Mr. Atkinson,

The fact that the TransAtlantic Slave Trade is uniquely damaging should be enough, don’t you think? If somebody mentions the long-standing behavior of a criminal, would the first thing you point out be how one time he gave somebody a chocolate chip cookie?? What do you think is the underlying motivation, despite the egregious events of the last 500 years — largely ignored by white people as a crime — to mention the profound and obvious amorality in this context? The Slave Trade cannot be compensated for with a few flippant statements about how Britain may eventually have been ‘moral.’ Any close examination of this choice underlines that they had to make this choice as a result of international pressure — had it been about morality, the response would have been faster than CENTURIES, don’t you think?! CENTURIES is quite slow on the uptake by any standards.. .And this, only after they had to, on the basis of international pressure, not because they are exceptionally ‘moral,’ as you seem to state towards the end of your essay. This self-serving attribution is obvious by the fact that white people often choose to conclude with a statement about ‘morality,’ one which is fundamentally paradoxical given historical realities.

The measure for morality is not the one moral thing a person or group of people chose to do despite profound and consistent immorality, it is the lowest point at which they allowed themselves to fall. Why isn’t Britain examining this, instead of talking about how moral they were in helping to eliminate the slave trade?? Why not focus on the crime and the way in which it continues to damage 90% of the human race by privileging the 10%, white people, rather than look for ways to get Britain off the hook?

I perceive this as the kind of severe cognitive distortion that privileged people allow themselves because the truth is so very ugly, and its admission would require the return of stolen items, of which there are many, worldwide. This pragmatic fact — that white people as a group have what belongs to others — seems to prevent from perceiving things accurately. The lack of stamina which results from having others do the work coupled with the profound narcissism of presumptive superiority has created a toxic worldwide system: this is the priority, discussion-wise, not the speck of ‘morality’ Britain may or may not have shown towards people they oppressed, worldwide, for centuries.

Written by

She/Her: Distort lies until they amplify truth. CryBaby: As loud as necessary.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store