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'African Holocaust' by Guest Historian Kwame Dallas Guest Historian Kwame Dallas says, in this thread we explore various historical facts regarding the diaspora and the African holocaust in which twenty million souls perished. If you're interested in viewing samples of my other work why not visit I Want to Remember site.
In 1570s, African slaves were increasingly seen in Britain. Their use fell into three main categories. The majority were as household servants, while others performed the role of prostitutes or sexual conveniences for well-to-do Englishmen and Dutchmen or as court entertainers. Based on these job roles, you might well wonder why there was a fear that the Africans might be taking jobs away from English citizens. Its a good question.
In 1596, there were so many black people in England that Queen Elizabeth I demanded that they be expelled from the country. An edict from the Queen, at first it brought no action. However it was then followed up by a Royal Proclamation, issued in 1601.
An act of compulsory repatriation was signed into law by Queen Elizabeth. Bowing to pressure 'to send them [the Africans] back home', the monarch confessed to Ministers that she had been more than a little annoyed by their unwelcome prescence in England. Action was required now, before 1596 was out.
Vigils of over 100 people have been camped outside Westminster Abbey for 34 days now. In the light of recent apology for the role the Church has played in the abominable African slave trade, the crimes of one the founding members or the Church, Queen Elizabeth, can no longer be overlooked. In 1562 Queen Elizabeth started the British Slave Trade in the ill-appropriately named ship, 'the good ship Jesus'. The moral foundations of the Church were shaken.
The apology had inadvertently opened a can of worms. Initially the Church had just admitted to owning slaves and plantations, but subsequently the public found out the Church effectively gave their blessing on the destruction of tens of millions of Africans by declaring Africans had no soul. This gave the British a license to mutilate, rape, kidnap and murder Africans without any fear of eternal damnation.
As penance for the crimes of the Church the public are demanding the removal of Queen Elizabeth I, Britain's first Slave Trader, from the crypt in Westminster Abbey. The complexity of the shame which has fallen on the Church has been compounded with taunts of 'when exactly did the Church become a moral institution', 'how many good deeds can out outweigh the malevolence of a genocidal despot', 'can we apologise for a crime 200 years later' and 'get Elizabeth out, she is rotting the foundations of the church.'
The final straw came when a national competition was held to effectively mock the Church of England, the number of participants were overwhelming. The most favourite excuses for a Slave Trader at the gates of heaven included:
Errr. didn't the Bible say Ham was Black and therefore had to live a cursed life for the rest of eternity or something like that, wasn't this your will.
Errr, I know I should not kill but my government said we had to protect and improve our standard of living for the glory of our country.
Errr, let me in I'm an American, Heaven is the 51st state isn't it.
Errr, I saw them talk, walk and bleed but I really did not think they were human so I thought it was okay to kill them for fun.
Errr, I knew they were animals so I thought that it was okay to rape the boys and girls. I never raped anyone under the age of five though.
Errr, I felt the trip would do you some good. Get out see the world.
Errr, we didn't think it would last 400 years and wreak havoc on the lives of those afflicted and their offspring for centuries after it ended.
Errr, shhhhhhhhhh, they don't remember, why'd you have to bring that up.
The ignominy of the mass public outcry has swayed the decision of the Church to exhume the body of Elizabeth and place it in an unmarked grave, fit for a criminal.