Should Scotland establish a slavery museum? - Your views online

Scotland is being urged to create a new national museum to properly confront and explore the country’s historic links with the slave trade and its “colonial” past.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 17th June 2022, 7:00 am
A Black Lives Matter protester at Melville Monument to Henry Dundas in Edinburgh
A Black Lives Matter protester at Melville Monument to Henry Dundas in Edinburgh

Robert McGarrie: West African tribes ran the slave trade long before the European people got there. The British stopped the slave trade and nearly bankrupted the country in the process. Why should we have to confront the slave trade? Maybe west Africa should build a museum and confront its part in the slave trade and the money the tribes made from it. Why not have a museum to celebrate the UK abolishing the slave trade?

James Stuart: The problem with slavery is that everybody was part and parcel to the trade at some point in history. Many Scots were sold into slavery by Vikings and other raiders. Most of the slaves coming from Africa had already been made slaves by another African tribe. I do not condone slavery in any shape or form but the current narrative and shaming of only certain races and cultures is disingenuous at best. Slavery was a blight on human existence from our earliest time, from pre-civilisation and into the industrial age. Very little mention is made of who finally and actually put an end to 99 per cent of the trade in slaves worldwide.

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Carolyn Seggie: We have known about slavery for years . We were taught about it in history in school. So I do wonder why it's suddenly become an issue now. I can't help thinking that some who are pulling down statues are simply out to cause trouble. We can't change history but we can learn from it.

Bob Hill: If it wasn't for the Irish Famine then if my, or my wife's, great great grandmother had not emigrated, neither of us would have existed! I find this self-flaggelation over slavery tedious. It was a complex issue in which blame can be spread around. I'm all for educating people about it, but I suspect that this will be about whites bad, Blacks good, which was far from the case. Blacks sold their fellow Blacks to Arab slavers for centuries before white people turned up. That's not to condone white involvement, but all aspects need to be explored, not just subject to “whitewash”.

Paul Baker: I assumed the Slavery Museum in Liverpool told the British story. Slavery museums are really important. We have so many museums celebrating our greatness that we need to understand that our history is more complex than often depicted.

Marilyn Gardner: Slavery is still going on today all over the world in different forms. Maybe some effort should be put into tackling that. We can’t change what happened in the past. Move on and do something about what’s happening today. Scotland having a slavery museum does not help anyone. Why spend millions on something that everyone knows about and happened in the past? Go to the library, read books if you want to know more. Save the millions to sort out what’s going on here and now.

Dana Seilhan: A slavery museum makes more sense than using statues to honour men who got rich and famous solely because they bought and sold other human beings.

James Wasson: Whatever it is, teach it in schools. A museum will waste money and educate only those who are interested.

Alison M Fraser Smith: If a museum of slavery is to be considered then it should be just that – a history of all slavery worldwide from antiquity to the present day. It should not be limited to focusing on one time period or location. Slavery is historic but worse still, is ongoing. We cannot turn the clock back. We can learn and prevent.

Social housing

A housing association boss has called for action on the “stigma” of social housing as a new survey found two-fifths of Scots believe neighbourhoods with such homes have higher rates of crime and anti-social behaviour.

Gemma Riddles: More new affordable rentable housing association homes with a mix within of new homes that can be bought can achieve a great community going forwards.

Angela Bain: I agree about having rental properties and affordable homes together but keep them away from expensive properties.

Nicola Twaddle: I live in council accommodation near other people who have bought their house and my area is generally very quiet. Just because some people have a mortgage and others rent this certainly shouldn't be how anyone is judged. I work hard and am just as much of a decent person as those people I live near who have a mortgage.