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article imageOp-Ed: Slavery movie destroys American icon

By Robert Weller     Jan 13, 2014 in Entertainment
Baton Rouge - Other countries hide their worst obscenities. America makes them sympathetic heroes in movies like “Gone With the Wind.” A series of later movies tells the true story.
It is very difficult to sit through “12 Years a Slave,” even if your regional background makes it that much more believable.
The drama Golden Globe it won during the weekend may tempt some to risk seeing real history.
Growing up in America, the fate of John Brown for opposing the obscenity that was slavery is minimized. Instead we have “Scarlett O’Hara.”
What is mourned is the loss of a life based on the theft of humanity. The hapless lives of slaves are only mentioned in passing.
No Nuremberg trials followed. The leader of the war that brought them down was murdered and replaced by a sympathetic Democrat. The descendants of slavers still rule the South.
These days a reality show, Duck Dynasty, is built around the theme that these poor n* were as happy as the Seven Dwarfs.
Many movies have been made, though none so blunt, but the vision many in America still hold is Margaret Mitchell’s.
The other story not taught in our schools was the bravery and unrelenting opposition to slavery of Brown and other abolitionists.
It was a great surprise to learn the state of New York had in 1840 passed a law financing the rescue of blacks kidnapped and taken south as slaves.
Unlike in Nazi Germany’s camps, where a non-Jew would scream that he was a Gentile, freed blacks seized by slavers risked their lives.
The characters of actor Chiwetel Ejiofor’s white masters are played as they were, be they plantation owner, overseer or mistress. The only thing that might catch a lady’s attention for more than a second was if one of their husbands were sleeping with a slave; that called for a good thrashing.
Suggesting that these planters might have been somewhat human, they seem constantly concerned with making their slaves sing and dance. Perhaps they had Mel Brooks as a psychiatrist.
Warning: obviously this is no “Gone with the Wind.” Neither is it “Amistad.” Some may not be able to sit through it.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about Slavery, 12 years as a slave, Gone With The Wind, Confederacy, Civil War
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