Saturday, March 24, 2007

Why am I saying sorry?

Today, 24th March 2007 marks the 200th anniversary of the bill to make slavery illegal in Great Britain.
And today the leaders of the nations churches are to apologise to the African people for our participation in that ugly and abhorrent trade. It seems they are to say sorry on my behalf.

But hang on a minute. I am not responsible. My generation never condoned slavery nor would we. On who's authority are they acting?
Surely to apologise for an act in which today's British people played no part is wholly inappropriate.
Mine is not a lone voice. Today an enormous amount of news coverage has been devoted this issue. Some for, and some against. And what of the Africans who got rich supplying slaves to Great Britain? Are they to apologise to their people? I think not.
What has been interesting is the vocal minority of Britons of African descent who have pointed out that they owe everything they have today to the sacrifices of their forebears.
It was however a regrettable episode in our countries history, and by no means the only one. But our apology today won't be heard by the thousands that suffered nor shame those who were responsible
.

1 comment:

  1. I share this view. How long will our present and future generations play scapegoat to the past? How long will a great number of African Americans use the past as a crutch for their failures? I guess what started in Eden is alive and well. Someone must carry the blame.

    ReplyDelete

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