Arrow-right Camera
Go to e-Edition Sign up for newsletters Customer service
Subscribe now
Opinion >  Letters

Historical facts versus opinions

Michael Conlin’s response, “The abolition of slavery” (July 25,) to my “What ended worldwide slavery?” (July 11) uses a false pretext, misrepresented opinions and selective facts.

First, he completely ignores the scope of my letter (ending WORLDWIDE slavery) and parochially focuses on the United States and Britain’s West Indies abolition movements. Britain and France fought slavery worldwide.

Next, he begins his letter with opinions misrepresented as facts: “the crucial role that people of color (and slaves) played in the abolition movement…”. “Crucial” means essential, necessary, decisive. He effectively insinuates that the abolition movements in Britain and the U.S. could not have succeeded without their efforts. That’s a suggestive opinion, not fact. A “very important” role, yes; “crucial,” no.

Furthermore, he states that the “slave rebellion in Jamaica (1831-32) paved the way for Parliament’s passage of the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833, …” Mr. Conlin selectively misrepresents this as the most important reason, but completely ignores six other major factors. A British historian succinctly describes them all at: The Jamaican slave rebellion was one, but the last two listed, a new Whig Government and compensation for the slave owners, were “crucial”. It is ethically “crucial” to include all of the facts.

Finally, It should have been obvious I meant to “thank those white people” of the history mentioned in my letter, not any “living today”. Now search: Lincoln’s Wide Awakes. They were young, white men.

That’s using “Critical Thinking Theory.” QED

Bob Strong


Letters policy

The Spokesman-Review invites original letters on topics of public interest. Your letter must adhere to the following rules:

  • No more than 250 words
  • We reserve the right to reject letters that are not factually correct, racist or are written with malice.
  • We cannot accept more than one letter a month from the same writer.
  • With each letter, include your daytime phone number and street address.
  • The Spokesman-Review retains the nonexclusive right to archive and re-publish any material submitted for publication.
Unfortunately, we don’t have space to publish all letters received, nor are we able to acknowledge their receipt.
Click here to learn more.

Submit letters using any of the following:

Our online form

Mail: Letters to the Editor
The Spokesman-Review
999 W. Riverside Ave.
Spokane, WA 99201

Fax: (509) 459-3815
Questions?: (509) 459-5430