Slavery Flap Shows Emory University Professors are Morons

-By Warner Todd Huston

Earlier this month the President of Emory University wrote a piece for the school magazine about the efficacy of compromise. By the 24th he was forced to apologize for the piece because he mentioned slavery fully in context in his piece. The faux outrage that his comments caused proved three things: that no one at Emory has any grasp of American history, that the professors at Emory University are morons, and that the student body are utterly unable to employ critical thinking.

The segment that upset everyone was utterly innocuous and cited properly in context by Wagner, without hate or racism. Unfortunately, logic and context isn’t what the race baiters of Emory University are interested in, sad to say.

President James Wagner’s piece was meant to extol the virtues of compromise and meant his piece to explain that this vaunted compromise was as American as Apple Pie, baseball, and the restl. Pursuant to that, Wagner wrote the following:

One instance of constitutional compromise was the agreement to count three-fifths of the slave population for purposes of state representation in Congress. Southern delegates wanted to count the whole slave population, which would have given the South greater influence over national policy. Northern delegates argued that slaves should not be counted at all, because they had no vote. As the price for achieving the ultimate aim of the Constitution—“to form a more perfect union”—the two sides compromised on this immediate issue of how to count slaves in the new nation. Pragmatic half-victories kept in view the higher aspiration of drawing the country more closely together.

Such as it is, this is correct, straight forward, pure fact. It has not a whiff of controversy to it. Well, it wouldn’t have a whiff of controversy if an intelligent, informed person were reading that excerpt, anyway.

Instead of intelligent people, however, we ended up with dolts like Emory history “professor” Leslie Harris, halfwits like “professor” Leroy Davis, and racebaiters like student Jovanna Jones.

The idiocy from Davis is typical of the taunts doled out to the hapless president. “The use of the Three-Fifths Compromise for any reason is unacceptable because, regardless of the context of the compromise, African-Americans see it simply as looking at black people as less than a human being,” he said in an open letter to President Wagner.

These people all view the three-fifths compromise in an entirely negative light without any thought as to what it actually meant.

You see, originally southern slave holders wanted to count all slaves as a full person when figuring representation in Congress. If that had happened, they’d have had a 100% lock on all power in Washington D.C. and if that had happened slavery would have grown, expanded, and reached to every corner of the United States making it impossible to be rid of later.

In reply, non-slave holders in the north didn’t want to count the slaves at all because southerners would not allow blacks to vote. If slaves had no vote, northerners maintained, how could the south morally use these voiceless people as citizens to count for congressional representation? Slaves weren’t citizens. Citizens have rights, northerners said.

Northerners that wanted to eventually eliminate slavery knew full well that if slaves were counted at 100% then slavery could never, ever be ended. Granted the compromise still gave slave holders too much power and it was a problem that wasn’t settled until the Civil War, but it was the best they could do at the time.

Two things are obvious if the north wasn’t successful in getting the three-fifths clause accepted. Number one, slavery would have been impervious to any attack. Second, the Constitution would never have been ratified, the USA would never have been sustained, and slavery would still have had a still greater life span than it did.

The north didn’t make this compromise because it didn’t care to count a human being as a full, 100% human being. The north made the compromise to begin the country and to set the stage to end slavery in the future–something they knew full well they couldn’t do in 1787 because of a lack of political will!

The fact is, the three-fifths clause should be celebrated as one of the reasons slavery was eventually destroyed in this country, not excoriated as some example of extreme racism.

I mean, what, would haters of the three-fifth clause have wanted to count a slave as a full person thereby giving the south the sort of lock on power that would have kept slavery in force in perpetuity?

Yes, I am saying you morons that are against the three-fifths clause are in favor of racism and slavery, not against it.

“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
–Samuel Johnson

Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that he wrote articles on U.S. history for several small American magazines. His political columns are featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s,, and, as well as,,,,, among many, many others. Mr. Huston is also endlessly amused that one of his articles formed the basis of an article in Germany’s Der Spiegel Magazine in 2008.

For a full bio, please CLICK HERE.

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