Reparations rally long on guilt, short on thought about slavery

August 21, 2002|By GREGORY KANE

THE BOARD of directors of Guilt Trip Airlines convened on the Mall in our nation's capital this past Saturday to demand that every white American book a flight.

Only whites are eligible for flights on Guilt Trip Airlines, you see, for those terrible things they did to all those poor black folks for all those years.

And while you're on your flight, whip out your checkbook. The board of directors will get back to you on exactly how much money you should pay black Americans for the sins of slavery, racism, Jim Crow, lynching and other crimes your ancestors, not you, committed.

You say your ancestors didn't get here until slavery ended? Doesn't matter. You say you're descended from white abolitionists who risked their lives and limbs in the fight to end slavery? Too darned bad. The board says you're guilty and must pay.

Let's be clear about the crime here. Board members made it clear they had come to D.C. to demand reparations from the U.S. government for the "trans-Atlantic slave trade." Dr. Conrad Worrill, one of the speakers at the "Millions for Reparations" rally of only a few thousand, said that at last year's U.N. Jew-bashing fest masquerading as an anti-racism conference, delegates declared slavery and the trans-Atlantic slave trade "crimes against humanity."

The trade in black flesh carried on by Africans and Arabs - which predated the trans-Atlantic slave trade for centuries and continued long after it had ended - is, apparently, neither a crime against humanity nor even slavery. That other "black Holocaust" didn't bother members of the board.

It didn't seem to bother Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who used the occasion to campaign against a possible war with Iraq. There are probably dozens of reasons against - and for - such an invasion, but Farrakhan handled it clumsily.

Reaching way back to the anti-Vietnam War rhetoric of the 1960s, Farrakhan told the crowd that Iraqis "never called us `nigger,' never bothered us, never took from us."

He knows better. Starting in the year A.D 869, African slaves known as the Zanj rose in rebellion against their Arab masters in southern Iraq. The conflict lasted more than 10 years. Ronald Segal wrote about that rebellion in his book Islam's Black Slaves. Sunni Khalid, a free-lance journalist and African-American Muslim, wrote about the slave revolt two years ago for The Sun. Segal also wrote in his book that Arab Muslims, while castrating European male slaves to create eunuchs, would take all the genitalia of black African slaves. So much for Iraqis "never bothering" or "taking from" Africans.

Michigan Rep. John Conyers Jr. spent too much time belittling President Bush's intelligence and business acumen and calling him a thief to bother much with slavery trans-Atlantic or Afro-Arab. It may occur to you, as you take your flight on Guilt Trip Airlines, that no one's ever accused Conyers of exactly being a whiz kid.

But he was unwise enough to admit he voted for a bill that gave $1.2 billion in reparations to Japanese-Americans for being moved to relocation camps during World War II. A man who would vote to pick the American taxpayers' pocket for that much when a payment was already made by the American-Japanese Evacuation Claims Act of 1948 is a bit of a bandit himself.

Charles Barron, a City Council member from New York, was too busy in white-bashing mode to make distinctions about who was most guilty for slavery.

"I just might walk up to the nearest white man and say, `You don't understand, it's a black thing' and slap him for my mental health," Barron told the throng of hundreds.

Barron might strike you as a bit of a fool, prone to frequent and rash public displays of idiocy. Needless to say, he and Conyers are Democrats.

Anti-white animus of the Barron sort seemed to carry the day. The words honky, cracker, pig and devil were uttered by this speaker or that one. Pam Afrika, speaking on behalf of Mumia Abu Jamal - who says he didn't kill the Philadelphia cop witnesses saw him kill at the scene of a crime where he was captured with his gun - called Pennsylvania's Democratic and Republican candidates "perverts" and made frequent use of the Oedipal expletive.

So there you have them: the board of directors of Guilt Trip Airlines. Now that you know how they really feel about you and what their agenda really is, you'll be only too eager to hand them your money for crimes you never committed.

Right?

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