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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.

Maybe you still don't get it. Imagine if I said something like this:

Bloodsucking health insurance companies are a "tradition" the way using the gas chamber was for the SS.

Get it? Health insurance companies are evil, but they certainly are not the SS. To compare the two, makes the SS look like it could easily be a typical run of the mill private company going about its thankless business of turning a profit. Ummm, no. The SS was an institution designed for the organized extermination of a people. That is not the same thing as selling shady insurance.

This is exactly how black folks feel about Slavery. It wasn't some regulatory hassle. It is the fundamental human tragedy of all black people. It defines our identity. As fundamental as the Shoah is to the Jewish people. It lives with in us in the language we speak, in our names, in our songs. It is the reason we are even HERE. It isn't the same as being out of work. It isn't the same as being arrested for smoking pot. It isn't the same as having to pay taxes.

So just as you wouldn't compare having to get your car out of the tow pound to being gassed at Auschwitz, please avoid comparing whatever governmental injustice you have to Slavery. Unless you are truly being held against your will, are routinely raped, beaten, or forced to work without pay, are deprived of education and basic human rights, are treated as property to be bought and sold at will, are not allowed to speak your native tongue, or practice your native religion, or even keep your own given name, and could be tortured, maimed, or killed at the caprice of your owner, you are NOT experiencing Slavery.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Originally posted to Triple-B in the Building on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 11:27 AM PDT.

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