Conservative commentator and California gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder argued during a July episode of “The Candace Owens Show” that slave owners could have asked for reparations at the end of the era of slavery in the United States because their “legal property” was taken away from them.
“When people talk about reparations, do the really want to have that conversation?” Elder asked.
The episode of the Prager University show first aired on July 18 before making its round on social media last week.
On her show, Candace Owens, a conservative provocateur, has explored topics like debunking “the myth of police brutality,” questioned the existence of systemic racism, and explained why “Black Live Matter hurts Black People.”
During the July 18 episode of the show, Owens praised Elder, saying many of her perspectives were “fathered” by him.
In discussing reparations, Elder said the United Kingdom was “ahead” of America because slave owners there received compensation when slavery ended.
“Did you know that slave owners were compensated?” Elder asked. After they lost their quote-unquote ‘property’ the government compensated slave owners.”
“I didn’t know that,” Owens replied. “Interesting.”
“Yeah, so when people talk about reparations, do they really want to have that conversation? Because, like it or not, slavery was legal. And so their legal property was taken away from them after the Civil War. You could make an argument that the people who are owed reparations are not only just Black people but also the people whose quote ‘property’ was taken away after the end of the Civil War.”
After Britain passed the Slavery Abolition Act in 1833, outlawing slavery in most parts of the British empire, the government took out one of the largest loans in history to fund the compensation package to slave owners to who had lost what was considered property.
British taxpayers were still paying off the loan up until 2015. None of the money went to those who were enslaved, many who continued to work in colonies such as Jamaica under the threat of punishment after the 1833 act had supposedly outlawed slavery. Britain commanded the largest slave plantation economies around the world, which wad fueled by the exploitation of 800,000 enslaved people.
According to Elder, it was the massive £20 million compensation package provided to slave owners that prevented a civil war from breaking out as it did in the U.S.
President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill in 1862 that gave slave owners $300 in compensation per enslaved person set free. About 3,100 people were freed this way.
On social media, users responded to the comments made by Elder, who is at the front of the candidate pack in the California recall election. “Larry Elder, the Black Conservative (Oxy-moron, emphasis on ‘moron), argued that slave owners should be the ones receiving reparations,” a user wrote.
Another user called Elder’s remarks “The saddest thing ever.” Adding, “Larry Elder wants reparations for slave owners #California: is this what you want?”
Comedian D.L. Hughley also chimed in. “LarryElder saying the families of former slave owners should get reparations for losing their property! Is like saying RKelly deserves compensation for babysitting!”
Elder has previously argued against reparations for Black descendants of enslaved people.
When testifying before the House Committee on the Judiciary’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties regarding reparations bill H.R. 40 earlier this year, Elder began, “Reparations is the extraction of money from people who were never slave owners to be given to people who were never slaves.”