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"But be happy the Brits ended the slave trade"

Thomas C. Famous. Photo: VINO/File
The British built their entire Empire from Global Colonialism, slavery, theft and genocide. Photo: Provided
The British built their entire Empire from Global Colonialism, slavery, theft and genocide. Photo: Provided
In the year 2018, Britain still controls numerous colonies throughout the world. Photo: Provided
In the year 2018, Britain still controls numerous colonies throughout the world. Photo: Provided
In September of 2017, the two most devastating hurricanes in recent history, Irma and Maria destroyed the UK Overseas Territories of Anguilla and the VI. Britain was slow to act... Photo: Provided
In September of 2017, the two most devastating hurricanes in recent history, Irma and Maria destroyed the UK Overseas Territories of Anguilla and the VI. Britain was slow to act... Photo: Provided
Thomas C. Famous

A quote from someone upset about the way Britain has been portrayed about its role in the global slave trade. They attempt to make 'emancipation' sound as if this was an act of 'divine generosity,' on the part of the British.

Here are some inconvenient truths:

The British built their entire Empire from Global Colonialism, slavery, theft and genocide.

This global genocide stretched from:

  • Canada to Guyana.
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Australia
  • India
  • Burma
  • Sri Lanka
  • New Zealand
  • The Caribbean

This lasted for over 400 years, from 1500s until the 1900s.

In the year 2018, Britain still controls numerous colonies throughout the world:

  • Anguilla
  • Bermuda
  • (British) Virgin Islands
  • Montserrat
  • Cayman Islands
  • Gibraltar
  • Falkland Islands
  • St. Helena

In the year 1834, the British government compensated slave owners throughout the British West Indies and all other colonies for the loss of their slaves, whilst those enslaved, to this date, have received nothing from the British.

Fast forward 200 years.

In September of 2017, the two most devastating hurricanes in recent history, Irma and Maria destroyed the UK Overseas Territories of Anguilla and the Virgin Islands (VI).

Britain was slow to act in their recovery and refused to give adequate funding for their long term rebuilding.

Instead, in an act of neo-colonialism, the UK forced the Territories to adopt erroneous rules sent down from the UK, in order to borrow money to help themselves.

Subsequent to that—in 2018—the UK has voted to enforce that their Overseas Territories, comply with revealing the Beneficial Owners of companies domiciled in said Territories.

This will have a crippling effect on the economies of; Bermuda, Cayman Islands and the VI.

So please tell us, what exactly do we have to thank the British for?

Are they with us or are they against us?

Stay strong my VI Family.

 

6 Responses to “"But be happy the Brits ended the slave trade"”

  • 123 (02/08/2018, 11:23) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    this deep good read
  • Nearly right (02/08/2018, 17:04) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    I agree with the sentiment of almost all of your post. Apart from the bit about the rules relating to the loan. I am happy that they put them in place because there is a habit of misappropriation of our funds. I want to know the tender process is followed and that the right person is getting the job - Not just a friend or cousin of somebody. Happy for the transparency and prevention of the money being used to line the pockets of those in power.
  • E. Leonard (02/08/2018, 23:59) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
    Slavery was a brutish, exploitative and dehumanizing action. Nonetheless, despite the high cost of blood, sweat and tears paid by slaves, the only people that didn’t benefit after Emancipation in 1834 were slaves and their descendants. Per a study by the University College of London, the British government appropriated £20M (£17B today) to compensate thousands of slave owners for the lost of their property/chatel. To date, neither slaves nor their descendants have received even a wooden half pence.

    Moreover, the UK enriched itself and built its economy from cheap labour and commodities from its colonies. Little to no factories were built in the colonies to put locals to work. All commodities had to be shipped to the UK for use in their factories, putting their people to work. Then inferior products were shipped out to the colonies. However, resources depleted, the colonies are quickly cast adrift. The French took a diffrent approach for their Caribbean colonies.
  • RealPol (04/08/2018, 00:04) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply

    @Hon Famous & E. Leonard, truth to power. This is real talk. Some may be uncomfortable and inconvenient with the truth and prefer to bury their heads in the sand as ostriches. But truth has no counter. Further, many present day beneficiaries of slavery like to say that slavery was before their time and they should not have to bear the shame though they benefitted from slavery.
  • Political Observer (PO) (04/08/2018, 11:20) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Hon Famous, real habla. Concur with your comment on the UK’s response to the hurricane devastation that the BVI experienced in September 2017, as well as about the registry of beneficial ownership for Caribbean OTs. Further, E.Leonard referenced a study by Dr. Nick Draper of the University College of London (UCL) on slave owners compensation consistent with the Abolition Act of 1833. Indeed that study was revealing about slave owners both in the Caribbean and in Britain. Subsequent to the Abolition Act, Britain earmarked £20M to compensate slave owners for the loss of their property; £10M to slave owners in Britain and £10M to slave owners in Caribbean. Some 3000 families benefited from the compensation. The £20M equated to 40% of the British Treasury expenditure.

    Additionally, many wealthy Victorian Britions acquired all or a large part of their fortunes from the slave economy, per the UCL study. Consequently, many families around the UK still indirectly enjoy the proceeds from slavery. The families of some prominent UK citizens benefitted from the compensation, ie, former PM David Cameron, George Orwell(Eric Blair) among others. However, the slaves nor their descendants are not being made whole for the slaves’ exploitation. Other groups have received reparation, ie, Japanese Americans, Indians and Eskimos, Jewish Holocaust survivors.......etc. Where is the reparation for slaves descendants? This is not gratis; it is compensation for the exploitation of their foreparents. The descendants of slave owners are still benefitting so the descendants of slave should also benefit. Just as Britain/UK appropriated money to pay slave owners so too it should appropriate money for slave descendants. Is not what good for the gander also good for goose?
  • Diaspora (05/08/2018, 08:23) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    The territory is in a celebratory mood, celebrating the Emancipation of slaves on 01 August 1834. But has the annual celebration lost its purpose and focus? Festival has become a highly commercialized activity; it is and should be more than jumping up, cutting loose and wuking up. The crime of Slavery was the worst crime ever committed against humanity; it is a major contributing factor in the slow growth and development and up and down the Carribbean archipelago. No one can objectively argue that slavery was not dehumanizing and slaves were not explotaed. They worked from sun up to sun down, families separated, treated as mere chattel, poorly fed (fed enough to keep them alive) and clothed, beaten and abused, restricted from basic reading and writing, forced name change, forced religion change, treated as beasts and likle higher than animals, women forceably raped...........etc. As noted above, many Victorian Britons acquired their wealthy from the slave economy. Incidently, the US fought a war (Civil War) over the pending abolition of slavery; it was north vs south. In both the Caribbean and US slaves were the engine that drove the economy. Nonetheless, as others (PO, RealPol, E.Leonard, Famous) have eloquently noted that slave owners and their descendants were adequately compensated for the abolition of slavery but neither slaves nor their descendants have not gotten even a rusty penny. The descendants of slaves are due reparation. What is the status of CARiCOM Reparation Commission led by Professor Hilary Beckles? Let’s keep that reparation fire burning. Moreover, as the celebration continues let’s focus on the true reason and purpose of the celebration . Let’s take pause to recognize our foreparents on misery, abuse, exploitation, dehumanizing......etc they endured. Imagine our foreparents being turned loose with just rags on and barefooted! Some of our friends will advocate that was yesterday so let’s focus on tomorrow. Really! No. But hell no! We will be dissing out foreparents and appeasing the slave owners for the worst crime in history against humanity.


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