While many are easily tired of this whole conversation and want to make it go away, it is crucial that we as a nation understand how we got to where we are. And the truth is that many, maybe most of our early leaders were not good people. The wealth of this nation was based on industrialized chattel slavery – slavery they knew was different from past forms of indentured servitude (or even the slavery of prisoners captured in war). It was a new and more horrific form entered into knowingly and specifically for profit. I am familiar with this because I have been studying slavery for some time now, working especially with churches to A) come to grips with their slave past, B) understand how that past affects current societal tensions, and C) work toward reforming/dismantling some of the systems left over from that era (and there are surprisingly many).