Episode 487: Spring Sword Sale

One comment on “Episode 487: Spring Sword Sale

  1. Shalynn says:

    I disagree with Cecil. I’m a white woman, but I feel saying “enslaved people” is MORE impactful than saying “slaves.” Because this is a push by POC to more humanize their ancestors, I think that lends to the horror of what happened. When you say, “Slaves were murdered by the thousands,” I find that much easier to shrug off and harder to visualize than if you say, “Enslaved people were murdered by the thousands.” And when you say, “A slave was whipped for trying to escape,” I personally think that sets up the situation as more along the lines of, “Someone’s property tried to leave and was punished.” Where if you say, “An enslaved person was whipped for trying to escape,” suddenly that’s more than JUST a slave, that’s a human being and I can more easily empathize with that person and therefore the horror of the situation becomes more clear. So I don’t think the new language softens it up at all. I think, like Tom said, that it gives you a better understanding of the horror and forces you to turn these slaves into real people with complicated lives and emotions. Maybe that’s just me personally, but the way I learned it in grade school in the nineties and early 2000’s didn’t really humanize those people for me. Like Tom said, they were a category rather than individuals in a horrifying situation. (As for shellshock vs. PTSD, I was only really aware of the condition long after we stopped using shellshock, and so for me PTSD carries a huge and very serious weight, while shellshock seems just imprecise and not really a true medical condition. So maybe over time the “softer” terms come back around to being impactful? Not really sure.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *