The Slave Reparations Racket [Excerpts]
In another case of anti-Western grievance-mongering at the United Nations, the leaders of two Caribbean nations are calling for slave reparations from Western nations that profited from the trans-Atlantic slave trade.
Recently, the U.N. General Assembly heard from the prime ministers of two twin-island Caribbean nations: Antigua and Barbuda, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. In separate speeches, the Caribbean leaders declared that reparations were needed to remedy the barbaric injustices of slavery that Western nations set loose upon the world – and whose legacies continue to this day, according to Caribbean news outlets.
“Antigua and Barbuda has long argued that the legacy of slavery, segregation, and racial violence against peoples of African descent have severely impaired our advancement as nations, communities and individuals across the economical, social and political spectra,” Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer told the General Assembly.
How should descendants of African slaves be compensated according to reparations advocates? Spencer called for formal apologies from former slave-trading Western nations; and then they must “back up their apologies with new commitments to the economic development of the nations that have suffered from this human tragedy.” The Caribbean region, to be sure, is already a major recipient of U.S. foreign aid, a fact the speakers failed to mention.
Neither men, moreover, mentioned an awkward detail: Their own African ancestors may have owned slaves and participated in the slave trade (though they never did as well at, of course, as Westerners who were not doing anything illegal at the time).
Curiously, the Caribbean’s reparations hustlers only single out Western nations in their demands. They ignore the slavery that existed elsewhere in the world – the Middle East, Africa, and South America; and while they mourn Africans caught up in the trans-Atlantic slave trade, they shed no tears for the millions of Africans who disappeared (and continue to disappear) into the Muslim slave trade. Nor do they condemn slavery that persists in Africa today; or the human trafficking that’s a problem in many parts of the world, including Jamaica.
Ultimately, reparations advocates distort the realities of the ancient slave trade, according to Ohio State University Professor Robert Davis. “We cannot think of slavery as something that only white people did to black people,” says Davis, author of “Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003). In his book, Davis documents that Muslim slavers off North Africa’s Barbary Coast enslaved one million or more white Europeans between 1530 and 1780 – a number greater than Africans enslaved during the same period.
Why is the enslavement of white Europeans ignored? Because it fails to echo the scholarship favored today – that history is all about European conquest and colonization, says Davis.