James True is a fine author, but he seems a little sketchy on Civil War History.
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This time on skeptiko.
Clip: So now that the time haters the in slavery times, right.
We explore history. And why we might want to be skeptical of those who are so keen to revise history.
[00:00:14] Alex Tsakiris: No, I’m not referring to Dave Chappelle and his skit where he takes his fellow haters back to slavery times. It’s related to that, but before we can get there. Let’s go back to Dave.
[00:00:28] Clip: Oh, Felish looks as though we have company. What the hell are you niggers doing out here? We are the Tam Hayden’s. We traveled all the way back through Tam to Cole.
Yo crack, watch your mouth. Actually, you better watch your mouth white boy, he going? Pull that a whip. Nice whip. There’s here. There’s a pistol reach for the sky. Oh. Oh. How long is a racial equity, rich, useful white people remain, pop it up by a man named George Jefferson in the 1970s. Convoluted story I’ll admit, but the point is this, they didn’t have. Oh, black people will be free. , that this is what stopped the whole show . As a matter of fact, I can predict this episode comes from the screeching home right now, but I’ll show it.When’s we going to be free? That is a good question. Ma’am. How about now? Wish apparently shooting a slave master. Isn’t plenty to anybody with me and Neil,
[00:01:51] Alex Tsakiris: so Dave Chevelle is a master, not only at comedy, but at social commentary, And what he’s really talking about is kind of interesting if you’re listened to the subtext, he’s saying that skit didn’t go over well, because our culture isn’t comfortable seeing silky in his time, traveling haters, going back in time and shooting a slave owner, especially when he emphatically repeats it three times over.
So this clip could have led to a lot of interesting discussions about social lowriders, social control . All topics that today’s guest, the fantastically talented author, James true is certainly capable of talking about.
but it didn’t turn out that way. James, as it turns out as a civil war revisionist.
You know, the enslavement of all those Africans in the south, wasn’t that big of a deal. There was white slavery country is founded on slavery. Not many people in the south owned slaves, all those kind of stuff, which. Doesn’t exactly conform to the facts, but is a thread that you’ll find out there. I didn’t find out there with James and I looked and I read a lot of his books. I just didn’t. know this, or I wouldn’t have done the interview, but I did do the interview and I felt like there was a point to be made here.
And the point is. We can’t get anywhere if we can’t face our history. So maybe at the risk of jumping around too much, I’m going to play one more clip. And it’s a clip from 1965 and Malcolm X. And this is like a racial, civil rights issue. Right. No, this is not listen to this clip through the lens of what’s happening right now in terms of rights, liberties.
And those who would seek to control.
[00:03:45] Clip: The light front page challenge welcomes the outspoken Negro leader, Malcolm X, Well, that’s, that’s, uh, something of an argument, but I’ve heard speeches made by some of the people of your group. I think I’ve heard you mixed because it seemed to me that you were advocating, , what I would have to describe, I think, as violence. The serious injuries that have been done, you were people with which I totally don’t call that violence.
Uh, I don’t in any way, encourage black people to go out and initiate acts of aggression, indiscriminately against whites. But I do believe that the black man in the United States and any human being anywhere as well within his right to do whatever is necessary by any means necessary to protect his life and property, especially in us, in a country where the federal government itself has proven that it is. Uh, and unable or unwilling to protect the lives and property of those humans
Alex Tsakiris: dang. How does that play today? In a, take the jab, put on the mask and shut the fuck up. You will comply or else, world.
And that’s the problem with revisionist history. It blinds us from the lessons that history can teach us.
[00:04:59] Alex Tsakiris: Okay. But back to this interview with James, true back to how it went off the rails. And for that. I have to go back to my interview with Miguel Connor and his excellent book on snackable meditations. One of which was this remarkable quote from James, his book, best apocalypse ever.
[00:05:23] Alex Tsakiris: (-) This is not a battle of good versus evil. This is a battle of you versus lack of.
[00:05:31] Miguel Conner: That’s James true. This is book best apocalypse ever.
[00:05:36] Alex Tsakiris: okay. So I’d love that quote. You can see why I love that quote. It’s so Gnostic it’s so nondual it’s so yoga.
And then when you do dive into James, his book, there’s all this great dense social commentary and really, really smart stuff. I wanted to have this guy on the show. I was excited to have him on the show. And it started out. Okay. But it quickly went off the rails.
Welcome to skeptical (-) where James is just a fantastically talented author. His books are dense with brilliant social commentary and insights about science technology, computer programming,
[00:06:15] Alex Tsakiris: , I am wearing my Asheville hat in honor of it. How far are you from Asheville?
[00:06:22] James True: Uh, right now, only about an hour, although I lived in Asheville for about 12 years, so I’m close.
[00:06:28] Alex Tsakiris: . Ashleigh is like the coolest, kinda new Southern hippie kind of Austin , of the Appalachians. Right? I mean,
[00:06:39] James True: the biome of Southern Appalachia itself, one of the reasons why rebel. It’s such a nasty lard in America. One of the reasons why so much politics is aimed at, at shunning the south is because the south itself is, is the root chakra of almond rock.
It’s the, the base root of who we are.
[00:07:07] James True: And if you look back at the history, , America wasn’t founded, it was raced w we, we were landing in, in Virginia to a village that had a population of 20 to 40,000 people. It was a thriving metropolis of what we were claiming was Plymouth rock. And that when we came over here, the ones that came were mostly slaves, white slaves.
[00:07:37] Alex Tsakiris:, but I wanted to pick up on so many other things. You talked about one, I think the rebel thing is really interesting there’s something about reclaiming the rebel. That is going to be important for us going forward. But at the same time, it’s also a kind of coming clean with the rebel thing and what it means and what pride means and what you know, , honor means and all that kind of stuff. Cause the slavery thing is a unique challenge.
You know, I was just reading and I have to say for the first time, my lack of education, but the biography of Frederick Douglas, you know, a guy who was up there talking to Abraham Lincoln and really turned Abraham Lincoln into truly more of an abolitionist before that he was like, Hey, it just keep the union together.
You know, we can live a little slavery here, but, and then Frederick Douglas is really, the guy says, no. , you can’t do that. . And the other thing, you don’t like our slavery here in the United States and end the south.
Thanks to Andrew Jackson. Who’s saved our country at the battle of new Orleans, but gave us slavery just for the money of it, which we all understand. But the Roman slavery was different. Half the citizens in Rome were former slaves and they integrated with no problem.
We instituted long after everyone else had had given up on slavery, just for the pure kind of insult to any morality. We kept it gone, baby, and we’ve never come clean on that. And for anyone, I think part of the hypnosis is that that is somehow a Southern issue like that is somehow a stain on the south because of that war.
No, it is, it is a stain on George Washington. And we all know that, but it’s a stain on the entire, on the entire country that we can’t clean. And I think to get to the rebel that we need, we got, got to wash that laundry and we have no clue. We have no clue how to wash that laundry. What do you think about that?
[00:09:47] James True: I think that this is going to be very jealous. Which is part of why it’s such good mind control, but if you, if anyone out there wants to watch my free presentation on white slavery matters, I document in depth year by year, the history of white slavery in America. And I, I do not think that it is accurate to explain that there was something called black slave that I truly believe that the way this country was founded was a eugenics program from Europe.
[00:10:28] James True: And that England was trying to rid themselves of their lowest common denominator because it made their land better. And that every single war that you would look at through history has actually been in eugenics program. It has been the top priority of these people not to make us less racist or more racist.
It’s been the top priority to simply control our population. And I truly believe that the psychology that’s been injected into us about the history of slavery. I believe that that psychology is not only historically wrong, but that it’s used as a, uh, a, a kind of poison, which subdues the very psychology.
That would make us see through it that the ego itself, that, that the pride that we have in, in ourselves is in fact, our immune system. And that the only way that anyone can control you is to attack your immune system so much to where the psychology of you even having something called pride is now put into question that the only way that you could do that is through an Exodus is that you would want to move people away from their roots.
Now you could physically move people away from their roots by shipping them over to on maraca and taking over a culture that already existed. Or if they’re already there, you could psychologically de route someone by shaming their heritage, that through the purpose of shaming someone’s heritage, we now no longer look at our roots for substance, that we no longer pull reverence from our roots, which makes them die off.
And that that would be the most effective way to manage a population is to psychologically have the grass that has the shortest routes possible. And so it’s a very sensitive issue. I think that that literally, when we talk about black slavery, we are pedestals arising a minority simply by color, and we’re claiming that they are a victim.
And I think that by doing that, we’re actually really hurting them. That we, we say things like, well, but the black people can’t vote because they can’t afford to get driver’s license. We say this in front of society and we’re calling it sensitive the whole time
[00:12:53] Alex Tsakiris: everybody gets
[00:12:54] James True: they’re competent.
Everyone’s a competent individual, right? Everyone’s a very competent person that has the ability to do all these things. However, we’ve been injected this history that causes the separation, which makes us constantly living on edge about how racist we are. That’s a psychological task. It’s like a shock collar.
[00:13:17] Alex Tsakiris: got you on that. I got you on that, but there, there there’s, there’s another, there’s another side to that. I’m not looking for a flight. What I’m looking for is Tara from a lot of times. But right now we’re talking about slavery and racism and part of the Terra firma for me is this history. I mean you read Frederick Douglas man, and it is history. Here’s where I was born. I don’t know when I was born because they didn’t tell you , when I was born, I didn’t know who my mother was because they had figured out that you break the bonds between a child and his mother.
If you want to be effective in controlling that slave, if that slave has a strong. Paternal kind of bond and the other mind control aspect that I picked up from Frederick Douglas is when he does get to the north and he gets to Massachusetts,
he’s stunned that the system works up there, that the economic system works because he had been kind of brainwashed into this idea that, well, we gotta have slavery. I mean, that’s the only way this machine that we have can work. And he says, I’m stunned because a guy who just works down at the dock, he lives in a nice house.
He reads all these great journals and papers from all over and he gets books on his bookshelf and he eats a meal in a warm house every day. I was convinced that that couldn’t happen because they didn’t have slavery. So , I think we got to deal with the history and then we got to deal with this.
Let me play you this clip.
Guaranteed to piss you off, but that’s okay.
[00:14:46] Clip: How do we teach race and racism in America? Tonight, we speak with teacher Matthew Hahn, who was fired from a rural Tennessee high school. After teaching high school kids about white privilege, you were reprimanded for assigning an article titled the first white president. And you were terminated after you played a video by a spoken word artist called white privilege.
Here’s part of that video. What is white privilege is the only five decades of legal acknowledgement, expected to correct? 400 years of white transgression. What did you want your students to learn from the article? And also the spoken word poem. It’s a class where I get to introduce students to a variety of
You know, what better perspectives
to listen to in a school that’s almost entirely white in a county that’s almost entirely white. Then award-winning author Tallahassee coats and an avant-garde poet, Kyla, Janae, Lacey.
[00:15:45] Alex Tsakiris: Okay. You, you got all that, right? What are your thoughts?
[00:15:51] James True: I don’t think that that what happened to Frederick Douglas when he grew up was an exclusive black experience. And I know that every time there’s, , any, , writing that comes out, that’s actually explaining what it was like to be an Irish immigrant in America. That that book is not, not included in, in fact, purposely excluded and any kind of history.
[00:16:15] Alex Tsakiris: . And there’s other people who wrote accounts. You know, there’s a woman , I forget her name, but for the longest time, they just wouldn’t believe that that this was a real biography. And then they found eventually some genealogical records that verified what she said, but she said, look, if you’re a woman born into slavery in the south, you’re just getting raped all the time.
You’re getting raped or your fear of rape all the time. That’s just the way that it is. So to me, that’s Terrafirma Frederick Douglas is Terrafirma, that’s a lie. What he’s describing. I don’t think we can find a counter argument that says that isn’t the experience of the majority of those enslaved people in those states.
I mean, that to me seems like it’s true. And the other part that seems like it’s true is, you know, cause it, it, again, it, to me, it reverberates with what’s going on today is they were kind of playing this game. The people in power who were, who are so dependent on the financial institution of slavery, they were playing this game.
Well, you know, we’re going to stop importing slaves, you know, and oh, if we just regulate the rum industry a little bit, that’ll kind of really bring us in line. But the whole thing really blows up when John Brown steps in John Brown is the guy, right? He’s an abolitionist in the north, he’s a Christian and I’m not religious.
I’m not Christian, but he’s a Christian. He says, no way, does this shit make sense? And it keeps saying, we got to fix this. We’ve got to fix this. We can’t go on. And eventually he gets his kids, his flesh and blood and says, . We’re starting a slave rebellion. And he goes down. He breaks into the armor, unique grabs all those guns.
And he says, we’re going to start a slave rebel. And it doesn’t work, partly because the slaves are like, that ain’t going to work. You know? I mean, I’m with, uh, philosophically, but that ain’t going to work. But if you read the historical record, that’s when the south said, , , this is not going to be resolved with this kind of
[00:18:15] James True: Maybe 2% of people in the south actually owned slaves. And so I know how romantic,
you know, that’s such a mess.
[00:18:23] Alex Tsakiris: That’s such a misunderstanding because there are so many, there were so many more people who are renting slaves. So if you rented a slave to bring in your crops and you know, you fuck the woman who you’ve rented, uh, no, you’d never owned that slave, but I mean, Frederick Douglas was loaned out to like five different people.
So as you know, if you’ve listened to the show, I rarely ever jumped in, in the middle of these interviews, but since I’d stepped all over this one, I might as well , jump in here because when he said that 2% thing, it’s like, God, that just doesn’t sound right. Doesn’t sound like anything I’ve ever heard. And that’s because it’s just completely a ridiculous number that revisionists throw around. It’s like taking the total number of slaves and the total number of the population in the United States,
, a more meaningful stat would be.
How many households in the 11 Confederate states owned slaves. And if you do that census, you get something like 25, 30%. And then when you multiply it by the loaning out factor, you get a much more realistic figure,
but let’s let him go on back to the interview.
[00:19:29] Alex Tsakiris: you don’t even know about white indentured servitude. You like, you don’t
even know what that means course. I mean,
[00:19:35] James True: you just described, you just described what happened in Boston, literally every single day pre-write pre-Civil war and the, and that the same abolition is that we’re saying that, Hey, this terrible thing is happening to black.
People literally were trading contracts for seven year old girls at church that they had a 12 year contract on a seven year old girl. That was, that was dropped off a boat. And how do they get the contract? Because.
[00:20:03] Alex Tsakiris: Well, that’s we are, we are in total agreement. That’s why I say the state
[00:20:09] James True: country. That was the entire country, the entire
[00:20:13] Alex Tsakiris: country.
But, but James, that’s why I said, this is not on the self and it has to be washed clean from the country, but I
[00:20:20] James True: don’t some way it’s even a stain. I think that you’re, you’re actually misunderstanding even what was truly happening there because at the same time, Alex, , someone like you or me was waking up drunk on a boat and suddenly on our way over here.
[00:20:39] Alex Tsakiris:
(—) (-) And even back to Frederick Douglas, one of the things he mentions in his book is he’s he, the way he actually gets out is that he makes it a better economic deal for his slave owner who he’s been loaned out to.
He makes it a better economic deal for him to be able to go basically free work at the shipyards in Baltimore. I think it is, and then bring his wages back to him. But in the process of doing that, he gets to go out and mix with other people. And one of the people he mixes with are these Irish guys. And they’re like, you mean you’re born a slave and then you are never not a slave.
And then all your kids are automatically slaves. They’re like, . I mean, we know the whole indentured servitude thing, we know coming over to slavery, but that ain’t right. You know, and it is part of this awakening. If you read the guy’s book that he has to wrap his head around the idea that what he’s been told, just like in the same way that we’re told all this Christian stuff that doesn’t exactly mesh with history, you know, to wipe that clean is a whole process in and of itself that I just don’t know that it fits exactly what the way you’re spinning it.
[00:21:55] James True: I don’t know what else to tell
you, because you keep implying that the story of Frederick Douglas was something that was a black person experience. And I’m just telling you that the history tells you it’s not.
[00:22:06] Alex Tsakiris: yeah, that’s the real problem, James is. The history tells you it is. Final clip this one’s from a Netflix series. Amend about 14th amendment.
Got to watch the first two episodes where they really get into the history. . Of course then as it always does with the social engineering, it gets a little wonky with the.
Black lives matter. If the glove don’t fit, you must acquit, silliness, and a complete lack of integrity, looking at The criminal forensic evidence associated with so many of the cases they’re protesting about, but. We shall not go there.
We will stay focused on history. And how the revision of history. Does it help any of us?
So in this clip, as you’re about to hear it’s a speech by Frederick Douglas. In 1852, when he’s become one of the most dynamic sought after and powerful speakers. In the United States. . 14 years after he escaped enslavement. Unbelievable. And also, this is, this is pre civil war by a good 10 years. So here’s Frederick Douglas. This is real. History.
[00:23:25] Clip: The ladies anti-slavery society of Rochester, New York, invited for every Douglas to speak on the 4th of July 600 people came to Corinthian hall for this event.
Fellow citizens, the signers of the declaration of independence. What brave men, your fathers. And today you reap the fruits of that success. Douglas makes his audience feel very comfortable with 4th of July. He says the founding fathers were geniuses. They created this beautiful thing called the American Republic.
It’s a very calm opening. And then there’s a moment where he says, pardon me? Why am I called upon to speak here?
What have I, or, or those who I represent to do with your national independence? The 4th of July is yours. Not mine. You may rejoice. I must move. Do you mean citizens to market? By asking me to speak here today.
And then he blast away at his audience with a litany of the terrors and horrors of the slave trade slave auctions in the American south.
It tells them what the whole of a slave ship smelled like. He tells them the sounds and the feelings of a woman weeping as her child was sold. He takes them to the horrible heart of what slavery actually is to Rob them of their Liberty, to work them without wages, to beat them with sticks, to Flay their flesh with lash, to knock out their teeth, to burn their flesh, your shouts of Liberty inequality, your sermons and Thanksgivings, a mere hypocrisy.
There was not a nation. Guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States at this very hour.
America is false to the past foster. The president solemnly binds herself to be false to the future.
Allow me to say in conclusion, I do not despair. The doom of slavery is certain. And I therefore leave off where I began
with hope. (-)
[00:25:51] Alex Tsakiris: I hope. Sent down through the ages, like a time capsule to serve us when we need it. Most. Sent from a true gladiator of the light. Frederick Douglas. That’s going to do it for this episode of skeptical.
Thanks to James. True for joining me. I’ve never chopped up an interview like this, but. I just, I really wrestled with it back and forth and I just didn’t see any other way to do it.
I mean, we’ve got to stand for truth.
We have to stand for a reasonable and accurate accounting of our history.
So I jumped all over this one.
I’m not going to tee up a question. Just tell me what you think. I got lots more coming. Stay with me for all of that. Until next time, take care and bye for now.
(music: Improvisation 2 Spectre Folk)
(music: Tomie’s Bubbles Candlegravity).
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