The Republic of T.

Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.

Everything is NOT Slavery

Finally, somebody said it. It’s been on my mind to say for a while now, but I never got around to it. Finally now, somebody else has said it. So all I have to do is say, “Amen.”

After months of hearing everything from national service programs, to the stimulus, and even health care reform to slavery, somebody finally said it. That somebody being brooklynbadboy at DailyKos.

Got it? SLAVERY is like SLAVERY. It means someone OWNS YOU. It means if you are a female slave, your owner can take away your children and sell them, forbid to speak your native tongue, or even rename you to indicate whose property you are, among other horrors.

THAT is what Slavery is. Do not compare it to going without health insurance. Do not compare it with not being able to get married. Do not compare American Slavery with anything other than real people who are currently enslaved. Black people find it offensive to our ancestors.

Thank you, dammit! (Of course, the funny thing is that conservatives who call all of the above slavery have a peculiar habit of defending slavery in the first place.)

None of the above is slavery.

Slavery looks more like this.

And like this.

Got it?

For starters, slaves didn’t get much (if anything) in return for their work,  other than subsistence level food and shelter.

The proposed national service program doesn’t read much like a slave contract in that light.

Obama and Biden will call on citizens of all ages to serve. They’ll set a goal that all middle school and high school students engage in 50 hours of community service a year, and develop a plan for all college students who engage in 100 hours of community service to receive a fully-refundable tax credit of $4,000 for their education. Obama and Biden will encourage retiring Americans to serve by improving programs available for individuals over age 55, while at the same time promoting youth programs such as Youth Build and Head Start.

Do people read this stuff or think about it before they start spazzing?

“Setting a goal” doesn’t sound like a requirement. And no “slave” would get anything resembling $4,000 (to go towards education, at that) for 100 hours of work.

Health care reform isn’t “slavery.” Not only that, but a system in which our out-of-pocket costs have gone up 34% in three years, where the uninsured face an avalanche of costs, where the rest of us shell out an extra $1,000 a year to pay for the uninsured, where health care costs may hit $2.5 trillion this year (about $8,000 per person), all while we’re spending $2.3 trillion and still not getting what we pay for isn’t exactly what I’d call ideal. Nor would any other sane person.

Note to conservatives: Wanna be taken seriously? Stop screaming words like “socialism” and “slavery” and maybe start offering actual solutions.

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