Fuzzy history: Were blacks officially considered 3/5 human?

Not often, but often enough when discussing slavery or America’s treatment of blacks and black slaves, someone will introduce the notion that they once were only considered three-fifths of a person, or similarly three-fifths human.  I’ll be honest, when I first heard this, it sounded like something that might be the case, like the fact that 68% of statistics are made up on the spot.  But is it true?

Not exactly.  Article 1 of the Constitution, in pertinent part reads as follows:

3. Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective numbers, which shall be determined by adding the whole number of free persons, including those bound to service for a term of years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three-fifths of all other persons.

Two things immediately come to mind.  First, the number of House Representatives is directly related to population and by extension holds weight for the Electoral College.  By only considering three-fifths of all non-free persons (slaves), the pro-slavery South was prevented from politically overpowering the generally anti-slavery North.  In other words, had the whole number of slaves been counted, the South’s population would have allotted for a significant number more Representatives in the House and more Electoral votes.  The abolition of slavery, which eventually would have been abolished anyway, would have taken significantly longer to accomplish.

Secondly, and more importantly, nothing in the Constitution declares that blacks — or slaves — were three-fifths human/person.  It clearly states that only three-fifths of the non-free will count toward the allotment of House representatives.  Notice that the focus is on whether a person is free or other than free.  Both are referred to as persons with no distinction of lesser or greater.

The three-fifths compromise as it’s called, isn’t a contrived white-washing of history.  It was an intentional political maneuver to expedite the abolition of slavery.  Is this misconception intentional to gain an emotional upper-hand in a race-related debate?  Or is this simply a misunderstanding which has morphed into ‘everybody knows…’?

Comments

  1. Oh, man, there you go with facts again!

  2. I’m not quite sure what your point is here. Are you trying to argue that people were treated as equals back then?

    The three-fifths compromise as it’s called, isn’t a contrived white-washing of history. It was an intentional political maneuver to expedite the abolition of slavery.

    Since this compromise was drafted in 1787, I would hardly say it was a maneuver to abolish slavery. The 13th amendment abolishing slavery was adopted in 1865.

    Let’s not also forget that women didn’t even count as a “person” until 1920.

    • Your assertion about women is an absurd misunderstanding of history.

      But im not saying blacks were treated equally. But they werent considered 60% of a person like some activists say.

  3. Maybe you’re confused about the ability to vote and representation. Since its inception, this country has been slow to grant anyone other than tax-paying, property-owning men equal rights before the law.

    Until 1865, blacks were not considered equal.
    Until 1920, women were not considered equal.

    I know this seems incomprehensible in today’s US, but that’s the way it was.
    You sound like you’re upset because black people keep bringing it up.

    • Women didn’t vote because it was set up to be land owning tax paying people. People who had skin in the game. The person who voted voted for the household.

      Women werent considered not equal, thats just how its portrayed.

    • Sherry fabijanic says:

      Actually ‘ black people’ we’re not even mentioned, only free men and indentured servants were counted as one vote for taxation purposes and representation in the new government (by population). Free men with property were able to vote and be counted as full person even if ‘black’. No where is color of skin specifically mentioned in the constitution. It was a comprise in 1787 to appease the south and (hasten the abolition of slavery). Many of the founding fathers tried to abolish the practice and were able to,at the very least, discontinue the import of slaves after 1808. Unfortunately, it took a civil war to end the abomination of slavery in the United States. And the fifteenth amendment in 1870 and the 24th amendment in 1964, both, were attempts to further the rights of citizens to vote without paying a poll tax or any other tax.

  4. Truthfully, I don’t grasp the point of this exercise myself. If you’re trying to set the record straight, fine. We all know liberal activists could use a good schooling. However, I think your efforts would have been better spent on another issue.

    Most blacks weren’t considered any percentage of a person by anyone. They were considered property to be bought and sold. If we’re being honest then the Three-Fifths Compromise was nothing but a crude form of gerrymandering. Blacks were regarded as property to be bought, sold, beaten, raped, and even killed, whatever the owner felt like doing. It was a matter of economics.

    So you certainly can’t argue, as you seem to be doing, that somehow early America wasn’t that bad a place for black people. And I know you’ll say that wasn’t the point of this post, but truthfully, what is the point then? I don’t get it. To focus on something like the Three-Fifths Compromise seems an exercise in casuistry given the much bigger issue of inhumane treatment these people suffered notwithstanding their 60% status with the law.

    • I agree they were property. I agree they were treated worse than animals. I agree that american slavery was an abomination.

      My point is one of frustration with what seems to be a point of misinterpretation that still manifests in animosity. Perhaps this was inspired by a couple discussions ive had over the past week and a half.

  5. Kendrick says:

    For what it’s worth, John, I get it, but it’s very difficult to make a narrow point about an enormously emotionally charged issue. You’re simply saying that the 3/5 Compromise, in its design, actually *reduced* the political power of slaveholders (compared to fully counting every slave). While you’re technically correct, the 3/5 Compromise, like the convoluted blood laws in apartheid South Africa, stands as testament to the mathematics of racism. No such fractionalizing of a race — however benign the political purpose — can ever be anything but intractably racist.

    • Hey kendrick

      Personally I believe allowing all slaves to have been counted would have not been in their best interest. I think the North did what they could in the political conditions they had.

  6. John is correct. It was indeed a compromise that reduced the potential power the slave holding states would have had had they been able to count every slave for the purpose of representation. One has to keep in mind the obvious fraud they tried to perpetrate. If slaves were property, then it would be like counting one’s sofa in order to get more reps in Congress. The free states could not abide this. Yet, to demand that NO slaves could be counted would have possibly resulted in no ratification of the Constitution at all. The true impact and consequence of this compromise was to grant more humanity to the slave population than they would otherwise have had, due the fact that the south could not garner the power in Congress that could have delayed emancipation.

  7. Yeah, John. It must’ve been a couple of dumb liberals you were talking to or something. Truthfully, the Three-Fifths Compromise is hardly worth discussion given, well, everything else. It’s a non-issue, or, at the very least, a minor one.

  8. Kendrick,

    So great to see you commenting. Honestly, it made my night.

  9. I have to disagree with your sentiments, Terrance. Though I would prefer that the issue be thoroughly understood, the fact is that it does indeed come up and is used to denigrate. It’s a race play by many to refer to this compromise to suggest it proves the racism of our nation. Well, it does and it doesn’t. The compromise itself should demonstrate that there were people who truly understood the concept of all men being created equal. Indeed, the snippet of last Saturday’s “Saturday Night Live” that I saw involved a black comedian bringing it up on the “Weekend Update” segment. Sure, it was just a comedy bit, but it was brought up in just the manner that John’s post suggests.

    • All I’m trying to say is the 3/5 compromise was a matter of statistics not of value.

      Theres no doubt that blacks were thought of as less than human, but this part of the Constitution is not the evidence for it.

  10. The compromise itself should demonstrate that there were people who truly understood the concept of all men being created equal. Indeed, the snippet of last Saturday’s “Saturday Night Live” that I saw involved a black comedian bringing it up on the “Weekend Update” segment. Sure, it was just a comedy bit, but it was brought up in just the manner that John’s post suggests.

    I don’t believe your assumption is reasonable, Marshall. The Three-Fifths Compromise allowed the North to cap the political power of the South, otherwise the South would have had a significant advantage in the House and Electoral College. To suggest it was anything more is simply wishful thinking.

    Of course, I have no doubt that Northerners were more sympathetic to the plight of slaves than Southerners, but I certainly don’t believe the Three-Fifths Compromise can be used as evidence for this belief. The North and South often skirmished with each other, mostly over economics, and in this case, the North was simply safeguarding their own political and, ultimately, economic interests.

  11. This blog post is one of the most poorly presented perspectives I have seen in awhile.
    I say that for several reasons:

    Black Africans (as we all should know) were slaves and built the American infrastructure. They were the workforce of this nation (majorly in the south) to make it what it is; seen only as property.

    To illustrate:
    The 3/5th’s Compromise of the Constitution was adopted from the Articles of Confederation which pretty much defined the wealth and taxes a state would pay based on the number of inhabitants in it. Therefore southern states objected on the principle slaves were not humans- but property!
    All of this was due to greed- economics- taxes- and wealth distribution.
    The north wanted blacks to count as 4 slaves equivalent to 3 people.
    The south argued for 2: 1 or 4 slaves to 1 person ratios. The ‘compromise’ was 3:5.

    The Constitution itself was created and signed by men who were slave owners as well. So this definitely had ZERO to do with any morality on the part of the founding fathers or representation in the North. It was about money and power and who would control more of it. It wasn’t until the great wealth divide that Blacks gave the south, that it came to a head via the Civil War.

    If America could have kept slavery and the union in tact with no changes, then the civil war would never have taken place. The implied & agreed interpretation of the 3/5 Compromise was to suggest Blacks were not 5/5th’s HUMAN- but only property; to be counted as commodities such for taxation purposes. To theoretically redistribute wealth across the Union via representation in the government.

    However- slavery begot economies of scale and wealth- which begot greed and the need for independence- which created a need for seceding. There was no consideration for blacks or slaves.

    • Thats sad that you think that. The compromise was because of how population dictates representation in congress. Population has nothing to do with popupation only income. It was a nice try though.

  12. You really should read through the documents better Sam Neil. The laws refer to “FREE PERSONS” and “ALL OTHER PERSONS”, skin color and race is left out with the exception of non-tax paying Native Americans. The laws never say or insinuate ANYTHING about the other persons not being human or being less human, just that they should not be counted as part of the population for taxes and/or representation just like the non-tax paying Native Americans! Although you are right that slaves were considered property so is a farmers cow, the fact that the cow is property doesn’t make it less of a cow just as it didn’t make human slaves less human. The truth of the situation is bad enough on its own, it doesn’t need anyone twisting it and embellishing it with things that are not true to make it sound bad. Equal rights were denied, racism existed, but slaves were still people and black people(or people of any skin color) were still people.

    • That was the point I was trying to make Haggsy. The issue was census related not the value of the individual.

      • You completely missed my point. My explanation is to consider ALL the criteria of the history- not just what was implied on paper.

        When I say: The 3/5th’s Compromise of the Constitution was adopted from the Articles of Confederation which pretty much defined the wealth and taxes a state would pay based on the number of inhabitants in it. Therefore southern states objected on the principle slaves were not humans- but property!

        You can take color out of the mix- but the fact still remians that the slave labor force was still primarily black Africans. Yet, the taxation was based on the head count as you stated- CENSUS. To minimize taxation- the headcount for people/ commodities= slaves was considered less than 1.

        Basic math suggests every1 is 1 whole person.. not less than 1. That is of course your dealing with individuals who are seen as commodities and not people (regardless of color). Yet typical people love to take race out of ‘race based’ issues to make some skewed point or redraw history in their own way.

  13. I TOTALLY agree with S. Neil. To read the constitution is one thing, but to understand how and why the laws were put into play is another. One must be wise enough to know the day and age in which the constitution was written, and who it was written by in order to truly understand the laws that were put to paper. If blacks made up more of the population but weren’t considered a human being but instead considered property, there you have it. It doesn’t take a genius or rocket scientist to figure that out. Common sense will tell you there had to be a way to discount the MAJORITY and only consider the Minority to with hold power. That’s the way its been done for centuries and this great nation that was built on the backs of slaves just followed the blueprint of ancient empires. Once a thief, always a thief. No need for big words or numbers.. it is what it is.. clearly seen and taken for what it is. Many may argue this, but the truth is the truth. Stop covering up the truth, and own up to what is real.

  14. Google “America’s first slave owner was a black man” to learn a ‘different’ viewpoint. What if blacks ‘sold’ themselves into slavery to avoid repatriation? Would that make a difference in how we view slavery today? Would that make a difference in today’s black narrative that makes them the innocent victim?

    “The first African American elected to the U.S. Senate was Hiram Rhodes Revels, who in 1869 filled the seat vacated by Confederate President Jefferson Davis.” and “Blacks achieved numerous political firsts, and so great were their gains that in 1866 the Ku Klux Klan was formed [by Democrats!]. Among the KKK’s declared purposes was the regaining of white Democratic control in elections.” Google: First African Americans in Congress cbn.

    Gun control laws were also created by the left to keep blacks from taking over the South! MLK was a Republican as were the blacks elected above. [I’m not an ‘R’ or a ‘D’ btw just the facts.]

    The 14th Amendment created a different class of people called a US Citizen. “All ‘persons’ born or naturalized in the United States, and ‘subject to the jurisdiction thereof’, are ‘citizens of the United States’ and of the state wherein they reside.” The Act of 1871 incorporated the United States. That means our government is a corporation. The only way a corporation can gain jurisdiction over you is by contract. A ‘person’ can also be a corporation. Google ‘usavsus.info’ and start learning something that is not taught in public (giverment) schools. Accepting benefits (a contract) from the corporation makes you a US citizen. If it requires your signature, it’s a contract! All the States are corporations as well!

    There is also ‘word art’. The common meaning of words is NOT what they mean in a court of law! Google “dictionaries/1856_bouvier_6.pdf” and look the word ‘driver’ up! We use an old legal dictionary because those were the meaning of words constructed into law that they understood at the time. Common usage today does not change the intent of the law. Constructing laws in this way assures that laws remains consistent over time. In fact, the term used is ‘construction of the law’! To wit: “Driver: One EMPLOYED in conducting a coach, carriage, wagon, or other vehicle, with horses, mules, or other animals.” So, by getting a ‘license’ and ‘registering’ your ‘vehicle’ you are agreeing you are ‘driving’ in commerce! Are you?? Is that what you were told (word art!)?

    I bring this example up because we use words that we ‘think’ we understand (i.e., stand under!) yet in legal parlance (court) they mean something else entirely. Read carefully! It’s all interwoven in the topic at hand!

  15. While there may be merit in the political realities of this post – I don’t really know that much about American politics, past or present – the use of the word ”black” in the title and throughout has an undertone that smacks of disrespect and tacit racism.

    In fact, considering it was about African slaves, would not the term African been more considerably more appropriate?

    I don’t know, call me old-fashioned , not hip to the the street slang but if one has to designate/identify race I believe the term African American is the politically correct term in your country ( even if it wasn’t ”back in the day”, right?

    Even the term ”Black People” would show at least a modicum of respect and acknowledge you are sensitive to the fact that Africans have been marginalized one way or another by Europeans, and especially those in America ( and South Africa), for hundreds of years, and are still being marginalized in many areas/countries across the globe today.

    Would it have hurt the credibility of this post to have shown a little tact in this regard?

    • Polls show that “African Americans” by and large prefer the term “black” to “African American”.

      • Interesting. Which polls?

        • A wsj poll in 2011 found 42% to 35% prefer it. I just checked and my suspicions were confirmed: Google still works.

          • 42% prefer black. What do the other 58% prefer?

            • 42 prefer black, 35 prefer African American, the rest don’t care

              • Interesting. I have just spent half an hour following links to various other posts on your blog of a similar vain/theme.
                And from what I read and the comments from visitors it would appear that my reservations have at least some merit.
                The same kind of arguments you are touting now you were touting a few years back, and the responses were similar as well.
                You appear to be regarded somewhat of a closet racist along with some bloke called Neil?
                A few of the commentators seem old hands – like Dan, I guess – at fencing with your white, very conservative fundamentalist Christian viewpoint.

                Doesn’t look as though you have that many supporters though, John.

                Although I doubt you are looking for kudos in this regard, maybe your detractors actually do make a very good point, eh?
                Certainly something to think about, I’d say.

        • paynehollow says:

          I would suggest that it depends upon context. Yes, most black folk probably prefer or are fine with a story talking about “he was a black man, who had a history…” What is less polite and acceptable is, “He was a black, who had a history…” or “the blacks have a history…”

          I think a good rule of thumb is, if it feels awkward, goofy, disrespectful or just inaccurate to refer to “he was a white…” or “the whites prefer…” then don’t use “black” in place of it. Also, generally speaking, it is not wise to lump people together by race. “The blacks are often…”

          Another rule of thumb is that it’s a different context entirely for a black man talking to his buddies about “those blacks…” than it is for Rush Limbaugh to do so. History and context matter, if you say otherwise, you are being intentionally blind.

          If you ARE going to refer to a group of dark skinned people, the more polite way is to say “black people…” “black individuals…” “black folk…” as opposed to “were blacks 3/5 a human…”

          One man’s opinion,

          ~Dan

  16. Most commentors here seem to have grasped the bull firmly by the udder. They don’t seem to have assimilated the facts set out, and have a knee-jerk PC-stimulated reaction to terminology which was in common currency, and which makes a lot more sense than the pathetically smarmy substitutes now favoured.

  17. If you ARE going to refer to a group of dark skinned people, the more polite way is to say “black people…” “black individuals…” “black folk…” as opposed to “were blacks 3/5 a human…”

    One man’s opinion,

    ~Dan

    Which is the point being made. And, from the replies from a number of others, echoed by them as well.

    • I use the labels Whites and Hispanics also. Is that also racially insensitive? Or only when discussing Blacks?

      • My experience (anecdotal I know), is that American born African Americans don’t have a problem being described as black. I believe that it is different for the African immigrant community who usually prefer to identify by national origin, and who seem to differentiate themselves from African Americans.

        I guess, to Dan’s point, that if one is making negative blanket statements (as opposed to citing research) about any group, that the term for the group is not the problem so much as the negative stereo type (For example, “All blacks are XYZ”) I would think that lumping all blacks into any group would be the problem.

        To Ark’s comments, perhaps he’d prefer to use the term Kaffir instead. I find it a bit ironic that John is getting lectured on racial terminology from a South African. I could be wrong, but I think that legalized institutional racism hung on in South Africa a bit longer than in the US. (Not saying the US is anywhere near perfect in these matters)

        • The Jamacans and other islanders who descend from the Caribbean that I know correct people when they call them African American, but not when they’re referred to as black. They let them know their origin.

          I think all this nitpicking on my use of the label “Black” is indicative of the problem I’m writing about here. There is an assumption about what is meant, and it didn’t go unnoticed that it’s a negative assumption. Ark even “speculated” that my offensive use of Black might even be because of my identifying as a right wing Christian.

        • @Craig.
          Why do you find it ironic? That South Africa had to endure Institutionalized racism is the very reason I find the term ‘blacks’ in such an offend hand manner, offensive.
          Oh, and just to set the record straight, Craig, I live in South Africa. I am not South African.
          But that is immaterial as there were a great many South Africans who did NOT support the Apartheid regime.
          Are we clear? Excellent!

        • Ark,
          Yes, I find it ironic that someone from South Africa would presume to lecture anyone about the use of a term (In this case Black) which is not inherently racist or offensive. Of course there were South Africans who opposed Apartheid, but apparently not enough white South Africans to handle the problem through the political process.

          Just curious, would you find it offensive if you were in a country with a majority black population, and you had people randomly yelling “white” (or the local language version of white) at you as you rode/walked through the streets?

          John,

          I agree. I’ve touched on this before, but I am seeing an increasing divide between the (for lack of a better way to distinguish) “American born” African Americans and the African or Caribbean born African Americans (or blacks).

          The first and most obvious problem is how to distinguish linguistically between the groups. Obviously any of the accepted generic terms (Black, African American etc.) are accurate, but there are enough significant differences between the different cultures to make that problematic. Up here East African and African American/Black seems to be OK, but I’m not sure my Somali and Ethiopian friends have any desire to be grouped together in any way.

          The second problem I see is the potential for the political parties to try to lump these non US born blacks into the same preconceived strategies that have worked for the past 50 years or so. IMO the Dems are going to continue to assume that if someone has black skin that they will be receptive to the same old “Here’s what we promise to give you if you vote for us.” campaign rhetoric. While most of the immigrant black families I know don;t want much of anything from the government. My further fear is that the GOP will not pick up on the cultural differences and assume that these folks will continue to vote 90% democrat. Obviously, both of these would be mistakes.

          The third problem I see, is that the non US born blacks are going to begin to economically surpass the the lower income segments of US born black population due to an amazingly strong work ethic. I see the potential for this to bring conflict between the two groups, with negative consequences.

          Given the time I spend with all of these cultures I’m concerned for the future of race relations in the US. Maybe I’m being too pessimistic, and I certainly hope for better, but as this discussion demonstrate, it’s hard to even have these sorts of discussions without people assuming negative motives on other peoples part. But, we see this illustrated quite plainly here. Hopefully I’m wrong, and it’s possible to get past this stupid semantic crap.

      • Any term used as a specific race reference I find offensive simply because there are racist undertones.
        There is a big difference between writing, ”White person,” or ”White people,” as opposed to saying ”Whites”.

        That you show an apparent indifference to the history of Black people,especially in your country I also find offensive.
        Maybe you feel the same about Native Americans? Should we refer to them as Redskins?

        That I am not the only one that feels this on your blog ( and on other posts of a similar vein) suggests that I am not overreacting.
        Irrespective of any other consideration a modicum of respect in this regard could have been extended.
        This was an post historical so the correct terminology,African,could just as easily have been used.

        • You, Dan, and the back-slappers on your blog are offended. I haven’t come across anyone who isn’t an oversensitive knowbetterthan who is offended.

          • And here we go with more insensitive justification, so typical of the style of so many of the posts you write.
            Read through ALL the comments from those who aren’t backslapping you , John.
            Then read the ones that ARE.
            See the pattern?
            Good!
            Maybe you will learn something, even if you have not the balls or integrity to admit it.

            • Reading the post, it’s clear we’re talking about people/persons. The fact that you single out the descriptor shows you’re too sensitive to discuss this rationally. You admit that you’re very offended by me calling black people black. However, apparently, most black people aren’t even offended by it. Typical liberal knowbetter who thinks they need to be offended FOR on their behalf, just like when people discuss American Indians and collegiate mascots and names where even American Indians aren’t offended. It’s a good thing Blacks and Indians have white liberals like you to stick up for them.

              • NOT by referring to black people as black but black people as ”blacks”.
                That you are too dense to understand the difference then go on one of your hilarious usual ”liberal” diatribe tangents merely demonstrates what a dickhead you are.

                Oh, and that term was meant to be offensive and if you would like the vernacular descriptor about procreation I could quite easily add that as well on the next comment.
                Just let me know, okay?

                Super duper!

              • I referred to a set of people. I refer to blocs of white people as Whites, and blocs of Latinos as Latinos or Hispanics. You’re just going to have to put your big boy pants on, put down the sippy cup, and grow up and get over it.

              • Hey, you don’t have to worry about justifying being the complete dickhead that you are to me, old son.

                Simply read what those who you continually marginalize have to say. Be they Blacks, Gays, Lesbians, Leftys, Liberals, anti-gun lobby, pro-choicers atheists an not the right sort of Christians etc etc
                I wonder how many more there are?

                Remember, John, Ignorance is curable , stupidity might not be ….
                This is the beauty of choice.
                Pick one …

            • Anyone else see the irony in the selective outrage? It’s ok to disparage the religious, just not his personally preferred group. One can acceptably make fun of and call names at some people, just not others, which isn’t even being done here.

              Some groups are immune and off limits on any terms, but some, Christians and “right wingers” are all fair game.

              What a smarmy hypocrisy.

        • There are times when it is useful to be able to describe a group of people who share certain characteristics with a simple word or phrase. In the case of skin color, White and Black (at least in most of the US) seem to work for the big generalized non specific terms. The simple fact that some people get offended, by presuming prejudice or evil intent, honestly strikes me as childish. Where in the world do any of us have the right to be free from personal offense. I’m frequently offended by things people say and do, yet see no reason that my offense should control their behavior, it’s just a live and let live approach. If I inadvertently say something that offends someone and they politely correct me, I’ll gladly adjust so as not to offend. But this is tactic of being offended on behalf of some third party who may or may not be offended is simply a hypocritical tactic to stifle expression. Personally as someone of Native American descent, the term “redskin” doesn’t particularly bother me, but I wouldn’t dream of presuming what level of offense someone else should feel.

          • Wait wait wait. I think i figured out the problem. Ark correct me if I’m wrong here.

            You’re taking my use of the label Blacks in the same way as if I pointed to a gathering of black people say, in a park, and said look at the blacks over there. Is that right? Like there’s a lot of blacks in the park today. Is that how you’re taking it? If so then yes, that would be crossing the boundaries of appropriateness. In this case I’d say there’s a lot of black people in the park, if I was pointing it out for some reason.

            But I’m referring to a bloc of people. Like I’d say Republicans or democrats. I wouldn’t say republican people, or democrat peolle I’d say republicans and Democrats in the exact same vain as I say blacks and whites.

            Is this more clear? Do you see the distinction?

          • The title could simply have been written thus, black people,or in context of the post, Africans – as we are dealing with former slaves and slavery yes?
            From the comments from several others on various other posts of a similar vein on this blog it seems this feeling is echoed.
            Personally, I have no particular qualm about being referred to as a white person, though it strikes me as an unnecessary term in the first place.
            I mean, why does it matter what colour a person’s skin is for the gods’ sake?

            Though I would object if the title ”Whites” was used in a similar manner as was done on this post.

            But this is tactic of being offended on behalf of some third party who may or may not be offended is simply a hypocritical tactic to stifle expression.

            Actually it is to point out how such indifference expressed by John Barron, yourself and certain others expresses more than you could possibly understand.
            And based on those who have commented in support, even Dan, then pointing it out seems perfectly reasonable; to reasonable people, of course.

  18. Wait wait wait. I think i figured out the problem. Ark correct me if I’m wrong here.
    You’re taking my use of the label Blacks in the same way as if I pointed to a gathering of black people say, in a park, and said look at the blacks over there. Is that right? Like there’s a lot of blacks in the park today. Is that how you’re taking it? If so then yes, that would be crossing the boundaries of appropriateness. In this case I’d say there’s a lot of black people in the park, if I was pointing it out for some reason.

    Well, at least you are thinking. This is a refreshing change. May this trend continue. With a bit of practice you might become passably good at it.

    But I’m referring to a bloc of people. Like I’d say Republicans or democrats. I wouldn’t say republican people, or democrat peolle I’d say republicans and Democrats in the exact same vain as I say blacks and whites.

    No, this is not the same. And once again, because you are unable, although I suspect unwilling, and are now simply being bloody-minded.

    Is this more clear? Do you see the distinction?

    Read the comments from others who also object to your turn of phrase.
    Is this more clear? Do you see the distinction?

    And as one or two commenters have alluded. Just what the hell was the point of the post in the first place?

  19. “There are a lot of blacks in the park today” vs “a lot of black people“? No difference whatsoever and equally innocuous and racist. Both are the same statement of fact without knowing with certainty the attitude of the person expressing the statement. As one who can’t determine morality without some deity telling me how to do it, I’d say that smacks of the very kind of judgement “Judge not” implies. I’d assume innocence until the person saying it proves he’s a racist. Yet, even still, it is a simple statement of fact regarding the people in the park. If there is offense taken, it indicates an issue on the part of the offended. We’ll never get passed racial issues until those playing the race card lighten up about such throw away expressions that are said with no malice whatsoever.

    • If you were referring to black dogs in the park you would use the word dogs in the sentence to differentiate between black dogs and dogs of other colours.
      Thus to use the term ”blacks”, is either couched racism or simply a gross lack of respect based on the sheer ignorance of the person using the term in this manner..

      If you need to refer to the colour of a person’s skin solely to differentiate between groups in the park then the correct term would be black people as it would be white people rather than whites

      Only an insensitive moron would fail to understand this.

      • Only an insensitive moron would fail to understand this.

        Only a perpetually offended liberal moron would make such a statement as this.

        • Ah, so this must mean you are an insensitive moron then , I suppose?
          And what on earth has liberalism got to with this post in any way whatsoever?
          Crikey, you also seem to have caught ”Dickheadedness”, Glenn, as well as Marshal.

          • And what on earth has liberalism got to with this post in any way whatsoever?

            99% of all those who whine about “insensitivity” and being “offended” are liberals. DUH!

            • Ah! The statistician, yes? And if I recall approximately 60 -70% of all stats are made up on the spot – which seems about par for the course for an evangelical Christian apologist who has been following a made-up fictional god and a doctrine that too is entirely based on fiction.
              Good one, Glenn!
              A real Dickhead to the last, you beauty!

      • Funny, none of the black people I asked thought the wording was offensive or insensitive. But by all means, speak on their behalf.

      • If I was referring to dogs, I would use the term so as to be specific regarding dogs. But to say “blacks” would be understood by pretty much everybody to means people of that race. There’s nothing offensive about the word except by those quick to disparage whites. As a white person, I can guarantee you that being referred to a “whites” isn’t the least bit offensive, mostly because I’m not one given to taking offense over such insignificant manners of speech, but more precisely because, guess what? I’m white. Why would I? It is no more than a description in order to make clear about whom one is speaking. Only a race-baiter would insist it is racist.

        • But to say “blacks” would be understood by pretty much everybody to means people of that race.

          Yes, it would, and those with a modicum of sensitivity and /or manners and who were not complete ingrates would generally not use this term.

          But you do … so …

          And I guess you wouldn’t be in the least bit offended to realise that the biblical character, Jesus of Nazareth would have been, in fact coloured, or equally as likely black.?
          Just asking

          • Jesus would have been Israeli.

            • Israeli? Really? Is that a fact?
              The state of Israel did not exist until ..oh, let me see now… around May 14 1948. Somewhere around there, John so the biblical character Jesus of Nazareth arrived on the scene a tad earlier than this date.
              So he was more that likely ”blackish” or coloured at the very least.

              • Are you special needs? The nation of Israel has existed for 3500 years. Just because modern recognition is relatively recent is irrelevant.

                He likely looked like modern day Palistinians

              • Ah …so you are actually referring to the 11th century Kingdom of Israel, yes?

                Because your Jesus could not possibly have been an ”Israeli.” What a very silly thing to say.

                So. lets get this sorted out for you too, shall we?

                If the biblical character, Jesus of Nazareth existed during the period you allude to then, he was more likely than not a short-arsed, short haired smelly Galilean
                with dark skin, typical of the region.

  20. @Marshall

    Really, John, because you’re such a well known liar, Arkie just cannot take your word for it. So nice that he knows you so well that he can unashamedly disparage your character in that way!

    Hilarious, Dickhead! And all the times I have offered links to evidence you have turned your nose up . So I guess you wont take my word at face value then, eh?
    You are a real beaut!

  21. Dred Scott easily comes to mind when thinking of the status of African Americans back in the day. Separate but equal was the banner waving over the American South.

  22. You do realize that it’s 6 of one and half a dozen of the other, right? Adding up the black people a state has and then only counting 3/5th still results in each black person not being counted as a whole person. And since they were only being counted to boost southern states’ numbers in Congress, then they were only property. Hence, they were really considered to be 100% less than a person.

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