Business is again paying for the past sins of society. In this case, the long, dead past.
In New York last week, lawyers filed suit against a number of corporations seeking damages for slavery.
Slavery, which ended in the United States in the 1860s yet continues today in Africa and other parts of the world, has become the next big thing for overzealous lawyers determined to sue their way to success, fame and fortune.
Fortunately for the businesses dragged into this frivolous mess, dismissal of the lawsuit is expected in short order. Legal scholars are quick to point out the suit’s lack of merit.
Regrettably, the clamor for reparations is unlikely to end. It’s an issue that plays well for a small number of individuals and organizations whose futures are based on blaming history for problems today.
As regrettable as slavery is, holding American companies responsible for it makes little sense.
Slavery was an immoral tragedy for our nation, and a personal tragedy for millions of individuals. Its impact remains with us in very real ways, but lawsuits will not resolve racial differences, eliminate disparity or help us move forward as one people.
Perhaps soon Americans will realize that our litigious ways have wrought a civil justice system run amuck — where success makes you a target and the “right” to sue, no matter the circumstances, inalienable. It’s a society, that in its own insidious way, is just as damaging and immoral as the slavery of a century ago.
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