Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics: Slavery and the 1.6%

The 1.6% and Slavery

The following is a tale of memes, bad history, poor logic, and misleading statistics. It is also a story about how information on Facebook can come unmoored from its original context and find itself applied in startlingly different directions. Above all, this narrative has to do with the way in which parts of the internet have helped perpetuate a culture of partisanship and intellectual sloppiness.

The meme above has circulated on Facebook for some time. One Thing after Another has traveled throughout the internet to find its origins—alas, without success. Like many other images, videos, messages, and memes on the internet, it has metastasized to the extent that it is impossible to locate where this tumor began.

What is clear, though, is that this kind of meme is a product of social media. Social media place a premium on concision, that is, the short, snappy expression of ideas. That is probably why wit, attempts at wit, or what passes for wit, seem to dominate posts on Facebook and, of course, Twitter; as we all know (or should know), brevity is the soul of wit. At the same time, the disposable nature of posts on platforms like Facebook (and particularly Snapchat) make for an environment that is not conducive to real discussion, mindfulness, or thought.

In their sober moments, most people probably understand these problems instinctually. And perhaps one can even realize how the nature of the social media world makes it particularly susceptible to hoaxes and other stupid gambits. Remember that one about how Mark Zuckerberg was going to give away $4.5 million to Facebook users who shared a “thank you” message? But why not latch onto a concrete example that involves history—such as the meme above that has aroused One Thing after Another’s ire?

The meme above is not particularly special. In fact, it is exemplary. It is a product of Facebook. It seems incisive, it sounds authoritative, and it appears relevant. It even cites a source in an official-sounding way. Only the dullest or most uninformed person could fail to catch the progressive message that makes an analogy between the 1.6% of 1860 and those who have been labeled the “1%” today. The rich, so the message seems to say, used us for their own purposes then in just the way that they use us now. Yet, like much else on Facebook, this meme is manipulative when it isn’t misleading. Its facts are wrong, its reasoning is faulty, and the analogy it makes is specious. And yet, when you look at the public’s reaction to this meme, you find that nobody is critical or educated enough to call it out.

We should begin by explaining what is wrong with this meme. Let us start with the 1.6% figure which was supposedly obtained from the Census of 1860. If one divides the number of slaveowners by the total free population of the United States, the figure is actually closer to 1.4%, but that’s not the main problem. Calculating the figure in such a way at all really minimizes the proportion of people who had a stake in slavery. First, determining the number of slaveowners relative to the number of “U.S. Citizens” is beside the point. Slaveowners did not “convince” all Americans “to fight a civil war.” Rather, they ostensibly convinced “the majority of southerners” to take up arms (more about why that statement is problematic later). For that reason, the number of slaveowners should be compared to the number of Southerners. But this issue brings us to a second distortion. If we want to figure out slavery’s true heft in the South, we really ought to establish how many families owned slaves. Doing so would show us how many white Southerners had an immediate interest in slavery. After all, the head of the household was not the only member of the family to value slavery. His wife, his children, and any other dependents had a stake in the institution. Indeed, as his children grew older, they too, in all likelihood, would become slaveowners themselves.

Figuring out what proportion of Southern families owned slaves is really quite simple. The University of Virginia has a Historical Census Browser that allows one to search, map, and calculate figures associated with various censuses (the calculator for the Census of 1860 is here). One Thing after Another has run the figures, but for convenience’s sake, we refer you to Andrew Hall at Dead Confederates: A Civil War Era Blog who has presented them in a tidy table. As you can see, about 31% of the families in the states that seceded owned slaves. The range runs from 49% of families in Mississippi to 20% of families in Arkansas. In some ways, these figures don’t even begin to capture slavery’s centrality to Southern social and economic life. Let us push to the side that slaves were responsible for producing the South’s main cash crops or that slaveowners often rented out slaves to those who did not have them. Let us just focus on the fact that almost a third of families in the Confederate states owned slaves. That figure gives one a much better sense of slavery’s gravity than “1.6%.”

Given these figures, a great number of these slaveowners could not have been “rich plantation owners.” In fact, according to the Census of 1850, half of all slaveowning families owned between one to four slaves. There were great plantation owners with over 100 slaves, but there were fewer than 8,000 families in this position in 1850 (compared to the almost 175,000 families that owned between one and four slaves). Clearly, slavery’s strength did not rest on the power of a few rich men. Rather, its strength was grounded in its distribution among a great many middling men.

This point is confirmed by Joseph Glatthaar’s General Lee’s Army: From Victory to Collapse. A very high proportion of men who volunteered to serve in the Confederacy’s Army of Northern Virginia were slaveowners, belonged to families of slaveowners, or had some connection to slavery. “Rich plantation owners” did not need to convince such men to fight; they were already willing to fight. And that fact completely undermines the point of our unfortunate meme.

Such a picture of slavery makes nonsense of the claim that slavery “reduced the value of their [Southerners’] own labor and pay.” Starting with Robert Fogel and Stanley Engerman’s Time on the Cross: The Economics of American Negro Slavery (1974), which was the first work to subject the economics of slavery to serious study, it has become increasingly clear to historians that slavery was very lucrative. That is why so many Southerners bought slaves. If Southerners did not invest in railroads or factories, that was because investment in slaves who could grow cotton was much more profitable. That fact accounts for the enormous amount of Southern capital tied up in slaves during the antebellum period. Confidence in the profitability of slavery was reflected by the fact that the price of slaves was skyrocketing up to the outbreak of the Civil War.

Some of you might read this post and think to yourself, “Congratulations One Thing after Another, are you proud of yourself for destroying a dumb meme?” No, One Thing after Another is not proud. The problem is that you can search the internet far and wide without locating a refutation of this meme. In fact, wherever you find this meme posted, you are sure to see that it has elicited a variety of comments that reveal the degree to which the ideas of historians and the beliefs of the public are separated by an enormous abyss. In other words, the meme seems to evoke historical lunacy and delusions among commenters.

Not only that, but the misinformation associated with this meme has spawned other inaccurate memes that repackage the “facts” in a very different interpretive framework.

The 1.6% of whites

If our initial meme was progressive in outlook, its offspring leans in a very different direction which is just as mistaken and just as dangerous (if not more so). What further memes will this meme generate? Where does it all end? How can academia counter the rapidly pullulating mass of memes that apparently pass for education on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest? By writing a blog post?



  1. Your analysis immediately lets “off the hook” all Northerners as we were not slave owners for the most part. Not all “whites” were involved yet all “whites” share equally in the disparagement. Also, why is the term ‘white” not deemed demeaning but the term “black” is somehow. You define “whites” by a name not really descriptive of their skin color just as we are accused of defining “blacks” by a name not really descriptive of their skin color. We most stop pointing fingers and trying to place blame for the sins of our fathers (actually great-great-grandfathers) and solve the problems of today on today’s terms, with love, understanding and forgiveness.

    1. All whites do not share in the disparagement or discrimination, and or much less slavery. Hundreds of thousands of whites left their families, wives, and infant children to fend for them selves on small farms in the north; to go and die in the fight against secession and slavery. More than 250,000 died and and more than a half million were maimed or crippled on the side of the Union. It’s about time the black race give these people credit for what they did. Black people did not free themselves and the black race in America is delving in hatred against whites in general which is a product of ignorant self education internalized.

      1. Yes, and the vast majority of the 250,000 who died on the side of the Union were REPUBLICANS. The vast majority of those who died for the south were DEMOCRATS.

      2. You are correct that many whites risked life and limb to fight against slavery. You slide off the rails when you take that fact and use it to demean others. “the black race in America is delving in hatred against whites” is a loaded statement and says more about your preconceptions than about how people actually feel and behave.

      3. You just proved my point! You say even mentioning how white people died to abolish slavery demeans black people. Please tell me what then doesn’t demean black people. That’s their problem they need to get over their psuedo masochistic self patronizing cry baby attitudes. Many people and various races have been enslaved or owned slaves throughout history. It is the worst but you don’t have to live in self pity and self denial forever. Raise people to have morals and succeed not to be afraid of work because your ancestors were slaves. Blacks need to stop crying racist, and if you don’t know how prevalent black racists are you must be living in a cocoon.

      4. @ John Henry Host,

        “Black people did not free themselves and the black race in America is delving in hatred against whites in general which is a product of ignorant self education internalized.”

        It took the civil war to free blacks, and even then they weren’t free from the failures of reconstruction-sharecropping and Jim Crow laws! Besides we didn’t have the means, of financing to fund a war to free ourselves, we weren’t an educated people back then in America, because it was illegal to educate slaves!

        The black race in America is a monolith, therefore you should address us individually like this article is stating only 1.4% of whites owned slaves, not just the rich, but the bourgeoisie, or middle class owned them as well.

        All black don’t delve into hating white people! That’s just ignorance, and wrong thinking on your part! And the product of ignorance you speak about was attributed to “white privilege” during The Jim Crow Era! Even today the school system in this country is screwed-up, and yes discrimination still exist whether you choose to believe it, or not!

        I wish whites could experience first hand what slavery was all about! I wish we could do a roll-reversal of the approaching 400-years of slavery, oppression, segregation, discrimination, and Jim Crow Era Laws, so you could experience the treatment of being hunted, captured, separated from your motherland and traded into slavery! I wish whites could experience the very essence of violence of being ripped from your mother’s breast, being whipped, the division and brutal rape of both male and female! Especially the rape of black men (bucking) in front of their families—something that still happens in war to break a man and his family!

        I wish whites could experience families being constantly being sold to other slave traders and not knowing your heritage the way you can trace yours! I wish whites could experience a black woman being repeatedly rape by her slave masters and traders against her will then selling the baby.. I wish whites could experience the hatred, violent murders, lynchings, and maimings at the hands of the KKK, and the shear terrorism that America accuses others of but was the first to conduct and condone!

        I wish whites could experience the civil rights struggle and movement, and I don’t mean participate in it either! I so wish you and your race could experience this first hand so you could stop telling blacks and people of color to just forget about it, because it has been over 400-years since all that happened! Blacks built America, and was promised reparations, but non was paid, but white America enjoyed free slave labor!

        I wish whites could experience the Black Holocaust of 100-million blacks, and people of color from the TransAtlantic Slave Trade up until now that no one talks about, but we are constantly reminded about The Jewish Holocaust constantly! Where 6-million were murdered at the hands of Nazi Germany! And we are told there’s no need for a Black History Month!

        The Japanese were paid one-billion in reparations, and their-kind bombed Pearl Harbor! I wish your kind could walk those many many thousands of miles and then some, and maybe, just maybe you could understand the cascading events and tragedies of slavery visited upon blacks, and people of color at the hands of some of your forefathers! And I didn’t even touch on the theft, massacre and wholesale killing of The American Native Indians!

        Black Lives Matter!

      5. You wish whites could experience what slavery was all about? Why is that? Being as blacks living today haven’t even experienced it. Blacks were paid with Affirmative Action.

      6. @Mr. M

        What an insulting post. Whites have certainly experienced the same atrocities that black slaves did. Your comment shows extreme ignorance. Whites have been enslaved throughout history or maybe you are ignorant about the Muslim slave trade which raided European shores for centuries.

        Here’s just a few examples – the Irish by the English (Potato Famine), Jews in Nazi Germany and throughout history, Armenians and Greeks in Turkey (genocide), gulags in the Soviet Union which involved torture/hard labor and included not just the Russia but the satellite countries. My grandparents left Lithuania before WWI. Do you really think my relatives who were left behind had it easy living through WWI, WWII and living under Soviet oppression which lead to 300,000 Lithuanians being deported to Siberia. The eyewitness accounts from the few survivors outstrip anything that black slaves endured.

        The white lower classes have been oppressed for millenia. Whether it was peasants in medieval Europe, serfs in Russia, poor in Victorian London, they all had short, brutish lives living in filth. And, even coming to America, life for many was very difficult. Native Americans had barbaric tortures of captives. Children of the lower classes had to work in backbreaking, dangerous jobs 12 hours a day for 6 days a week at very young ages to supplement the meager wages of their parents. Life for many immigrants during the Industrial Revolution meant living in disease ridden tenements, 5-9 people to a room, and working 14-16 hours a day, six days a week for little pay.

        So don’t give whites crap about not experiencing extreme hardship or slavery.

    2. Northern white democrats owned slaves. The war was about the northern anti-slavery Republicans against the northern and southern pro-slavery Democrats. It was not north against south… it was Republicans against Democrats. Not one Republican owned slaves in 1860. Prove me wrong.

      1. “Not one Republican owned slaves in 1860”


        One example: Every Republican Congressman from Kentucky, which did not accept the party’s “containment” platform, owned slaves between 1854 and 1864.

        But don’t let that stop your preconceived notions.

      2. I hope this sheds light on your “republican” and “democrat” issue is resolved. Things tend to change over time.

    1. Absolutely the point! Who still living had any say in the ownership of slaves? That whole argument is so tired and I’m tired of listening to it. My ability to sympathize is gone.

      1. Let’s not be discriminatory here, there are whites, blacks, Asians, Hispanics, etc, who haven’t changed in racist attitudes. That’s just the nature of the human population, it will always produce some with less intelligence, less rational-thinking ability.

      2. a FAR greater number of blacks are racist compared to whites…if your so against slavery,did you know there are OVER 29 MILLION black slaves TODAY in Muslim countries? what have YOU done about that?

    2. Yes. Based on the 1860 U.S. Census, only about 8% of American families owned slaves, and these were concentrated in the South. Most white American families actually did not own slaves.

      Also, hundreds of thousands of Union soldiers shed their blood to preserve the Union without slavery. In my family, two Union soldiers suffered grevious injuries. Their sacrifice is worth something as well.

  2. From my perspective, your article seems to support the analogy more than debunk it. It suggests that if the 1.6% throw a big enough bone to the next class of citizens then they can buy their cooperation in oppressing the lowest class. In the end, everyone is just some level of servant to the 1.6%. Think of Sambo and Quimbo in Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

  3. The meme says ALL U.S. citizens. You agree and actually say its closer to 1.4% than the 1.6% mentioned in the meme. Then you go ahead and change the parameters of the meme and say its wrong. With your math you are adding 1 month old babies to your numbers and 1 year olds. Does that seem fair? Does a 1 month old have a say on the households slavery decisions? Basically this whole article is just a giant meme

    1. The main reason the figure drops is because the original counts the entire population of the US in 1860. If you add back in the 3.5 million slaves, the math works out. So yes, you’re also counting babies and that doesn’t seem fair. Neither does putting together your math to excuse 3.5 million people in the US being treated like livestock. Nor does ignoring the large family standing to gain from slavery as an economic model by only counting the one man in the family that holds the paper.

  4. Interestingly, approximately the same % of free blacks held black slaves as well. And white indentured servants, which were effectively slaves as well.

  5. According to the opinions of the author, the family members of slave owners are also considered slave owners by default.
    Therefore, instead of 1.6% reported by the 1860 census of overall US population being slave owners, the Author would like us all to believe that number is actually between 20% to 49%.
    Using the same logic, I’m certain the author would have no problem agreeing by default that 100% of decedents of slaves are violent criminals.
    If the author disagrees in any way, the “family association by default” argument should be thrown in the trash.
    You can’t hold the family responsible or count them in either argument, period.

    1. I’m confused. If 31% of families in the south owned slaves, how what % of the population owned slaves? Do you mean 31% of people were within families that owned slaves? And that 69% of people were not within families that owned slaves? I think your writing is confusing. Thanks, Craig.

    2. I don’t understand the link between enslaved people being violent criminals? Are you attempting to say that enslaved people were violent criminals and thusly, there descendants will be also? Your analogy doesn’t make sense. What is the likelihood/ratio of 1000 enslaved people born in 1725 having all of his/her descendants become violent criminals in 1750, 1775, 1800, 1825, etc? You know, there were descendants of slaves in the 18th and 19th century. What is the likelihood of 1000 slave owners in 1725 willing to their children any living slaves and their off spring? He’s basing his conjecture off an odd or likelihood.

      But what’s puzzling is someone who refers to an enslaved person as a violent criminal when the system of slavery is a crime against humanity itself.

      1. I think Sleddog’s point is that if you take the number of black people incarcerated present-day, for violent crimes and then you counted all the extended family members of each of them as equally guilty, it would sound much more heinous about the entire black race than the true number of people who actually committed the crimes. And the same thing applies to the premise about the families of slave-holders on which this article is based. I can’t speak for him, of course, but that was my take on his comment.

    3. It is a FACT that the VAST majority of whites, even in the south, did NOT own slaves. Which were predominantly owned only by the wealthy. It is also a fact that 3,000 free blacks in Louisiana alone owned 20,000 black slaves, themselves. This statistic is readily available for anyone spending an honest 2 minutes of research. Another fact that blacks like to ignore, is that the slaves that were shipped over to the USA from Africa were obtained from Black slave traders. Historically speaking, Arabs, Muslims, and blacks, have owned and traded, more black slaves that any white man ever dreamed of.

  6. One thing that the doubters of the 1.6% figure seem to not understand, is that the civil war was NOT fought solely on the slave issue. It was much more a states rights issue.

    1. Dallas – You said “is that the civil war was NOT fought solely on the slave issue. It was much more a states rights issue”.

      The left have painted themselves into a corner on this issue. Some on the left know this fact, but others have been so indoctrinated that they cannot accept this fact. So, the first set are, in fact liars, and the others are just sadly wrong, and should drop themselves from any argument involving the Civil War and slavery’s part in it.

      The area of discourse where you can see this misinformation is in all discussions involving the “Confederate Flag”. To the left, it is solely a symbol of slavery. Being the battle flag, it is, therefore, the symbol of white’s desire to keep blacks enslaved in the Confederate States.

      Facts, of course, speak differently.

    2. James W. Loewen:

      Confederate states did claim the right to secede, but no state claimed to be seceding for that right. In fact, Confederates opposed states’ rights — that is, the right of Northern states not to support slavery.

      On Dec. 24, 1860, delegates at South Carolina’s secession convention adopted a “Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union.” It noted “an increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery” and protested that Northern states had failed to “fulfill their constitutional obligations” by interfering with the return of fugitive slaves to bondage. Slavery, not states’ rights, birthed the Civil War.

      South Carolina was further upset that New York no longer allowed “slavery transit.” In the past, if Charleston gentry wanted to spend August in the Hamptons, they could bring their cook along. No longer — and South Carolina’s delegates were outraged. In addition, they objected that New England states let black men vote and tolerated abolitionist societies. According to South Carolina, states should not have the right to let their citizens assemble and speak freely when what they said threatened slavery.

      The politics behind the Confederate flag controversy in South Carolina Play Video1:37
      South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) announced she supports removing the Confederate flag from the state capitol grounds. Here’s what you need to know about the history of the flag in the state and what needs to happen to have it removed. (Jorge Ribas/The Washington Post)
      Other seceding states echoed South Carolina. “Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery — the greatest material interest of the world,” proclaimed Mississippi in its own secession declaration, passed Jan. 9, 1861. “Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of the commerce of the earth. . . . A blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization.”

      The South’s opposition to states’ rights is not surprising. Until the Civil War, Southern presidents and lawmakers had dominated the federal government. The people in power in Washington always oppose states’ rights. Doing so preserves their own.

    3. Yeah, a state’s right to own slaves. The slave issue was listed in the declaration of the secession. Slavery was a central reason to the secession of the traitorous and treasonous south.

  7. Let’s assume that slavery was the overwhelming issue in the South’s need to take up arms. I don’t agree with the author of this piece’s idea that family members are guilty of owning slaves when their father’s owned them. However, to be fair, the notion isn’t totally without merit. I don’t know how we could determine which family members were for slavery and which were against, so I will just go with the number of slave owners. According to the 1860 census (I’m haven’t looked, but am taking this as fact from sites I have read), there were 385,000 slave owners at the start of the Civil War.

    Dallas and the author of the piece brought up good facts about ownership. 175,000 of the 385,000 held between 1 and 4 slaves. Slaves were not cheap. The average Southerner did not make a lot of money. Mistreating your slave would be financially, well for lack of a better word, stupid. I guess, since the left are able to be racist, they have no problem saying, “slave owners in the south, just by being white, are stupid”, so to them, mistreatment would occur in all cases.

    Many of these slaves stayed with the families after they were freed by the 13th Amendment. Many were dearly loved by the members of the enslaving family, and dearly loved the members of the enslaving family, and were not mistreated. They were paid in food, clothing, and shelter. If you don’t think this is payment, try to barter this from an employer today, not claim it as income (payment), and see that the IRS has to say.

    Most, if not all, in this situation, had better living conditions than blacks in areas of Africa do today. But that is not what slavery was about. It is an insult to those that endured slavery to talk about money “not paid”. They were not free to choose their mate. They were not free to choose their way of life. They were not able to “come and go” as they chose. Those are the pains of slavery. But do they generate income? Should this alone be worth money to their descendants? Who knows, by going out on their own, they might have been killed, They might have committed crimes, and ended up incarcerated. They might ended up exactly where they did financially, they might have ended up less off, that is deeply in debt. Or, they might have done better financially. There is no way of knowing. How can you come up with a number someone owes you for what your ascendants might have made???

    Next, the majority of slaves…

  8. My previous comment, of course, was not the condition of the majority of slaves. 210,000 owned more than 4 slaves, some of these would be as my previous comment, and some would be as this next comment:

    Only 8,000 owned more than 100 slaves. It is here that there was not much of a chance to form any sort of bond with the owners. It is here that a “runner” was very dangerous to the operations of the estate, because so much money was invested in slave ownership. If one tries to run, and isn’t severely punished, then more might try. This is where there was little direct interaction between owner and slave. That also led to mistreatment. Sometimes horribly harsh treatment.

    These 8,000 held most of the money within the South. While the GNP of the South was much less than the North, prior to the war, the per capita income was higher in the South. Actually much higher. That’s because although much less money, there were far fewer to average out against. It was the space needed for the plantations, and the fact that the black laborers were not counted that made the South look, by that stat to be wealthier per capita than the North. In fact, the wealth was controlled by the 8,000.

    So, because of 8,000 huge plantation owners, the left considers all whites as evil demons. For no other reason than carrying the white gene, all whites lust for ways to hold blacks down. Even if you count all 385,000, that’s less than half the number of people that live in Columbus, OH, yet to the left, this means all whites are exactly like them.

    As so many others have said, 620,000 overwhelmingly white, were willing to give up their lives for (based on the premise) the purpose of freeing blacks from these 385,000. This goes unstated by the left. Where is the talk for reparations to these families from the black families that were freed? I have no dog in this fight. My families were not here at the time of slavery.

    But the US government allowed it! True, but the US government was different back then. Matters of the people were left to the people. It was not appropriate for the Federal government to rule. It was a matter of the State. So the reparation issue should be left with the States that allowed slavery, and not have any sort of reparation be put upon States that forbid it.

    But even going to the States seems a bit unfair. Yes, the states could have forbidden slavery, but we all know, the left keeps telling us all the time, evil business money runs government. In the pre-war South, that was most definitely true. States like Arkansas were “Slave” states but only 1 in 5 in Arkansas owned slaves. Why would four out of five want to govern in a way that favors the small minority? It’s because the majority of the money was held by the 20%, and they controlled the legislatures with it.

    So, any talk of reparations, shouldn’t be laid upon all people being born the “misfortune” of having the white gene, but rather upon the large plantation owners that influenced the governments of the states of the South. Some blacks should receive money because their ascendants would have done better if free. But then that’s just one side of the coin. Should some blacks be killed because it’s possible that had slavery not protected their ascendant, he or he might have died. That sounds terrible, but it is just as true to assume that some would have died as it is to have assumed some would have made it rich. How do you determine?

    I think (I need to research this, so don’t take this as fact), courts have already ruled in other matters that you cannot. For example, if my father happened to step out in front of a car, and got killed, I cannot sue the government for millions because I believe my father would have made millions, and the government should have had protective railings.

    1. First of all, Thank you.
      I like the way you broke things down and offered comparable analogies to point out the ridiculousness.
      I’ll also say, even as a Democrat, I agree with everything you’ve said on this thread….. not all of us are so stupid that we can’t understand our True history.
      Thank You!!
      Excellent points

  9. Hi,

    So using your data:

    ~31% of the 5.5 million slave owning states white populations were directly involved in the system of slavery. I understand your argument that the whole economic system was based on it, obviously at a 5.5:3.5 population ratio. But the population of the US in 1860 was ~30 million. Of this 30 million, ~26.5 million were white.


    31% of 5.5 southern whites is 1.7

    1.7/30= 5.7%

    1.7/26.5 = 6.4%

    So either 5.7% of the country or 6.4% of whites were involved. So explain to me the need for collective whiten guilt 150 years later? And especially after so many institutions and tax dollars that have gone exclusively to black causes.

  10. I don’t understand the point of this article. Even if you double the number to 3.2 or triple it to 4.8 the point of the meme is still valid. Stop basing your hatred of the white race on 4.8%of the population. “Don’t judge an entire population by the actions of a few”

  11. Even if the 31% figure is correct it is still a minority, and yes, you cannot blame all whites for what happened. Given that the population of whites just before the civil war begun was between 85 and 87% and the population of slaves was close to 13%, it is quite clear that slaves were owned by a minority of whites.

  12. All that when the meme is not wrong. It clearly says that less then 2% of CITIZENS….not southerners owned slaves. So this information is ‘selective’ buts it’s not wrong. This is how news works today BTW: they give you the facts in a selective way that push you in the direction they want you to go.

  13. Very interesting point. I will admit I saw this 1.6% figure long before I ever saw a meme. It was in a history book but it was years ago. I will track down where I saw it and post it here. I read the book over two years ago and have used that 1.4-1.6% since. My general point is that most of the southern legislators owned slaves and made their money from slavery and no matter how you slice the cake slavery is wrong even if it’s remunerative. Lincoln was no Clay. He tried everything he could to talk or buy the south out of holding slaves. Even accepting a higher figure of 30-35% means 65-70% of southerners gained no benefit from slavery and that means 65-70% of workers fighting FOR slavery not only derived no direct benefit but saw their own value as workers diminished, something that continues to this day. Where are the poorest counties in the US? In the south. Where are economic conditions the worst? In the south. Where are the highest rates of HIV, teen pregnancy, STD’s and suicide in the US? In the south. Who voted in a billionaire president that appears to want to push us back to 1859? The south. No matter how much you don’t like the meme, no
    matter how you parse it’s accuracy, the point still is valid to me.

  14. That’s a nice, manipulative way you have of talking around the numbers there, 39%, 49%, 1/3rd of all households. No matter how you spin them it still equals only 1.6%. If i have a pie that has been 75% eaten, you may say it’s been 3/4ths eaten or that 6 slices have been taken, but regardless there will still be the same 75% gone! You are just spinning the wheels in the direction you want them to go.
    But when talking about slavery, lets not forget that more of the african slave trade went to south america (especially brazil) than it did to america. There were only about 400,000 total african slaves in the americas by the end of slavery–a number equaled if not surpassed by the number of white slaves. And to the person who mentioned that they were treated well and did not want to leave, this is true. African slaves were expensive so were seen as a more permanent commodity so they were taken care of by their masters. White slaves and indentured servants, on the otherhand were cheap and seen as trash that could be thrown away. I’ve recently heard about a popular plantation song that had a line “i’d rather be a n*gg*r than a poor white man” because white slaves were treated with such brutality. Yet you don’t see the families of white slaves screaming for reparations. Why? Because reparations aren’t needed! If my great great great grandmother was attacked by a dog, does that give me the right to stomp on puppies now, as reparation? The same logic applies. No one should be held accountable for anything they did not do, for any situation they took no part in nor had any control over and no group (in this instance whites) should be made to feel guilt for a “debt” that they do not owe

    1. How many Blacks owned slaves! Those few Black Historians who will actually begrudgingly admit that some blacks DID own slaves find solace in the argument of “benevolence” to family and low #’s but in fact some owned many and treated them worse than the AFRICANS who sold them to Muslims and Jewish Shipowners in the first place!
      Most whites were indentured servants as well!!

    2. Sorry, indentured servants were not slaves. There were no white slaves in America. Indentured servants, during the period in which the practice existed, were sometimes treated as badly as black slaves, but they had a contract, the indenture, with their “owners” which specified a date certain on which the contract expired and usually also specified that they receive some payment for their service so they would be able to start a farm or business of their own.

      1. Thank you. I am so tired of hearing that lie that there were white slaves in US or that indentured servants were slaves. All tripe.

  15. Half of all free people in Mississippi did not own slaves. The cost of slaves were way too high for anyone but the rich and well off. The average person in Mississippi was poor and worked agriculture, often on another persons property in exchange for money “rent” or work “indentured servitude” .

    The south is notorious for having poor families making due with the bare minimum. The idea that half of all its people had slaves is ridiculous. In a time people were still making their own clothing, you couldn’t afford much land, let alone slaves to work it for you.

  16. It is an interesting read, but despite its headline the actual author of the article basicly confirms the validity of the actual point of the the meme in their rant. The author comes up with a figure of 1.4% rather than 1.6% which for the point of informal discussion is not outside the limits of acceptability.

    The meme itself while it definitely has an agenda is not supposed to be an in depth analysis of the historical accuracy concerning the impact of slavery on the South.

    While the meme definitely has some issues that could be picked apart, its overall message is accurate and sound and it serves its purpose which is to draw the parallels of those in a position of power convincing the ignorant and less educated to work against their own self interest.

    Which is why as the author says, he can’t find a refutation of the meme anywhere. Yes, especially in this day and age you have to be aware of “fake” news and misinformation, which is why you always have to take any meme with grain of salt as there will inevitably be some sort of flaw that can be found. But on the on the converse you can’t also always be so hypercritical of a message.

    The author of the article is basicly being needlessly critical to detriment to the point of the meme and trying to set an unreasonable standard of expectation.

    If we were to try to even create a meme under the standard set forth by the author of the article it would always be as long as or longer than what was written in that article, because it would have to have so many caveats and addendums to the point. Case in point just reading the article several flaws from author could be pointed out in which you would have to write more paragraphs correcting them on their inaccuracies and misrepresentations. None of which would be salient to the actual point they were trying to make.

    Using the reasonable person standard the meme is reasonably accurate and promotes and gets across the message it trying to convey fairly accurately.

    Yes, obviously much more could be said on the subject as noted by all the paragraphs that the author came up with that were outside the scope of the point of the meme. Even sticking with just salient points in the meme you could write whole thesis papers on just those subjects. None of that however or ever would invalidate the overall message or truthfulness of the what was said in the point of the meme. Yes, the subject of slavery was definitely much more complex than was illustrated in the meme, but for logistical purposes the meme itself can be successfully argued as true (if not exhaustive in scope) as it relates to the primary point being expressed.

  17. Something I never hear mentioned is that we wouldn’t have had the slaves in this country if other blacks in Africa weren’t rounding them up and selling their own to the slave traders.

    1. It was a mix. Some slaves were stolen some were purchased. As time went on, Africans saw the profit they could make by selling slaves to the white man.

  18. so when facts don’t fit your emotional need for a tantrum you twist them into lies,
    sorry a the 1.4% ratio for all of America (not the few selective states you focused on) doesn’t change the truth that at its height less than 1.5% of all white people in the United States were slave owners and despite your hypocrisy truth is not a meme. live in denial much? if anyone is perpetuating continued racism it is you.move on no one owns you and no one owes you.

  19. I think there’s a tendency to live the lives we know. That was just as true then as it is now. For that reason I don’t particulary blame southerners, aristocratic, or other wise. I blame the Europeans – the Dutch, the Portuguese, the Spaniards, the English, Germans and Swedes. In the 1730 ships were regularly leaving Rotterdam to sell Africans of the Palatine to Germans in PA, who in turn ultimately opted to attempt repatriation, deporting them to Liberia. But these were free blacks, remnants of the Roman Empire. The point is, even Germany had a piece of this. I see the Civil War as largely political – these are northern Republicans verus southern Democrats, who incidentally, answered to the Democrats of the North who commanded Wall Street, and the entire cotton trade.

    1. Why blame the dutch? There has never been slavery in the Netherlands itself, except that foreigners could take slaves with them, but when they would stay longer than 6 months, the slaves were set free.
      We were better than the northerns 😉 Some companies, multinationals, earnt a lot of money, and the crews of those ships, they were like the southerns. 😉
      Of course those companies made a lot of money, and yes, they spended the money in the Netherlands, so it was good for the economy.
      In the colonies was slavery, but that was south, all northerns will understand that we are not responsible, just like the northerns in the US.
      Those ships left Rotterdam, went to west-africa to by slaves and went to New York, and sold slaves. In fact, it was illegal, but there was no coast guard, and the establishment looked somewhere else.

      And still I do see the dutch responsible, although lot of dutch were not directly involved in slavery.

      However, it always surprises me (not too much) that northerns are always washing their hands in water. Blame the southerns, blame the southerns, blame the southerns.

      But …. did the white man like to go to the south? There was no airco.

      Did the northerns profit of slave trade economically?

      Centuries before the US, the Netherlands itself decided that slavery was not allowed, and still it is accepted that the dutch (also lots of poor civilians that never did see a slave in his or her live, more than 95%) are responsible as well.

      But the northerns of the US are washing their hands in water.

  20. Good article. It’s interesting and a little ironic that the southern fire-eater J.D.B Debow, former superintendent of the US Census Board and publisher of the highly influential DeBow’s Review made a very similar argument that slavery was more wide spread than the “malignantly alleged” misrepresentation that slaveholders were a small segment of the southern population. DeBow’s position was that abolition would harm many other families beyond the elite plantation owners.

    In “The Interest in Slavery of the Southern Non-Slaveholder”, DeBow cited that as many as 375,000 families held titles to slaves and total ownership exceeded 2 million slaveholders, which squares well with the current estimate that slave ownership averaged 32% across southern households in 1860.

    DeBow would have chafed at the 1.6% meme, but for entirely opposite reasons.

    1. What a bunch of bullshit! Anybody can say anything now days but don’t think we believe it. It does not make much difference today how many people held slaves in America; today nobody has slaves in America and not for many generations thanks to many brave and sacrificial White Men. The problem is getting over it and assimilating into society as a producer not as victims.

      1. Do you understand that DeBow made these comments in 1861, just prior to the outbreak of the Civil War?

        Anyone with an honest desire to understand the causes of the Civil War needs to understand the extent that slavery spanned across the south.

      2. Anyone that would ” really ” like to understand the causes of the civil war should make the effort to read the entire history of the beginning of this country and the divisions, political and social that existed before slavery existed at all to any extent. The divisive nature between Federalists and Republicans before the constitution was even intellectually considered; and the geographically situated relationships between these two ideological entities have as much or more to do with the eventual war than slavery in and of itself. By the way did this DeBow consult with CNN for his disinformation or did he run an independent study on his lap-top while touring the south several years. Read real history and try to understand the whole story.

      3. Most people who try to rewind civil war debates back to the revolutionary period try to rely on wordy generalities without naming any actual historical precedent that ties back to the civil war itself. What they generally do is talk in broad terms over the division of the early political parties, which is fruitless because parties have always faced divisions. They generally don’t mention the structural issues within the constitution itself: the 3/5 compromise, the fugitive slave clause, and the end of slave trade; which were necessary for the southern states ratification but baked in the issue of slavery which would fester and later explode after nearly 100 years.

        To understand the connection between slavery and the civil war one only needs to recognize that every sectional crisis since the Mexican American War centered on slavery almost exclusively (remember Emerson’s warning that “Mexico will poison us”). That the southern states relied on westward expansion in order to maintain political parity with a growing north. That an average of 33% of families in the deep south owned slaves – approaching 50% in South Carolina and Mississippi. That editorials from the Charleston Mercury and the Richmond Dispatch and the political pamphlets of the 1850s all extolling white dominance, political strength and social standing – all explicitly tied to the benefits of African Slavery and with hardly a word on tariffs or taxes.

        And of course there are the ordinances of secession from South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi and Texas all boldly asserting their action to preserve their “peculiar institution” of slavery. And of course, there’s Alexander Stephen’s cornerstone speech.

        It’s a shame that you don’t have the intellectual curiosity to investigate DeBow. He headed the census in the 1850s and edited the most widely read journal of its time in the south. He was also the architect of the compromise of 1850. He was both a vile and fascinating individual. Even if you’re pretending to have an interest in history, you should at least look him up on Wikipedia.

      4. You missed the whole point. Nobody said that slavery wasn’t part of the reason for the war but what you don’t understand is secession from the new country was a theme almost from the beginning; and especially within the southern caucus. I’m also sorry that I don’t understand what your talking about rewinding anything; and you don’t debate historical facts that have been documented since their occurrence. Oh and by the way what you are talking about is a division; a social and political one that turned out to be very violent and lengthy. If it is fruitless to talk about early political ideologies at the time of the writing of the constitution than it is useless for you to try and talk about the other intrinsic factors that were also involved in the cause of the secession and consequently the war. The basic and original Constitution had little if anything to do with slavery, later some of the amendments began to deal with the problem; and by the way it was only about seventy years after that the Civil War started not 100 years. The rest of your jumbled, mumbo jumbo, is basically scattered and irrelevant. Again the talk of secession that I am trying to make you aware of was about the fight for a strong central government that entirely dominated the states or the republicans and there determined states rights stature. It had to do with much more than who had slaves and who didn’t. But if you want to go back to that issue, of the 55 delegates that began the convention for forming the Constitution, only 15 had slaves; these were all elite, wealthy, and powerful men. They were not representative of the population as a whole which came to this country for the most part with nothing more than the clothes on their backs. The people that could afford to own their own land were almost non-existent let alone have slaves. I, with due respect, suggest that you start over at the beginning and read something more substantial; like ” The American Republic “, although it will be somewhat like work for you being two volumes and around fourteen hundred pages. Now come to think of it, that’s what being a real American is all about……work, struggle, assimilate, don’t ask for handouts, self sustaining……

  21. So using these statistics in this way. Would this not be the same as saying if your uncle owned a BMW then u statistilly own a BMW since his last name and yours were the same? The base line is pushed in the direction of a greater number slave owners then really did. The number of 1.6 is likely wrong. But lumping say all people with the same last name together is also wrong. One thing is correct slavery was wrong and a cold sore on history. It’s gone now and has been for awhile!

  22. Did you factor in that slaves were not only owned by whites, but also freedmen? One example is the barber of Natchez. 31 percent is a low percentage of the Southern population to make the statement that the Civil War was fought over slavery. And, yes, the South was ready to fight because they were many reasons for this anger, i.e., state’s rights, taxation without representation, such as cotton sold to the north without taxation then returning down South in the form of finished goods heavily taxed. Who is next in this attempt to eradicate what you progressive people are offended by? History needs to be left alone to teach future generations.

  23. A: There were plenty slave owners in the north.
    B: Quite a few of those slave owners in the south were black, outnumbering white slave owners in some areas, such as New Orleans, up to twelve-to-one.
    C: Including a slave owner’s entire family in numbers can easily be misleading. Many of those families included small children. Are you insinuating that a small child should be considered a slave owner?

  24. Thought Experiment:

    My son is finishing up high school and I want to give him money for college. I rob your father and get away with a large sum of cash. During the robbery your father is killed. I give the cash to my son and he contributes it to paying for his education. Years later detectives solve the case and catch me. I am executed and no one knows what happened to the cash but my son.

    With your father murdered and much of his wealth stolen you become destitute. The situation is made worse when you find out you were to inherit his savings. Your situation is well publicized.

    My son finds out about your situation. Because of his education he is now very well off.

    Should he stay quiet because nothing can be proven?

    Should he try to help you out because something was wrongfully taken from you and benefited him?

    Should he speak proudly that the luck of the draw had him ending up on top?

      1. One should not celebrate how you for murder and steal. Being a wealthy slave owner who would STILL murder and steal is nothing but a greedy evil monster.. Trying to force the descendants of all people whose skin color happens to be the same as the evil greedy monster murdering thief. Even if 98.5 to 92% (depending on stated figures) WERE INNOCENT. While letting the wealthy BLACK slave owners off the hook for doing the same exact crimes makes EVEN MORE SENSE than rewarding your crimes. Let’s not forget the reason Jefferson started the US NAVY in the first place. And the exact reason the Marines are named “Leathernecks” to stop the Barbary Coast Pirates (Muslim) from ENSLAVING American crew members. The Marines are called LEATHERNECKS because of the leather collars on their uniforms TO HELP RESIST/prevent BEHEADINGS.

      2. No one was suggesting celebration. The point is that generations down the line, no one owes anyone else because of the color of their skin, because people from way back mistreated others. That will just feed racial tensions and resentments today. Simple human psychology. What decent people now can do is personally treat others fairly, as individuals, contribute to shifting our culture even further from racism. And teach their kids that through example. You can’t mandate away mentalities. You can attempt to force people to go through the motions but you’re not really helping the problem, attitudes won’t budge. If at all, you’ll add to the problem. Culture shift.

    1. This doesn’t correlate. If you had said descendants further down the line, maybe the analogy of the “thought experiment” could work. But with just one generation, from father to son, there are too many questions that come up : was the son involved in the planning of the robbery? Did he know about the father’s plans to rob someone? When given the cash did he know how it was obtained? Questions like these blur the “morality” of giving “reparations” to the son of the man who was robbed. But if you ask the same question of the man’s great great grandson, who has lived a life of luxury due to the education that his family was able to get through the years of having (stolen) money, and the grandson finds out the sordid financial history of his family, then ask your questions.
      My opinion, no the family descendants have nothing to do with the horrors committed by their ancestors. If they choose to give something to tjose in need, that is their decision, but they *owe* nothing.

      1. Also, when it comes to slaves, it isn’t descendants people really focus on, it’s race. Blacks who are successful, do you still owe them too? If someone were 1/12 black, do you owe them 1/12 of what you give another black who is 100%? Do you take into account whether the person had any slaves in their past? Would the ones paying the reparations be limited to those with slave owners in their family’s past? And what if your blood is only 1/8 related to the slave owner, would you only be forced to pay 1/8? It would be madness. It would lead to more racial tensions and resentments, not less. And as BG pointed out, when it’s that many generations down the line, reparations is ridiculous. Voluntary charity, that’s the only ethical way.

      2. Unfortunately, the whole “thought experiment” idea doesn’t fit. A crime is only a crime when it is understood to be a crime. That is why we have an insanity defense and why children are not charged as adults.

        Just because you don’t like it, or even cannot understand it, doesn’t mean you can just write it away. Many of the slave owners likely did not believe they were doing anything wrong. There was no Facebook. There was no NBC nightly news. They grew up in a society where slavery was there. It was a part of life. It was not questioned.

        In the “thought experiment”, the thief knew he was committing a crime. To many slave owners, the slave was no different than a horse. You bought one. You cared for it, as was necessary, and used it to provide your living.

        Next, in the “thought experiment”, all of the proceeds of the theft were the dollars taken from the victim. That is not the same with slavery. Unlike today, there were no minimum wage laws back then. Slavery was not about just the money. That simply cheapens the pain the victim endured. Many, I would guess most, white people that emigrated from Europe did not find life the way the poorest of us find it here today. Slaves were given food and shelter for their efforts (if they did not perform the effort, they would have been sold and resold until it was determined that they were not worth the expense of upkeep, at which point, they would have been “put down”), just as a horse is given food and shelter. Many Europeans found that they could not earn food and shelter. Many died. Many moved back to Europe.

        What was the benefit of slavery to the slaveholder? It was not free labor. It was reduced cost (perhaps someone should determine what that was, i.e. what was the difference between the cost of owning a slave, and the cost of paying a European). Probably more important was that it was consistent labor. If you needed 20 workers, you went and bought 20 workers. You didn’t have to try to find 20 people willing to live and work in the humid sweat of the American South.

        So, by looking at the wages of the European, and at the number of them that never raised their standard of living (often intentionally controlled through company stores and such), you might be able to subtract the costs of living provided to the slave from the pay received by Europeans, and determine the amount of dollars the slave was cheated. Saying that the whole proceeds of the Southern economy belong to slaves is just wrong. Going back to the “thought experiment”, if the thief needed $x to send his son to college, and stole $y where $y equaled the amount beyond what the thief had available to spend on his son’s education, call it $w. More concisely, $y equals $x (tuition) – $w (money on hand). Now, the son goes to college and makes millions. Is the victim entitled to the millions? Or is he entitled only to $y?

        It could be said that the son would not have made his millions without the $y. That might be true. We don’t know. We only know that he did with it. There were lots of other graduates that did not make millions. Would the victim have made millions if he had the $y? Who knows. He might have put it all on red and spun the wheel with it coming up black.

        Andrew Carnegie made a fortune off of European labor. Many would say he paid less than labor was worth for the efforts of these Europeans. Are their descendants now entitled to a part of that fortune? Was Andrew guilty of breaking labor laws that didn’t exist?

        No, the issue of slavery is the pain endured by the slave. They had no choice. However, you cannot assume that if the worker had not been a slave, he could have taken advantage of the opportunities the young USA offered. In fact, it would have been impossible. Without slavery, they would have been in Africa. This is what a freed slave (I believe it was Frederick Douglass, but I could be wrong) said was the greatest thing about slavery. As horrible as it was, it still allowed for Africans to make it here.

        If a former slave were still alive today, I believe he should be given the choice between a sum for pain and suffering, and a return to Africa, or, a much smaller sum, and the right to stay in America. It would be up to the slave to decide whether the pain and suffering was worth getting to be in America. But no slaves are alive today, and no one else can claim to have suffered his pain. No claim could be made as to whether the slave could have provided an inheritance.

  25. Have you ever bee. SOUTH OF THE MASSON~DIXON LINE ?
    I’M NOT TALKING ABOUT GOING TO Atlanta or Richmond , or Charolet, the big cities, I’m talking about small rural towns and villages.
    Some of the places I have visited since 1980 have not changed much since 1865.
    The vast majority of the southren population lived in small rural communities.
    Look at pre war photographs of whites, ladies and gentlemen, most of the whites could not afford them selves and their famalies, let alone a slave or slaves, just a plain simple fact.
    U.S. GENERAL SHERMAN was pro union but was also pro-slavery, prior to the war between the states he lived in the south, the deep south, he could not afford to own slaves, but he did rent slaves, that is right to could rent a slave, just like you can rent a car today.
    There were free blacks who owned slaves.
    In fact one black man owned more slaves than anyone else in the south he owned over 200 slaves.
    I would suspect many poor whites using a barter system were probably loaned slaves in exchange for work and contracts of some sort were drawn up showing the white man as the owner, when in fact he was actually was not.
    This will raise the ownership levels.
    Those bartering for slaves would have to complete some kind of task, to the actual slave owner. see pplJr

  26. No one will question that “owning” another human is flat out wrong. America didn’t invent the practice (OK so call me Captain Obvious) but we bicker about it like we did. Race baiters (we all know them but I won’t list the most notable here) and the media have convinced themselves that I am a white privileged snob who only benefitted because of my skin color. My grandfathers entered the US LEGALLY some 100 years ago and were NOT forcibly subjected to slavery but certainly received their share of GRINDER, WOP and DAGO slurs. Some people are idiots and that will be the case FOREVER so can we just stop with all the historical BS and acknowledge that there are RACISTS (both black, white, yellow, red etc.) and they hold allll different positions in US society but the fact that many call the country a racist country is garbage.

  27. Because children and wives of slave owners clearly had a choice in the matter? A better comparison is the percentage of free citizens we could be slave owners that actually were owning slaves. And I don’t think the meme generator intended a comparison to the 1% today, they were very different.

  28. I’m having trouble with the math here. If 1.6% were slave owners, but the statement is made that 31% of families had a “stake” in slave ownership. So are you saying that 30% of all families stemmed from 2% of the population? What am I missing here? That seems iffy to me.

  29. Its unbelievable that we are still fighting this 160 year old war. Whatever our forefathers fought for, states’ rights, slavery, bigotry, or patriotism, the fact remains that with the element of slavery involved, any cause was tainted. My family came from South Carolina, and yes history shows some of my lineage fought and died in the Civil war, but based on research none owned slaves. Not sure if they did it would matter at this point. It is really impossible to know why each individual fought in that war, only that person really knew. This does not mean they were not culpable no matter why. 2%, 30%, what does it really matter. With that said, today the diversity of my family and friends includes democrats, republicans, whites, Latinos, blacks, Asians, Native Americans, liberals, Southerners, Northerners, Christians, atheist, and even some cats. The cats I do not like. We are a typical Southern family that try, but not always accomplish it, to practice patience, understanding, tolerance, accountability, and respect. Unfortunately I find myself tired of being attacked, and associated with hate groups because I am white, southern, and republican for something that started some 160 years ago. Many of those involved in the rebellion that got Trump elected feel the same. Yes, I understand that black America, along with many other segments have been dealing with similar bigotry all their lives. It is a terrible thing and our country must continue to mature and become one. I am proud of my heritage, and I hate to see it disrespected and desecrated by BOTH groups as we saw this past week, but that cannot compare to the terrible result of that march. African Americans are also proud of their heritage as they should be, but Africa may be one of the worst human rights violators in history. They practiced slavery thousands of years before the South ever existed, they captured and sold their own people into slavery with many going to the old south. Slavery was recorded their well into the 20th century and there was and still is ramped corruption, mass rape, murder, famine, and genocide. Should we compare the numbers between the old South and Africa? No, we must not judge and group people by our history because none of us are innocent. My point is, within the last 10 years small segments of this country have been spiraling things out of control with hate, unaccountability, blame, revenge, and lack of tolerance on all sides. Do not let the few destroy our great nation. You cannot fix all hatters but it’s easy to generate new ones. MLK was great leader. He did it right, protest with love not hate. The Virginia march did nothing but cause more haters. Note, Virginia is a great state and does NOT represent the hate groups. Those Hate groups, on both sides, met looking for a fight, and that is what they got. I wonder how they all keep each other apart?? I think the police should issue out Grey and Blue outfits before each rally.

  30. What in the hell is wrong with people like you I don’t understand how people can actually believe hundreds of thousands of men can take up arms and leave everything they love behind to fight to save a rich mans livelihood the war wasn’t over slavery and I’m damn tired of people like you doing everything they can to “prove” that most men at the time seen themselves as citizens of whatever state they were from over a American if they were from Virginia they were a Virginian over a American and so on when their home state left the union they fought to protect their homes and family

  31. I still think your answer misses the point. The South was like an extreme “Banana Republic”, which is to say that it had a few highly profitable cash crops and very little else.

    And like all Banana Republics there were a handful of people who got extremely rich at the top, a sort of larger somewhat prosperous group that also grew one of the key cash crops but at a smaller scale, and the vast majority of people outside those two classes are extremely poor.

    It’s very well documented that the overwhelming majority of Southern Caucasians who were not slave owners and didn’t work on the plantation, were miserably poor.

    Bottom line is that those plantation had slaves to do most of the work. They trained a few slaves as blacksmiths and other tradesmen who performed those services for the plantation. Between that fact, and the fact that those few cash crop industries tended to virtually dominate the economy with the slaveholders investing very little in railroads, schools, or libraries or infrastructure there were few jobs. And for most free, non-slaveowning people (which included about half of free African Americans) who didn’t work on plantation the only real options were subsistence farming on marginal land (the plantation had most of the good land), a meager selection of factory jobs which were much fewer in number and much more poorly paid than Northern factories, day labor in venues such as loading/unloading docks, or a life of crime.

    The reasons so many of these impoverished Caucasian fought for the Confederacy included:

    1) Conscription-deserters were hanged.
    2) Southern militarism and Southern codes of masculinity.
    3) Many jobs dried up with the start of the Civil War and therefore the army improved your prospects of at least having food.
    4) Many of them actually didn’t. Non-slaveholders were more likely to oppose secession. And there were also plenty of deserters (too many to hang them all). Indeed many of those young men with Confederate flags are descendants of Southern Unionists and the legions of men who desered the Confederate Army. But sadly those Southern codes of masculinity and militarism tend to preclude their willingness to find out about such things let along see it as a reason to re-evaluate their views.

  32. There weren’t any “us citizens” in 1860
    The 14th amendment created this new citizenship. And now we are all federal citizens…citizens of Washington DC.
    Make sure you know exactly which slaves you are talking about!!!

    The “American People” and “U.S. citizens” are two different things.

    A US citizen does not have any rights.

    “…the privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States do not necessarily include all the rights protected by the first eight amendments to the Federal constitution against the powers of the Federal government.” Maxwell v Dow, 20 S.C.R. 448, at pg 455;

     US citizen = citizen of Washington D.C.

    “A citizen of the United States is a citizen of the federal government …” Kitchens v. Steele, 112 F.Supp 383

    This citizenship did not exist in the states until 1868.

    “The Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, ratified in 1868, CREATES or at least recognizes for THE FIRST TIME a citizenship of the United States…”
    Black’s Law Dictionary, 6th Edition

    The federal government has created a vehicle to usurp the states by taking away from them their own citizens.

    “Both before and after the 14th Amendment to the Federal Constitution it has not been necessary for a person to be a citizen of the U.S. in order to be a citizen of his State” Crosse v. Board of Supervisors, Baltimore, Md., 1966, 221 A. 2d 431 citing US Supreme Court Slaughter House Cases and U.S. v. Cruikshank 92 US 542, 549, 23 L. Ed 588 1875

    “There are two classes of citizens, citizens of the United States and of the State. And one may be a citizen of the former without being a citizen of the latter” Gardina v. Board of Registers 48 So. 788, 169 Ala.

    “One may be a citizen of a State and yet not a citizen of the United States. Thomasson v State, 15 Ind. 449; Cory v Carter, 48 Ind. 327 (17 Am. R. 738); McCarthy v. Froelke, 63 Ind. 507; In Re Wehlitz, 16 Wis. 443.”
    Mc Donel v State, 90 Ind. Rep. 320 at pg 323;

    “The citizen cannot complain, because he has voluntarily submitted himself to such a form of government. . . .he owes allegiance to the two departments, so to speak, and within their respective spheres must pay the penalties.”
    -United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U.S. 542 (1875)

  33. Right. One can search (and research) the web via Snopes, FactChek, and a few other sites and still not get very deep into memes, and the breadth of one’s researching seems even more limited. Used to be the ‘net had a higher percentage of academic material, but that has been lost in the flood of superficial information. To effectively counter the trend would require a website/social media presence that jumps on these memes immediately and repeatedly.

  34. Didn’t anyone else notice the redefinition of “family”? Very misleading.

    The statistics use the number of people living in a family as number of families. For example, if 1 person (father who is married and has 5 children) owned a slave, then the stats count it as 7 families. It should be 1 family with 7 people in the family – not 7 families.

  35. You have verified the 1.4-1.6% is actually an accurate figure. Does it represent the true impact of slavery in America?: probably not. However, the actual math is accurate. You want to change the calculation rules for your own purposes. I can live with that if you add in all the facts, such as blacks being the first on the planet to enslave anyone. How about the fact that slaves were sold to whites by other blacks?
    The point is that statistics and omissions can always be used to skew facts in whatever direction a writer wants them to go. You are only telling the part of the story hat makes an actual mathematical fact appear false in order to support your own argument and you onveniently omit the real history of slavery.

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