Do British Afro Caribbean’s Support Reparations? What should be in the involvement of Afro Caribbean descents in Europe?
National Reparations Committees have been established in 8 Caricom Member States, namely Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Suriname.
The Commission headed by called upon the former slave-owning nations of Europe - principally Britain, France, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Denmark - to engage Caribbean governments in reparatory dialogue to address the living legacies of these crimes.
The Commission identified and discussed six broad aspects of the Caribbean condition that are the direct result of these crimes that should be the focus of reparatory diplomacy and action.
1) Public Health: The African descended population in the Caribbean today has the highest incidence in the world of chronic diseases in the form of hypertension and type two diabetes that are the direct result of their nutritional exposure, endemic inhumane physical and emotional brutalization and other aspects of the stress experience of slavery and post slavery apartheid. Scientific research and costs associated with stemming this historically derived pandemic must be addressed.
2) Education: At the end of the colonial period the British left the African descended population, and survivors of the native genocide, in a state of general illiteracy. Some 70 percent of these persons were functionally illiterate at the onset of the Independence era. Widespread illiteracy continues to plague Caribbean societies and accounts for significant parts of their development challenges.
3) Cultural Institutions: Europeans have invested in the development of institutions such as museums and research centres in order to prepare their citizens for an understanding of their imperial history that defined them as rulers and beneficiaries of slavery. There are no such facilities in the Caribbean where the crimes were committed and the victims left disenfranchised in respect of their institutional and cultural experiences and memory. This crisis must be remedied.
4) Cultural Deprivation: The primary cultural effect of slavery was to break and eradicate African commitment to their culture. African culture was criminalized and the cultural basis of identity shattered. Africans were deculturalized and today remain impoverished in respect or cultural legitimacy and supportive appropriate institutional arrangements. These matters represent the colonial legacy of slavery and must be addressed. Contemporary manifestations of these include low ethnic self-esteem; the devaluation of black identity; broken structures and diminished family values; delegitimization of African derived religion and cultural practices, and disconnection from ancestral roots and culture.
5) Psychological trauma: For over 400 years Africans were classified in law as non-human, chattel, property and real estate. They were denied recognition as members of the human family by laws and practices derived from the parliaments and policies of Europe. This history has inflicted massive psychological damage upon African descendants and is evident daily in social life. Only a reparatory dialogue can begin the process of healing and repair.
6) Scientific and technological backwardness: For 400 years the policy of Britain and Europe had been that the Caribbean should not participate in any manufacturing or industrial process, and should be confined to the production of raw materials. This policy has rendered the Caribbean a technologically and scientifically ill-equipped civilization for which it continues to experience debilitating backwardness in a science and technology globalized world. The subjection of the Caribbean to this state has denied Caribbean youth membership and access to an enhancing science and technology culture that has become the world youth patrimony. This matter must be addressed in reparatory dialogue
The interim report was due to be completed in mid February 2014.
What do we want to see ?