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"You, the Queen, should be ashamed!" | Special reports | Guardian Unlimited

Link: "You, the Queen, should be ashamed!" | Special reports | Guardian Unlimited.

Why draw the line at this? If the Queen should be ashamed of Britain's role in slavery, how ashamed should she be of the conduct of her own direct ancestors; the feudal masters of German serfs? Why don't we Britons apologise, or even pay compensation, to modern Germans for her family's past conduct? It would be every bit as logical as this man's demands.

Toyin_01_largeIf a racist is someone who feels morally superior because of the colour of his skin, then that is exactly what Mr Agbetu is. But who cares? His ideas don't diminish us, they diminish him. Why would any self-respecting man ever want to live the pathetic, shrivelled apology for a life of someone who cannot define himself by anything better than his ethnic origin? Why would anyone but a loser have such a hunger to be a victim?

Try Googling Toyin Agbetu. His every public utterance appears to have been an accusation of racism, or some  nonsense about the correct way to describe black people in Britain. He favours "African British" apparently. According to his organisation's website:

African  British is the term now used to describe the community previously mislabelled [by whom?] as Afro-Caribbean, Black British,  UK Black, Coloured and Black. It embraces all British nationals with antecedents originating directly from  Africa or indirectly via African diasporic communities, such as those in the Caribbean and South America

Good for him. We are happy for him to be British, but if that's not good enough, he can be whatever he likes. He has written and is in the process of directing a couple of movies at present, apparently. I can take a good guess as to the subject matter, but if anyone can prove me wrong, I would love to see a copy of the scripts.

How about this for a programme (again from his organisation's website):

We believe that the key to European progression is European people creating and evolving solutions for and by themselves. While we feel there is a need for certain non-European institutions to acknowledge their exploitation and degrading practices towards European people with a view to rectifying their moral wrongs, we believe it is even more essential that European people construct their own destiny. This essentially means that European people need to be enterprising and establish their own businesses, organisations, educational institutions and material, media, artistic outlets and ultimately a European centered approach to working with and for European people.

Except - you've guessed it -  for "European" you must read "African"

How much better if Mr Agbetu was to win respect by doing something useful, rather than just demanding it for the colour of his skin. I thought that's what anti-racism was about. Evidently, I was mistaken.


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I knew recently of a Nigerian who brought a young girl over to the UK, took away her passport and made her her serf.
This young girl eventually ran away to the authorities and the UK gave her leave to remain. From the newspapers, I read this is not an uncommon story.

Pray tell then, where are the present British to be held blameworth?

Who's battle is Toyin Agbetu fighting? Not the present one I'm sure.


Wow. I hadn't even heard of this until I read your post. This didn't make the news in the U.S. So I looked up his demonstration...

Goodness, one would think that celebrating the abolition of slavery would be a happy occasion, not one to protest. And I fail to see why the Queen (or anyone else, for that matter) owes an apology for slavery. Expressing regret is clearly sufficient. It is enough to say, "I'm deeply saddened that this unfortunate thing ever took place."

You or I don't inherit genetic guilt for slavery because of the color of our skin. (Besides, my ancestors were in Sicily at the time). Neither should someone who is black inherit a culture of victimhood.

Slavery still exists in many parts of the world. Why isn't this guy off protesting in India, Nepal, the UAE or certain countries in sub-Saharan Africa, where slavery is still occurring?


Happily in Russia the whole bicentenary's additional circus has passed the media by.


How on Earth did this bicentenary change from a shared national celebration of the abolition of slavery by the British (a good thing) to national self-flagellation over the historical 'oppression' of blacks by Europeans?

The whole ghastly event has been grossly mismanaged, allowed to become tendentious and divisive. Again this points to a fundamental stupidity at the heart of government, an alarming lack of knowledge about the past and its lessons for the present. Can anyone name the academics, intellectuals and serious authors in Blair's cabinet?

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