So. Having watched the TV evening news, do you know what would be nice? If we didn’t hear any more garbage about the many good things that the British Empire brought to the dark corners of the world. I remember the Pathé newsreels as a child, and how everyone believed what they were told about the dreaded Mau Mau and the savage practices they engaged in.
Nothing compared to the British, it seems, to judge from this evening’s news. Thousands of Kenyans back then were killed, tortured, mutilated, castrated. And when the surviving victims went in search of truth, the British authorities did all they could to bury it as deep as they did some of their victims. Finally, after years of cover-up, they’ve ‘fessed up, apologised and are now preparing to give surviving victims £2000 each. I’m not sure why I feel a little ill when I hear that. But I do know what I felt when I saw those old men and women dancing to express their joy after their long struggle.
And before some Brain-of-Britain weighs in to ask me when the IRA is going to ‘fess up, we’re talking here about the British authorities. The people who ran the place at the time. The people who were depicted in the media as the goodies. The people whose job it was to govern with humanity and justice.
And what did I feel as I watched those old men and women dance in joy? The unbreakable generosity and forgiveness of some human beings, no matter what horrors are visited on them. Bobby Sands said our victory will be in the laughter of our children. These people’s victory lies in their own laughter.