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…as Int?l Decade for People of African Descent approachesPro-vice-chancellor of the University of the West Indies and Chairman of the Caribbean Reparations Committee,Dr. Hilary BecklesDr. Hilary Beckles, recently delivered a feature address to the United Nations in New York, USA, as that international body gears to usher in the International Decade for People of African Descent.This auspicious commemoration which commences on January 1, 2015 and concludes on December 31, 2024, is geared at promoting several aspects of African culture and life following the systematic destruction of same during centuries of African enslavement, specifically by European nations.To a gathering of prestigious personages including Sam Kutesa, current President of the United Nations General Assembly, and members of international civil societies among others, Dr. Beckles declared that the legacy of slave societies are still alive and well today. Beckles thus urged European nations to remove their heads from the sand and take responsibility for the legacy which still plagues the descendants of Africans.Beckles said that today societies are at the dawn of this 21st century, and ?humanity still struggles to come to terms with the legacies of the crimes committed against its African family. Aspects of these legacies are as alive today as they were two centuries ago.?He said that everywhere that African enchainment and enslavement became the basis of societies and economies, their descendants today cannot assume the human right to breathe the air of freedom and justice.?Plantation slave drivers and overseers have been replaced by public prosecutors and militarized police,Wholesale Jerseys 2018, and the human right to life, denied Africans during the 400 years of the barbarity called chattel slavery, continues to be contested.?The racism that informs that contestation defines and distorts the primary social relations of humanity, he opined. He reminded that, ?In 1781, the English Law Lord, Judge Mansfield, in an effort to purge African enslavement from his homeland, and to confine its vulgarity to the colonies, insisted that his country folks at home should breathe neither the foul air of slavery nor endure the stench of its stain.Today, 233 years later, millions of African descendants are still breathing the foul air that blows from the stench of slavery. In their quest to inhale the free air of justice and democracy they are seized by the throat and their breath taken away in a fashion reminiscent of centuries ago.??I can?t breathe,? Beckles said,Wholesale NFL Jerseys, has now become the universal ideology of the African diaspora, most vocal in the United States of America where African descendants are brutally policed in their pursuit of social justice, economic enfranchisement, and existential dignity.?No longer do we have to watch the construction in movies of the destruction of black life, nor journey to the journals of history to see and read of this deadly mentality,Cheap Jerseys, bred in slavery, legally at work, officially sanctioned,Cheap Authentic Jerseys, and in triumphant celebration. We see it every day in our streets as they go about our daily business.?Humanity cries for the victims of these crimes, he sympathized.?We cry out for humanity?s descent, deeper and deeper into the despair of the dungeon that is the legacy of African enslavement ? the greatest crime against it, in and before modernity.?There has been a steadfast refusal by the beneficiaries of these crimes to formally recognize their nature and nurture. It is this refusal of recognition that drives the legacies of these crimes into our social realities and facilitates life taking policing in communities, said Dr. Beckles.?This denial stands undiminished in the face of a mountain of evidence that cries out for ownership,Cheap Jerseys Free Shipping, responsibility and accountability. Denial and silence are now the mother and father of a new generation of hate crimes, squeezing black life from already impaired lungs. They are today?s breath takers, as hate and greed were in earlier times.?The Reparations Chairman went on to say that, ?The names on the cold, stone-like face of silence and denial must be known and called to account. Portugal continues to deny its slavery crimes, yet we know that this nation was the largest shipper of enchained African bodies across the Atlantic. To Portugal we say ?Rise to your Responsibility?.Great Britain denies, yet we know that it was the greatest profit maximizers and extractor investor in African slavery. To Great Britain we say ?Rise to your Responsibility?. France denies, yet we know that it fought the bloodiest war of all to prevent enslaved blacks from breathing the air of liberty, fraternity. Haiti emerged the leading global symbol of black freedom, resilient and respected, but covered in the ash of French retribution. To France we say ?Rise to your Responsibility.?The Dutch deny,jerseys from china, yet we know that they were first to develop the trade in enchained African bodies as a modern, global, corporate enterprise. To the Dutch we say, ?Rise to your Responsibility?. Spain denies, yet we know that the Spanish were first conceptualized and practiced the idea that African enslavement should follow the genocide they imposed upon the natives of these Americas.Norway and Denmark, not to be left behind, joined in and prospered,Discount NFL Jerseys, as did the Royals of Russia and the Aristocracy of Austria who were as financially enriched as the beyond the scenes slave investing Swiss and Swedes.?All of Western Europe, Dr. Beckles declared, combined with their ?American? colonies created the cradle of western financial modernization based upon the most lucrative sustainable investment of all times ? the enchained, enslaved African body as commercial property.This silence of the enslaving nations, and their political allies, must be broken and their denials ended, Beckles insisted. ?Then, and only then, will African descendants breathe freely the air of life and justice.?The International Decade for People of African Descent was resolved on December 23, 2013 under the theme ?People of African descent: recognition, justice and development?.The main objective of the International Decade is to promote respect, protection and fulfilment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for people of African descent, as recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.(To be continued next Sunday)
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