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View Diary: Nobody I Know Thinks of Themselves As White (115 comments)

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  •  Because you're still wrong (0+ / 0-)

    If slave status was determined by African blood, then that would mean that all of those who had African blood were slaves. If my status as HIV positive is determined by the presence of the HIV virus in my body, it's also true that all people with the HIV virus in their bodies are HIV positive.

    But with respect to African blood and slavery, that was simply wasn't true. It's fundamentally illogical to say that "free status" was determined by a piece of paper, but slave status was not. Slaves were property, and in the English-American legal system, all property is determined by a "piece of paper". If anything, slave status was more dependent on paper than free, but actually, both were.

    Yes, white people could not under any circumstances be slaves. That is because slavery as an institution was defined by race. Only blacks could be slaves. But that does not mean that a person's slave status was determined by their African blood. It wasn't. You could have African blood and be a slave, and you could have African blood and not be a slave.

    •  It's your logic again (0+ / 0-)

      that leads you to an inappropriate analogy.  The presumption in every Colony and territory where slavery was legal, was:

      All black people are slaves.

      The burden of proof was on the free black person to prove that s/he was not a slave.  

      The proof was in the piece of paper.  But the paper was often not enough. In all slave states, it also usually depended upon the word of white men that the piece of paper was valid.

      White people never had to produce papers to prove they weren't slaves.  

      In order to enslave a person with white skin, or to demote them from "whiteness," society had to "discover" a percentage of "black blood" in that white body.

      This is not equivalent to the HIV example, the difference being (and I can't believe you don't see this) that the HIV virus exists, and is measurable with a simple blood test.  

      The entire point of my essay is that "black blood" and "whiteness" are both invented.  "Black blood" is specifically NOT measurable because it exists only as a construction in the white mind.

      Segueing into the "property argument is a mere sidestep:

      Slaves were property, and in the English-American legal system, all property is determined by a "piece of paper". If anything, slave status was more dependent on paper than free, but actually, both were.
      You fail to look at your foundation assumption ("slaves were property").  The only reason that slaves could be considered property was their "black blood."  That was what determined their status as property, once again proving my point.  No white person was ever "potential property," but every free black person was by virtue of the possession of "black blood."

      White people rarely had to produce papers to prove they owned slaves, and then, usually, only in contests over ownership with othere whites.  A white person's word was generally sufficient.  A black person's word, however, was usually not valid either in practice or in law.

      So not only was slavery "as an institution" determined by race, but the slave/nonslave status of every individual black person was also determined by race, illustrated by the fact that free blacks lived precariously under rules determined by their "black blood," while free whites did not.  

      This sort of sloppy logic and failure to comprehend the essence of an argument is exactly why discussions with you are not interesting.  

      "If you fake the funk, your nose will grow." -- Bootsy Collins

      by hepshiba on Sat Apr 14, 2012 at 10:35:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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