“‘In the ways that we teach and learn about the history of American slavery,’ write the authors of a new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), ‘the nation needs an intervention.’
“This new report, titled Teaching Hard History: American Slavery, is meant to be that intervention: a resource for teachers who are eager to help their students better understand slavery — not as some ‘peculiar institution’ but as the blood-soaked bedrock on which the United States was built.”
“Blood-soaked bedrock” is right, but this sugarcoating of American history in our schools is, unfortunately, only part of a larger, sadder tale: there are more slaves in the world now than there ever were.
It was NPR, years ago, that first tipped me to that fact – one of those things you faintly remember in the back of your head but have to keep making sure is there, because you almost never hear it echoed anywhere else in the American media. (But I am sure I heard it once.) So, I looked it up . . .
Well, goddamn. Talk about a reality burn. All these tens of millions of human slaves doesn’t even include our planet cousins enslaved into the modern animal cruelty industry. The most slavery in human history plus the beginning of the sixth extinction to everything lucky or unlucky enough to still be left in the wild . . . this is what our status quo system has brought us.