Wrong on the Internet: Independence Edition

Jul 07 2012 Published by under [Etc]

Chris Rock tweeted on July 4 "Happy white peoples independence day, the slaves weren't free, but I'm sure they enjoyed fireworks."

This comment raised some eyebrows, including Herman Cain, who stated the following on CNN:

Look at it this way, if America had not become independent, slaves might still be slaves.

Actually no. They would  likely have been emancipated several years earlier since the abolitionist movement in England blossomed into law with the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 outlawing the practice throughout most of the British Empire. Yup, our former overlords freed their slaves a generation before we did, without a civil war.

h/t to Opposing Views for pointing out the Chris Rock Kerfluffle


4 responses so far

  • I dunno. If the Brits had still had significant financial interests in slavery in what is now the US, I doubt that act would have passed when it did. Sad but true.

    • Pascale says:

      The Brits did exclude some portions of the empire from emancipation, including properties of the East India Company and Ceylon. It's difficult to know how much the southern colonial planters would have been able to sway the powers in Britain, especially after an unsuccessful revolution...

  • StereoDevil says:

    You pointed out that Herman Cain was factually wrong but said nothing about Chris Rock's blatantly racist comment. I guess if Cain was on the left he would get a pass too.

    • Pascale says:

      Chris Rock said nothing factually wrong. Black slaves remained property (as did women of any race). It's a bit of a bummer to interrupt the barbeque and fireworks with a nasty fact, but it's important to remember that the Declaration primarily served a group of highly educated, land-owning European men.
      The founding fathers did not get liberty immediately correct. We are lucky that we have been able to right many of their wrongs over time. We still have things to fix, including lingering racism and sexism.

Leave a Reply