Slavery took blacks away from their families. It took them away from their homes. It took them away from their religion and their culture and their racial identity. It subjected them to cruelty and injustice that most people today simply cannot comprehend.
All of this was wrong. All of this was bad. All of this should not have happened. Ever. Those who did it should have been ashamed. Since they were not, we must be ashamed for them, if only because we sort of look like them.
It is not our responsibility to apologise for what was done, because we had nothing to do with it. It is not necessary to discard everything ever said or done by a slave owner as worthless, because that's just stupid. But we must never leave any doubt that we understand what was done, and that it was wrong, and that it should not have been done.
Suggesting that blacks are better off because of it creates such a doubt. How can you possibly understand what it is to buy a human being as property and treat him like a piece of farm equipment, if you suggest that he should be grateful for this violation of his basic human rights simply because he is now "better off"?
I've been to Africa. It is a life-altering experience. There is nothing like it. You are never the same once you have been there. I believe I am a better man simply for having set foot on African soil and looked out across those plains to a sky that cannot be seen anywhere else on this planet. It was like a part of me had been sleeping, and only there could it awaken. Photographs do not do it justice, any more than they do the aurora borealis. There is magic in Africa, a magic deeper and more affecting than I can communicate. And I believe anyone who doesn't know that magic is the worse for it.
So when you suggest that blacks are better off because they live in cities instead of tribes, because they work in corporate offices instead of fields, and because they watch television instead of singing and dancing around a fire... I suggest that you don't know what the hell you're talking about.
These trappings, this crude dross, it isn't what matters. The slavers tore these people away from something beautiful and magical, and now we try to placate their descendants with this crap? That's just foul. It's like offering to trade dog shit for someone's children.
Better off? Bullshit. Pure, unadulterated bullshit. And the single most hideous abomination of the bunch: we have poisoned their hearts and minds so thoroughly, they don't know it's bullshit. They only know they're half-dead inside, and it's some white asshole's fault.