There is no moral basis for measures that lead to the death of peaceable women, men and children, including victims of torture, and those fleeing persecution and war. Europe’s leaders and people must remember their own history, recent and not so recent, and the responsibilities Europe bears for the bodies in the Mediterranean and the people on the boats.
We call for the resettlement of many more refugees within Europe and the dismantling of the barriers to movement that have been put in the way of all but the most wealthy. We demand that Europe’s political leaders stop abusing the history of transatlantic slavery to legitimate military and migrant deterrent actions, and instead recall, and act upon the demands for freedom of movement, or ‘a right of locomotion’ articulated by African American anti-slavery activists of the nineteenth century.Source
The Guardian, of course, lapped this up, giving the piece an admiring write-up which described its signatories as "300 leading migration experts".
More than 300 leading migration experts have denounced plans for military action against Libyan smugglers as reminiscent of the actions of countries that enabled the 18th century slave trade. Attempts to justify military intervention by comparisons with 18th century suppression of the slave trade were “entirely self-serving” and based on “a dangerous perversion of history”.
But 300 migration experts from universities including Oxford, Harvard, the London School of Economics, the School of Oriental and African Studies, Yale and Princeton have turned Renzi’s argument on its head, arguing that it is in fact the actions of the EU that most recall the mindset of 18th-century slave states.Source
At the end of the original article, other "slavery and migration scholars" were invited to append their signatures to the list. So I decided to send in my own name complete with a fictitious academic post to see how thorough their verification procedures were. The answer, as you can see, is not very.
I would very much like to endorse the statement you have made about the EU's criminally misguided immigration policies. Please add my name to the list.
Cheradenine Zakalwe, Lecturer in Intercultural Studies, Glasgow Caledonian University
And lo, my name was added to the list.
I thought I better screenshot it before they take it down.
Before I resign from my briefly-held position as a "Lecturer in Intercultural Studies", I would just like to send this final message to the peoples of Europe:
Look, white bastards, your time be up. The time of de black man be coming. You oppressed us. Now we gonna oppress you. You just need to hand over de keys of your cuntries and let us take over. Dat be de only way you can prove you is not racist.