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Reparations Discussion Takes Unexpected Turn on CNN

Reparations Discussion Takes Unexpected Turn on CNN

( – Countries that used enslaved people as a source of labor across the world have participated in discussions about reparations for their descendants for decades. In the US, landowners used forced labor until federal troops freed the last slaves in Texas on June 19, 1865. The reparations movement has gone nowhere in America.

Across the pond, in the UK, a similar movement has taken root. In the last few years, black Brits have loudly demanded payment for the atrocities committed against their ancestors. In the wake of Queen Elizabeth II’s death, those calls are again at the forefront of the conversation. A CNN host brought up the issue during an interview after the monarch’s death.

Royal Commentator’s Suggestion

Following the queen’s death, CNN’s Don Lemon invited royal commentator Hilary Fordwich to join him on his show. During the interview, the television host mentioned that news stories have recently repeatedly talked about the royal family’s net worth, with the number soaring into the billions. He said some people would like to see them pay reparations to the families of former slaves because of the kingdom’s role in the trade.

Fordwich responded to the host, saying people of the commonwealth have definitely discussed the topic. However, she thinks those people “need to go back to the beginning of a supply chain.” She explained that Britain was the first to end the trade, resulting in the deaths of many of its military members. Meanwhile, “African kings were rounding up their own people.” Fordwich said those rulers “had them on cages,” and nobody “was running to Africa to get them.”

Additionally, the royal commentator suggested the families of the sailors who died while trying to stop slavery should ask for reparations from the descendants of the African kings who were facilitating it.

Reparations Demands

In March, the prince and princess of Wales, William and Kate, traveled to The Bahamas, Belize, and Jamaica, where protestors greeted them, demanding reparations. The idea behind the payments is that the enslavement of and later discrimination against black people sabotaged their ability to grow generational wealth. Descendants believe they deserve compensation for the damage the human rights violation inflicted on their ancestors and subsequent relatives.

Fordwich’s argument places the blame on the corrupt governments that supported the atrocities. While not all slavery resulted from African kings selling citizens, there is no denying it happened.

Do you think African nations should also take some responsibility for the trade?

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