Armstrong Williams, a conservative columnist for the Washington Times, has blamed the Catholic Church for slavery. In an article on Dr. Martin Luther King, Williams wrote that “King knew of the continuing legacy of xenophobia and ignorance that led to the enslavement of Africans simply because they were labeled `infidels’ by the Catholic Church.” Williams’ piece was reprinted in the Conservative Chronicle.
It is a sad commentary on some black writers that they blame Catholics or Jews for slavery. The fact is, as black Harvard sociologist Orlando Patterson has shown, that slavery has been a common practice in history in virtually every part of the globe. Indeed, slavery was well-known to Africa (and still exists there today) long before Europeans arrived. Hence, it is historically wrong and downright unfair to blame the Catholic Church for the institution of slavery.