Queen Elizabeth slave reparations Jamaica

Queen Elizabeth was just put on notice by Jamaica’s culture minister that an official petition is forthcoming demanding billions of dollars in slave reparations.

Jamaica Is Petitioning Queen Elizabeth For Slave Reparations 

Olivia Grange, the culture minister in Jamaica, spoke out this week to say that a petition demanding reparations will soon be sent to Queen Elizabeth, 95, by the nation’s attorney general.

The Queen holds the official title of Queen of Jamaica because the nation is within the British Commonwealth, which is why she’s the one being sent this petition. 

Hundreds of years ago, Jamaica was a center of the slave trade, first with the Spanish and then with the British.

The National Library of Jamaica estimates that 600,000 Africans were shipped to Jamaica to work on plantations of sugar cane, bananas and other crops to make money for the wealthy owners. 

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“We are hoping for reparatory justice in all forms that one would expect if they are to really ensure that we get justice from injustices to repair the damages that our ancestors experienced,” Grange told Reuters.

“Our African ancestors were forcibly removed from their home and suffered unparalleled atrocities in Africa to carry out forced labour to the benefit of the British Empire,” she added. “Redress is well overdue.”

Britain Banned Slavery Over Two Hundred Years Ago

It should be noted that Britain banned slave trade throughout its entire empire back in 1807, which is over two hundred years ago.

The British government took out a loan of 20 million pounds at the time to compensate slave owners, and only finished paying off the interest payments from it in 2015.

Jamaican lawmaker Mike Henry drew up the private motion that was used for the reparations petition.

He is calling on the Queen to pay 7.6 billion pounds in reparations, a figure he says is roughly equivalent in today’s terms to what Britain paid to the slave owners.

“I am asking for the same amount of money to be paid to the slaves that was paid to the slave owners,” Henry said. “I am doing this because I have fought against this all my life, against chattel slavery which has dehumanized human life.”

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The Issue With Slave Reparations

Slavery was an atrocious practice. No one disputes that fact. The practice should absolutely be banned worldwide, never to return. Which Britain did.

It’s been more than 200 years since Britain banned slavery. So why petition now?

There is no one alive today who participated in the atrocities for which Jamaica is requesting compensation. 

The fact that the 95-year-old Queen is being forced to deal with this request boggles the mind. 

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