I have read some of the daftest things in my life but never have I read something so offensive by someone who really should know better, but I don’t think he is racist just uneducated and ignorant of the true cost of slavery, which for a man of his age is appalling really.
Elfan Ap Rees 78 was discussing a programme hosted by David Olusoga’s, A House Through Time, which dissects Bristol’s relationship with the people trade through looking at one house and its history during the slave trade. .
Mr Ap Rees stated…..Bristol needs to get over it…its history and most slaves were sold by their fellow African tribes to visiting ships and had a better life than staying in Africa.
Wow….just wow…… no matter what it was like in Africa, it was still home with friends, family, loved ones and their history all tied up in the villages they lived in, and how dare our ancestors take them away from all that.
I don’t believe that we should pay reparations to individuals as there is nobody living from that date, but we should provide money for the countries whose people against their will built the wealth of the aristocracy, and now it is our turn to help them build and prosper as god knows they will be poor and any help would show that we are not the sum of our past, but judge us on our now and futures.
Mr Rees states that the poor white people living in the slums had it worse, and yes they were treated horribly but they were treated like that at home and had the freedom to move, and I think sometimes people are trying to justify the history. I have been to the slave exhibition at Liverpool Albert Dock and if you can go, go and it breaks your heart to see the ghastly chains and the stories of people who were stolen from their homes and their lives.
I do believe that those families who have prospered from the slave trade should pay something back, as it is only fair. They have prospered from the blood of others, however as a nation we should rebuild but together with those nations who youth we robbed, as that is something we are very good at in the United Kingdom. After all how many times have our soldiers gone abroad and built schools, hospitals and homes. We believe in hearts and minds and that is one of the most wonderful things about our Army. I am very bias having served but I stand by that.
Racism is not something we are born with, but it is something we are taught by the uneducated and offensive people that have something good missing from their lives. I am lucky as I have friends from the most colourful areas of the world and I am truly blessed having them as my friends as it teaches me the culture, the differences and the joy of being different. They are my friends regardless of their colour, and maybe Mr Rees would be best advised to visit the Albert Dock in Liverpool, and see the misery that slavery caused.
After all how miserable would they have to be to chose a shark infested water over becoming a slave. I know Britain stopped the slave trade and were responsible for blowing up the hated trading posts, but it is a part of history that we should not ignore, and people who blame others for our mistakes really will never learn, and only be education and remembering can we make sure that history never repeats itself.