While Hume compared the Negro poet Francis Williams to a "parrot who speaks a few words plainly," Kant, despite stated surprise at the high level of destruction visited by civilized Europeans on colonized nonEuropeans, could not theoretically grant-even as a formality-equality of humanity to both Europeans and so-called savages. According to Kant, the existence of the natives had no value beyond that of sheep, so that about the blacks in Tahiti, for example, he explained that only contact with white Europeans could elevate them to the human level.1 While condemning the avarice of the colonizing merchants and states, and deploring what he called "the inhospitable actions of the civilized," Kant could blame his fellow whites for the injustice suffered by others, the victims, but seemed more pained by the degrading of "mankind"—the white mankind-revealed in a level of racial cruelty that Kant considered unusual.