MICHAELLE JEAN CALLED TO MAKE REAL DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD
British Crown to Pay Long Overdue Reparations
Ottawa, April 7, 2007
The invitation was launched in the following terms: "To mark the Bicentenary of the Act for the Abolition of the Slave Trade, join the Governor General's Forum and share your thoughts on strategies to eliminate racial discrimination with Canadians from across the country" http://www.citizenvoices.gg.ca/en/forums/13
One African, born and raised in Haiti, a fellow Canadian citizen, has decided to take up Michaelle Jean on her offer.
In a letter titled "MICHAELLE JEAN CALLED TO MAKE A REAL DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD: British Crown to Pay Long Overdue Reparations", Jafrikayiti (Jean Saint-Vil) argues, with a wealth of references and illustrations, that it is wrong to simply commemmorate the abolition of racial slavery in the Americas.
"The British Crown must pay long overdue reparations to the native peoples of Africa and of the Americas", he claims with conviction.
Jafrikayiti presents himself as well as Governor General Michaelle Jean as members of a privileged few decendants of enslaved Africans with a certain voice, and to whom it befalls to speak and act up in favor of global justice and peace.
To achieve peace with justice, Jafrikayiti, proposes an alternative that inevitably involves real efforts to REPAIR the damages of the European trade in Africans and enslavement of native peoples (1441-1888), colonization (1884-1978) and neo-colonial exploitation (1960s to the present).
Denouncing what he considers the shameful trivialization of a human disaster of gigantic proportions, Jafrikayiti writes:
"We both know that neither the appalling poverty found in Haiti nor that which is faced by First Nations Peoples in Canada are recent phenomena due to “bad governance”, as is often posited by apologists of the violent conquest of this continent. The endemic vulnerability of the African and First Nations populations of the Americas stem from 500 years of inhumane colonial and neo-colonial policies.
The strategy consisting in throwing money and weapons, while patching up a brick school, a dispensary and a few prisons in return for shameless waving of a million Canadian flags - is no solution at all.
Even when some relatively successful initiatives are undertaken by well-meaning foreigners working within the neo-colonial context, they cannot bring sustainable solutions to the huge and profound problems facing the impoverished native peoples (of Africa and of the Americas).
Reversing the situation shall require us to adopt new policies and approaches, rather than rehashing the same old practices inspired by Rudyard Kipling's 'White man Burden'".
"Will this Canadian Governor General, whose personal coat of arms bears the broken chain of the famed Unknown Maroon, become the Head of State who convinces the British Crown to pay the long overdue reparations to the native peoples of Africa and of the Americas?" challenges the author who closes his letter with:
"Your faithful compatriot who dares hope that you shall indeed make the opening for the first Grand Chief of Canada: a Nation at peace with history, in harmony with its First Nations, and at peace with humanity".
To read Jafrikayiti's letter (in full with references and illustrations), go to http://www.jafrikayiti.com/ and click on: MICHAELLE JEAN CALLED TO MAKE A REAL DIFFERENCE.
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