Sunday, March 25, 2007

Bicentenary of Slave Trade Abolition

"Why mark the bicentenary of the abolition of the transatlantic trade in Africans?"

...asks Professor Verene Shepherd, chair of the Jamaica National Bicentenary Committee & chairperson of the Jamaica National Heritage Trust. Check out the 'for' and 'against' in the Jamaica Gleaner

In an Observer Article titled 'My journey in footsteps of anti-slavery heroine', Ms Dynamite, after her TV film for the anti-slavery law bicentenary, talks about Jamaica's first freedom fighter.

Guide to Oppression

My surname Lynch, sadly has not got very pleasant origins being associated with such horrors as lynchings and the like and especially with such infamous characters as Willie Lynch who is attributed with a speech on the 'divide and rule' philosophy of the slave trade. In his speech he gives, what I would call a guide to oppression, saying:

I have outlined a number of differences among the slaves: and I take these differences and make them bigger. I use fear, distrust, and envy for control purposes.

Take this simple little list of differences, and think about them. On top of my list is "Age", but it is there only because it starts with an "A": the second is "Color" or shade, there is intelligence, size, sex, size of plantations, status on plantation, attitude of owners, whether the slave live in the valley, on hill, East, West, North, South, have fine hair, coarse hair, or is tall or short.

I shall assure you that distrust is stronger than trust and envy is stronger than adulation, respect, or admiration.

Source: AWARE (Alliance Working to Achieve Racial Equality)

His speech could be a guide to anyone in power on how to exert that power and could be applied to any modern day oppression whether bullying, gang fights, war (legal or illegal), all the 'isms' from racism to sexism to homophobia, modern day slavery, human trafficking, 'moral panics', asylum seeker/refugee control, human rights violations, North South Divide, poverty - where differences are made bigger and fear, distrust and envy are used for control purposes.

However, unlike my namesake, I believe trust is stronger than distrust, and that adulation, respect and admiration will win hands down over envy...eventually.

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