Is There A Strategy To Manage The Impact Of Migration On The Socio-economic Landscape Of Barbados?

There are only two races on this planet—the intelligent and the stupid. John Fowles


It seemed to us here at BU that a question to be answered arising from our recent articles is how do Barbadians visualize our society changing in the coming months and years. On both BFP and BU we have had some solid discourse on the subject of immigration which in small part can be linked to the ongoing implementation of the Common Single Market and Economy (CSME), but we have also had some comments which border on what is not realistic. We sense that some Barbadians continue to feel some sense of disquiet on this issue as far as the current state of Barbados is concerned.

So all you Barbadians__ how do you see the village culture which Barbadians have become accustomed to, changing?

BU have given some thought to the question and the answer which recurs like the proverbial decimal is frightening! Ok, let us ponder on the imponderables. The current state of Barbados if we minus the emerging issues of the Chinese and Guyanese have been one where the minority white group has coexisted with the majority black for some years. Many might say that it has worked well for Barbadians. But let us examine the relationship of the two dominant groups over the years and how the interaction can be interpreted for the purpose of the question asked.

Blacks and Whites over the years have adopted an approach which can be described, if you don’t trouble me I won’t trouble you. Among Blacks there is the fear of the Whites flexing its economic muscle, among the Whites there is the fear that as a majority group the black “beasts” might stage a “bussa” revolt. BU makes no apology for the analogy. We have been privy to conversations and situations which suggest that the perception of Blacks by Barbadian Whites is not a healthy one. Perhaps the worst kind of racism is the that which exists in Barbados in the latent form. We forget for the moment the more euphemistic definition which was recorded in a United Nations report last year…and much discussed too.

BU believe that we can stretch this strange relationship which has existed between Whites and Blacks to have a sense of how the Guyanese and Chinese specifically will integrate into the Barbados society. Do we agree that there is “democratic segregation” in Barbados between the Whites and Blacks? Well BU agree that it exists and there is no reason to expect that the Indo-Guyanese and Chinese because of religion and language barriers will not follow the same path. In the large societies like Canada, USA and United Kingdom perhaps this clannish behavior can exist. In fact we see several examples of it in the USA__ the Cuban-American group in Miami is the group well known to Barbadians. BU think if the trends continue it could negatively challenge the socio-economic make-up of Barbados. In our view the existing relationship between Whites and Blacks has created so much under-the-surface social pressure, to add other groups which we think will bring additional tension could be catastrophic. In our previous article we were careful to stress the point that the impact of immigrant labor on a small developing MUST be managed by government in a precise and deliberate manner.

One ever so glaring example which we can cite is the absence of black directors from the Board of COW Williams group of companies. The reality is that in 2007 a Barbadian company should not feel comfortable functioning with a 95+% black population and that mix not be reflected in the make-up of the Board. This is unacceptable. BU think that there is no better example to show what is symptomatic of the polarization cum segregation which exists in our small society. In forces us to question why Cow Williams should have been given the highest national honor given the reality of an all white directorship in companies owned by him. This piece must not be construed as any all-out attack on whites in Barbados, we do have white friends.

BU will paint the picture as we see it. By the way, can someone explain why the government, and rightly so, wants to regulate vending in schools but the vending machines located on the inside and which peddle junk snacks remain un-touch? Does it have to do with Sir Alan Fields son owning the company responsible? Remember Don Blackman warned us about white shadows? Must still be around.

BU can sum it all by saying that many studies have been done in the UK about immigration and the negative outcomes e.g. anti-social behaviors, often the outcome of clannish behavior has resulted in Jamaicans and Surinamese in particular, suffering from schizophrenia. There is sufficient research to confirm that there are negative outcomes from the effect of immigrant labor on any population which cannot be explained even after years of research. Given the very small size of Barbados any influx of immigrants released on Barbados in an adhoc manner will only exacerbate what BU believe is a volatile situation caused by the tensions arising from a reluctant alliance between whites and blacks and the other potential social issues. We urge the government to listen to its people and to threat the issue with the seriousness it deserves. We can learn from the developed countries which have started to pull back on the reigns of immigration.

Let us manage it!

36 thoughts on “Is There A Strategy To Manage The Impact Of Migration On The Socio-economic Landscape Of Barbados?

  1. What we will also see down the road is an alliance of convenience between the bajan whites and the indians (caribbean) in the business sphere.

    The chineese especially from mainland China are a little bit different – the language bloc and culture and their outlook will make mixing a little difficult.

    However it is not going to end there,if these indo guyanese are not sent back to their countries,what we will have in 20 – 25 years are a group of people with SOME unacceptable behavioural patterns – determining who is elected,determining who get loans (and there you will see their clannish indian behavior in operation).(check Guyana and Trinidad)

    Indians more often than not make decision based on their race first,before they consider anything else – whether religous affilation,country of birth,professional requirement etc

    So that although Dr narinesingh the man accused of muredering his wife in Trinidad admitted to the media that chief justice sharma “lifted a finger to help him and got his hand chopped off” and;

    The chief justice according to the chief magistrate Mcniccols again tried to put pressure on him (mcniccols) to find Basdeo Panday – not guilty;

    the fact that CJ Sharma was an indian man,and Panday and Nariensingh were indians meant – according to the UNC opposition (mainly indian) party that the PNM (heavily afro supported party) was discriminating and harssing the Chief Justice because he is indian – ignore the fact of the serious charges that are being made against him the Chief Justice – holder of high office – who should be like ceasar’s wife – above reproach.

    An indian with few brave exceptions, wherever he can be found, will support his race even in the face of overwhelming wrong doing.

    Indians also see themselves as closer to whites because they have the same straight hair type and are taught form young in their homes never to inter marry with blacks – UNLESS IT’S A MARRIAGE THAT CAN ADVANCE YOU ECONOMICALLY,OR IS WITH A BLACK THAT CAN PUSH THE FAMILY FORWARD SOCIALLY – the child usually a daughter is sacrificed for the long term good e.g. marrying to a prosperous balck business family,or a family who is socially far advanced from the class they originate from.

    We don’t have to go too far – look to guyana,Trinidad and surinam – even Fiji and you will see how indians once that have secreted themselves into a society and are confident because of their economic power and/or numbers in the population – how they treat the indigenous afro population.

    What scares me – is that there are foolish black people here in Bim who feel it is cute and makes them appear so ‘broad-minded’ to denounce what we are warning them about,and what right now is staring them in the face.

  2. Hi Chase:

    Just visited BFP and saw your invitation to have some Atlantic air! Where we going – Bathsheba? The Crane? Or we taking a cruise? I’m all for it.

  3. I lived in both Suriname and Jammaica. I would like to know which study shows that Surinamese and Jamaicans suffer from schizophrenia, more so than other Caribbean nations. Certainly in Suriname there is far less racial tension between black s and whites or even blacks and Indians for that matter.

  4. Thistle

    With all due respect to you,please let us keep Barbados Underground as a blog which maintains serious discussion and don’t go off course as you did above.
    I know you are trying to respond to chase’s comments on BFP,but here at BU there is a serious discussion on-going which has severe implications for our island.

    I know you have made worthwhile contributions before and will continue to do so again.

    I would like to see from those who take the time to respond, thought provoking,serious discussions on the point at hand.

  5. Anonymous:

    Actually it was me inviting him over here for this my apologies ok.

    My question is this: Is there any database at the Immigration Dept.which stores info on these visitors?Like where they are staying,who they are staying with and so on?

  6. You’ve got to respect the views of BU because they are well thought through, well written, in the national interest and – more often than not – balanced. But I have serious issues with the constant digs at other racial groups – mostly Indo-Guyanese but also Whites and Chinese. It makes good news, and even better debate, but it’s perpetuating the sort of stereotypes that create divisions. The Guyanese, like any large immigrant group, are a problem but aren’t any more psyopathic, murderous, racist or criminal than anyone else. The Whites are over-represented economically but their influence and wealth has been declining for 40 years and they ain’t in either the shadows or the light any more. The Chinese will be taking over the world any time soon but don’t seem to be causing any trouble here. I recommend that everyone takes a step back, looks at this with some perspective and goes down to Lemon Arbour (avoiding a hail of gunfire if you can – hang on, can we blame that on the Guyanese too ?), kicks back with a whole bunch of flasks of Extra Old and observes the multiracial drinking and socialising. Maybe it’s a generational thing but go talk to some younger people about race. It ain’t colour blind by a long way – but then where is – but it’s a whole way off from the stuff that’s coming through here. Pudding & Souse anyone ?

  7. Chase

    A cursory glance at the sparse information provided in the two newspapers re the 14 indian workers at CWC last year,and now the 100 chineese should tell you that the Chief Immigration Officer is held with tight reins by the Prime Minister – forget Atherley – he is just the mouth peice.

    Did you know that the immigration officer who sent back those 3o something guyaneese last year was suspended?
    Who gave the instruction? I was told it came from Owen.

    Do you know that the Chief Immigration Officer allowed the guyanese woman who jumped in the carenage last year – and when being deported said she will be back – do you know he allowed her back in for World Cup?

    Do you know the guyanese came here in their multitudes with their families for Cricket World Cup – when there was free movement at airports – and they have not returned?

    Who is renting these illegals Apts and Houses?who is employing them?,who is hiding them away?
    You should hear Norman Faria boast about that last year,where bajans in Ellerton St George refused to answer his questions about illegal guyanese hiding out there because they thought he was from the immigration dept.

    Bajans,yuh hear?

    It should have been significant to all those watching that the Prime Minister in his last cabinet reshuffle in 2006,took and retained some very key ministries,for e.g.

    He kept Town Planning so that projects like Apes Hill,Four Seasons,Water Park,and the flyovers will have easy passage and planning approval.

    Then we had him removing the immigration dept from the ministry of Home Affairs/A.G and putting it under his portfolio – did this portend some greater significance for elections?

    Was this some how tied into the increasing use of the chineese contractors and hence labourers a la Four Seasons,Harrions Cave etc?

    Why was the choice of Attorney General – Dale Marshall – instead of Rawle Eastmond who (ie the latter) was more experienced?

    Did it have something to do with the Veco Prison contract and one of them being more pliable? after all Rawle Eastmond did tell the nation that”there were DIABOLICAL FORCES at work within this BLP Government”.

    Note too,information is out there in the public domain that some senior immigration officers are selling out our birth right by selling our citizenship via Barbados passports and ID cards.

    Apparently certain government ministers know a lot about that.

    This is why I will say that:

    1)The Nation newspaper,Starcom network and others have done a disservice to this country by suppressing the information which ought to be rightfully given to the public,and putting out the spin from year to year(referring to the Nation now),that Owen is invincible,that he is the most popular,that he is the most brilliant strategist and economist – so that the people who were fed this diet – day in – day out – started to believe it and felt – well what’s the use of voicing my disapproval since the ‘whole country going with owen’.

    Needless to say that was not the popular feeling on the ground.

    While all this supression of information and BLP spin by the media was taking place,the guyanese were rushing into Grantley Adams by the hundreds – because after all Owen told the immigration officers – to back off the guyanese – and to ensure that they did – he brought guyanese immigration officers to oversee our bajan immigration officers.

    Meantime in Guyana – Basdeo Jagdeo and the indians back there were singing:”all hail to King Arthur” – because after all their plan to flood Barbados with Guyanese was wukking smoothly.

    Look People,if by now you are not convinced that something is amiss with Owen’s immigration policy,and that we headed for deep shit – then stay cool – and enjoy your slumber.


  8. David, BU: Would you please tell me if you do not allow anything but serious discussion on this blog, as Anonymous is dictating? Do you have no time on here for a little light-hearted banter and a smile or two? If so, I’ll gracefully bow out. But the directive must come from you.

  9. This immigration thing has been well-thought out by Owen. Perhaps it is all part of his plan to retain the government at any cost. I have a friend who rents a house to some Guyanese and he boasts that no Bajan could rent his place. The readon? For Guyanese it is rented by the room, whereas Bajans want the whole house for a single price.
    Another thing, he said that his rent is never late and anything wants doing to the house the Guyanese will do it and make no demands on him. So you see, its all about how much money that can be made from these ppl. No wonder that the ppl in Ellerton would hide them.
    Another thing. We are complaining about the Chinese, but for all we know according to Ireland’s honorary consul to Bdos, there are now some 60,000 Chinese in Dublin learning English. That should not surprise anybody.
    With China’s one child rule, there are millions of Chinese men without the corresponding woman for each of them therefore, the next best thing is to export the labour and wherever possible try to convert the unspecting countries to doing thing the Chinese way.
    We take their money and technical assistance, so we have to take their tradesmen as wll.
    All the more reasons why the electorate need to get rid of this band of vagabonds called the BLP.
    Great to see the folk alive and well at BU. Just wonder how long it would take for the likes of Royal Rumble and company to try to invade with their foolishness.

  10. Thistle~all are welcome!
    We know that we are all different and what is pleasing to one may not be pleasing to all. I hope that we all can find a way to share thoughts on the views expressed by BU.
    We also appreciate the passion which Anoymous speaks out while at the same time we know that we can’t always be a straight jacket.
    So lets all just get along 😆

  11. I also am of the view the apartments in Barbarees Gardens are the result of dwindling space out over on the west coast!

    If you check The Bajan Reporter, you’ll see an item about foreign whites and how the west coast has been reduced by 2/3’s!

    In addition, there is a disregards for Bajans who are here, viz. the disrespect myself and other ppl in my district were not informed of the impending construction that goes on through the night!

    Again, check The Bajan Reporter and David keep up the interesting alternative topics, way to go!

  12. To:Thistle & David @ BU

    This is why I think twice or even three times before I send a post.

    Some people in this case thistle don’t pay enough attention to what the person is trying to say.

    I was not seeking to dictate to anyone on this blogsite,but was merely trying to ensure that the discussion didnot get derailed before it was fully developed,because often times someone starts a comment on something totally unrelated to the topic as so often happens at Barbados Free Press and then every one picks up that thread and before you know it the topic gets lost.

    All I was saying to Thistle is – let’s really seriously discuss the issue at hand because there are severe implications for this country.

    There are enough light topics that we can joke around with,but I certainly didnot want to see the efforts of BU being derailed not because people were doing so maliciously,but because they wanted to crack a joke and have some fun.

    Time and place for everything – was my thinking there.

    Now I hope this is not going to be a back and forth about an explanation.

  13. The question I have for the commenters~will immigration be an election issue? or should I say a major issue?

    Will Barbadians continue to vote down the middle B or D or will the floating vote which is a small percentage decide it all?

  14. Guys Please …just forget it.I asked Thistle to come over her so we can engage in this debate because I was sick of BFP .
    Anonymous I think you overreacted to Thistle’s reply to my invitation.That being said ..let us now get over it and continue with our posts on this issue at hand ok.
    I am sorry for all this …it was my fault to start with.
    Let us just shake keyboards and move on.
    Anonymous…let me digest your post before I reply ok.

  15. Immigration is a big issue and sense this current Government has refused to address now they will have to address it then.

    I for one understand that a man may have to move to make better for oneself and family, after all our fore parents have done it throughout history.

    It is what you take with you when you immigrate is another thing. If the Government has allowed them to come in to secure votes that is incredibly wrong as I do not think a Guyanese should determine the fate and the governance of Barbados.

    They have not done a good job in their own country.

  16. I wish I could believe that the DLP, given the government, would tackle the immigration issue, but my gut feeling tells me they won’t. They have made no mention of it that I can recall, up to now. Why are they so silent about it? Perhaps they’re between a rock and a hard place because of CSME.

  17. Thistle~BU is of like mind. Although we heard Dr. Denis Lowe recently enunciating the DLP’s position which was a little wishy washy. In essence his point was that immigration must be regulated but he did not address the vexing issue of the fear which Barbadians have for the Indo-Guyanese. To think that he is suppose to be a sociologist!

  18. Perhaps the DLP are treading very carefully on the racial issue. Don’t forget that in the past they were seen as racist because of the utterings of Dr. Don Blackman, Patsy Springer, Dr. Rameses Caddle and others. The Dipper was at one time under pressure to tone them down. Contrast that with the racist mouthings of Liz Thompson, Barney Lynch and others in the BLP, yet no one is accusing them of being racist!

    Any truth to the rumor that Dr.Rameses Caddle would administer bush baths in his hay day as a medical practitioner?

  19. Having said all of the above, I’ll tell you quite honestly I would not be happy to see the population of Barbados become majority East Indian, but I suppose I will be labelled ‘racist’ for this comment. Can you imagine a Barbados full of houses with different coloured tattered flags flying from gateposts and walls, or even worse, mosques on every corner of every road? It makes me shudder! What’s more, hate to say it, but East Indians are not the cleanest of people. I await the brickbats coming my way now.

  20. Oh, I like that – the bush bath bit! Perhaps not in his hey day as a medical practitioner, but for a few years before his death it is claimed that he was well into occult dealings!

  21. Thistle,

    I agree with you, having visited Trinidad I noticed their was a marked difference in those of Indian decent and those of negro decent in terms of how they carried themselves and how around their homes were. As you rightly said tattered flags everywhere.

    If you notice a lot of those flags have been going up around Barbados, check Westbury Road of all places.

    I am not racist – who knows I might be labelled as such, but I have to say; their culture does not mesh with ours and they don’t try to mesh either. I prefer it that way.

    Sooner rather than later, the Muslims and Hindus will raise their voice asking for a “day” to be celebrated nationally.

    I suspect that if we ever slip we will slide, they will get it too they have amassed much wealth and are only biding their sweet time.

    Tek it light, what has not passed us has not caught us.

  22. Reading many of the comments, are we saying that Indo-West Indians are not of us when compared to a black Vincentian or Grenadian?

    One Caribbean, one people?

    What’s with us bashing Indo-Guyanese? What is driving the fear folks?

  23. This may seem biased but it is just my observation.Bajans ,to me are some of the most accommodating people in the world.
    Just go in a bar,shop or any place of recreation and experience it,sometimes people you dont even know engage you in conversation,buy a round ..stuff like that.
    You can walk anywhere here and ask a question ,get directions,get assistance…things like that.
    I say this to show how we as a people interact with others.The problem comes(and this is my humble opinion) when we see a group sticking to themselves,whether socially,religiously or economically.We then become suspicious and protective of our country because this type of lifestyle is not our way of doing things.
    I would go so far as to say,if other ethnic groups were to be more inviting and interacted more with the local population …things might be different.

  24. David I don’t think it is fear. There is the notion that Vincentions are barbadians anyhow as many Barbadian slaves ran to St. Vincent for be free.

    Rather it is a “people” who don’t have our ways or our customs , no matter how long they have been among us and they don’t see themselves that way.

    Namely because they stick to themselves have their own rules, own laws and seem accountable to no one. It is so for the Hassidic Jews in US

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  28. i am only a visitor to this site but i must say that me being a white bajan have seen the white population banding together in the island but its not to say that we do not exclude black people, i have a fair share of white friends and equal number if not more black friends and the most of them mix fairly well. i have a theory about why white’s and blacks do not mix as well as we should. its all about upbringing, since i have a black girl friend i have learned that whites and blacks are brought up very differntly, i was raised to speak proper english as opposed to bajan (which i later picked up in school) and my family is very close as is most white families in barbados . from my understanding, excuse me if i am wrong but most of the black relationships are not as close as they should be, (often a relationship breaks apart leaving the children with the a single parent) and black children grow up to do as their parents did. i say it is not so much about colour why the whites group together but our costomes, for example white surfers often can mix well with black surfers because they have similar customes.

  29. i correct myself, its not only black children which grow up to do what his or her parents do but all children learn habits from their parents.

  30. Paul much of what you say is true. As a white foreigner I notice blacks share more and are less selfish and greedy than whites. Blacks although poor and from broken families are less prone to clannish behaviour than whites. I notice blacks are more mannerly and courteous than whites. I am with you when you say whites and their families stick close to each other.

  31. im back, just to correct one thing, Aussie not that blacks arent mannerly or courteous , but Bajans in general are very friendly regardless of colour (though there may be a few bad fruit here and there)

  32. i have read all of ur blogs all i have to say is that every one is entiled to their openion but i must as do all of u know the saying com see meh and come live wit me nah the same thing my point is that all of u are fromulating ur views on the fact that u visited thes place and saw certain things and maybe the people that u were with told u things that were not pleasing that still does not give u the right to point a finger at any one i have lived in those place i will not say that there is not racial issues is certain areas but at the same time u dont see the harmony that is the u dont see that its just a select few that encourage this nonsense

  33. i used to live in barbados for a period of time and what i can say from my experience there is that majority of the people living in barbados are racial dont deny it some where in the blog some one mention jews trust me bajans treat indians like how hitler treated the jews with scorn all i can say is that im sorry for u
    i havent done any thing to u ur country requested me there and employed me but still u call me out in the street and make comments such as [call the immigration, go back where u come from and wen that is not satisfying u would curse me ] and barbados boast its self as a tourist country ill be straight the only reason what i was even employed in barbados is because bajans are a negative ,lazy and racial set of people if i have offended any one im not sorry if possible i will continue to write on this blog and any where else that i can i only hope that we all can live as human beings but if u cant take that have a good night i will pray for u yes in a church or are indians not worthy to go to a church ill still pray for u

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