Voices on the Wind
Voices of Protest
Century for Freedom, Century for Peace
by Larry Turner
It is 1811.
I will not write about the devotion of slaves to their masters,
the benevolence of masters toward their slaves,
the culture that leisure has allowed the masters to develop,
the habit of hard work that has been instilled within the slaves.
I will not write about the widows and orphans who would be destitute
were it not for the slaves they own, nor of the morality
that the religion of their masters has instilled in the slaves.
In the cause of a greater good, I must reject both the half truths and the claptrap.
I will not esteem a human on the basis of how many other humans he owns.
I will not accept as “honor” the notion that a white man is better than a black man
and the laws and codes of conduct that enforce that notion.
And if the father has done wrong, the son gains no honor by repeating it.
I will never accept that I have a right to own another human
merely because his skin color is different from my own.
Then by the end of this century, slavery will be rare,
and the world will find slavery and slave owners repugnant.
And if anyone argues that these changes will come about
not through any advance in human morality but through economic forces
that have made slavery unprofitable and obsolete, I will not argue;
I will only applaud the consequences.