Jump to content

This slavery thing


leeslover
 Share

Recommended Posts

Pardon me while I stop being the High Prince of political correctness, but I am damn sick of all this guilt binge over slavery that's in the media.

 

1) I didn't do it. I wasn't alive in the 17th Century

2) The anniversary is of Britain going alone in abolishing the slave trade, not of starting it

3) If we are doing apologies, let's hear them from West Africa as well, who do people think the Scousers and Bristolians bought the slaves off anyway?

 

I'm all for knowing the history, but I refuse to feel personally bad about things I had no part in and anyone apologising on my behalf can go swivel. As can anyone who needs special treatment on account of what happened to their ancestors 10 generations ago

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ten generations ago!?

 

People in America were slaves THREE Generations ago... there were people alive in the 70's and 80's who escaped slavery!

 

For the UK, it was 1800 (ish) which is 200 years (ish) which is 5 Generations max!

 

I understand the frustration of being expected to apologies for something non of us have done... but this country has an horific past, most of which it has still to take formal responisbilty for... which I think IS wrong... no one is walking down the road asking me personally to apologies... but I would feel better knowing my government had done so.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ten generations ago!?

 

People in America were slaves THREE Generations ago... there were people alive in the 70's and 80's who escaped slavery!

 

For the UK, it was 1800 (ish) which is 200 years (ish) which is 5 Generations max!

 

I understand the frustration of being expected to apologies for something non of us have done... but this country has an horific past, most of which it has still to take formal responisbilty for... which I think IS wrong... no one is walking down the road asking me personally to apologies... but I would feel better knowing my government had done so.

I think you are counting lifetimes rather than generations Ackey. I'm not happy even with the idea of "the country" apologising - slave trading was a private enterprise which was eventually abolished by the Government. The wrongfulness of the trade was acknowleged when (after huge public debate) the Royal Navy was ordered to stop slave ships of any nationality, which is what this anniversary is about. It's just odd that the nation which ended the trade should be the one beating itself up over it 200 years later.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It became a public enterprise... in the first instance it was a government trade. After which it became a heavily biased, monopolised and well taxed industry (and the fact that you can call the buying and selling of people that is tragic beyond words) which the Government were happy to see flourish for the betterment of Britain (and I use that term loosely, as at that time the only people to benefit in real terms were land owners).

 

Which is why I agree and disagree with you.

 

I have no knowledge of my family beyond my great grandad, and it's fair to assume that at some point my blood line will have played a part in the trade in one way or another. If a black person or a black rights organisation asked me to say sorry for that potential involvement I'd tell them where to get off... I didn't do it - as you rightly say.

 

BUT!

 

The UK government (in its history) did... that has not changed... the people within it have, but the organisation remains the same and so it should say sorry. This is not like saying sorry for a war, where actions can (to certain extents) be justified, it's about saying sorry for actions which never have and never will have, a basis in what can be called right or moral.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not good at these political debates.

 

On a logical and personal level, I object to being made feel guilty for anything my ancestors did - and I don't think the government should have to apologise for something that happened before they were in power.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not good at these political debates.

 

On a logical and personal level, I object to being made feel guilty for anything my ancestors did - and I don't think the government should have to apologise for something that happened before they were in power.

 

It's been a lively topic on five lives phone ins this week when i've been driving about.

 

Seemed to be a certain school of thought that as we as a nation seem to revel in our successful history,celebrating the anniversary of the victory at Trafalgar with a big bash the other year being an instance,then we should also be big enough as a nation to acknowledge the misery we had contributed to in other nations during the same period.Not just the slave trade but subjugation of people when we had the empire.

 

Personally i don't get this sins of the fathers bit,it happened,it was wrong which has been acknowledged but saying sorry to the descendants of these people won't change what happened regardless of whether they still feel aggrieved about it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's been a lively topic on five lives phone ins this week when i've been driving about.

 

Seemed to be a certain school of thought that as we as a nation seem to revel in our successful history,celebrating the anniversary of the victory at Trafalgar with a big bash the other year being an instance,then we should also be big enough as a nation to acknowledge the misery we had contributed to in other nations during the same period.Not just the slave trade but subjugation of people when we had the empire.

 

Personally i don't get this sins of the fathers bit,it happened,it was wrong which has been acknowledged but saying sorry to the descendants of these people won't change what happened regardless of whether they still feel aggrieved about it.

Isn't Britain banning the slave trade something at least as suitable to celebrate as Trafalgar?

 

What really irks me is the way the BBC has covered it - it can't be about history, it has to be relevant to today - so some building in Bristol was built by slavers, interesting as local history, relevance today = nowt. It's seemed sometimes that they are trying to remind people of West Indian heritage that they should feel put upon today because of historical events - why not acknowlege the history but get on with your life? I hate it when people in any minority group create an industry out of historical hard luck stories - and I'll include my Irish heritage in that as well. There was no "one man one vote" in the part of the UK where my mum comes from, police beatings were common, people from her community tended to die if they got well paid industrial jobs and so on - I don't need a documentary telling me that I am oppressed today as a result.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

LL, despite at first seeming to be on opposing sides of this debate I totally agree with what you say above.

 

People who use the past to say buildings built by slaves is relevant today or that because they're from an ethnic group which at one time oppressed does not grant them additional rights.

 

Women, for many many years were unable to vote but as a result they shouldn't get extra special treatment now. Just as how the poor man didn't have a vote for many years does not entitle 'the poor' to special treatment now... my point is that the UK government should still apologies for those actions. As a society we need to acknowledge and grow through our errors and learn for the future. By accepting what happened as being wrong and making even a token gesture of apology can help to unite the population and move us forward.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As a society we need to acknowledge and grow through our errors and learn for the future. By accepting what happened as being wrong and making even a toke gesture of apology can help to unite the population and move us forward.

Yes, acknowledge and learn. No need to apologise - especially, as you say, if it's a 'toke' gesture - why bother?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Whether or not you agree/disagree that the UK Government should apologise is irrelevant really. Just ask yourself a question........what harm would it do if they did apologise?

 

I'm not black or of Afro-Caribbean decent so don't speak from a position of personal experience, but, if I were, and I felt that my ancestors had been wronged by the UK Government AND it meant something to me, then why not ask for an apology?

 

What harm would be done in Tony Bliar actually had the political bolox to stand-up and say "Sorry"?

 

For me, it's not a question of "Should he?", it's a question of "Why not?".

Edited by tactically_naive
Link to comment
Share on other sites

T_N, that's what I see as the support for my argument... it does not upset me that people have asked for an apology. I've said that if I walked into a room and someone asked me to apologise then that would offend me and I would say no. But to ask the government to do it is not an unreasonable request and if someone or a collection of people feel the need then where is the problem in standing up and admitting that as a collective the British Government made a huge and horrific error in its past?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Whether or not you agree/disagree that the UK Government should apologise is irrelevant really. Just ask yourself a question........what harm would it do if they did apologise?

What good would it do if you get an apology? The Government would be as sincere as I would if I was asked to apologise for something I hadn't done.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Imagine that you are black, had ancestors who had been a victim of the slave trade, and felt passionately that your family had been wronged.

 

An apology from Bliar might make you feel better. Might mean that this issue is closed.

 

Again, what harm can it do?

 

Nothing from where I'm sat.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Imagine that you are black, had ancestors who had been a victim of the slave trade, and felt passionately that your family had been wronged.

 

An apology from Bliar might make you feel better. Might mean that this issue is closed.

 

Again, what harm can it do?

 

Nothing from where I'm sat.

If I were black, had ancestors who had been a victim of the slave trade, and felt passionately that my family had been wronged, an apology from Blair would make me think - 'Why are you apologising? You did nothing wrong.'

Edited by maddog
Link to comment
Share on other sites

He would not be saying sorry for him, he would be saying sorry for the Government he has been elected to represent, and that Government DID employ a slavery policy and they delayed the abolition of it, profited from it and in general molested the black populations of the world for many years!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If I were black, had ancestors who had been a victim of the slave trade, and felt passionately that my family had been wronged, an apology from Blair would make me think - 'Why are you apologising? You did nothing wrong.'

 

But you're not, so are not best qualified to comment, like myself.

 

Again, what harm would it do?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But you're not, so are not best qualified to comment, like myself.

 

Again, what harm would it do?

No I'm not, but you asked me what if I was.

 

Not saying it would do any harm. Just don't think it would do any good.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just don't think it would do any good.

 

Why not? If you're black, and feel wronged, an apology from Bliar might do the trick? What harm would be done?

 

Sorry, but I can't see a reason not to if members of the black community feel passionate about it. Not having a dig, seriously.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why not? If you're black, and feel wronged, an apology from Bliar might do the trick? What harm would be done?

 

Sorry, but I can't see a reason not to if members of the black community feel passionate about it. Not having a dig, seriously.

 

I still can't understand why the groups who have been oppressed and have been publicly acknowledged to be oppressed and apologised to need the validation of a government official apology.I'm thinkin' it means more to the activists involved than the wider community being apologised to.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

An apology by somebody who didn't do anything wrong to someone who is 200 years away from the wrong that was done is simply meaningless spin - in times where many people, both politicians and everyday folk, don't like to take responsibility for their actions, it's somehow ironic that some people want to take on some sort of time-travelling collective responsibility for things they didn't do.

 

A counter example would be getting the Japanese Government to apologise for treatment of the tens of thousands of Korean women who were used as sex slaves during the war - this involves people still alive and their children, and the denial of plain facts, which in turn is the version of history Japanese schoolchildren are taught. This is something that a Government ought to acknowlege. The 200th anniversary of the emerging world super-power deciding to use military force to impose a policy, which was at least perceived as harmful to it's economic ends, purely on moral grounds is something that ought to be cause for celebration.

 

Re TN's point about what harm it would do - IMO it would encourage self-pity and a lack of personal responsibility. If you are suffering so badly because of events from before your great-great-great-grandparents were born, I'd suggest that you need to get over it. Seeing Anglican bishops making arses of themselves is only adding serving to make a political football of it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If that was the case, and I'm not saying that I agree, that's their problem isn't it and shouldn't prevent Bliar from apologising.

But should the PM apologise on the 300th anniverary? the 400th? Does it ever end? If an apology is going to be made every time it will make any aggrieved party happy, there will be nothing else in the news. I just don't believe that it would be the end of it for anybody if Blair, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Queen and Steve Frigging McClaren swam to Jamaica wearing sackcloth and ashes. I just don't see where it gets anyone.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...