Should Britain be paying for its crimes of empire?-Africa Today-05-01-2012

 

The real cost to human lives on the African continent had been covered and some of the atrocious crimes committed by colonialist had been destroyed until now. There were speculations of what had taken place by what truly happened has now been uncovered. Some had been left for reinterpretation of what empire did in Africa but the true story of what happened is now being unveiled due to the legal action brought against the British government by Kenya’s Mau Mau tribe. Thousands of documents detailing some of the most shameful acts and crimes committed during the final years of the British empire were systematically destroyed to prevent them falling into the hands of post-independence governments, an official review has concluded. Those papers that survived the purge were flown discreetly to Britain where they were hidden for 50 years in a secret Foreign Office archive, beyond the reach of historians and members of the public, and in breach of legal obligations for them to be transferred into the public domain.

The archive came to light last year when a group of Kenyans detained and allegedly tortured during the Mau Mau rebellion won the right to sue the British government. The Foreign Office promised to release the 8,800 files from 37 former colonies held at the highly-secure government communications centre at Hanslope Park in Buckinghamshire. Among the documents that appear to have been destroyed were: records of the abuse of Mau Mau insurgents detained by British colonial authorities, who were tortured and sometimes murdered; reports that may have detailed the alleged massacre of 24 unarmed villagers in Malaya by soldiers of the Scots Guards in 1948. Most of the sensitive documents kept by colonial authorities in Aden, where the army’s Intelligence Corps operated a secret torture centre for several years in the 1960s; and every sensitive document kept by the authorities in British Guiana, a colony whose policies were heavily influenced by successive US governments and whose post-independence leader was toppled in a coup orchestrated by the CIA.

The Human Family Tree – Naked Science – National Geographic Channel

 

 

The Human Family Tree – Naked Science – National Geographic Channel

On the most diverse street in the most diverse city in the most diverse country in the world, a team of National Geographic scientists will swab the cheeks of some 200 random New Yorkers. The goal: to retrace our ancestral footprints and prove we are all cousins in the “family of man.” Join geneticist Spencer Wells and a team of technicians from National Geographics Genographic Project as they trace the human journey through time and space, from our origins in the heart of Africa to the ends of the world. Cutting edge science, coupled with a cast of New Yorkers — each with their own unique genetic history — will help paint a picture of these amazing journeys. Ultimately, The Human Family Tree answers some of humanitys most burning questions, such as who we are and where we come from, and forces us to change how we think not only about our relationships with our neighbors, but ourselves.

Florida school district officials accused of racism

racists claim that blacks cannot score high marks on a skills test

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ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) – A federal lawsuit against a Florida school district alleges two black women who scored well on an adult skills test in 2010 were accused of cheating because, they were told, “you people don’t score that high.”

The lawsuit, filed in Ocala on April 20 and announced Monday by the Florida Civil Rights Association, which is representing Lelia Jackson-Burch, alleged violations of civil rights, defamation and false imprisonment.

“Not only did the racially charged statement offend Plaintiff (Jackson-Burch), the manner in which it was stated reveals a level of comfort and bigotry that is usually reserved for private embrace,” the lawsuit states.

FCRA president J. Willie David told Reuters that the civil rights group hopes to discover through the lawsuit whether a racist attitude is widespread within the Citrus County school system in west-central Florida where the incident occurred.

The lawsuit comes at a time of heightened racial tension in central Florida following the February 26 shooting death of an unarmed black teenager, Trayvon Martin, by a white, Hispanic neighborhood watch captain, George Zimmerman, in the town of Sanford, barely 80 miles south-east of Ocala.

Jackson-Burch could not be reached for comment. A spokeswoman for the Citrus County School District said all executives were in a meeting, and none returned a call for comment.

The lawsuit states that Jackson-Burch and Aretha Thomas, who are relatives, took the Test for Adult Basic Education (TABE), an entrance exam for nursing school and other vocational training.

Three administrators at the Withlacoochee Technical Institute in Inverness on Florida’s west coast accused the women of cheating, telling Thomas that they scored “too high,” according to the lawsuit.

Calls for comment to the administrators named in the lawsuit, director Judy Johnson, and assistant director Denise Willis, and Helena Delgado, a test administrator, were not returned. The lawsuit states that Willis and Johnson are white females and Delgado is a Hispanic female.

The lawsuit describes the alleged chronology of events: Willis explained the administrators’ suspicions by saying “you people don’t score that high.” Although no other evidence of cheating was produced, the administrators demanded the women return their test scores and re-take the two-hour test. Jackson-Burch refused and got in her car but Johnson used her body to block the car from leaving. The administrators called 911.

Three deputies arrived, and Jackson-Burch allowed them to make a warrantless search of her cell phone, according to the lawsuit. In the subsequent sheriff’s report, a deputy wrote that they found no evidence of cheating and that Jackson-Burch believed the incident was racially motivated, the lawsuit stated.

The administrators notified the Florida Department of Education, the Orange County School Board and Columbia College where Jackson-Burch had been a student for three years, that she had cheated, and refused to validate her TABE test score for eight months, causing her to miss out on a pre-planned nursing course, according to the lawsuit.

David said Thomas later accepted a $2,500 settlement from the Citrus County School Board but Jackson-Burch refused the offer.

The case is Burch v. School Board of Citrus County, Florida et al

(Editing by David Adams and Lisa Shumaker)