Kingstown

St. Vincent & the Grenadines

March 19, 2019

To:

Mr. Charles Philip Arthur Windsor,

Prince of Wales

Sir,

As the present leg of your Caribbean tour brings you to the island of Yurumei, we of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Reparations Committee would like to take this occasion to address you on some of your inherited responsibilities. Furthermore, in as much as this tour serves to prepare the ground for your forthcoming coronation, we seek to lay pressure on your mind as to the fact that your predecessors have been found derelict in their duties concerning our region, that maybe your reign may correct the course which our relationship is on.

On your last tour of the region in 2017, you visited many of the islands which had suffered devastation from hurricanes and assured the people that they can count on the support of the Crown in these troubling times, conveyed words from your mother and expressed how utterly heart-breaking it was for you to witness such conditions. There is nothing that can lead us to doubt the sincerity of your words and sentiments. After all, it is only natural and human to feel compassion and hurt for those who have faced the overwhelming effects of nature’s fury, especially when witnessing it first-hand.

However, as shattering and distressing as that may be, hurricanes are sporadic occurrences against which very little can be done. On the other hand, the current tour and all previous ones have also allowed you to witness deplorable conditions which were NOT wrought on our islands by the passage of nature’s onslaught but through the careful design, unmitigated greed and unrivalled cruelty of persons who in one way or another, derived their ability to wreak such havoc from the House of Windsor, it’s preceding appellations and its multiple affiliated branches. Yet, not a word, official or not, was ever uttered to indicate how heavy is the guilt to be associated with, and, in fact, be a direct beneficiary of such miserable state of affairs.

The presence of millions of Africans displaced in the Caribbean region, having lost practically all knowledge of themselves their culture, their name, their language, their folks ways and more ways, living in dilapidated housings, precariously dressed and fed on substandard diets, causing untold health issues, all of this as a direct result of a system of things organised by and to the benefit of people who were centred around the crown of England. Furthermore, the conscious and wilful failure to aid the fledgling West Indian Federation (without mentioning the behind the scene acts of sabotage) which gravely handicapped our ability to address and redress the damages caused during those centuries can also be laid at the feet of the Crown. It will not do to hide behind the guise of a constitutional monarchy to avoid and deflect responsibility in this regard.

Along with the title of King of the United Kingdom, the crown will bestow you with the title of Supreme Governor of the Church of England and, albeit you might choose to alter it, the title of Defender of the Faith. Whether symbolic or not, these, along with the claim of reigning Dei Gratia, render the Scriptures a litmus test for your actions and ultimately render you answerable to the God of those scriptures. And while you might find solace and inspiration in the accounts of the Kings of Israel, it is to the Kings of Babylon that we wish to direct your attention. For to us, our relationship with the crown of England is akin to that of the Israelites in bondage, whether to Pharaoh or Nebuchadnezzar, not to that of the Hebrews and their Kings. For we are the children of Chatoyer, and as the children of Israel, our forefathers were force to “bow down and worship”. Their lives were made “bitter with hard bondage, in mortar, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour.

Just as the historical records are replete with the facts and accounts supporting our case laid on the European crowns and governments, just as the financial ledgers of so many corporations support the legitimacy of our demands, the scriptures are replete with examples that support the justice and righteousness of our cause. The scriptures are also replete with examples for you to charter a way concerning the future of our ties. They advise you to avoid the faith of Nebuchadnezzar, the way of Pharaoh. They tell you that “Behold, I will raise them out of the place whither ye have sold them, and will return your recompense upon your own head”. Yet, mercifully, they also share an example for you in particular, by way of the story of Cyrus who, realising the injustice done by his forbearers, sought to make amends, right a wrong and become worthy of God’s mercy by assisting the children of Israel to rebuild themselves.

We vigorously encourage you to consult and ponder on the CARICOM Ten Point Plan for Reparatory Justice. We are confident that you will find a comprehensive, manageable and agreeable framework to build on, were you to choose to make your reign one that would be, finally, worthy of Dei Gratia, The Grace of God.

Regards,

The St. Vincent & the Grenadines Reparation Committee

The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to news.iwitness@gmail.com.

19 replies on “Dear Prince Charles,”

    1. Its not a laughing matter old buddy boy.

      The Africans have already admitted that they were responsible for selling black slaves to Europeans. They have already admitted that white men did not capture slaves they bought them from black chiefs and kings. So why are the reparation pretenders still flogging this to the ignorant?

      The answer is simple, they know as well as I know the truth. But they present lies hoping that the reparation fraud will help them politically.

      1999, Ghana, Africa: Odeefuo Boa Amponsem III, the King of Denkyira, was elected President of the National House of Chiefs. During his term heading the national chiefs, officially apologized to all descendants of victims of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade for the role that African chiefs played. The Kingdom of Denkyira itself was enriched by the slave trade and grew to its greatest strength in the 17th century through a combination of the gold and human trade.
      Ref: https://www.eaumf.org/ejm-blog/aug-10-denkyira-apology

      1999, Benin [formerly Dahomey] West Africa: President Mathieu Kerekou [whilst in America] of Benin [formerly the Kingdom of Dahomey] issued a national apology for the role Africans played in the Atlantic slave trade. Luc Gnacadia, minister of environment and housing for Benin, later said: “The slave trade is a shame, and we do repent for it.” Researchers estimate that 3 million slaves were exported out of the Slave Coast bordering the Bight of Benin.
      Ref: “Ending the Slavery Blame-Game” The New York Times. April 22, 2010.
      President Mathieu Kerekou of Benin astonished an all-black congregation in Baltimore by falling to his knees and begging African-Americans’ forgiveness for the “shameful” and “abominable” role Africans played in the trade.
      Ref: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/23/opinion/23gates.html?_r=0

      1999, West Africa, Ghana: President Jerry Rawlings of Ghana apologized for his country’s involvement in the slave trade.

      2002, Ghana, West Africa: The Archbishop of Accra [Ghana] Charles G. Palmer-Buckle apologized on behalf of Africans for the part Africans played in the slave trade, and the apology was accepted by bishop John Ricard of Pensacola-Tallahassee.
      Ref: National Catholic Reporter, 13 September 2002

      2003, USA: Cyrille Oguin Ambassador for Benin Africa, whilst touring schools and churches throughout the United States offered a formal apology for the countries ancestries’ involvement in the slave trade. “In the name of the government and the people of Benin, on behalf of President Mattie Ke’re’kou, I say to you all, we are sorry,” says Oguin. “We are deeply, deeply sorry.”
      Beyond the straightforward apology, a key part of the ambassador’s message addressed the issue of responsibility. Slave traders only share part of the blame for what happened centuries ago, he says. “We believe it is easy to say that those other people did it, but we also believe that if we are not helping them, if we did not assist them, if we did not play a role in it, it would not have happened.”
      Benin’s slave trade reconciliation movement has been under way since 1999, when the country’s president sponsored a conference on the subject. In addition to healing old wounds, the ambassador says seeking forgiveness has offered new economic opportunities. Reconciliation, he says, is the first step to healing old wounds and opening economic development. “The president of Benin, the people of Benin have asked me to come here and apologize for the government, for the Benin people and for Africa for what we all know happened,” Oguin says. “Where our parents were involved in this awful, this terrible, trade.”
      Ref: http://www.foxnews.com/story/2003/07/10/african-ambassador-apologizes-for-slavery-role.html

      2009, Nigeria: The Civil Rights Congress of Nigeria wrote an open letter to all African chieftains whose ancestors participated in the slave trade calling for an apology for their role in the Atlantic slave trade: “We cannot continue to blame the white men, as Africans, particularly the traditional rulers, are not blameless. In view of the fact that the Americans and Europe have accepted the cruelty of their roles and have forcefully apologised, it would be logical, reasonable and humbling if African traditional rulers accept blame and formally apologise to the descendants of the victims of their collaborative and exploitative slave trade.”
      Ref: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2009/nov/18/africans-apologise-slave-trade

  1. I wonder who the St. Vincent & the Grenadines Reparation Committee really representing when the majority of right thinking Vincentians wholeheartedly embraced the Monarchy and gladly accepts the Queen of England as our head of state to the point of refusing to remove her. How then is “our relationship with the crown of England is akin to that of the Israelites in bondage”? What kind of bondage is that now? Bondage of whose making? The slave trade created the Caribbean civilization, for better or for worst. The blood and sweat of our African forefathers give rise to our Caribbeanese. But this whole reparation business seems to lay all the blame at the feet of our former colonial masters. I am still baffled as to how an entire continent of people in Africa could allow the Europeans to capture black people from the dense jungles of Africa to bring them to the West Indies, but little Yurumei with a merry band of warriors was able to fend off these same mighty colonizers for so long. Africa with all its people and resources was not able to band together and fend off the Europeans, but Yurumei warriors with bows and arrows did. So unless our very own flesh and blood sold our forefathers to the colonizers or was somehow complicit, what else could be the explanation of this sordid affair?
    Next, while we may have lost our history to the Europeans and “the presence of millions of Africans displaced in the Caribbean region, having lost practically all knowledge of themselves, their culture, their name, their language, their folks ways and more ways, living in dilapidated housings, precariously dressed and fed on substandard diets, causing untold health issues, all of this as a direct result of a system of things organised by and to the benefit of people who were centred around the crown of England”. How is this reparation money going to save us when we appear to be the authors of our own demised, instrumental from the very start?
    We continue to lambaste our former colonial masters about slavery, yet in spite of the forced migration our people are much better off here in the Caribbean than in Africa. While we try to heap scorn on England, we continue to enjoy her democratic system of government that she bestowed on us, we happily make use of her system of Justice and laws that she bequeathed us. We pride ourselves and tap our backs for a job well done on our copycat education system, copied from the people we scorn and feel in bondaged to. We declare our region as a zone of peace, but that peace is possible in part because we learned diplomacy from Europe and our various European like systems of government and laws along with our shared colonial history created a bond which we have not yet broken. We continue to pay lip service to our fallen hero Chatoyer yet in our learned helplessness we have failed to name any other because we cannot seem to agree. So what good is the whole reparation exercise going to bring? Who is going to benefit?
    George Orwell’s Animal Farm told us in so many words that as a people we have the tendency to become the very things that we once despised. How long before the pigs start to walk on two legs after having told us how bad two legs were? How much longer do we need to wait before we hear that four legs are good but two legs are better?

    1. The answer to everything written here is in my comments of March 21 which appear to have been overlooked and remain un-adjudicated.

  2. Ricardo Francis says:

    The St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) Reparation Committee should go to AFRICA and ask some of the wealthy African families, descendants of African royalty who sold their brothers and sisters into slavery for compensation. Some of those families, I believe are still very wealthy to this very day, as I write these words. Today, there is still slavery in AFRICA. The Politics of REPARATION is simple a political exercise to reinforce MENTAL SLAVERY to satisfy a particular political agenda. The Vincentian public should be more concerned about the monies missing from the treasury and our lands, especially those owned by foreigners,
    sold under false pretense,currently, and more specifically, MUSTIQUE. I have tremendous respect and appreciation for the British Parliamentary System. Prince Charles, I welcome you, to our shores! Please, enjoy your visit!

    Ricardo Francis, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in Waiting and in the Making

  3. Elma Gabriel says:

    This letter would have been more effective from a ‘Caribbean unified Reparation committee’. Unity is Power people and believe me; BIG brother is only …..LOL

  4. C. ben-David says:

    We must stop this nasty and obsequious begging and stand on own own feet and be accountable for our own actions a long 181 years after the abolition of slavery. After all, our elites asked for independence and it was granted almost 40 years ago!

    Put down your begging cup and practice your independence and it will set you free from your mental slavery!

    Look around. Nearly everything you see — the roads, bridges, gutters, government buildings, hospital, clinics, schools, education system, justice system, democratic institutions, English language, Christian religion, etc. — were bestowed on us by the British who gave us generous reparations in the form of grants-in-aid until independence and continues to assist us to the present day with countless grants and brotherhood within the Commonwealth of Nations.

    Stop this begging and get up and get!

  5. The author is unfortunately filled with self-pity and seeking to blame a scapegoat for our problems. The author is apparently saying it is England who is at fault for all our problems, (they certainly left a negative cultural legacy) and they should therefore send us lots of money. The author fails to notice that we are now an independent nation and have decided not to suck off the tit of England, so the author should stop demanding England to allow us to continue to take care of us. If the black majority of SVG are just displaced Africans then the white population of the USA and Australia are displaced Europeans. The author should not insist on the world to be racist and draw a target on the heads of blacks and insist they are entitled to charity because we are incapable of making it on our own.
    The author should instead notice that we have the government and system we deserve. We have many faults that are the cause of our bad situation and refusal to pull ourselves out of the mess. There is so much that keeps us far behind where we should or could be. Blaming others, demanding pity and charity is not going to help us.
    The reparations issue was crafted for monetary and political reasons and will not sustainably help anyone. On the contrary, it will serve as proof ( that blacks that came from Africa hundreds of years ago) are perpetually incapable of making it on thier own and instead need charity. We should instead work our way out of our problems instead of crying and complaining insisting it is all the fault of thier ancestors 200 years ago, therefore they have to continue to take care of us.

  6. We are nothing more than a bunch of hypocrites. We continue to regale ourselves in vestiges of our colonial past and proudly display her insignias. We proudly continue to send our sons and daughters to fight her wars and celebrate their achievements when they attain high rank and honour. We celebrate our national pride and the achievements of our first people, yet we bury our heads in the sand and pretend that sweet mother Africa was innocent and her treachery towards her children was done under duress. The gall that we have to display such duplicity amazes me. May her Majesty the Queen reign be long and glorious. May her sun never set, as we continue to await her royal honours every year. What would we do if it wasn’t for her royal mercies to us her loyal subjects? What would we have done if Mother England didn’t set us up so nicely with her bureaucratic systems that took years for her to develop and was wrought with the blood of her sons and daughters? Dear Queen Mother, we have sin in words and actions, do accept our confession and pardon us for our erroneous ways and if it so pleases you, visit us one more time before you past into glory.

    1. Two outstanding comments on this issue. We need to hear more from you, Youthman, though your mature and reasoned critique tells me that you are well past youth days.

  7. Who is the idiot that wrote this? Here we go begging again. Can we not just forget about these people (monarchy) as though they mean nothing to us? You write all this, yet others running around patching roads and painting schools; as if our own children was not deserving of painted schools in the first place. What does that say about us as a people?

  8. As your SVG Reparation Committee rightly claims, the Old Testament says that the ancient Jews were held in bondage in both Babylon (what is now part of Iraq) and Egypt.

    But they have received no reparations for this except from the Lord in the form of the gift of the Promised Land, an area that its greedy neighbours wish seize from them again.

    So, until the descendants of the enslaved Jews of old receive reparation for their slavery from the modern states of Iraq and Egypt, your claim for reparation for the British-imposed slavery of Black Africans, aided and abetted by neighbouring groups of Africans without whose efforts in transporting those they enslaved to the coast of West Africa to be sold to European slavers, will have to be put on hold.

    Don’t be gready by trying to push yourself to the head of a very long line of historically enslaved peoples.

  9. Please study the Bible carefully and you will understand why the blessings of Israel (blacks) were given to the Gentiles. Stop asking for hand outs and try to do what is right in the eyes of God. Slavery was meant to happen according to scriptures and there are ways for us to redeem ourselves.

  10. Has anyone here in SVG ever tried asking Ralph for his contemporary opinion on the matter? Perhaps being pleased with his 18 years in office, his opinion may have changed thereby crystalizing his thinking!

    It is most noticeable that quite apart from his persistent and constant worldwide begging, he most certainly do appears to be at odds with the sentiments of the letter, during his recent walkabout.
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-6831389/Prince-Charles-Duchess-Cornwall-arrive-St-Vincent-Grenadines-looking-holiday-ready.html

  11. Jomo Thomas and Ralph Gonsalves I know this is a Marxist message from you to embarrass the Prince of Wales in an attempt to demand money with menaces from Britain. Even if you did not write this yourself there is no way it would be submitted for publishing without you approving it first.

    Britain has kept SVG from sinking under the weight of your communist rule now for 18 long years, and for a hundred or more years before that. They have continually given us millions every one of those years.

    Shame on you two faced politicians.

    1. Jolly Green, I sure love your comments. You see things that I don’t. You are probably right assuming who was involved in writing this and for what reason. Most of us are just sick of the begging. I personally am sick of government that does not have a clue on economics. Any gains we have are just from accident or luck. We are so much at the bottom that on occasion we have to have some minor positive economic incidents. If I were in charge the difficulty would be to slow-down the economic growth but the gang of jokers we have right now have to depend on luck and begging for loans or other hand-outs. They see no problem with the economic plight of the people as long as they can continue thier life of priveledge.
      It is sad to realize that England did far more for the people of SVG than the very government we chose for ourselves.

  12. ‘West Indians’ today are generations of African descendants. But, we are not Africans just as Americans are not Europeans. Our culture, eating habits, our clothing habits, our religion, our speech, our mentality is very different from that of Continental Africans.
    The British brought some of our ancestors to these lands many years ago in (Sub human)bondage to work for them because they could. Afterward, the British gave us these lands and our freedom and left. It was not ours, It was theirs. We didn’t rise in rebellion( join with the Indians) and take our freedom and the lands. They had fought for and gained these land from the original inhabitants before our ancestors. And, then they built their civilization in Europe.
    Then they gave us the land to do as we see fit. We owe them some respect unless we don’t respect ourselves.
    My old queen used to say a word: “She had known many people of humble origins who went on to become Doctors and Scientists.” God bless her.
    Now, if the savvy SVG politicians and other organizations smart, they would take advantage of this opportunity to befriend and lobby Prince Charles to contribute in ways to help us manage the development of our island because a lot of the people who are in charge here don’t know how.

  13. Well C Ben-David, if Ralph Gonsalves was indeed a founder member of this bogus “Caribbean Reparations Commission”, then from his joyous walkabout, there is a presumption that the man was and is simply just making utter fools of gullible Vincentians.

    Take a look at that photo in the previous post, of the grinning Ralph Gonsalves, as he grins from ear to ear, in that photo with the caption “Camilla grinned as she met school children on the tarmac at the Argyle International Airport, many of whom had Union flags.”

    The laugh sure looks as though it is on those gullible enough not to presume his insincerity! The ancestral slaves wore their chains because of their misfortune but here the gullible now wear their heavy chains because they are being forged in their own stupidity.

    One picture do tels a very good story!

    https://www.iwnsvg.com/2019/03/22/petitions-trial-i-cant-recall-electoral-officer-says-after-ruling/

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