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How To Justify And Pursue Reparation For Slavery In Jamaica

2124 words - 9 pages

Launching an appeal to the human conscience and his moral ethos will not get it done. Begging and beseeching will not do it, neither will clichés, jargons and common slogans. This is bigger than any political campaign, so “Better must come”, Keep Hope Alive”, “Yes We Can” or “It’s Reparation Time” will win us nothing. It is time to change gears and move beyond the moral and emotional arguments of reparation. Thomas Huxley once said; Moral tendencies are not part of the human nature and our ancestors became moral by choice not by evolution. He also said “Human morality is ...view middle of the document...

When Germany refused to pay reparation to the Jews for persecution suffered during the Third Reight era, the Jews took it to them and were paid over $60 billion. When Germany refused to pay reparation to its allies after World War 1, the Treaty of Versailles took it to them, they were paid over $400 billion. When the USA refused to pay reparations to the Japanese Americans who suffered in internment camps during World War 11 ,The Japanese Americans took it to them ,they were paid over 1 $billion. When Britain refused to pay reparation for damages caused by aiding and abetting the South in the American Civil War, the Treaty of Washington took it to them; they were paid $15.5 million. So what is the problem? Why can’t Africans living in the diaspora get the same respect for the atrocities of slavery? Having participated in many discussions on this subject, I have heard some very outrageous answers. Critics and anti-reparation factions seem to view slavery reparation as a horse of a different color. They say slavery ended over 200 years ago and all the slaves and slave owners are now dead so forget it. Some say you cannot directly link proceeds from slavery to any one country or corporation much more individuals. Others say it would be impossible to quantify just what compensation would be appropriate, even if we could identify specific descendants of slavery. They say reparations have already been made; abolishing slavery and giving ex-slaves full citizenship and voting rights remedied the original wrongs. Others claim we blame slavery for all our woes, we are looking for excuses because we are lazy and complacent. They say slavery ended hundreds of years ago; therefore, we could have achieved anything we wanted over those years. Here is long standing one; we could not have been taken from Africa without the participation of our own African brothers and sisters so we only have ourselves and greed to blame. One person sent me a personal email in response to an article I wrote for a magazine on neocolonialism, he said; “We can’t blame the Whiteman for enslaving us, slavery was a business, they saw a business opportunity and they took it”. All of these comments make me sick, but the latter, is like a blow to the solar plexus. What is most painful about these comments is that they are been echoed by people who themselves would have been slaves a few generations ago. This display of cowardice, sympathetic approach and love affair with institutionalize oppression is the exact results of the psychological impact of slavery. Imagine if Paul Bougle or Cudjoe and Nanny of the Maroons, Toussaint L’Ouverture of Haiti or Nat Turner of Virginia shared these sentiments? Ever wonder what would have happened if Harriet Tubman ,Fredrick Douglas , Benjamin Banneker, Sojourner Truth or Gaspar Yanga had embraced this kind of capture-bonding, this Stockholm Syndrome? We probably would still be enslaved today. It is time we take pride and stop accounting the blood...

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