Former Prime Minister James Mitchell Opposes Reparations
The Caribbean Is One Nation.
Submitted by The Mahogany Coconut Group
|Sir. James Mitchell|
“What we should be concentrating on, is how we get the industrial developed countries to spend more money on us. We have to learn to forget about the words slavery.” Sir. James Mitchell former Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, addressing the 39th. United Workers Party Convention (UWP) Sunday, November 15th. 2015
Sir. James Mitchell, former Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, quoted above, also dismissed efforts to obtain reparations as “stupid”. This is easily the most venomous opposition to the reparations movement to date and it sends a clear message, that there are many prominent leaders and citizens in the region, who believe that seeking reparations is a complete waste of time.
Sir James was once considered one of the more progressive leaders in the Caribbean and was highly respected as one, who brought some measure of creativity and clarity to the political process. We are therefore amazed that this elder regional statesman could be so vehement in his comments. And it cannot be a very encouraging sign for those engaged in the reparations effort.
During the address to his party loyalists, Sir James also said that we need to “forget about the words slavery” and just move on. He prefers that we beg the developed countries to throw a few crumbs our way. In exchange we are to stop reminding them of their brutality and sheer exploitation of Afro Caribbean people, who they relegated to chattel ,as they built their empires. We respectfully beg to differ with the gentleman.
Nobody ever tells the Jews to forget the Holocaust and to cease tracking down those who assisted or were involved in putting them in the gas chambers. However Afro Caribbean people are expected to forget that we were brought to this region as a source of cheap labor for our former colonial masters. We are supposed to forget the brutal Middle Passage. When these calls are made by persons of the caliber and prestige of Sir James, it automatically convinces us that even at that exalted level, that Massa Day is not done.
We therefore have to unfortunately but respectfully conclude, that Sir James has join the long list of Caribbean citizens who are denial about their past. He, like many of us, is in a mental quagmire and we are fortunate that he is no longer a Prime Minister because his position on reparations would have been a bigger regional embarrassment.