Everything else you wrote is irrelevant. To the first point, you can see my response to NGFM. Your "studies" are just that, studies. Conducted in a classroom centuries removed from the reality.
Are you really so arrogant that you think your own opinion on slavery trumps the records of what really happened? That you can pretend that people who have actually studied the subject are not knowledgeable about it simply because it didn't actually happen to them? If so, you are not simply ignorant on this subject, but also delusional.
To the second point, in particular the bold portion. This is the very crux of my argument. No one can GIVE you your choices, they are intrinsically yours, and NOTHING can ever change that.
This statement pretty well demonstrates how abysmal your ignorance on this subject is.
If someone puts you in chains, don't you think that they've taken choices away from you? If someone chops off one of your hand, don't you think your choice of which hand to use has been pretty well removed? If someone lames you by severing your Achilles tendon - or by chopping your foot off - don't you think your choice of how to move has been pretty well curtailed? If someone treats you like a beast of burden, day after day after day, for your entire life, and you've never had any experience of being treated differently, don't you think that it's just a little difficult to think of yourself any other way?
You, having lived your soft, comfortable life, having grown up being treated like a person who actually matters for your entire life, do not even have the slightest conception of how truly awful the reality of slavery was. And is. And while people who have studied it may not have a particularly good idea of how bad it was, we have a far better idea than you do, you who are so arrogantly foolish that you think that slaves chose to be slaves because they didn't fight hard enough not to be slaves.
That is the point I am making. Nothing more. You don't like being a slave, fantastic! Now, go do something about it or STFU.
Are you really this fucking ignorant? You seriously think that unless someone does something about being a slave, they shouldn't complain about it? Every time I think you've demonstrated the depths to which your ignorance descends, you say something like this and show that there's still more to come!
None of the great strides in human rights were GIVEN to the oppressed, they had to be TAKEN. So a bunch of cowards sat around lamenting their situation until some one with a pair finally came along and did it for them. They didn't obey the laws, or wait for it to be socially acceptable... they stood up and said NO! They always had that chance, from the first day. Every day they spent in their condition WAS at their own discretion.
No, it was bloody well not at their own discretion. Pay attention before you make an even bigger fool of yourself than you already have. The entirety of Southern society, their laws and customs, were designed to enforce the institution of slavery and keep their mobile property from doing anything about it. They were made to feel powerless in order to curtail their ability to do anything about it.
I have served 3 tours for the US military in Afghanistan, I am very active politically, I vote, I would call myself liberal if I had to have a political label even though I don't much care for either party. I have a decent living and do not want for much. I have zero involvement with the debt system in the US, which actually makes me in the top 20% in terms of actual wealth.
In other words, you're coming at this from a top-down perspective, not a bottom-up perspective. It makes all the difference in the world, trust me. But it doesn't excuse your ignorance, especially when you have people who do have that perspective trying to tell you that your opinion is just flat-out wrong.
You have a position of relative power and affluence. You've been taught all your life that what you do matters, that you have a say in the way your country goes, that you can do something about it if you don't like it. But a lot of people who grew up in a bottom-up situation don't have those advantages. They don't have power, they don't have money.
Here, this example might make sense to you. Imagine that you live in a society where you're absolutely forbidden to own, carry, or use a gun, under any circumstances. If you're caught with a gun, you get beaten and probably maimed to teach you otherwise. If you actually use it, you'll be executed, without even the courtesy of a kangaroo court, in a pretty horrible way as an example to others.
Oh, and the ones who set these rules have all the guns, and every one of them is watching you and anyone like you to see if you might have a gun - and if they think you do, they'll either beat you down to take it away from you, or they'll just shoot you, and your family too, just because they can.
Now, don't you think that it would be just a little bit difficult for people trying to change that situation to do something about it, especially without outside help?
My stance on this stems from having spent almost 2 years in a war torn region of the world, and the COUNTLESS people I have encountered that are just completely hopeless. They all claim to hate this dictator and that dictator and yet they wouldn't do shit about it themselves. Instead, we had to come to their rescue. They bury their heads in the sand, give the man want he wants, and when someone strong comes along they cling to them in the hopes they will be saved. They don't even realize that because they always cling to whatever man of strength comes along with silver promises is precisely why they were oppressed in the first place. It was after the time I spent around these cowards, I decided then and there that I would never find myself in their shoes. I would rather die. So my "brave talk" comes from a bit more than an armchair perspective of the subject. You can "study" oppression all you want, but until you have witnessed it, you don't know shit.
And this is why you don't know shit about what it's like for people who actually have to live in those circumstances. You basically swung in like Tarzan, beat up the bad guys, and then swung off. You literally don't know jack shit about having to actually live with people like that, about what their daily lives are like, about the fear and hopelessness they have to face dealing with people who will fucking kill them at the drop of a hat if they even give them a dirty look. As far as they were concerned, you and yours were just the latest group of conquering warlords.
You don't have any idea what that's really like on a day to day basis. Not even the slightest clue. Nothing in your life has even come close to that - you absolutely have the wrong perspective to really understand how life works for people who aren't in positions of power and affluence, able to make choices for themselves, like you are.
Don't get me wrong. I commend you for what you did. But to judge others for not doing the same when you are ignorant of the experience of living like them, that just makes you egotistical and self-righteous. And it pisses other people off, who have had to deal with harshness of their own, who have the personal experience of how bad it was for them and how difficult it was to deal with it, so how much worse must it have been for these other people.
EDIT: And it pisses me off even more when you write utter crap like, "everything else you wrote was irrelevant", simply so you don't have to address it or even act like it matters. I don't give theists who pull that same kind of crap any leeway, and I assuredly am not going to give any of it to you.