Legacy of Slavery Should Be Equality and Justice for All – Whiteman


Jamaican High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Burchell Whiteman, has said that one of the legacies of the abolition of the slave trade must be to ensure equality and justice for all people.
“We need to, in a structured way, influence the decision makers at all levels to make decisions that are equitable. We need to accelerate the journey towards personal liberation, understanding ourselves and ridding ourselves of mental stereotypes,” Mr. Whiteman stated.
The High Commissioner, who was in Nottingham last weekend to participate in activities organized by the African Caribbean National Artistic Centre (ACNA) and the Nottingham Association of Black Churches to commemorate the bicentennial anniversary of the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade, said that activities to mark the anniversary must promote respect for the history and heritage of black people.
According to Mr. Whiteman, one of the great harms of slavery was that it sought to destroy a sense of community among people.
Stating that “we are all inheritors of the legacy of our fore parents”, the High Commissioner said, “there are elements of the behaviour and culture of each grouping present in our situation today – exploitation, resistance, benign paternalism, resentment, dependency creativity, tolerance”.
He noted that as inheritors of these sometimes contradictory legacies, “we should therefore exercise great care in the judgements and the decisions we make and the conclusions we sometimes draw”.
“We have to be vigilant so that we never become complacent about any issue, policy or practice, which may lead us to devalue the life or worth of fellow human beings,” he stated.

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