First Place On-Air Editorial Award 1996, New York State
Gary Earl Ross
Time Required 2:30
First Broadcast: June 4, 1996
Pinkham Ross was my great-great grandfather, a slave who
became a South Carolina land owner. Thanks to a recent speech
written by Republican state senator Charles Davidson of Alabama,
I learned how misplaced my pride was in old Pinkham. I now know
that slavery was a kinder, gentler institution than history would
have us believe.
"Nowhere on Earth were servants better treated or better
loved than they were in the Old South by slave owners," Davidson
writes. If slavery is such a venerable heritage sanctioned by
God, as Davidson tells us, why not reinstitute it to address
modern social concerns?
Servitude could replace the three percent of the federal
budget that forms the so-called safety net. Instead of signing
up for assistance, the poor, unemployed, and otherwise dependent
would sell themselves into bondage. There'd be no need for
welfare, affirmative action, or a minimum wage. The proprietor
of the Burger Box would staff his franchise with his slaves, as
would other small business owners. Corporate profits would soar
and downsizing disappear if companies had no wages to pay. Crime
would vanish in the absence of a cash flow. Illegal aliens might
think twice about sneaking into a country that forced them into
labor without pay when they could actually make a dollar back
Standardized testing in public schools could be used to
track appropriate students into servitude preparation programs.
Thus, anyone could be a slave. Descendants of slaves could own
descendants of slave masters. Nor would modern slaveholding be
the province of the gentry. Garages all over America could be
converted into space-heated cabins large enough to accommodate
six. Divorce would decline, since husbands would be less apt to
work late, except perhaps in the garage.
It's hard to imagine any profession that would fail to
benefit. Employment agencies could convert to Slaves R Us
auction barns. Talented slaves could be put to use in legal,
medical, and business offices. Of course, legislators would have
to draft a new Fugitive Slave Law and threaten Canada and Mexico
with sanctions for harboring our runaways. But mental health
practices would flourish as more doctors treated drapetomania, a
mental disorder first identified in the 19th Century and applied
exclusively to slaves crazy enough to seek freedom.
Sadly, Charles Davidson has given up his run for the U.S.
House of Representatives. Too bad. There is probably a place
for him in a Congress determined to restore America to the glory
it enjoyed before the liberals took over. A return to the Good
Old Days of the Antebellum South should make everybody happy.
Right, Pinkham? Right.