By Don Boys, Ph.D.
Slavery has always been a part of life in all civilizations. Aristotle declared, “From the hour of their birth, some are marked out for subjection, others for rule.” In his day, there were more slaves than free males. Professor David P. Forsythe wrote in his book, The Globalist, “The fact remained that at the beginning of the nineteenth century an estimated three-quarters of all people alive were trapped in bondage against their will either in some form of slavery or serfdom.”
So, while slavery has always been with us, it has always been the result of one group taking advantage of another for the first groups’ benefit.
Slavery has been a reality since the early days of civilization for a simple reason: Men are inherently wicked. Theologians call it sin that came down to us through our parents from Adam and Eve. Although far more Whites have been enslaved than Blacks, that makes little difference except for the record.
It is also a fact that black African chiefs enslaved their own people, marched them to the west coast of Africa, and sold them to Arab, Jewish, Portuguese, English, and American traders. When the white slavers refused to pay the black slave traders’ asking price, the chiefs simply refused to sell. They knew how to get their price. It’s called waiting. The white slavers pouted in their ships just offshore as their food and water dwindled. Eventually, they capitulated and paid the asking price. The slaves were then distributed all over the world, not only in America.
I also want to make clear that no slaves are alive today in America. If there were, I would agree that they should be compensated. When I wrote AIDS: Silent Killer in 1987, I dealt with the now infamous Tuskegee Study where black men were used and abused in medical experiments for many years by the U.S. Government. On numerous talk shows, I advocated the prosecution of all responsible U. S. officials still alive and reparations for the few still living black men. Each man still living received $37,500. Not much, in my opinion.
My critics will reply that while no one alive has been held captive, the fact that generations of Blacks were kept in slavery, without education, with no ability to build a solid foundation, means their descendants would be far better off today without that past injustice. They say payday someday is today so pay up. However, that is a flawed argument.
Robert Fogel and Stanley L. Engerman did an enormous study of slavery in, Time on the Cross, in which they estimated that about 85% of the economic output of American slave labor was consumed by the slaves themselves in the form of food, clothing, etc. Therefore, while the argument is not totally invalid, it does not have the force the proponents think. The bulk of slave production was used for their own benefit! Loss of their argument.
Frankly, according to Fogel and Engerman, those who make the argument that Blacks have made such an impressive contribution to present society significantly overstate their case. David Horowitz suggests, “Logically, it has about as much substance as the suggestion that O. J. Simpson should have been acquitted because of past racism by the criminal courts.”
There are other problems: Who funds the scam, and who profits from the scam? Since the money would come from the U.S. Treasury, then all taxpayers would be paying. That means Blacks would be paying for their own reparations! It also means that recent immigrants would be paying as well as descendants of those who arrived in America since the Civil War who had no connection to slavery.
Furthermore, Northerners would be paying reparations when their distant relatives fought and died “to free the slaves”! By what logic can that be justified? Additionally, not all Blacks living today have a heritage of slavery. Former President Obama is such a person.
There were 7 million Whites in the South, and 6.5 million of them did not own slaves, so why should their descendants pay for slavery perpetrated by others? Should American Indians pay reparations since they were allegedly here before Whites or black slaves?But then some Indians owned black slaves and even ate them during bad times!
Then there is the task of determining who gets paid. If one could justify reparations for Blacks who are descendants of slave families, how do we know which Blacks are descendants of slaves? Many present-day Blacks are descendants of free Blacks! Some living Blacks would be receiving money for mistreatment that did not involve them or their relatives. That is dishonest.
There is another problem that is unknown by most Americans: the US Census of 1830 reveals there were 3,775 free Blacks who owned 12,740 black slaves so how do we differentiate between those who had ancestors who were slaves and those whose ancestors were not slaves but were in fact, slaveholders? By paying money (ripped from hard-working taxpayers of all races) to Blacks whose ancestors owned slaves, we would be rewarding slavery!
But it gets worse! And more complicated since 65,000 Southern free black slaves voluntarily served in the Confederate military, how do we pay their present-day ancestors reparations? Isn’t it very inconsistent to pay reparations to Blacks whose ancestors fought against “freeing the slaves”?
The biblical standard of each person is responsible for his or her own sins comes into play, so I want to know why sons and daughters should be held responsible for the sins of their fathers.
How will it set with poor white Americans who are struggling to live when they are taxed to pay reparations to wealthy Blacks such as Jesse Jackson, Spike Lee, Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan, and a whole gaggle of rich entertainers and professional athletes? Talk about racial strife! I suggest that reparations will do more to divide the races than forced busing ever did.
Furthermore, I believe that millions of Americans will simply refuse to pay taxes if such an unfair, unreasonable, and unworkable policy is implemented. Look for a major tax revolt.
Also, American Blacks had and have incredible opportunities to be successful in our nation. It is also a fact that the poorest Black in the roughest ghetto is many times better off than those Blacks living in totalitarian nations in Africa. In fact, some Blacks are thankful that their ancestors were brought here so they could live in a free country to hear the Gospel of Christ instead of living in constant fear of false pagan gods, tribal wars, starvation, cannibals, etc. While the slave trade was horrific and all connected to it were criminals, there have been residual effects for which some Blacks are thankful.
Even Cassis Clay, better known as Muhammad Ali, who fought George Foreman in Zaire for the world heavyweight boxing title, realized his advantages because his ancestors were brought to America. Ali won the fight, and upon returning to the United States, he was asked by a reporter, “Champ, what did you think of Africa?” Ali replied, “Thank God, my granddaddy got on that boat!”
Only a fool, a fanatic, or falsifier would disagree.
(Dr. Don Boys is a former member of the Indiana House of Representatives who ran a large Christian school in Indianapolis and wrote columns for USA Today for 8 years. Boys authored 18 books, the most recent being Muslim Invasion: The Fuse is Burning! The eBook is available here with the printed edition (and other titles) at www.cstnews.com. Follow him on Facebook at Don Boys, Ph.D.; and visithis blog. Send a request to [email protected] for a free subscription to his articles, and click here to supporthis work with a donation.)