It’s not just about payment. It is about engaging in good faith with the descendants of enslaved people and addressing inequalities – to make a better future possible
Exactly, no matter what is done to right the wrongs of the past will never be sufficient, but acknowledging these wrongs will go some and then ensuring these wrongs and others never occur again will extend that way.
So, in the present day why are some descendants from slavery still being dealt with so incorrectly, have the lessons not been learnt. Well for lessons to be learnt there has to be a willingness to learn and this is possibly the problem.
In the UK there is Windrush where after the Second World War the UK had major shortages in the labour market, so it was decided by the then government to go to the UK colonies and ask for volunteers to come to the UK to enter the UK employment market and many did so. Originally on the NMT Empire Windrush, but over the years from 1948 to 1970 many other ocean vessels were used and some came by air, normally the children of the parents who came over first. Being UK colonies they had no need for any documentation as technically it was just as anyone traveling within the UK. They were more than happy to come as many, if not all believed in the UK as many called it their ‘Mother’ country. They expected to be welcomed and while the government may have done so, there was much resentment in some areas of the UK leading to many racist acts against them, but they still wanted to stay for they wanted to help and they had been educated to do, as they had gone through the UK education system albeit some great distance away.
But, eventually some of these colonies wanted their own independence and in many respects this was granted, and when granted the persons residing in these far countries were no longer British Citizens.
None of this was disclosed to the person who came to the UK and they well believed they were still British Citizens, but had no documents to say they were.
During the years to come there were many changes to immigration legislation which should not have affected those who came over between 1948 to 1970. If they had applied for passports to visit other countries then they had legal documents to prove they were entitled to live in the UK. Some did apply for current British Citizenship, my own wife did and she guarded that document as she knew it was her proof that she could stay in the UK. She was a child of parents who came over to work and live in the UK and she then followed with her brother and sister later in the 1950s.
But many who did not apply for any documents had no real proof of when they came to the UK and in 2018 the ‘Windrush Scandal’ started to surface. Even though the Tory government of the day knew there were persons legally entitled to be in the UK and that they had no documents to prove so, the legislation that became law to no account of this
Over the next few years the Home Office started to illegally detain these people of the Windrush Generation and many were then illegally deported to a country they had left many years previously, some of whom had been here for 50/60 years and had no real knowledge of the country they were being deported to.
This was and still is a very major scandal and those to whom it happened to were eventually entitled to compensation, if they were still alive, for some were not. But the process of allocating compensation was from as good as it should have been and many had to wait years to receive it, if they ever did.
But has a lesson been learnt, I very much doubt it as this current government is still making major mistakes the Afghanistan evacuation to be one currently and the lack of legal immigrations routes to the UK being another, but there are others.
The UK is bad enough, but from what I hear and see America is so far worse and that is from a country that was founded on immigration, but as history shows the early immigrations had little or no respect for the persons already there, the indigenous population who were there from around 15000BC and not the 1600s when the ‘Mayflower’ landed the first European immigrants.
So, slavery repatriations is so much more than money for the lessons have really to be learnt. Respecting Human Rights also needs to be seen to be done.
Source: More than money: the logic of slavery reparations | Slavery | The Guardian