[Ads-l] "slave"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Fri Sep 2 21:34:47 EDT 2016

On Fri, Sep 2, 2016 at 6:48 PM, Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at gmail.com> wrote:

> The reference to slaves is about the use, and in some sense the
> manipulation, of black Americans to fight for the British, with the promise
> of freedom. The American forces included African-Americans as well as
> whites.

FWIW, I really _like_ The Star-Spangled Banner and the fact that its
primary, totally-trivial use is to open random,
not-shit-meaning-WRT-to-patriotism-and-love-of-country, professional
sporting events is disgraceful.

But, IMO, this supposed "rebuttal" is totally void of any explanatory
content whatsoever. It's just bullshit.

"... manipulation ..."

What "manipulation" did the Americans use to keep their slaves from
"manipulation"by the British?

WTF does "in some sense" mean other than, "I can't find any racist
clap-trap that purports to support this lie"?

"... _black Americans_ ..."

In what sense would a black person would have been regarded as an
"American" by a white American in the 19th century, when that's not even
true of white Americans in the 21st century? (Does anyone naively believe
that "illegal aliens" refers *only* to illegal aliens?) "American" in
contrast to newly-arrived slaves from Africa or from the West Indies,
perhaps? "But, there wouldn't have been any. There was only the interstate
slave-trade. The international slave-trade had ended!" Of course it had.

"The American forces included African-Americans as well as whites."

That's a lie. The American forces included _slaves of African descent_ who
were the _personal property of *white men*_ who owned them just as white
men owned any other piece of personal property, such as their horses and
their wifes.

Calling this nonsense a "rebuttal"...

Well, I really have no words to characterize it.
All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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