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Royals ‘must reckon’ with reparations

BRITAIN’S Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, pictured last Thursday ahead of the couple’s tour of Central America and the Caribbean, including Belize, Jamaica and The Bahamas. Photo: Chris Jackson/Pool via AP

BRITAIN’S Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, pictured last Thursday ahead of the couple’s tour of Central America and the Caribbean, including Belize, Jamaica and The Bahamas. Photo: Chris Jackson/Pool via AP

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Senior Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

THE Bahamas National Reparations Committee said the British Royal Family must reckon with its devastating legacy of slavery, death and colonisation not be treated with a trip funded in part by Bahamian taxpayers.

Local critics have joined their counterparts in Jamaica and elsewhere in emphasising the complicated legacy of the British monarchy as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge tour Caribbean countries this month.

Prince William and Kate Middleton will arrive in the country tomorrow and remain here until Saturday to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

This comes as members of the local Rastafarian community plan to protest the trip on Thursday over reparations.

Meanwhile, the reparations committee said in a statement:   “There is no doubt that the organising committee (has) done a stellar job in accommodating the British Royal Family, and by many standards this trip to accommodate the Royal Family will be seen as a resounding success.

 “However, once William and Kate have passed over the newly paved roads, driven by the freshly painted walls, and waved to the schoolchildren who have been pulled out of their classes to stand and watch them go by, what will the Bahamian people be left with?”

 The reparations committee was formed in 2013 in accordance with the CARICOM reparations committee. The body advocates for reparations from former colonial powers. The committee chair, Dr Niambi Hall Campbell-Dean, met Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell in February to update him on its work. Mr Mitchell said reparations are important for the country.

 Yesterday, the committee said the first point of the CARICOM commission’s ten-point reparations plan is for European governments to give a full and formal apology for their “crimes against humanity”.

 “The Duke and Duchess may not be compelled to make such a declaration during their visit to our shores. They may not be able at this time to speak on behalf of the Queen and their government at this time. However, they can no longer ignore the devastation of their heritage. They and their family of Royals and their government must acknowledge that their diverse economy was built on the backs of our ancestors. And then, they must pay,” the committee said.

 “We, the members of the Bahamas National Reparations Committee (BNRC), recognise that the people of The Bahamas have been left holding the bag for much of the cost of this extravagant trip. Why are we footing the bill for the benefit of a regime whose rise to ‘greatness’ was fueled by the extinction, enslavement, colonisation, and degradation of the people of this land? Why are we being made to pay again?”

 Villagers in Belize opposed the visit of the Royals earlier this week. In Jamaica yesterday, some people protested the Royal couple’s trip.

 Over the weekend, the committee responsible for planning the Royals’ trip said their arrival will boost exposure to key local issues and will be an opportunity for the country to change the way it is viewed internationally.

 However, the local reparations committee said yesterday: “This visit commemorates 70 years since Queen Elizabeth’s ascension to the throne of imperialism - more years than The Bahamas has been a sovereign nation. The BNRC asserts that we as Bahamians must have a clear understanding of what this trip truly means. We are not beholden to the British monarchy in any way and we do not owe them a debt of gratitude for anything - not for our culture, religion, or system of governance. Instead, the monarchy has looted and pillaged our land and our people for centuries, leaving us struggling with under-development, left to pick up the pieces.

 “In the words of Sir Hilary Beckles, chair of the CARICOM Reparations Commission, colonialism was devastating, and we are tired of footing the bill. We are tired of paying literally with our lives for the maintenance of a paradigm in which we were exploited so others could be exalted. It is time now for reparatory justice. The time is now for reparations.”

Comments

Sickened 3 months, 1 week ago

Will reparations help us in any way. With our governments and lack of accountability any funds received will disappear in a heart beat. We can't use the funds to pay down debt because government will just borrow that money again 6 months later. Building a memorial will be a complete waste of time, money and effort as it will never be maintained. Dispersing it among the people will not help the people or the Bahamian economy because we'll just fly to Miami and buy more shit! The only thing we can do with it is put it in an investment and pay every Bahamian dividends from it every year so at least we, and our children, will get a little something every year. But the problem with that is we will want Bahamians to manage it but there won't be any regular reporting or audit so in time we won't truly know if it's being managed correctly or if there is indeed any money left. Plus, government will find a way to borrow against it (like NIB) and drain away any value. In short, reparations are a nice thought, but we just aren't mature enough to handle any 'windfall'.

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JokeyJack 3 months, 1 week ago

Yall keep looking in the past for "reparations" while your future is being destroyed. Keep it up. See how that works.

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GodSpeed 3 months, 1 week ago

The Bahamas "I deserve free money!" Committee 😆 I'll bet they all got "educated" by Marxists in the US.

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realityisnotPC 3 months, 1 week ago

The idea that anyone today should have to apologise for actions taken centuries ago by people they did not know and with whom they would not agree is absurd and would in itself be an injustice. For the religious out there, "the son shall not bear the iniquity of the father". I believe that reparations can only ever be relevant and just when they are paid by the actual perpetrators of a wrongful act, and they are received by those who actually and directly suffered from the harmful act. To claim that reparations need to be paid now, centuries later, can only be camouflage for a desire for a free hand out, for the only way reparations could be justified now would be if people genuinely felt they were worse off and suffering now than they would have been if slavery had never occurred. My ancestors were brought here in chains by British or Americans, but do I think my life would be better if I was now living in West Africa...hell no. Those who truly suffered the abhorrent degradation and abomination of slavery are no longer with us; the human excrement who perpetrated the slave trade (including the Africans who sold their own people) are also gone, and hopefully burning in hell. For the whole Caribbean to be asking for reparations now is, I believe, a shameful and transparent attempt at a money grab by countries that have done appalling jobs at ruling their own destinies since they became independent. Now they seek to use emotional blackmail and current woke and politically correct excesses to make a windfall profit. P.S. there is one country in the Caribbean that does, legitimately deserve reparations for a crime that lasted 122 years and which only ended in 1947, and that is Haiti. Up until 1947 France was receiving payments from Haiti as compensation for the slaves that were freed when Haiti became independent, payments that amounted to extortion at gun point and would equal some $21 billion in today's terms. 1947 isn't that long ago...some direct perpetrators and many direct victims are still living. France should pay up. And no, I'm not Haitian.

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My2centz 3 months, 1 week ago

"Reckon with" is not the same as apologize. If they can't navigate or accept the negative history of the monarchy's past, they shouldn't carry on these traditions of being celebrated on a national level for simply existing. Just as former colonies want to no longer accept these traditions or celebrate their existence and are making that choice to end it. And whether you agree or not, the Royal descendants have benefitted & continue to benefit from the massacre of native indians, stealing of land and centuries of free & brutal labor. Black Bahamians 'cry' over this because celebrating this history is demeaning to our existence and demonstrates approval of the past. They can't have it both ways.

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LastManStanding 3 months, 1 week ago

Haha. "Reparations" already came 55 years ago. Pindling came to power and received control over a country that a.) had a booming economy b.) was not in debt, and was consistently running budget surpluses c.) had roads, airports, ports, and other infrastructure worth millions and d.) was not a crime ridden craphole like it is today, all while doing absolutely nothing to build it. Fast forward 55 years and here we have a.) a government that is a few years out from fiscal insolvency b.) the second pillar of offshore banking completely destroyed c.) a crime rate out of the wazoo and d.) completely dilapidated third world infrastructure in the non expat parts of the country. The black Bahamians have already received billions in reparations and have nothing to show for it.

I don't get why black Bahamians crying over this topic don't harass the Arabs the same way that they do white people. Oh wait, most don't even know that the Arabs took them as slaves because the Arabs were smart enough to castrate the ones they did have. I also find it hilarious how so many have this cry for "reparations" while flocking to "massa's" countries to try and build a life. I can fly to London right now and will not bump into a single white person in the streets once out of Heathrow. Same with Paris. Same with the GTA. Funny how "massa's" countries are being invaded by the same people crying for "reparations". What is also hilarious is how so many of the same ones crying for "reparations" are the same ones that can't wait to take on "massa's" titles. Funny how they all line up to receive titles such as MBE, OBE, and the rest. Guess that the British Empire was evil only when we need a handout to keep our failing government afloat, right?

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TalRussell 3 months, 1 week ago

Duh Guardians's Revolution with Comrade Mr. Carmichael, veered out his sex and relationship therapist and Russian PR lane to talk how the visiting Duke and Duchess, won't be venturing away from hotel due all murderers....along Mr Carmichael's claim that there's no street level drug dealers in Cuba but says their womans' and guys are prettier than we realm's own, proven once again live on-air , precisely, how confused he really is of and about most things, ― Yes?

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tom1912 3 months, 1 week ago

I have to smile at the ignorance of some people mevbeing from a White UK baby boomer working class family whose father was a miner working in drift mines where you could not stand up for one of the many members of the ruling classes no further back than 1920 when the british workers were treated like st! He along with my mother ended up being domestic servants in the 1920s/30s for members of the ruling classes and in most cases also were treat like st! After UK banned slavery it took on duty to try and stop every other country in the world continuing with slavery using its navy!

Correct me if I'm wrong but we're not most of the black Bahamians in the Bahamas as a result of the UK's freeing slaves from other countries shipping sailing bye the Island certain some of those sail to the us were! The irony being that if it hadn't been for slavery the Bahamains those are shooting for reperations would not be Bahamians but mostly likely living somewhere in West Affrica 🙃

This repatriation self-serving duffers should get a handle on the total history of slavery on this planet before mouth off! A small amount of the ruling classes in the UK carried out salvery not only overseas but in the UK too, along with the Royal Family's ancestors.

Being one of many republicans in the UK I resent that some of my tax money pays for the parasitical Royal Famiy, I believe the Bahamas gets the Royal Famiy free perhaps if they want to keep the Royal Family they should help pay for it :) :) :) :)

Should I start seek reparations against Italy ( The Romans took many Slaves) or the French (The Normans made most of the Britons serfs) most of the middle east could seek reparations and so should the population around the Med area and southern Europe from Turkey ( The Ottomans)
Slavery has been and still is (In a different way),endemic in this World

The Rastaferians make me laugh as their Prophet Halle Salase ruled over one of the last countries in the 20 th Centenary to carry out salvery Black on Black!

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hrysippus 3 months, 1 week ago

According to my very questionable calculations about 10% of the Afro Bahamian population that landed in the Bahamas were freed from slave ships by the British Royal Navy after the British government passed legislation banning the slave trade. Note; the trade and not the actuality.

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tom1912 3 months, 1 week ago

Well in the need to placate the plantation owners the ultra capalistic the various colonial powers No,before any one says anything I'm a believer of a mixed economy) indentured service was brought in, the "employers" welched on the agreement to repatriate but gave land instead ( Hence many Asians in the West Indies.

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themessenger 3 months, 1 week ago

“In the words of Sir Hilary Beckles, chair of the CARICOM Reparations Commission, colonialism was devastating, and we are tired of footing the bill” What he didn’t say was I’se very happy wid da Knighthood da Queen did bestow on me, now show me da money. Lmao

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Dawes 3 months, 1 week ago

If the UK were smart they would form the reparation's around giving help to the countries affected. Maybe say that for the next 30 years they will spend X Billion a year on education in these countries. This would then help the countries in the long term. Not sure that they can work out how to pay people actual money, due to the complexity. How it would work, as there will be some who are only descended from slaves brought here, but many who are descended from salves and slave owners, are people to get a % based on their descent or will it just be X amount to each person in the country, in which case salve owners would benefit. Hopefully something will be worked out which will help deal with these issues.

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tom1912 3 months, 1 week ago

When we get repartration monies from the Italians (Romans), French (Normans) Denmark/Norway/Sweden (Vikings) Insure we could pass it on, I pitty Italy they would go broke they (Romans ) controlled 80% of the UK for he dreads of years! :) :)

I wouldn't advise the UK government get involved in education as they along with the lefty teachers unions have made a hash of it in the UK Most of the West Indies schooling which I understand is on the whole good and somewhat based on what it use to be like when I went to school in the UK in the 1950/60s now class rooms are a disorganised mess with pupils clustered around tables,

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Dawes 3 months, 1 week ago

Yes slavery has happened for a long time. But the type of slavery used in this side of the world was far beyond what the UK saw, and we are still suffering from the effects of it even almost 200 years after it was abolished.

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realityisnotPC 3 months, 1 week ago

Still suffering? Don't be ridiculous. Give an example!

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