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Episode 251 — The Cotton Gin


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#1 July Diaz

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 10:22 PM

Today Jamie Lee & Andrew figure out if it’s racist to blame the beginning of slavery on the Cotton gin. Be sure to keep leaving us messages at (323) 389-RACE.

#2 pfchangs

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 08:57 AM

The Alamo is only famous because Davy Crockett died there. Nobody gives a fuck about Goliad because no celebrities died in it.

#3 Joshie

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 09:31 PM

Like most episodes of Andrew Ti's podcast, this was poorly researched and simply bad history. The cotton gin made mass extraction/production possible and commoditized it. Before the cotton gin, you can find paintings of European aristocrats wearing denim because it was a premium product only for the extremely wealthy. By the time blue jeans came around, it was synonymous with the working-class labourers. One of the triggering problems of the Civil War was that cotton was such a losing industry for Southern aristocrats they wanted to expand into the West, into Southern Texas/New Mexico/Arizona and those different climates with different soil so they could diversify the kinds of crops they could use slave labour for, including citrus, chiles, etc. If you look up "King Cotton" the Confederacy literally thought their cotton supplies would make them valuable enough to the Egyptians and French to get them to fight against the Union, which simply made the Europeans shift their cotton needs to newly conquered territories along the Nile River. It was by no measure a stable, profitable industry in the 1860s/70s and if anything it was the difficulty/lack of diversified economy to fall back on in the South that made them go to war to claim those Western territories.

There's a Jay-Z line that's like, don't waste your time talking to fools, from a distance, people can't tell who is who, and that applies to this caller, whose question could have been contradicted with 2 minutes of research