“From illegal abduction to illegal deportation” 400 years of harsh treatment and a hostile environment.
The journey of the Windrush Generations has been long and continuously traumatic. From as early as 1625 the antecedents of these people were illegally abducted from their home lands and sold into slavery, shipped to the Caribbean to work as slaves in the sugar cane fields to enrich the British Empire. They made the country rich, but have never received fair treatment.
They served in the Crimean war 1854-1856. Notably, the famous Jamaica born, mixed race nurse Mary Seacole, who independently cared for the British troops despite being denied a position by the British war office.
They served in the First World War and the Second World War, fighting as British subjects to save Europe from a fascist dictator. As the posters read, “The Motherland Calls”, Britain needed their help and they answered the call.
After the Second World War, Britain needed to replenish its labour force and rebuild its devastated economy, they were invited this time to come and rebuild the country. They came.
They worked as labourers, transport workers and nurses, putting the “Great” in Great Britain and since that time back in 1948, they have worked and paid taxes, bought homes and raised families, continuing to this day.
It has been seventy years since the Windrush arrived in Britain carrying the first of these pioneers and from the day of their arrival by invitation, their existence has been defined by one word “racism”.
Called every derogatory name imaginable, physically abused and vilified, their children made subjects of constant prejudice and bias, cheated on their hard earned wages, overt racism, covert racism, institutional racism, they have endured them all, stood their ground and fought for justice.
Many of them now past retirement age have lived through the rioting, police harassment, brutality and corruption, veterans and heroes, one and all.
They have watched their young people and family members murdered in the streets by police and other malevolent thugs, their athletes insulted, mocked and insulted by hooligans.
Their children terrorized by skinheads and louts.
They have attended the funerals of friends and family members who have died in police custody, inexplicably.
They have cried a river of tears, for both antecedents and descendants alike. Perhaps the Enoch Powell speech should have been called “Rivers of Tears”.
But no one sees their pain, no one sees their suffering, no one feels their loss or laments their mistreatment. And now 2018, they must again endure complete devastation of their lives due to the gross negligence of the government.
Hostile environment! I would say these people have had several life times of brutal and harsh treatment, mainly at the hands of the British establishment.
From 1625 to 2018, the persecution, abuse and exploitation continues.
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by Kwame Njoko