Power & Market

A Black Man’s Inconvenient Truth: Canceling Racist Historical Omissions

A Black Man’s Inconvenient Truth:   Canceling Racist Historical Omissions

Can a Black man communicate inconvenient truths? One did and a reporter for The Root, a Black on-line magazine, labeled them foolishness. What has he said? Among others, reportedly this

It was Africans who fought wars against Africans and then enslaved the losers. It was victorious African warriors who sold defeated African warriors to European slave traders in exchange for cloth, guns, and money. . . It was Africans who watched as Africans were sailed away in the belly of slave ships toward the brutal system of chattel slavery. . . Why would I want to put the name of the culture that fought to sell black people into slavery, in front of the name of the culture that fought to free black people from slavery? As far as I’m concerned, the moment the long-lost ancestor that created my bloodline here in America was sold in Africa, my ties to that continent were cut.

Like it or not, he stated historical facts. Though known for frequent controversial statements, his acknowledgment of such guilt is supported by other Blacks. Senegal’s president Abdoulaye Wade, is a descendant of generations of slave-owning and trading African kings who rejects reparations. He urges Europeans, Americans, and Africans to publicly acknowledge and openly teach their shared responsibility for the Atlantic slave trade. Nigerian Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani wrote this for The Wall Street Journal in 2019: “The anguished debate over slavery in the U.S. is often silent on the role that Africans played.” Besides selling Africans to Europeans and Americans, millions were sold to Middle East and North African Muslims. African slavery existed in the past century. A friend from Zanzibar admitted his family-owned slaves and traded in slavery. That was in the late 20th Century.

Another inconvenient truth ignored or refused to be addressed by most is thousands of free American blacks owned slaves. In New Orleans alone, censuses recorded 3,000 Black slave owners. Approximately 20,000 black slaves in the Carolinas were owned by blacks. American and Caribbean black historians have written about these equally oppressed black slaves and their conditions. Black slave owners were guilty of the same abuses as white slave owners.

Many demand slavery be taught accurately as to harshness and oppression. If America’s history of slavery is to be taught accurately, it would of necessity include blacks in the role of enslavers, owners, and traders, that is, also oppressors of the oppressed. Blacks and whites weren’t the only oppressors. Five Native American tribes owned black slaves, e.g., Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole. Three tribes refused to emancipate their slaves after the Civil War until forced when signing a treaty with the U.S. government.

Neither Mr. Robinson’s comments nor this additional information absolves any white person involved in slavery nor diminishes post-slavery inequities. Nevertheless, it is time for all to accept accuracy and historical facts on behalf of genuine historical integrity. Omissions of inconvenient truths harm our nation relative to race relations. These facts are reminders the “oppressors” related to that horrible institution were multi-racial. To prejudicially blame people of one race only is racist—a grave and deceptive racist error. It’s time to cancel an infamous error. The false projection of guilt on one race for what several races committed is more foolish than his comment interpreted by a reporter.

Humanity’s historical record supports unaddressed inconvenient facts, that is, “Evil is universal.” No continent and no race on earth exists where evil has not been practiced. Both oppressed and oppressor are clothed in diverse skin colors. Ancient and International histories honestly support such truths. These are basic facts all children should learn in their first elementary school history class. Children, especially, do not deserve biased historical omissions or indoctrinations, i.e., Critical Race Theory, that sow seeds of enmity or hate.

A Black man’s inconvenient truth provides support that it’s time to cancel racist historical omissions. Justice demands no less.

Note: The views expressed on Mises.org are not necessarily those of the Mises Institute.
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