There has been an increase in calls for former British colonies to seek reparations from the UK for the slave trade. On the Sept. 20 edition of CNN’s “Don Lemon Tonight” host, Don Lemon, discussed the issue of reparations with royal commentator Hilary Fordwich, who almost immediately rebuked the idea of reparations being paid by the British. Instead, she said it is Africa that owes the descendants of slaves for selling off their ancestors into slavery.
Lemon points out, “…there’s all of this wealth…And then you have those who are asking for reparations for colonialism. And they’re wondering, you know, $100 billion, $24 billion here and there, $500 million there. Some people want to be paid back and members of the public are wondering why we are suffering when you are, you know, you have all of this vast wealth. Those are legitimate concerns.”
Fordwich shoots back, “Well, I think you’re right about reparations in terms of if people wanted, though. What they need to do is you always need to go back to the beginning of a supply chain. Where was the beginning of the supply chain? That was in Africa.”
She added, “And when that crossed the entire world when the slavery was taking place, which was the first nation in the world that abolished slave — slavery. The first nation in the world to abolish it…was the British. In Great Britain, they abolished slavery. Two thousand naval men died on the high seas trying to stop slavery. Why? Because the African kings were rounding up their own people. They had them in cages waiting on the beaches. No one was running into Africa to get them.”
She continued, “And I think you’re totally right. If reparations need to be paid, we need to go right back to the beginning of that supply chain and say, who was rounding up their own people and having them handcuffed in cages. Absolutely. That’s where they should start.”
Lemon failed to point out some of the inaccuracies of her argument.
And while there had been slavery worldwide prior to the Transatlantic slave trade, most experts point out there is a difference between Old World slavery and race-based chattel slavery.
An estimated 12.5 million captured Africans were brought to the Americas as slaves. And there were countries in Africa that were involved in the slave trade, such as the Bono State, Ashanti of present-day Ghana and the Yoruba of present-day Nigeria were involved in slave-trading. But as The Conversation reported, “Taking blame from the buyer of slaves, and placing it on the seller, distorts history. Similarly, the history and legacy of Old World slavery and race-based chattel slavery are not parallel.”
CNN Anchor Don Lemon interviews British royals expert Hilary Fordwich in a clip that went viral, https://twitter.com/tomselliott/status/1572145367512190978?s=20&t=CXKZvG2ffgD3FylcO4HRCw–