America’s legacy of slavery is certainly shameful. But other countries enslaved Africans on a much greater scale and are escaping criticism.
The conservative columnist Dennis Prager makes that point in a provocative article in the Jewish Journal entitled Anti-Americanism: The New Anti-Semitism. In it, Prager, who is Jewish, argues that anti-semitism and anti-Americanism both grow out of an envy that breeds resentment. In the course of his argument, Prager takes up one criticism of America today and shows just how selectively it is applied:
If having had slavery was a real issue in the left’s anti-Americanism, the left would hate the Arab world and Latin American countries such as Brazil more than it hates the United States. While The New York Times and other left-wing institutions are preoccupied with slavery in America, they ignore — out of ideological nonconcern or ignorance — the vastly larger number of Africans enslaved by Muslim and South American nations.
Of the more than 12 million African slaves shipped to the Western Hemisphere, only about 3% — between 306,000 and 380,000 — were sent to America. The other 97% were sent to the Caribbean and Brazil. And the slaves in the U.S. South lived longer and made larger families than the slaves of Latin America. Yet, the U.S. is singled out for hatred. Why? Because Brazil is not an object of envy.
Likewise, there is no left-wing hatred of the Arab world, which enslaved far more Blacks than the North and South Americas combined. The internationally recognized expert on African history, Senegalese anthropologist Tidiane N’Diaye, wrote in his 2008 book “The Veiled Genocide,” “Most people still have the so-called Transatlantic [slave] trade by Europeans into the New World in mind. But in reality, the Arab-Muslim slavery was much greater …. The Arab Muslims were the most murderous of all those involved in the slave trade.”
Part of that murderous treatment of African slaves involved castrating the males so they could not reproduce. And the women and girls were traded as sex slaves.
Where is the leftist anger at the Arab and Muslim world? There is none. The left protects the Muslim and Arab world against moral criticism. The left hates America for its success and influence on the world, just as anti-Semites hated Jews for their success and influence on the world.
Of course, it doesn’t justify something evil just because other people have done that evil even more. Slavery is especially inexcusable in a nation that proclaims its allegiance to freedom and equality. But Prager makes a good point. By the same reasoning, we could conclude that the left isn’t really serious in its concern about LGBT or women’s issues, since it gives a pass to the Muslim world despite its harsh treatment of women and gays.
When you ask a leftist about this seeming double standard, you will be told that the Muslim world has been victimized by Euro-American colonialism. According to the rules of woke intersectionality, victims may not be criticized.
So that’s the reason, incoherent and morally bankrupt though it be.
I would add that slavery is still rampant in the world, with more slaves now (40 million) than in the transatlantic trade (13 million), but no one seems to be cancelling the sex industry or Asian companies manufacturing our consumer goods.