Caribbean countries call for slavery reparations

first_img 18 Views   no discussions Sharing is caring! NewsRegional Caribbean countries call for slavery reparations by: – September 26, 2011 Share Sharecenter_img Tweet Share Baldwin Spencer, Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Antigua and Barbuda, addressing the general debate of the sixty-sixth session of the UN General Assembly. UN Photo/Evan SchneiderNEW YORK, USA — Three Caribbean countries — Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados and St Vincent and the Grenadines – on Saturday called for reparations for injustices suffered by African slaves and their descendants.The prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Baldwin Spencer, said that segregation and violence against people of African descent had impaired their capacity for advancement as nations, communities and individuals.“None should disagree that racism and other legacies of slavery continue to shape the lives of people of African descent – thus reparations must be directed toward repairing the damage inflicted by slavery and racism,” Spencer told the UN General Assembly’s annual general debate in New York.He stressed that former slave-owning states should begin a reconciliation process by formally apologizing for the crimes committed by those nations or their citizens over the 400 years of the African slave trade.“And to help counter the lingering damage inflicted on generations of peoples of African descent by generations of slave-trading and colonialism, we call on those very States to back up their apologies with new commitments to the economic development of the nations that have suffered from this human tragedy,” said Spencer.He said that planned African Diaspora Summit in South Africa next year will provide a platform for the African Diaspora to put in place economic policies that will ensure sustained economic cooperation among public and private stakeholders to promote development, entrepreneurship and business opportunities in Diaspora regions.Barbados also renewed its call for “meaningful and innovative reparations” globally for people of African descent as past and continuing victims of racial discrimination. Minister of Culture, Stephen Lashley, raised the issue on Saturday while addressing a one-day United Nations High-Level Meeting to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action in New York. This Declaration calls for the universal ratification of the International Convention of the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination.Lashley told those present that funding targeted at national economic development, as well as resources intended to support social programmes designed to counter the attacks on the self-worth of people of African descent should be included in these reparations.“Such programmes are being implemented in Barbadian schools and communities, and they investigate, identify and counter those messages and images that negate the value of the knowledge and culture of people of African descent by building awareness of the fundamental contribution of African peoples to world civilisation,” he explained.The minister argued that continuous investigation, monitoring, and reporting of acts of racial discrimination must be a priority if the full potential of all individuals and groups within all nations was to be realised, and their human rights protected.He conceded that not all countries possessed the technical or financial resources for that type of surveillance which would also serve as the basis for reporting to the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. “It is critical, therefore, that priority be given to providing technical and financial resources to States, as well as regional and international bodies for the development of institutionalised systems of surveillance. Barbados is proposing a model for one such system of surveillance and will seek to collaborate with other nations for its full development and implementation,” he disclosed.Acknowledging that racial discrimination had been widely recognised as a root cause of war and inhumanity, Lashley said it must be given the highest priority and resources required to properly address its perpetuation and consequences. He expressed the view that the challenge would be inherently difficult and complex, but not insurmountable, if those involved remained focus, fair and relevant.He reassured the meeting that the government of Barbados remained committed to eradicating the scourge of racial discrimination, wherever it might occur.The minister also called for significant resources to be allocated to fund national, regional and international multi-ethnic research centres to develop new conceptual tools for understanding the complex nature of racial discrimination. “In the Caribbean, the site of the longest and deepest social experiment in building societies based on a complex of racial shades [is] the University of the West Indies [and it] can be one such centre to study ethnic relations,” he suggested.Lashley praised those involved in the project to erect a Permanent Memorial at the United Nations Headquarters to honour the victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade.While the United Nations this year pays tribute to anti-slavery fighters, there must also be an apology and reparation for the Atlantic Slave Trade, St Vincent and the Grenadines’ (SVG) Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said on Saturday. The UN has declared 2011 the International Year for People of African Descent and Gonsalves told the General Debate he was grateful that the UN has hosted events to raise awareness of the challenges facing people of African descent and foster discussions on potential solutions to tackle these challenges.“The people of St Vincent and the Grenadines have a long and proud history of resistance to slavery, bigotry and genocide, dating back to the heroic resistance of the Garifuna peoples against British aggression in the late 1700s,” Gonsalves said of his multi-island Caribbean nation.“While we celebrate the noble heroism of the famous and the faceless who resisted racist colonial hegemony, we must continue to confront the legacy of this barbarism and continuing injustice. The wounds of this era are deep, the crimes against humanity are clear, and the necessity for apology and reparations are undeniable,” said Gonsalves, who is of Portuguese descent.He told world leader that racial discrimination was justified and became itself the justification for a brutal, exploitative and dehumanising system of production that was perfected during the transatlantic slave trade and ingrained over the course of colonial domination.The structure of the modern world is still “firmly rooted in a past of slavers and colonialist exploitation,” he further said.“Today, every single country of the world with a population of majority African descent is still trapped in the periphery of our global economic and developmental systems,” Gonsalves noted.He said that the peoples of African descent “remain disadvantaged, individually and systemically, by this entrenched and unyielding cycle of discrimination.“Indeed, many of the wars that the UN struggles mightily to quell or avoid are rooted in the ignorant and avaricious cartography of European colonisers,” he further said.Gonsalves told the UN that in the remaining months of this year “we must ramp-up efforts to confront the challenges facing the people of African descent, seek justice for historical and modern wrongs, and celebrate the rich and diverse African culture, in all of its glorious manifestations”.He further said that discussion about peoples of African Descent this year couldn’t take place without highlighting “the enormous humanitarian challenges facing the peoples of the Horn of Africa and Haiti.“The East African famine and its attendant refugee and security problems require urgent attention and massive response,” Gonsalves argued.“We are not a civilized global society if we cannot address and banish the extreme poverty and starvation faced by the people of this region. Similarly, the situation faced by the citizens of our sister state of Haiti remains precarious. Now is the time for the international community to redouble, rather than reduce, the support and assistance given to the government and people of Haiti,” Gonsalves said.The United Nations, the Barbados Government Information Service and Kenton X. Chance contributed to this report.By Caribbean News Now contributorlast_img read more

How would Magic Johnson’s HIV announcement have been handled today?

first_imgImagine the news cycle this morning was about to be punctured with the story that Magic Johnson would be telling the world about his HIV diagnosis.With all that’s known now about AIDS works, the survival rates and the stigmas still attached to it, through which media platform might you expect to process this information first?1, A tweet by TMZ, based on a leak?2. A well-crafted posting on that appeared to come straight from Johnson? • RELATED: Magic’s announcment 25 years ago, was a game-changer for societyIn the hours leading up to that Nov. 7 afternoon in 1991, three days into a Lakers’ season where their 32-year-old superstar had been isolated with some uncertain illness, there was mounting obfuscation by the team, Johnson’s handlers and, eventually, the league as they tried to process. Misinformation was all over the place.By the time ESPN anchor Dan Patrick made the announcement at 3:05 p.m. that the network would be breaking into its regularly scheduled program “to bring you perhaps the biggest sports-related story of our time,” the fear factor had heightened through more incomplete intel.If we were to accurately fast forward to how today’s media might handle all this, we’ve gotta be honest with ourselves.“If Magic gave the same announcement today under the same conditions as was before — while still playing as an elite in the league — you know there would be massive trending on Twitter, much of it likely to be sadly unsavory and unfair,” said Dr. Daniel Durbin, the director of the USC Annenberg Institute of Sports, Media and Society.“Also given that TMZ would immediately publish the story if there was a hint of a possibility that it might be true, Magic’s people would need to make sure they got his version of the story out as quickly as possible to beat Harvey Levin’s minions.“Even then, he could expect anyone within a thousand mile radius of his circle to be hit on for rumors, gossip and innuendo. He could expect to have various versions of his story repeated as the lead of TMZ broadcasts for the entertainment of the TMZ audience. And, of course, he should expect these rumors to be bandied about by various talk radio characters — again, for the entertainment, not enlightenment, of their audiences.”For context, note how the HIV announcement of actor Charlie Sheen went after he confirmed it in November 2015 even though he said he was diagnosed four years earlier. Will Leitch, the 41-year-old founding editor of who has crafted his own media “experience” through books, posts, podcasts and New York magazine, had no doubt how a Magic-related story would magically appear these days.“I don’t see any way this isn’t a story that TMZ breaks — they break everything,” he said. “There would have been a nurse’s aide or an orderly somewhere who would have spilled. Absolutely no question.”That would also start the process of disruptive discourse and dissemination because “there would be less respectful distance now” in how the news was pushed through the cycles.“The story would build on itself and build on itself and eventually, probably within one afternoon, get far out of his control,” he added, noting that the somewhat vague details Johnson offered about his pre-HIV diagnosis wouldn’t fly now.“I think, in fact, that you can make an argument that we would get more details in the first week after the announcement that we have gotten in the last 25 years. Now, amid the facts, there would be a ton of things wrong and a ton of misinformation. But out of misinformation, ultimately, comes truth.”Truth, and accuracy, the two things that often suffer the most collateral damage.To be truthful, we’re not sure how TMZ, which launched in 2005, might have dealt with this. An interview request to TMZ Sports executive producer Evan Rosenblum, a current member of the Southern California News Group’s Top 50 Most Powerful in L.A. Sports, was declined by TMZ officials.“I think we’d have better compassion and understanding of the disease and the people it affects,” Leitch added.“But just think, if it were to happen today, right before a Presidential election, it would still be a nightmare … and hearing Skip Bayless talk about it would make me want to die.”More media notes at MEDIA MAYHEMWHAT SMOKES• The U.S. Justice Department’s decision to now blast AT&T/DirecTV for collusion related to negotiations to distribute the Dodgers’ SportsNet LA has many layers of interpretation beyond the immediate gasp last Wednesday that a lawsuit had indeed been filed. After a three-season stall, AT&T/DirecTV gets more than a gentle nudge by the feds to behave on the playground as it tries to do another media mega-merger with Time Warner Inc. (a different company than TWC). It’s too little too late for those who missed Vin Scully’s going-away party. But there’s another curious aspect to this: How would the DOJ know so much behind-the-scenes information about the way DirecTV supposedly was the “ringleader” with three other cable companies to push away Time Warner Cable? One of those companies named in the suit, but not charged with collusion, is Charter Communications – which got the government to approve its takeover of Time Warner Cable in 2015, then pick up SportsNet LA. With this new Charter/TWC merger now called Spectrum, there is plenty of incentive for it to help the DOJ know all about how DirecTV traded information with it to block TWC. It could also have given Cox Communications a pass as well for ratting out DirecTV, now owned by AT&T, the third company named in this complicated brand-blaming suit. “The goal was to make Time Warner the bad guy in all this (by DirecTV, Cox, Charter and AT&T), which they quite successfully did, and to avoid getting involved in costly programming that might lose their customers,” said Dr. Daniel Durbin, the director of USC’s Annenberg Institute of Sports, Media and Society. “The DOJ may well have a good case that could cause trouble for them. My gut tells me it’s pretty unlikely this gets to the point of serious penalties.” Ultimately, this has to go beyond public shaming. Commerce’s checks and balances of what constitutes a fair price for a Regional Sports Network couldn’t even come into play as long as DirecTV played hardball against TWC and dragged the others with it. Now, we see how bedfellows can turn on one another when they’re on the other side of the financial fence. It’s just how people do business, apparently. Again, leaving the fans holding the check.WHAT CHOKES• The fact that L.A. radio listeners had to scramble to find out-of-market stations just to listen to Game 7 of the World Series on Wednesday night would seem to be quite embarrassing to the industry if it didn’t already have enough poor customer service to deal with. The two affiliates that could have provided ESPN Radio coverage – KSPN-AM (710) and KLAA-AM (830) – had commitments to flagship partners (Lakers and Ducks, respectively), which also happened during Tuesday’s Game 6, the previous Friday’s Game 4 and the Oct. 25 Game 2. And last Sunday’s Game 5 took KSPN out of the mix as well. The game was made for radio, and it’s more than a shame that the call by Dan Shulman and Aaron Boone was best accessible (to those without Sirius XM satellite radio) by angling the car on the freeway just right to pick up San Diego’s 690-AM or 1090-AM. As a last resort, the ESPN Radio phone app did work, but the experience was taken away. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img 3. Johnson’s own hacked Instagram account?4. KCBS-Channel 2 sports anchor Jim Hill interrupting a Caitlyn Jenner interview on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show?”Monday, we hit the 25-year marker on the day a press conference was quickly arranged before live TV news cameras at the Forum Club in Inglewood. It’s human nature to want to go back to that day and reassess how the news gathering came about, and then compare it to modern technologies that would certainly guarantee that everything be delivered much more clean and accurate through reporting and analysis.You’d still be overlooking the human element that’s potentially as toxic now as it was naïve back then.‘Unsavory and unfair’ reaction?last_img read more