From Thomas Sowell’s Black Rednecks White Liberals:

Slavery was an evil of Greater scope and magnitude than most people imagine and, as a result, its place in history is radically different from the way it is usually portrayed. Mention slavery and immediately the image arises is that of Africans and their descendants enslaved by Europeans and their descendants in the Southern United States or at most Africans enslaved by Europeans in the Western Hemisphere. No other historic horror is so narrowly construed no one thinks of War, famine, or decimating epidemics in such localized terms. These are afflictions that have been suffered by the entire human race, all over the planet and so was. Had slavery been so limited to One race in one country during the three centuries, it’s tragedies would not have been one tenth the magnitude that they were in fact.

Why does provincial view of a worldwide evil? Often it is those who are most critical of a eurocentric view of the world who are most eurocentric when it comes to the evils and failings of the human race. Why would anyone wish to arbitrarily underestimate an evil that played mankind for thousands of years unless it was not this evil itself that was the real concern, but rather the present-day uses of the historical evil? Clearly the ability to score ideological points against American society or Western Civilization or to induce guilt and thereby extract benefits from the white people of that population today are greatly enhanced by making enslavement appear to be a peculiarly American or peculiarly white, crime.

This explanation is also consistent with the otherwise inexplicable contrast between fiery rhetoric about pacst slavery in the United States used by those who passover in utter silence the traumas of slavery that still exist in Mauritania, the Sudan, and parts of Nigeria,and Benin. Why so much more concerned for dead people who are now beyond our help for living human beings suffering the burdens and humiliations of slavery today? Why does a verbal picture of the abuses of slaves centuries past arouse far more response than contemporary photographs of present-day slaves in Time, magazine, the New York Times, and the National Geographic?

It takes no more research than a trip to almost any public library or College library to show the incredibly lopsided coverage of slavery in the United States or in the Western Hemisphere as compared to the meager writings on the even larger number of Africans enslaved in the Islamic countries of Middle East and North Africa, not to mention the vast numbers of Europeans also enslaved in centuries past in the Islamic world and within Europe itself. At least 1 million Europeans were enslaved by North African Pirates alone from 1500 to 1800, and some European slaves were still being sold on The Auction Block in Egypt years after the Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves in the United States. Indeed, in the anglo-egyptian Treaty of August 4th, 1877 prohibited the continuation of anglo-egyptian of the sale of white slaves after August 3rd 1885, as well as prohibiting the Import and Export of Sudanese and Abyssinian slaves.

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