Thursday, May 03, 2007

apologise for slavery

I think the government should apologise for slavery, and set up a national day of remembrance for it. This country is still enjoying the benefits of the revenue from slavery, and African countries and people are still affected by the legacy of colonialism and slavery, so it's not as if it was too long ago to be worried about. Imagine if Germany hadn't apologised for the Holocaust - there'd be an outcry.

I also like the idea that the proposed memorial day commemorates the activities of Toussaint L'Ouverture.

If you agree, you can sign a petition asking the government to apologise.


Joe said...

I'm not against this in principle, but realistically we have to consider that since slavery has existed for most of human history (including large scale commerical slaving enterprises) who are we going to apologise to? Because large numbers of people from all nations will have slaves in the family tree if you look enough (and that's not counting things like indentured servitude which was common in the colonial days). And would a large number of African tribes and Arab states also apologise for their prominent roles in the slave trade, which they were practising long before (and after) the despicable European trade, which they happily supplied? I don't think an apology is going to be especially appropriate given the complexity of the situation, but the idea of some way of highlighting that history so people are aware of it (yes, that lovely big stone building that is the pride of your city was built on slave profits, for example) is a good idea.

Yvonne said...

I agree, I think all those who participated in slavery should apologise. However the fact remains that the European demand for slaves to work on Caribbean plantations turned what was originally the African equivalent of a prison system into a hell on earth for millions of people. It was the large scale commercial nature of the European slave trade that was distinctive about it.

Vicky said...

This is a bloody stupid idea even to consider, let alone blaming anyone for. We are all slaves in one way or another and this has been so throughout history. When will someone apologise to me for making my father mad in the WW2? Or apologise to my granny for killing her husband in WW1. The whole idea of anyone apologising to anyone for slavery is ludicrous!! Vicky

Yvonne said...

Why is it ludicrous? It happened, we were responsible for a significant part of it, and we should apologise.

I guess you're probably a Holocaust denier as well, though, since you support the BNP.