The blog where I rant about things that should be obvious to everyone

As a man with a 4 year degree in computer science, and a mediocre job doing web development I'm not really qualified to comment on politics, religion, or anything else, but I'll be damned if that stops me.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The West does not owe slave descendants anything

The thoughts that most conservatives have about reparations generally is either in the camp of thinking that whats in the past is in the past, or that due to disproportionate representation of black people on the welfare roles that we have already paid. What neither of these take into account is that fact that the idea that slavers went to Africa and rounded up a bunch a free men to use as slaves is almost entirely a myth perpetuated by the book and the movie Roots (which was both fictionalized and plagiarized by the way). The truth is that in almost all cases American slavers sailed to Africa where they met up with African slavers who sold them slaves. This should be evident by the fact that the native Africans were no more or less civilized than many of the Indian tribes that Western Americans came across, but they did not conqueror and enslave them. If they had run into Indian slave traders in any kind of large numbers (I certainly can't say that it never happened) there would have been just a large a trade of Indians as slaves, but the fact remains that it was unique to Africans.

This is not to say that all white men who bought slaves were righteous. The right thing to do would have been to free them as soon as they had been purchased. But consider another case. If you came across a man who was desperate for cash and in his desperation offered to sell you his wife's engagement ring which was clearly worth thousands of dollars and though you could have paid full price, you take advantage of the situation and buy it for only a few hundred. Is that the good christian thing to do? No of course not. But on the other hand, after the transaction is made do you owe that man anything. Again no. In the same way, American slavers did not owe the slaves that they purchased freedom because they did not enslave them. The truth is that those who made it to America where the lucky ones. There were certainly some bad slave owners in the south, but in Africa to treat a slave as being more valuable than a horse was the exception.

If your still not convinced consider another example. In Nazi Germany, Oskar Schindler rescued many Jews from concentration camps. The rescued Jews basically worked for him in his factory as slaves. At the end of the war did he owe them reparations? Of course not. By acquiring slaves he was saving them from the gas chambers, and is considered a hero for it. This is not 100% analogous with American slavery, but it demonstrates the principle. If life as a slave in America was not worse than life as a slave in Africa it means that Americans do not owe former slaves anything. In fact we did give them something: freedom. Something that they or their ancestors would not have gotten in Africa where the slave trade is alive and well to this day.


  1. Damn straight. Moreover, given that slavery resulted in those descendents of Africans (a) not being actual Africans, i.e. being born outside that Godforsaken shithole continent, and (b) being born in the richest nation on planet Earth, the one blessed with the most opportunities for its citizens, they should all join with black American journalist Keith Richburg and say "Thank God for slavery!"

  2. How does an individual justify force removal or relocation onto an unknown territory and work their lives for a value less than that of peanuts.

    It will be great if you educate yourself by researching more on a Portuguese chronicler named 'Gomes Eannes de Zurara' and what was happening during the year 1444. Maybe you will get the picture of what slavery was in Africa before Arabs and Europeans.

    One more thing, wake up, people came all around the world to seek knowledge in Africa. The more you know the less dumb things you will say and do.

  3. I don't justify the forced removal or relation of anyone. But my point is you shouldn't be asking me or the American slave owners of the past for justification, you should be asking the people who sold the slaves to white men on ships.

    I admit that I have not read any first hand accounts of slavery in Africa that go that far back, but on the other hand in so far is it matters in the case of reparations, the USA does not go that far back. The fact of the matter is that slavery in 19th century Africa was far worse than in America.

  4. I hear your point and it seems like the 'welfare' situation is affecting many of you negatively. What you need to know is that the nations (tribes) that lost the war were not allowed to use the land; no mining, no farming and no husbandry. The only thing that was exposed to them was slavery. Young coming leaders who preached against the notion were killed.

    Have you ever wondered what is really destroying Africa today and why the west think that Africa was a dark continent?

    What do you mean by slavery was worse in Africa compared to USA?

  5. What I mean when I say that slavery in Africa was worse than slavery in America is that based on first hand accounts that I have read of slavery in Africa, the slaves in America in general had a better life. American masters were not as cruel.

    As far as what is destroying Africa today, I am not an expert on that topic. Ultimately I see the prevalence of any culture being closely tied to the prevalence of Christianity in that culture.

  6. Let me give you a scenario. There are two prostitutes, one got into the industry willingly as one of the options to cover her expenditures. The other was emotionally, physically and mentally tortured in order to engage into the activity of prostitution.

    Are you saying that it is ok to buy the latter girl?

  7. At no point do I think using prostitutes of any kind is ok. But if you assume that the reason for her capture was somehow different than simply making a profit from buyers like yourself (this would not include the movie Taken if that's what your thinking about) then I would say that if you bought her and then gave her her freedom at some point in the future, you would not owe her anything. So for example if the girl was captured because her people were conquered by an invading tribe, and that's the invading tribes custom, to either kill all the people that they conquered, or sell them into slavery sexual or otherwise. If on the other hand the sex slave traffic is purely profit driven such as is the case in the movie Taken, then I would agree that the buyers are as complicit as those doing the capturing.