Tourist Triggered By Plantation Tour

Tourist Triggered By Plantation Tour

>>So Twitter user posted a screenshot of
a Google review, it’s at the McLeod Plantation Historic Site in Charleston. And it’s getting a lot of attention, and you
just have to see, cuz I’m gonna read the entire review. A woman named Carla, she wrote, my husband
and I were extremely disappointed in this tour. We didn’t come to hear a lecture on how the
white people treated slaves. We came to get this history of a southern
plantation and get a tour of the house and grounds. The tour guide was so radical about slave
treatment, we felt we were being lectured and bashed about the slavery. My ancestors were from Sicily, never owned
slaves. And my husband’s were German, and none of
his ever owned slaves. I am by far not a racist or against all Americans
having equal rights, but this was my vacation. And now we are crossing all plantation tours
off our list, it was just not what we expected. I’ll go back to Louisiana and see some real
plantations that are so much more enjoyable to tour. And wait, before you react, I want you to
know that a little bit before the show started, I found another review.>>My God.>>There is another one, and so then I started
scrolling down the thing, posted this one, too. I’m not pleased with the guide, this is a
woman named Vicki. Vicki said she was not pleased with the guide. He talked about slavery in general, slavery
around the plantation, and how they were mistreated. We got very little information about the McLeod
family and their relationships or their family’s role during this time. We were shown the slaves’ living quarters
and outside kitchen first. So we were finally able to walk in the house,
no furniture of that time period in the house, no furniture at all. Don’t waste your money. I don’t know about the other guides, but this
one was stirring the pot. And then just one last thing, New York Times
columnist jbouie tweeted this in response. He said, the fact that many Americans think
of plantations as vacation destinations to be enjoyed like Disney World is sort of all
you need to know to understand how we got to this place in our politics.>>Wow, I hadn’t seen that second one.>>The second one, yeah.>>I mean, my mind was already blown by the
first one. I’m sorry, did we not include a roller coaster
for you?>>It’s not okay.>>Yeah, but this was my vacation and I am
crossing off plantations from my list, they are bummers. They’re kind of supposed to be bummers.>>Hello.>>Right, but the second one is actually worse,
cuz they’re like, we go out there and learn about the slaves and the slave plantation. What about the poor McLeod family that owned
them? My god, they wrote that with a straight face,
they really meant it and they gave it a one star. I had no fun at all in this movie.>>I mean, this one kind of reminds me of
a Jordan Peele movie, like Get Out, or that kind of thing. Because I think it’s just like, how tourism
and cultural heritage and cultural sites actually neuter, they can cut it off, the history and
the realities behind places. And actually learning about stuff can be enriching
and fun. I know I’m a professor, so I believe in that
very much. But I think, more relevantly to this point,
is how the absence of actually being clear and transparent about the trauma associated
with these places allows us to normalize and perpetuate systems of white supremacy in this
country. Not just with Trump, but just with the ways
black people are treated in this country by the police, by our criminal justice system
and moreover.>>America loves to honor a slave owner, they
just do. Mount Rushmore, Stone Mountain-
>>Thomas Jefferson.>>Thomas Jefferson, all of our founding fathers
were terrible people. A broken clock is right twice a day, they
were also really terrible people. And if we’re honest about how terrible it
is for Thomas Jefferson to be a child rapist, to be a slave holder, then people wouldn’t
be confused about this. I think Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds got
married on a plantation, who gets married on rape and murder grounds? Dancing on top of graves is never a good thing,
that’s specifically seen as a bad thing. Top Chef filmed a TV show at a plantation. It’s all bad, slave owners were terrible people,
full stop.>>Yeah, so I actually went to the plantation
in Charleston, not the, there’s several, unfortunately. And I went to the slave market as well, I
wanna tell you about that experience in a second, cuz it’s really interesting. But before we got started on the story, during
the break, Brooke found the second one before we went on air, and I didn’t know about it. And I was telling these guys, I was like,
do people go to the slave plantation and think, I wonder how it would have been to be the
owners? Cuz it had never occurred to me until I read
the first review. I went to go learn about slavery, cuz it’s
a slave plantation. But it never crossed my mind that somebody
would empathize or put themselves in the perspective of the slave owners. And the second review was like, well, I wanna
know how the McLeod family lived. How’d they live, I mean, they imprisoned and
enslaved and raped and kidnapped and murdered people, that’s how they lived. And now they’re like, now you’re talking about
white supremacy. Slavery was white supremacy, by definition,
that’s the whole point, right? And so, but it doesn’t occur to them, I’m
just blown away by this. We didn’t come here to hear a lecture on how
white people treated slaves. Then why the hell did you go to a slave plantation?>>The only reason to go, right?>>Just go anywhere else.>>To get the honest history about what happened,
that’s the only reason you go.>>So the reason I went was to hear how the
slaves lived in a slave. Somebody else on Twitter reacted it by saying,
if you go to Auschwitz, do you go, I didn’t have any fun here? Or, I’m crossing Auschwitz off my vacation
list. And then people get upset by that, what are
you getting upset about? Now, look I don’t want to get into comparing
tragedies and which one was worse, etc, but they’re both horrific. If you can’t see that, and if you think, well,
Auschwitz, well, obviously, we’re not gonna have a barbecue there. We’re not gonna get married at Auschwitz,
we’re not gonna do any of those things. But a slave plantation, sure, why not?>>Because the house is beautiful, the trees,
it’s so green. But America is so anti-black, that it is easier
for people to wrap their, two terrible, terrible tragedies. It is just easier for the majority of Americans,
and because of how we operate, we still honor slave owners. It’s just easier for people to wrap their
minds around, okay, this is just bad, this, well, there’s nuance, no there’s not.>>And I’ll just say this, in places like
these plantations lie great opportunities for us. And not for people to just feel terrible about
themselves or what happened. I noticed a bunch of the comments were like,
hey, I didn’t do that, my family didn’t do that. It’s not about guilt, it’s about enriching
oneself and our society by just learning what happened so we can do better.>>Yeah, and look-
>>It may be fun and interesting.>>Yeah, so as a Turk, I have an interesting
perspective on this because, look, in the back of the people always say, America wasn’t
the only one doing slavery. Congratulations on having read a book.>>That’s true, right, and in fact, almost
everyone taken in battle were treated as slaves 300 years ago, etc. And even further into that, obviously, even
sometimes today. And Turks are on both sides of that, actually. Somebody on my dad’s side, our original ancestor
that we were named after, was taken prisoner and was treated as a slave for some time. But Turks also did plenty of that as the oppressors,
right? And now I’m an American, but when I go to
a slave plantation to learn, I don’t feel guilty, what a weird thing to feel. She said, my husband’s family’s from Germany
and I’m from Sicily. But nobody blamed you, nobody said it was
your fault. No, I never thought it was my fault. But as an American now, I feel bad overall
that that happened in this country that I love. But it did happen and it has a thousand faults. That doesn’t mean you don’t love it, that
doesn’t mean we can’t improve it, that doesn’t mean we can’t make it great. But it definitely happened, it’s a weird thing
to feel guilty about, in a sense. Wait, what’s in your head that’s making you
think it’s about you, right? And just because your ancestors are originally
from a different country and did not participate in America at that time, doesn’t mean you
can’t think that it was terrible, and that your heart goes out to those people. I wasn’t in Germany at the time of the Holocaust,
but my heart goes out to the Jews, and the Roma, and the Poles, etc. It’s not that hard, you just have to empathize
with other people for a second.>>Yeah, it’s also, I think, and I know it’s
hard to swallow for a lot of people. Even though your ancestors may not have been
from this country, and this and that. Because of the way you look in this country,
you do still benefit from the systems that still keep people who look like that oppressed. You still do, it’s just how this country works. And so it’s like nobody is saying, that’s
another reason to just hush. You know what I mean, everything is not about
you.>>It’s as if they’re afraid that you might
feel guilty->>Or that somebody is like, right, you feel
guilty, and so->>No, guys, I think actually, you’re being
too, and I like the way, you give them too much credit. I like that we didn’t give their last names
cuz it isn’t about that. It’s about the idea and the concept. But obviously, they’ve got some thoughts in
their heads about where white people belong as opposed to black people. That’s why they randomly feel like, whoa,
why are you saying this about me? Nobody said anything about you, why do you
think it’s about you, because of something in your head, right? And so, look, finally, I’ll get to my experience
there. I think you should definitely go to slave
plantations, but not as part of a fun tour you were expecting, right? And it’s incredibly educational.>>It’s a museum.>>And it’s, if you’re a decent person, heartwrenching. So I talked about some aspects of this before,
one of the things I was most, I knew it, I’d read it in books. But it’s different when you’re there, and
you see the tiny little house that they, of course, put the slaves in, if they had a house
at all. And then the first rule was, never educate
the slaves. And I thought, god, that is so interesting. Now that tells you two things, one, education
is the most powerful thing there is, and two, they knew that they were equal. They knew, if they have access to education,
they can learn just like us, and then there’ll be an uprising, etc. So all that talk of inferiority they knew
was BS, of course they knew it was BS, they’re like, god forbid they should get a book. Cuz if you really thought they were inferior,
why would you care? Why do I care if I, hey, don’t give the cows
books, right? You would never say that, so they were lying
all the time. I mean, it’s so irrelevant that they were
lying because they were slave owners, etc. But it gives you a sense of the importance
of education and oppression, etc. But to me, even more haunting than the plantation
was the slave market in Charleston. And if you’ve never gone, you should go, but
again, not as some sort of fun tour, okay? And if you think it was gonna be fun, no. So I couldn’t leave, my friends left, and
we had to go to some other event, I just couldn’t stop reading. And so they would oil up the kids, so that
their bodies looked leaner and more muscular, so they can get a higher price. And they described how they separated the
families. And how they would mistreat the slaves on
the way, but before they sold them, for two weeks they would treat them really well and
they would feed them really well, to get a higher price. And just how barbaric human beings can be
to one another. You can’t put aside race, it was about race,
but I’m saying, guys, if you’re white, it isn’t about blaming you. Put aside race in that context and think about
how horrible human beings can be to one another, so that we don’t repeat mistakes like that. And so you’re gonna say, well, of course we’re
not gonna do slavery, there’s slavery in Libya today, right?>>That’s just what I was gonna say, to reckon
with what’s actually happening now in some parts of the world, too.>>And not only that, I hope to god America
never goes back there, to where it was and how horrific it was. But we’re separating families today.>>Exactly.>>Have we really learned all those lessons? And I’m afraid we haven’t. So you should go, but not with these expectations.

12 thoughts on “Tourist Triggered By Plantation Tour

  1. If you go to a plantation, part of the history is slavery, so if you are so this skinned that you can't bare to hear of the brutal way of life of a slave don't go. I feel if you don't feel you are Superior to any other group of people then you won't have a problem learning about our history. It really says a lot about you if you read between the lines.

  2. Poor snowflakes don’t want to know about history.
    Hell there are whole conservative organisations trying to white wash history.

  3. Traditionally, systematically, and historically it has been the same group of people committing atrocities to people they believe are less then.

  4. OPRAH Bought a plantation. How do we know that plantation had slaves maybe they were free.
    If i went to a Slave auction history museum of course I want to hear and learn. but when i go to a plantation i want to learn about every thing. The family that build the house if they had slaves how many.. where did they live.. I love history… but i also love architecture. Ps I was fired at with teargasand rubber bullets pre apartheid as a demonstration. A time and place for every thing.

  5. Saying the person came from Germany says it all. All white people in this country now benefit from slavery whether you owned slaves or not.

  6. Imagine speaking about slavery at a Fuckin plantation. Maybe it's time for another flood. Please dear god lets start over.

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