Letters & Opinion

Atonement in America

By  Earl Bousquet
By Earl Bousquet

THE second half of 2016 will be well remembered in the USA as the period when the Reparations issue became a new hot topic in the ongoing discussion among Americans about the cost and consequences of the historical degradation, sale and exploitation of people, across America, through slavery and other forms of native genocide.

In late July, it was revealed that the large number of slaves who worked to build the White House got no pay.

A related article by Michael Daly on July 28 entitled ‘What we owe the White House slaves’ noted that with no surnames in the official documents, the slaves “had the same legal status as dogs.”

He wrote: “Those listed —and many more—labored from dawn to dusk, six days a week. They felled the trees. Hewed the logs.Quarried the stone.Made brick.Muscled it all to the site. Dug the foundation. Set to work as sawyers, stonemasons, carpenters and laborers.

“For these labors, their owners—or the middlemen who had leased the slaves—were paid as much as $60 a year. The slaves themselves got not a penny.”

It has now been estimated that at today’s rates, the slaves would be owed US $83 million.

But, Reparations paid or not, invited America (and the world) to “Imagine how ecstatic the slaves would have been to see the present First Lady move into the house they constructed from the foundation up.”

He also noted that, “Michelle Obama got the whole world thinking about the slaves when she spoke, at the Democratic National Convention, of what it meant to her to live in a house built by slaves and watch her daughters play with their dog on the lawn.”

When Barack and Michelle Obama exit the White House in January 2017, the debt will most likely still not have been paid. But irrespective of whether the next President is a lady or a tramp, it will still be a debt.

On August 17th, 93 years after he was imprisoned on a trumped-up charge and then deported, a campaign was launched in the USA calling on outgoing President Barack Obama to exonerate Marcus Garvey before exiting the White House. That too may not be done after the Obamas leave the White House, but it is a movement that, like the Reparations struggle, will continue.

COMMITMENT

On September 27, the Geneva-based UN Working Group on People of African Descent warned that the USA had not yet confronted its legacy of “racial terrorism” and that Americans of African descent were still today facing a “human rights crisis”.

It said the current “human rights crisis” in the US “has largely been fuelled by impunity for police officers who have killed a series of black men — many of them unarmed – across the country in recent months.”

The UN experts voiced concern over the unresolved “legacy of colonial history, enslavement, racial subordination and segregation, racial terrorism and racial inequality”.

“There has been no real commitment to Reparations and to Truth and Reconciliation for people of African descent,” the report said.

Working group chairman Ricardo A, Sunga said the panel believed several models of Reparations could work in the US context, including “elements of apology” and a form of “debt relief” to the descendants of enslaved people.

The Report enraged White America. But it was welcomed by African Americans as affirmation that their demand that Uncle Sam recognize that ‘Black Lives Matter’ is historically justified.

Also in September, Georgetown University confessed it had sold 272 slaves in 1838 to save itself from collapse and offered to atone today by giving preferential access treatment to the children of the living descendants.

OZY.com reported at the time: “Though many top schools owned slaves, Georgetown University’s Jesuits owned and sold people in huge numbers before the practice was abolished — and now they’ve announced preferential admissions treatment for those slaves’ descendants.

“Georgetown will also establish an institute studying slavery and a memorial to those whose sale financially benefited the school.”

The announcement was widely welcomed – and now other major US universities that engaged in the sale of human beings to keep their doors open are being called upon to follow Georgetown.

In early October, a Caribbean envoy to Washington added a Caribbean element to the US Reparations debate.

Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the United States, Sir Ronald Sanders, called on Harvard University “to demonstrate its remorse and its debt to unpaid slaves from Antigua and Barbuda.”

He pointed out that “the bequest of Isaac Royall Jr to Harvard College in 1781 was used to create the first endowed professorship of law at Harvard in 1815.”

He argued that Georgetown would be a good example for Harvard to follow, “particularly since the founding of Harvard Law School was premised on the brutal, violent, oppressive and dehumanizing use and sale of men, women and children from Antigua and Barbuda.”

Sir Ronald formally wrote Harvard’s President, Professor Drew Faust, proposing that “one tangible way in which the University and Harvard Law School can show remorse and repay its debt in a small way, while living up to the high ideals it proclaims, is to offer scholarships to Antiguans and Barbudans on an annual basis.”

The veteran Caribbean diplomat’s proposition is in keeping with the observation of many that Georgetown’s atonement offer may not be as bright as it sounds.

The OZY.com Georgetown report noted that “while other elite universities may follow their lead, critics say Georgetown’s step will be useless unless they actively recruit and offer scholarships to students whose ancestors the school kept in bondage.”

The group representing the descendants of the Georgetown slaves pointed out that all Georgetown is offering is preferential access to the institution, but each such student will still have to qualify for costly loans to support their studies. The descendants’ group asked for full scholarships, but Georgetown argued that would be opening a Pandora’s Box that could lead to the institution’s eventual economic demise.

Sir Ronald will have been aware of the complaints about the shortcomings of the Georgetown offer and would have been guided by those observations in asking for annual scholarships for Antigua and Barbuda from Harvard.

The cause and cost of and for Reparations in the USA is being discussed now more than ever, particularly since the release of the recent UN Report.

HOSTILE

Essentially, White America is hostile to any idea of payments to Blacks, arguing that the US War of Independence “was fought to end slavery”. They also point to Affirmative Action and other social benefits to Blacks and other minorities as “Reparations already paid”.

Some African Americans have already begun quantifying the amount owed for slavery in today’s US currency and this has naturally bred a hostile response from Uncle Sam’s nieces, nephews and disciples.

But never mind the expected early reservations and expressions of resentment to the Reparations idea, it has again taken root across America.

What Marcus Garvey started by way of demands for atonement for Slavery in this part of the world was continued by the likes of the Nation of Islam in the USA and the Rastafari Movement in Jamaica — and now across the Caribbean and the world.

The Reparations debate has returned to America just as the first Black American President departs the White House.

And – like in the Caribbean today, it’s not about to go away!

8 Comments

  1. Earl,

    The ignoramus Allen Chastanet seem to have contaminated your thinking, leaving me to fear that this white supremacist thug may have caused more damage to the people of this island that I ever realized.

    Earl what are you talking about? the Americans claiming that the War of Independence was fought to bring Freedom to the enslaved Africans?? This is as bad as the Chastanet Crime Family saying that the Civil War was fought against England because of Taxation without Representation.

    I just can’t believe that you, a man with such a history of disseminating information can pen such nonsense. I am beginning to understand a little better why we have a jackass as our PM. Taken a Listen:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBM0gMRWgsE

    .

    .

  2. SON-OF-MAN
    Who made you blog general? who the f..k made you head negro on real matters. Since you so big and bad, put your negro ass on the front line ….keep out of real issues.

  3. SON-OF-MAN
    Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, speaks of wolfs like you dress in sheep clothing. And now, you taking on a champion like Earl. Pen an article with your photo and SON-OF-MAN written as the author and watch the internet crash…..smh

  4. /

    Truth, an Attribute of Allah, “AL-HAQQ = THE TRUTH” can really trigger some extremely strange responses from Satan and his imps.

    It reminds me of the Catholic Priest walking the Isles of the Church and throwing “HOLY WATER” on the congregants, and seeing Dracula combust, turning to smoke. So since being assigned the Honorable title of Blog General by Louis Farrakhan NY, I will execute this responsibility with my best ability, and in so keeping, tender these facts:

    The Tea Act of 1773, was the catalyst for a political protest by the Sons of Liberty in Boston, on December 16, 1773, also called the Boston Tea Party. The demonstrators, some disguised as American Indians, destroyed an entire shipment of tea sent by the East India Company, in defiance of the Tea Act of May 10, 1773. Colonists objected to the Tea Act because they believed that it violated their rights as Englishmen to “No taxation without representation,” They boarded the ships and threw the chests of tea into Boston Harbor, ruining the tea. The British government responded harshly and the episode escalated into the American Revolution also called the War of Independence and was fought against England.

    1. NY

      You are obviously some retarded, self-hating, worshiper of you naked so-called white man. Of course you believe that the Earth is 6,000 years old, and you will die never knowing that the Black African taught humanity how to communicate, taught them Chemistry, Physics, the various Laws of Thermodynamics, and taught the Caucasian how to bathe and practice Hygiene after the Black Plague almost brought them to extinction, before the Muslims Black-a-Moors ruled Europe for some eight hundred years and took them out of Darkness; aka The Dark Ages.

      Buuuut, mis-educated negroes like yourself, allied with brain damaged Honorary White Men like Blackface Josie(Caucasian in black skin) the Lunatic on steroids Rick John Wayne with a white Miss Daisy as your First Lady, thinks that these Evil Caucasians who robbed you of your name, language, History are God incarnate.

      Therefore the minute I open my mouth and say a² + b² = c² where C is the Square Root of the sum of the other squared sides of the triangle, idiots like yourself will say Pythagorean ! Unable to see the Great structures erected by the Black Africans; include Pyramids in those structures. I have a feeling I am wasting time with you negroes. I will just pray that a bolt of fire produced by the Static Electrical charges in the Clouds use you as a Bull’s Eye.

      Anyway teach this to your White Woman and share it with Rick John Wayne, Boog Fooh MEM!!!

      LOOK AT THIS EGYPTIAN; you frigging dummy, and show it to the other Jackasses Josie and John Wayne; Allen Chastanet is too retarded to even understand pictures, so leave him alone:

      http://earhustle411.com/black-history-2000-year-old-mummy-still-natural-hair-real-egyptians-black-africans/

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      .

  5. Earl and other notable writers must survive under the Aegis of the Gestapo led by Oberlootenant1 Guy Fritz JoJo2…on Animal Farm Revisited
    Already the Oberlootenant2 has decreed no payments to contractors of completed public works because they are suspected SLP sympathizers.
    Only Rickets spandex Speedo former London pal..
    Conan the Barbarian…
    May swiftly tackle the high priest of St. Lucia’s occult s emporium?
    The voices of Stokely Carmichael
    Angela Davis and all liberators who thirst for the socio-economic empowerment of the descendants of African slaves..
    Are Gag ordered if not
    placed under house arrest?
    Achtung
    Attention
    Beware
    LeGadere6

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