Reparations and the Weaponization of Slavery

Bruce Thornton calls reparations and the weaponization of slavery a vile political stunt:

The Democrats who have announced their candidacy for the presidential primary have all declared their support for paying reparations to the descendants of slaves, after they kissed the ring of notorious race-baiter, tax cheat, and liar Al Sharpton. None has a clue exactly how such a policy would be implemented, and it’s clear their support is nothing more than virtue-signaling and pandering to the racialist left. Nor is it likely such a policy will come to pass.

But this political stunt is still useful for exposing just how dishonest is the left’s use of slavery in our public discourse. Once a universal evil now existing only in the global shadows, slavery has been weaponized by the left and identity politics tribunes in order to attack the West, especially the United States, and caricature both as unique evils responsible for all the world’s ills.

First, this focus on the West ignores the fact that all peoples everywhere kept slaves. Slavery was as unexceptional as the domestication of animals. Nor were Europeans the biggest slave-owners and slave-traders. Eight centuries before the Europeans began importing slaves from Africa, the Islamic Middle East had been exporting or kidnapping slaves––an estimated 17 million Africans, over one-and-a-half times the estimated 10 million purchased by Europeans. Millions were forced-march across the Sahara to coastal ports. The males were brutally castrated––all the genitals, not just the testicles–– to provide eunuchs for harems and service to rulers. Thousands died along the way from their wounds, their bones littering the desert sands. And don’t forget the millions of white Europeans kidnapped and sold into slavery by privateers serving the Muslim Barbary states in North Africa, or the Balkan Christian boys, perhaps as many as one million, taken from their parents, forcibly converted, and made to serve the Ottoman regime as janissaries.

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