The Honor Code by Brian Fielder

Fall 2017, CP#2, Global Moral Issues Creative Project, Uncategorized
The Honor Code Art
Written Justication: In this whiteboard art piece, inspired by the concepts found in Chapter 3:Suppressing Atlantic Slavery of Kwame Anthony Appiah’s book The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen, I attempted to encapsulate the idea of how slavery was eventually brought to a halt in England. In The Honor Code, on page 124, Appiah states“[Working people] were against [slavery], I think, for the simplest reasons: nothing more firmly expressed the idea that labor was dishonorable than Negro plantation slavery in the New World. And labor was what defined them” (Appiah, 2010). This short quotation, while talking about the specific events that took place in England, applies in a much broader sense to the entire book’s premise. Change can’t happen until those opposed to a practice feel their honor has been compromised. The most interesting part of these issues covered in the book, whether it be the foot-binding in China, the slave trade across seas, or the demeaning treatment of women in Pakistan, was that the issues were heavily debated if not leaning towards the more moral side (which we’ve already discussed, so pretend as if “moral” means modern or polite). Some of the perpetrators on the less “moral” side that would inevitably fall knew the practice was in some ways shameful, however they could not bring themselves to cease their ways until their honor was brought into question.
This idea, in tandem with the specific practice of slavery in England through theearly 19th century, culminated into this piece shown before you that represents ashackled slave picking honor off of a tree, as part of their work as a slave. However,rushing towards him/her is some sort of working class bystander to slavery, a poorlaborer who is for, or at the very least, neutral towards slavery. They try to stop the slavefrom picking honor off of the tree after being convinced that, by treating slaves withsuch poor, indignant standards of humanity, we are merely saying that the people whodo this sort of work, just general laboring or farm working, are worth nothing more thana $0 wage, a lashing every so often, and above all, an absence of freedom. By bringingthese working class laborers’ honor into question, the movement to abolish slaverygained the ground it needed, and furthermore supports the work of Kwame Appiah.

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