CARICOM Reparations Ten-Point Plan: Part 1
By Dr. Conrad W. Worrill
Dr. Conrad Worrill, Director/Professor, Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies (CCICS) located at 700 East Oakwood Blvd, Chicago, Illinois, 60653, 773-268-7500, Fax: 773-268-3835
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Web site: www.ccics-chicago.org, Twitter: @CCICS_Chicago
On April 19, 2014 at Chicago State University, the Institute of the Black World 21st Century, in conjunction with the Jacob H. Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies and the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, will present a “National/International Forum on Revitalizing the Reparations Movement.” The forum will begin at 2:00 p.m. in the Emil Jones Convocation Center
In his keynote, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves will report on the CARICOM (Caribbean Community of Nations) meeting in St. Vincent on March 10-11, 2014 that produced the “CARICOM Reparations Ten-Point Plan.” CARICOM represents the fifteen nations of the Caribbean.
The Honorable Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and current Chairman of CARICOM, will present the keynote address at a national/international forum entitled “Revitalizing the Reparations Movement” at Chicago State University on Saturday, April 19, 2014.
Gonsalves is one of the leading voices in the Americas demanding that the former European colonial powers pay reparations to Caribbean and South American countries for centuries of African enslavement, native genocide and colonial exploitation.
Specially invited guests will be Detroit’s Honorable John Conyers, Sr., Dean of the Congressional Black Caucus and sponsor of the HR-40 Reparations Study Bill, and Minister Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam.
A primary goal of the forum is to revitalize the reparations movement in the USA by revisiting the Durban Resolution on the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, presenting an update on HR-40 and examining the status of CARICOM’s reparations initiative.
Other speakers will include Dr. Conrad Worril1, Director/Professor, Center for Inner City Studies; Dr. Iva Carruthers, General Secretary, Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference; Dr. Ron Daniels, President of the Institute of the Black World; JoAnn Watson, former Detroit City Council Member; Don Rojas, Director of Communications, Institute of the Black World and Illinois State Rep. Donne Trotter.
The following are five of the ten-points of the CARICOM Reparations Ten-Point Plan:
1) FULL FORMAL APOLOGY: The healing process for victims and the descendants of the enslaved and enslavers requires as a precondition the offer of a sincere formal apology by the governments of Europe. Some governments in refusing to offer an apology have issued in place Statements of Regrets.
Such statements do not acknowledge that crimes have been committed and represent a refusal to take responsibility for such crimes. Statements of regret represent, furthermore, a reprehensible response to the call for apology in that they suggest that victims and their descendants are not worthy of an apology. Only an explicit formal apology will suffice within the context of the CRJP (CARICOM Reparations Justice Program).
2) REPARATIONS: Over 10 million Africans were stolen from their homes and forcefully transported to the Caribbean as the enslaved chattel and property of Europeans. The transatlantic slave trade is the largest forced migration in human history and has no parallel in terms of man’s inhumanity to man.
This trade in enchained bodies was a highly successful commercial business for the nations of Europe. The lives of millions of men, women and children were destroyed in search of profit. The descendants of these stolen people have a legal right to return to their homeland.
A Repatriation program must be established and all available channels of international law and diplomacy used to resettle those persons who wish to return. A resettlement program should address such matters as citizens and deploy available best practices in respect of community re-integration.
3) INDIGENOUS PEOPLES DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM: The governments of Europe committed genocide upon the native Caribbean population. Military commanders were given official instructions by their governments to eliminate these communities and to remove those who survive pogroms from the region.
Genocide and land appropriation went hand in hand. A community of over 3,000,000 in 1700 has been reduced to less than 30,000 in 2000. Survivors remain traumatized, landless, and are the most marginalized social group within the region.
The University of the West Indies offers an Indigenous Peoples Scholarship in a desperate effort at rehabilitation. It is woefully insufficient. A Development Plan is required to rehabilitate this community.
4) CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS: European nations have invested in the development of community institutions such as museums and resea4rch centers in order to prepare their citizens for an understanding of these CAH (Crimes Against Humanity).
These facilities served to reinforce within the consciousness of their citizens an understanding of their role in history as rulers and change agents.
There are no such institutions in the Caribbean where the CAH were committed. Caribbean schoolteachers and researchers do not have the same opportunity.
Descendants of these CAH continue to suffer the disdain of having no relevant institutional systems through which their experience can be scientifically told. This crisis must be remedied within the CRJP.
5) PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS: The African descended population in the Caribbean has the highest incidence in the world of chronic diseases in the forms of hypertension and type-two diabetes.
This pandemic is the direct result of the nutritional experience, physical and emotional brutality, and overall stress profiles associated with slavery, genocide, and apartheid. Over 10 million Africans were imported into the Caribbean during the 400 years of slavery.
At the end of slavery in the late nineteenth-century less that 2 million remained. The chronic health condition of Caribbean blacks now constitutes the greatest financial risk to sustainability in the region. Arresting this pandemic requires the injection of science, technology, and capital beyond the capacity of the region.
Europe has a responsibility to participate in the alleviation of this health disaster. The CRJP addresses this issue and calls upon the governments of Europe to take responsibility for this tragic human legacy of slavery and colonization.
Again, these are the first five points of the CARICOM Reparations Ten-Point Plan. I willcontinue with the other five points in next week’s column. Hope to see you at Chicago State on April 19th.