The Slave Reparations Racket

In another case of anti-Western grievance-mongering at the United Nations, the leaders of two Caribbean nations are calling for slave reparations from Western nations that profited from the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

Most Caribbean nations look to tourism and off-shore banking to grow their economies and create wealth. But a few are engaged in a fast-buck scheme: slave reparations which they say are owed to the descendants of African slaves.

Recently, the U.N. General Assembly heard from the prime ministers of two twin-island Caribbean nations: Antigua and Barbuda, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. In separate speeches, the Caribbean leaders declared that reparations were needed to remedy the barbaric injustices of slavery that Western nations set loose upon the world – and whose legacies continue to this day, according to Caribbean news outlets.

“Antigua and Barbuda has long argued that the legacy of slavery, segregation, and racial violence against peoples of African descent have severely impaired our advancement as nations, communities and individuals across the economical, social and political spectra,” Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer told the General Assembly.

For his part, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, said: “Racial discrimination was justified and became itself the justification for a brutal, exploitative and dehumanizing system of production that was perfected during the trans-Atlantic slave trade and ingrained over the course of colonial domination.”

“The structure of our modern world is still firmly rooted in a past of slavers and colonialist exploitation,” he added. “While we celebrate the noble heroism of the famous and the faceless who resisted racist colonial hegemony, we must continue to confront the legacy of this barbarism and continuing injustice.”

Their comments, during a Saturday session, were made one day after another case of grievance-mongering and grandstanding before the General Assembly: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ call for Palestinian statehood.

The reparations racket has been around for years. It has attracted a motley bunch – from jive-talking hustlers to erudite professors of academic disciplines like African-American history and post-colonial studies. But only in recent years have whole countries joined the reparations racket. Besides having large black populations, they share common traits: leftist leaders, ailing economies, and a host of anti-Western grievances propagated by leftist elites. Jamaica, a former British colony, also has sought to shake down Britain for slave reparations.

How should descendants of African slaves be compensated according to reparations advocates? Spencer called for formal apologies from former slave-trading Western nations; and then they must “back up their apologies with new commitments to the economic development of the nations that have suffered from this human tragedy.” The Caribbean region, to be sure, is already a major recipient of U.S. foreign aid, a fact the speakers failed to mention.

Neither men, moreover, mentioned an awkward detail: Their own African ancestors may have owned slaves and participated in the slave trade (though they never did as well at, of course, as Westerners who were not doing anything illegal at the time).

Ten years ago, the anti-Western reparations movement was energized by the United Nations’ racism conference in Durban, South Africa; that was the infamous UNESCO-sponsored event in 2001 that equated Zionism with racism. It also offered tacit support to the idea of slave reparations.

Regarding Durban, Spencer was full of pride, calling it “an innovative and action-oriented agenda to combat all forms of racism and racial discrimination.”

It’s a view shared by the United Nations. Just five days after Spencer and Gonsalves made their reparations pitches, it held a high-level meeting to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Durban Declaration and Program of Action.

Spencer and Gonsalves are not the first Caribbean leaders to jump on the reparations bandwagon. Four years ago, Jamaica’s political leaders were angling to shake-down Britain for slave reparations.

The left-leaning People’s National Party was then in charge on the island of 2.7 million, a hotbed of leftist politics. Struggling to reverse years of economic decline, leftist political leaders and elites started beating the drum for the regional campaign to convince Britain to provide compensation for its role in the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

“We owe reparations to ourselves and our ancestors,” Rupert Lewis, a lecturer in government at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica, told a gathering of school children in Kingston, the capital. The occasion was part of activities associated with Jamaica’s commemoration of Britain’s 200-year-old Abolition of the Slave Trade Act adopted March 25, 1807. At the time, the case for reparations was being made to ordinary Jamaicans with lectures and the airing of the pro-reparation’s documentary film: “The Empire Pays Back.” The message to them: the legacy of slavery and British colonialism was indeed the source of the island’s troubles – not misguided leftist policies that guided Jamaica since it gained independence from Britain in 1962.

“In the medium term, the goal is to mobilize all those who have been working in the (reparations) field for a long time, and to sensitize those who have dismissed the work of the movement for lack of knowledge,” Jamaica’s minister of tourism, entertainment and culture, Aloun Assamba, told the Jamaica Observer.

‘Cultural Marxism’

Curiously, the Caribbean’s reparations hustlers only single out Western nations in their demands. They ignore the slavery that existed elsewhere in the world – the Middle East, Africa, and South America; and while they mourn Africans caught up in the trans-Atlantic slave trade, they shed no tears for the millions of Africans who disappeared (and continue to disappear) into the Muslim slave trade. Nor do they condemn slavery that persists in Africa today; or the human trafficking that’s a problem in many parts of the world, including Jamaica.

Slavery, in other words, doesn’t bother them nearly as much as all their frothing suggests. How come? Some are obviously racists. And all are leftists; for them reparations are the means by which they can achieve the Marxist redistribution of wealth they dream about.

In recent years, they’ve adopted a post-modern form of Marxism – what might be called “cultural Marxism.” In this view, the villains are no longer capitalists and bourgeoisie as is espoused in economic Marxism.

Now the villain is “white male privilege” – a privilege supposedly made possible by the head start that black African slaves gave to white Western nations. Indeed, as Cambridge University senior lecturer Richard Drayton wrote in an upbeat review of “The Empire Pays Back”: “Africa underpins a modern experience of [white] British privilege.” The documentary was produced by Jamaica-born producer Robert Beckford, a lecturer in African Diaspora Religions and Cultures at England’s University of Birmingham.

How should Britain’s monstrous historical theft and injustice be remedied? In a word: reparations – by redistributing wealth from whites to the ancestors of black African slaves —  and ultimately, reparations advocates say this is all about healing. “These [reparations] proposals are not intended to be divisive or confrontational, but rather form part of a process to heal the wounds of the past,” explained Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Stafford Neil, during Durban’s racism conference.

And no matter that few if any whites are around anymore with any connection whatsoever to the slave trade hundreds of years ago; yet whites as a group are nevertheless cast as modern-day beneficiaries of slavery.

Ultimately, reparations advocates distort the realities of the ancient slave trade, according to Ohio State University Professor Robert Davis. “We cannot think of slavery as something that only white people did to black people,” says Davis, author of “Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003). In his book, Davis documents that Muslim slavers off North Africa’s Barbary Coast enslaved one million or more white Europeans between 1530 and 1780 – a number greater than Africans enslaved during the same period.

Why is the enslavement of white Europeans ignored? Because it fails to echo the scholarship favored today – that history is all about European conquest and colonization, says Davis.

In this version of history, Britain and America get no credit for leading international efforts to end the profitable trans-Atlantic slave trade – even using their warships to stop it. Both countries are portrayed in the worst light possible; whatever they did, it was too little, too late.

Not surprisingly, reparations advocates who claim the West’s prosperity is founded upon slave labor overlook the obvious reasons for the West’s prosperity: Its political and economic life are organized around democracy, free-markets, and the rule of law.

Dedicated leftists won’t admit this; and this includes the Caribbean’s leftist rulers who ambivalently embrace free-markets and look for their inspiration to Cuba – a place where you won’t find any of the 2.6 million members of the Jamaican Diaspora living.

Besides slavery, Jamaica’s leftist elites obsess endlessly over British colonialism; but there’s a glaring irony with this grievance-mongering: Jamaica’s dramatic decline over the years – crime, gangs, political corruption – all occurred when black Jamaicans were running their country — not their former colonial masters. Jamaica’s problems, in other words, were all related to specific decision made by Jamaica’s politicians and elites.

Jamaica vs. the Bahamas

Jamaica’s blame-it-on-slavery argument becomes especially problematic when the country’s dysfunction is contrasted against the prosperity enjoyed by the Bahamas. A former British colony, the Bahamas also has a legacy of slavery. Yet it has no crippling debt, no history of serious political violence, and no out-of-control crime rate. It has one of the region’s highest per capita incomes: $19,000, nearly five times more than Jamaica’s. There’s no huge Bahamian Diaspora.

Why is the Bahamas a success? Because its political leaders and voters look forward — not backward; and they unashamedly look to America as an example. They have for the most part embraced business-friendly policies and a low-tax philosophy.

Four years ago, for instance, an interesting political phenomena occurred in the Bahamas. Its ruling left-leaning political party suffered a stunning election defeat, despite having overseen an expanding economy and unprecedented development boom. Interestingly, the main campaign issues were good management and honesty in government — not racial issues (such as which candidate had the darker skin color). It’s an example of the Bahamas’ good governance and civic culture — traits not as apparent in Jamaica and other Caribbean island-nations with similar histories of racism and colonialism.

In the Bahamas, interestingly, the bicentennial of the slave trade’s abolition got circumspect media coverage — and was consigned to the inside pages of the main newspapers. In Jamaica on the other hand, The Observer – a popular left-leaning daily owned by Sandal’s resort owner Gordon “Butch” Stewart – ran a chest-thumping front-page article in which Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller paid lip service to reparations – telling school children to honor their slave ancestors by respecting one another. “My request for honoring them is that for every child that is raped and is left to soak in the rapist’s semen and her own blood, you are perpetuating, Mr. Rapist, the action of the slave master.”

It’s hard to imagine political leaders in the Bahamas making such lurid comments to school children. Nor are Bahamian political leaders grandstanding before the U.N. General Assembly — demanding slave reparations based on a leftist post-modern view of history.

They’re too busy looking forward – not backwards.

  • mrbean

    Once again the negroes lay false claims to victimology demand monies from the productive white people of the world. Recall, it was negroes who sold negroes to slavers in the first place. However, that aside, every negro living in the Western Hemisphere would not statistically exist at all had their ancestors not been brought from Africa. The average life expectancy today of negroes in the west is in the upper 6o's to the lower 70's and in Africa and in all African countries between 31 years of age with a high average of 40 years in South Africa. This is what Africa rin by negroes is like almost everywhere.

    • Dennis X

      bean boy what's a negro? And what is " rin by " mean. Not only are you a low life , but a stupid one at that.

      • mrbean

        Negro is the proper racial classification term. There is no such race as African American (a term invented by Jesse Jackson in the 1980s) and colors such as black, brown, white, yellow, and red are slang. The statistical facts went right over you head didn't they. In addition the statistical facts about every negro living in the Western Hemisphere would not statistically exist at all ANYWHERE had their ancestors not been brought from Africa went right over you head. Look up life expectancies by country and you will see the countries run by negroes have the lowest life expectancy for negroes. Sooo… it appears that it is you who is stupid.

        Mohammed Ali got it when he came back from Africa when he said "Thank God my great great great great grand daddy got himself put on the boat!"

        • Dennis X

          Actually we are descendants of captured Africans who were sold into slavery. You who are the descendent of slavers and rapist and have no clue what the African Continent would have been save for the influnence of the white man i.e. your forefathers colonialism and slavery. After 500 years in north america the Black man still has not adapted to these living conditions, we have a shorter life expectany than whites and suffer from hyper tension and other aliments at a higher percentage than whites. As for the term " negro" I bet you don't use that around Black People, trust me you would never use it around me and remain healthy. And thank you for reminding me why I hate you people so much.

          • LindaRivera

            Dennis X,

            Please don't hate! Read my comments below and do everything you can to bring attention to the horrors, atrocities, and genocide committed against Blacks in Libya by the U.S. backed rebels.

            We need mass protest marches against the genocide, in our cities. Most people don't know about it as most of the media is not reporting about it.

          • Dennis X

            I only hate bean boy, some of my best friends are white, really. Thank you for the heads up.

          • tagalog

            "Some of my best friends are white, really."

            Good one.

          • mrbean

            Not one American dollar nor one American life should be risked for African subscultures ever. See for yourself – the Dinka in the Sudan.

          • Nanook

            What is wrong with negro? Is it due to the letter n in the word?

  • crackerjack

    Finding articles of this nature on this forum always raises the question ; – are Jews black, or are Jews white?

    • Larry

      Jews are Jews, they actually have a specific and unique genetic marker, called the "Cohen Gene" that sets them apart as a specific people. Doesn't matter whether they are black or white, if they have the Cohen Gene they can make a valid claim to be a Jew.

    • ziontruth

      "…are Jews black, or are Jews white?"

      Both, and neither.

      The definition of Jewishness is ancient and clear: A person is a Jew is he or she 1) was born to a Jewish mother, or 2) has undergone conversion according to Jewish Law (read: Orthodox).

      The second criterion means anyone, of any race, can become part of the Jewish nation if they're sincere enough (meaning, if they ignore all the attempts at discouragement made by the rabbis overseeing conversion applicants; Judaism does not seek converts).

      • tagalog

        Aren't Jews considered to be racially the descendants of Shem (hence the term "semite"), one of the sons of Noah, while black people are considered the descendants of one of the other sons of Noah, Ham (hence the somewhat outmoded term "hamite" or "hamitic" person)?

        The third son of Noah was Japheth, from whom the people of the North are said to be descended. So white people are the sons of Japheth, black people are the sons of Ham, and Jews (and Arabs) are the sons of Shem.

        • ziontruth

          "Aren't Jews considered to be racially the descendants of Shem…"

          The Three Patriarchs were. But already in the fourth generation, Joseph son of Jacob married an Egyptian, Hamite woman, Asenath daughter of Potiphar.

          In traditional Jewish historiography, it is not races but nations that play a pivotal role. For example: The Jewish view holds that the spread of Islam was God's fulfillment of Abraham's request that Ishmael too become the father of a great nation. If we consider the fact that the majority of Muslims today are not Arabs by biological descent, then this means every Muslim is a virtual son of Ishmael in the Jewish view, just as a convert to Judaism is counted among the descendants of those who went out from Egypt even though biologically this is not so.

          Note well that this fluid view of nationality isn't equal to the Marxist notion of "humanity evolving beyond national divisions." Jewish Law insists on honoring the nation-specific laws of every state so long as they don't conflict with the Seven Noahide Commandments, which are binding on all of humanity. The Jewish view is irracial but not anti-nationalist.

  • Larry

    It makes you wonder where the descendants of the black Africans that were taken into slavery in arab countries are. It started much earlier, and went of much longer, than trans-Atlantic slavery, and in greater numbers. Yet there are no descendants of black slaves along the southern Mediterranean or in the Middle East.

    Why is that? Oh, that's right, because the muslims didn't let them breed, and killed them when they got past working age, if they hadn't already worked them to death. It didn't matter if one died, there were plenty more where that one came from.

    • ziontruth

      There are Black Bedouins in Israel. They live in towns of their own, rigidly separated from the Arab Bedouins, who look down on them in utmost contempt. Intermarriage between those two groups, despite holding the same religion and speaking the same dialects of the Arabic language, is a cause for dealing death and destruction just as surely as if it were a case of Rasseschande in 1930s Germany.

      Seeing as white people, for all their faults, fought for the abolition of black slavery, all those accusations of "perpetual Western colonialist racism" are nothing but sheer gall.

  • kafir4life

    What will they say when they learn that Barack Obama's family (on his Father's side) has been involved in immigration and jobs for Africans for generations. Barack's great-great-great-great-great grandfather reportedly assisted Michelle's (my belle) family, and Herman Cain's family secure passage and work in the new world (Like Barack, a noble understaking, for sure). I understand that many of Obama's ancestors followed this proud tradition of assisting Blacks find employment in the West.

  • Philip Smeeton

    Just the black man blaming the white man again instead of taking responsibility for his own welfare.

  • Bamaguje

    How come no one is demanding reparations from Jihadist Arabs/Muslims who massively enslaved and pillaged both Blacks & Whites?

  • StephenD

    The fact is in this country African-Americans are far better off than anywhere else on earth; including in any Nation-State on the continent of Africa. A high price to pay to be sure, but today they should be glad their ancestors were able to endure such hardships to their great benefit. Reparations? When the Islamists that introduced and perpetuate slavery cut you a check, let me know and then we'll talk.

    • alex

      As a matter of fact one of them, Cassius Clay, expressed his gratitude to his ancestor after a visit to Africa. His words, as I recall, on coming home to the US were something like: "Boy am I glad my grandaddy got on that ship!"

  • stephenfroweblog

    Lets see, what was ACTUALLY the slave trade. Arabs from north Africa hired black tribes from central Africa to pillage and take prisoners of other black tribes from central Africa so that they could sell the prisoners to Europeans in west Africa to be transported and sold in Europe and the New World. So, in fact all of the following are culpable; black Africans, Arabic peoples of North Africa, Europeans and then the ultimate consumers, the Europeans and members of the New World. The argument for reparations should start in Africa. Of course the African nations would tell them to get lost, so they go where they think they can extort money. We should just tell them in no uncertain terms to go away and never bring it up again.

    • tagalog

      Where is the high level of indignation at the Portugese, who imported huge numbers of Africans to be slaves on the Brazilian sugar cane plantations (60,000 new slaves imported a year), who killed them off in huge numbers, refused to allow them to have African women so that they could develop families, and continued to import slaves as the old slaves died off on the cane plantations? Just for the record, Brazil outlawed slavery about 25 years after the American Civil War ended and was the last country in the West to do so. As of 2008, Brazil still had about 50,000 illegal slaves. That indignation is not heard; my speculation is that the "deep pocket" is in the United States.

      Although the Arab Muslims of the Arabian Peninsula are pretty loaded in their own right, and they are STILL enslaving Africans and European women (to be prostitutes in the sex trade).

  • LindaRivera

    I am outraged that the leaders of the two Caribbean nations are not shouting out at the UN and to the world about the horrors taking place against Libya's blacks.

    We need another Martin Luther King!

    STOP the GENOCIDE of Blacks by the U.S. backed Libya rebels!

    The Obama-supported rebels left in charge are now conducting a “large scale cleaning in the areas under their control with the extermination of all blacks in the capital”, according to The Independent.

    Barbaric atrocities, kidnappings and ruthless genocide of blacks in Libya by US/France/NATO backed Al-Qaeda linked rebels has been going on for months.

    US/NATO who have waged war for months for the Al-Qaeda
    linked rebels-who murder our troops in Iraq-are RESPONSIBLE for stopping the genocide.

    US/NATO are also responsible for rescuing the
    many terrified blacks kidnapped by the rebels, including the kidnapped black children who have been horrifically abused by the black-hater Muslim rebels.

    Blacks must have human rights!


  • LindaRivera

    It has also been reported that some of the black children in Libya who were kidnapped by the rebels, after being horribly abused, were shipped off to European countries.

    US/FRANCE/UK/NATO have great guilt. Waging war for the rebels empowered these evil forces and made the genocide and kidnapping and enslavement of blacks in Libya possible.

    Huge slave trader, Mohammad, founder of Islam, is considered the perfect man and role model by Muslims who follow their religion. That is why devout Muslims believe that slavery is totally acceptable and good.

  • LindaRivera

    Hundreds of thousands of Black Sudanese Christian children and women have been taken for slaves by Sudan’s Arab Muslims. For the two Caribbean nations' leaders to remain silent over this great wickedness is dreadful hypocrisy.

    Jihad Slavery in Sudan, with Dr Charles Jacobs

    May every slave be free one day!

  • mrbean

    Not one American dollar nor one American life should be risked for African subscultures ever. See for yourself – the Dinka in the Sudan.

  • Gadema
    • mrbean

      Yassah, Ah dun readed dah artical und dat negro fella Gadema Korboi Quoquoi
      gots hiself dah mutha uf awl dah shakey downs. Dis means weez bruthas gits $5 trillions dollaws fum whitey – den weez gonna comes back fah mo money fum whitey. Yassh!

  • Irandissident

    Let's Build half of the World with Arab and Turkish Muslim Reparations for their Centuries of Slavery:

    The West is already contributing more than everyone else to third world countries including Black Africans. What is all the fuss about?
    There is nothing wrong with seeking reparations ( in general – not as part of a specific agenda).
    1- General Agenda: Slave Reparations are OK REGARDLESS of race and religion
    2- Whereas the Europeans and Americans (North, Central and South) had slavery as a large scale economic phenomenon for about 200 years, Arab Muslims had it for over 13 Centuries. They began enslaving people from all over their violently conquered nations ( Persians, Romans, and many others) after killing most defenders from Arab Occupation and took their young, and females as slaves…. In fact many Muslim original leaders ( No Names Here !!!!!!!!!!) were assassinated by their slave men and slave wives ( I wonder who !!!!)
    3- Reparations should be made not only to Black victims whose ancestors you clearly identify all over the Arab world (just look at their tormented faces, you morons) but also non black slaves like Persians, Indians (Eastern), Indians (of Central and South Ameica), yes, but also:
    Romans, Balkan Slavic blue eyed white slaves (you can find their descendants in Turkey, Syria and all over the Middle East wherever you see blue eyed blonds speaking Arabic or Turkish) where slave boys and girls were taken as a form of annual TAX from Balkan Christian families, and many many other places.
    4- With the trillions of dollars of Arab hoarded oil money, we can rebuild countries ruined by Arab invasions and revive civilizations destroyed by them, and YES we can elevate Black Africans to levels they too deserve.
    5- Let's use this forum to open the files of the Muslim and Arab slavery.

  • alex

    Actually, I remember reading that the Caribbean nations were the crux of the slave trade, and made the greates profits of all. The number of slaves who actually reached the US was in the order of about 5 per cent of those who were captured in Africa over the years. The rest were either kept in the Caribbean islands, where the mortality rate was huge, or was sent on to South America. The reason the slave population eventually became so high in the US is obvious: the American slaveowners wanted their slaves to "breed", so that by having children they would increase the capital they represented. This meant giving them much better living conditions – food, houses, medicine – than they had in the Caribbean islands.

  • Pathena

    The Ottoman Empire requisitioned 10 year old boys from Greek Christian towns. These boys were taken as slaves. The father of an elderly friend of mine was one such boy who escaped by smuggling onto a ship in Crete going to the U.S.
    Slavery, unfortunately, is common. The Soviet Union and Nazi Germany used it in their slave labor camps – see The Gulag Archipelago – and, I suspect, it is being used by North Korea.

  • Sacreole

    Barbados is also a good example of good governance and civic culture with one of the highest per-capita incomes in the Caribbean. Bermuda, British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands, which are still British crown colonies and tax-havens, boast the highest per capita incomes in the region. Instead of having their hands out and wallowing in the past, these left-leaning Caribbean governments should look to their free-market neighbors for inspiration.

  • jasonz

    the article is great as are the comments below. which make me wonder how 'joe blow common man' know all this information. but our politicians and the UN do not. If prrovs once again that the Usless nations MUST be abandoned by America and her true allies, that all forign aid to non exclusivly allied countries must be stopped. and that our speakers and politicians MUST get out there and preach these facts to raise the roof. we need to quit cowering to PC facism and worrying about offending our enemies by acting decisivly in our interests. we are being destroyed not by bombs but by racebaiting opportunists using PC against us and convincing us that we are evil for offering prosperity and freedom to our citizens and the world. Im tired of it. i would rather have an almost isolationist policy over this anyday!