For more than 200 years Britain was at the heart of a rich (to them!) transatlantic trade in millions of enslaved Africans. On 25 March 1807, the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act was passed.
During the period of slavery traders became rich. In parallel many slaves were raped and abused. Imagine living on a farm but before you are put to a lifetime of work you are branded on the chest. How could a man not see the other as equal? The slave owners had no respect or love in their hearts for their fellow humans.
I wonder how an attitude of abuse could prevail throughout society at the time.
Is it a case that there was no compassion, respect or understanding?
The same question has to be put when someone commits an act of communal violence, ethnic cleansing and racial abuse.
All of the latter are a matter of scale but are based on the same premise – surpression based on power and the morals of the day.
When the Nazis killed / exterminated of 6,000,000 Jews their hearts and minds were not filled with remorse as they had been brainwashed.
The question to ask is: Could this attitude of abuse, torture and hate raise its ugly head again?
Unfortunately, the risk is yes, as humans can be manipulated. History shows us this but why do we do not learn?!
When 1,000,000 people marched through London approx 4 years ago to take a stand against invading Iraq, what difference did it make?
I’m certainly not implying that we should give-up the need to strive for peace and respect.
A sad fact is that over the last 200 years slavery has survived. In addition, Human rights abuse continue.
Take a stroll over to: http://www.amnesty.org/ and see the proof for yourself – We need to remember that the world is still in turmoil.
Visit also: http://www.antislavery.org
One of their campaigns includes the situation in Sudan, i.e: During the 20 years of the Sudanese civil war between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/ Army, which ended in January 2005, conflict, raids and abductions in the Southern part of the country were carried out by various militia groups, leading to the enslavement of approximately 14,000 men, women and children. Despite some efforts by government and civil society, the majority of those abducted remain in slavery today, along with thousands more children born to them while in captivity.
This siite also outlines today’s environment of slavery to the ‘things we buy’: Please see: http://www.antislavery.org/homepage/campaign/whatwebuy.htm
We need to work together to ensure freedom for all. It is up to us to support those that want the right morals for the world, else we will regret the power we all have to help others. After all why are we here in the world, if not to ensure that we all are free.