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Vincentian activist in UK urges Afro-Caribbean community to support reparations claim

Vincentian activist in UK urges Afro-Caribbean community to support reparations claim

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A Vincentian social and political activist residing in the UK has urged the Afro-Caribbean community in Britain to lend support to the claim made by CARICOM for reparations from the British government for centuries of native genocide, slavery and colonial oppression.

Brother Rashid Rose, now a Muslim, but formerly known as Clintel Rose of Stoney Ground, {{more}}Kingstown, made the call in a recent address to mark Black History Month. That commemorative month is observed in February in the western hemisphere, but in October in Britain. The event at which Rose spoke was held in Preston in the north of England and organized by the Afro-Caribbean community of that town.

In his address, Rose quoted extensively from Head of the Caricom Reparations Commission Professor Hilary Beckles, and devoted much of his address to what is called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder PTSD). This condition refers to the lingering social and health disorders suffered by black people in the West today as a result of centuries of slavery and colonial oppression.

It is manifested especially in behavioural disorders, as well as the chronic health diseases which continue to plague black people in the Caribbean and North America, arising from poor dietary choices such as addictive consumption of sugar and salt. These are contributory factors to high incidences of diabetes and hypertension.

The Muslim activist, in giving his support to the Caricom demand for reparatory justice, said that , “the British Parliament owes the people of Barbados (and the Caribbean) an education and health initiative”. Rose told his audience that the Caricom 10-point Plan for Reparatory Justice “addresses these development issues”, and is “an invitation to Britain to demonstrate leadership within the legal, moral and diplomatic culture of the world.”

Urging Caribbean people living in the UK to throw their full weight behind the reparations claim, Rose expressed the view that “the 21st century will be the century of global reparatory justice.” The claim, he said, will not go away, but, “rather like the waves on our beautiful shores of the Caribbean, they will keep coming until reparatory justice is attained.”

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