“The Economist” Apologizes for Article Defending Slave Owners

Just a day after publishing a piece defending slave owners, The Economist has has withdrawn the article and posted an apology.

A review of Edward Baptist‘s “The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of slaveAmerican Capitalism,” published by The Economist, surmised that Baptist was being too hard on slave owners.

Here’s an excerpt:

Slaves were valuable property, and much harder and, thanks to the decline in supply from Africa, costlier to replace than, say, the Irish peasants that the iron-masters imported into south Wales in the 19th century. Slave owners surely had a vested interest in keeping their “hands” ever fitter and stronger to pick more cotton. Some of the rise in productivity could have come from better treatment. Unlike Mr Thomas, Mr Baptist has not written an objective history of slavery. Almost all the blacks in his book are victims, almost all the whites villains. This is not history; it is advocacy.

Here is the apology published by the magazine:

There has been widespread criticism of this, and rightly so. Slavery was an evil system, in which the great majority of victims were blacks, and the great majority of whites involved in slavery were willing participants and beneficiaries of that evil. We regret having published this and apologise for having done so.

The reviewer also wondered whether the narratives taken as evidence was enough to “support his view that these rises in productivity were achieved by pickers being driven to work ever harder by a system of “calibrated pain.'”

Do you think the article should’ve been taken down? Or does the author have a right a point of view that others disagree with?

h/t: Mediaite


14 Comment

  1. These people knew exactly what they were doing and they believed what they published. If they did not believe what they published they would not have published it. They are catering to their readers with the same belief.

  2. The Economist is a somewhat venerable magazine and some of the top journalist. But like most western 'journals' they appeal to the global capitalist who never want to be reminded how they 'screwed' the people of Africa and those of us in the diaspora. After all 'they' gave us 'Jesus' …..

  3. This is the same ole song different day. People who have notoriously been the most evil people in the world, do not want to tell the REAl story about slavery and always want to some how try to dminish the evil deeds that satan had his followers committing against God's people

  4. As I am studying Criminal Justice, there is your 1st Amendment rights, which there is freedom of speech and freedom to the press. Why apologize for what you wrote to the public? Maybe offensive to some people, but isn't that why the Constitution was written?

  5. Mr. walker you can’t holler fire in a crowded theater. First amendment rights! Check the meaning.

  6. Readership trumps rights, I guess here. They back tracked as usually, they do, in a rock and hard place.

  7. I wonder which negro "so-called LEADER" of Black Folk, will accept this apology?
    Truth is they first expressed the ameriKKKan point of view, let's stick with that, Why you ask, because most of you folks think these people have change and that they truly LOVE Black People.

  8. An Amendment is an after-thought. I suggest you make yourself familiar with TRACES OF THE TRADE- A Story from the Deep North, a Documentary by Katrina Browne. It chronicles the history of the De Wolf family of Rhode Island, the most prolific Slaves Traders in American History. Katrina and 9 of her of her fellow descendants set off to to retrace the Triangle Trade. One of her cousins as he stood in one of the holding caves in Ghana, spoke of how his family and the people of New England had said that Slavery was just how things were, etc. He went on to say that this was a lie that Slavery was EVIL, and he could feel it in the caves. Mr. Walker millions have died on ships, been hung, buried alive assassinated in America and other countries of the world ,so that you can voice your opinion about a Constitution that does not recognize you as a human -being. You need to be ashamed Negro.

  9. Yes, the Constitution is an afterthought, which I agree bertsell516. How
    can you comment right now without your freedom to do so. How can the media print the truth about certain issues that's happening in the black community without the 1st Amendment. Yest the black man has been through has been horrific. How could we speak during the Civil rights movement? What are we to forget about what's in place to protect us from other rights we have. Look at the big picture….#peace

    • That’s a broad statement therefore it was retracted. Coupled with timing and the racial unarrest throughout the country.

  10. The constitution and their 1st amendment rights have nothing to do with such an ignorant statement. It’s flippant and repulsive, that’s why they apologized.

  11. freedom of speech protects you from the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT not the public at large

  12. Heya i

  13. I do trust all of the concepts you

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