This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author.

The Impact of Victimhood on Society
Sam Pearson 8/25/2021 11:02 AM

I have been reading the 1619 project and find it interesting in spite of its many errors and omissions. Even MSN calls the document a “Fraud.”[1] If we want to discuss the whole truth about slavery, we need to include the fact that slavery existed since the beginning of humankind and for millennia before the Europeans sailed to this continent. Was slavery humankind's original sin? Slavery is condoned in the Bible/other holy books too. We need to discuss the fact that only about 4% of the African slaves were brought to the United States. We need to discuss the fact that Africa had slavery before the Europeans sailed to this continent and that some countries in Africa still have slavery today. We need to discuss the fact that Africans sold their slaves to the Portuguese, who then traded those slaves for other goods.

Approximately 4% of the African slaves were brought to the US, and many more slaves were sold to the Brazilians, Jamaicans, Mexicans, Canadians, etc. Native Americans had slaves that were people from other tribes. Slavery still exists in some countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, and the word slave comes from the Slavic people, who were slaves. This needs to be part of the discussion

If black slaves are what made America exceptional, why haven’t the blacks in Africa made the continent of Africa exceptional, especially since slavery has existed on continent of Africa for thousands of years… much longer than slavery in the US?

Additionally, if black slaves are what made America exceptional, why didn't black slaves make Mexico, Brazil, Haiti, and Jamaica equally exceptional, since most of the African slaves were delivered to those countries as well as other Caribbean countries? Since less than 4% of the slaves transported via the trans-Atlantic slave trade arrived in what would become the US, with the vast majority delivered to Latin America and the Caribbean islands, why aren’t blacks asking for reparations from countries in Africa, the Caribbean, Brazil, Jamaican, Haiti, Mexico, Canada, Great Britain, the Middle East, etc?

If America was founded on slavery, so was just about every civilization. Should all countries be razed and all advances and discoveries in medicine, science, law, engineering, nation building, literature including the Bible and other holy books, the Constitution, Bill of Rights, etc., be destroyed? Should we erase all knowledge and study of the ancient Greco-Roman culture because they had slaves?

Slavery was and is horrific, but if slavery is responsible for the “gaping disparities in wealth,” in the US, then why aren’t people in Africa, Brazil, Jamaica, Haiti, etc., doing better?

The Indians in India were enslaved by the by the Dutch, Arabs, and British, yet they are some of the best engineers, computer programmers, and doctors in the US. The Jewish people have been enslaved, victims of pogroms, discrimination, segregation, genocide, etc., yet they are the top performers in our schools and in many of our professions from doctors, lawyers, engineers, investors, etc. Why hasn’t, discrimination, segregation, enslavement, genocide caused the Jews to fail or lag behind? The Chinese faced discrimination, segregation, enslavement, etc., in America, yet they have succeeded at the highest levels too. Why?

“More whites were brought as slaves in North Africa than blacks brought as slaves to the United States or to the 13 colonies from which it was formed. White slaves were still being bought and sold in the Ottoman Empire, decades after blacks were freed in the United States.”

– Thomas Sowell

Why haven’t the children of white slaves, Jewish slaves, Asian slaves suffered the same fate as children of black slaves? Why have blacks excelled at the highest levels in sports and music but not in the classroom and boardroom? Why wouldn’t the same problems with discrimination, prejudice, and segregation cause them to fail in sports and music too? I hope these questions will also be explored as children statistically become what they are told by those whom they most respect.[2] I would suggest that adults do the same. If one is told that they are being held back by being (fill in the blank); tall, short, fat, skinny, Black, Asian, Caucasian, left-handed, right-handed by someone that they respect they will believe that it is true. Perhaps the most powerful form of abuse is to tell someone that they are a victim based on something that they have no control over.


[2] Noor, M., Vollhardt, J. R., Mari, S., & Nadler, A. (2017). The social psychology of collective victimhood. European Journal of Social Psychology, 47(2), 121–134.

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Sam Pearson
Sam Pearson is a retired Army Colonel with a variety of experience in both government and private sectors. As arguably one of the World's foremost military logisticians, he has been responsible for the on time delivery of supplies and services worth billions of dollars. After service in Southwest Asia, he was hand picked to support logistics operations in support of earthquake relief operations in Haiti. Pearson now serves as a consultant and volunteer mentor for students seeking their doctorates in advance statistical analysis.

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