I am not seeking to offend but more to better understand what I currently do not.
As I understand it, many of the black people from the 15th to 19th centuries came from Africa which may or may not have looked like the above picture but I cannot include pictorial evidence of all possible locations.
Some of their current ancestors are seeking reparations.
‘the action of making amends for a wrong one has done, by providing payment or other assistance to those who have been wronged’
Now, I am fairly certain that I have ancestors from Ireland, they may have well been affected by the potato famine and were forced to the UK to survive.
Honestly, I know it was Ireland, the rest is speculation.
But, how would I know if I personally should be receiving some sort of payment or assistance?
My logic goes along these lines:
For me to seek reparations I would need to know that something which happened to my ancestors has had a severe enough negative impact on my current life, surely that is the case?
As it happens, I am doing OK. Quite likely, had my great, great grandfather not have come here from Ireland, I would not exist at all, an absolute certainty. By that token, I must surely be grateful for the move.
Heading back to the Caribbean … what happened to the folk of Africa being taken away from their history, family, culture or any religion was egregious. However, the most recent event was over 100 years ago so we are talking about those of a similar connection historically to me and my Irish roots.
How many of those currently existing from slave origins can argue that they are worse off that they would have been were their ancestors not slaves? Could it be, like me, they’d simply not exist now?
If it could happen that their true roots were discovered and the land, village or town still existed or could be recreated, would they want to have that life now?
Let’s say their ancestor was a tribal King, lived in a grand dwelling, had a wife and kids (or many wives and kids however it was), if that could be recreated, is that what is wanted or, is this actually just about a bunch of people who have seen an opportunity to make some money and are on that bandwagon?
Absolutely, all those who still live with the wealth of slavery could and likely should be stripped of it much as criminals now are not allowed to keep their ill gotten gains. Trouble there is, when they made their fortune back in the day, they broke no laws and these things are so rarely retrospective.
But, those families should apologise and perhaps, out of kindness, help charities supporting black people who descended from slavery.
The reality is, nothing can make anything better for those slaves, none of which are alive now.
Maybe it is time to let that dark past go?
What might be a better idea is to focus international efforts on modern slavery. Yes, illegal slavery still goes on and very little is ever done to tackle it. The UK is actively making laws to make it easier!
But, that’s not just black people, it could be anyone, any culture, colour or whatever.
So, perhaps, get some international money together and stamp out ALL slavery. Finally move into a new era?
If any racists read this and think I am part of their group, go do one! I am not by any definition a racist and just really want, in all areas of life, true equality.