Sun | Aug 20, 2017

White man's slavery an unparalleled atrocity

Published:Saturday | February 13, 2016 | 2:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Recently, there has been some talk in the media by African Americans and African Jamaicans about reparations for black people in the Western Hemisphere, particularly in the United States, for the 400 years of slavery that black people endured at the hands of the white man.

Four hundred years of slavery is a very long time. The evil and wickedness of such an event is unparalleled in the history of mankind.

The notion of reparation is pointless and absurd. In my view, reparation is an insult to the memory of my forefathers. The quantum of such reparation would be infinite and, in any event, no amount of reparation (money) could adequately restore the dignity of my great-grandfather and great-grand-mother. It would be nothing but blood money. I am only the fourth generation removed from that barbaric period.

The only form of reparation that is acceptable to me is for the white man to undo the lashes from the back of my forefather where he was beaten until the flesh left his body and exposed his ribs, and to undo the rapes of my great-grandmother.

They conquered the entire world and imposed their culture, language and religion on the rest of humanity. Those who did not comply were lynched, butchered, shot or driven over cliffs to their deaths in Australia and elsewhere - men, women and children - by white criminal deportees from England.

The atrocities being committed by ISIS and Boko Haram, as evil as they are, pale in comparison to the atrocities of the white man from the 15th to the 19th centuries - 400 years of white brutality on the back of the black man. But ISIS and Boko Haram are about two years old and will not last for another two years.

The white man came with superior technology - the Holy Bible (the atomic bomb of the 1550s) - the musket - later to become the Winchester 73. During those horrendous centuries, black people were bought, sold and resold like cattle and forced to cater to the whims of the white man, no matter how bizarre.

After the abolition of slavery in the United States, plantation slavery may no longer exist, but judicial, economic and mental slavery still abound, as is manifested in the racist dogma and behaviour of the white man. Reparations will not alter the mind set of either side.

AL RICHARDS

alfonz112@cwjamaica.com