On July 21, local radio personality Austin Rhodes challenged his listening audience by asking the question, “What if slavery never happened?
Rhodes suggested America’s current achievements and prosperity would have occurred without the institution of slavery. Like the typical white privileged American, Mr. Rhodes is a student of distorted history, and is thereby misinformed about the importance of slavery to the foundation and success of America.
In the book A People’s History of the United States, author Howard Zinn wrote:
“Everything in the experience of the first white settlers acted as a pressure for the enslavement of blacks. The Virginians of 1619 were desperate for labor, to grow enough food to stay alive.”
The settlers even resorted to cannibalism. The historical facts suggest the European settlers were unable to feed themselves and were reduced to eating each other.
Furthermore, Zinn added that the colonists “couldn’t force Indians to work for them … They could not capture them and keep them enslaved; the Indians were tough, resourceful, defiant, and at home in these woods, as the transplanted Englishmen were not.”
Therefore, Austin Rhodes, were it not for the forced labor provided by millions of enslaved Africans for over 250 years, there would be no United States of America.