The ladies of The View are taking on Prince William and Kate Middleton’s recent royal tour of Jamaica, saying that instead of touring, the Royal Family should give reparations to the former British colony.
Even though Jamaica regained its independence in 1962, the British Royal Family still have huge ties to the country. But Jamaican citizens decided to address the family’s relationship to the island in Prince William and Kate Middleton’s recent visit. Protestors demanded the royal family make reparations, leading the women of The View to discuss the issue in relation to America’s own debate over reparations to descendants of enslaved people.
"There's a whole list of places that need to go on that list," said Whoopi Goldberg about countries that must pay reparations to its people, according to Decider. Sunny Hostin said that the United States is first on that list, adding, "We [Black people] built this joint for free."
Per Decider, Goldberg also added Puerto Rico as one of the countries America must repay, with Hostin saying that the country “bankrupted” Puerto Rico and “owe[s] my family some money.”
Hostin also called the Jamaican tour part of the royal family’s ongoing “charm offensive” (possibly alluding to how Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s assertions they made during their 2021 interview with Oprah Winfrey of racism within the family). But, as Hostin said, the royal’s family made its wealth on the backs of slaves; according to Hostin’s words via Decider, the British Monarchy’s Royal African Company (otherwise known as Royal Adventurers in Africa) brought about 90,000 slaves to British-owned Caribbean plantations. When slavery was abolished in Britain in 1834, the company paid slave owners back with the modern equivalent of a $21 billion loan, a debt that was put upon everyday British citizens to pay back. In other words, Hostin said, “Black people living in Britain paid reparations to slave owners. They [the country] owes them [Black citizens] money.”
Goldberg said she believes Prince Charles recognized the issue at hand when he apologized to the country as he relinquished Barbados from its colonial ties.
“I expect Charles, when he was in Barbados, had some idea, because he went on and apologized as he was releasing the hold that Britain has. So perhaps somebody’s listening, and it’s the new group of folks…Charles or William…one of them.”
Lindsey Granger, this week’s guest host, disagreed, feeling that Prince William wouldn’t be open to it seeing how he responded to his brother and sister-in-law’s interview with Winfrey. She said that populations affected by colonialism should get “the minimum” of being “seen and heard,” because, in her words, “The royal family paying them back probably ain’t happening. Start with seeing and hearing them.” Joy Behar also seemed to agree, noting how America still hasn’t done right by Native Americans after historically taking their land and decimating their communities.
Goldberg said that she hopes that people keep educating themselves, saying, "[When] people realize, and start reading their history by learning the history of other countries, maybe we can all get together and say, 'Let's figure out how to never do this again.'"
At any rate, people might have to be satisfied for right now with the fact that the royals actually don’t have any real power anymore. As Sara Haines said, “[The fascination with royalty] is symbolic. They don’t have power anymore…They’re applauded, and they wanna keep the fancy clothes, but not the dirty laundry.”