[Marxism] Brown student responds to NYT op-ed about anti-Semitism

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sun Oct 2 12:21:33 MDT 2016


On 10/2/16 2:05 PM, Andrew Stewart via Marxism wrote:
> But if we're going to talk about racism, let's talk about Brown gentrifying
> black/brown neighborhoods for the past 50 years.

NY Times Editorial, Oct. 23 2006
Brown University’s Debt to Slavery

A long-awaited report on Brown University’s 18th-century links to 
slavery should dispel any lingering smugness among Northerners that 
slavery was essentially a Southern problem.

The report establishes that Brown did indeed benefit in its early years 
from money generated by the slave trade and by industries dependent on 
slavery. It did so in an era when slavery permeated the social and 
economic life of Rhode Island. Slaves accounted for 10 percent of the 
state’s population in the mid-18th century, when Brown was founded, and 
Rhode Island served as a northern hub of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, 
mounting at least 1,000 voyages that carried more than 100,000 Africans 
into slavery over the course of a century.

The Brown report is the latest revelation that Northern businesses and 
institutions benefited from slavery. Countless other institutions might 
be surprised, and ashamed, if they dug deeply into their pasts as Brown 
has over the past three years.

The Committee on Slavery and Justice, composed of faculty, students and 
administrators, found that some 30 members of Brown’s governing board 
owned or captained slave ships, and donors sometimes contributed slave 
labor to help in construction. The Brown family owned slaves and engaged 
in the slave trade, although one family member became a leading 
abolitionist and had his own brother prosecuted for illegal slave 
trading. The college did not own or trade slaves.

The hard question is what to do about it. The committee makes sensible 
recommendations — creating a center for the study of slavery and 
injustice, rewriting Brown’s history to acknowledge the role of slavery, 
creating a memorial to the slave trade in Rhode Island, and recruiting 
more minority students. Other proposals are more problematic. But the 
value of this exercise was to illuminate a history that had been 
“largely erased from the collective memory of our university and state.”



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