The Unpaid Labor system in the United States became the largest in the world.
It started one hundred and sixty-nine years before the country began in 1776. When that labor system was legally abolished in 1865 it was 258 years old. But nothing was done to abolish the lie that made it possible. That myth says that European Americans (“White” people) are morally and intellectually superior to African Americans (Unpaid Laborers) and people of color. The myth says that there is such a thing as race.
The myth was necessary to keep White people and Unpaid Laborers totally separate. It was necessary to convince everyday people that whatever happened to a slave was ok. It was necessary to keep the slave driven economy of the 13 original colonies and the new United States of America going. It was necessary to give “good” people an acceptable way to participate in and benefit from a society built on slavery with a “clear” conscience. Of course, there were those that knew it was wrong and said so. But the nation as a whole went along with it.
Not only that but America doubled down on the myth of racial superiority and inferiority. The end of legal slavery in 1865 was followed by Reconstruction, Jim Crow laws, Black codes, and legal discrimination. Federal, state and local governments worked against African Americans. That lasted for another 99 years after slavery! And that was followed by another 55 years of discrimination from 1964 to 2019.
These official and unofficial policies have led to psychological stress and the economic dysfunction of entire communities of Black people across the country. Retail redlining, housing discrimination, mass incarceration, self-hatred, and violence are some of the legacies of these policies. And to add insult to injury Black people and communities of color are blamed for the conditions created by their own country. It’s time for a change! Promoting a myth for 400 years and treating a whole people group as inferiors has not made it the truth.
It’s time to abolish the myth. “Race” is a made-up thing that has real impact. It’s time to change our thinking on the subject. It’s time to replace the myth with the truth that “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal”.