Whitewash: why no apology for slavery?

After watching the films Mandela, The Long Walk to Freedom and 12 Years a Slave, I’m glad that I’m an Irish Catholic. Our community has never had a secular empire.

White men are depicted in the above films doing profoundly evil things. Yet we have never heard an apology.

Apart from all that Nelson Mandela endured, his wife, Winnie Mandela, played by the beautiful London actress Naomie Harris. Among other harassment, she was put in solitary confinement, in prison, for 16 months to put pressure on her husband. That was sheer evil.

It was matched in part by the treatment, in 12 Years a Slave, of the slave Patsy, played by Kenyan actress, Lupita Nyong’o — Patsy was abused and punished beyond the realms of understanding and made an example of to other slaves.

The justification for the oppressive violence, and the evil perpetrated on black people, came from the usual suspects — race superiority, religious affiliation and that subversive book, the Old Testament. Where have we heard such nonsense before?

It’s nearer to home than we think.

John O’Connell


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