The chairman of the Antigua and Barbuda Reparations Support Commission, Dorbrene O’Marde, and his commission have presented an open letter on slave reparation to the Prince and Countess of Wessex who are on an official visit to the Caribbean.
Prince Edward and Sophie Countess of Wessex have been on a visit to Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, St Lucia, and St Vincent and the Grenadines since April 22. The visit is scheduled to end on April 28.
The committee is asking the members of the royal family to desist from that rhetoric of “it should not have happened” and that slavery was an abhorrent enterprise.
“We have been on the receiving end of the barbarity. We hear the phony sanctimony of those who came before you that these crimes are a ‘stain on your history’. For us, they are the source of genocide and of continuing deep international injury, injustice and racism. We hope you will respect us by not repeating the mantra. We are not simpletons, ” part of the letter read.
The commission, which is speaking for the people in their region and Africa has further posed questions to the royal family, demanding to know why it has been so hard for them to just render an apology to the people on whose fortune they live in pomp and splendor.
“Respectfully, we ask a few questions and we hope that you will provide answers during one of the addresses you are scheduled to make here or in any other nation in your ‘goodwill-don’t-leave-us’ tour. Why is it so hard for you to sincerely apologize for your nation’s role in slavery, like decent human beings do when they offend? We know that ‘acknowledging and accounting for wrongs is deeply enshrined within both British law and society’. Then, why is it that you cannot apologise for your nation’s documented historical wrong? Do you think like members of your family before you seemed to think, that we are a sub-human species and therefore not worthy of an apology?” the last part of the letter read.
The Chairman of the commission had earlier made several comments on local media about their intention to confront the royal family upon their visit.
“Essentially, it supports the positions taken by other…people as far as the issue of reparation is concerned and the inability of the absence of an apology from the Crown both as family and as an institution for their role in the enslavement of African people in the slave trade and in the slavery of African people,” O’Marde said on a local radio program.
Read the full letter below: