Apparently there is a bumper sticker around Virginia that says:

“If I’d known it’d be this much trouble, I’d have picked the cotton myself.”

I have to say, I kinda appreciate this. I think it’s an indictment. It effectively communicates: Why is race such a big issue in the US? Because this is the price we have to pay for benefiting from the abuse and exploitation of black people, both during and after slavery. Buying people to do labor was a bad decision, even if it seemed the easy way out at the time. Sure the bumper sticker regrets the presence of black people in the US (hinting at them as strangers), but it also reminds people of a lot of things I want them to remember, and when you think about the economic role of cotton (and other plantation crops) in the building of the United States, in a way it justifies the “trouble”. It makes me want to say,

“Damn straight, muthafucka!”

Reap what you sow.

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