When the Windrush scandal first came to light a few years ago, most decent-minded people were outraged. As a Windrush descendant myself, this one felt particularly personal.
But for families directly impacted by the wrongful detainment and deportation of members of Britain’s Caribbean communities, this saga represents nothing short of an ongoing campaign of terror. People who entered the country as British citizens being pulled from their beds in the dead of night, shackled, chained and shuttled off to immigration detention centres while being denied human and legal rights, due to the Home Office’s own admitted error, is a source of national shame.
This pain and indignation has been further compounded by the fact that the Windrush generation entered the country as British citizens to rebuild the nation after the war, in which some of them fought. For a country that often claims to be free from institutional racism, but with a deep colonial history, the imagery of Black people being placed in chains, caged, dehumanised and humiliated is not lost on the descendants of slaves.
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