As a Canadian citizen of Afrikan ancestry, I celebrate our government’s apology for the Komagata Maru injustice. Over the years, I have felt equally buoyed by apologies to the First Peoples of this land, and believe that Canadian society deserves credit for addressing the Head Tax on Chinese workers as well as the internment of Japanese Canadians.
Yet spectacular injustice against one group remains strangely ignored. Despite shedding their blood in wars defending Canada’s freedom and unswerving loyalty to enshrined Canadian values and ideals, Canadians of Afrikan ancestry have still not received meaningful recognition or reparations for the unique horror of enslavement.
Like many of my peers, I still sting from the contempt behind the refusal of Canada and the USA to name the enslavement of Afrikans a “crime against humanity” at the UN. To the best of my knowledge, that is their official position, despite a President named “Obama” at the helm of “the free (antislavery) world”.
Our government is now ready it seems to repair the past. It is therefore past time, I submit, that all Canadians who cherish freedom and fairness demand that it “do the just thing” about this crime against humanity. Like survivors of Chernobyl’s explosion, we still suffer from fallout across generations and deserve to be heard and healed.
Without the exemplary courage and priceless sacrifice of our Ancestors, rich nations would be poorer and we would not be who we are today.
Will today’s Canada prove a nation worthy of their hopes?