commented on Charles Krafft Is a White
Nationalist Who Believes the Holocaust Is a Deliberately Exaggerated Myth
Anthony Johnson was indeed a black slaveowner, at a time when the difference between "indentured servant" and "slave" was very unclear because there was still a cultural proscription against enslaving Christians, and no clear association yet between black skin and slavery. I don't quite remember the years, but this was in the 1600s.
He was not, however, the first slaveowner ever in the Americas. That's got to go to Columbus, who seized Taino and other indigenous peoples on his first trip to the Caribbean. In North America, Europeans tried at times to take native peoples prisoner, but their ability to keep them permanently as slaves was constrained (slaves could easily run away, they often were kidnapped in order to make them Christians and therefore part of European communities in ways slaves are not, Haudenosaunee control of the Northeast in particular kept European expansion in check, etc).
Back to Johnson. While not the first slaveowner, he's the first black slaveowner on record. He had a black indentured servant who (along with one or two white indentured servants, I forget) ran away and were recaptured. As was typical for this situation (if you run away from your master before your indenture is up, you are "stealing" your master's "property"), the indenture of the white servants was extended by several years. In court, though, Johnson argued successfully that his black servant's indenture should be indefinite on the basis of the servant's black skin. This is one of the earliest legal rulings associating blackness and slavery.
Of interest may also be Elizabeth Kay Grinstead. In the 1650s she successfully sued for custody of her son and freedom for both of them since her son had a white father; under English law, the status of the child followed the father. As a result of her success, the law was changed so that the status of children followed the mother (including both slaves and indentured servants - so one's childhood could be spent in indenture and freedom would come usually in one's 20s).
Anyway, Krafft is a piece of shit. Don't showcase his art anymore, but if galleries don't want to get rid of his work (and I don't think they should), then they should put a historical writeup of the history of the pieces.
commented on I Was at the Shooting at Twilight Exit
@3 Why should we trust what the shooter said? Why not give the victim the benefit of the doubt here? Sure, she COULD be an asshole, but I don't see what's productive about contemplating that less than 24 hours after she's been terribly injured.
commented on What Will You Wear When You Die?
This work hits all the right notes: evocative, beautiful, potentially useful, and pieces so clearly made with skill that even schmucks like me can see it.
Would he really be interested in letting someone release his piece and their loved one into the ocean? Is that not a perfect conclusion to art about death and decay, to decay itself? Isn't that the most healthy way for art to go, as a living thing which passes away rather than fading from memory in a storage room on the vain hope it will be one of the handful of pieces Future Generations remember?
Thanks for posting, Jen!
commented on Purity Culture Is Rape Culture
@23 Unlike, say, you? What with the 666 in your handle?
From the indications you have just given, Hernandez and the rest of us have deduced that you don't in fact think rape is a serious enough issue to discuss in a sustained manner. So if you do think differently and for some reason care what we all think, give us a reason to think so.