German media: What should an appropriate apology for slavery look like?

Reference news network reported on July 2 The Deutsche Welle radio website reported on June 30 that the Dutch king apologized for slavery, so what’s next?

For the second time in six months, Vaishishta Miskin, a regional affairs adviser in Amsterdam, is preparing for a historic moment, the report said. For many of her Surinamese heritage, this may be unimaginable.

Dutch King Willem-Alexander followed suit on July 1 after Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte apologized for the country’s history of the slave trade and pledged 200 million euros to boost education.

The report said that Willem-Alexander’s apology was symbolic. But in the southeast of Amsterdam, where Miskin is located, many locals trace their ancestry to former colonies such as Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles. For many, the bigger question is what happens afterward.

In fact, various sectors of society have held meetings to discuss this issue. “People are telling us they need to undo what they’ve experienced in the past, and also undo the grievances and injustices that continue in the present,” Miskin said.

“Even if we have an apology from the king, what does that mean?” she said. “What people really need is for their children to be educated professionally and to work for their children.” Her words pointed to the continued existence of one of the richest countries in the world. of inequality.

According to the report, Mia McMorris, a researcher at the Center for Compensation Studies at the University of the West Indies, believes that it is very clear what an appropriate apology for slavery should look like, and what should happen next.

He said: “Apology should have three levels. The first is taking responsibility, which means you understand what you did wrong and admit it. The second is dealing with the legacy of today — the persistent colonial narrative, racial profiling, Anything that triggers racial injustice. The third is to make amends last.”

In 2013, the Caribbean Community Compensation Commission, founded by Caribbean heads of government, reportedly drew up a 10-point plan. The first step is to apologize. Other demands include funding for public historiography, addressing large-scale health and education problems, and access to development rights through knowledge transfer and debt cancellation. McMorris said so far only the Netherlands has partially responded to claims for compensation. (Compilation/Wen Yi)

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