Dissecting 'Uncle Tom' as an insult

I recently reread one of my favorite books, Uncle Tom's Cabin.  I'm fond of the book, partly because I spent my early 20s living on Forest Street in Hartford, Connecticut, and got to gaze at the beautiful Harriet Beecher Stowe house daily.  Because of this pride I feel in Stowe's masterwork, I am deeply troubled by the increase in Democrats using the term "Uncle Tom" to degrade black people who lend their support to President Trump.

On Monday, the president tweeted his support for Daniel Cameron, a Republican running for Kentucky's attorney general who also happens to be black.  Imagine my shock when I read the replies to President Trump's tweet and saw Democrats calling Cameron an "Uncle Tom."  We've all seen the attacks on Kanye West and Candace Owens, where white liberals will eagerly type the name "Uncle Tom" in an attempt to brush off any black Americans' increasing support of conservative values and the GOP.

If you're like me and actually read the book, you would understand that Uncle Tom's character is nothing like what Democrats portray when they use it as an insult.  Uncle Tom was rightly the hero of Stowe's story.  He saved a white child from drowning and saw the good in people regardless if they were influenced by a cruel system.  More importantly, he helped countless slaves escape their abusive masters.  Uncle Tom chose to die rather than obey cruel Simon Legree, the evil whip master.  His quote "I won't be taken, Eliza; I'll die first!" mirrors founding father Patrick Henry's "Give me liberty or give me death!"

Uncle Tom was a Christian hero whose last words were full of virtue and heroism: "What a thing 't is to be a Christian!"  Republican President Abraham Lincoln even credited Harriet Beecher Stowe's book and her Uncle Tom character with motivating the North to end slavery.

This is exactly why Southern Democrat millionaires deeply hate the novel for what it did to increase support of the abolitionist movement, especially in the Northern states.  However, since these rich slave-owners had all the cultural pull, the lower classes of whites were easily taught to hate it, too.

Pre-war Troubadour entertainment shows held in the Deep South started introducing an "Uncle Tom" character as a complete moron who had no idea what was good for him while also presenting slavery as a caring institution.  As time went on, this caricature eventually grew to be totally apologetic for antebellum slavery all the way until the moment that blackface fell out of vogue.

Slave-owning Democrats had a problem with people like Uncle Tom leaving their plantations and freeing other slaves, so they perpetuated his character as an insult.  They had a genuine fear that stemmed from the threat of other black people mirroring Tom's example.  

As a result, the term today is associated with submission because hateful people twisted Harriet Beecher Stowe's original character into a vile mockery of himself.  The phrase is still used as an insult today by the same exact party that used it the same way in the second half of the 19th century.

Do Democrats of today realize they're using the term in the way their racist party's ancestors purposely intended?  Probably not, as it seems to be used only as a loose association when any black person lends support to Republicans.  The irony is that they've degraded Uncle Tom's character, who represented all the virtues they believe they're signaling, and that myopia only projects their own lack of these positive qualities.  In the same way that slave-owners detested Uncle Tom, today's Democrats also give a negative context to the story's hero for the intended purpose of trying to prevent other black people from following his example.

Connect with Taylor Day on Facebook and Twitter at @TABYTCHI.

I recently reread one of my favorite books, Uncle Tom's Cabin.  I'm fond of the book, partly because I spent my early 20s living on Forest Street in Hartford, Connecticut, and got to gaze at the beautiful Harriet Beecher Stowe house daily.  Because of this pride I feel in Stowe's masterwork, I am deeply troubled by the increase in Democrats using the term "Uncle Tom" to degrade black people who lend their support to President Trump.

On Monday, the president tweeted his support for Daniel Cameron, a Republican running for Kentucky's attorney general who also happens to be black.  Imagine my shock when I read the replies to President Trump's tweet and saw Democrats calling Cameron an "Uncle Tom."  We've all seen the attacks on Kanye West and Candace Owens, where white liberals will eagerly type the name "Uncle Tom" in an attempt to brush off any black Americans' increasing support of conservative values and the GOP.

If you're like me and actually read the book, you would understand that Uncle Tom's character is nothing like what Democrats portray when they use it as an insult.  Uncle Tom was rightly the hero of Stowe's story.  He saved a white child from drowning and saw the good in people regardless if they were influenced by a cruel system.  More importantly, he helped countless slaves escape their abusive masters.  Uncle Tom chose to die rather than obey cruel Simon Legree, the evil whip master.  His quote "I won't be taken, Eliza; I'll die first!" mirrors founding father Patrick Henry's "Give me liberty or give me death!"

Uncle Tom was a Christian hero whose last words were full of virtue and heroism: "What a thing 't is to be a Christian!"  Republican President Abraham Lincoln even credited Harriet Beecher Stowe's book and her Uncle Tom character with motivating the North to end slavery.

This is exactly why Southern Democrat millionaires deeply hate the novel for what it did to increase support of the abolitionist movement, especially in the Northern states.  However, since these rich slave-owners had all the cultural pull, the lower classes of whites were easily taught to hate it, too.

Pre-war Troubadour entertainment shows held in the Deep South started introducing an "Uncle Tom" character as a complete moron who had no idea what was good for him while also presenting slavery as a caring institution.  As time went on, this caricature eventually grew to be totally apologetic for antebellum slavery all the way until the moment that blackface fell out of vogue.

Slave-owning Democrats had a problem with people like Uncle Tom leaving their plantations and freeing other slaves, so they perpetuated his character as an insult.  They had a genuine fear that stemmed from the threat of other black people mirroring Tom's example.  

As a result, the term today is associated with submission because hateful people twisted Harriet Beecher Stowe's original character into a vile mockery of himself.  The phrase is still used as an insult today by the same exact party that used it the same way in the second half of the 19th century.

Do Democrats of today realize they're using the term in the way their racist party's ancestors purposely intended?  Probably not, as it seems to be used only as a loose association when any black person lends support to Republicans.  The irony is that they've degraded Uncle Tom's character, who represented all the virtues they believe they're signaling, and that myopia only projects their own lack of these positive qualities.  In the same way that slave-owners detested Uncle Tom, today's Democrats also give a negative context to the story's hero for the intended purpose of trying to prevent other black people from following his example.

Connect with Taylor Day on Facebook and Twitter at @TABYTCHI.