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Thread: Ben Affleck Suppressed Family's Slave-Owning Past

  1. #16
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    They probably in invite these celebs onto the show precisely because there are some secrets to explore.
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    Elite Member llamamama's Avatar
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    My ancestors are all European (Romanian, Irish and English), and my Romanian grandmother told me when I was a kid that I come from a long line of horse thieves.
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    he shouldn't have tried to hide it. it would have made a much better story showing how far his families thought or belief system progressed had he left that in there. It would have been interesting. From slavery to fighting for rights. But noooooo....


    Now I don't trust PBS/Henry Louis Gates for tinkering with the process. If Ben didn't want certain things aired, why go on the show? Certainly he knew what the show was about.

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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BITTER View Post
    Just acknowledge it and be done with it, Ben.
    Quote Originally Posted by witchcurlgirl View Post
    I just don't get Affleck's issue with this. He obviously didn't own slaves and none of us are responsible for what our ancestors have done. Why try to hide it.

    Many Americans, if their families go back here far enough will have slave owners in the tree. Many people all over the world would too, if you go back a bit further. While American slavery is the most recent example different people throughout history had slaves. I believe it's mentioned in the bible, some guy named Moses. My ancient Roman ancestors certainly had slaves. The Greeks definitely did, etc.
    I agree he should just acknowledge it and move on. And I also think it's ridiculous to expect anyone to feel shame or guilt over their ancestors' actions. It is what it is and you can't hold the modern day descendent responsible for the crimes of their ancestors.

    But tell that to the idiotic PC crowd..
    and given the backlash against benedict cumberbatch in feminist/PC circles I can see why other actors want to keep it in the dark.
    There were some ridiculous comments too, people who said that he should give back all his family's money and that his education and privilege were all the result of his family's oppression of blacks in centuries past.
    Slavery was horrible, there's no denying that, but it's fucking ridiculous to expect the modern day descendants of slave owners to feel guilty about it or to feel they owe anyone anything. You're not responsible for your parents' crimes, much less those of your ancestors many generations ago.
    Last edited by sputnik; April 19th, 2015 at 09:57 AM.
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    Not many people know that there were slaves in europe (white-skinned peasants) as late as 19th century. In France they were not called slaves but feudal practices like corveť made them in practice a slaves to local lord. In Baltic countries the peasants were slaves as late as 1819. Practically all my ancestors before that date were slaves to local (German speaking) lords. There is an example in my family tree when a local aristo land owner had a child with my ancestor. That aristo was related to Romanovs so technically I'm related to Russian czars.
    People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but *actually* from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint - it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly... time-y wimey... stuff.

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    You're only supposed to acknowledge American slavery, don't you know, because Americans are RACISTS.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NickiDrea View Post
    This I do not agree with- at all. There were plenty of people even then who recognized that slavery was immoral and unethical. Maybe I'm too close to the situation as my great grandfather was born into slavery and my dad actually had a family member who he met who was born into slavery (1950s). Plus my dad's side of the family suffered greatly post-slavery during Jim Crow. .
    I agree that many had issues with slavery even back then, and some of them still owned slaves. *Looking at you Thomas Jefferson*

    Quote Originally Posted by NickiDrea View Post
    Saying (essentially) that we can't judge today because it was ok back then is brushing slavery off to me. In my opinion it's no different than saying that you can't judge Nazis for exterminating Jews during the Holocaust because it was "acceptable" in their eyes to do so during the War..
    No one is saying we can't judge slavery. We are saying you cannot judge US by what our family members may or may not have done many years ago. Hell I have an uncle in Florida who is a convicted sex offender. I am not responsible for his actions and it did happen in my lifetime.

    Quote Originally Posted by NickiDrea View Post
    Also- slavery may have ended 300 years ago but Jim Crow started immediately and was also legal. I'll be damned if I can't impose my current ethical standards on Jim Crow which existed to continue the status of blacks as essentially slaves and only ended about 60 years ago.
    Again, no one is saying Jim Crow was right or ethical. We are saying we didn't impose Jim Crow laws on anyone and are not accountable for the actions of others, just as Ben is not responsible for the actions of his family members.

    A few weeks ago I toured Monticello where they have restored the slave quarters and added this to the tour. The historian who was there that day did not sugarcoat anything about Sally Hemmings, and TJs shortcomings on slavery. But I was surprised to learn that so few white men owned slaves. We get the impression that everyone in the south had slaves, but it was actually a small percentage, and quite a few free blacks owned slaves too. The historian, a black man, shared this info and suggested this article on the topic.


    The fact is large numbers of free Negroes owned black slaves; in fact, in numbers disproportionate to their representation in society at large. In 1860 only a small minority of whites owned slaves. According to the U.S. census report for that last year before the Civil War, there were nearly 27 million whites in the country. Some eight million of them lived in the slaveholding states.

    The census also determined that there were fewer than 385,000 individuals who owned slaves (1). Even if all slaveholders had been white, that would amount to only 1.4 percent of whites in the country (or 4.8 percent of southern whites owning one or more slaves).


    In fact, in 1830 a fourth of the free Negro slave masters in South Carolina owned 10 or more slaves; eight owning 30 or more (2).
    Black Slave Owners Civil War Article by Robert M Grooms

    I don't hold the ancestors of the Ellison family accountable for what William Ellison did as a slave owner, and breeder.
    Last edited by sluce; April 19th, 2015 at 08:58 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BITTER View Post
    I'm wondering if, just if, he wants this part of his family's history downplayed because he may be feeling guilty about his own racism. YMMV, as they say, but I'm putting it out there.
    The ones with the most guilt are the ones that are obviously guilty about something.
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    Or the ones with a social concience.

    Quote Originally Posted by coolade View Post
    You're only supposed to acknowledge American slavery, don't you know, because Americans are RACISTS.
    Oh! Then this is totally irrelevant then? Supermarket giants in Thailand for prawn slavery talks | Global development | The Guardian

    Quote Originally Posted by sluce View Post
    A few weeks ago I toured Monticello where they have restored the slave quarters and added this to the tour. The historian who was there that day did not sugarcoat anything about Sally Hemmings, and TJs shortcomings on slavery. But I was surprised to learn that so few white men owned slaves. We get the impression that everyone in the south had slaves, but it was actually a small percentage, and quite a few free blacks owned slaves too. The historian, a black man, shared this info and suggested this article on the topic.


    The fact is large numbers of free Negroes owned black slaves; in fact, in numbers disproportionate to their representation in society at large. In 1860 only a small minority of whites owned slaves. According to the U.S. census report for that last year before the Civil War, there were nearly 27 million whites in the country. Some eight million of them lived in the slaveholding states.

    The census also determined that there were fewer than 385,000 individuals who owned slaves (1). Even if all slaveholders had been white, that would amount to only 1.4 percent of whites in the country (or 4.8 percent of southern whites owning one or more slaves).


    In fact, in 1830 a fourth of the free Negro slave masters in South Carolina owned 10 or more slaves; eight owning 30 or more (2).
    Black Slave Owners Civil War Article by Robert M Grooms

    I don't hold the ancestors of the Ellison family accountable for what William Ellison did as a slave owner, and breeder.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Novice View Post
    Or the ones with a social conscience.
    For something they didn't do? Sorry, but it just doesn't add up.

    A lot of the Hollywood types are not like most everyone else. They seem to live in a bubble where only what they think matters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by coolade View Post
    You're only supposed to acknowledge American slavery, don't you know, because Americans are RACISTS.
    Seriously? Do we not acknowledge the Nazis on a regular basis, who enslaved about 12 million people for forced labor? Or the japanese, who enslaved about 10 million during the same time period? Ever see Spartacus? Never heard anyone talk about what's happening in Darfur, or child soldiers? Sex trafficking in eastern Europe?



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    Quote Originally Posted by joebob View Post
    For something they didn't do? Sorry, but it just doesn't add up.

    A lot of the Hollywood types are not like most everyone else. They seem to live in a bubble where only what they think matters.
    Well, you obviously do not understand the definition of social conscience.
    Quote Originally Posted by witchcurlgirl View Post
    Seriously? Do we not acknowledge the Nazis on a regular basis, who enslaved about 12 million people for forced labor? Or the japanese, who enslaved about 10 million during the same time period? Ever see Spartacus? Never heard anyone talk about what's happening in Darfur, or child soldiers? Sex trafficking in eastern Europe?
    Most of Europe now.
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    The Greeks did had slaves for a period in their history.The way they treated them is what makes the difference.I have domestic help for years.I talk to their friends many of whom used to work in many countries around the world.I can proudly say we still treat people working for us in the bestest possible way.No way i compare the situations but we were taught from a very young age we are to be respectful to just everybody.Not so in many civilized countries ...the stories i ve heard..
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  14. #29
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    I can imagine a plethora of subjects he successfully managed to suppress from the media.
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    You only have to be embarrassed at the things you do yourself, that's what I think.
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