23 August 1806
A group of slaves saved from a plantation fire have been offered as a reward to the firefighters who rescued them.
The 17 child slaves and two adult slaves survived the fire in Wiltshire in February, which saw 50 tonnes of cotton catch fire.
In a bold move, slave owner and plantation manager Raquel Streams thanked the fire fighters by offering them the slaves they had saved.
The firefighters initially said the slaves were “fantastic workers” but they have, following complaints lodged primarily by abolitionists, apologised for the insensitive comments.
A spokesperson for the People for the Abolition of Slavery (PAS) condemned the actions of the plantation manager stating that the slaves were “no better off” for having escaped the fire.
As per usual the PAS came under fire almost immediately as a flood of irate slave owners, desperate to pacify their collective conscience by brushing clear societal issues under the rug, accused them of hypocrisy. One man shouted, “tu quoque,” at the PAS spokesperson before elaborating by stating, “it’s absurd for the PAS to talk about ethics, they do bad things too,” as if that somehow prevented them from being right about not owning slaves.
The slaves were mercifully given a six-month break from slave labour when they were rescued from the plantation.
But, having been specifically purchased and kept for slave labour, they were then put promptly back to work under the guidance of the fire station team.
Ms Streams defended the controversial gift, saying that the slave trade is her livelihood and way of life, as if economic arguments morally justify owning slaves.
“I gave those slaves the best quality of life I could while simultaneously exploiting them. They’re worth less than us and this is normal,” she said.
“You do feel sad at the end of it but then you ignore that feeling because it prevents you effectively exploiting others. Giving the slaves to the firefighters was a good way of saying ‘thank you’.”
The plantation’s owner, Cecil Graham Usborne, weighed in by stating the obvious and offering a trite tautology: “An inevitable part of slave labour is the gift of free labour.”
The delighted firefighters said the slaves were “highly recommended” and thanked the plantation owner “for her generosity”.
“We can tell no lies, the slaves were fantastic workers,” a spokesperson said.
The fire service has since removed the pictures of the slaves hard at work from its Facebook page.
“With regards to a recent post on this page,” the service wrote, “we recognise that this has offended some. We apologise and as such have removed the post.”
The public have been keen to have their say on this issue. Below are some of the comments you have sent us.
Eric (username: super_good_guy_21) had this to say: “Those condemning the story are missing the point. Neither owning slaves nor their exploitation is the issue here. The issue is that the firefighters received adulation for saving the slaves then used them for labour after. That is hypocritical and tackling hypocrisy is more important than tackling slavery and exploitation.”
Susan (username: unreasonable_demands) offered the following irrelevant anecdote: “I held a dinner at my house and was advised that one of the guests was an abolitionist. I prepared a meal for her all by myself and slaves prepared food for the rest of us. When we went over to her house for dinner however she refused to use slaves to make our meals knowing we weren’t abolitionists! The cheek of her! She then proceeded to lecture us on the evils of slavery. She made the whole thing into an ethical issue but it’s not, it’s a personal choice. We need to stop condemning peoples’ choices. If you don’t want to own slaves then don’t, just leave me alone.”
Darren (username: mr_nihilism ) was keen to weigh in pointing out that it’s impossible to be perfectly ethical and thus pointless being an abolitionist: “You need a balance between slave labour and paid labour otherwise some jobs just won’t get done. In any case, it’s not like you can pay everyone fairly anyway, it’s impossible to accurately equate labour to pay and so any pay system will always be unethical. That’s what abolitionists just don’t get.”
Claire (username: policy_drone) pointed out that there is regulation in the slave trade to prevent unethical treatment of slaves: “There are policies and regulations in place to ensure there is no unethical treatment of slaves. Nothing bad ever happens. If we write the words ‘bad things shouldn’t happen’ on a piece of paper then clearly bad things literally can’t happen. That’s how policies and regulations work for heaven’s sake! Anyway, people all over the world use slaves. Slaves support the plantation owners’ livelihoods and support the wider local economy. Blah, blah, blah, economics. The fact this plantation owner gave the fireman slaves to say thanks should require no apology at all.”
If you would like to read and be irritated by the musings of the general public then make sure and visit the void abyss of ignorance that is our comments section where you can have a fight with somebody you’ve never met!
New Study Finds Aggressive Abolitionists Are Putting A Quarter Of Britons Off Giving Up Their Slaves.
Monday 7 August 1806.
Abolitionists have a hard time. They’re often portrayed as slave loving, holier than thou types who will berate people for even thinking about another human as if they’re property.
Most abolitionists don’t behave in this way however and indeed many abolitionists today will refer to themselves as living a “freedom based lifestyle” in order to distance themselves from unpleasant stereotypes and spare themselves from do-gooder derogation. It appears despite their attempts however that the extreme stance of some abolitionists is putting many current slave owners off the idea of giving up their slaves.
It seems, at least according to one new study, that slave owners are digging their heels in over what is a pretty clear issue and refusing to attempt to give up their slaves due to “the unpleasant attitudes of certain abolitionists.”
The study quizzed the slave owners as to why they felt discouraged to give up their slaves. Among the top responses were: “the abolitionists were quite aggressive about their beliefs” (38 per cent) and “they consider their way of life to be the only way.”
Here are the five top reasons slave owners felt put off from abstaining from slave ownership:
- I just like owning slaves too much (82 per cent)
- It would be too costly to not own slaves (59 per cent)
- I just wouldn’t know what to do without them (51 per cent)
- My family own slaves and wouldn’t consider releasing theirs as well (42 per cent)
- The attitude of certain abolitionists has completely put me off the idea (27 per cent)
So whilst there are four factors in this list which pertain to the slave owners’ lack of compassion, sense of entitlement, ignorance, and general unwillingness to do good unless everyone holds hands and does it together to make it feel less weird, there is at least one factor which pertains to the behaviour of abolitionists. I’m going to ignore the four points pertaining to slave owners and focus entirely on the one point pertaining to abolitionists.
26 per cent of the slave owning respondents confessed that they had been lectured and guilted about their treating other human beings as property. One man reported feeling deeply offended when he was told that he “couldn’t possibly proclaim to love his slaves while owning them and mistreating them.” While initially distraught over the realisation that love and ownership are mutually exclusive he reported that he “soon got over it thanks to compartmentalisation.”
In spite of what this study has found, more and more Britons are deciding to abstain from owning slaves. Research has indicated that the number of abolitionists in the UK has risen consistently over the past decade. It’s almost as if it’s the right thing to do regardless of how some abolitionists behave. This makes this wild and wacky new lifestyle choice the fastest growing lifestyle movement in the UK.
If this new study is anything to go by the adoption of such a lifestyle could rapidly accelerate if the abolitionists who are so outspoken would just shut up and relax their attitudes a bit. It definitely won’t accelerate by means of us taking responsibility for our actions though. The problem is them, not us. We promise we would totally change if you all just stayed silent. Like, we totally pinky swear on our lives.