My VIP for this week is bestselling author and nationally syndicated radio host Larry Elder. He was a candidate for the governor of California. I believe that it is important for me to tell my readers that Elder is a Black man. However, I did not choose him as my VIP for any of those reasons. My reason for choosing him is that he has common sense in a world that seems to have lost its mind!
In a recent article at the Daily Signal, Elder wrote of “absurdity of American taxpayers” paying “reparations” to the descendants of slaves. He wrote that it is “hard to limit the number of objections” to paying reparations.
These are the facts: American slavery, though horrific, was legal. It ended 157 years ago. The government did not own slaves, the private sector did. Most Southerners did not own slaves. Nearly all slave owners were Democrats (so why should non-Democrats pay reparations?). Hundreds of thousands of white Northerners lost their lives and suffered serious injuries fighting in the Civil War that ended slavery…. Only about 5% of whites bear “a generational guilt” to slavery.
There are so many facts in the above paragraph. Slavery wherever it is found is horrible and should never happen. However, slavery in America ended 157 years ago. There are no Americans alive today who owned slaves, and there are no living slaves to whom to pay reparations. Asking Americans today to pay reparations for something that ended more than 150 years ago is like asking babies born in Japan today to pay reparations for Pearl Harbor and World War II. It is unfair to place such burdens on the people who are alive today.
Elder then moved his argument to Africa. A 2022 movie titled “The Woman King” and starring Viola Davis, is about female African warriors and claims to be “inspired by true events.” It “portrays white slavers as villains and the female warriors as antislavery avengers.” The plot for the movie is described as “A historical epic inspired by true events that took place in the kingdom of Dahomey, one of the most powerful states of Africa in the 18th and 19th centuries.” Elder says that it is not based on true events.
There was, in fact, a band of warrior women in Africa called the Dahomey. True, they were fierce, feared, and bloodthirsty fighters. But they used that ferocity to kill and conquer other Africans for sale to slave traders. The trans-Atlantic African slave trade and the Arab African slave trade could not have occurred without the complicity of African chiefs, who sold conquered Africans to European and Arab slavers.
In the film, white slavers are portrayed as the enemy when, in reality, they were business partners with the “women kings.” …
Elder described “The Woman King” as being set up as “having a historical basis, telling the story of the real-life Kingdom of Dahomey in the 18th and 19th centuries.” In reality, according to Elder,
Dahomey was a notorious slave kingdom, and not the Pan-African freedom fighters as the movie present them. They enslaved and murdered hundreds of thousands from other tribes and sold them into the slave trade.
Dahomey was renowned as the “Black Sparta,” and was a fiercely militaristic society bent on domination and conquest. Their soldiers struck fear into other tribes all along what is still known as the Slave Coast, as they captured tribespeople from enemy tribes and sold them as slaves.
The Dahomey women fought to protect their own slave trade. Even worse for those who struggle with reality, the Amazons were formed from among the king’s “third class” wives. These were those considered insufficiently beautiful to share his bed and who had not borne children. Awkward!
Elder is not the only one saying that “The Woman King” is not based on reality. Using the words of “History vs. Hollywood,” Elder shared the following about the movie claiming to be based on true events:
In real life, the Dahomey are much more the villains than the heroes. … They conquered neighboring African states and took their citizens as slaves, selling many in the Atlantic slave trade in exchange for items like rifles, tobacco, and alcohol. Many of the slaves they sold ended up in America. … The business of slavery is what brought Dahomey most of its wealth. … There are accounts of Dahomey warriors conducting slave raids on villages where they cut the heads off of the elderly and rip the bottom jaw bones off others. During the raids, they’d burn the villages to the ground. Those who they let live, including the children, were taken captive, and sold as slaves.
So, it seems that the “5% of whites” who feel guilty about slavery should actually take a walk in reality. Modern-day Americans should not pay reparations for the sins of people who lived more than 150 years ago. If reparations are to be paid, they should come from the African slave traders.