The Real Lesson In The Economist’s Insanely Racist Review Of Slave History Book
[su_right_ad]The Economist magazine has withdrawn, and apologized for their review of Edward E. Baptist’s The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism, but took the additional step of keeping the review’s text available for transparency’s sake. Good for them, I guess, but their apology, while abject, misses the key lesson that they, and the rest of the media, ought to have learned from this (emphasis mine):
Apology: In our review of “The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism” by Edward Baptist, we said: “Mr Baptist has not written an objective history of slavery. Almost all the blacks in his book are victims, almost all the whites villains.” There has been widespread criticism of this, and rightly so. Slavery was an evil system, in which the great majority of victims were blacks, and the great majority of whites involved in slavery were willing participants and beneficiaries of that evil. We regret having published this and apologise for having done so. We are therefore withdrawing the review but in the interests of transparency, anybody who wants to see the withdrawn review can click here.
The most obvious deficiency in this apology is its narrow focus on that two-sentence premise, when there is hardly a syllable in the full review that isn’t horribly offensive. Even in the very first paragraph, they note that Baptist has written a “grim history of the business of slavery,” as though there could be any other kind. What, did he miss the whimsical advertising pitch meetings?
The review, entitled “Blood cotton,” proceeds to lapse into several paragraphs of whitesplaining about slavery, graciously conceding that the author “is not being especially contentious when he says that America owed much of its early growth to the foreign exchange, cheaper raw materials and expanding markets provided by a slave-produced commodity,” before expressing hurt white fee-fees over his “dismissal” of things like “Yankee ingenuity” and “government policies.”
Motherfucker, slavery was a government policy, and white Yanks were nothing if not innovative about it.
You get the idea. The entire enterprise is wracked with the inner rot of white ignorance, but it had the benefit of providing its own opportunity for self-diagnosis…READ MORE [su_sky_ad]