March 8, 2017

Ben Carson savaged for saying the slaves were a kind of immigrant...

... and then it turns out Barack Obama did the same thing at least 11 times.

I don't want to laugh in the vicinity of the suffering of the slaves, but... man, it is satisfying when the double standard pops into stark view like that. Is it too much to hope for progress in cross-party understanding?

ADDED: I'd like to know what the NYT's Frank Bruni would like to say now that these words attach also to Barack Obama:
[H]e’s a great lesson — for the left as well as the right — that sensitivity is a function of sensibility, not merely of complexion or membership in a given identity group.

A black person can bumble into racially hurtful comments....

112 comments:

exhelodrvr1 said...

"Is it too much to hope for progress in cross-party understanding? "

Considering the extremely high level of assholery on the left, yes, it is.

AprilApple said...

When a Democrat says it: It's all good!

Since media hacks discovered that all sorts of democrats speak and have spoken with Russian ambassadors and other Russian officials, suddenly it's A-OK to speak to Russians again.

But - Sessions still lied to Senator "stole my seat" Franken, and his convoluted BS line of gotcha questions (that will not be re-played by the hack press) - doncha know.

Scott McGlasson said...

Unless you are one of the first Americans, a Native American, we are all descended from folks who came from someplace else

This is one of those things that constantly bugs me each and every time it comes up. There is zero archaeological evidence that Native Americans sprang up out of the dirt here in the western hemisphere. There is a TON of evidence that they came here from other continents.

So, despite the Light Bringer's comment (prepared comment, I might add...not extemporaneous like Carson's), "first" Americans, Native Americans, descended from folks who came from someplace else.

And then those folks killed a shit-ton of large mammals, but that's another story.

Humperdink said...

Ben Carson savaged for being a black conservative.

FIFY

chickelit said...

Potty-mouth Samuel L. Jackson led Hollywood's charge. Give that man a script!

rehajm said...

Leftie hypocrisy is motivated by the satisfaction from knowing rules that apply to others don't apply to you.

AReasonableMan said...

Carson said, "who worked even longer, even harder, for less". They didn't work for less they worked for nothing because they were - slaves. He seemed to be trying to normalize the experience of slavehood in way that Obama did not in his comments. Obama is just generically pointing out the foreign origins of almost all US citizens.

Titus said...

What kind of name is Bre?

buwaya said...

It doesnt matter.
Its all a lot of war-propaganda.
Truth or perspective or nuance is irrelevant.
The sides are chosen.

Drago said...

ARM: "He seemed to be trying to normalize the experience of slavehood..."

Your feelings do not make that a fact.

Clyde said...

Way, way too much to hope for.

Sebastian said...

"man, it is satisfying when the double standard pops into stark view like that." Yes, it is satisfying--for people who have any intellectual integrity.

"Is it too much to hope for progress in cross-party understanding?" Yes, because the left has no intellectual integrity. Let go of the faux hope.

buwaya said...

Subsistence is not nothing, it is less.
A lot of free people worked, ultimately, for nothing more than subsistence.

Scott McGlasson said...

Obama is just generically pointing out the foreign origins of almost all US citizens.

All. Nobody is descended from people that evolved into humans here.

Brando said...

Well they didn't grow off of trees here in America.

JHapp said...

I suspect most liberals would fail a simple history test about slavery.

Alexander said...

"seemed" is one of those words you see used a lot by people who describe themselves with words like "reasonable", "moderate", "a life-long conservative, but..."

Why is that?

Amadeus 48 said...

ARM--don't ever go away, and don't ever change, but you might consider the power of the connotations of Carson's statement--slaves worked harder and longer for even less--maybe less than nothing.

Owen said...

It's so important to judge everybody by their ancestry. It's a core Progressive principle.

Original Mike said...

"Carson said, "who worked even longer, even harder, for less". They didn't work for less they worked for nothing..."

Not so good with arithmetic, are we?

Angel-Dyne said...

AA: ...man, it is satisfying when the double standard pops into stark view like that. Is it too much to hope for progress in cross-party understanding?

Yes, because the double standard has been popping into stark view over and over and over again, and it's never made a damned bit of difference. The usual suspects just act like it never happened and move onto their next attack.

That's why pointing out their inconsistencies to the dishonorable and the sociopathic is a waste of time.

AReasonableMan said...

Scott McGlasson said...
All.


Correct.

Fernandinande said...

Whether your ancestors came here on the Mayflower or a slave ship; whether they signed in at Ellis Island or they crossed the Rio Grande — we are one people.

54-40 or fight!

Scott McGlasson said...
There is zero archaeological evidence that Native Americans sprang up out of the dirt here in the western hemisphere.


There is also evidence of more than one invasion, possibly from more than one direction.

EDH said...

... and then it turns out Barack Obama did the same thing at least 11 times.

Oh, in that case...

PLAGIARISM!

dbp said...

" Is it too much to hope for progress in cross-party understanding?"

Yes.

It is not as if the fact that Obama said the same kind of things will get anything like the air time of the Carson-bashing. Leftists will be snug in their bubble, blissfully unaware that the lightworker said the same things that prove beyond doubt that Carson is deplorable.

robother said...

The double standard for identical speech is, of course, the real point of the virtue-signalling Left.

Whatever the cool kid says is cool, ipso facto. But when the outsider says it, its proof of how deplorable he is. ARM would never dream of objecting to Obama's identical statements as normalizing slavery. But a black Republican? (By the way "they didn't work for less they worked for nothing because they were - slaves" is of course literally untrue: chattel slaves got food, shelter and medical care, which may have been more than many Northern immigrants right off the boat in the 1800s could count on.)

Lyssa said...

man, it is satisfying when the double standard pops into stark view like that.

I would find it satisfying, if I thought that people would learn from it or at least be called into account for it. But without that, it's just frustrating.

Original Mike said...

Althouse said: " I'd like to know what the NYT's Frank Bruni would like to say now that these words attach also to Barack Obama:"

I'd suggest against saying something disingenuous like: "He seemed to be trying to normalize the experience of slavehood in way that Obama did not in his comments. Obama is just generically pointing out the foreign origins of almost all US citizens."

tim in vermont said...

Well, if it actually was satisfying, I would be stuffed like a Thanksgiving turkey by now.

Laslo Spatula said...

Excerpt from "Black Blood, Black Seed"

"Benjamin, do you ever miss Africa?"

“Miss Christina, I never was in Africa. My Daddy was born in America, and so was HIS Daddy. I don't know nothing about no Africa."

"But surely you must feel that dark land pull at your heart. The vast plains, the relentless heat, the occasional lions and elephants..."

"I'm happy here in our small town in America, Miss Christina. I don't have to worry none about any lions."

"Does it not bother you, Benjamin, that your ancestors were brought here in chains? Maybe you would have been better off, being in your homeland and doing whatever little things black people in Africa do. Like weave colorful baskets and dance and make Booga Booga noises."

"Miss Christina, sometimes it ain't no fun being black here in the South, but I got a radio, and I can listen to the ballgames. They're even letting black men play baseball in the Big Leagues, now."

"Benjamin, us White People made a mistake in letting you people play baseball with us whites: I mean, it was bad enough letting that Jewish boy Sandy Koufax play. Sometimes we white people are just too nice for our own good."

"You white people ARE a strange bunch, Miss Christina. But I ain't got no wish to go back to Africa."

"You are a strange man, Benjamin. You actually seem to like being in America."

"I do, Miss Christina, I do. You know what America has that Africa don't?"

"What's that, Benjamin?"

"White women. I LIKES the white women..."

I am Laslo.

tim in vermont said...

ARM brings the talking points again. As I recall, they were fed and clothed, poorly, but still. If that is not a kind of compensation, then I guess we need to re-define the words.

But ARM doesn't reflexively defend Obama and attack Republicans in knee-jerk fashion... No, that wouldn't be "reasonable."

Rob said...

If the statement about immigrants is insensitive (which it isn't), it's even more insensitive coming from Barack Obama, who is half white. Obama needs to check his privilege.

tim in vermont said...

Not that I doubt that a redefinition of compensation is in the works at this minute, if needed to push the Obama as infallible saint line that ARM peddles here.

rhhardin said...

Hurrah for hurtful comments.

rhhardin said...

Ain't no manba snake.

Quaestor said...

Reminds me of that Supreme Court case that was fictionalized by Steven Speilberg in the film Amistad. Cinqué didn't want to be an immigrant. After the Court ordered his release he made his way back to Africa where he went into the involuntary labor recruitment business.

tola'at sfarim said...

Some blacks are more equal than others.

Laslo Spatula said...

I touched on this issue, and Samuel L. Jackson's remarks, yesterday in the Fauxhaus blog comment.

I like Jennifer Garner and I masturbate about her. What was the question?

I am Laslo.

Temujin said...

It must get to be exhausting work carefully monitoring all of the utterances, tweets, writings, and thoughts of those outside of your officially registered and approved groups. Just utterly exhausting. I'm amazed that any of them get anything productive done.

Unknown said...

Seems to me the left is very familiar with slavery. Back then, the white overlords fed, clothed, and cared for their slaves--medicine, et. al. At least the good overlords did. Slaves cost money, after all. It was only prudent to invest in your assets; take care of them.

Today, the white liberal overlords demand that we feed, clothe, and provide free medicine for their black underlings (in exchange for their vote and ability to riot on command, of course). Blacks were seen as amusements; today they amuse us in sports. How dare a black get an education back then; today it's "acting white" for a black person to get an education.

The Democrats love enslaving blacks, that's all. Nothing has changed.

--Vance

Birches said...

"He seemed to be trying to normalize the experience of slavehood..."

Carson didn't normalize the experience of slavehood. Two hundred years of slavery normalized the experience of slavehood.

Dude1394 said...

I just could care less what an author for the Democrat Times has to say.

traditionalguy said...

Carson is guilty. He is a known Trump soldier, and that makes him fair game for Alyinski Attack Mode 5. Shoot your mouth off at him on sight.

William said...

It's a stretch to say that Carson is demonstrably less intelligent or sensitive than Obama. Carson is, however, more conservative. The criticism is directed more at his underlying politics than at his words.......This is discriminatory. Why should blacks be the only group in America that are not allowed to form or express conservative opinions?

Jupiter said...

"Is it too much to hope for progress in cross-party understanding? "

I think the election of Donald Trump shows that more and more Americans are developing a fairly accurate understanding of what Democrats are like. My question is, how soon can we put a bounty on them?

tcrosse said...

This whole kerfluffle made me curious about the etymology of the term "Motherfucker". There is a considerable body of work on the subject, but too late for Black History Month.

tim in vermont said...

I won't delete my comments, because that's not how I roll, but I have to concede the possibility that ARM was being sarcastic. Parody of the left is hard, since it is almost impossible to do that slightly over the top thing that tips it off as parody, but as parody, his comment works.

hombre said...

There will be no apologies, retractions or even acknowledgments of Obama's comments. Lefties avoid cognitive dissonance by lying or denial, not by learning. They are as incapable of learning from their mistakes as they are of reconciliation.

hombre said...

See ARM's comment @ 8:46. Denial by rationalization.

Jupiter said...

AReasonableMan said...

"He seemed to be trying to normalize the experience of slavehood ..."

ARM, slavery was the norm, for most of human history. White people didn't invent slavery, but we were the first people to make it illegal. And before that, strange to say, we invented kinder, gentler slavery. Most slave populations were constantly replenished because the conditions of slavery killed them rather quickly. The slaves who were brought to the Southern United States actually increased in number. Nothing of the sort happened in South America or the Caribbean. So yes, the African-American experience of slavery was different from the historical norm. That's why you had better keep your white ass the Hell out of South Chicago if you know what's good for you. And you do know what's good for you, don't you, my non-racist little friend? And should it be necessary, you'll have the Derbyshire talk with that daughter you're so proud of. But you'll tell her not to mention it to her liberal friends, because they might not understand.

Quaestor said...

ARM wrote: He seemed to be trying to normalize the experience of slavehood in way that Obama did not in his comments.

...seems to be trying... That's nth degree weasel wording, extreme even for you, ARM. BTW, the word is slavery, not your worthless neologism.

Drago said...

Jupiter: "ARM, slavery was the norm, for most of human history."

And still very much a "norm" in muslim dominated countries.

But that's okay because "muslim".

Quaestor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Quaestor said...

There are many kinds of immigrants, some voluntary, others involuntary. Someone like AReasonMan would retort with something like Suppose Quaestor were kidnapped and taken to mud brick village in Mali, would he be considered an immigrant? Perhaps... the test would be whether having regained my liberty I chose to stay.

Jupiter said...

Drago said...

"And [slavery is] still very much a "norm" in muslim dominated countries.

But that's okay because "muslim".

Well, of course. And if you go wandering around the South Side of Tripoli, you won't need to worry about being attacked by the descendants of all the Christian slaves the Muslims brought from Europe.

Achilles said...

The left is morally and intellectually dishonest.

News at 11.

Rick said...

Althouse: Is it too much to hope for progress in cross-party understanding?

We are experiencing great progress in cross party understanding. The left understands the right doesn't think those who produce less are entitled to consume the same (or more). The right understands the left hates us and will try to destroy us for that.

Original Mike said...

AReasonableMan said..."He seemed to be trying to normalize the experience of slavehood ..."

You know, I'm seeing this now, ARM. Carson is an admirer of slavery. Because, conservative, I guess. Thank you for opening my eyes.

Yancey Ward said...

I think we can conclude that if Carson had said they worked for "nothing", ARM would have then written he was wrong since they worked for "less than nothing".

Double standards require Olympian feats of goal-post moving, and ARM is the gold medal winner in that sport.

Rick said...

AReasonableMan said...
Carson said, "who worked even longer, even harder, for less". They didn't work for less they worked for nothing because they were - slaves. He seemed to be trying to normalize the experience of slavehood in way that Obama did not in his comments.

It was common for people to work for room and board. Were slaves supported differently? Of course. Would it be accurate to describe the level slaves experienced as "less? Of course!

There's a certain kind of leftist who lives to accuse others of racism. People like this will always be assholes because they enjoy it.

Gahrie said...

He seemed to be trying to normalize the experience of slavehood ..."

Well from a historical point of view, slavery is normal. It has existed in every culture society and civilization. Every race has owned slaves, every race has been slaves. Slavery as it existed in North America was not particularly evil or unique in anyway. In fact, compared to slavery in the rest of the western hemisphere, slavery in the US was pretty benign.

AReasonableMan said...

Ben Carson said ...
"The slave narrative and immigrant narrative are two entirely different experiences. Slaves were ripped from their families and their homes and forced against their will after being sold into slavery by slave traders.

The immigrants made the choice to come to America. They saw this country as a land of opportunity. In contrast, slaves were forced here against their will and lost all their opportunities. We continue to live with that legacy."

Achilles said...

You have to work really really hard to be as intellectually dishonest as AnotRM.

Rance Fasoldt said...

I am a native American, since I was born here. My ancestors came at different times from different parts of Europe. A lot of Siberian-Americans, from many tribes like the Sioux, Crow, Cheyenne, etc. were born here, so they qualify as native Americans, too, even though their ancestors arrived at different times. Q.E.D.

Big Mike said...

Ben Carson has saved the lives of quite literally hundreds of children, and there are people all over the world who thank God for Ben Carson. Does anyone say that about ARM?

n.n said...

[class] diversity claims two more victims... and a JournoList and his integrity are soon parted.

David said...

AReasonableMan said...
Carson said, "who worked even longer, even harder, for less". They didn't work for less they worked for nothing because they were - slaves. He seemed to be trying to normalize the experience of slavehood in way that Obama did not in his comments.


You can bet they worked their asses off once Emancipation came. Still do. The slaves became former slaves and then of course a new set of problems. A long continuum.

n.n said...

Unless you are one of the first Americans, a Native American, we are all descended from folks who came from someplace else

America has a geographical disposition and legal jurisdiction. In the former, there were two waves of immigrants from West and East. In the latter, native Americans were citizens at the time of this nation's founding. Today, native Americans are "the People", "our Posterity", and those naturalized by the rules set forth by Congress.

YoungHegelian said...

Okay, let's take an example that's not from the New World and has nothing to do with the history of the New World.

The first European settlers of Australia were sent there by the British authorities since they were criminals & it was a penal colony (see e.g. Dicken's "Great Expectations"). They certainly didn't emigrate from GB voluntarily. What do we call those deported prisoners?

Immigrants. Settlers.

When you look back at the history of European colonial settlement everywhere in the world, "emigration by free choice" covers a fairly small minority of the upper crusty types. Stay home & live in grinding poverty, stay home & starve, stay home and get put into the army as cannon fodder, stay home & face religious or political persecution covers a lot more people.

No one had it as bad as the slaves did, but it wasn't no goddamn Caribbean cruise for anyone!

Balfegor said...

Well there's a salient difference, though. Ben Carson is descended from slaves who were taken the US against their will.

Barack Obama is not.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

AReasonableMan said...They didn't work for less they worked for nothing because they were - slaves.

I'm sure someone as learned as yourself knows that many slaves, in the US and elsewhere, were in fact paid for some of their work, right ARM? I read a really interesting study on trade between slaves in the US but I can't find a link now--as I recall the most common source of funds were crafts slaves were allowed to sell on their own and "gifts" given by slavemasters either for extra work or for holidays (mostly Christmas, I think). Many slaves were allowed to cultivate small gardens for themselves and could trade or sell what they grew, as well. In colonial times a number of slaves (not indentured servants, actual slaves) "bought" themselves by saving up money over time (including, it think, prizes/purses from athletic competitions). Purchased manumission, I think it's called.

I'm almost positive Fredrick Douglass recounted earning money by hiring himself off for manual labor (building a road?) and having to give a portion of his wages to his master. It's been a while since I read his autobiography, but I think it's there. I don't think it was a very unusual practice, but like most things involving slavery in the US the custom probably varied a lot with geography, etc.

Anyway Roman slaves routinely earned wages from their masters. They were expected to buy most of their food and clothing from their wages, but if they managed to save or invest the money they could purchase their freedom, as well. So the idea that slaves never earned wages is historically unsound.

David said...

"Slavery as it existed in North America was not particularly evil or unique in anyway. In fact, compared to slavery in the rest of the western hemisphere, slavery in the US was pretty benign."

I think "benign" is not a good choice of word. There was little benign about the American slave system. It was based on the overwhelming physical power of the state, and by design exploitive. The slaves lacked civil rights in any sense that of those afforded whites. It is true that the rates of mortality for slaves in the United States was quite different than in the rest of the Western Hemisphere. The US was the only place where the slave population increased by reproduction in slave families. Elsewhere there was a continuing need for importation, which was illegal and largely absent from the United States after 1808. This seems to have been due largely to the type of work American slaves did and the ability of slaves to sustain family units for support of all. The mortality in the United States was considerably higher on rice plantations, where the work was more difficult and water and insect borne illness was rampant.

There is a lot of argument about why American slaves were able to increase population. Working conditions and the ability of the slaves to sustain family continuity have always seem to me to be the best explanations.

Keep in mind the notion of "the power of the state." Many accounts criticize the slave owners as the source of power over slaves and for abuse of slaves. But the slave owners were powerful only because they had the backing of the established governments. Once that power was dissolved by the Civil War, the power of the owners also evaporated.


n.n said...

Catastrophic Anthropogenic Immigration Reform is a recurring event.

David said...

The key point is that THE SLAVES did not allow the experience of slavery to be normalized. There were no people in a better position to understand the difference between slavery and freedom than the slaves themselves. They had to submit to slavery because of the overwhelming power of the slave owners and the states which supported them. Nevertheless, it is clear that American slaves always held out hope for freedom., and engaged in small acts of resistance to the extent possible. They had learned via painful experience that large and aggressive acts of resistance were suppressed and punished rapidly with cruel and overwhelming force. When the Civil War came, resistance grew, especially among freed slaves who joined the Union army, but also through flight to Union lines and work slowdowns over time.

As a group over time, American slaves as a group used their limited power remarkable effectively.

Drago said...

We are mere moments away from the left claiming Ben Carson was calling for the imposition of slavery.

There is always a pattern to this narrative from the left.

http://hotair.com/archives/2008/09/12/whoopi-to-mccain-do-i-have-to-be-worried-about-becoming-a-slave-again/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7Q1I6PIIuY

Joe Biden: "They're Going to Put Y'all Back in Chains"

Left Bank of the Charles said...

You've fallen for the click bait headline. Only 1 of the 11 Obama quotes in the article uses the word immigrant.

But there was nothing wrong with what Ben Carson said. There is also an assumption that all white people arrived here voluntarily that merits exploration.

John said...

Re Australian immigrants:

Between the prison hulks in England and the actual voyage many spent a year or more chained below decks comparable to a slave ship.

Captains of slave ships had incentive to keep their slaves alive on the voyage. They had already paid for them and would get nothing for a dead African.

The captains of the Australian ships had an incentive not to keep their cargo alive. They got paid for the voyage. If adead prisoner didn't eat, the captain kept the money. Some oversight by govt but not much.

Barbara tuchman in the Fatal Shore is pretty good on the horrors the transportees faced before, during and after the voyage. Directly comparable in many ways to American slavery

John Henry

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

The Fatal Shore was written by Robert Hughes, not Barbara Tuchman.

damikesc said...

I'd like to know what the NYT's Frank Bruni would like to say now that these words attach also to Barack Obama:
[H]e’s a great lesson — for the left as well as the right — that sensitivity is a function of sensibility, not merely of complexion or membership in a given identity group.


White prog "whiteplaining" the black experience to black people. Makes sense.

They didn't work for less they worked for nothing because they were - slaves.

Nothing ISN'T less? 10 is less than 100 and it ALSO exists.

Francisco D said...

ARM,

You are playing gotcha with wordsmithing.

Dr. Carson clearly stated, in the same sentence, that black Africans came to America as slaves.

Stop playing these childish partisan games. You lose credibility and dignity.

AReasonableMan said...

David said...
I think "benign" is not a good choice of word. There was little benign about the American slave system. It was based on the overwhelming physical power of the state, and by design exploitive. The slaves lacked civil rights in any sense that of those afforded whites.


Very thoughtful comment.

AReasonableMan said...

Left Bank of the Charles said...
You've fallen for the click bait headline. Only 1 of the 11 Obama quotes in the article uses the word immigrant.


Yes, it is a typically lazy Althouse post on this topic. She is so lazy because she knows she will receive little or no critical pushback from most of her commenters.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Is it too much to hope for progress in cross-party understanding? There is always HOPE, but....

Joseph Goebbels, Vladimir Lenin, and others would suggest not.

I am thinking an increasingly large percentage of folks are predisposed to disbelieve any information coming from the Left or the MSM.

jr565 said...

At this point I almost have a rule. If a conservative says something, the more outraged the liberals get the more likely it is that liberals
Made the same point in the past. It happens so often it's almost a truism. By same token, if there is a hate crime, the more outlandish and egregious, the more likely that it's a hoax.

AReasonableMan said...

YoungHegelian said...
The first European settlers of Australia were sent there by the British authorities since they were criminals & it was a penal colony (see e.g. Dicken's "Great Expectations"). They certainly didn't emigrate from GB voluntarily. What do we call those deported prisoners?

Immigrants. Settlers.


They are called convicts. Although their treatment was appalling there was a key difference to American slavery, they could and most did work off their penalty in their lifetime. At that point they were free to join civil society essentially unidentifiable as former convicts. In one or two generations a convict past was completely obliterated from their descendants history. Only in the last forty years or so have Australians become proud of the convicts in their past. This reflected a rising anti-British sentiment that began to view many or the convicts as political prisoners transported from Ireland and Scotland by the hated English.

Titus said...

I think part of the reason is because Obama is cool and Carson is crazy and gross.

AReasonableMan said...

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...
The Fatal Shore was written by Robert Hughes


And like most of Hughes' output it is excellent. He is one of very few art critics I have ever read who wasn't either opaque or ridiculous.

He was part of a small group in Sydney known as the Push, which also included Germaine Greer and Clive James as well as other lesser known intellectuals.

Drago said...

Titus: "I think part of the reason is because Obama is cool and Carson is crazy and gross"

And yet it is the "crazy and gross" guy who spent a career saving the lives of children.

Man, the left REALLY hates black neurosurgeons.

Gahrie said...

http://thefederalist.com/2017/03/07/11-times-barack-obama-compared-slaves-to-immigrants/

Michael McNeil said...

Perceptive French visitor to the early (1830's) United States, Alexis de Tocqueville wrote of the differing “wages” and the effective productivity of “employing” slaves versus free Americans in 19th century America:

… [T]he traveller who lets the current carry him down the Ohio till it joins the Mississippi sails, so to say, between freedom and slavery; and he has only to glance around him to see instantly which is best for mankind.

On the left bank of the river [to wit, the slave-holding state of Kentucky] the population is sparse; from time to time one sees a troop of slaves loitering through half-deserted fields; the primeval forest is constantly reappearing; one might say that society had gone to sleep; it is nature that seems active and alive, whereas man is idle.

But on the right bank [i.e., the free state of Ohio] a confused hum proclaims from afar that men are busily at work; fine crops cover the fields; elegant dwellings testify to the taste and industry of the workers; on all sides there is evidence of comfort; man appears rich and contented; he works.

The state of Kentucky was founded in 1775 and that of Ohio as much as twelve years later; twelve years in America counts for as much as half a century in Europe. Now the population of Ohio is more than 250,000 greater than that of Kentucky. [Footnote: The exact figures from the 1830 census are Kentucky, 688,844; Ohio, 937,669.]

These contrasting effects of slavery and of freedom are easy to understand; they are enough to explain the differences between ancient civilization and modern.

On the left bank of the Ohio work is connected with the idea of slavery, but on the right with well-being and progress; on the one side it is degrading, but on the other honorable; on the left bank no white laborers are to be found, for they would be afraid of being like the slaves; for work people must rely on the Negroes; but one will never see a man of leisure on the right bank: the white man's intelligent activity is used for work of every sort.

Hence those whose task it is in Kentucky to exploit the natural wealth of the soil are neither eager nor instructed, for anyone who might possess those qualities either does nothing or crosses over into Ohio so that he can profit by his industry, and do so without shame.

In Kentucky, of course, the masters make the slaves work without any obligation to pay them, but they get little return from their work, whereas money paid to free workers comes back with interest from the sale of what they produce.

The free laborer is paid, but he works faster than the slave, and the speed with which work is done is a matter of great economic importance. The white man sells his assistance, but it is bought only when needed; the black can claim no money for his services, but he must be fed the whole time; he must be supported in old age as well as in the vigor of his years, in his useless childhood as well as in his productive youth, and in sickness as well as in health.

So in both cases it is only by paying that one can get service; the free worker receives wages, the slave receives an upbringing, food, medicine, and clothes; the master spends his money little by little in small sums to support the slave; he scarcely notices it. The workman's wages are paid all at once and seem only to enrich the man who receives them; but in fact the slave has cost more than the free man, and his labor is less productive.

(/unQuote)

(Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, 1835-40; 12th Edition, 1848, edited by J. P. Mayer, translated by George Lawrence, Anchor Books, Doubleday and Co., Inc., New York, 1969.)

Chance said...

Is it not clear that Ben Carson's quote is materially different from Obama's quotes? Obama creates a distinction between immigrants and slaves whereas Carson conflates the two. Seems patently obvious to me. I'd be curious to hear nonpartisan grammatical parsing of these differing statements.

AReasonableMan said...

Chance said...
I'd be curious to hear nonpartisan grammatical parsing of these differing statements.


You just did it.

chickelit said...

Chance said...Is it not clear that Ben Carson's quote is materially different from Obama's quotes? Obama creates a distinction between immigrants and slaves whereas Carson conflates the two. Seems patently obvious to me.

This is flat-out untrue. Anyone here can read the Carson statement and compare any of the 11 comparable statements by Obama.

AReasonableMan said...

chickelit said...
Anyone here can read the Carson statement and compare any of the 11 comparable statements by Obama.


And see that they are different.

chickelit said...

And see that they are different.

In 11 different but insignificant ways.

AReasonableMan said...

It is significant that in 9 out of the 11 statements there is no mention of the word immigrant.

Francisco D said...

ARM,

You may not have created the straw man argument but you are using it in a disingenuous way. I expect more intellectual honesty.

AReasonableMan said...

The straw man was created by Althouse. There is no evidence that Obama was conflating the immigrant and slave experiences.

Gahrie said...

It is significant that in 9 out of the 11 statements there is no mention of the word immigrant.

But there are direct comparisons of various types of immigrants, with the clear implication that the importation of slaves was a form of immigration...or why mention slavery at all in his remarks?

Gahrie said...

There is no evidence that Obama was conflating the immigrant and slave experiences.

So why did Obama mention slavery at all in his remarks if the context wasn't that slavery was a form of immigration? if he wasn't saying that slavery was a form of immigration, then the inclusion of slavery was a total non sequitur that he repeated eleven times.

AReasonableMan said...

Gahrie said...
So why did Obama mention slavery at all in his remarks if the context wasn't that slavery was a form of immigration?


He was speaking, very generically, about the diverse origins of US citizens. Not conflating their experiences.

Gahrie said...

He was speaking, very generically, about the diverse origins of US citizens. Not conflating their experiences.

Bullshit. Conflating their experiences was exactly the point of what he was saying, and the purpose of his remarks.

AReasonableMan said...

It is impossible to read Obama's remarks as arguing that slavery is a form of immigration. It is incredible that someone can believe this. This is a straw man.

Gahrie said...

It is impossible to read Obama's remarks as arguing that slavery is a form of immigration.

Then why did he bring it up at a naturalization ceremony?

Gahrie said...

We say it so often, we sometimes forget what it means — we are a nation of immigrants. Unless you are one of the first Americans, a Native American, we are all descended from folks who came from someplace else — whether they arrived on the Mayflower or on a slave ship, whether they came through Ellis Island or crossed the Rio Grande.

Gahrie said...

Immigrants are people who came to the US (by whatever method) from other places.

AReasonableMan said...

"we are a nation of immigrants" - this is a generic cliche to describe the US, not a strict description. Obviously it doesn't imply that we are all immigrants. Obama explicitly notes this in the next sentence when he discusses the case of Native Americans.

"folks who came from someplace else" - this includes immigrants and slaves. It does not, in anyway, imply that slaves are immigrants.

In these various quotes Obama is trying to create a unifying narrative for the disparate groups that make up the US. He is self-evidently not trying to suggest that they had common experiences in getting here.

This is pretty basic stuff.

Bad Lieutenant said...

ARM, why are you choking on this bone? How are slaves not immigrants? Define immigrant.

Why are you even arguing, just too jazzed to see Dr. Carson take a beating and you don't want him to be relieved by what, upon reflection, appears to be merely true?

AReasonableMan said...

I think we should recall that Dr Carson did in fact recognize that he had misspoken and issued a clarification.

"I’m proud that our ancestors overcame the evil and repression that we know as slavery.

The slave narrative and immigrant narrative are two entirely different experiences. Slaves were ripped from their families and their homes and forced against their will after being sold into slavery by slave traders.

The Immigrants made the choice to come to America. They saw this country as a land of opportunity. In contrast, slaves were forced here against their will and lost all their opportunities. We continue to live with that legacy.

The two experiences should never be intertwined, nor forgotten, as we demand the necessary progress towards an America that's inclusive and provides access to equal opportunity for all."

Francisco D said...

ARM,

OK. Play your games. You remain intellectually dishonest.

And you know it.

chickelit said...

It's entirely possible that ARM feels a desperate need to protect the words and image of Barack Obama to the point of willfully lying. It would be in character. It's otherwise hard to explain ARM's denial of words' plain meaning.

AReasonableMan said...

It seems to me that Carson's clarification contains words of plain meaning.