Play / pause Lessons to be Learnt

Lessons to be Learnt

  • Mark Johnson
  • Interview by: Peter Devitt


When it comes to learning lessons from the story,

it's challenging.

There are many in the

black Caribbean and black African

community in Britain and further field

who suggest quite forcefully

that these men came to fight a white man's war.

There are other's who simply ignore the story,

just not interested.

But I think there are important lessons to learn.

The first lesson, I believe, is that

when you stand up to totalitarian domination,

when you stand up to invaders

who would capture all the countries

and exploit their resources and subjugate their people,

it doesn't matter what color you are.

It matters that you stand up.

It matters that you resist.

And you do that across borders and across cultures

as a single unified force,

because if you don't, you fall individually.

The second lesson is that

it doesn't matter again what color you are.

Everybody is capable of performing to the same level,

given the same opportunities.

And it really was about opportunity.

Once these men were allowed to serve,

and they had to fight to serve in many cases.

Some of them paid their own way to come to Britain

and some of them applied two, three, four times

before being accepted.

But once they were allowed to serve,

once they were given that opportunity,

they perform just as well as anybody else.

There is, in my opinion, actually no such thing as race.

There is only racial prejudice,

but underneath that we are all the same human species

and we're all capable of exactly the same things.

And that's my main takeaway from this tale.

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