Jamaicans to UK Prime Minister: Get over slavery? ‘You first.’

The outrage over British Prime Minister David Cameron’s response to the slavery reparations issue during his visit to Jamaica has not subsided. In fact, Jamaicans have only become more vocal online in their reactions to Cameron’s admonishment to just “get over slavery.”

In a public post that has been widely shared on Facebook, Jamaican author Marlon James, whose latest novel A Brief History of Seven Killings had some of the world’s toughest literary critics spouting superlatives, crafted one of the most well-reasoned responses:

People have been blowing up my phone non stop, asking for a response to David Cameron saying Jamaicans should get over slavery and move on. Not just that, but the whole idea of this dough-faced Tory coming to the colonies to tell the subjects what’s what in our own damn house.
Listen David bae, I feel you. I’m with you on this forgetting slavery business, screw all the haters. I too am all ready to move past slavery and forget the whole thing.
I just have one condition: YOU FIRST.
You heard me. I promise to stop bitching about the legacy of Slavery and Colonialism (don’t get it twisted, the latter was even worse) and move on if you also move on, by destroying every building, every landmark, every statue, every port, every bridge, every road, every house, every palace, every mansion, every gallery (Hello, Tate!), every museum, and every ship built with slavery and colonialism blood money.
That would mean that London, Bristol and Liverpool would all have to go.
Then we’d all be just about full free, David.

In a blog post, satirical news outlet The Ungrateful Soup, which calls itself “Jamaica’s Most Reliable Informer,” had this to say:

Sensing a distinct lack of gratitude from the Jamaican people during his first official visit to the island, British Prime Minister David Cameron has formally agreed to strike a compromise with the local Government so we can stop nagging him about this whole reparations thing once and for all.

‘Wow, I can’t believe we’re still talking about this,’ began Cameron in his address to the Jamaican people. ‘But fine. Whatever. We promise we won’t enslave or colonize you people ever again. Happy now?’

The tongue-in-cheek post continued:

The statement, which the United Kingdom has described as the closest we will ever get to an apology, ‘so you can just forget about that,’ is the latest sign of goodwill from the nation who also graciously gifted us the opportunity to relieve some of the burden on British taxpayers with a brand new prison complete with convicted criminals.

‘You try to be nice to people and this is how they respond, by begging,’ continued Cameron, referring to what he has taken to calling ‘the R word.’

Interestingly, other British politicians are also steering clear of “the R word.” Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn, while acknowledging that the UK owed a huge debt to the Jamaican people, thought that the best way to repay it was not through reparations, but by investing in the country and treating it better when it comes to trade relations.

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