Was going to blog about the NBA today but that'll wait since I've wanted to blog about this story for a while. I heard about it word of mouth last week but I wanted to be able to link to the story and if you've ever checked the Barbados Nation site online you know they are rather picky, read censor, with what they actual post.
Anyway I just realized that Titilayo did a few posts on the topic already so I can at least post her links. Thanks mademoiselle. Much respect!
Last Wednesday in Barbados there was a symbolic march to relive the horrors of slavery. It was organized by an international group called Lifeline Expedition and was a march by descendants of former slave owners (read in this case mainly white folk) in 'chains' and 'yokes' to various places in the island.
Yep apparently these Lifeline Expedition folks have been conducting these symbolic marches all over the place.
You can read about the actual march in Barbados and see a photo here under the title "They are so sorry." Trust me you need to see the photo (which in case you're wondering isn't the same photo I posted below).
Sigh! Where to start where to start. Ok first expression of utter disdain. Big lawless Chupssssssseeeeeeeeeee!
Sorry? What the !! Yes indeed they are sorry. They are a sorry bunch of folk. This march was a sorry, pathetic excuse. Symbolic march! Oh lets take a nice leisurely stroll in our paper mache chains, in our caps, shades and designer athletic shoes while drinking our bottled water and say we are sorry for slavery. Does this really help anyone? I know it doesn't help me. All you have done is made me as angry as when I came out of the theatre after watching Rosewood. This is a complete farce!
I'm sorry Lifeline Expedition but you are reducing the suffering of my people to a joke. From what I heard no one in Barbados wanted you to march anyway so what's the point of this? This is despicable. I spit in your general direction! Sorry but I cant really see this being a heartfelt sorry on your part unless you are somehow mentally slow and cant for a minute realize how stupid this is. So I imagine that somewhere deep inside you are laughing at my ancestors experiences and this annoys me, scratch that, this seriously pisses me off.
I would have accepted a simple sorry rather than this mockery. I mean is this how you apologize or make reparations? You march in chains to say you are sorry to the one's you oppressed? What's next Germans locking themselves in a symbolic concentration camp and throwing themselves into symbolic gas chambers to say sorry for the holocaust. Imagine the international uproar if that happened. But no this is just someone trivializing slavery so who cares right.
This march right here in my honest opinion is a travesty, a mockery, a despicable imitation which trivializes a serious part of our history!
I might even have accepted the march as being sincere without the chains and yokes but they went too far right there. Your symbolic chains don't amount to jack compared to the real heavy iron under which we were bound and the miles upon miles which black men, women and children of all ages were force marched on. Any of these marchers ended up with wrists or necks rubbed raw from those chains? I suppose not right.
You want to do this thing right. Ok take off your shoes, and your shirts, dash way the shades and bottled water, get some real heavy chains and get some big lawless, ignorant overseers with long whips to lash your sorry behinds all along your march. I mean big heavy whips and cat-o-nine-tails to tear out your flesh if you lag on the march. Cant afford overseers? I know some cats that can just run out of a crowd of onlookers at intervals on the path and just let loose a few lashes in your tail with a belt or a dog hunter. Still want to do a march now in the face of physical harm? Lets see if you're so composed as you march now.
And while we're at it lets set up a slave auction somewhere where you can be stripped of all clothing and dignity, examined by a bunch of prospective buyers and bid on based on your physical appearance. How ya like dem apples? Matter a fact after you've been bought lets get someone to mark you with a big hot branding iron. Now a permanent brand on your backside that would be truly symbolic wouldn't it?
How about a symbolic middle passage crossing. Only thing is half y'all would have to be tossed overboard before we made port.
Ok I'm getting carried away here. The point is this symbolic march is a waste of time. It looks like a parody, a bad Saturday night live skit. You just don't get it do you. Its really doing nothing but aggravating feelings on serious issues.
You probably think this is a fine idea don't you? Umm No! You want to discuss slavery fine, you want to apologize fine, you want to discuss reparations or making amends somehow fine but don't think that some half-assed walk in fake chains is an apology for slavery. Its best appearance is as a caricature not to be taken seriously. If you really want to foster reconciliation this is not the way to go about it. Start some dialogue and ask those to whom you are apologizing or whom you seem reconciliation with what we want cause I'm sure seeing you march does nothing positive for us.
If anything this march shows us more deeply the divisions that exist rather than fostering reconciliation.