Today’s Price of a Slave

This CNN video clip discusses the price of purchasing a slave today. Yes, today. Despite the widely held belief that slavery started and ended with the Southern states, it has always existed, and still exists today – only at rock-bottom prices. As the report points out, a slave purchased in the 19th century would have cost about $40,000 in today’s dollars. That is a major investment. No one neglects and mistreats a valuable investment if they expect to make a profit. On the other hand, the price of a slave today is only $90, making them about as disposable as a Styrofoam cup.

Where is the NAACP? Why are they not demanding an end to slavery now? The answer: they are too busy being “offended” by the sight of the Confederate flag. Apparently, being “offended” is quite appealing when it comes to fund-raising and political pandering. Real slavery just isn’t very interesting to those who are busy claiming to be oppressed because some people of their race were slaves in America over 150 years ago.

Slavery Timeline created by Connie Chastain of the blog 180 Degrees Due South. Reprinted with permission.

About Stephen Clay McGehee

Born-Again Christian, Grandfather, husband, business owner, Southerner, aspiring Southern Gentleman. Publisher of The Confederate Colonel and The Southern Agrarian blogs. President/Owner of Adjutant Workshop, Inc., Vice President - Gather The Fragments Bible Mission, Inc. (Sierra Leone, West Africa), Webmaster - Military Order of The Stars and Bars, Kentucky Colonel.
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9 Responses to Today’s Price of a Slave

  1. dan says:

    So the point of this post is… Southern slavery wasn’t bad because slaves now are cheaper? You’s a sick puppy…

  2. Dan,
    If that is truly your understanding of the point of the post, I would suggest that you pay a bit more attention to reading comprehension.

    (Edited to add)
    I don’t think you really believe that is the point of the post. In fact, I’m quite sure that on some level, you understand perfectly well what the point of the post is. What you’re doing is what virtually all liberals/leftists/South-haters/Black-whiners/etc. do. You view everything through your narrow slice of observation in which everything is made to fit your stereotype of conservative Southerners. Thus, any discussion of slavery by a conservative Southerner is viewed as claiming that “slavery was a good thing”. Any other interpretation is impossible because it does not fit into your preconceived view of what we believe and how we think.

  3. dan says:

    No, I’m doing nothing of the sort. I’m simply reading your article. Considering that reading comprehension is not one of my weak points, perhaps you should learn to write better, if that is not what you want to have readers take away.

    Your whole post is dedicated to the idea that slavery continues today (shameful and horrible), that slaves today might be treated even worse that they were historically (surprising and atrocious, yes), that we as a society don’t pay enough attention to this problem (certainly true and deplorable), and that therefore Southern slavery wasn’t particularly all that bad (falling off the cliff here). If you simply stopped after the first 3 points, you’d be good. Instead you go ahead and justify the horrors of your history by suggesting that there are other horrors which might be even worse. Sort of like a serial rapist pointing out (correctly) that there are serial murderers out there, so by comparison he ain’t that bad.

    It’s idiots like you who give South a bad name. Instead of saying “hey, we did some horrible crap, and we’re sorry for it, let’s make amends and try to improve” all you’re doing is trying to whitewash it. Yes, dude, your ancestors did some despicable stuff. Deal with it. Yes, so did mine, in a different land, and I have come to terms with that. If all you have in your sad little life is trying to defend the clearly indefensible, I feel pity for you.

  4. Excellent piece and posted.

  5. Apologies and “making amends” are just more of the same scape-goating that The South has been saddled with for generations.

    When the Northern merchants are ready to admit their guilt;
    when the descendants of the Africans who sold their fellow Africans into slavery (rather than simply butcher them as had been the practice during tribal wars) are ready to admit their guilt;
    when the federal government under whose flag the slave ships sailed is ready to admit its guilt;
    when the federal government that invaded a newly-born sovereign country is ready to admit its guilt;
    when the federal government that invented “scorched earth warfare” during Sherman’s March to the Sea is ready to admit its guilt;
    when the federal government that imposed a military dictatorship over The South following the war is ready to admit its guilt;
    when the federal government that imposed the cynically-named “Reconstruction” on the Southern states is ready to admit its guilt;
    when the political race pandering leadership are ready to admit their guilt;
    when each of those entities and more are willing to acknowledge their role in the institution of slavery and all that went with it;
    THEN, perhaps, we can speak of words like “apologies” and “making amends”.

    Until that time, the proper description for that would be obsequious groveling.

    I will not apologize for actions taken in another time by judging them using today’s standards. We can learn from their mistakes, but we have no right to offer apologies.

    I will not apologize for the fact that my own blood ancestors owned, bought, and sold slaves.

    I will not apologize for the actions of Southerners or of the Confederate States of America.

    For the past 150 years, The South has been the scape goat for slavery, as though it were a uniquely Southern idea that started in The South and came to an abrupt end following the “noble and heroic” efforts of The North. No, we are not claiming “victim status”, but neither will we pretend that we were treated fairly nor will we offer pseudo-apologies.

    Lest this sound like some sort of bitter ranting by yet another self-proclaimed “victim”, let’s keep it in perspective. This is specifically addressing the implied question of why we, as Southerners, won’t simply and meekly apologize and ask forgiveness (from someone or other) for the role of our ancestors in the institution of slavery in the years before 1865. As anyone who has taken even a few minutes to look through this web site will learn, that is not the focus of the Confederate Colonel blog. It is, however, our duty to defend against those who attempt to blame The South for the institution of slavery. THAT was the objective of the original post.

  6. Dan says:

    And that, folks, is why everyone makes fun of the south, including those of us who have the misfortune of temporarily living here yet long for, you know, civilization. I guess if one can’t help being a redneck, one might as well be proud of it. Though, to be fair, most rednecks are smarter than this…

  7. Dan, in your second response, you outline your view of the host’s original post. I won’t repeat the section in which you do that; surely you know what you wrote. I will say that I don’t see the same thing in the “fourth point” that you seem to. To me, this seems like a question as to why those – who many see as the most ‘involved’ in the historic southern slavery issue – are not more concerned with the very same practice as it continues today.

    You and the host are perfectly capable or discussing the actual differences between the two of you and I’m not going to step in to re-hash or ‘add to’ that.

    My attention has, however, been caught by your reply of 10/25 – 12:53 pm in which you express a feeling of (apparently great) misfortune towards living here in the South. I’m in no position to analyze your feelings at all but I do think that you and I have some commonality that I’d like to address. It requires that I talk about myself which I don’t usually do but, here, it seems appropriate.

    Dan – I’m a northerner. No, not one living in the North but one who spent his life there with almost no exceptions for better than six decades. My family has lived in northern New England for generations, some of the branches along the St. Lawrence in southern Canada, also for generations – and that’s if you don’t include the faint line of Abenaki which may stretch back ten to twelve thousand years.

    I’m a former public school student in New Hampshire. I’m a (short time, post grad) alumnus of one of New England’s better ‘boys’ schools (now, of course, it’s co-ed). I’m a former worker, sales person, business owner (and it was a pretty successful semi-conductor component manufacturing entity doing business around the world, by gosh). I have been a member of the Wilson Institute, a (former) faithful subscriber to Foreign Affairs Quarterly, an avid reader of Newsweek and eager listener to PBR, it turns out that I’m even (for purposes of digging up alumni cash, mostly) an alumnus of the Art Institute of Boston.

    Dan, you can’t get any more NORTHERN. And I would have been delighted to remain there where my ancestors, my memories and my past were. But I cannot, and with that, I’d like to get to what you and I have so totally in common.

    Just as you find significant misfortune in being in the South, I came to find the same from living in the North. You and I may be almost identical twins, Dan, simply standing on opposite sides of the mirror, each seeing the world as our own side reflects it.

    As the Northeast continually ‘progressed’ I came to feel a greater and greater alienation from those around me. I’m not going to discuss the details of either that ‘progress’ or of my growing revulsion to it. There’s no point in it, I doubt if any have an interest in it and it will simply open the door to more negativity by you.

    What I want to share with you, Dan, is what I did about it and why.

    I left.

    There came a time, Dan, when I realized that who was ‘right’, who was ‘wrong’, who was ‘knee-jerky’, who was ‘overly rigid’, who was this and who was that – all were pretty much irrelevant. My world had been taken over – essentially invaded – by those with whom I had absolutely nothing in common. The shared concepts, the values, the micro-culture that I had treasured was gone and I was now living on the same plot of ground but in a different ‘place’, totally different, and I found myself among a people with whom I simply would not dwell.

    Are those ‘bad’ people? Are they,somehow, ‘not nice’? Are they ‘changed’ more than ‘progressed’? Have they ‘risen’? Have they ‘degenerated’? Looks like there’s a difference of opinion about all of those, Dan.

    I’m not going to go into what “they’ should or shouldn’t do. What I will say is that I don’t have a responsibility for their actions or decisions. What I have is a responsibility for mine.

    You have a responsibility for yours, Dan.

    Leaving was neither cheap nor easy for me, Dan. Financially, emotionally, even physically – given my wife’s painful injuries – the couple of near-1,500 mile round trips made to re-locate in Tennessee were not something I cheerfully undertook. But they got both of us to an outlook and a way of life that was native to us despite the distance traveled.

    Let me emphasize – we could have stayed in the North and simply whined and complained about what had happened, we could have nit-picked and lashed out at everything around us. We could have written comments similar to what I’m encountering now. We didn’t. We sought out happiness among a similar people and we found that people here in the South.

    I’d like to see you happy, as well, Dan. From this, and from previous posts here, it doesn’t appear that you now are.

    Dan, I believe I’m correct in my understanding that this is a private site dedicated to the furtherance of civil discourse and understanding manners among the participants. Perhaps I’m incorrect but I’m pretty sure, not. Anyway, I’ve enjoyed it as such, even if I’m mistaken. Regardless of my understanding of that issue, it seems clear that this area – where ever it may be in the South – is wearing on you badly and I’d like to suggest to you that a ‘mirror version’ of the same course of action which worked so well for me might be equally beneficial to you.

    I wish you Godspeed, Dan.

    Peter Kelley
    Mountain City, TN

  8. james wilson says:

    Henry Adams prosecuted the Civil War from London, as an aide to his father–the Union ambassador for the American Legation to Great Britain. His brother Charles was a general in the Union Army. After thirty years, each came to regret their past convictions as they saw life play out in a manner completely foreign to their hopes and expectations. They were not too proud to accept very unhappy truths, even when this required the repudiation of the most important event of their lives.

    Most of us will do anything to avoid changing our minds, much less our lives. Thirty years is not a bad timeline. We see the alternative constantly.

  9. Wyandotte says:

    I like your gumption, Stephen! Yes, slavery was wrong but the people of the south have been punished enough, and looked down on long enough. I challenge Dan to come up with one example of a culture, race, ethnicity, religious group, etc. that doesn’t have some misdeeds in its past. I don’t see the descendants of the Mongols making any apologies and no one ever asks them to.

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