I Am Not Naive

The other day I saw a local article that took me by surprise. Not the contents of the article but the fact that the reporter seem very surprised about what was found and what it meant. The article stated old bodies were discovered in graves on the property of The Medical College of Virginia (MCV). These graves were of slaves that were used (for labor?) at the school.

               What got me was people are surprised that slaves were used there. I stated in a blog I wrote a long time ago which said people need to think like it is some time ago, not like it is today when reading about yesteryears. Evidently the people that are surprised about this situation is viewing it like it is today. Yes, slaves were used everywhere back in the day. Not too long ago, some wealthy people were keeping people that worked for them as slave labor. They kept their passports, did not pay them, would not let them leave the house, and had them work very long hours because they were migrants.

               Let me explain why I am surprised about people around here being so naïve. The Medical College of Virginia is in Richmond, Virginia (Capital of the Confederacy), around the corner from the President of the Confederacy’s home (Jefferson Davis). The entire southern states had slaves as well as some places in the other states. Slaves were used to do anything and everything the White person could not do or did not want to do. They cooked, cleaned, did all the field work, and made things (horseshoes, clothes, buildings, etc.).

               As the doctors, nurses, etc. worked and taught at the college it stands to reason that either the school bought slaves to labor or the people there used their own slaves. That is not too hard to imagine, especially if you think as if it was the time of slavery. It would be expected. In fact, when I was growing up, those were the only jobs a Black person could get, labor at very low pay.

               A while ago graves were found (also bones in an abandoned well) of cadavers used in experimentation and teaching. It was never said if these were of White or Black people. I would assume most, if not all, were White. The reasoning for that is 1) there was a stigma that Black people were not like White people. 2) there was a lot of grave robbing during that time. 3) Black cemeteries were not close to White people. 4) In case you do not know this, free Black people could not live within the city limits. Therefore, graverobbers would have to travel a long way to get a fresh cadaver of a Black person.

               So, people can stop trying to make me think I am naïve enough to believe they are surprised to discover people used slaves at a prestigious school. If I remember correctly, not too long ago The University of Virginia (UVA) (which have a great medical school) found graves. I am assuming it was everywhere because Blacks were used for labor, free or enslaved, and experimentation (remember The Tuskegee Experiment). Why are people so naïve or is it a ruse to make us think they are?


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