Friday, 2 October 2020

Do I feel guilty? Hmmm...


Having been born in the Netherlands I have been asked whether I am sorry about its past. I think the enquirer was referring to its slavery past. Yes, Holland as well as Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal and Belgium were all engaged in this terrible trade and activity.

But let’s get one thing straight, I cannot change the past and nor can anyone else today. So, personally I do not feel guilty in any way or shape. I make no apology, for those times were different. In fact, especially in the UK there are castles, big mansions and estates that are entirely built from proceeds of slavery, one way or another. The wealth of some of our and other European families, even today, is attributable to slavery. But you cannot blame the present for the errors and mistakes of the past. BLM the acronym states Black Lives Matter, try to destroy everything possible that in one way or another was linked to slavery. Well, in that case please start dismantling the National Trust. Have a revolution in some European countries and throw out the royals and aristocrats. Frankly the whole thing is ludicrous. I am pretty sure that bending a knee or so is interesting but pretty useless. All across the world people are starting to take up positions of ‘This is us, anyone else is not us’. A dangerous state of affairs. It brings up the idea that some are better than others and can be dismissed as of no account. Precisely what slavery was about. The past is history. We learn from history, it is no good denying it ever happened or blaming humanity today for the wrongs of the past. We do not need to dismiss the Empire, it happened. The Empire is no more, we should adapt and ensure we do not repeat the mistakes of the past!

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