"If these stories are in fact the work of a young lady, they are indeed remarkable."

- Evelyn Waugh, speaking of stories written by Flannery O'Connor
The Man as a Slave in America

"It is not the fault of the slaveholder that he is cruel, so much as it is the fault of the system under which he lives. He cannot withstand the influence of habit and associations that surround him." - Solomon Northup

Pastor Tony Carter gives his reaction to the memoir by Solomon Northup, Twelve Years a Slave, released in 1853. He was deeply moved. He writes:

"Those who contend that American slavery was tolerable and preferable for the African-American continue to be an enigma to me. While I might give the secular humanist a slight pass because his mind is not enlightened by the gospel of truth (though he remains accountable to God for the wrong he thinks and does), I can have little to no understanding of the Christian who contends for and maintains such a position. With evidence such as Northup’s account before his eyes, and the supposed grace of God enlightening his heart, one has to wonder if those who claim to have been exposed to both have truly experienced either."
I have not seen the movie based on this book, but if you have, you might find this comparison page of interest. It compares the movie with their own investigation of the truth. For example, they report, "the movie paints William Ford (Benedict Cumberbatch) as a hypocrite, contradicting his Christian sermons by overlaying them with his slave Eliza's agonizing screams. In his memoir, Solomon Northup offers the utmost words of kindness for his former master, stating that "there never was a more kind, noble, candid, Christian man than William Ford."

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Comments on "The Man as a Slave in America":
1. Sr - 02/22/2014 8:28 pm EST

Is it the slavery of the past we need to worry about.. or the Statist slavery of the present? American liberals like to bleat endlessly about the slavery of the U.S. past, but they said nothing about the slavery of communist countries in their own time... and still don't.

2. Phil - 02/22/2014 9:34 pm EST

Yes, you're right, and the FCC is looking into controlling the media under the pretense of opening access to minorities. I don't understand how liberals do not see how their tactics undermine their individual liberties, but then it is somewhat consistent with their beliefs. They fight for the freedom from consequences, so why shouldn't they believe they will remain free from the consequences of their own action?

But to the point of this post, it's important to fully acknowledge this part of American history. Many Americans still suffers the effects of this. It's a battleground for the church to fight in. It's not enough to say, "Look, you have equal rights now, so shut up about it." Many people don't feel equal, and liberals don't help them. In the church, if they feel that way, it's a sin for the rest of us.

3. Nigel Ray - 02/26/2014 1:02 pm EST

If a person is equal, but doesn't feel equal, then they have a misperception of reality, which is their burden. As a Christian, I am called upon to help my neighbor bear his burdens, which in this case would mean helping him see the truth that he is equal. If he doesn't want to hear that from me because I am white, I'm not sure where I'm supposed to go from there.

4. Phil - 02/26/2014 5:25 pm EST

Nigel, I talked to a minister who is part of a church that leans heavily on racial reconciliation. You can read some of that discussion in the article linked above. Many minorities do not feel socially equal because their people (their families, neighbors, and others with whom they identify) are incarcerated at higher rates, unemployed at higher rates, and disrespected in various intangible ways.

Have you seen the videos that show how a white man or woman is treated when he is seen breaking into a car and how a black man is treated doing the same thing? The white people are ignored or helped; the black man has to face the cops in five minutes.

Many things like this add up for some, not all, minorities, and if we are to encourage them, we need to talk through things. If we, as white people, remain silent, we encourage them to remain where they are.

One of the things the man I interviewed said is that racial reconciliation requires sacrifice and humility on both sides, and that's tough.

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