If we really want to have a discussion, it's more helpful to explain that Southerners -- just like most Americans -- were extremely sensitive to issues involving race. Jake doesn't like the concept of slaves being personal property, but that's the way things were in 1860. Some people in the North believed that form of property should be eliminated. No matter how wrong you might believe it to be, how does the Emancipation Proclamation square with Constitutional protections stating that citizens may not be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law?
Personally I find it helpful to explain that the vast majority of slaveholders did not live on plantations. In most states the typical slaveholder owned five to seven slaves; men, women and children. There may have been one or two of those who could work in the fields, the others being dependents. In most cases these were people who had grown up with the white adults rather than being purchased at auction, as usually portrayed in the popular media. The public generally has no conception of such things.
Abraham Lincoln was not above using the 'N' word, telling racially based jokes, and reminding his audiences that black people were intellectually, morally &c inferior. So are we supposed to condemn others for doing the same?
Yes -- let's be fair and balanced about this.