August 22, 2005

US Rep. Charlie Rangel touting phony slave document

US Congresscritter Charles Rangel (Moonbat-NY) is waving around a supposed document that links the source of the "destruction of the black family" to a single English man who visited Virginia in the 18th century.

"In 1712, British slave owner Willie Lynch was invited to the colony of Virginia to teach his methods of keeping slaves under control to American slave owners," Mr. Rangel says. "Almost 300 years later, the techniques that he prescribed seem to have not only been successful in controlling slaves, but lasting as a means of weakening and destroying the black family."

Mr. Rangel explains that in slavery, "families were purposely divided, with husband and wives separated from each other and their children. Black males were humiliated and whipped in front of their wives and children. Stripped of their power and pride, black men were seen as weak, and black women had to be the strength of the household, distorting the traditional family structure."

One problem, Charlie -- the document is fake; the story is an urban legend.

Spelman history professor Jelani Cobb notes as much.

"There are many problems with this document -- not the least of which is the fact that it is absolutely fake," explains Jelani Cobb, a professor of history at Atlanta's Spelman College.

"In the few years since the speech on how to train slaves first appeared, it has been cited by countless college students, a black member of the House of Representatives and become the essential verbal footnote in barbershop analysis of what's wrong with black people," the historian writes on his Web site.

Detailing evidence of the Lynch letter's falsehood, Mr. Cobb notes that this document was unknown to historians before its appearance on the Web:

"Considering the limited number of extant sources from the 18th century, if this speech had been 'discovered' it would've been the subject of incessant historical panels, scholarly articles and debates. It would literally be a career-making find. But the letter was never 'discovered,' but rather it 'appeared' -- bypassing the official historical circuits and making its way via Internet directly into the canon of American racial [conspiracy theories]."

Congressman Rangel needs to take a closer look at the past, and more particularly how Johnson's "Great Society" stripped the black man out of the household of many lower-incomed black families. That certainly isn't the only cause, but it is a large one.

Then, an even larger question -- and one that needs to be addressed by people on both sides of the political aisle, is how to rectify that problem.

I don't have a be-all, end-all answer to that question. As a matter of fact, I'm certain that there isn't a one-size-fits-all answer to that problem.

However, I am convinced that there are merits to points of view from both sides of the aisle. And I'm also convinced that those of us on the conservative side have much to contribute to the set of overall solutions...provided we can continue to open the floor to conversation and honest consideration.

Posted by mhking at August 22, 2005 05:56 PM | TrackBack
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