Slave Ownership. A reader shared two very thoughtful items in support of my discussion last week that slavery is a human issue. I want to say thanks to him and I believe that the items are important enough I want to share them with you.

The first was a huge surprise. I had no idea some Blacks in America were slave owners.

The reader suggested I look at a Master’s thesis.

Black Masters; The Ownership of Slaves by Free People of Color in the Antebellum South 1780-1861

Michael O. MagbagbeolaUniversity of Massachusetts Boston

In the abstract is the following:


Black Master. It is difficult to digest, but numerous records indicate that thousands of free people of color in the antebellum South did in fact own slaves. Not only did they own slaves but, in some instances, they harshly disciplined and sold their slaves. In other instances, they treated them well and ultimately freed them.

I wanted to have more evidence. When I checked other other sources I found enough evidence for me to believe Black ownership of slaves in America is a credible claim. Some blacks were slave owners.

The observation does nothing to reduce outrage at the practice of slavery. The observation does strengthen the argument slavery is a human issue.

Nuances. In addition, my reader referred me to what he heard Louis Gates say during one of his broadcasts. Gates is a well-known Black historian and host of the PBS series Finding Your Roots.

My friend wrote “Gates is fair in explaining that slavery was a very complex issue in which ‘owners’ along with the horrors often sited were also compassionate and even fell in love with their slaves and had faithful relationships, but because of laws and norms of the day had to find ways that allowed them to treat blacks humanely in spite of enormous pressure to be otherwise.”

Gates is not a right-wing pundit. He is the person who was arrested for entering his own home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. President Obama called attention to the arrest and he became embroiled in a controversy.

In my opinion, just as some people on the right do not want slavery and events such as the Tulsa Massacre taught in school, some people on the left do not want to teach about black ownership and any positive aspects of slavery. The lesson for me is — we need to support the teaching of all aspects of the sides of issues. Looking at various sides and subtleties of issues is not a popular way to think.

DOJ. Speaking of sides of issues, some people believe the Department of Justice is a left-wing, Deep-State agency focused solely on working against right wing people. That argument is hard to argue in the face of the indictment of Senator Menendez this week. He is a well-established Democrat. The indictment also comes soon after the DOJ indicted the President’s own son. To me, the DOJ seems to be interested in the law more than politics.

Prague Unrest. Americans should take careful note of a large protest in Prague, Czechoslovakia. Thousands of people protested against western influence and were reported to be pro-Russia. As I mentioned when we visited there last year, I was surprised to learn many of the citizens wanted a return to communism. The reason? They believe they were better off under communism.

Communism established a large middle-class. The fall of communism and the rise of capitalism has made some people very rich but the middle class has shrunk and poverty has greatly increased. Income disparity has stirred unrest.

The Prague unrest and the auto workers strike in the US are meaningful in light of a study showing that since 1978 CEO pay increased by 1,209%, while workers increased by 15%. I looked at several other sites and the numbers seem correct. Income disparity is growing.

I am not arguing for communism or against capitalism and democracy. I am arguing for education about economics and culture. Large income disparity and a reduction in the middle class is a problem for any country under any system. I will add — I fear a dictatorship more than any particular system.

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