Chairman of the Caribbean Reparations Commission, Sir Hilary Beckles disclosed in an interview that mere apologies are not enough for the atrocious and brutish treatments people and nations were subjected to during slavery which sent some countries centuries behind the pace of development.
His comment follows the emerging act of major institutions coming out to admit their role in the inhumane slavery and merely apologize for the damages caused without taking any further practical responsibilities.
Recent reports have it that The Bank of England and the Church of England have both rendered unqualified apologies for the various roles their senior figures played in the slave trade.
The Church was reported to have referred to its links with slavery as a “source of shame” whilst the Bank pledged to ensure that images of former governors who were involved in the slave trade are not displayed in its buildings.
The Chairman of the reparations Commission is, however, not buying this strategy. He stated in an interview that, “all the institutions that created this mess really have to come and help in practical ways to clean it up,”
“Unfortunately, one cannot go back and remake the history, but you can make atonement: it is not enough to make your apology as a public spectacle, it is not enough to present it as public relations exercise.” He further added.
Is it time for Africa to revamp conversations regarding reparations for the numerous years of slavery on the continent? Let’s hear from you in a comment.