Re: Is white racism nec. all bad?

Donald Edwards (
18 Apr 1995 19:49:33 -0700

Gary Strand ( wrote:
"jo> John Otteson

"jo> If, for 400 years, fathers are thwarted in their efforts to provide for
" and to protect their families, it is going to have an effect.

In general, throughout the period of black slavery in America, black
men -- including slaves -- married and stayed with their wives, helped
raise their children. It is true that a major share of slaves' effort
was taken without any direct benefit to them and without their consent
(that's a reasonable first stab at a definition of slavery), but this
was less than 100% of their effort. They could make a real and
discernible difference in the day-to-day lives of their children.

Granted, there were exceptions. The slave-breeding plantations (where
the major crop was slaves) were often not this way. There were cruel
and evil slave-owners. The fact that at the time of the Civil War,
approximately 7/8 of blacks in the South had white ancestors (and
1/8 of whites in the South had recent black ancestry) indicates that
perhaps the slave-owners weren't exactly good Christians in the

But in general, black men made a difference in the lives of their
black children.

" No. Black men didn't use to abandon their children in the same numbers that
" they do now. It is *not* the same as it used to be.

First, the blacks were made to stay in black communities, while some of
the jobs did not stay there -- so black men had to travel long distances
between work and family. A father makes less difference, when he is
not physically there. (And there was often FORCE OF LAW behind the

Then came welfare -- what a black man could earn, minus his share of
the household expenses, was often less than the welfare check. He could
materially improve the financial situation of his wife and children --
BY LEAVING. In fact, in many areas a household with an adult male present
was automatically ineligible for assistance, at the same time that the
women and children were being told that this assistance was theirs
BY RIGHT. (In spite of the fact that it was taken by force from
wealth-producing people, and if the black women did this on their own
behalf it would be a crime.)