Southern White Slaveholder Guilt
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|Southern White Slaveholder Guilt
Guilt is an inevitable effect of slavery. For no matter how much rhetoric and racism is poured into such a system, the simple fact remains that men and women are enslaving men and women. Regardless of how much inferior a slaveholder may perceive his salves, it is obvious that his "property" looks similar, has similar needs, and has similar feelings. There is thus the necessary comparison of situations; the slaveholder is free, the slave is in bondage-certainly a position that the slaveholder would find most disagreeable. So there is no doubt that any slaveholder with any measure of humanity within himself would feel guilt. And in fact, as the evidence is considered-including the pro-slavery propaganda-the reality of southern guilt is overwhelmingly obvious. The guilt is seen in their words, both private and public, uncovered in the pro-slavery diatribes, and understandable in their humanity.
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