Conservatives have only ever had one good argument against race-based affirmative action, reparations, and other programs that promote racial equity. They’ve point out that black Africans also participated in the slave trade.
In fact, long before English settlers arrived in Virginia, blacks were enslaving whites, blacks were enslaving blacks, and whites were enslaving each other. (In Athens, there was roughly one slave for every citizen. In Sparta, the ratio was more like ten to one.) In other words, it’s perfectly feasible that, had African empires conquered the world instead of European, black may have, and probably would have, enslaved millions upon millions of whites.
This inspires all kinds of tricky questions. “Are all whites Americans culpable in slavery, or just the descendants of slaveowners? If the former, why? If the latter, are they indebted to all black people, or just the descendants of slaves? If the former, why? If the…
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