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All slave cheerleaders must be condemned


Nelson McCausland's latest diatribe against all things nationalist and republican (Comment, August 24) was based on the fact that Irish independence campaigner John Mitchel was a "racist" for supporting slavery.

While I enthusiastically endorse Nelson's apparent outrage at the sort of repugnant view that holds one man superior to another by virtue of his colour, I would like to agree with your correspondent the Rev Brian Kennaway (Write Back, August 28), who counselled caution in his letter on the subject.

Truly, as the Rev Kennaway says, it behoves Nelson to look at the full picture when it comes to the promotion of "racist" and pro-slavery views.

Especially when - as Minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure back in 2010 - he was enthusiastic about using taxpayers' money to promote the ancestral home of the notoriously pro-slavery Andrew Jackson as a tourist attraction.

Not only was Jackson pro-slavery, he was a slave owner (owning at least 150 at a time) and also a firm believer in the superiority of the white man over the Native American, to the extent that he had the locals removed wholesale from much of the south and east of the United States.

I trust Nelson is prepared to explain his volte-face on the commemoration of pro-slavery cheerleaders in his next column.

Don Kavanagh

Auckland, New Zealand

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