+
Education & Information

A class presentation listing 'pros' and 'cons' of slavery is why we need racism education

A class presentation listing 'pros' and 'cons' of slavery is why we need racism education

How race and racism are handled in schools has been an issue for decades, but the debate has been pushed into the spotlight in the past couple of years as the Black Lives Matter movement has gained momentum. Hysteria over critical race theory (or what people think critical race theory is) has overtaken school board meetings and resulted in legislation governing what can and can't be talked about in the classroom when it comes to race and racism.

A viral photo of a class presentation listing the pros and cons of slavery illustrates how vital it is to incorporate racism education in schools. The watering down of American slavery has gone on for far too long, and no matter what the assignment was here, this kind of slide has no place in a classroom.


The image, which seems to have first been shared in 2016, shows what appears to be a student presenting a slide with the title, "IS SLAVERY ALWAYS BAD?" followed by a list of "pros" and "cons" of enslaving people.

According to the presentation, the pros of slavery include:

- Slaves would be beneficial for some companies due to faster work performance

- Not all slaves are treated with neglect

- Most slaves have food, shelter, and clothing

- Slavery can be viewed as an opportunity to pay off debt.

And the cons listed were:

- Slaves were sometimes harshly beaten

- Slaves have little to no freedom

- Families may be separated

- Slavery goes against human rights.

Hoo boy. Lots to unpack here.

We don't know what class this photo came from—maybe history, maybe a debate class—but it doesn't matter. There is one, and only one, correct answer to the question the slide poses. YES, slavery is always bad. End of discussion. There are things that are simply not debatable, and slavery is one of them.

But unfortunately, it's far too common for Americans to engage in these kinds of "let's weigh the pros and cons before determining if making Black people work for free, using violence and family trauma to keep them enslaved for centuries, was really as evil as it sounds" arguments. It's been happening in textbooks and classrooms throughout our history. It's wrong. It has always been wrong.

We don't even have to stretch our imaginations very far to understand why it's wrong.

Imagine a slide asking, "IS GENOCIDE ALWAYS WRONG?" with a list of pros that include "A smaller population would be beneficial for some due to fewer mouths to feed" and "Many people killed in a genocide aren't tortured before they die." No. We don't do that. Never ever.

Imagine a pros and cons list like this for domestic violence. Pro: Abusers get what they want. Con: Sometimes the abused get physically injured. Ridiculous, right?

Imagine asking high schoolers to make a pros and cons list for drunk driving. No. That would be asinine.

But some people treat slavery as if it's debatable how bad it was. I once had someone try to convince me that slavery wasn't all that bad because "many slaves were considered members of their owner's family and weren't mistreated." As if being enslaved was not mistreatment in and of itself. The mental gymnastics some Americans will do to make slavery sound better than it was is astounding.

The fact that this slide was made and presented to a classroom in the 21st century is an indication that education about racism in schools is necessary. This slide is racism, and the fact that that's not obvious to everyone is exactly the problem.

This kind of presentation is what happens when you teach slavery as if it were just another policy decision and not the racist, dehumanizing evil driven by white supremacy and greed that it was. We need to teach history honestly and thoroughly, explaining the racist ideology that led to racist chattel slavery in the United States and the racist oppression that followed emancipation. Otherwise, we end up with this kind of whitewashed, false-equivalency pros and cons list that has no place in a civilized society.

Finally, someone explains why we all need subtitles

It seems everyone needs subtitles nowadays in order to "hear" the television. This is something that has become more common over the past decade and it's caused people to question if their hearing is going bad or if perhaps actors have gotten lazy with enunciation.

So if you've been wondering if it's just you who needs subtitles in order to watch the latest marathon-worthy show, worry no more. Vox video producer Edward Vega interviewed dialogue editor Austin Olivia Kendrick to get to the bottom of why we can't seem to make out what the actors are saying anymore. It turns out it's technology's fault, and to get to how we got here, Vega and Kendrick took us back in time.

They first explained that way back when movies were first moving from silent film to spoken dialogue, actors had to enunciate and project loudly while speaking directly into a large microphone. If they spoke and moved like actors do today, it would sound almost as if someone were giving a drive-by soliloquy while circling the block. You'd only hear every other sentence or two.

Keep ReadingShow less
www.youtube.com

Man hailed 'Highway Hero' for running across four lanes of traffic

Holy cow, Bat Man! You're always supposed to be aware of other vehicles when you're driving but what do you do when you notice someone has lost consciousness while speeding down the highway?

It's a scenario that no one wants to see play out, but for Adolfo Molina, the scenario became reality and he didn't hesitate to spring into action. Molina was driving down the highway when he spotted a woman in a blue car who lost consciousness as her car careened down the shoulder of the highway. The concerned driver quickly pulled over in order to attempt to rescue the woman.

But there was a problem, he had to cross four lanes of traffic on the highway just to make it to the woman's still moving car. That obstacle didn't stop him. Molina sprinted across the highway, crossing right in front of a black pick up truck before running at full speed to attempt to open the woman's door and stop her car.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

One moment in history shot Tracy Chapman to music stardom. Watch it now.

She captivated millions with nothing but her guitar and an iconic voice.

Imagine being in the crowd and hearing "Fast Car" for the first time

While a catchy hook might make a song go viral, very few songs create such a unifying impact that they achieve timeless resonance. Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” is one of those songs.

So much courage and raw honesty is packed into the lyrics, only to be elevated by Chapman’s signature androgynous and soulful voice. Imagine being in the crowd and seeing her as a relatively unknown talent and hearing that song for the first time. Would you instantly recognize that you were witnessing a pivotal moment in musical history?

For concert goers at Wembley Stadium in the late 80s, this was the scenario.

Keep ReadingShow less
Internet

Relationship expert tells people to never get married unless you're willing to do 3 things

"If you and your partner (both) are unable or unwilling to do these 3 things consistently forever, you won’t make it."

Relationship expert gives people advice on getting married.

Being in a relationship can be difficult at times. Learning someone else's quirks, boundaries, and deep views on the world can be eye-opening and hard. But usually, the happy chemicals released in our brain when we love someone can cause us to overlook things in order to keep the peace.

Jayson Gaddis, a relationship expert, took to Twitter to rip off people's rose-colored glasses and tell them to forego marriage. Honestly, with the divorce rate in this country being as high as it is, he probably could've stopped his tweet right there. Don't get married, the end. Many people would've probably related and not questioned the bold statement, but thankfully he followed up with three things you must be willing to do before going to the chapel.

Before going into his reasons for why he tells people not to get married, Gaddis explained that he is a person that "LOVEs being married." I mean, it would probably make him a pretty weird relationship expert if he hated relationships, so it's probably a good thing he enjoys being married. Surely his spouse appreciates his stance as well.

Keep ReadingShow less

Humanitarian Helen Keller circa 1920.

In a 1954 documentary short, humanitarian Helen Keller expressed that her greatest regret in life was being unable to speak clearly. But given that she could not see or hear, her speech was quite remarkable.

Keller was born in 1880 and, at the age of 18 months, contracted an unknown illness that left her deaf and blind. But with the help of her teacher, Anne Sullivan, she was able to overcome her disabilities and become an outspoken advocate for the voiceless and oppressed.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

10 years ago, a 'Stairway to Heaven' performance brought Led Zeppelin's surviving members to tears

Heart, John Bonham's son and a full choir came together for the epic tribute.

Led Zeppelin got to see their iconic hit performed for them.

When Billboard and Rolling Stone pull together their "Best Songs of All Time" lists, there are some tunes you know for sure will be included. Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" is most definitely one of them.

It has everything—the beauty of a ballad, the grunginess of a rock song, the simple solo voice, and the band in full force. "Stairway to Heaven" takes us on a musical journey, and even people who aren't necessarily giant Led Zeppelin or classic rock fans can't help but nod or sing along to it.

Of course, it's also been so ubiquitous (or overplayed, as some would claim) to become a meme among musicians. Signs saying "No Stairway to Heaven" in guitar stores point to how sick of the song many guitarists get, and when Oregon radio station KBOO told listeners they would never play the song again if someone pledged $10,000, Led Zepelin singer Robert Plant himself called in and gave the donation.

Keep ReadingShow less