The EU

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Monday, March 4, 2013

University President in Trouble

For John, BLUFSelf-censorship is still desired by some in the name of being politically correct.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is one of those terrible arguments where we hold the past to today's standards, and fail to understand the past in its own terms.  In this case a University President, James W. Wagner, PhD, of Emory University, noted that the decision of the Delegates to the Constitutional Convention in 1787 to count slaves as three fifths of a person allowed the Union to be formed:

Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.
Without the compromise there would have been no grand Union and perhaps slavery would have continued in the Southern States longer than it did.  But, one of Dr Wagner's Department's is mad at him.

The linked blog post thinks this is PC run wild.

The alternative view is that Dr Wagner had lost the Department of History and African American Studies already and this is just a public example of it.  He probably has an engineer's sensibilities about such issues and fails to understand the nuances of appeasing people.  Fortunately, engineers build our bridges.

Regards  —  Cliff


Neal said...

I am always amazed by the absence of objectivity in the rear view of American history. The south has always been tagged as the "slave states" when in fact, slavery had its genesis and growth fueled in great part by the northern states....most notoriously CT and Boston where the slave trade was quite energetic. It was not until about 1830 that the northern states slavery was reduced and that was only because of the self-righteousness born out of the Second Great Awakening, largely a hypocritical convulsion of morality by ultra-conservative northern churches.

From that point forward, the schism born of that moralistic tirade became one not of religion but rather, the issue of state's rights and the imposition of a national will on the people of various cultures and states. This is of course being played out in America today where the Federal government has proclaimed its power to be above that of individual states.....for "the common good."

In the great American tradition, the power of government belongs to and with the people.......unless the government decides the people don't make the right choices.

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