The idea that America and the West grew rich through oppression and exploitation is strongly held among many intellectuals and activists. In the West, the exploitation thesis is invoked, by Jesse Jackson and others, to demand the payment of hundreds of billions of dollars in reparations for slavery and colonialism to African Americans and natives of the Third World. Islamic extremists like Bin Laden insist that the Muslim world is poor because the West is rich, and they use Western oppression as their pretext for unleashing violence, in the form of terrorism, against American civilians.
Dinesh D’Souza, the Rishwain Scholar at the Hoover Institution, is the author of What’s So Great About America. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org