No apologies after Prince William’s slavery comment ‘tone deaf’ – protesters

Prince William’s enslavement during a turbulent tour of Jamaica was itself condemned by a protest movement as “whitewashing” the involvement of the monarchy.

The Advocates Network of Jamaica held a 350-strong protest in Kingston on Tuesday, March 22, calling on William and Kate Middleton to apologize for Britain’s colonial past.

The Duke of Cambridge spoke on the subject during a dinner the next day at the Governor-General’s residence.

In his March 23 address, he said: “I strongly agree with my father, the Prince of Wales, who said in Barbados last year that the horrific tyranny of slavery stains our history forever.

“I want to express my deep sorrow. Slavery was abhorrent, and should never have happened.

“While the pain deepens, Jamaica continues to build its future with determination,
Courage and persistence.”

However, his carefully chosen words stopped apologizing and did not change the stance of a coalition of protesters, academics, entrepreneurs, politicians, musicians and others.

Kate Middleton and Prince William visit the Jamaica Defense Force in Kingston during their tour of Jamaica on March 24, 2022. The two were met by protests in the preceding days.
Chris Jackson / Getty Images

Advocates Network said in a statement sent newsweek: “No responsibility taken! No call for centuries of British bloody conquest and plunder. No call for dehumanization and exploitation.

“Expressing gratitude for the immense contribution this generation and descendants have made … that continues to enrich our society” whitewashes the sordid involvement and prosperity of the monarchy, to which the duke is the heir. There was no commitment to reassessment.

“This ‘tone deaf’ statement echoes his father’s well-crafted words. It does not rise to the level of formal apology we deserve.

“It does this only to reaffirm the insensitivity of the Royal Family to the plight of Jamaica today, in both Jamaica and Britain.”

William and Kate’s eight-day tour of the Caribbean barely started when a protest in Indian Creek, Belize, led to the cancellation of their trip on Sunday, March 20.

This was followed by another protest for slavery reparations and plans for an amnesty in Jamaica on Tuesday, which drew 350 people.

The Press Association reported that another protest took place on their second day when about a dozen Rastafarian preachers gathered on 23 March to visit the Caribbean Military Technical Training Institute near Montego Bay.

Most notably, however, Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness indicated the country’s desire to disband the monarchy during a one-on-one meeting with the royal couple.

He said: “We are very happy to have you. I hope you will give a warm welcome to the people.

“Jamaica is a very free and liberal country. And the people are very expressive, and I’m sure you must have seen the spectrum of expression yesterday.”

He continued: “There are issues here which, as you know, remain unresolved. But your presence gives an opportunity to put those issues in context, to put front and center and to address them.

“But Jamaica, as you will see, is a country that is very proud of our history, very proud of what we have achieved.

“And we are moving forward. And we as a free, developed, prosperous country intend to, in short, achieve our development goals and fulfill our true ambitions and destiny.”

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