April 17, 2021

The Case Against Reparations: Part 2

With reparations, there is the issue of who pays. Do African countries owe reparations to Black Americans? After all, Harvard’s director of the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research, Henry Louis Gates, wrote that 90% of those enslaved and shipped to the New World were sold by Africans to European slavers. All whites? Only whites? Nonwhites? Are payments owed before the United States became a country?

Former University of California, Los Angeles, historian Roger McGrath writes:

“The reparationists claim that the United States must compensate the descendants of slaves for 400 years of slavery. Since the United States was not established until 1788 (when the required three-fourths majority of the states approved the Constitution), slavery existed for only 77 years before the 13th Amendment abolished it.” McGrath also writes about the number of whites who owned slaves in the January issue ofย Chronicles Magazine:

“While the cotton economy enriched the owners of the large plantations and insured that millions of Blacks would live as slaves, it didn’t do much for most Southern whites, who saw the most fertile bottom lands owned by a small number of powerful families. Depending on the era, only 25 percent or so of Southern whites owned slaves or belonged to a family who did.”

On former President Barack Obama’s maternal side, there were slave owners. Obama’s father came from Kenya, a slave-trading area. Does Obama get a check, or does he cut a check? Similarly, Vice President Kamala Harris’ Jamaican father has acknowledged slave owners in his family. Does Harris, whose mother is from India, get a check or cut a check?

Slavery, sadly, has been part of human history since the beginning. Muslim slave traders took whites out of the Mediterranean area and enslaved them in Northern Africa. European slavers took Blacks out of Africa and shipped them to the New World. Europeans enslaved Europeans. Asians enslaved Asians. Africans enslaved Africans. Even Native Americans enslaved other Native Americans.

Again, who pays whom? When and where does the pursuit of reparations stop, if ever?

The Arab slave trade took more Blacks out of Africa and for a longer period of time then did the European slavers. In “Prison & Slavery,” John Dewar Gleissner writes: “The Arabs’ treatment of Black Africans can aptly be termed an African Holocaust. Arabs killed more Africans in transit, especially when crossing the Sahara Desert, than Europeans and Americans, and over more centuries, both before and after the years of the Atlantic slave trade. … African slaves transported by Arabs across the Sahara Desert died more often than slaves making the Middle Passage to the New World by ship.”

As to the trans-Atlantic slave trade, historian Gates says:

“Between 1525 and 1866, in the entire history of the slave trade to the New World, according to the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database, 12.5 million Africans were shipped to the New World. 10.7 million survived the dreaded Middle Passage, disembarking in North America, the Caribbean and South America.

“And how many of these 10.7 million Africans were shipped directly to North America? Only about 388,000. That’s right: a tiny percentage.”

And that tiny percentage has prospered to a far greater degree than did those who went to the Caribbean, Central and South America and, in some cases, Mexico.

In 1940, 87% of American Blacks lived below the federally defined level of poverty. By 1960, that number had fallen to 47%, the greatest 20-year period of economic expansion for Blacks in American history.

Who receives reparations? How is this determined?

Since slavery ended nearly 156 years ago, determining legal heirs to the stolen slave labor would be impossible.

When assessing the amount of reparations to be paid, is it relevant that the descendants of slaves here have prospered to a far greater degree than have the descendants of slaves shipped to Central and South America? If Black America were a separate country, its gross GDP would make it the 17th wealthiest country in the world. Economist Walter Williams said Blacks have come further ahead from further behind โ€” and over a shorter period of time โ€” than any people in the history of the world.

To be concluded next week.

Larry Elder is a bestselling author and nationally syndicated radio talk show host. His latest book, “The New Trump Standard,” is available in paperback from Amazon.com and for Nook, Kindle, iBooks and GooglePlay. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an “Elderado,” visit www.LarryElder.com. Follow Larry on Twitter @LarryElder. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2021 LAURENCE A. ELDER

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22 Responses

      1. don’t you think doing this will cause more resentment between white and black, ask Biden to look how we got the blacks, they where in egype, then back with their own tribes they where sold to the white man, not a good thing but how can you pay a slave when they are dead

    1. If they want repetitions, they need to go back to Africa and demand it from the ones that sold their ancestors into slavery. Other Africans.

        1. I think Biden is a slave owner. It’s the whole Republican Party that’s in chains. It’s time to stand up before it’s to late.

  1. I think these career Democrat politicians need to pay reparations to all of us for violating their oath of office to defend the Constitution and our national security.

  2. Reparations is comical. What about the native American tribes wiped out by settlers, government and elitists of them days . The Jews should be paid greater than the blacks. Slavery, was and still is rampant in Africa to this day by Africans. I owe no one nothing. Shameful to those who believe lies and not do their own history fact ck

    1. Slaves brought to the Americas were sold by the winning tribes from the sub-Saharan tribal conflicts. They had a greater value as a commodity than a meal. Canabalism was the order of the day for the losers. I can’t remember the exact title, but it was something like “Early History of Sub Saharan Africa”. There was a whole chapter on cannabalism !!!

  3. If any reparations are paid, it should be to the true owners of this land, the Native Americans. Using genocide, this land was stolen from them and no payment of any kind was given, not even an apology.

  4. How many Black people owned black or white slaves. Our they going to have to write a check. The Indians also own slaves. Our they going to pay. So let’s go back to Africa, European Countries, the people who captured and sold black or white slaves to the people of the United States. Our they going to pay. People this happen over a hundred years ago. The only way your going to trace back through ancestry.com.

  5. ‘Black leaders’ like Sharpton have determined that every black in the US (42 million) should get a ‘fair and equitable’ $350,000. That’s $15 trillion. That means that every white man, woman and child ($200 mill) would have to pay $75,000. White resentment? Uh, yeah.

  6. All I have to say to all the little Black victims out there, ‘GET OVER IT. NON OF YOU WERE SLAVES NOR WERE YOUR PARENTS AND MOST LIKELY YOUR GRANDPARENTS”. I have done an Ancestry DNA and background check on my family. I have gone as far back as 1733 Kentucky and not one record shows my family EVER owned slaves.

  7. According to ancestry.com my great grandfather came from Germany. That makes me personally a third generation American. So that means most black Americans have been here longer than I have therefore I damn sure don’t owe anybody anything. Notice that “black” was lower case while American is upper case. That’s because they are Americans FIRST and black second. Get over yourselves and call you by what you are…..Americans, not Black Americans.

  8. I think the government that condoned and prospered from slavery should pay. That government was the Confederacy. It would be appropriate that all the existing Confederate currency and bank notes should be gathered up and given to anyone who claims reparation

  9. Parchman Farms was a corporation that enslaved black and whites for the countys and profited from that free labor.

  10. I think that its only fair to have the government that promoted slavery pay reparations; the Confederate States of America. However the President and cabinet of said government were dissolved on April 9, 1865. However, I am sure there are enough Confederate bank notes and coinage to repay the folks exactly what they deserve.

  11. AS A PROUD BLACK AMERICAN WHO NEVER LIKED DONALD TRUMP UNTIL HE BECAME OUR PRESIDENT. YES I VOTED FOR HIM. ONLY A PRESIDENT WITH DONALD TRUMP’S BUSINESS KNOWLEDGE WOULD HAVE BEEN ABLE TO IMPLEMENT WARP SPEED, AND GET A MAJOR FOOTBALL TEAM OWNER TO SEND HIS TEAM’S PLANE TO PICKUP BADLY NEEDED MEDCAL EQUIPMENT.
    AND WE NEED HIM TODAY. WHAT IS IN YOUR WALLET ? DOING OKAY?
    HAVE SOME PROBLEMS THAT MONEY CAN SOLVE ?
    IF YOU NEED SOME MONEY TODAY. LOOK AT WHO IS IN THE WHITE HOUSE, DRIVING THE TRAIN !

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