Black conservative radio host and politician Larry Elder has argued that slave owners are also owed reparations for having their ‘legal property’ taken away after the Civil War. The 69-year-old politician said this when he appeared on The Candace Owens Show in July.
He sat with the show’s namesake host to talk about race relations in America. They then delved into the subject of reparations after Owens raised the topic of the abolition of the slave trade.
“When people talk about reparations, do they really want to have that conversation? Like it or not, slavery was legal,” Elder said.
“Their legal property was taken away from them after the Civil War, so you could make an argument that the people that are owed reparations are not only just Black people but also the people whose ‘property’ was taken away after the end of the Civil War.”
The issue of reparation for slavery has been raised by descendants of slaves in the Americas and the Caribbean for several years now. The belief that White Americans owe Black Americans a moral debt for compensation for slavery, Jim Crow and long-standing racism has been ongoing since emancipation.
Critics of reparation say that it would be difficult to make fair calculations as to how much victims would take and in what form, considering the years involved. And attitudes towards reparations for slavery tend to polarize the U.S.
Elder argued during the interview that slave owners lost money and resources after the Civil War and the passage of the 13th amendment in 1865, which partially abolished slavery.
“You look at the amount of money adjusted for today’s dollars, it’s a great deal of money,’ he said, adding that other countries, such as the United Kingdom, compensated slave owners with “substantial amounts of money” after they lost their “legal property”.
“That’s why there was no war in the U.K.; the slave owners got substantial amounts of money,” he said.
Records show that after slavery was abolished in the U.K. in 1833, slaveowners were offered £20 million (now $27m) in compensation from the British Slave Compensation Commission.
Elder, who is campaigning to replace Gov. Gavin Newsom in California’s recall election, recently made headlines when his ex-fiancé Alexandra Datig claimed that he verbally and emotionally abused her. Elder denied any wrongdoing.
“These are salacious allegations,” he said in a statement.