Slavery Compensation Itself Rests on Racism

by | Jan 6, 2001

The suit filed against the U.S. government and big corporations demanding “compensation” for the descendents of slaves is grotesque and should be dismissed without a hearing, said an Ayn Rand Institute Fellow. “Slavery was evil, but America atoned for it during the Civil War–a war that produced more than 600,000 casualties and ended slavery 135 […]

The suit filed against the U.S. government and big corporations demanding “compensation” for the descendents of slaves is grotesque and should be dismissed without a hearing, said an Ayn Rand Institute Fellow.

“Slavery was evil, but America atoned for it during the Civil War–a war that produced more than 600,000 casualties and ended slavery 135 years ago,” said Robert W. Tracinski, whose editorials appear weekly in Capitalism Magazine. “For the descendents of black slaves to make demands for special privileges, compensation, and apologies from current Americans–who had nothing to do with slavery–is an ugly moral inversion that makes Americans who happen to be white guilty because of their skin color.”

Tracinski said that the only standard that can be used to justify such an approach is racism–the idea that each member of the race is responsible for and can be blamed for the actions of every other member, that we are all just interchangeable cells of the racial collective.

“The proposed compensation consists of punishing random whites and ‘white-owned’ businesses because they’re white in order to reward random blacks because they’re black,” said Tracinski. “The result of this approach is not racial harmony or a color-blind society, but racial warfare. Given the premise of racial collectivism, an injustice committed against any past or present member of your racial group entitles you to retaliate against any past or present member of the perpetrator’s racial group. Individual justice is thrown out, replaced by racial vendettas.

“The only alternative to this kind of racial balkanization is to reject the notion of racial collectivism altogether and embrace the opposite principle: individualism. An individual should not be judged as representative of his racial group. He should be judged–and rewarded or punished–based on his ideas and actions. And he certainly must not be forced to pay for crimes committed by others, merely because those others have the same skin color.”

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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