PM Dickson Mitchell of the Caribbean nation of Grenada, recently raised the question of reparations to British PM Rishi Sunak and monarch King Charles. In an interview which was set in his private residence, Dickson Mitchell spoke freely of the portrayal of Britain as a nation promoting justice, equality, liberty and democracy, a far cry from the history the nation has in its dealings with the rest of the world.
Mitchell also pointed out that Britain has failed to atone for its enslavement of people of African descent, which in his opinion was a matter of great shame for the European power. He also stated that the lack of genuine remorse shown by the British did not set the right tone for their image around the world.
PM Mitchell also spoke of the fact that Grenada had fist hand experience in this regard as a former colony of the British. As the leaders of a former colony, he believes it is crucial that the British atone for their past and promote a better understanding between the two nations min current times.
He also spoke of the ramifications of Grenada being a British colony in the past and believes it is the duty of the colonizers of the past to help the people that were affected by such crimes. The effect it had not only on the people of the nation, but also the country’s progression is undeniable and must be accounted for.
The PM also spoke of the need to create an environment where the people of Grenada are seen as equals by the British. He wishes to realize this not just in words but in deeds and actions as well, as that would be the only way for the people of his nation to accept that they have been recognized as individuals with equal rights and opportunities.
This demand is made significant as the family of former UK PM William Gladstone is set to visit the nation on a good will tour. The Gladstones are also expected to apologize for their family’s role in profiting from slavery in the British West Indies. As the descendants of some of the most prolific slave owners in the British West Indies, it is only natural for the current generation to apologize for the family’s brutal and bloody past.
Many members of parliament in the UK, especially those who hail from former colonies, have brought this up over the years. The reality of the matter is that the UK government has never apologized for their role in profiting from slavery in the past. In a recent interview, the British PM Rishi Sunak stated that unpicking the history of UK is not the way forward if the nation and the world wishes to progress to better pastures. This statement coming from him is an ironic one considering his nation of origin is India, another former British colony that has a bloody past with British colonizers.
Whether Grenada will be the nation that breaks the mold and finally manages to change the narrative in this regard is yet to be seen. Considering the trend till now though, it seems to be an unlikely scenario.