Identity Politics and the Reparations Debate
By Carole Hornsby Haynes September 30, 2022 Published by American Thinker
The summer royal tour of the Caribbean and the death of Queen Elizabeth have provoked debates about the participation of Britain in the transatlantic slave trade. Following the queen’s funeral on September 19, CNN host Don Lemon, in an interview with royal commentator Hilary Fordwich, suggested the United Kingdom should pay reparations for colonialism.
Fordwich soundly smacked him down as she answered, "Two thousand naval men died on the high seas trying to stop slavery…...Britain was the first nation in the world to abolish slavery.” She added, "If reparations need to be paid, we need to go right back to the beginning of that supply chain and say, ‘Who was rounding up their own people and having them handcuffed in cages?'"
The shocked look on Lemon’s face is hilarious!!! Speechless, he meekly ended the interview.
In America, Democrats are trying to legislate slavery reparations. Marxist identity politics are being pushed into every part of American economic and civil life. The slave trade is being characterized in racial terms to justify the divisive Critical Race Theory ideology that blacks are victims oppressed by whites.
Despite the inference that America cornered the market on slavery, slavery has been a worldwide institution since the beginning of civilization. Thomas Sowell, renowned black economist and philosopher, provides insights about slavery in his book (chapter titled “Twisted History”).
Of all the tragic facts about the history of slavery, the most astonishing to an American today is that, although slavery was a worldwide institution for thousands of years, nowhere in the world was slavery a controversial issue prior to the 18th century. People of every race and color were enslaved – and enslaved others. White people were still being bought and sold as slaves in the Ottoman Empire, decades after American blacks were freed.
America was never a major world leader in the African slave trade. Of the 12.7 million Africans sold into slavery from 1501-1875, 46 percent went to Portugal, 26 percent to England, 11 percent to France, 8 percent to Spain, 4 percent to the Dutch, and only 2.4 percent to the United States.
There are currently 40 million slaves worldwide – three times more than the total number in the 400 year history of the transatlantic African slave trade. Of the nearly 200 nations in the world, 94 -- nearly 50% -- still have not criminalized slavery or the slave trade.
Contrary to the Marxist propaganda that we are a racist nation, the United States is ranked as one of the top nations in the world for fighting slavery, the slave trade, and human trafficking.
Proponents of reparations contend that the federal government should award Americans of African descent financial damages solely because slavery as an institution existed in the United States.
But who should pay? The descendants of white Southerners? Only the wealthy landed aristocracy owned slaves – fewer than 10 percent of Southern whites. The vast majority of whites had little money and small farms that did not warrant slave labor. There were some black slave owners who owned large estates. Should their descendants pay?
Who should pay? The descendants of post-Civil War immigrants, who had little to do with slavery and who now comprise the majority of whites living in America?
Implicit reparations have been and are being made in the form of welfare payments and affirmative action that has allowed blacks to enter universities and obtain employment based on preferential criteria.
One of the arguments for reparations is that slavery has hindered the economic progress of blacks. Let’s look at the facts.
Thomas Sowell, in Civil Rights: Rhetoric or Reality, concluded that the vast majority of whites and blacks believe there are more blacks living in poverty than there actually are. According to the U.S. Census, there are not three out of four, but rather one out of four, in poverty.
The narrative that the majority of blacks are very poor is fostered by charlatans Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton who stand to gain politically and financially from having constituents who believe they are oppressed by whites.
Rather than being Critical Race Theory’s “oppressed class,” American blacks are richer than 90 percent of the people in the world, live longer than African and Caribbean blacks and even whites in much of Eastern Europe and Latin America, have higher rates of literacy, and have achieved more postsecondary degrees than African blacks.
It was during European colonization that modern medical technology and other institutions were introduced into Africa. Even so, Africa has always lagged behind the rest of the world. Today, Sub-Saharan Africa has some of the poorest countries in the world with disease, war, famine, and military dictators.
In his book, Out of America: A Black Man Confronts Africa, Keith Richburg concludes that descendants of slaves brought to America from Africa are far better off than the descendants of those who were left in Africa.
Many black Americans are blaming slavery for their economic plight. Yet nearly 700,000 – most of whom were white – died to end slavery 160 years ago in the 19th century. Jim Crow ended decades ago. Yet black America is still mostly locked in inner-city gang violence and economic hardship.
It’s time to admit that the problem is the black culture with single parent families and the adoption of Democratic Party government dependency. To compound the problem, students are spending 13 years in government Cultural Marxist education centers where they are being taught they are victims.
Americans need to take a lesson from Hilary Fordwich. Instead of white shame and pontificating over why whites should not pay reparations, America needs to place the blame at the “beginning of that supply chain” in Africa. End of discussion.
People are getting fed up with being told they are permanently racist and must bow their heads in shame and kneel to kiss boots over the sins of others who have long since been dead. People are growing tired of being blamed for the economic woes of others who create their own problems. People are fed up with being told they must redistribute their wealth and be segregated because of the color of their skin.
There is going to come a reckoning day.