How Reparations Efforts In Barbados Gained International Attention : NPR
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Uproar over whether British actor Benedict Cumberbatch should pay reparations to the descendants of slaves in Barbados made headlines this week. Whether or not they are likely to be targeted remains unclear. I got
late December, Telegraphbritish newspapers, quotes Individuals involved in reparations efforts in Barbados.According to the story, those supporters I want descendants of past slave owners in an island nation, Including Cumberbatch, Compensation for damages.
It is true that the Cumberbatch family owned a plantation and a few slaves on the island hundreds of years ago. clarified in this week’s editorial Barbados today To date, no official claims have been leveled against European families.
A representative for the actor said he had no comment on the story.
But it may be different with British Conservative politician Richard Drax. His family still owns plantations and land in Barbados. The Tory politician’s case has been forwarded to the National Task Force on Barbados Reparations for further consideration, Comissiong wrote.
A representative for Barbados Prime Minister Mia Motley declined to comment, saying the country’s leaders would answer questions on the issue “at the appropriate time”.
European nations engaged in the transatlantic slave trade from the 16th to the 19th century in the Caribbean. That era may be linked to the long-term effects of racism, xenophobia and ongoing inequality, said Queen’s University Belfast reader and expert in reparations and human rights law. Luke Moffett says.
More than 60 years after decolonization in the region, countries like Barbados are still struggling, Moffett said.yet he said, Most European countries refuse to apologize, make amends, or offer compensation of any kind for the past.
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Effects of Slavery in the Caribbean
Slavery and violence defined British imperial rule in the Caribbean.started In 1627 in Barbados, brought by the British People brought mainly from West Africa.they For hundreds of years they have been enslaved to work on sugar cane plantations.
“The slave trade was seen as a way of doing business in the Western world. But it was built on violence and exploitation of millions of people over generations and over hundreds of years. ‘ said Moffett.
Barbados finally achieved independence in 1966. eliminated the British monarchy as head of state.
Photo by Alberto Pezzari/AP
Historical records can link the current wealthy families in Britain to their slave-owning ancestry in Barbados.
The wealthy Drax family owns and operates Drax Hall, a sugar cane plantation in Barbados. It was built in the 17th century and was enslaved for centuries. Guardian article discovered in 2020. The family also owned a plantation in Jamaica. You can claim damages from Drax.
The Telegraph reports The Cumberbatch family purchased a plantation in Barbados in the 18th century where 250 slaves worked.estate The family made good money until slavery was abolished about a century later.
late apology and no money
In the United States, some local governments in California city with evanston, illinois I have pursued a compensation program for black citizens.they have He proposed many ways to remedy the inequalities caused by slavery, segregation, and discrimination against black communities.
“Reparations are a way for victims and victims to come together to blaze new trails, acknowledge the past and move forward,” Moffett said.
CARICOM, the political and economic union of 15 Caribbean states, has established a reparations commission, 10-Point Plan for Reparations Justice A few years ago. The plan calls for, among other things, a full and formal apology from European governments, land development plans and debt forgiveness.
No such apology has yet been made. instead of, In 2015, the British government finally paid off Debt incurred to compensate slaves owner when slavery was abolished. But, as Moffett points out, the British government and other governments are lagging behind in apologizing.No Barbados and other former colonies that were victims of the slave trade were given some kind of substantial financial reward.
For example, last month Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte apologized on behalf of the Dutch government’s role in slavery and the slave trade. However, Rutte told reporters the government had no intention of providing compensation to the descendants of enslaved people.
So what would an appropriate compensation program look like for a country like Barbados? William A. Darity, professor at Duke University and director of the Samuel DuBois Cook Center for Social Justice He said it all depends on what the people of Barbadian think.
Darity has written extensively on issues of black inequality and compensation. He and his wife his A. Kirsten Mullen wrote: From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the 21st Century.
“The Caribbean has a predominantly black population that is basically descended from enslaved people. There are situations where reparations will be made, the entire population,” Darity said.
He said this contrasts with the United States, where blacks whose ancestors were enslaved are a minority.
Can Barbados pursue individuals for reparations?
In the absence of independent action by nations, can the descendants of slaveholders be held liable to pay reparations in court? Compensation research advocates and experts think otherwise.
Consider the case of Richard British politician Drax The Barbados representative said it could be subject to civil claims or arbitration.Moffett said it would be incredibly difficult to get through international courts.
“I don’t see how they can pursue legal claims because he has a valid land title and can’t inherit any civil wrongs, especially given the statute of limitations.” “So unless the Barbados government passes new laws allowing such claims, it’s going nowhere,” Moffett said.
Darity believes it is best to pursue the nation most responsible for the wrongs committed against its enslaved people.
“This is not a matter of individual sin,” he said. “It’s a matter of responsibility for the countries that made this. [slavery] It engages in colonization and creates the kind of inequality that exists in today’s world, leaving people who are the descendants of enslaved peoples significantly disadvantaged in terms of life opportunities. ”
It may be difficult for Barbados and other countries to get what they believe they owe. Stated.
of voicethe only British national black newspaper in the UK, report A survey of 2,000 people on Tuesday asked how they felt about the government paying reparations to black people in Britain, and 61% of black respondents supported the measure, compared with 61% of white respondents. Only 24% of the respondents supported it.
in the United States, pew research i got you 77% of black adults think The descendants of those enslaved in the United States should be repaid in some way. 18% of Caucasian adults.
Darity notes that the “moral reckoning” of the Summer 2020 racial justice protests was the driving force behind the shift in sentiment toward compensation. We believe that the Lives Matter movement can also contribute to some of the efforts currently taking place in Europe.
“I think there is some legitimacy to the reparations argument, which I didn’t have in my life in the early 21st century,” Darity said.
https://www.npr.org/2023/01/07/1146807623/barbados-reparations-britain-caribbean How Reparations Efforts In Barbados Gained International Attention : NPR