Can Indians And Blacks Co-exist In Barbados?
Click on image to hear BBC report on Guyana massacre
Analysts Fear Racial Tension Could Spark Further Violence
Calm was reported on Tuesday, in areas of Guyana affected by tensions fueled by the murders of 11 people by a suspected criminal gang last weekend. On Monday, police fired teargas and pellets to disperse hundreds of protesters blocking roads along the country’s east coast. Some groups and analysts, including the human rights association, have expressed concern that tension between Guyana’s ethnic communities could boil over into further violence.
Source: BBC Report
It is prophetic that BU published the article entitled Can Barbados Avoid Escalating Crime & Violence In Neighbouring Trinidad & Guyana? on the 26 January 2008. Our article coincided with the massacre of 11 persons in rural Guyana which is reported to have escalated ethic tensions there. This was a tragic incident and we extend our sympathy to the affected families.
As Barbadians, the unfortunate incident serves to highlight the present danger of an open door immigration policy. We have written ad nauseam on the subject, specifically the impact of Indo-Guyanese on a dominantly Negro nation like Barbados – do a search of our archives using key word ‘Immigration’. It is instructive that Guyana is a country which is split almost down the middle by race, i.e. Indian and Black. It is a country where although the Blacks have enjoyed political power, the Indians have been the economic force in the country. There has been irrefutable evidence manifested through the years of the racial tensions in Guyana. It is a society which continues to struggle to find a basis for sustained harmony between the races. Anyone who challenges this assertion we liken to the proverbial ostrich.
We agree with one commenter who forwarded the view that self-preservation is a natural instinct of animals, the uncivilized kind and it is one which human can do well to learn. We have repeatedly stated that our immigration policy needs to become more efficient. Immigrant labour should be regulated to match demand and the process should be copiously documented. We are amused by the politicians, theoreticians and intellectuals who continue to spout positions based on text book positions. In the Caribbean, we have two living examples of multi-ethnic societies which continue to struggle to find the formula to support coexistence. Why should Barbados experiment with the idea of a growing multi-ethnic society and ignore the perennial racial tensions in Guyana and Trinidad?
We again wish to send out a word of caution to those responsible in our new government to closely examine the current open door policy supported by the past government. It has gotten so bad that illegal immigrants don’t even bother to move around Barbados clandestinely. Ordinary Barbadians can with ease direct the authorities to areas in Barbados where illegal Guyanese can be found in bushels. We have nothing against Guyanese, Indian or Black i.e. in theory. In practice, however, we think that there is sufficient evidence to be concerned. The vast number of Guyanese immigrants are of the unskilled variety and we strongly believe that with a world recession forecasted and the new DLP government’s commitment to slowing capital projects roll-out, excess labour in the construction sector is bound to occur.
Will anyone hear our cry?