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“Import sugar from the Americas.”

And cultivate it with slaves from Africa.

When slavery was made illegal and the slaves had to be freed, the owners demanded compensation for that loss of their ‘property’. To pay it, governments took out loans from the private sector. Those loans were finally paid off in 2016, I think it was. So Black workers have been paying for the freedom of their ancestors in their tax bills. Or at least, they’ve been paying for the ones that survived.

The empire that began in Britain is unspeakably evil. It is yet to die. We are all still its slaves.

Michael, I think you will appreciate these lyrics:

Blood of the Past, by The Comet is Coming:

All the many corpses begin to speak,
What ignorance is cannot be argued over any more.
It is too late for pleading,
White picket dreams put you off the scent,
The world is screaming.
Rooted in a trivial concern, in interconnectedness,
In the need to make face and keep up,
And drown out the many voices within.
Imagine a culture that has, at its root
A more soulful connection to land and to lovers.
But I can hear the lie before you speak,
There is nothing but progress to eat,
And we are so fat and so hungry,
And the black wrists are cuffed in the pig van,
While the white shirt and tie in the tube car, distractional picture,
Pictures of beer and guilt about urges,
Sexual distrust and abandoned to nothingness,
Give me something I can nail myself to,
Give me a sharply-dressed talking head
Who has something about them I trust and despise.
And what of it anyway?
These windows don’t open,
They were designed to stay closed.
Shower, smoothie, coffee, commute,
Check the internet, never stop, never stop.
There is a scar on the soul of the world and it needs you to look!
The blood of the past is here, it remains,
The blood of the murders, the bodies like sacks leaking brain,
All stacked, chest aback on the planes,
It remains to acknowledge without guilt,
To accept without condition,
And to listen when other people tell you how you have behaved.
Truth is, it’s for us to feel and be moved.
But I hear the clatter of bone against steel, it is coming,
It will not be stilled,
It is there in the air,
Scorched white,
The reflection of sunlight on glass bouncing back into sunlight
And glass bouncing back, industrialized.
Denial, business as usual.
So roll your eyes, shake your head, turn away and call me names.
I’m okay with that, too proud,
Unable to listen, we keep speaking,
Moated by blood, unable to notice ourselves,
Unable to stop and unwilling to learn.