The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams has suggested that the Church might need to pay reparations, whilst the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, has said that an apology is required.
Here's why they are wrong:
- Britain was the first country in the modern world to abolish slavery, we have nothing to apologise for.
- Genetic trees show that there are more than a handful of "white" Brits with African origins; to whom should we apologise, ourselves?
- The Greeks used slaves, the Italians used Greek slaves, the Nazis used European and Jewish slaves, the Americans used African American slaves, the Africans use African slaves, Japan in the last war used sex slaves from China and Korea etc etc. Will they all be apologising too?
- Slavery still exists in the world today. Africans use children to fight in wars and to dig for diamonds, and East European girls are trafficked into Western brothels.
- Africans were selling Africans into slavery long before Britain ever set foot in the place.
- The wealth of the Church of England, and Britain as whole, is in part built on the profits of slavery. An apology cannot undo that.
- The West enjoys cheap goods and foodstuffs manufactured by people in the Far East, living on very very low wages, will we stop buying these goods? To apologise for slavery, yet still consume these goods is hypocritical.
An apology cannot change the past, and does not address the problems of the present.