During a city hall meeting debate on whether Confederate Gen. Joseph Johnston’s name should remain in a local park in Georgia, a white woman said slavery wasn’t that bad.
Mary Stevens referenced census data that shows an increased in blacks in the south. “And you see … every decade, there is an increase in free blacks in the South as opposed to in the North,” she said. “So had slavery been so bad for the freed slaves, they would have left the South.”
She said every race throughout history was subjected to slavery. “Every race throughout history has either had slaves or been slaves at one time or another,” she said.
She even claimed the Civil War was not about slavery.
“The war was not about slavery,” said Stevens. “Read Lincoln’s inaugural address that said he was fighting to keep the Union, not slavery. Georgia was named after King George II, who approved of slavery. Should we change the name of our state? America was named after Amerigo Vespucci, who took slaves on his voyages.”
Commissioner Lisa Cupid, spoke up afterward to fact-check Stevens’ claims and called them offensive.
“I was deeply offended by some of the statements that were made this morning by the previous speaker,” Cupid said. “I am not here to refute the fact that there may have been slaves other than persons who were African American, but there is numerous documentation and historical evidence that [the] chattel slavery that blacks were subject to in America was not comparable to that of any other race.”