The Peculiar Institution

Letter From Louisiana

A selective historical motion picture about a 19th-century rebellion aboard a cruel Spanish slave ship rakes in megabucks as a result of media hype, including the notation that white production assistants were forbidden to put the stage-chains on the black actors aboard the replica vessel. No one mentioned that the original chains were first put around black ankles and black wrists by black slave-traders or that the leader of the featured revolt is thought by historians to have entered the slave trade himself after his repatriation to Sierra Leone.

The Bush administration threatens to boycott the U.N.-sponsored World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance in Durban, South Africa, because of scheduled consideration of reparations for slavery in the United States, and then walks out because of Arab attempts to define Zionism as racism.

The U.S. government faces mounting global criticism for supporting reparations for victims of Nazi genocide against European Jews and apologizing for internment of Japanese-Americans at home while officially ignoring suits for compensation by former "comfort women" forced into sexual slavery by Japanese occupiers of Asia, all during World War II.

Thumbing their political nose at the United States, the Dutch are building a new international war-crimes court at the Hague to try such defendants as Slobodan Milosevic for ethnic...

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