Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Saying Sorry


In Frank TALKER's perceptive piece on UK Education, I was interested to read his observation that, instead of being made to apologize for the North Atlantic Slave Trade, white people should thank black people for having generated wealth for white people - I agree with this view and, coincidentally, have made a similar point when writing about the question of reparations for slavery (see below). Unless one has inadvertently bumped into someone in the street, to say "sorry", or to be forced to do so, requires a submission to guilt that is negative and retrospective - whereas to recognise someone’s achievement is positive and anticipates the possibility of future co-operation. Naturally, white people do not want to have to submit to black people and get a (very, very slight) taste of their own suppressive medicine - even though white people have more than asked for such treatment. "Sorry" is a word that one uses instinctively at the moment of realising an error - 150 years after the event it just sounds insincere!


Once, when in the launderette, I met a black Canadian woman who claimed that, unlike black Britons, black Americans had an identity, because their contribution to American success had been recognised and because they had been duly rewarded. Although I understand that black Americans are more commonly successful than black Britons, and although I have never been to America, I doubt whether this success is as common as the woman would have had me believe and whether the common ‘success’ of which she spoke is, in fact, possible without trading in a typically black identity for a typically white one - I am especially doubtful about her assertions since she professed herself to be a vehement anti-Muslim, who even considered Arab children to be legitimate targets for American bombs and bullets. The woman also claimed that, like herself, most black Americans were supporters of President Bush. If black Americans really do identify with the ‘values’ which this particular woman holds, I am sure that black Britons would do better to eschew this kind of ‘success’ where it is conditional on being bought off by the white establishment and obtaining an identity of which one cannot be proud. For example, regardless of a civil servant’s talent and promotion, he has the identity of a hypocrite if he has compromised his values and has turned a blind eye to acts of institutional corruption and racism in order to safeguard his position and salary - to do otherwise normally leads to disciplinary action when working in the public sector. Of course, this does not mean that independent black people are not genuinely successful on (and by) their own terms. The woman, to whom I refer, seemed to be confusing the notion of ‘social status’ with ‘identity’. Someone of low social status can have a strong identity and real values - and vice versa.

Here are my own thoughts on reparations for the North Atlantic Slave Trade - the African Apocalypse:

Reparations & Apologies

If another driver’s reckless behaviour were to cause an accident which resulted in a white person’s motor car being irreparably damaged, I am sure that he would be the first to demand compensation (because we live in a compensation culture and we expect to be reimbursed for losses for which we do not consider ourselves responsible), so why does he not recognise that black people’s claims for reparations are not ‘ridiculous’, but completely legitimate in the context of the society in which we currently live?

Although a small minority of Africans must have been guilty of complicity in the slave-trade and a large majority of slaves must have been taken from tribes who were less prepared to defend their freedom than were more fierce tribes, this does not absolve highly armed white Europeans of responsibility for the humongous level of slave-trading in Africa, for the abduction, imprisonment and forced-transportation of many tens of millions of Africans over a period of several centuries - not to mention the extraordinarily inhumane treatment that the slaves had to endure during their enslavement, which resulted in many millions of them being murdered. To summarise: if some cunt decides to drive a 40 tonne lorry down the wrong side of the road, directly at one’s car (and one is not sufficiently prepared, alert nor in possession of sufficiently quick reactions to avoid being crushed in a head-on collision), it is bloody ridiculous to claim that the afore-mentioned person is not in the wrong and not responsible for the ensuing carnage - one can only be blamed for the naïveté of assuming that everyone is reasonable and for being unprepared for the occasional disastrous eventuality which can form the reality of travel.

European slaves did not receive compensation from the Roman Empire and, as a result, Europeans ultimately became a stronger and more ingenious people - since, having sacked Rome (several times), they had to build from absolutely nothing. However, it is worth noting that it took over 1000 years for Europe to emerge from the Dark Ages and then most of the next 500 years to construct a civilisation that, in terms of scale, technology and subjugation, was comparable to that of the Romans. The fact that, having gained a technological edge (from progress during the Dark Ages), Europeans used this edge to carve up and consume most of the rest of the globe, negates the value of most of their so-called ‘achievements’.

The Roman Empire did not mature from the state of being a slave-based economy and, except for the Byzantine Empire, in the Eastern Mediterranean, suffered rapid terminal decline - unless the present day Western economies truly renounce the slavery, which still exists in every country, they will suffer the same ignominious fate as did the Romans. Let us not pretend that New York has not already been sacked and has not already seen the same great plumes of smoke rising above its ruins.

It is natural that African rebels, in countries such as Sierra Leone and Angola, have destroyed the old colonial government buildings and Western financed infrastructure - they were not the architects of that civilisation and they neither value these constructions nor perceive in them any intrinsic purpose other than that of exploitation. Similarly, the repatriated farmlands of South Africa and Zimbabwe will not, at first, be as productive as they were previously, when under the management and ownership of the European farmers - but without the opportunity and necessity for practising such skills there is absolutely no prospect of improving them.

Although I doubt whether it will take Africa as long as 1500 years to become a significant world economic power, European history gives an indication as to the immensity of the mountain that Africans must learn to climb for themselves - and so long as Africans continue to make the mistake of accepting Western helicopter airlifts to higher positions on that mountain than they have attained by their own efforts and knowledge, they will continue to be left stranded and starving on ledges from which there is neither the prospect of returning to safety nor the opportunity of advancing to greater heights. Moreover, the people of Africa may well wish to climb a separate, more lofty, mountain than the one conquered by Europeans and which afforded the ugly prospect of the evil of the slave-trade.

Compensation (however justifiable the claim) is a mistake, because it prevents one from being intimately aware of the true and exact location of rock bottom reality - on which sound lives and civilisations must base their foundations. What purpose is there in struggling to propagate life which has neither the skill to avoid nor the power to defend itself against the reality of the annihilating onslaught of the juggernaut?

Compensation, like welfare benefits and international aid, fosters complacency and, if one allows it to offer a false protection against reality, will insidiously weaken the very spirit - instead of allowing reality to train and strengthen the soul.

Reparations for slavery are the teasing bait of white people who wish to ensnare and starve the spirit of black people. The campaign for reparations will only bring financial profit to the middle class lawyers (black and white), who are hired by ordinary black people in the pursuit of a hopelessly complex legal lawsuit - which will ultimately be judged by a product of the racist white establishment. In the unlikely event of a favourable judgement, it would be improbable that the money would reach the ordinary black person - because it would evaporate in the cauldrons of inefficiency and corruption, the institutional characteristics of all large organisations and governments. If handled by governments, the compensation money would probably end up back in the coffers of Western businesses - via the sales of expensive motor vehicles, other luxury goods and weaponry. To bring about reparations by means of an Act of Parliament would require this country to have a constituent black ethnic majority - whose taxes would then have to pay for the reparations! Only voluntary compensation would be valued - in the same way as one values and considers how to use money that is gifted by a loved one.

Jewish people have gained reparations largely as a consequence of their businesses evolving as a huge economic power base and this has given rise to the political force of the American Jewish Lobby - which even racists simply cannot ignore. The only ‘compensation’ that any black people are likely win, is the cancellation of debts accrued by impoverished African countries because complacent Western banks have foolishly made loans to corrupt governments or to governments that were never in a position to make the required repayments. These banks could hardly entertain the thought of taking seizing the lands and resources of these defaulting states - could they?

Surely the average black person does not want compensation or apologies for crimes committed by the forefathers of white people - he simply expects recognition; he expects white people to recognize that slavery was wrong; he expects white people to recognise his right to co-exist as a human being; he expects to be able to go to the bank and secure a loan without being viewed as a criminal; he expects to be offered employment when he is the most suitable candidate for the post (and thus be in a realistic position to achieve wealth and to repay debts); he expects to be able to enter wealthy European countries (which all have declining populations) and to settle without aggravation and discrimination.

No immigrant to this country should be branded as illegal and be denied the opportunity of earning an income - unless they chose to accept engagement in the ‘black’ economy of ‘slave labour’ or turn to crime. Immigrants to this country must take the worst jobs before being be granted entry by white people. In the United States, many Africans are joining the Marines (and going to fight in Iraq) in order to acquire the automatic US citizenship that is obligatory on passing out of the Academy.

White people are afraid to admit that, in the past, the enforcement of certain laws was immoral - because they are equally afraid of a similar examination of current legislation and the immorality of its current enforcement.

White people should not apologize for their past failures, but recognise their present failures and thank black people for having such ‘high’ expectations of white people and for refusing to tolerate such low standards of behaviour.