'Pay up and say sorry’
Mon, 04/18/2016 - 12:00am
Barbados’ Ambassador to CARICOM, Robert ‘Bobby’ Morris, is in full support of the call for the former slave-owning countries to pay reparations to the descendents of Africans
who were enslaved.
Ambassador Morris made his position known yesterday morning during a service at the St. Philip’s Parish Church to mark the bicentenary of the 1816 Rebellion. He is contending that it would be a step in the right direction to start addressing the harmful impact that slavery has had on those persons.
Moreover, Morris is suggesting that apart from that compensatory payment, the descendents of the Barbadian plantation owners should also “say sorry” for the actions of their ancestors. He made the point while noting that many of their descendents still reside in this country.
“We’re sorry – we need to get some spokespersons who are willing to do that. And then we have to have Barbadians who are not white, who are willing to say we accept your apology. But that does not mean that the third ‘R’ doesn’t come, we need some reparations… I believe that we have been impacted so negatively for all of these years that there should be some reparations from the slave owning countries,” the historian noted.
His comments came as he contended that there is an “unfinished agenda” as it relates to the 1816 slave uprising at Bayley’s Plantation. As such, he is adamant that proper research has to be done, to bring the efforts of those who sought to achieve freedom at that time, into clear focus.
“We should try to find every source in England that we have not looked for yet. We must go and find that information. I believe there is a lot more. Just as I found information at Bayley’s that they didn’t have before because people were not looking for it, I’m saying let’s go and find that,” he said.
The Ambassador added that in his opinion the events of 1816 are “a lived reality, not history”, maintaining that it continues to have an impact on all our lives. To that end, he is adamant that every effort must be made to learn more about it. (JRT)