25 Jun 2020

Slavery - NOT amateur radio

In recent weeks there has been a lot of focus on how coloured people are treated. This all started with the death of a man in Minneapolis at the hands of policemen. Since then, the "Black Lives Matter" campaign has gathered momentum globally.

A little while ago, I heard that only quite recently has the British government finished debt repayments for a huge loan taken out centuries ago to compensate land owners who lost out when slavery was abolished. If this is true it means many of the wealthiest people in the UK are still living off this centuries later!  Frankly, this is immoral. 

Slavery was/is evil. If injustices still exist today as a result of skin colour this is abhorrent. Until all human beings are treated equally I can understand the festering resentment felt.

Now, I am sure many people today are quite different from their ancestors centuries back. However, it does make you question the human justice in all this.

At school, we hear of the valiant efforts of our brave leaders, but rarely do we get a balanced view showing their darker sides too. We all have darker sides I am sure, but it is wrong surely to put some people on pedestals as good and virtuous people when they have dark sides we never hear about.

I am not in favour of statues being angrily toppled,  but we need to venerate those who strove for a better world and not those who had a much darker side we never knew about. Quite a few we venerate had a very questionable darker side hidden from view. Some endowed great institutions so history would judge them differently. Some of these statues belong in museums with a plaque making clear why these people were seen as great, but also their other sides.

Teach us about the past, good and bad. We need to face up to our history in every nation. Some of our past was good.  Some of our past was not. What we all need is balance and fairness.

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