Northern Slavery

If you listen to the neoconservatives like Allen Guelzo or the talking stiffs at Fox News, the North heroically saved the United States from the evil South and ushered in a new birth of freedom in America.

Guelzo goes so far as to thump his chest and proclaim that he is a Yankee of the highest order, meaning that he carries no guilt for the institution of slavery in America.

No Yankee would. After all, they were as pure as the driven snow. They did nothing wrong, and even if they did, like holding “witch” trials, they exorcised those demons by insisting on racial equality and the end of slavery.

Except they didn’t. Not even Guelzo’s bluecoats singing glory, glory, hallelujah!

In fact, many marveled at the South and ridiculed abolitionists. Lincoln only polled 39.6 percent of the popular vote in 1860, meaning that even if the Republicans favored an abolition platform (they didn’t), over sixty percent of the American population rejected that platform in 1860.

Quakers supposedly rejected slavery in principle and theology, but one of the largest slaveholding estates in New York was owned by a Quaker family.

New Englanders chided the South for their moral failings while profiting from the slave trade and absentee plantations in the Caribbean.

This is just scratching the surface. “Proslavery ideology” developed in the North, primarily in Northern churches, as did the “scientific racism” of the 18th and 19th centuries. Pennsylvanian and Founding Father Benjamin Rush considered race to be a disease.

The proper response to any of this should be, “so what?” We don’t rattle off the same condemnation of the Romans, or Greeks, or English barons who held slaves in the 11th century, or the African warlords who acquired and sold Africans into slavery.

But that can’t be the case in 2021, not when we have a host of counterfeit virtue signalers on the right suggesting we elevate men like U.S. Grant to demigod status in America or that we make Frederick Douglass and Elizabeth Cady Stanton into “conservative” icons.

They want to left to like them by doing what Harry Jaffa insisted would save “conservatism”: make “equality” a “conservative” principle.

How is that working out?

The veil on Northern hypocrisy on this issue can’t be lifted high enough. I cover Northern slavery on episode 548 of The Brion McClanahan Show.

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