AFRICANGLOBE – Hollywood star Danny Glover has called David Cameron ‘ignorant’ for saying the Black community should ‘move on’ from slavery.
Glover, who is visiting Jamaica at the invitation of chairman of the CARICOM Reparations Commission and vice-chancellor of the University of the West Indies, Sir Hilary Beckles, said the UK prime minister’s comments were both insulting and outrageous.
“To make such an outrageous statement is an insult… it’s outrageous and it just shows his ignorance,” Glover said while addressing a Gleaner Editors’ Forum.
“I do hope that, as friends who have gone through so much together since those darkest of times, we can move on from this painful legacy and continue to build for the future,” said Cameron addressing MPs in Jamaica’s parliament, calling slavery “abhorrent in all its forms”.
When asked if the call for reparations by people of African descent is futile, Glover said, “I’m not holding out for the reparations, but I think certainly that reparations provide an opportunity for us to organise in different ways around the question itself.
“If you don’t bring up the issue, the brutality of it, you don’t get a discussion around it. As always you are going to have people who take the most extreme position against it. They only take that position on it because they know it’s a viable discussion, discourse happening.”
On matters relating to Cameron’s plan to spend £25million to building a prison in Jamaica by 2020 so nationals jailed in the UK can serve their sentences in their home country, Glover said the Government should tell Britain to “keep your prison, give us schools, give us infrastructure, not prisons”.
Glover was joined in his sentiments by Don Rojas, a journalist and political commentator who works with Glover through the Institute of the Black World, and James Early, who is a former cultural director at the Smithsonian Institution in the United States.
“What Cameron said was an insult. It was an insult to the nation of Jamaica and it was an insult to the entire Caribbean and Black people around the world,” Rojas said.
Drawing comparisons with the Jewish cause for reparations, Rojas argued that Cameron could not treat that issue with the same scant regard that he meted out to the Caribbean in regards to its calls for reparations.
“Think about if Cameron had said to a Jewish organisation, ‘Forget about the Holocaust, let’s get over the Holocaust …’ It is Germany paying reparations, because of their crimes perpetrated against the Jewish people, that created the financial basis for the state of Israel to be established. Germany paid reparations to Israel for 10 years uninterrupted, billions and billions of dollars to establish today what is the most powerful and the most modern state in the Middle East,” he said.
Expressing his own disdain for Cameron’s statements, Early said: “Mr Cameron is ignorant… he is not reading the signs of the time.”