In the latest news, the Prime Minister of the UK plans an official visit to Jamaica on Tuesday to address parliament. However, he faces demands for Britain to pay billions of pounds in reparations for slavery.
David Cameron had an ancestral link to the trade in the 1700s through his cousin six times removed, General Sir James Duff.
In an open letter in the Jamaica Observer, an academic wrote: “You are a grandson of the Jamaican soil who has been privileged and enriched by your forebears’ sins of the enslavement of our ancestors ... You are, Sir, a prized product of this land and the bonanza benefits reaped by your family and inherited by you continue to bind us together like birds of a feather.
“We ask not for handouts or any such acts of indecent submission. We merely ask that you acknowledge responsibility for your share of this situation and move to contribute in a joint programme of rehabilitation and renewal. The continuing suffering of our people, Sir, is as much your nation’s duty to alleviate as it is ours to resolve in steadfast acts of self-responsibility.”
A generation ago, the Australian Government acknowledged their guilt to the native Aboriginals.
I'm not sure if the American authorities have properly recompensed the native Indians.
And yet, these wrongdoings were committed by people who belonged to another era. The people living nowadays are not responsible for past actions, which we now know to be wicked.
It's as if I suddenly found out an ancestor of mine stole the ring I wear on my finger, and the family who originally owned the jewel want it back.
I agree that people alive today should admit the sins of the past and show proper respect to those who suffered at the hands of greedy, inhumane people. But just how far back can we go? Genghis Kahn? Ivan the Terrible?
Do you think we should be held responsible for cruelties committed in the past?