MARINA DEL REY, CA--A lawsuit filed yesterday demanding billions in reparations from several corporations that may have been linked to slavery before 1865 should be dismissed without a hearing, said a senior fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute.
"Slavery was evil, but America atoned for it during the Civil War--a war that produced more than 600,000 casualties and ended slavery 137 years ago," said Robert W. Tracinski, also a columnist for Creators Syndicate. "For the descendents of black slaves to make demands for special privileges, compensation, and apologies from current Americans--who had nothing to do with slavery--is an ugly moral inversion that makes white Americans guilty because of their skin color."
Tracinski noted that the only standard that can be used to justify such an approach is racism--the idea that each member of a race is responsible for and can be blamed for the actions of every other member, that we are all just interchangeable cells of our particular racial collective.
"The proposed reparations consists of punishing whites and 'white-owned' businesses because they're white in order to reward blacks because they're black," said Tracinski. "The result of this approach is not racial harmony or a color-blind society, but racial warfare.
"The proper moral response to this kind of racial balkanization is to reject the notion of racial collectivism altogether and embrace the opposite principle: individualism. An individual should not be judged as representative of his racial group. He should be judged based on his ideas and actions. And he certainly must not be forced to pay for crimes allegedly committed by others, merely because those others have the same skin color."
Robert W. Tracinski was a senior writer for the Ayn Rand Institute between 1997 and 2004.