Abolitionist view on Why Slavery Must End
I disagree with the false perceptions of slavery that have been created in the newspaper. The newspaper describes that life in Southern is much happier than the life of free slaves who according to the newspaper would wish to their masters. However, stories of the individuals that have experienced the horrors of living like slaves contradict the newspaper’s narrative in almost every aspect, and they argue that they have never seen a genuinely happy slave. For example, if an individual visits a master’s house, he or she will be served food by the slaves in that house and leave the house assuming that the slaves are in a good relationship with their master, however the reality is different but cannot be easily seen because no one cares to visit the slaves’ huts to see the poor living conditions (Biddle & Murray, 71). It is unjustifiable for the rich southerners not to pay the slaves for the labor yet they are responsible for creating their wealth. A tough question should be asked to the newspaper’s authors on whether they would be willing to do hard work on the plantations and not receive even a penny for their work. The newspaper seems to be justifying that greed is good and it can lead to the downfall of the society. A greedy society does not care about creating wealth through genuine business but rather through any means like the current exploitation of slaves and other evils including murder.
The newspaper is also wrong in its assumption that the masters make best decisions with regards to the life of his or her slave and that a slave cannot survive without the master and that a free slave would wish to return to their master. It is unimaginable that a person can be given an opportunity to live as free man and to do what he wants with his life without being forced and yet prefer to live a life of slavery where he cannot do anything and fully depends on an ungrateful master. What the newspaper is suggesting doesn’t make sense, and the reason behind the newspaper criticizing the freedom of slaves is based on the fear that the masters will be left with no one to take care of their fields and probably make losses. The perception created by the newspaper that the southern masters love and take care of their slaves is misplaced because all the masters care about is gaining more wealth through the shortcut of exploiting poor and helpless slaves.
It is also wrong to suggest that the slaves in the south are happier than they would be if they were to be freed. For example, most masters make sure that slaves are working from sunshine to sunset. It is hard to believe that any human being would feel free for working without pay from sunshine to sunset. The newspapers also explain how a free slave cannot do any skilled work and therefore useless but ignores the facts. The newspaper acts blind to the fact that it is illegal for the slaves to read or write. It, therefore, means that the slaves are denied education and would likely become more productive in the society if they were freed and allowed to acquire education. It should be noted that the slaves would work and improve their lives if they are set free (Campbell, 51). Conclusively the newspapers need to research on the facts of slavery by interviewing the slaves and people that have survived the horror of slavery and stop basing their conclusion on assumptions.
Biddle, Daniel R., and Murray Dubin. Tasting Freedom: Octavius Catto and the Battle for Equality in Civil War America. Temple University Press, 2010.
Campbell, Ciara, ed. Slavery in America. Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2015.