the slave ship is a ghost ship


Most people would not even know that this year is the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade by the United States government. After a robust discussion in Great Britain in 2007 (their bicentennial), we have been mostly silent. It is a shame. Worse, it is a perpetuation of injustice.

The slave ship is a ghost ship, sailing around the edges of our consciousness. We pretend it is not there, but it haunts us. It also challenges us: a telling test of any society that considers itself to be a democracy is its ability to face the dark pages of its history. Do we dare in this post-9/11 age to look back on the terror that was instrumental to the making of America?

George Washington struggled with slavery. Do we struggle with its legacy? What are the costs if we do not? I think we have a moral accounting ahead of us. Justice and a more humane future demand it.

more from The American Scholar here.