No, it is not like slavery

Jun 13 2011 Published by under [Et Al], [Information&Communication]

Dear clueless douchebags,

Can we make an agreement? Unless you are discussing other forms of human trafficking, let's not compare things to slavery and the horrors that slaves went through, m'kay? Whereas I wasn't there, I can be pretty certain that slave ships bore very little resemblance to air planes. Yeah, having the luxury of flying anywhere on Earth you would like is just like being captured, shackled, taken on a long boat trip and forced to work in a strange place for strange people*. Practically identical.

Another thing that slavery is not like, is being paid millions of dollars to play a game for a living. Again, this is not my area of expertise, but I don't recall any slave quarters being feature on Cribs. Can you walk away from playing football anytime you want to one of your 5 houses? Yes. Could slaves walk away from anything? No.

I realize that American slavery happened a while ago and it's easy to trivialize, but just try and think about the absurdity of your statements briefly before making such inane points.

<small* And for the record, starting a sentence with "I don’t want to trivialize the inhumane horrors that African slaves endured on slave ships destined for the Americas... BUT" does not make it okay for you trivialize the inhumane horrors that African slaves endured on slave ships

12 responses so far

  • becca says:

    You are right. There needs to be a "godwining" phrase for ridiculous slavery analogies.

    That said, re: the NFL... as a biomedical scientist, if I wanted to run a scientific experiment that took healthy people and did to them what playing in the NFL does to players, I could never get it past an ethics board. Even if it was necessary to learn something about human physiology at the extremes of performance. Not for any amount of financial compensation. Indeed, if I tried to pay them millions of dollars, it would be considered too exploitative. Something to think about.

    Moreover, Adrian Peterson wasn't making the case that NFL players were special, but that the worker is exploited by the owner. This is a different level of evil than slavery, but given how readily we accept it as Just and Right that some people should get rich off of football who couldn't play the game if their lives depended on it... it's pernicious in its own right. And I've heard BS about 'loving your job' or in this case 'playing a game' to justify exploitation so much that it strikes me as every bit as callous and tone-deaf as the original quote.

  • Isabel says:

    "I realize that American slavery happened a while ago and it's easy to trivialize"

    You realize that it's easy to trivialize?

  • proflikesubstance says:

    Isabel, you may not a ring of sarcasm that permeates the post.

  • Tideliar says:

    hahahaha - didn't take long

  • Rxnh says:

    Isn't that the whole role of hyperbole? To be absolutely ridiculous and absurd to make a point.

  • Isabel says:

    Duh I got it but the last sentence didn't work and came off weirdly, still think it does. Whatever.

    "I realize that American slavery happened a while ago and it's easy to trivialize, but just try and think about the absurdity of your statements briefly before making such inane points. "

    Just poorly written I guess, the last part is a tad redundant as well.

    Just out of curiousity, how do you feel about the Seinfeld soup nazi episode? Did that cross the line? Or when people say they are "starving"? Or that something they experienced was "like Chinese water torture?"

    We should make a list!

  • Mac says:

    The nazi comparisons would be high on my list of inane-assholery. It makes me crazy how much that gets used and how disrespectful and ridiculous it is. Administration pushing you to take on too much service? Oh so not similar to genocidal death camps. I've been hearing this a lot more in the last couple of years and really wonder when this became acceptable. Comparing some annoying and too controlling behavior to mass murder makes Americans and particularly academics who do this look like a cosseted halfwits.

  • I hear that slaves rarely got lucrative, yet legally binding contracts, which they were able to sign without coercion, either.

  • simjockey says:

    Seems like the slavery meme is common among highly paid sports persons and coaches. I remember the controversy Jose Mourinho sparked a few years ago when he called Claude Makelele being called up for the French national team as a form of slavery.

    The moral really is that the more privileged a person is, the less likely s/he is to understand what the real meaning of slavery is.

  • DrugMonkey says:

    But we all can agree St Kern is a slavedriver, can we not?

  • DrugMonkey says:

    Also, this

  • Isabel says:

    OMG Isis just compared not being able to wear hot shoes because of pregnancy to BEING IN PRISON!

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