Just off Dakar in Senegal is the tiny island of Goree which was one of many, albeit a pretty small, places from which slaves were exported from Africa. Taking the short ferry ride out to Goree is always a highlight of visiting Senegal and a kind of pilgrimage of sort that enables you to make your own “Never Again” commitment.
I believe that whenever you treat another person, or group of persons, as less than equal, as inferior, as somehow sub-human to you, you step on a long slippery slope that leads eventually to places like Goree and Dachau.
I’m delighted when anyone, but particularly our first Black president, can make the same pilgrimage that so many of the guests on ships stopping at Senegal have been able to make.
It is a sobering moment to stand at what has been called “The Gate of No Return” and ponder the inhumanity that can sometimes be justified by politics, commerce, and even religion. Although sobering and symbolic, in fact that gate was probably never used as an actual loading spot for slaves bound for the Americas.