The Campaign for Radical Truth in History
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by Michael A. Hoffman II
During the protest against the death penalty for Washington Goode, a black man who was sentenced to die for the murder of a fellow black, one media outlet suggested that if he had been a "white man who had money" he would not be facing capital punishment.
Opponents of the death penalty argued that to execute this black man was "cruel prejudice." Goode was declared a hero and a martyr and a huge protest was organized on his behalf, in which the main speaker was one of America's leading preachers. Goode's legal team rivaled that of O.J. Simpson's and consisted of a total of nine defense lawyers paid for by whites.
Recent headlines of our "enlightened times"? Hardly. Washington Goode fractured black sailor Thomas Harding's skull in a dispute over the favors of one Mary Ann Williams on a sultry summer evening in Massachusetts in 1849, during the supposed height of America's "ferocious epoch of white supremacy."
The newspaper which bemoaned his fate was the Boston Herald and the clergyman who argued for his reprieve was William Henry Channing. The Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Court, Lemuel Shaw, heard Goode's case and nearly wept at his sentencing.
Today, everywhere from the Justice Department to the Ivy League Universities, the bureaucrats and professors justify discrimination against whites on the basis of the notion of "white skin privilege." According to this concept, legal palliation for America's "past cruelty toward blacks" must come at the expense of all whites, however poor or disadvantaged, based on the fiction that prior to the "Civil Rights" era, all whites had a supreme legal and social position by the very fact of the color of their skin.
But Washington Goode enjoyed a privileged position in antebellum New England because he was black, and this was not an anomaly in either Britain or America.
The British Parliament outlawed the enslavement of negroes in 1808, but bills proposing an end to the enslavement of white children who were forced to clean chimneys by climbing inside flues, were defeated by Parliament in 1804, 1818 and twice in 1819.
Lord Sydney Smith sneered at appeals for emancipating these white children, since they were the "property" of their masters: "Such a measure we are convinced, could not be carried into execution without great injury to property." But property rights were ruled to be of secondary consideration when the cause of emancipating negroes was advanced.
In 1830 Richard Oastler protested the conditions in the Bradford factories where white children labored up to sixteen hours a day and were beaten by overseers and mutilated and killed by primitive machinery.
Oastler was publicly thanked by English laborers in York "...for his manly letters to expose the conduct of those pretended philanthropists and canting hypocrites who travel to the West Indies in search of slavery, forgetting there is a more abominable and degrading system of slavery at home."
Historically, a substantial portion of the white elite viewed blacks affectionately as a kind of docile pet, very different from the obstreperous masses of white working poor. Samuel Johnson, the 18th century London wit and literary prodigy, condemned the American revolutionaries as "drivers of negroes" while he himself overlooked the needs of the wretched white children in his midst to house, clothe and educate a negro youth, Francis Barber.
Harriet Beecher Stowe, the great advocate of American blacks and author of the literary fantasy, Uncle Tom's Cabin, approved of the starvation of Scotland's poor whites at the hands of her friend and fellow negrophile, the Duchess of Sutherland. In her book Sunny Memories, Stowe termed the aristocrat's forced removal of the Highland crofters, "an almost sublime instance of the benevolent employment of superior wealth and power."
Frederic Law Olmsted, the landscape architect who designed New York's Central Park, toured the American south in 1855. On the Alabama River he observed blacks recklessly throwing bales of cotton into a cargo ship's hold, which was manned by Irish laborers. When Olmsted inquired about this dangerous practice he was told by a longshoreman, "The niggers are worth too much to be risked here; if the Paddies are knocked overboard or get their backs broke, nobody loses anything."
The former South Carolina black slave Waters McIntosh recalled, "When I was a boy we used to sing, 'Rather be a nigger than a poor white man."
Black slaves viewed themselves as better than poor whites because their masters did too. According to Eugene Genovese, "Rosa Starke who had been owned by a big planter in South Carolina reported that poor whites had to use the kitchen door when they went up to the Big House. Her mistress 'had a grand manner; no patience with poor white folks."
The negro slave Ella Kelly stated, "You know boss, dese days dere is three kind of people. Lowest down is a layer of white folks, then in de middle is a layer of colored folks, and on top is de cream, a layer of good white folks..."
The hierarchy described by Kelly remains in effect to this day. In the 1930s, when the Dust Bowl forced penniless Oklahoma immigrants west, no "white skin privilege" protected these Okies from being driven from California, beaten and reviled as "maggots."
God help any penurious white man who is roughed up or framed by the police nowadays. There will be no NAACP or legion of lawyers to defend him and no Boston newspaper will make him a cause celebre. If he defies the powers that be, chances are he'll get railroaded into a state prison, or worse.
Such whites are doubly discriminated against; once for being poor and again for being the descendants of whites; due to the mythomania about "white skin privilege," as if whites of yesteryear dwelled in a classless utopia of racial solidarity.
Real history tells another story, an account of black skin privilege which reveals the monstrous injustice of the Federal government's misnamed "Civil Rights" policies.
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