To equate slavery with employment is the mark of an intellectual idiot

To the Editor:

I am writing in response to George Pratt’s letter of June 18, “Are we today supposed to erase history?”

Mr. Pratt’s letter contains little in the way of substance, but the most egregious comment was that “many historical representatives used employees otherwise known as slaves.”

While Mr. Pratt comments on Albany Mayor Sheehan’s “complete lack of understanding of American history,” Mr. Pratt's letter displays a complete lack of understanding of the difference between being an employee and being a slave.

Mr. Pratt, Merriam-Webster defines “employee” as “one employed by another usually for wages or salary and in a position below the executive level.” I would venture a guess that most people would acknowledge that the receipt of a salary is a key factor that defines an employee. The same source defines “slave” as a person held in servitude as the chattel of another.

To use Mr. Pratt’s own words, to equate slavery with employment is the mark of an intellectual idiot.

Jill Loew


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