Ahead of Prime Minister David Cameron's first-ever visit to Jamaica, the British government is facing growing demands to apologize and pay reparations for the country's "haunting" legacies of slavery, colonialism, and native genocide.
Glad that the spirit of Jamaicans is alive and well just as it was when the Royal African Company was the odious company trading in African slaves. Give then hell!
The equivalent of 16 billion dollars was paid out by the crown to Slave owners of the time as compensation. One fifth of what were wealthy Victorian aged Britons profited off slavery.
It is claimed that the entire British Industrial revolution was financed off the profits made from slavery in the new world contradicting the claims still made today that it is "the Free market" that creates wealth.
Perhaps the Caribs, the original inhabitants of the Caribbean, are the ones who should be claiming reparations. Are there any left?
In regard to simplistic notions of culpability, perhaps the descendents of those Africans who sold their people to the Arab slave traders who sold the slaves to the Portugese who dominated the west coast of Africa's slave markets should be the ones paying reparations. The British slave trade would not have happened without African and Arab complicity.
I am priveleged in my capacity to hold differences lightly. I am a white, uni-educated working class, hetrosexual male. If it is not only about money or asserting victimhood, but about consciously tracking the workings of power, and seeking justice, then the past will surely serve both Jamaicans, British and our collective humanity. Please help foster insight into the challenges we face today, uncompromisingly and fearlessly. Then you liberate us all.
George_III, exhibiting the universal copout defense used by monsters and their apologists, 'If we're all guilty then no one is guilty'. Talk about "simplistic notions of culpability". But culpability is not what concerns the apologists. It's paying a price for that culpability that bothers them. As to the genocide of the indigenous Caribbean population there's little in the way of African and Arab 'complicity' to hide behind. The apologists might wish to save that dodgy defense as a last ditch appeal should there actually be a Judgment Day.
I would add that claiming that Cameron is somehow linked to the scourge of slavery because of an eighteenth century cousin six times removed is a bit of a stretch. But this question of whom to compensate, and how to do it is always a can of worms.We haven't come close to resolving this in the US, and we haven't done a very good job of dealing with racism either. And slavery wasn't abolished here in 1797, either.
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Maybe they should apply to Spain which owned the Island until the Brits captured it in 1665. They were the ones who wiped out the indigenous people, and began to bring in African slaves.
Well, I for one accept no responsibility for what happened before the British government outlawed slavery in 1807. Otherwise I would expect the Italians to compensate my ancestors for invading the UK 2000 years ago, the Germans to compensate me for invading the UK for around 250 years between 450AD and 700AD, the descendents of the Vikings for the trouble they caused between around 650AD and 1066AD, and the French for the genocide and ethnocide they inflicted on the UK between 1066AD and possibly the mid 1400s when English rather than French returned as the official language of the UK. Such claims would no doubt be seen as fatuous as the claims of modern Jamaicans. Perhaps the British government should offer modern Jamaicians one-way tickets to Liberia?
And nor do I accept that the current generation of Germans bears responsibility for the horrors the Germans inflicted on the USSR and other people between 1933 and 1945.
However, knowledge and acceptance of our various histories is essential if we are to avoid repeating the unpleasantnesses created by our ancestors.