(Sash Thought) Britain's part in the Slave Trade and what it should do for African people today.
A while ago I said I would never type political or real-world stuff on my blog, but here we go. I am typing this because I have a lot of opinions and thoughts on this subject and, well, this is technically a blog even if I like to call it the "posts & articles" section.
So, firstly, I will state that I have been subject to many nationalist/right-wing views in my time and I attribute those mainly due to a mixture of ignorance of what conservatist politics are actually about, and the psychological phenomena of 'Racial Majority Bias' that I covered with some detail in a previous post. In the case of the latter, I will type a brief explanation here as to the primary pitfall of White People when thinking about non-white rights, for example.
Brief Summary of Sash's theory of "Racial Majority Bias"
Human beings are tribal by nature, each and everyone of us. White, Black, other races, it doesn't matter. Our brains contain a lot of left over neurological patterns from our primitive past where these things were the difference between life and death. They are involuntary reactions that trigger emotions that control our behaviours and essentially override logical thought processes in many situations. Unfortunately for us, these overrides are often completely unnecessarily in modern life and civilisation, and only degrade our ability to make informed, logical decisions.
One of these issues is the "Us vs Them" mentality when observing groups of fellow humans, especially if some of them exhibit different racial characteristics that our brains consider "different from us". This creates an involuntary tendency to 'favour' people of our own race in order to 'band together to the same tribe' to stay safe as tribal, social creatures, much like essentially every other species of Great Ape, and yes, we are a Great Ape Species whether we like it or not.
In western, white majority countries this mentality manifests as the often (among white people) controversial "White Privilege". Without going into too much details as I describe this in a previous post linked above, this essentially means that white-majority establishments have an involuntary tendency to favour white people in all aspects of modern society. The point I am trying to make here (about why I fell into certain right-wing traps previously) is that when confronted with this very real phenomena, most white people act defensively because they incorrectly interpret "privilege" as "You got everything for free" or; "you didn't work for anything you have", which is obviously wrong and drives an emotional response from the person in question as they rush to defend why they have worked very hard and have no "privilege".
I fell into that trap, and took me a while to understand the concept. Yes, you struggled to achieve things, but you also didn't have to deal with 'going against the racial grain' so to speak, due to the Bias I mentioned earlier. Terminology is remarkably important in portraying the correct message as to not trigger emotional responses, which is why I like to use the term Racial majority Bias, rather than "white privilege", as it would certainly affect black majority countries, too, but most are not in a powerful position as western/white countries (more on that later) to start with so its less pronounced. You can argue 'principles' all day but pragmatism must win out if we are to make real progress towards equality.
*deep breath*. That took a lot of concentration to type, but I must admit, all my ideas are bottlenecking behind the muscle-powered bone actuators on the keyboard trying desperately to actually put all of this thought data into text format. So, let's continue.
No, modern white British people are not personally responsible for slavery, but our country is, and we can show compassion
Let me make this clear. I am not a proponent of having white people 'apologise' to black people for the actions of long-dead colonial scumbags 100+ years ago. I was born in 1993 and I will never be ashamed of my ethnicity just like nobody should be. For the record, if I found out my ancestors were involved / complicit in slavery I would severe all attachment and condemn them to hell where they belong. The sins of the father are not the sins of the child.
Regardless, less about being white, per se, and more about just being British. Everything I enjoy now (developed society for example) was built on a colonial past that exploited African people (and other non-white peoples) for its own gain. So in a way, I feel compelled to at least show I want to help the descendants of those people that my country had exploited in the past. If you're a white brit and you're reading this and your jimmies are getting tangled thinking I'm an SJW or "virtue signalling", let me just calm you down and say; 21st century Britain is vastly different, I know, and I have never been a proponent of "white guilt". But it's not about that, it's about being a decent human being, so let's get down to brass tacks.
Countries with Colonial pasts like the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Belgium, etc should be doing more to help the people of modern Africa in light of colonial exploitation
Quite recently, some of the British Royal Family went to visit Jamaica and some other countries in or near Africa and many of the people there voiced opposition because they were still suffering the issues of Britain's colonial past and they felt it was inappropriate for the Royals (in the lineage of those who had authority during the slavery periods) to be there on such "good will". And frankly, I agree. I would have much preferred them to visit and work out some way for the United Kingdom to invest heavily in African infrastructure and economy, in some form of "reparations package" that would not be expected to be paid back. Something similar to the packages of reparations that Germany was forced to pay after both world wars.
So this gets me down to the base of this post. That is, I think the UK government needs to design some form of direct, hands-on approach to helping the people of exploited African countries during the colonial days. Currently, western corporations are rushing to privatise a lot of the infrastructure, and honestly, this is just further exploitation of the African people but under the guise of modern corporatism.
So what did I have in mind? Well, something like providing funds, resources and training to African people in order to equip them with the UK's latest technology and resources, to allow them to build up their countries, develop their economy and infrastructure and have their shot on the world stage. We took so much from them, and we should give back to help them have their time, it's only fair.
But I would want the aid to be financial and practical, not corporate. I have been known to despise capitalism (being more of a socialist myself), but I do not want Africa to be "controlled or owned" by Britain so it would be important that all the assets provided to Africans were provided in a gift capacity, and that they would be set up to allow Africans to build themselves a future, and develop native, African technology and bring to the world the enormous talent and contributions that are simply not there now, because of how the west brutalised the African people in the past.
No one has to be ashamed of being western, or white. I certainly feel no shame in my ethnicity, but I do feel the practical desire to make amends for what my country has done in the past, and show the world that the UK does truly have morals and exhibits remorse from the state level, which, currently, I feel is lacking severely.