Slavery Flap Shows Emory University Professors are Morons

Earlier this month the President of Emory University wrote a piece for the school magazine about the efficacy of compromise. By the 24th he was forced to apologize for the piece because he mentioned slavery fully in context in his piece. The faux outrage that his comments caused proved three things: that no one at Emory has any grasp of American history, that the professors at Emory University are morons, and that the student body are utterly unable to employ critical thinking.

The segment that upset everyone was utterly innocuous and cited properly in context by Wagner, without hate or racism. Unfortunately, logic and context isn’t what the race baiters of Emory University are interested in, sad to say.

President James Wagner’s piece was meant to extol the virtues of compromise and meant his piece to explain that this vaunted compromise was as American as Apple Pie, baseball, and the restl. Pursuant to that, Wagner wrote the following:

One instance of constitutional compromise was the agreement to count three-fifths of the slave population for purposes of state representation in Congress. Southern delegates wanted to count the whole slave population, which would have given the South greater influence over national policy. Northern delegates argued that slaves should not be counted at all, because they had no vote. As the price for achieving the ultimate aim of the Constitution—“to form a more perfect union”—the two sides compromised on this immediate issue of how to count slaves in the new nation. Pragmatic half-victories kept in view the higher aspiration of drawing the country more closely together.

Such as it is, this is correct, straight forward, pure fact. It has not a whiff of controversy to it. Well, it wouldn’t have a whiff of controversy if an intelligent, informed person were reading that excerpt, anyway.

Instead of intelligent people, however, we ended up with dolts like Emory history “professor” Leslie Harris, halfwits like “professor” Leroy Davis, and racebaiters like student Jovanna Jones.

The idiocy from Davis is typical of the taunts doled out to the hapless president. “The use of the Three-Fifths Compromise for any reason is unacceptable because, regardless of the context of the compromise, African-Americans see it simply as looking at black people as less than a human being,” he said in an open letter to President Wagner.

These people all view the three-fifths compromise in an entirely negative light without any thought as to what it actually meant.

You see, originally southern slave holders wanted to count all slaves as a full person when figuring representation in Congress. If that had happened, they’d have had a 100% lock on all power in Washington D.C. and if that had happened slavery would have grown, expanded, and reached to every corner of the United States making it impossible to be rid of later.

In reply, non-slave holders in the north didn’t want to count the slaves at all because southerners would not allow blacks to vote. If slaves had no vote, northerners maintained, how could the south morally use these voiceless people as citizens to count for congressional representation? Slaves weren’t citizens. Citizens have rights, northerners said.

Northerners that wanted to eventually eliminate slavery knew full well that if slaves were counted at 100% then slavery could never, ever be ended. Granted the compromise still gave slave holders too much power and it was a problem that wasn’t settled until the Civil War, but it was the best they could do at the time.

Two things are obvious if the north wasn’t successful in getting the three-fifths clause accepted. Number one, slavery would have been impervious to any attack. Second, the Constitution would never have been ratified, the USA would never have been sustained, and slavery would still have had a still greater life span than it did.

The north didn’t make this compromise because it didn’t care to count a human being as a full, 100% human being. The north made the compromise to begin the country and to set the stage to end slavery in the future–something they knew full well they couldn’t do in 1787 because of a lack of political will!

The fact is, the three-fifths clause should be celebrated as one of the reasons slavery was eventually destroyed in this country, not excoriated as some example of extreme racism.

I mean, what, would haters of the three-fifth clause have wanted to count a slave as a full person thereby giving the south the sort of lock on power that would have kept slavery in force in perpetuity?

Yes, I am saying you morons that are against the three-fifths clause are in favor of racism and slavery, not against it.

Idiots.

*I misspoke above and replaced “born” with “sustained” which is what I meant.

Shortlink:

Posted by on February 27, 2013.
Filed under Constitutional Issues, Democrats, Education, History.
Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago-based freelance writer, has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and is featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart's BigGovernment.com and BigJournalism.com, RightWingNews.com, CanadaFreePress.com, RightPundits.com, StoptheACLU.com, Human Events Magazine, among many, many others. Additionally, he has been a frequent guest on talk-radio programs to discuss his opinion editorials and current events. He has also written for several history magazines and appears in the new book "Americans on Politics, Policy and Pop Culture" which can be purchased on amazon.com. He is also the owner and operator of PubliusForum.com. Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions, EMAIL Warner Todd Huston: igcolonel .at. hotmail.com "The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it." --Samuel Johnson

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  • herddog505

    The Race Card: don’t leave home without it.

  • GarandFan

    You want to know the really funny part? Those “educated idiots” would not last one year, if they were dropped back into the 18th century.

    • Jim Wagner

      I wonder why.

      • Jim Wagner

        Like seriously Garand Fan – you should lay out, why, explicitly, some contemporary African American intellectuals wouldn’t “last” if they were suddenly transported to 18th Century America! What exactly would be the challenge’s they’d face? Connect the dots for me!

        • Constitution First

          Actually I think he meant 19th century (correct me if I’m wrong) Logic, rhetoric and critical thinking were required to pass exams. Read some of the texts of the 19th century, heck, even the high school books of the day were more rigorous than I saw in my first two years of University.

  • Brucehenry

    Well, I don’t know about them being idiots, but they’re wrong and Emory’s president is right — or was right, before he folded.

    This would be a good column if it wasn’t for the anger and namecalling — two things that are entirely absent from the linked open letter.

    • herddog505

      While I agree that there was no direct name-calling in the letter, the race card is about as blatantly obvious as one could well wish. “55 white men”? “Racial denigration”? “Descendents of those enslaved people”?

      Honestly, there’s no way around it: these people are idiots. Whether they like the basis of the 3/5 Compromise (and I can understand why some people might be just a teensy bit touchy about it), it was hardly the “failed compromise” that they claim as is demonstrated by the fact that the Constitution was, in fact, ratified.

      Is this what academia has come to? One can’t even mention the 3/5 Compromise without people having the vapors about RAAAAACISM? What’s next? Screeching about RAAAAACISM if somebody wants to hold up the Lincoln-Douglas Debates as a exemplar of forensic skills? After all, the subject of the debates was the extension of slavery into new territories. Shall we ban discussion of Henry Clay and the Missouri Compromise of 1820 because it, too, involved a compromise over slavery? What about the Northwest Ordinance? Or should be just excize huge portions of the history of our country because (heavens forbid!) we don’t want to risk reminding some people of the crimes committed against their ancestors?

      • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

        Political correctness trumps everything else.

        And, as the saying goes – those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

        • Jim Wagner

          Also spot-on! Quoting Santayana is a particularly strong statement against the left-wing thought! Kudos!

          • jl

            Glad you agree!

  • jim_m

    Michael Bellesiles was an Emory professor of history when he wrote his fraud book. So yes, Emory professor ARE morons. It would be an embarrassment to work there.

    That being said, I can see why the left mocks the 3/5ths compromise. The compromise would have resulted in the destruction of the one man, one vote concept. The left does not believe that this is fair. They also don’t believe in blacks actually deciding for themselves who they should vote for. Times change, but the left still shows its stripes.

    • Jim Wagner

      Makes sense to me! Definitely the left has always stood for the destruction of the “one man, one vote concept” and for disenfranchising black people. Just ask anybody.

      • jim_m

        Nathan Bedford Forest approves of this message.

        • Jim Wagner

          Do you speak with him regularly?

  • Jim Wagner

    Nice work, bro. Articles like this are going to get cited as an example
    of why Wagner needs to resign. Your support goes a long way to helping
    the people you despise.

    Seriously, do you feel bigger calling out an 18-year-old college student for being a “race-baiter”? Or does putting scare quotes around the titles of people with academic credentials make you feel more secure in some way, perhaps compensating for your being a blogger on a self-publishing website called “wizbang” rather than, say, having a couple of books to your credit?

    Incidentally you’re not the person who went off on Jesse Jackson etc. on the Emory College newspaper website, are you? Because that was pretty classy.

    • MartinLandauCalrissian

      Another substance-free, left-winger gives us his idiocy.

      • Jim Wagner

        http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/02/26/the-constitutions-immoral-compromise. Good point, I’ll should take Whizbang over NYT any day of the week – it’s definitely “substance-free” over there.

        • EricSteel

          Did you even read the NY Times article? In that guy’s opinion the better solution would have been for the North to stand firm and let the South secede into its own country and thus the entire Civil War would have been avoided.

          Except for the fact that the Civil War started because a number of Southern states decided to secede and the North said Nuh Uh.

          • Jim Wagner

            Bro there are three different points of view in that article!

          • EricSteel

            Actually there are five, with 3/5ths arguing against the compromise. Interesting irony huh?

        • jl

          Thank you. That’s very true.

      • Jim Wagner

        But like seriously this is going to be shared among people who think Wagner’s a racist. And it’s not going to help him. Thank you!!!

        • MartinLandauCalrissian

          But “like” seriously. Go back to the porn and communist sites you usually frequent. Your kind isn’t wanted here.

          • Jim Wagner

            Sounds good! I totally will, but I’m going to continue forwarding this particular gem to people who are going to vote on Wagner’s future for a bit first. Because, again, it just makes him look *great* to have pieces like this written on his behalf. You guys are being awesome – and doing more to get him fired than a half-dozen editorials calling for his resignation in other, more, well, lettered, publications! Is there anything else you’d like to share here?

          • MartinLandauCalrissian

            You are exactly the sort of fool that this piece excoriates. I’ll wait while you go look that big word up.

          • Jim Wagner

            So this link is now being shared on a listserv of people who will presently be considering a no-confidence vote on James Wagner. You should totally continue to insult their intelligence! SAT words are a definite plus – keep it up!

          • MartinLandauCalrissian

            LOL. Like we care what you think? Seriously? Are you that full of yourself?

          • Jim Wagner

            No no I’m sorry I haven’t made myself clear. I don’t really give half a damn about any of your opinions, and I could care even less about what you might think about me. But what I think *you* might care about is what happens to the subject of this article, the President at Emory, who the author and the commenters here clearly support. I know this is hard to follow, but the way in which you guys have expressed your opinions here is going to be used against him as an additional pressure point to compel his resignation. Does that make sense? To put it in very simple terms: this article, and your comments, are being circulated among people on the Emory Board and in Emory Faculty Governance who until now weren’t sure whether or not they were going to vote to compel him to resign. Those people may have been on the fence thus far, but the invective-fueled, racially ugly ways in which you guys have voiced support for him here is already having the effect of inclining those people – who are actually decision makers in this instead of being just a peanut gallery – to side against him in order to distance themselves from people like you. In even simpler terms: the level of discourse in this cesspool is toxic, and is going to be used against the very person and cause you’re supporting. Is that clear, now? Again, I know it’s really hard to follow.

    • herddog505

      Um… Wagner needs to RESIGN??? Because he gave as an example of a political compromise… a political compromise???

      Seriously?

      • Jim Wagner

        Here’s one good statement of why. http://thenewinquiry.com/blogs/zunguzungu/james-wagners-highest-aspiration/ And another:

        • Jim Wagner
          • EricSteel

            For someone who supposedly has studied the issue thoroughly he seems to be pretty forgetful of some of the facts.

            Again, we see somebody who suggests that the Civil War may have been avoided if the North had simply held firm and outlawed slavery during the Consitutional Convention.

            This simply ignores the fact that there were delegates in the South who also wanted to stand firm on maintaining slavery and were willing to walk away and secede at that time.

            The 3/5th Compromise is an odious compromise as it pertains to Black Americans, but we also might have a worse country today without it.

            What if the Civil War began in 1787 instead of 1861, and the Southern States had prevailed? Would that have been a better solution?

          • Jim Wagner

            “The 3/5th Compromise is an odious compromise as it pertains to Black Americans”

            Actually I’m glad you said that Eric – this caveat shows sense, and is more than what Emory’s president said or even gestured to in writing out a 750 word essay that went out to 120K subscribers. That’s part of why people are so mad at him – it didn’t even occur to him that there were people involved in the Compromise beyond the “both sides” (namely North and South) who might have had a different perspective or whose position it would be worth considering.

        • herddog505

          I see.

          Let’s review what Wagner wrote, shall we?

          The instance of constitutional compromise was the agreement to count three-fifths of the slave population for purposes of state representation in Congress. Southern delegates wanted to count the whole slave population, which would have given the South greater influence over national policy. Northern delegates argued that slaves should not be counted at all, because they had no vote. As the price for achieving the ultimate aim of the Constitution—“to form a more perfect union”—the two sides compromised on this immediate issue of how to count slaves in the new nation. Pragmatic half-victories kept in view the higher aspiration of drawing the country more closely together.

          Now, given that the ratification – indeed, the drafting – of the Constitution was in danger of foundering on the issue of whether to count slaves as people for the purposes of determining population and, hence, congressional representation, it seems quite reasonable to say that the 3/5 compromise, odious as it may be to our modern sensibilities, was, indeed, a politically “good” compromise (in the same way that the United States cooperating with the Soviet Union was “good” in that it helped defeat nazi Germany).

          Let’s look at what your source has to say:

          After all, the reference doesn’t even work on its own terms: the 3/5ths compromise, like the compromise of 1850, utterly failed at solving the conflict over slavery, whose bloody resolution it only delayed, intensified, and made all the more inevitable.

          Wrong on its face. The purpose of the 3/5 compromise was NOT to solve the conflict over slavery.

          Your source goes on:

          Why would he make the rather banal point that people should just suck it up and compromise by referencing one of the most deeply shameful episodes in our political history?

          Oh, gosh, I don’t know. Could it be that creating a more robust federal government to replace the feeble one created by the Articles of Confederation was just a teensy more important than “solving” the problem of slavery, which was still accepted though most of the country (Massachusetts, for example, had only abolished slavery in 1783)?

          Further, I don’t get the Wagner, based on the quote above, advocates people “suck up and compromise” (though lefties have been very big on “compromise” in the past several years, by which they mean “shut up and do what we want”). Instead, he see the 3/5 Compromise as a “pragmatic half victory” without which there likely would have been no Constitution, no strong federal government, and, hence, no emancipation.
          This is clearly a ginned-up controversy, a case of playing the race card run completely amock. It ranks with hysteria over the title of the book “The Nigger of the Narcissus” or using the term “black hole” to refer to an inefficient bureaucracy. It is transparent bullying, and stupid bullying at that. It portrays not only a deep – willful – misunderstanding of the plain meaning of Wagner’s words, but also a gross misunderstanding of the history of the Constitution.
          No surprises: the left hates the Constitution and misses no opportunities to tear it down.

          • Jim Wagner

            OMG the left totally DOES hate the constitution!

            “Could it be that creating a more robust federal government to replace the feeble one created by the Articles of Confederation was just a teensy more important than “solving” the problem of slavery, which was still accepted though most of the country.”
            I’m sure the slaves of the era would have agreed with you, especially on the teensy part. Also props on the Conrad shout-out, that was super classy!

  • http://www.wizbangblog.com David Robertson

    Two things are obvious if the north wasn’t successful in getting the three-fifths clause accepted. Number one, slavery would have been impervious to any attack. Second, the Constitution would never have been ratified, the USA would never have been born . . .

    The last time that I checked, the USA was born on July 4, 1776. The U.S. Constitution was written in 1787.

    • MartinLandauCalrissian

      Really it was July 2nd.

  • mikegiles

    What I always find interesting about these flaps, that break out whenever the 3/5 compromise is brought up; is that the champions of “racial equality” always seem to be on the same side as the slave holders of the South. This immediately tells me they don’t understand what the argument – at that time – was about; and they are interpreting it in terms of current standards. Always an error.

  • SicSemperTyrannis

    What a society we live in. Blacks and liberals are like little children and no matter how truthful what you say or write is, you have to craft it so as to not rile up the victims in waiting. They are pathetic little grievance cats, ready to pounce at a moments notice when their sorry sensibilities have been offending. Nothing would make me happier than the powers that be at Emory telling the little babies to grow up, put on some big boy pants and get over yourselves.

    But the truth is the liberal and black mob demand a blood sacrifice and they’ll get it because Americans lack the spine to put these children in their place once and for all.