Sunday, March 25, 2007

Abolition of Slavery

It's 200 years today since the abolition of the slave trade in the British Empire. While I appreciate the monumental change for good in the legal abolition of slave trafficking from Africa to the New World, I'm a little more ambivalent about this anniversary - and I'm especially sceptical of the fad for ceremonial apologies. Here's why:

Firstly, I have no doubt there are more slaves in Britain today than ever before. Sex slaves are being brought in from eastern Europe in their droves. Children are being flown in from Africa to live with cousins and aunties as unpaid household help [read - domestic slaves]. Uprooted from everything they know, they will fail at school, fall in with the wrong crowd, and eventually run-away, likely into prostitution (as I saw happen in a family I know).

Second, my ancestors were Scottish - some of whom were mercilessly driven off their land tenure. People were cleared to seize land for the wealthy elite. Yes, that's white people being treated as more worthless than chattel.

Thirdly, it's a lot easier to make theatrical apologies for crimes of another generation than to put your own house in order. Our society still consigns people to miserable hopelessness by fostering dependence on welfare and a host of other morally corrupt policies.

Fourth, many of those clambering for an apology can trace their ancestry back to slaves. But it is almost certain that their ancestry also includes the slave masters. Callused as I may sound - apologise to yourself! We did not chose our ancestors, and it's just too damned convenient to chose to identify with the victim rather than the oppressor. The genes from both sides define every cell in your body.

And finally, the vast majority of white British families never kept slaves. They were more likely to lose their jobs to them. My ancestors and yours had enough to think about putting food on the table before their own children.

So apologise if you want. It'll do more harm than good - because it is not honest.

10 comments:

Andrew Allison. A Conservative View said...

I agree with you. Today should be celebrated, and we in Hull are doing our bit. Wilberforce's family home - which was turned in to a museum - has just re-opened today, after been closed for over a year for refurbishment.

Calls for apologies to be made are wrong. At best it can only be a shallow form of symbolism. History is history. Learn the lessons of history and try not to repeat the mistakes. The human sex trade is something we have to fight against now, just in the same way the abolitionists did over 200 years ago.

Jeremy Jacobs said...

Great post. Andrew A. is quite right too. This "celebration" has been manufactured by the "Grievance Lobby". See my post here

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"Are you stuck?" asked Rabbit. "No," said Pooh, "I'm just resting and thinking and humming to myself." said...

Here in Australia they cry "give me back my land," to which I reply, "give me back my technology, my language, my culture, my money, my medicine, my society, my cars, my TV, my booze, my newspapers, my internet, my xbox..." You get the point :)

there is an historical irony in all this, the ancestors of slaves both in England and the USA are so much more better off than their African relatives. I know it sounds sacrilegious, but perhaps they should be thankful :)

Crushed by Ingsoc said...

Point us, in a democracy it is about actions of the living.
The dead don't vote, their opinions are as irrelevant as their responsibilities.

Anonymous said...

So what is the conclusion here?
Whatever has been done, it doesn't
matter anymore, if we just wait
long enough? "Great" point of view...

I wish the British would display this
kind of relaxed attitude towards the
Germans, for example.

Anonymous said...

There is still slavery today especially in europe and other countries. Thousands of girls from Moldova, Ukraine, Russia , Romenia are lured with promises of good jobs abroad, they left their countries and they became sex slaves.

Check this PBS page sex slaves

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/slaves/

Check the Movie

Sex Slaves

http://tinyurl.com/67hlzj

Hundreds of thousands
are sold and bought every year.
Slavery is not over .

We together must take action to stop it.

pisadinho said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
solitarioh2005 said...

This is the PBS page about sex slaves.
Link above does not work

http://tinyurl.com/zwygj

This is the movie
Sex Slaves

http://tinyurl.com/67hlzj


Both links work

Buy Viagra said...

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