Monday, Jul 22, 2019
HomeOpinionLettersLet’s start talking about reparations

Let’s start talking about reparations

Dear Editor,

I am a Bahamian of African decent. I am here because over 300 years ago some wicked white people motivated by the prospect of profit, engaged in the slave trade and in the economy of slavery. In the process of making money white people killed tens of millions of people in the Middle Passage and in the abuse of African slaves. After the abolition of slavery, the emancipated Africans were forced into servitude for a fixed period.

Black Bahamians of African descent are entitled to be outraged at the abuses of our ancestors and of us as individuals. While white people profited at our collective expense, and England collected taxes from the blood and sweat of the efforts of African descendants, no one in the white community ever sought out forgiveness — though it is worthy of seeking it.

The white English did precious little to even acknowledge their debt to Bahamians or West Indians of African decent.

After World War II, the English allowed white merchants to capture the government of The Bahamas. The orgy of corruption that ensued has become legendary. Whites and fair-skinned merchants used public office to line their pockets. It is memorialized in a Royal Commission of Inquiry Report. Since then the heirs and successors of these criminals have used ill gotten gains of their forebears to the disadvantage of everyone else, including white Bahamians uninvolved in the corruption.

How can those involved in our oppression question us, the victims of racism, about our distrust of those who have been at the forefront of our affliction?

Yes there is a need to discuss race in The Bahamas, but let’s start talking about reparations. Let’s talk about returning land obtained through Crown grants while the recipients held public office. Let’s talk about taxing these people in a meaningful way to enable the just compensation of those who have been savagely wronged.

Damian Gomez

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