July 3, 2008, - 3:02 pm

Honoring Washington’s Slaves: Worthy Memorial or Slap In America’s Face on Independendence Day Eve?

By Debbie Schlussel
Today, in Pennsylvania, nine slaves owned by George Washington are being honored. The timing, the day before Independence Day, was planned, and it will mark the establishment of a memorial to slaves held on federal property.
While slaves contributed monumentally to the building of America and that deserves to be–and has been–recognized, I think the timing is a slap in the face of America as we prepare to celebrate the 232nd birthday of America’s independence.
Tomorrow, when we celebrate our freedom, we will all be celebrating that, as we are all free. As we all know, unlike many Islamic countries in the world–where Blacks are still slaves today–slaves were freed, almost 1.5 centuries ago.
We don’t need to tell the world–on the eve of America’s birthday–how “bad” we are as a country, when frankly, we are a great country that long ago rid our nation of an ill that was embraced universally at the time we engaged in it.


That he owned slaves back in the 1700s does not mean that George Washington was a bad guy. On the contrary, he was a brilliant, brave founder and first President who set forth something that changed the world and let us–eventually all of us–live free.
Washington’s slaves and a memorial to other slaves would be more properly recognized at another time, perhaps during Black History Month or around the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. To do it now can only be interpreted as a deliberate dig at America at a time when all Americans should recognize how lucky we are to live here . . . and at a time when we all–regardless of race–live here in freedom and completely free.
While it is tragic that nine people lived as slaves, it is, ultimately, anything but tragic that their descendants got the good fortune to now live in freedom and relative prosperity in the greatest country on earth on this Fourth of July 2008.
And that is something to celebrate, not memorialize, on this eve of our Independence.

24 Responses

[That he owned slaves back in the 1700s does not mean that George Washington was a bad guy.]
Man, Debbie, you should’ve tried out on the TV show “Last Comic Standing”. I had one of the best belly laughs ever after reading this. I’m sure you would have had the crowd in stitches with that line.
[As we all know, unlike many Islamic countries in the world–where Blacks are still slaves today–slaves were freed, almost 1.5 centuries ago.]
Yes, out of 2000 yrs of Christianity, the last slaves were freed 150 yrs ago; about 80 yrs after the inception of the USA. Islam has been around for 1500 yrs, so I guess if they can free the slaves within 300 yrs, they’ll beat Christianity’s record.
[To do it now can only be interpreted as a deliberate dig at America at a time when all Americans should recognize how lucky we are to live here.]
If it’s of any consequence, the reason for the memorial is to get Obama elected:
“Talking about a presidential home where slaves lived and worked is especially important this year, because Americans have “a major contender for the White House that happens to be African American,” said Rosalyn McPherson, project manager of the President’s House.”
Obama ’08

Norman Blitzer on July 3, 2008 at 3:43 pm

It’s a strange strange thing that I have NEVER heard one African American ‘leader’, pastor, organizer, member of Congress, governor, mayor or any other Black American figure (except Clarence Thomas and Walter Williams and my grandmother’s best friend) say one Thank You to the men and women of the United States for conducting a hideously bloody, brutal and nearly apocalyptic civil war in their behalf … to free them, to give them citizen status and to apply to slaves all the benefits and responsibilities revealed in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
Not one.
Much bitching and moaning and general caterwauling, but not one word of thanks.
That seems so incredibly ungrateful.

Johnny Yuma on July 3, 2008 at 3:57 pm

Is NM really NP, or just a copycat? He seems to follow the tried & true NP method of ‘parsing’ sentence by sentence. Comments like this reflect the dumbing down of this country that Debbie has discussed so often; a completly ahistorical approach. These numbskulls miss the essential point about the USA, namely:
Although our country was not a perfect democracy, it contained the democratic traditions, from the beginning, that enabled it to move forward, to a point where slavery could be abolished, women could get the right to vote, and so on. Although imperfect at its founding, its democratic traditions brought over from England, enabled America to overcome the anti-Democratic features that were still leftover from the past. And of course, like most non-entities, these people try to level anyone who is greater than they, whether current politicians, or historical figures. Find a secondary or tertiary point about them, such as owning slaves, and use this to level or debase their whole personhood.
BTW, we don’t lack for opportunities for honoring black people. This year so far, we’ve had MLK’s birthday in January, Black History Month in February, the 40th anniversary of his death in April, all of which have been made much of. Who knows what the PC elites have in store for us for the second half of the year in terms of PC brainwashing?

c f on July 3, 2008 at 4:11 pm

[These numbskulls miss the essential point about the USA, namely:]
Namely that you’re an idiot, cf. Pointing out the truth is not exactly the same as bashing the USA. That’s something you right-wing boneheads just can’t seem to get through your thick skulls. Me, I love the good ol’ US of A.

Norman Blitzer on July 3, 2008 at 4:25 pm

AFAIC the only real travesty regarding slavery and America was that Liberia was never fully implemented and all blacks returned to Africa.

AlturaCt on July 3, 2008 at 4:29 pm

Having just watched the director’s cut of “1776” I don’t see this as inappropriate. The vote to ratify the constitution in Philadelphia needed to be unanimous. Slavery was a sticky issue for John Adams and when he insisted on abolishing slavery – the entire southern contingent walked out (recall the famous scene with John Collum “Molasses to rum to slaves”). Ben Franklin convinced John Adams to pick his battles wisely.

heroyalwhyness on July 3, 2008 at 4:30 pm

c f, I don’t think NB & NP are the same person. NB doesn’t think he wins debates when he calls his opponents “Stupid” —
{NB: “you’re an idiot, cf”]
Oops. Never mind.
Happy Independence Day, everyone — see you on Monday, possibly.

DocLiberty on July 3, 2008 at 6:19 pm

I find it interesting that when in classes or in conversations and the subject of slaves comes up, some people say it was always just blacks had this done by whites. The people who do this refuse to talk about the fact that plenty of blacks sold blacks into the slave trade as WELL as a bunch of whites were enslaved in the beginnings of America. The blacks want to corner the market on being the victims of slavery when in fact many people are enslaved of ALL colors around the globe and you’d sure think that the blacks would be the first to call down the black muslim groups on how they think of enslaving women and infidels. It’s just like the women’s groups have zero to say about FGM done to little girls yet they’ll keep attacking the men over warped statistics of equal pay.

diaphanous on July 3, 2008 at 7:48 pm

Any student of real American history knows that Washington was very good to his slaves. He freed all of his slaves in his will, and I think he left them some funds to be supported on. he couldn’t had freed Martha’s, as they were under her juristiction.
However, the only group to uphold slavery in the US was… Anyone want to answer? Anyone?
THE SUPREME COURT upheld slavery many times. Not just Dred Scott (which ultimately lead to the CSA/USA War), but many times did slaves use the language in the Constitution and Bill of Rights, along with many State Constitutions to gain freedom and wages. The Supreme Court kept the slaves as slaves all on their own when the majority of the US wanted to end it (except Democrat plantation owners – who also feared uprisings).
The reasons that slavery even began were repaired long before Dred Scott. However, the backward’s Leftists wanted to continue the practice, as they do today with illegal immigration and taxation. The Left can’t survive without inhuman caste systems.
We’ve made more than enough reparations for slavery. Where’s my reparations for the violence the Black Panthers, the Democrat-owned Ku Klux Klan, Weather Underground, Dykes Taking Over, Islamofacists, Enviromentalists, and the current crop of violent Leftists that call themselves “anti-war”, but act in a war manner to force their will on the rest of us.
No more reparations of this kind. If they want anything else in the way of reparations, then I’ll let them turn on the Democrats and Leftists. It’s their fault.

bhparkman on July 3, 2008 at 10:03 pm

The first person officially declared a slave for life in the early colonies (Virginia) was John Casor in 1654. His owner was a black man named Anthony Johnson.
It was a black man who kikced off slavery and many free blacks also owned slaves. Around half of white settlers were indentured servants. The way history is taught in this country is a digrace to profession.

Danube on July 3, 2008 at 11:56 pm

Let the record show that in an era of slaves being KICKED off the plantation that didn’t work or worse yet being whipped or murdered, Washington allowed his slaves to stay on and the elderly slaves were taken care of. He didn’t have to do that. The younger ones got away with doing NOTHING because he felt an obligation to take care of these otherwise unemployed (screwed) poor people that nobody else wanted to support.

samurai on July 4, 2008 at 12:07 am

You know it Debbie. They never want let go of the past. America is best country in world. These guys never suffered slavery of any kind. All those guys want is Reparations. It’s all about money. Any lame excuse to milk false guilt about the past.
And I’m speak as black women.

dannygirl on July 4, 2008 at 2:47 am

Philis Wheatly, Sojouner of Truth, and Benjamin Bankier got to meet George Washinton. They thought he was a great man. If people like Wheatly, Sojouner, and Bankier can forgive in that day. Why can’t we? When we inherit the freedoms they only envisioned. This holding on to the past and still calling America racist for once having slavery, forgetting we had a Civil War to end slavery. Inwhich almost a half million soldiers died. It is totally bogus. This whole thing about reparations. It about money.

dannygirl on July 4, 2008 at 2:59 am

“And I’m speak as black women.”
…and just how many black women am you speaking for?
“This holding on to the past and still calling America racist for once having slavery, forgetting we had a Civil War to end slavery.”
The civil war wasn’t really about ending slavery, and even Abraham Lincoln did not believe that African_Americans should be allowed to live with the same rights and equalities that white people enjoy.
One last thing Danny girl – as an (alleged) ‘black women’ don’t you consider that America is a racist country as evidenced by what happened in New Orleans after Katrina, or in Georgia pretty much every day?

No Pasaran! on July 4, 2008 at 4:36 am

“‘black women’ don’t you consider that America is a racist country as evidenced by what happened in New Orleans”
Huh? What exactly happened in NO?

AlturaCt on July 4, 2008 at 8:44 am

NP, yeah America is a racist country. Black America with BET, Jet magazine, Ebony mag, NAACP, UNITED NEGRO COLLEGE FUND, etc. Not to mention the NOI.
Thanks for shedding light on racist America. Jerk. Go back to Africa if America is sooooo bad.

samurai on July 4, 2008 at 9:54 am

Are Blacks owed reparations from anyone for being enslaved? Yes….from Arabs / MUSLIMS ,and other Black tribes in Africa, the ones who originally enslaved,raped,brutalized,and committed far worse atrocities against them, than Whitey ever. If you’d do some real research, instead of believing the likes of Henry Louis Gates,Leonard Jeffries,Chuck D and other rappers galore,Maya Angelou,Sister Souljah,and yes,Alex Haley, you’d find that out.
And say whatever you want about the Founding Fathers being hypocrites about freedom while owning slaves. At least they never cannibalized them,as did many,many Black tribes in Africa did with theirs.Outrageous but true.
And how about reparations for WHITE slaves – from England,Scotland,Ireland – who outnumbered Black slaves here, from the early to very late 1600s? Who were treated even worse than Black slaves, who got cut loose,then had little place to go,ended up becoming all the White “trash”/”rednecks”/ “hillbillies” throughout Appalachia and the Southeast and Midwest, and, many generations later,still are? That all the White and Jewish Northeast and West Coast “intellectuals” ,comedians, and other know-it-alls,claim were the biggest villains of racism and “oppressors” of Blacks,and,still claim they have such power to this day( When in reality,it’s they who are the oppressed and hopeless )?

OldSchoolW on July 4, 2008 at 12:11 pm

Dude you are living in past. But with a name like Pasaran, do you have any African in you at all?? I do. Maybe you have Arab or Indian, huh? And I miss spoke. that is “speaking as a black woman”. Psst, with a little dutch in me too.
No,I do not think that America is a racist country at all. I love my country. No place no place in world I’d rather live. Only the people that want hold to past seem far more racist. You watch to much BBC man. Not a accurate depiction. Missipi was flooded too and even today. Not once did they scream racism at the slow response. Many from Missipi have been made homeless too. The racism about the Leevy stuff is Nation Of Islam, Louis Farrakhan lie.The NOI dudes can’t help themselves. They want money. Any excuse will do.
See Cya!
PS: I must now break my guitar and strum a new tune for my most unhappy friend Pasaran. Lol!

dannygirl on July 4, 2008 at 1:37 pm

No Pasaran!,
You believe in in yet another lie, told by the liberal socilist. The civil was about ending slavery. Almost 1/2 million Americans fought and died over nothing? Abraham Linclon was chosen by the Free Soil party, that later became the Repulican party. Abraham Lincoln wrote many essay against slavery. Sojourner Truth and Harriet Beecher Stowe both got to Meet him. Sojouner truth got to meet both George Washington and Abraham Linclon. She said they were the only American Presidents she ever wanted to met.
Parsarn, You are probably from the UK or some place in Europe, you believe every media, socialist, and liberal lie. You do not know American History. No nation is with out a troubled past. But today we all have bright future. I on the other hand, know American History very well. Dude, there no sense in living the past. It’s just to make any excuse to bring accusation. Which is a contrived reason stir up people resentment and anger. It also to reason to extort money.
A Honey Mustard Brown Mama!

dannygirl on July 4, 2008 at 1:51 pm

My father’s parents (Hungarian) escaped persecution in Romania and came to the USA.
My wife’s parents were SLAVES of the Nazis in Poland. I LOVE to tell this to Black friends.
We are the luckiest people alive, as are all other Americans, that our ancestors were brought to the USA – by different paths, of course.
Just this morning, on NPR, they played a reenactment of a speech by Fredrick Douglas – rubbing it in that “Americans Owned Slaves”.

Frank on July 4, 2008 at 4:03 pm

So Danny Girl, why do you hate yourself so much?

No Pasaran! on July 5, 2008 at 2:48 am

Dear No Pasaran,
“So Danny Girl, why do you hate yourself so much?”
You are one angry funny Dude! Lol! If forgetting, forgiving, and living in the present is self hating. You got me! Peace out Dude! Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!
Lol! lol lol lol!

dannygirl on July 5, 2008 at 9:18 am

No self hating is for a black woman to want to spend time her spare on a website run by racists for racists, and choosing to AGREE with them.

No Pasaran! on July 5, 2008 at 12:23 pm

My ancestors were ‘enslaved’ by the Romans, boo-hoo. I’ve benefited greatly from it. Lucky me, I inherited a superior civilization, and the Romans lost their empire in the process. Who’s really the victim?

John Harper on July 6, 2008 at 6:50 pm

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