When those people who were given freedom, or civil rights in the 60’s, between 64 – 68, it is very, very recent history. And unfortunately for some reason none of those people were ever compensated in any way whatsoever. In fact what happened was the governments, even in the United Kingdom actually compensated the slave owners as opposed to the people who were enslaved. And the problem with that was that we didn’t actually deal with any of the psychological trauma, not just to people of colour but also to Caucasian and White people who lived through that, who might have participated in it and who might have not actually believed in it.
None of that is being discussed. We don’t discuss it in our education system. We have things like Black History month which are like thrown on at the end, which should be part of our curriculum so that all of us understand this is what happened in history; this is why these people are here. And I really feel that that would reduce the amount of xenophobia.
And I just want to say, actually funnily enough, for example, when those payouts were given, one of those gentlemen was actually an MP that I was reading about. And there’s are a number of different people. You are talking about figures of like 65 million in today’s money; you are talking about figures like 83 million that were paid out to replace say 15,000 slaves.
And what you also have to understand is that capitalism as we know it is built on the back of slavery. Because pre-slavery in the 17th century things like banking really only existed in London. It didn’t really exist outside of that. It was actually invented for merchants and for traders because they needed to borrow to be able to go and exploit human labour. And many of the banks that we use today, whether it is Barclays, or its Lloyds, or it is Chase - they are still benefitting, many families whether the like it or not are living are living off the proceeds of crime essentially.
So the reason I mention this is because I don’t believe that human beings in their nature are born to be bad people or are born to be horrible people. I think that a lot of the time the fact that the governments and the people that control us to a certain extent, have chosen to kind of operate this collective amnesia and not educate us properly on what has happened, how it’s happened and how it’s affected people has actually led to this vilification of people of colour which we still live with till this day.”