Reparation For Slavery:The Unresolved Issue That Still Haunts America and The West

April 8th, 2015 || Pan-Africanism

 

 

We must all understand that the black man is a tired giant, and has always being in a hypersensitive mood and

very confused since the end of slavery. Until the black man goes back to history and correct the wrongs done

them, they will never have peace.

In 2013, at the UN general Assembly, some countries within the enclave of the Caribbean community notably Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica etc. Issued a communique, calling on the former perpetrators of the slave trade countries to pay or compensate them for their involvement in the slave trade. Negroes were used in building the economies in the Americas and Europe. They worked on sugar and Cotton plantations which become the very bedrock of Americas and Western WEALTH. They made those nations rich and strong. Their toil, sweat and blood, their sufferings, and the various deaths,all took place without the slave masters paying their due. Surprisingly, none of these nations attended those sections. Which simply means that they were not interested in coming to the negotiation table, let alone to talk of reparation. Whether demand for these Reparations for slavery are legitimate or not we must find out.

A call  To  The West  And  The  US  To  Pay  Reparations

 

In 1999, the African World Reparations and Repatriation Truth Commission called for “the West” to pay $777 trillion to Africa within five years. In 2004, Lloyds of London was sued by the descendants of African slaves. The case was not successful.  In 2007, Guyana called for European nations to pay reparations for the slave trade. In 2011, Antigua & Barbuda called for reparations at the United Nations, saying “that segregation and violence against people of African descent had impaired their capacity for advancement as nations, communities and individuals”. In 2012, Jamaica revived its reparations commission, to consider the question of whether the country should seek an apology or reparations from Britain for its role in the slave trade. Also in 2012, the Barbados government established a 12-member Reparations Task Force, to be responsible for sustaining the local, and international momentum for reparations. Barbados is reportedly “currently leading the way in calling for reparations from former colonial powers for the injustices suffered by slaves and their families. In 2013, in the first of a series of lectures in Georgetown, Guyana, to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the 1763 Berbice Slave Revolt, Principal of the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies, Sir Hilary Beckles urged Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries to emulate the position adopted by the Jews who were persecuted during the Second World War and have since organized a Jewish reparations fund.

There have been a lot of debate raging on as to whether the demands by these countries are legitimate. A lot of schools of thought has sprung up all over as to what should be done and what shouldn’t be done in relation to reparation. There is no doubt that the monumental damaged caused as a result of the slave trade in Africa and Africans in the diaspora can’t be quantified in both in kind and in cash. It is on this note that I will like to make my views clear on this all important issue.

Britain  Says  She  Cannot  Be  Held  Responsible  For  The Past

 

In Jamaica in 2004, a coalition of Rastafarian movement groups argued that European countries formerly involved in the slave trade, especially Britain, should pay 72.5 billion pounds sterling to resettle 500,000 Jamaican Rastafarians in Africa. This claim was rejected by the British government, which said it could not be held accountable for wrongs in past centuries.If the black man will be paid with interest of every damaged caused by the slave trade, no Western and other economies will exist,because the cost involve is too much and therefore they can’t simply pay.It  is in this common reason that  many former Colonial powers are running away from this quagmire their forefathers have created.Britain says she cannot be responsible for the past but the question I ask is, can she also say that she is not enjoy now from the past? Africa’s problems and the issues cropping up in relation to human rights against our black people did not start today; it started from the past.Africans are suffering today because their fore fathers were messed up by the Europeans and by using them to build their economies instead of their own. Now Africans are voluntarily running to them .We can all see  thousand of Africans dying off the Mediterranean Sea trying to reach Europe for the supposed better life. The last country that gave Africa hope was Libya.Libya too had been messed up by non-other than these same western nations. So when will these guys give us our own freedom. As Nkrumah, the first president of Ghana, Once said, “freedom is not something that one people can bestow on another as a gift. They claim it as their own and non can keep it from them.” The black man need to sit up and fight for what is due him. We need revolutionary minds, a mind that will not take nonsense, a mind that will not only fight what he just deserve but fight beyond what he deserves. As Nkrumah again said, “Revolutions are brought about by men, by men who think as men of action and act as men of thought.”

 

Common  Misconceptions  About  The  American  Civil  War  And Abolition  Of   Slavery

 

It sounds amusing when people say all kinds of things against our people in the diaspora when they know too well that they’re lying against their own soul.I believe they are not only lying to themselves but generations to come, and this lie is a deliberate lie to cover up the perpetrators and the benefactors of the trans-Atlantic slave trade for ever. Assuming and accepting such a responsibility means monumental transfer of wealth to African descent across the world. That is why we must correct it .We all know the causes of American civil War in 1860-1865.Many people and historians attributes this war as a war against slavery but history clearly shows that, that is not fully the case. The war primarily began because the southern States were demanding States’ rights and was not giving to them. Congress at the time heavily favored the industrialized North to the point of directing the South to sell their produce only to factories in the northern States without selling it to any other countries. Moreover, heavy taxes were directed to manufactured goods needed badly in the south by Congress, and that made finished goods from the Northern states very expensive and un affordable. During the war Abraham Lincoln decided to punish the Southerners by freeing the slaves and thereby to create low morale among the confederate who were continuing with the war effort. Another school of thought also have it that Abraham Lincoln Freed the slaves or emancipation proclamation was enacted when he realized the South was winning the war.To garner support and sympathy among the blacks- both freed and slaves alike he has to give them some hope . The war then had been in progress for two years.All what the Southerners were agitating about was their right-fighting to maintain their independent way of life and not allowing the central government to dictate to them how to live their lives. So the primary causes of the war were economics and states’ rights, slavery was not the issue. Even if Abraham Lincoln had decided to end slavery he couldn’t because that will demand a major constitutional change and that he will simply not get the votes needed by various States legislatures and in Congress to bring this law into force. So the proclamation was a  just a mere proclamation and nothing else followed. So it will be wrong for some people to say that the civil war was based solely on slavery and that there is no need for the victim’s linage to demand reparation because it is believed the cost of the war  justified the reparation to be paid.That is not fair but pure thievery  and inconsistent with  sound moral judgement.

Reparation  Has  Not  Been  Paid

 

If some historians want to know the meaning of reparation, I will give them one. Reparations for slavery is the idea that some form of compensatory payment should be made to the descendants of Blacks who had suffered from the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. In this case, all Blacks everywhere is affected. Including nations in Africa and Caribbean Countries and blacks in the diaspora.Some disingenuous historians believe and spread it in their tabloids  that the reparation has already been paid.One luminary who has been vociferous about American slave reparation is Dan Berger, a professor of chemistry at Bluffton University, a Mennonite college in northwestern Ohio.I think he is being delusional here and not being fair to the suffered slaves of the past.Let see what he wrote on this matter  some years back:
1. “About 11% of the total population (counting men, women and children) of the 1860 United States was in military service for some portion of the war; from the Confederate States considered separately, about 13% of the total population was enrolled. Of those enrolled in military service, the vast majority were White and all were male. Of the (overwhelmingly White) men enrolled in military units, Union and Confederate, 14% died of their wounds or of disease; another 11% were wounded but survived. In Confederate units, deaths approached 19% of the men enrolled, an order of magnitude higher than the death rate in any other American war. This amounted to an aggregate 550,000 dead and more than 400,000 wounded from military units alone. Civilian casualties are unknown, but were certainly very much lighter than in 20th-Century wars. Nevertheless, it is worth repeating that more Americans died in the Civil War than in all other wars the United States has fought, combined. Even if one leaves Confederates out of the total, the number of U.S. soldiers who died closely approaches the total of U.S. deaths in the Second World War–out of a population 1/6 as large”. Here, he talks of  only 550,000 WHITES dying voluntarily and not even talking of about 5 million Africans who died in the middle passage because they were forcefully removed from their own home lands. It seems to me that the life of the black man does not matter to the white man.

2. “The monetary cost of the Civil War, North and South, is estimated at $44.4 billion in 1990 dollars. This breaks down to Union costs of more than $1000 (1990 dollars) for every man, woman and child in the Union; and Confederate costs of well over $2000 for every man, woman and child in the Confederacy. This is only the direct, billed cost of military pay and supplies, excluding veterans’ pensions which typically add a threefold increase. Nor does it include the many millions (in 1864 dollars) of damage done to the infrastructure of the Confederacy–and of Union Border States–during the war; each million amounts to about $9 million in 1990 dollars. We could conservatively estimate that the total monetary cost of the Civil War was on the order of $200-500 billion in 1990 dollars, and perhaps as high as one or two trillion dollars”.
We cannot continue further with these lies, however, let me correct some few misconceptions he has made up there. Research has shown that during the trans-Atlantic slave trade 56,000 voyages were made. The Trans-Atlantic slave trade lasted for 400 years.The number of slaves taken from Africa by British ships ,averagely per year were 6,500.The normal capacity for slave ships were 800 slaves some ships have lager capacities  than others such as Pons, American-built barque. Some of the slave ships were:
1.Madre de Deus (Mother of God)- can take up to 400 slaves
2. Manuela, built as clipper ship Sunny South, captured by HMS Brisk in Mozambique Channel with over 800 slaves aboard.
3.Zong, a British slave ship infamous for the 1781 massacre of 132 sick and dying slaves who were thrown overboard in an attempt to guarantee that the ship’s owners could collect on their cargo insurance.
Wildfire, a barque, arrested off the Florida coast by the US Navy in 1860; carrying 450 slaves
Pons, American-built barque captured by the USS Yorktown 1 December 1845 with 850-900 slaves
Kron-Printzen, Danish slave ship, sank in 1706 with 820 slaves on board.

Let us assume that 800 slaves per ship of over 56,000 voyages made by these slave ships over 400 years, could mean that over 44,800000 million slaves were carried off from our shores. If these Africans slaves were not taken, Africa will never have been in this deplorable state that   they find themselves in now. Our culture was destroyed. Our leaders and the strong men and women who were to protect the land were whisked away to a land unknown to them; a land they were forced to live. If we were to value in monetary terms the monumental destruction caused by slavery by these countries: America, Great Britain, France, Portugal, Spain, Denmark and Switzerland,they wont be able to pay the wrong done. You might be surprise that I mentioned Switzerland. I mentioned Switzerland because under the real circumstances, Switzerland was not directly involved as compared to other nations but she financed most of the slave ships.

We will continue with the final part of this rendition,stay tuned.

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