The Caribbean country plans to claim billions of pounds from the United Kingdom in compensation for damages it sustained during colonialism. Is it right for the British to pay today?
Jamaica has been a British colony since 1655 and became independent in 1962, the scene of the slave trade from Africa. The trade that would have involved 600,000 Africans, until the abolition of slavery in 1807, which became effective in 1834.
Jamaica wants compensation: Drawing on what the Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth Olivia Grange calls “restorative justice”. This translates to a demand for money against Elizabeth II, who is also the leader of the Commonwealth, of which Jamaica is a part. The idea came from Jamaican legislator and politician, Mike Henry, who identified approximately 7.5 billion pounds The amount paid by the British Empire to the slave owners, and he requested the same amount of compensation for the damage done to the country.
Minister Grange talks about “repairing the damage done to our ancestors, and they were taken from their homes to carry out forced labor for the benefit of the British Empire.”. Many are aware that slavery played a major role in British economic development, despite its abolition nearly 200 years ago.
Heavy inheritance, is that true?
Over the years, Jamaica, in the midst of many economic hardships, has managed to make itself known throughout the world, gaining great fame and cultural significance. Although, in all likelihood, the damage caused by slavery and colonialism is still felt in the country, it is realistic that the responsibility does not lie with the British people today.
It’s a sensitive issue: Who should pay for the damages of the past?
Could The hardest thing is to accept that new generations have nothing to do with the damages and mistakes of the past. Since a German today is not a Nazi or an anti-Semite simply because he is German, a British slave-owner cannot be considered a racist.
Jamaica’s claim can at first glance spur a sense of justice and justification, an exclamation point against one of history’s greatest injustices. However, injustice should not be fought with other forms of injusticeAnd vengeance on Great Britain that belongs to successive generations will look like this. Jamaica wants to make up for what is no longer the British Empire, but a country with other people and mostly other traditions. It is at least a duty to question critically the rightness of paying the new generations for the crimes committed by the old.
Emmanuel de Casola