I am not an expert on the holocaust but I am sure a careful study of history will show that they were many Jewish collaborators (elite and otherwise) in the extermination of their own people. Does that mean that the Jewish people do not deserve reparations?
Everybody knows that slavery existed way before the European came to our shores. Many of the kingdoms of the time went to war to annex weaker groups and expand their empires. After war, the vanquished were killed or ended up as slaves (servants and laborers). Some kingdoms avoided these wars by swearing allegiance to a stronger king (Ashanti King for example).
Mind you, slavery, human sacrifices etc… also happened in Europe, Asia, America at one time or another (Middle Ages). So called African elite do not have the monopoly of savagery.
I noticed that Professor Gates mentioned the “considerable” role played by the Fon of Dahomey now known as Benin where I come from. He conveniently fails to mention that King Behanzin of Dahomey (arguably one of the most powerful kings of his time) finally understood the cunning of the European and resisted all attempts to encroach on his kingdom.
Of course Africans who sold off their kinsmen should do their mea culpa and atone for their sins. But the fact still remains that reparations are due Africans and African Americans. Just as the fact that they were Jewish collaborators did not stop payment of reparations to the Jews, the fact that they were African collaborators should not stop payment of reparations to Africans and African Americans.
Professor Gates says Obama is uniquely placed to attribute responsibility and culpability where they truly belong, to white people and black people, on both sides of the Atlantic. I beg to differ! We all know who is responsible. We don’t need President Obama to tell us. The United States and the European colonial powers built their economies on the backs of slaves. That’s all there is to it!