The question raised in the last post, regarding Western Europe and reparations, engendered great discussion on Facebook, and also threw up some interesting links. Here are some excerpts from that discussion, and then also some excerpts from the links:
- Gilbert Morris do not believe that Caribbean leaders, much less African ones, have the moral standing to make the case for reparations. ... the only anchor we have against Europeans COMPARED to other and previous slaving and enslaving is that their values ought to have prevented it. ... even when faced with their own vaunted values, they made excuses and often brought their values toward their behaviour, rather than corrected their behaviour by virtue of their values. As such, they sinned against themselves and against foundational principles and failure to recognise this leaves open continued justification of atrocities, past and present. ... I do not see Caribbean leaders as credible to call for either recognition or reparations. ... Caribbean and African leaders have done more to damage their people than anything in our history ... [they] have been the greatest threats to their peoples, stealing their birthright and undermining their prosperity. ... Our region now leads the world in murders and such is our inversion of psychological orientation that we seem to regard the mere possibility of change as a monumental impossible risk; even as every component of civilisation collapses around us.
- Timothy Treco ... NO AMOUNT OF MONEY can bring closure. Wrongdoing, and pain cannot be measured in dollars. Further, when the reparations we speak of move into the subsequent generations, it further complicates all matters. ... As John the Baptist said, he who steals should steal no more... It is simply easier to forgive, and to rid ourselves of the atrocities happening again. In the end, God is going to level ALL THE PLAYING field... Revenge is His. WE MUST rest there, and in the mean time make sure that Justice occurs.
- Rae Whitehouse ... 'reparations' (i hate that word--it reeks of a panacea that does not exist) need to happen and eventually will happen. what interests me more is where exactly the money will be coming from, where exactly the money will be going to, and what exactly will be done with it. highly problematic, indeed. obviously, just because something is logistically challenging does not mean it's not necessary, but i see The Clusterfuck to End All Clusterfucks in our future. i'm all 'ok go' with the ideals, but the gritty practicalities are distressing me. help.
- Dillon F. Knowles ... financial reparations will probably have the same effect that the estate of a deceased typically has on a family - civil "war". If you think we are currently unproductive as people with an entitlement mentality, tell us there is a pot of gold to be shared out. Do you think that if we could manage to agree on how to share it, that we would put it to productive use or just enhance our quest for instant gratification. As wrong as slavery is, it cannot be undone, and we decendants of slaves must continue to overcome the hand delt us by hard work and ingenuity.
- Ava Turnquest ... everyone points to other injustices that are threatened if this wrong is put right - or attempted. when something is broken, nowadays it seems like all efforts are focused on ensuring it stays broken, lest other broken items feel entitled to repair.
- Michelle Cartwright ... an article in the guardian - note suggestion to adopt tactical argument used by those countries seeking compensation for climate change damage caused by the industrialised nations
- Info on history of compensation paid by British taxpayers to slave owners when slavery was abolished; so not only did they profit from an inhumane practice, they received money to encourage them to end the practice! http://www.ucl.ac.uk/lbs/project/Also link to national archives for a fascinating look at the history of the slave trade http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/.../slave-trade...