Radio talk show host and pastor, Claude Skelton Cline has called for a public apology from Governor Augustus Jaspert for his comments about reparations for descendants of slaves.
During a live video interview on Monday, Governor Augustus Jaspert was asked whether he felt there was a need for these present-day descendants to receive reparations.
He replied: “I know that has [been] put forward a lot. But it is not a position that the United Kingdom has taken … but I think it is always worth ensuring that we learn the lessons from the past and we reflect on what a horrific period in our history that was.”
“I think it is an issue that I think is right to recognize and to think through in terms of ensuring that we keep on tackling and challenging any injustices,“ he added.
Responding to the governor’s statement on Tuesday, Skelton Cline said Governor Jaspert was improper.
“How much longer we as a people will continue to tolerate this kind of treatment from the United Kingdom (UK) and it’s representative? It’s out of order. It is wrong and Governor Jaspert, you need to apologize to the people of these Virgin Islands for desecrating the story, the suffering, the pain, the enslavement of our ancestors.”
The talk show host said the governor continues to highlight the assistance the UK gives to the territory as if we residents of the BVI “are supposed to clap and say ‘thank you so much, master’”.
“They got paid to steal our birthright, they got paid to enslave our ancestors … and you can’t envisage reparations? And you still getting paid today,” said Skelton Cline.
Governor on reparations
The British Virgin Islands shares in the region’s dark history in which persons from African descent were enslaved for generations for the personal enrichment of the British and other colonisers.
Over in the United States, debates are being had about compensating the descendants of American slaves. Just recently, Democratic lawmakers called for a vote on a bill to study reparations, CNN has reported.
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