Rattling the Chains of Slavery

From “Rattling the Chains of Slavery” by Thomas Sowell:

Europeans enslaved other Europeans for centuries before the drying up of that supply led them to turn to Africa as a source of slaves for the Western Hemisphere. Julius Caesar marched in triumph through Rome in a procession that included British slaves he had captured. There were white slaves still being sold in Egypt two decades after blacks were freed in the United States.

It was the same story in Asia, Africa, and among the Polynesians and the indigenous peoples of the Western Hemisphere. No race, country, or civilization had clean hands.

What makes the current reparations movement a fraud, whether at Brown University or in the country at large, is the attempt to depict slavery as something uniquely done to blacks by whites. Reparations advocates are doing this for the same reason that Willie Sutton robbed banks: That’s where the money is.

No one expects Qaddafi to pay reparations to the descendants of Europeans whom his ancestors captured on the Mediterranean coast or Western Europeans to pay reparations to Slavs who were enslaved on such a scale that the very word slave derived from their name.

Still less does anyone expect Africans to pay reparations to black Americans whose ancestors they sold to white men who took them across the Atlantic. Only in America can guilt be turned into cash.

Not quite. Europeans are getting quite good at seeking out willing victims themselves.

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