Member of Parliament of the United Kingdom Richard Drax and his family, owners of a sugar plantation in Barbados that enslaved Africans during the Transatlantic Slave Trade, are being asked to pay reparations. Built around 1650, Drax Hall, the 621-acre plantation, is responsible for the deaths of roughly 30,000 African slaves. It’s the oldest residential property in the Western hemisphere and cultivated the first sugarcane in Barbados.
Richard Drax is estimated to be worth £150million ($200,850,000), inheriting the plantation from his deceased father. The plantation is still operating today, with workers on the farm being paid as low as £24 ($32) a day; the average wage in the Caribbean is double that amount.
A current worker advised the following:
“People in agriculture endure low wages and do the hardest work. It’s hard work and it ain’t easy. You get to work when the rain falls and you get to work when the sun is hot.”
Richard Drax has tried to distance himself from his family’s legacy, stating that he “shouldn’t be held responsible for something 300 or 400 years ago.”
In an interview with the Sunday Mirror, the British millionaire advised the following:
“I reject the assertion that I failed to declare any Barbados property holdings once owned by my father, as these are going through the probate process and not yet transferred to my name.”
“Once that process is completed, I will of course register it in proper accordance with the rules. I am keenly aware of the slave trade and the role my very distant ancestor played in it is deeply, deeply regrettable.”
“But no one today can be held responsible for what happened many hundreds of years ago.”
“This is a part of the nation’s history, from which we must all learn.”
His dismal doesn’t surprise me at all…it never does.
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