posted on Mar, 30 2007 @ 12:12 PM
This anniversary is something that has been in the news a lot over the past couple of weeks.
BBC4 and BBC2 have dedicated a lot of air time to the subject and there have been some very informative, not to mention emotive programmes.
The suffering was terrible, and treatment abominable, but perhaps one of the most interesting and controversial programmes (on C4 I think) was about a
young man who decided to trace his slave roots from Britain, to the West Indies and from there back to Africa.
What he found shocked and appalled him. He had writings from an ancestor actually praising his "master" and saying what a benelovant guy he was. On
further investigation, when he went to Africa (sorry, I can't remember the country) he found, through descriptions of tribal scars, the area his
ancestor was from, and was horrified to find that young children who were considered to be "wild" or "out of control" were routinely sold as
slaves, the village elders he spoke to were completely matter of fact about this and did not seem to think it bad or unusual. He came away from his
journey (the spiritual journey) extremely confused.
I know that the U.S. is far different from Britain as far as treatment of ethnic minorities is concerned, and I have no wish to offend, because of a
lack of understanding of the issues in the U.S.
In Britain, whilst Afro-Caribbean people were subject to extreme racism when they first came to these shores, I believe that this has now changed to a
Of course there is still lots of work to do, and we will never be entirely free from the specter of racism, but I am sure that Britain is one of the
most tolerant nations on earth as far as accepting people from other cultures goes.
For those in Britain who read this, let me say that I am of Irish descent, and still remember my Father and Mother telling me about the lodging house
signs that used to read "No Blacks, No Dogs, No Irish" - and whilst I have not experienced this myself, I find it incredibly sad that humans could
treat each other this way less than 40 years ago.
I can only say that Britain has come a long way, but the journey is not yet over.