… is from pages 26-27 of Thomas Sowell’s 1978 paper “Three Black Histories,” which is the lead essay in Essays and Data on American Ethnic Groups (Thomas Sowell & Lynn D. Collins, eds., 1978) (footnotes deleted):
Many of the costs created by slavery as a system were borne by southern society as a whole, rather than by the 5 percent of white southerners who actually owned slaves. These costs included not only government apparatus directly involved in the control of slaves (patrols to check passes, recapture escapees, etc.) but also restrictions increasingly imposed on the white population, including the censoring of the mails to intercept abolitionist literature and the destruction of academic freedom at souther colleges and universities in order to stamp out antislavery ideas and individuals.
DBx: Were proponents of reparations (to descendants of American slaves) serious about their (misguided) effort to achieve cosmic justice, they would endorse not only excluding descendants of the 95 percent of southern whites who didn’t own slaves from having to contribute taxes toward the reparations fund, but also including these whites in the group who receive reparations payments.
Being myself descended from non-slave-owning white southerners, I should be compensated for the damage to my life’s prospects that – according to the logic of champions of reparations – I suffer as a lingering consequence of the economic deprivations the institution of slavery inflicted on my ancestors.
Of course, in reality I am ethically entitled to no such reparations payment – just as no one today is ethically entitled, because of misfortunes visited upon their ancestors, to any such reparations payment.