all, they were just living their lives, in their times, the way the
> Nazis lived, right?

Are you saying that the War crimes commission didn't prosecute or at
least name all (or even most ) of those that were a part of the
atrocities ?
All Nazis should have been executed ? All Germans should have been executed ?
If Slavery is an apt analague to the holocaust why wern't all slaveholders
rounded up and tried for their crimes against humanity ? Might the answer
be that what they did was not a crime, a social change was made,and the
slaves were freed.

Dave

Copperhead

unread,
Jul 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/20/96
to

>As for comparisons between slavery and the Holocaust, I think they are quite
>apt.

Such comparisons cannot survive the simple truth that in 1860 slavery was an
inherited institution. Blacks had not legally been yanked (pun intended) from
their home and sent to the United States since 1808. That hardly compares to
dragging Europe's Jews off to death camps in a period of a few years. By 1860,
most slaves in the US had been born in that condition - they had never known
freedom. Were their lives sometimes miserable? - yes (and so were the lives of
many poor whites). Did many dream of being free? - probably. But their lives
were not consumed with the sudden terror of the Holocaust. Laboring in a world
of unfulfilled dreams cannot be compared to laboring in a Nazi concentration
camp, and exploitation does not equal genocide.
At this point, I'm tempted to try another thread: Why didn't the
holier-than-thou abolitionists buy the slaves and set them free? And if they
did indeed constitute a majority of US citizens, as is claimed by the modern
day Yankees in this newsgroup, why didn't they use the government's power of
emminent domain to free the slaves AND COMPENSATE the owners. Were such
measures ever introduced in Congress (I don't know)? Implementing any plan to
end slavery without reimbursement of slave owners is in itself a moral and
unconstitutional crime known as theft.


Greg Wickenburg

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Jul 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/20/96
to

>: Agreed , but in the context of 1850, (we are taking about history)

>:slavery was acceptable, particularly in the Southern United States,
>:as a means of agricultural labor. In my opinion, Even in 1850, the
>:acts of the Nazi's in Nazi occupied Europe would have been considered
>:atrociti

But to many in Eastern Europe although the Nazi's might not have been
exeptable, not to many complained about the Consentration Camps until after.

I think there is a great deal to compare. From what little I know of history,
were not the Jews used as slaves while in the Camps.


Mark T Pitcavage

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Jul 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/20/96
to

In article <bigg-20079...@gumbo.execpc.com>,

Dave Gorski <bi...@execpc.com> wrote:
>In article <4spjm2$l...@charm.magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu>,
>mpit...@magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu (Mark T Pitcavage) wrote:
>>
>> I said that the majority of people in the United States thought slavery was
>> wrong, not the majority of people in the southern states. And there is
>plenty
>> of evidence to think so, including the rise of the Republican party and the
>> perception on the part of Southerners that Northern Democrats also opposed
>> slavery. (and many other, less grand pieces of evidence)
>>
> ...and I have seen evidence to the contrary.
> 1. James M. McPherson " What They Fought For " pg 60
> " A good many Union soldiers disagreed. (with emancipation)
> A backlash of antiemancipation sentiment began to surface
> in letters in 1862." He goes on to give examples from a dozen
> or so letters. He goes on to say that the soldiers stated that
> they were willing to fight to preserve the Union, but NOT for
> Black freedom.

Whether or not they were willing to fight for emancipation has nothing to do
with whether or not the majority of people in the United States thought slavery
was wrong. I think that a capital gains tax cut is wrong. Am I willing to
fight to stop one? No.

> 2. In " The Civil War Diary of C.F. Boyd, 15 Iowa Infantry"
> entry for March 6 1863 page 375... A poll was taken by the
> Col. of the regiment, ( he was a vocal supporter of emancipation)
> the poll was conducted openly, 50 % were in favor of emancipation
> 25% were against, and 25% had no opinion. To me, that's 50 %
> NOT in favor of emancipation, even with the Col. watching you.

Do you alwasy treat "No opinion" as "No"? Don't look for a job in polling.

> 3.Can't give you numbers here but the desertion rates rose
> dramaticly with the Emancipation Proclamation. In one regiment
> 4 Captians sent in their resignations giving emancipation as cause.
>

No, desertion rates did not rise dramatically with the Emancipation
Proclamation.

> Like I said, I'm sure we could trade evidence for quite a while,
> I could never convince you, but you can't convince me that the majority
> of Americans in 1850 did not either believe slavery was OK, or at least
> were not against the institution. As time went on it BECAME less
> acceptable, a transition was being made, but the slaveholders were
> engaged in an activity that was generally acceptable in their time
> and place. Howerver wrong, or immoral, or unaceptable it is. It was
> not any less immoral or wrong then, but it was accepted, perhaps to
> our shame but as I have said before, you can't condemn them for doing
> what WAS acceptable. Condemn the Egyptians for using slave labor to
> build the pyramids ?? Horrible, but think in the context of the time.
> How about the Union treatment of Native Americans AFTER the Civil War.
> The " Savages " were herded together on reservations and given new
> desease's, at least the ones that were not killed outright by the
> "human rights " conscious Union troopers. Wouldn't this be a better
> comparison ? Maybe to the Holocaust ?
>

I think that the treatment of Native Americans was the U.S.'s other "great
crime."

>> I guess we should not have executed Ribbentrop, Ley, and all the others,
>right?
>> After all, they were just living their lives, in their times, the way the
>> Nazis lived, right?
>
> Are you saying that the War crimes commission didn't prosecute or at
>least name all (or even most ) of those that were a part of the
>atrocities ?
> All Nazis should have been executed ? All Germans should have been executed
?
> If Slavery is an apt analague to the holocaust why wern't all slaveholders
> rounded up and tried for their crimes against humanity ? Might the answer
> be that what they did was not a crime, a social change was made,and the
> slaves were freed.

You are saying that if people are just "living their lives, in their times,"
then whatever they do is okay. I am saying that it is not okay. Just because
a local or regional community countenances an act does not make it okay.
Female circumcision is -not- okay. Similarly, just because people in
Edgefield, South Carolina, liked slavery just fine, thank you very much,
doesn't make it okay--not then or now.

RStacy2229

unread,
Jul 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/20/96