Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Bill O'Reilly, meet Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Dan Kelly

You may have missed Fox News talker Bill O'Reilly's jaw-dropping minimization of slavery after First Lady Michelle Obama noted in her speech Monday night at the Democratic National Convention that the White House was built with slave labor.

O'Reilly knows the statement is true, but felt compelled to add a peculiarly callous and ignorant bit of spin:
Slaves that worked there were well-fed and had decent lodgings provided by the government, which stopped hiring slave labor in 1802. 
The slaves were "well-fed and had decent lodgings?"

What is he conjuring up - - a summer camp brochure?

There's something, anything virtuous about enslavement?

So you say, what would you expect from a Fox News blowhard - - at least there aren't serious people in policy-making positions who could so completely misinterpret the evil essence of owning people?

Regrettably, there was another such sugar-coated distortion of slavery by Atty. Daniel Kelly, whom Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker just elevated to a seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court  - - and there's no doubt that Walker saw Kelly's statement because Kelly included it in his official application to Walker for the position:

In his application, Kelly included a 2014 book chapter in which he wrote same-sex marriage would rob marriage of any meaning and likened affirmative action to slavery. 
"Affirmative action and slavery differ, obviously, in significant ways," Kelly wrote. "But it's more a question of degree than principle, for they both spring from the same taproot. Neither can exist without the foundational principle that it is acceptable to force someone into an unwanted economic relationship. Morally, and as a matter of law, they are the same."
Slavery is "an unwanted economic relationship?" 

What kind of mind can reduce and reconfigure the sinful, violent, obscene personal and cultural coercion of thousands and thousands of captured human beings - - many of whom died in chains on slave ships or were raped and murdered while in bondage in America after losing their freedom, names, families, identity - - into a sanitized collection of obfuscatory, overly syllabic words like "unwanted economic relationship?"

What is this: An Econ 101 term paper topic?

I'll tell you what's an unwanted economic relationship. Getting slammed and overbilled by a phone company. Having your email address sold by one political campaign to another, leaving you with pesky electronic solicitations or fliers on your doorstep. 

Spending your life as a captive, in a foreign continent and country where no law protects you, but enforces your kidnapping and shields your owner - - even if you are, by some apologist's warped standard, well-fed and lodged - - is a helluva lot more profound and consequential than being in "an unwanted economic relationship."

And what kind of Governor responds by saying to all that by saying through an official action: 'just the guy to sit on the state's highest court.'

Yeah, we know. The Badger who would be President.


nonheroicvet said...

How do you hire slave labor?

Jonathan Swift said...

Slaves were hired the same way team of horses would be hired by negotiating with the owner. I get the irony.