Race

12 Years A Slave Is ‘Abolitionist Porn’ That Leaves Out All The Happy Parts Of Slavery, Says Columnist John Derbyshire

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

Former National Review writer John Derbyshire hasn’t even seen the film “12 Years a Slave,” but he’s sure “there was more to American race slavery that white masters brutalizing resentful Negroes.”

Steve McQueen’s film, based on the true story of Solomon Northup, recounts the tale of a free-born black man kidnapped and sold into slavery in 1841.

Derbyshire called it “abolitionist porn” in his article for VDare.com.

He was fired as editor at the National Review in April 2012, after he published an article advising white people to avoid black activities, neighborhoods, and politicians.

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“No, I haven’t seen the thing, but I’ve read reviews,” wrote Derbyshire. “Also I’ve seen (and reviewed) a specimen of the allied genre: Civil Rights Porn.”

He claims slaveholders only beat slaves “every once in a while” when they got “unruly.” He also points out that some slaves spoke affectionately about their masters.

“Plainly there was more to American race slavery that white masters brutalizing resentful Negroes,” he wrote.

Derbyshire claimed freedom could be just as troublesome as slavery.

“Slavery is more irksome to some than to others; and freedom can be irksome, too.”

He compared slavery in the U.S. to communism in China, claiming that “while there was much grumbling, and some scattered seething rebelliousness, most Chinese got along with the system. A lot of people were very happy with it.”

Derbyshire believes that the “popular perception” of slavery is mostly inaccurate.

“In the matter of slavery, though, I already feel sure that the shallow good North, bad South simplicities of Abolitionist Porn and popular perception bear little relation to the thorny tangles of reality,” he said.

Even benevolent slaveholders had authoritarian relationships with their slaves, according to PBS' Resource Bank for teachers.

"The killing of a slave was almost never regarded as murder, and the rape of slave women was treated as a form of trespassing," it says.

Sources: ThinkProgress, Right Wing Watch, PBS, OV