Years ago, when I bewailed the fact that every recess turned into a brawl, my father told me “Never regret the circumstances that led to your existence.”
If Custer had not chased a band of Cheyenne hundreds of miles in order to kill a chief and seize the daughter that caught Yellow Hair’s eye, I would not exist. If a Scots Laird had not ordered his crofters burned out to make room for sheep, I would not exist. And there is hardly a man alive on the face of the earth who is not an accidental product of some tragic event.
That comment made, I see a Communo-Socialist academic, Noam Chomsky, says America should pay reparations to Black Americans, Indians, and Iraqis. And used the insulting “native Americans” in that advocacy.
Of course, there would be very few Black Americans had not their own people sold their ancestors into the hands of Arabian slave traders, who sold them in turn to their Spanish counterparts, who sold most of them to Spanish and Portuguese slave dealers at the Havana slave market. There is no doubt the United States had slavery, but American slaves were at least fed, housed, and given the same medical treatment as their owners. Slaves were too valuable not to treat them well, compared to the unfortunates that went to Spanish and Portuguese colonies.
For the most part, even the “blackbirders” who transported millions of African slaves across the Atlantic treated the unfortunate victims of an African custom better than their captors did. If spending up to four weeks chained to the filthy deck of a ship was bad, consider the plight of up to forty thousand captives a year yoked to stakes driven in hard ground, waiting to be sacrificed ti their captors ancestors. Or an equal number in chains, working their captors fields until they too were sacrificed. Before the slave trade, captives were sacrificed to their ancestors, not giv3e at least a chance at survival And to become the ancestors of today’s Black Americans.
Reparations? If reparations are due they should be borne by the Dahomey, Fon, and the other major African slave sellers. Not by people whose ancestors were, by and large, in Europe and bitterly opposed to human slavery. A condition uncomfortably close to their own.
Reparations for Native Americans? You imply that a peoples are aboriginal, primitive, unsophisticated, “unsophisticated” and tell a third party they owe them? True enough, by nature, I owuld like to see the Great Plains given back to the Sioux, the Cheyenne, Ponca, Kiowa, Comanche and the many other nations that inhabited that land before the sort of governance that academic supports drove huge numbers of Europeans to seek a place to make a better life.
While reparation’s my well be due to the Indian Nations that were crowded out by population pressures and the conflict of cultures, there is not enough money in the world to pay the Indians for what they have lost. You cannot pay a man for the murder of his ancestors. As a practical matter, the best you can do is to try to make The People proud and self supporting humans again.
Reparations for Iraq? Virtually all the damage done to Iraq was done by its own people, in sectarian violence. America toppled a tyrant, put a country on a path to independence as a nation, only to see it destroyed in the age old conflict between Sunni and Sharia, and the power madness of the Iranian theocracy. the Iraqis are responsible for their own plight. so let them pay.
Chomsky’s ideas on reparations are as unrealistic as his Communo-Socialist politics. Politics that, with its Fascistoo-Socialist twin have cost more than 300 million innocent lives since 1900. Opinions based on an unrealistic view of reality, combined with a simplistic view of how social systems work.
It is time for the professor emeritus to become emeritus.