Mark, how do you feel about...
Mark, how do you feel about the Krewe of Zulu in New Orleans' Mardi Gras? They started as a black organization, but now have white members. They parade in blackface. Should they feel "shame"? They don't.
The "peculiar institution" was peculiar, to ay the least. According to the 1860 Census, there were 27 million whites living in the country. The census also determined that there were fewer than 385,000 individuals who owned slaves.
Even if all slaveholders had been white, that would amounted to only 1.4 percent of whites in the country (or 4.8 percent of southern whites) owning one or more slaves. Looking deeper can show peculiar things. According to federal census reports, on June 1, 1860 there were nearly 4.5 million Blacks in the United States, with fewer than four
million of them living in the southern slaveholding states. Of the blacks residing in the South, 261,988 were not slaves. Of this number, 10,689 lived in New Orleans. The country's leading African American historian, Duke University professor John Hope Franklin, records that in New Orleans over 3,000 free Negroes owned slaves, or 28 percent of the free Negroes in that city. To many people, this is not only peculiar, but unexpected.
Currently, attempts at discussion of anything in this area is hard, as current political attitudes tend to cause discussion to get out of hand, even with somebody living in another country with their beliefs about U.S. history.