Laurence: I assume that Rep. Charles Rangel’s family history includes ancestors caught up in the vicious system of slavery. If such is the case, his predecessors were likely among those privileged to be considered “house slaves,” as distinct from the “field slaves.” The house slaves identified themselves with the owner of the plantation (“massa”), while the field slaves were often the more troublesome sort who resisted – and even tried to escape – the slave system.
Slavery, the destruction of American Indian cultures, and the Civil War, were three of the more turbulent episodes of our history whose entropy has not fully worked its way out of our lives. Rep. Rangel’s proposal to reinstitute military conscription – and to expand its wickedness to include women – is evidence that the vile habit of slavery remains deeply embedded within him.
A few days ago, one of my six-year old grandsons asked his mother: “am I my own?” The answer to that question will depend more on the intensity with which my grandson pursues his inquiry, than it does upon the legislative proposals of house slave Charles Rangel’s efforts to maintain massa’s involuntary work force!9:55 pm on February 15, 2013 Email Butler Shaffer