R.I.P. Derrick Bell, Creator of One of Science Fiction's Scariest Thought ExperimentsS

Derrick Bell is primarily known as a pioneering law professor who helped improve civil rights in America. But he also wrote one of the most disturbing thought experiments in science fiction, which later became an HBO TV special. In "The Space Traders," aliens arrive and offer the United States "enough gold to retire the national debt, a magic chemical that will cleanse America's polluted skies and waters, and a limitless source of safe energy to replace our dwindling reserves." The U.S. just has to give the aliens one thing in return: all of our black people. (Guess what white Americans decide?) Read the whole story here. [New York Times, via K. Tempest Bradford]