The real question

Posted: Sunday, August 25, 2002

I wondered after reading the story on slavery reparations in last Sunday's Empire if some of us might be excluded from Louis Farrakhan's vision. People like myself whose grandparents arrived in America long after slavery was abolished cannot bear responsibility for the crime of slavery. In fact, my peasant ancestors were themselves trapped in a feudal system not unlike slavery. Louis Farrakhan could enlarge his audience of victims and petition the House of Hapsburg on my behalf. The issue gets a little muddy on which blacks are entitled to reparations. Some blacks themselves were slave owners, and most Native American tribes were involved in slavery of one sort or another. And what of the blacks in West Africa who captured the slaves and with their Islamic partners sold those poor souls into bondage? Perhaps Louis Farrakhan should demand reparations from his friend and mentor, the despotic dictator of Libya, who it is rumored still trafficks in black slavery.

The search for cosmic justice in this life always becomes murky the deeper one delves into the facts of the case. The whole of human history is littered with the record of slavery. The real question is, where did freedom come from?

Robert Schenker


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