Reparations, a questionable narrative hiding behind economic incompetence

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In a recent meaningful post elsewhere on the subject of reparations, Michael A. Dingwall wrote: Time to bury to reparations Corpse (https://wp.caribbeannewsnow.com/2018/07/29/letter-time-to-bury-the-reparations-corpse/) Michael added, “Most young people, only have one main thing on their minds – just getting by or how to migrate to North America and Europe,” which is indeed very, very true but why is this the case?

The answer surely is that there is such little prospect of obtaining a good livelihood for any young family here, especially one who is unconnected to the nepotistic regimes that often wield power in these parts one term after the other. Therefore, one’s only reasonable hope for an economic livelihood is to escape by migrating to Europe or the Americas.

Michael also reminds us that “The system of slavery was acceptable during its time – both legally and morally, and by both whites and blacks.” Indeed some blacks even went as far as owning slaves themselves. And Michael further reminds us that, yes, another truth, “the glaring historical fact that Africans sold out their own into slavery.” And very often might one add for just a bag of salt in order to humiliate the enslaved.

By this undeniable unhappy news and the logic of the reparation lobby, herein lies a case indeed for financial damages against the buyers and sellers of African slaves.

Reparation damages in the form of money from both the buyers and the sellers we are told is needed. A case for financial damages against all Europe, India, Pakistan, the Americans, the Arabs and indeed the Africans should be made, all of whom traded and kept African slaves. However the claim in this instance is limited to both Europe and the Americas, after all, their pernicious ideology that followed African slavery has served to further enslave our minds. Is it not so?

On August 1, 1834, Emancipation Day in the Caribbean was truly a historic day indeed, because it brought a formal end to our enforced formal ancestral sufferings. Enforced slavery for sure has given rise to our existing plight indeed and is not to be played down in any way. Yet we are being given a false narrative by Ralph Gonsalves and his counterparts for political expediency.

According to their false narrative, we cannot help ourselves one bit because past slavery has made us one-legged to coin a phrase. We are now walking with a limp, drooping and sagging under the baggage of slavery, to which the European nations in particular must now pay the Caribbean governments, or us the people as descendants directly, a sum of money in order to greatly help us to walk upright once again.

For me, their narrative is entirely a false one. Yet none can deny past and now our present sufferings here. We truly suffer as a result of gross poverty, poor education and equally poor governments, too boot, governments who exploit the former two issues, while espousing a pseudo Karl Marxist doctrine that appeals to poor dispossessed peoples.

Just look at our murder rate here! Burglary, muggings and other crimes are indeed very alarming as indeed is the strife in all of our communities and these need explaining outside of government failings. Government ineptitude, economic incompetence and self-indulgences cannot be admitted to. The people’s own lethargic indolence and sloth cannot be pointed out when vote-banks are being nurtured. Ignorance and lethargy must be mollycoddled and pampered to ensure political victories.

Indeed, none can deny that that period of black African slavery that had taken African peoples to the Caribbean, Europe, India, Arabia and the Americas was indeed unique in the history of the world, not only in its scale but in human sufferings and its exploitation of peoples.

Nevertheless times have changed and we too needs get a grip of ourselves and get to work for the benefit of our own wellbeing and stop looking outside of ourselves for solutions.

November 24, 1859, saw the publication of a work by Charles Darwin entitled “On the Origin of Species” considered a work of scientific literature and was/is considered to be the foundation of evolutionary biology. Moreover, this work was indeed to have most profound consequences upon us.

For sure this work more than any other, together with a scramble for control of Africa and the non-European nations by the European powers, have profoundly shaped the mindset of some people in its proposed and suggested bio-grading of human intelligence through national characteristics. Its consequence has been most far reaching to date.

As a result of it, although on August 1, 1834, we had a formal Emancipation Day, when the iron chains were being cut off from the feet of individuals, nevertheless by November 24, 1859, a new form of slavery was on the horizon. The period for mental slavery of Caribbean peoples of African origin was being ushered in, being forged through a false pernicious ideology. An ideology that goes by the name of racial superiority.

Charles Darwin and others had legitimised the old form of slavery by their assumptions and saw it as a God given right in the process of the Europeans dominating and civilising the rest of the world but worse was to come for humans of African origin, they were now to lose even their very humanity. Disdain, contempt, scorn, manipulation, exploitation and abuse of peoples of African origin were now very much in good form.

Slavery we know appears to be as old as time itself. The Romans sure made good use of it. They exported so many slaves from Sardinia that the then price of slaves plummeted. Slaves from all parts of their empire were forever being dragged back to Rome.

However what was very different with the recent European enslavement of African people was the racism that followed. The dehumanisation of peoples of African descent that still persists. A dehumanisation that is now seriously internalised by even the descendants of the slaves themselves and exploited by our political leaders. The mantra we perceive and hear is this, that we are now so damaged we cannot help ourselves.

We need the former masters once again! We sure need their money in compensation for their wrongs to our ancestors and we dearly need their knowhow. We just cannot go it alone now. We are too badly damaged. Leadership and reparations for us poor unfortunate souls is a must. But what twaddle such false narrative touts and seriously pushes forward.

In Ireland we do not hear the Irish asking for reparations for their loss and hurt. The Great Potato Famine in Ireland was a period of mass starvation, disease and emigration of its peoples that took place in 1845 and 1852. It is also generally known, outside Ireland, as “the Irish Potato Famine”. In the Irish language it is called an Gorta Mór, generally taken as meaning “the Great Hunger” or an Drochshaol, meaning “the bad times”.

Neither do we hear cries from the Indians/Pakistanis demanding reparations for their long years of social and economic exploitations under the British Raj. Their tremendous loss in the Great Famine that began in 1876. The Great Famine 1876–78 (also the Southern India famine of 1876–78 or the Madras famine of 1877) famines in India that took place under the colonial British Raj.

Truly the false narrative of the reparations lobby ignores the large sums of money that the EU, including Britain have distributed throughout the Caribbean. Money distributed since Caribbean independence that began during the second part of the last century.

The false narrative for reparations ignores the ineptitude on the part of Caribbean governments in showing any possible result whatsoever when it comes to economic benefits to native Caribbeans and job creation for our workforce.

Ralph Gonsalves in particular masks his own futility in government and his nefarious dictatorial behaviour by joining the reparations lobby. He speaks of people’s freedom yet denies passing into our law a Freedom of information Bill that was so eagerly promised by his party while he was in opposition. The same now sits perhaps on a grubby shelf gathering dust in the Parliament building while he and his regime seek to muzzle people’s free speech in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

He and his party champion “this reparations lobby” while he himself and his extended family run the country as feudal landlords, with the descendants of the very slaves enduring much neighbourhood stress, a rampant murder rate, fear of personal violence and theft while wallowing in apparent serfdom.

Matthew Thomas in his recent post asked In Whose interest do demagogues Work (https://news784.com/opinion/in-whose-interest-do-demagogues-work/) while listing some questionable acts on the part of our supposedly most benevolent and benign governmental rulers.

As the lyrics in one of Bob Marley’s songs, Redemption Song, puts it: “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our minds.” Need one point these truisms out again, these are facts that had been well recognised by Aimé Césaire, Frantz Fanon and the “Negritude Movement”!

Why indeed may one ask should we have a narrative set by individuals with questionable motives? In this great struggle for equality and quality of life, none but ourselves can free our minds and thereby free ourselves.

It is time we get up and work and work hard, very hard, and stop playing the victims. Therefore as Huey P. Newton / Bobby Seale once wrote “Seize the Time”: The Story of The Black Panther Party! Freedom, remember, only comes at a very high price and only he/she who is determined to be free will be able to pay for it!

James. H

13 Comments

  1. James H, you are white, a Dufus… and diametrically opposed to black people’s progress. That is a fact… don’t doubt it! It is all there in your writings.
    We already know too, that you are even a bigger idiot than Michael Dingwall and ben-David, unable to resist this foolish racist urge to indulge yourself in writing stupidness for stupid folks who might even turn up to praise your exceptional stupidity… stupidness, which according to you is your contribution for not supporting the call for reparations. Stupid is as stupid does.
    James H, if that’s your name… or maybe I’ll just call you Ben. What in heaven’s name brought you here, and why do you choose to identify with “us” as in your use of the word “our” this, or our that… etc you are not one of us!
    And, furthermore, who gave you the impression that, “Most young people, (Caribbean nationals—-Vincentians) only has one main thing on their minds –“…how to migrate to North America and Europe,” which is indeed very, very true…” Are you out of your cotton picking mind!!?? Most of us want nothing more than to have back our freedom that was stolen from us, and compensation for damages…reparation.
    James H, all of us are just hoping to ‘… get by’ somehow. And most of us are still struggling while we go about finding and seeking the ways and the means to “get by.” And racist like yourself are the ones that’s making things hard concerning our survival. How about you? I bet you have no problem “getting by.
    I bet you must be some white boy, sorry man, whose parents probably ended up with a lot of the slave’s money, and you get to spend some of it while vacationing and traveling through the Caribbean on the family Yacht. Maybe you might even be into journalism, and write a lot of foolishness for some Caribbean magazine… probably sits on the editorial board too.
    Too much idle time on your hands Ben, I mean James. You just couldn’t resist the racist urge to jump on this reparations issue eh? To come here with your diss-jointed BS of an article, to remind us that…”black folks are lesser than whites, especially American whites, the world’s richest, who can do as they please, under the “The Power of Money… ” banner? Hogwash!
    Concerning the reparations money matter, I see that you’re worried about losing all those proposed trillions owed to “us”, as the figures continue to roll in. Well indeed, you ought to be worried, for if you were in the right, you wouldn’t have to worry, but since you’re in the wrong, you need to worry.
    There is no getting away from you and yours paying up when the figure comes in James. Rant as much as you want but you ‘gonna pay, yes you gonna pay’…cause you should have known better… that what you did then and continue to do was/is wrong in the eyes of the living God. God don’t like ugly, and the Atlantic slave trade was UGLY!
    James, those who are in the right don’t have to worry, we know our cause is “the right cause, a just cause, and we will be victorious in the end, in time.”
    Time is on our side…yes it is! Time is on our side… yes it is!

    • Why to you keep confounding this issue with racism and slavery? It has nothing to do with either or both of these.
      This is only about a single issue: natural justice for our people, something that most people believe that we are not receiving by the police, lawyers, and courts.

  2. Is this the best that you can do in defence of your master’s calculating and manipulatively recent ‘Potemkin structured’ post on slavery Vinciman?
    For sure, it is well known that the Ralph Gonsalves family and their ULP party is not at all any good for job creation here in SVG, quite apart from the other sad disadvantages they bring to this nation.
    Here, for your information you halfwit, is what we read today in another place. “Migration of nurses and midwives in CARICOM, a cause for concern.”

  3. What is that single issue that you write about David and who are you addressing here David Benjamin my man?
    If you are addressing me David, I would wholeheartedly agree with you that we, at this point in time, are not receiving any good justice whatsoever here in SVG, and worst, that we are most poorly served by the Lawyers in this country.
    Further that our Police force could most certainly do with some considerable improvements, they clearly lack professionalism as would be expected of them. However David, like all these things of such nature, they could only be as good as their leadership.
    Well what of the leadership in this country of ours as a whole? Our disastrous situation speaks volumes for itself. What do we see and know? Extraordinarily unprecedented number of murders, gross street robberies and muggings, burglaries of all sorts, high taxation and nothing to show for it, a seriously dilapidated Dickensian environment with a town that so ravished and dirty only pigs, stray dogs and rats are comfortable moving through it.
    Now where do we put the blame for all this David, on Slavery that ended 180 years ago? Pull the other leg David to coin a phrase! It has bells on. Bob Marley is apt to quote Marcus Garvey of this: “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds”! Time for you to take a leaf out of that great man’s book too! Emancipate yourself David! Look again as to who is setting your agenda!

  4. I think I did pretty well Ben, having arrived at the fact that, Dingwall, Binose, Jolly Green and now James H equal Ben Anson, an associate editor at CNN (Caribbean News Now) on assignment to spread “fake news”, to lie on,and slander SVG and our PM in particular, and other Caribbean and South American nations and their government and ministers.
    Whom you despise because of their liberalism their true democratic ideals and love for their people…black people, especially the poor, who you detest as a race, as witnessed in all your writings to date, even in your latest commentary as per Honduras.
    It gives me great pleasure to unmask you dufus Ben,James H, running about pretending to be a concerned Vincentian, all the while hiding and spewing garbage in the hope of confusing unsuspecting and innocent minds. Not Vinciman.
    I for one never fell for your MO in the past, nor do I intend to fall for it now and in the future.

  5. Ben Anson, aka Peter Binose, Michael Dingwall, James H, Jolly Green, G.T, Nancy Jo, Simon, Storm, Richard Charron, and a host of other bogus names, out of some false pride and the seemingly unscrupulous “I don’t care” attitude you project, even after being “fingered” for the theft of other peoples writings (plagiarizing) and your leanings towards and love for this act and other corrupt practices( it’s in your genes), you will never admit to being the fraud and mercenary propagandist that you are.
    Moreover, as we see, you will continue to dodge the truth and the fact that I have dealt with the “subject matter”… the “subject” (you) and the “matter” (your dishonesty) for the most part, and I’m quite sure we’ve been down this road before, sometime in the past.
    I also gather from your tail wagging response Ben, and your silence on me naming and calling you out, that you’ve conceded, and so you realize that Vinciman is not about to let go of this laughable “thematic unveiling” of this doo-fuss (Dufus) who sat by the door; “Honesty doesn’t always pay, but dishonesty has its cost”.
    However, now that I can put a face to your “so many names”, I feel much more at ease responding to your “nonsense”. I never took you and your crap seriously before, and as for now, I’ll be more lenient towards you, having realize that you’re simply a nuisance a waste of time, and treat you accordingly.
    Nevertheless, I will continue to point my middle finger in your face and dare you to knock it away, you running dog and apologist for the criminally insane neo-colonialist vis a vis capitalist English mercenary racist clan; Don’t doubt it! It’s all in your writings, especially under the pseudonym Michael Dingwall.
    Have a good day, until “reparations” catch up with you, Dufus

  6. Looks like the PAPA, your esteemed Master, may be needing a new defender soon dear fellow.
    Methinks that you are losing it Vinciman. Hope that the funny-farm hospital is not too far away from your place of residence! By the way, where are you these days?

  7. LOL! Your last comment is rubbish like all your posts. But you can’t deny anything of the above can you eh? Ok then…what else can I add to this “unveiling” of the Dufus who sat by the door, other than…”Moon run til Sun catch he Rass” …an old colloquial saying.

    • Nah, not true Jamal. In spite of the other names YOU call yourself…”You know that you lie”!

  8. For your information Jamal, Vinciman once told us that although from SVG residence is now in the US of A. Just how true that statement was, one have no idea.
    Nevertheless Jamal, one has to agree with your sentiment that “If SVG is filled with people like Vinciman we are truly lost” indeed, and sadly, thoroughly doomed to relive our terrible past. Enslaved both physically as before with new added sufferings mentally this time, sufferings brought upon ourselves through our own ignorance and indolent lethargy!
    For sure Slavery was a brutal system of which this great western prosperity is now built upon but it is not reparations we now need but rather the return of our self-respect and the grabbing back of our true dignity in living and only we ourselves can seize and grab those things back. Whence our struggle eh wence?
    ( https://thecharnelhouse.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/The-Black-Jacobins-Reader.pdf )
    Will we too reclaim our free voice again?
    ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olaudah_Equiano ) The Interesting Narrative of the Life Of Olaudah Equiano
    Must we now be forever be treated as helpless beggars, forever begging because of our horrible past?
    https://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/specialseries/2018/08/slavery-routes-gold-world-180813075335977.html

  9. James, You make a lot of sense to me. Every day we see on European tv what dire straits, misery and abject poverty the African continent is in. This is nothing less than the indoctrination of their descendants, that black people are somehow inferior. And that Darwinian theory about survival of the fittest is the carte blanche to enslave and exploit other people of the world. All the genocide visited upon indigenous peoples of the Americas, Australia, India is slowly but surely muted. All those Empires have been built on the blood and corpses of Africans.
    Five hundred years of occupation, rape, and exploitation has left the Africa continent in the state that it is in, and the exploitation continues to this day.
    When terrorist attack Europeans every new media in the west are in solidarity with the victims but when the same thing happens in Africa or elsewhere we hardly see any reaction.
    When we see the likes of Trump, siding with Neo-Nazies in Charlotte USA, calling Africa a shithole. wanting to strengthen relations with Russia, who refer to black people as apes and so on you can read into that the white supremacy agenda.
    The people are right to call for reparations even though it is not likely to ever happen.
    When you see the terrible things that is done to the Palestinian people while the world stands by the sidelines and do nothing. When you see what was done to black people during the Libyan Arab spring. When you read about the evil that the German state has visited upon the Namibian people. Then you know what time it is.
    We have a long way to go before all these things are made right but we should not give up the fight.

    • Good information “r”. It somehow makes me curious how we can cry about what happened in the Caribbean 200 years ago but at the same time allow what is happening today in those places you mentioned, places such as Libya. I hear Ghana in West Africa is considered a “developed” country. Is Trinidad? What you say about Russians is not so accurate though. I have never heard any Russian say blacks are like apes. Instead we rejoice at calling Russians inferior. We think all Muslims are fanatic. What do we say about Asians? Humanity is even today really messed-up, but here we are trying to get a large sum of money for things that happened 200 years ago, blaming our situation on others but at the same time too stupid to stand up for ourselves and get to work…just complain cry and try to get others to take care of us for all eternity while we maintain an environment of violence, poverty and stupidity…we cannot forget debt slavery that we gladly shackle ourselves with.

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