John Derbyshire, who was recently kicked out of the National Review's community of deep thinkers because his overt racism had finally become somewhat embarrassing for them, has swum back to VDARE, where his white-supremacist leanings are encouraged. He quickly made himself comfortable, publishing a post in which he opined that: "White supremacy, in the sense of a society in which key decisions are made by white Europeans, is one of the better arrangements History has come up with."
Well, Derbyshire's column managed successfully to troll the Internet, as one might expect. And so he returns today with a new claim: African Americans totally agree with him!
The gentle Harriet Beecher Stowe, for example, closed out Uncle Tom's Cabin with an appeal, grounded in Christian charity, for freed blacks to be educated and trained ... so that they would be better able to survive in Liberia!
Abraham Lincoln was keen to help blacks escape white supremacy, too. In August 1862 he invited a delegation of free blacks to the White House ... in order to urge them to leave America.
But with all this opportunity and encouragement, how many freed blacks actually chose to escape from under the iron heel of white supremacy? Most sources give 15,000-20,000 -- out of a Civil War-era black population of around four million. That's less than half of one percent. Ninety-nine point five something percent preferred white supremacy. That's an even bigger proportion than voted for Barack Obama in 2008.
Yes, it's a rough admixture of statistical hooey and blather about history, founded mainly on a crackpot invocation of John Locke: "On the John Locke principle, though -- i.e. 'I have always thought the actions of men the best interpreters of their thoughts' -- the overwhelming majority of black Americans agree with me, and always have."
Let's remember that "agree with me" entails an "overwhelming majority of black Americans" who would choose 'Would like to be dominated forever by white supremacists' over 'Would like to drag myself all the way to Africa after my blood and tears paid for this entire country in which I currently live,' on a list of precisely those two choices.
Of course, it is true that black slaves were heartily encouraged to resettle in Liberia. However, those who advocated the most strongly for a Liberian settlement -- primarily Christian organizations and "colonization societies" -- presented that option as a specific "alternative to [the emancipation of] slaves in America."
The issue of whether the emancipation of enslaved African Americans was necessary during the nineteenth century played a crucial role in the development of beliefs in certain groups, such as the American Colonization Society and the Pennsylvania Colonization Society. The American Colonization Society, the Pennsylvania Colonization Society, and the Christian Register advocated that the sending of freed slaves would be beneficial to enslaved African Americans. However, after reanalyzing the efforts of pro-colonization societies and publication, historians of the 21st century have come to understand that colonization was in response to the threat of freed African Americans if emancipation legislation was passed in the United States.
In short, these organizations were deaf to the actual desires of these slaves, which was to live as free men and women in America. Abolitionists, on the other hand, were actively working to "[discredit] the efforts of colonization societies by arguing reports from Liberia were deplorable" and "treacherous," and abolitionists proved capable of "discrediting the ideologies of colonization societies because it was based on the belief of negrophobia" and the "fear of how African Americans would respond if they were finally emancipated from slavery."
So, if the "actions of men are the best interpreters of their thoughts," it's pretty clear that blacks actively chose to become free American men and women, at the urgings of abolitionists who warned them that colonizing Liberia would be a dangerously stupid thing to do.
As it turns out, they were right. The Amero-Liberians who settled Africa's Pepper Coast were put in a state of control and codependence on the U.S. government anyway, and for years the relationship between the United States and Liberia was primarily maintained so that the Firestone Tire and Rubber Corporation could exploit the African nation's rubber resources in what essentially amounted to a return to plantation-style economic indentureship. The Amero-Liberians thus ended up where they began.
So the options that Derbyshire is offering are what is known as a "false choice." Nice try, though!
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