I write to you representing a group of former slave-owning nations, during this historic Black History Month for the year 2007 as a most upset transplanted son of Africa. I recall today, that one of your members who taught us to sing "Britannia rules the waves" shamelessly went to their Parliament, exactly 200 years ago, with a pay package of £20 million for those who committed crimes against humanity.
They were paid these millions in exchange for the release of their animals and slaves from the dying sugar industry.
My foreparents were driven from the fertile plains in Jamaica to the unwanted, infertile and uneconomic hillsides. An entire nation of freed slaves was cast into instant unemployment, the day following the abolition of slavery and thereafter into freedom, but abject poverty.
Then, commencing in 1884 (November 1884 to February 1885) when the trade in slaves was over, you all met at the Berlin Conference and carried out the unpardonable act of partitioning Africa, our homeland, between yourselves. This was not an isolated act. It was a continuation of the act of exploitation and dehumanisation of my people.
You have built great wealth from your industrial revolution at our expense. Slavery and the partitioning of African represented the bedrock of the source of your wealth as you exploited cheap labour and raw materials both during and after slavery.
Colonial economies were not designed to develop the colonies, but rather to create wealth for you all. You have consequently become obese while we suffer hunger and want.
How can some of your nations (Germany, for example) pay billions of marks to the Jews for what is a "lunch time" of suffering when compared to our 400 years, yet you have denied us compensation?
You have created a Court in The Hague, Netherlands, to deal with crimes against humanity and to date, you have not mentioned our case before that institution. You have made all kinds of innovative changes to settled rules of law, to make out offences against nations and individuals in that court. Do you expect us to lie down and die without fighting for our compensation?
We do not accept your aid programmes as sufficient. We built your empires and now we make our just claim for us to be taken out of our 'Third World' poverty stricken condition.
I end this demand letter with the promise that the blood of the ancestors, who lie on the floor of the Atlantic, and in the sugarcane fields of the West Indies, which runs through my veins, will never be silenced until justice is done.
I am, etc.,
BERT S. SAMUELS
4 Duke Street