While conversations about reparations to the region by Europeans, and in particular England, have been simmering here in the region, Jamaica welcomed British Prime Minister, David Cameron on his regional tour. Cameron came bearing gifts – 25 Million pounds. He did not want to discuss reparations. He did not want our media to ask him questions. He had a gift to give and that is the purpose he came for. The first British Prime Minister in the last 15 years to visit came with 25 Million pounds.
This benevolent act of British Prime Minister, Cameron was for the purpose of building for us a maximum security….wait for it… PRISON. Yes, a prison. After the rape and pillage of slavery, Cameron’s ancestors left Jamaica wealthy and left, in their repatriation, my ancestors, poor, landless and unlettered. His ancestors were reimbursed for property lost from the abolition of slavery and the emancipation of my ancestors. This “property” for which they were reimbursed were human beings – black bodies. But No, he does not want to discuss this. He does not want us to talk about what he and his people owe us. He wants to build us a prison. His contribution though is only 40% of the proposed cost of this new prison. What is it with England and exporting their criminals? They sent their prisoners here, who exterminated our indigenous people and committed all other atrocities against our people and now, they want to send back their prisoners who were bred on their soil, simply because they have Jamaican antecedent? No thank you, Mr. Cameron. Keep your gift.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister, Portia Simpson-Miller seems happy for this “donation”/gift given to house “Jamaicans”. It is in the best interest of both countries. How naïve can we be?! It costs Britain 27 Million pounds per year to house those same Jamaicans but he is giving us 2 Million less than that to build a prison here (ignore conversion rate). This will save British taxpayers but place a burden on Jamaicans. Where will the rest of money come from? Who is going feed, pay for health care and rehabilitation for these prisoners? Who is going to pay for labour to build this prison? Who is going to pay for correction officers and guards for this prison? How would we ensure that those criminals being exported to us do not burden our already burgeoning crime problem? But Simpson-Miller is Keke-ing with this man who has come to flaunt his imperial power in our face.
Why not propose to invest in education or pump money into our manufacturing industry? Why not build hospitals or help to better equip existing ones? Why not help us build capacity to make our health and agricultural sectors stronger, through investing expertise and offering scholarships? And those would not be making a donation. That will be paying a debt that you owe, Sir. Your family was direct economic beneficiary of a most pernicious and evil business initiatives. You have a moral obligation to repay and we do not want a prison. Prisons only benefit you.
Simpson-Miller owes it to us, to put pressure on Cameron to repay us. We do not want gifts to pacify us. We want economic/reparatory justice and we must not let Cameron bully us to accept England’s imperialism. Our Prime Minister must defend our cause and protect our people from further British selfishness. The history of England’s relationship with us has always been exploitative and extractive. You cannot place the interest of British taxpayers above ours. This is an opportunity for you, Madam Prime Minister to act decisively and with leadership. I get the feeling that Cameron’s insult came because he believes he is speaking with his inferiors. Prove him wrong.
So, tangks fi di gif, Mr. Cameron but wi a nuh neva-see-come see. Now, wen yuh a guh pay wi weh yuh owe wi????
With poppyshow leaders like Portia, reparations mean nothing. Even if England were to give us anything, Jamaicans would not see most of it! Because di whole a di government corrupt and until we get rid of the bad seeds, Jamaica will go nowhere! England don't HAVE to give us anything, the most useful resource of a country is its PEOPLE. The PEOPLE make the country what it is and it is the people that will have to tear down corruption. Throwing money at Jamaica will not fix Jamaica. We need level headed leadership and a conscious majority, once we have that THEN can we talk about reparations.
As you somewhat alluded to, reparation and reparatory justice are more than just money. There are other value-added ways that England can be made to repay for their pillage and economic rape of the region and Jamaica, through investment in our infrastructural development (health, communication, education/training, science and technology, arts and tourism). Plus, a public apology; not the passive tone that slavery has happened and we must move on… they need to acknowledge "We did this to you and we are sorry." Thank you for stopping by and for leaving your comment. The point about corruption cannot be overstated.