March 30, 2004

Reparations for Aidan

Descendants of African slaves who ended up in America have filed suit against Lloyd's of London for insuring some of the ships that transported their ancestors between two hundred and three hundred years ago. (The importation of slaves was outlawed in 1808.) They claim they are suffereing because the actions of Lloyd's.

Their lawyer, Edward Fagan has claimed, "Lloyd's knew what they were doing led to the destruction of indigenous populations. They took people, put them on board ships and wiped out their identities." Responding to suggestions that events were too far in the past, he said, "There's ongoing injuries that these people suffer from. Why is it too far fetched to say blacks should be entitled to compensation for damages and genocide committed against them, when every other group in the world that has been victimised in this way has been?"

I don't think every other group in the world has been compensated. I'm not even going to mention the Armenians or the Ukrainians. I'm going to act on Aidan's behalf and file suit against the English Crown. Aidie is half Welsh and he has suffered from the conquest of Wales by the English and denied his true identity. Not only that, but some of Mrs H's family came to Wales from Ireland because they were persecuted by -- you guessed it -- agents of the Crown. I'll claim compensation for that as well.

One plaintiff, Deadria Farmer-Paellman said the slave trade denied her identity. "Today I suffer from the injury of not knowing who I am, having no nationality or ethnic group as a result of acts committed by these parties."

I was under the impression that her nationality is American. Just like most other Americans her ethnic group is American. Most white Americans have no other ethnic group, because their English, Irish, German, French, Scottish, Italian, Swedish, Danish, Russian, Welsh, Estonian, Bohemian, and Magyar ancestors all intermarried.

Frankly, that raises the whole issue of the Roman invasion of Britain. I'll lodging a complaint in the Eternal City against the successors to that regime, the government headed up by Mr Berlusconi. After all, the Italians of 2000 years ago knew exactly what they were doing when they drove the British tribes west -- forcing them from hearth and hovel. What is Welsh really, other than a forced amalgamation of ethnically distinct Celtic tribes, each with its own cultural identity? They may have lost all distinctiveness centuries ago, but according to Mr Fagan, it doesn't matter that this is in the past. Those who suffer for past wrongs on their ancestors should be compensated.

Is Aidie ethnically Dobunni, Cordovii, Demetae, or Iceni? Is he Deceangi, Carvetii, Coritani, or Atrebates? He'll never know. I will indoctrinate him with the fact that he will never know. We will spend all of Celtic History Month telling him just how bad he's got it. He is suffering and I am outraged. Cough up, Mr Berlusconi.

Posted by david at March 30, 2004 08:05 AM | TrackBack

mmm. doesn't that mean that most Anglo-Americans should file suit against the crown as well? I mean most of us wouldn't be here but for crown-supported religious persecution, or else that whole potato thing.

Posted by: Huw Raphael at March 30, 2004 08:35 PM

I think you have a case. If everyone wakes up to the potential here, the Exchequer will be bankrupt overnight.

Posted by: David at March 30, 2004 09:06 PM

I've been trying to find out when Celtic History Month is. Seems most of the months are already taken. With Women's History Month, Native American History Month, Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month, Black History Month, Aviation History Month, Family History Month...

Posted by: David at March 30, 2004 09:20 PM

I'd pick november for Samhain is there - the Celtic New Yer, but now, you know I try not to think that way *too* much. Perhaps July? Maybe a petition drive.

Posted by: Huw Raphael at March 31, 2004 02:53 PM