Must We Face The Truth?

Submitted by Charles Knighton

Sir Roy Trotman

When Epicurus wrote “Any philosopher’s argument which does not therapeutically treat human suffering is worthless” he showed, like Sir Roy Trotman, that even the very wise sometimes say foolish things. The purpose of all serious intellectual inquiry is surely to enable us to see things more truthfully, whether that soothes or disturbs us. As unfortunate as Sir Roy’s comments were however, according to some they provide another opportunity for Barbados to intelligently discuss the subject of race and truthfully deal with an issue that erupts geyser-like from time to time, occasioning brief comment before subsiding once again to simmer just below the surface.

But why place such a high value on truth? For sure, sometimes the truth might set you free, but on other occasions it might destroy you, shattering comforting illusions that make life tolerable. As T.S. Eliot memorably put it: “Humankind cannot bear very much reality.”

To justify the value of truth all you can do is make people attend to the role it plays in their lives and see if they can recognize how much it really matters to them. Just think about anything that you truly value, such as the love of your partner. Now ask yourself whether it would make a difference to you if your partner only pretended to requite your love and really lived a double life. Would you want to know the truth or would you rather live on in blissful ignorance? The answer is usually “it depends”, but most people, most of the time, would rather live honestly, authentically, in the truth than not.

Why is it then that when uncomfortable truths threaten to emerge, our instinct is usually to avert our gaze or move away so that we don’t see them? As Plato’s Socrates put it, we are ruled by two drives, one being an “innate desire of pleasure” and the other “an acquired judgement which aspires after excellence”. There is no law of the universe that states whether the desires of instinct or intellect should prevail. But if you think about it, I’m pretty sure you’ll recognize the truth about which one you believe should win the tussle, but is Barbados ready?

0 thoughts on “Must We Face The Truth?

  1. As unfortunate as Sir Roy’s comments were however, according to some they provide another opportunity for Barbados to intelligently discuss the subject of race and truthfully deal with an issue that erupts geyser-like from time to time, occasioning brief comment before subsiding once again to simmer just below the surface.

    How is this possible?

  2. We cannot at all times speak the truth, in speaking truth we must consider others, time and circumstance must also matter. To openly say to the Mananging Director at a board meeting he has body odour and is sleeping with the company secretary, might be truthful but not wise, time circumstance and context matters.

    Should we crucify someone who in a moment of “verbal impulsivity” says something that offends in Barbados? We have some people in Barbados who say nothing about Blacks or race in “Public” but they have their boots firmly on our necks.

    Sir Roy should apologize but he is not a canidate for Crucifixion.

    • @Yardroom

      Being sensitive when speaking the truth but spoken nevertheless and withholding the truth are different scenarios no?

  3. the Truth is way of purging the Soul! and to whom who receives it the side effects can be good or bad as in the case of Sir Roy the receivers ended up with a terminal case of diarrhea of the mouth which became highly toxic and infected the nation .We as a people must be careful how we received the “word and be diligent in analysing truth from fiction as well as fact nothing is in black and white and there are varying greys in between

  4. @ David
    “Being sensitive when speaking the truth but spoken nevertheless and witholding truth are different things no?

    Yes! in which category “in this instance” do you place Sir Roy?

    • @Yardbroom

      BU’s position is known that Sir Roy was reckless. The reason being he needed to meet with DI and use his office to resolve the IR matter which is the basis on which a trade union should operate.

      But the question was posed in the context that truth is absolute and not directed at Sir’s Roy.

      If he had come out and stated why many custom officers, politicians visit stores owned by Lebanese, Egyptians, Syrians, Indians through the backdoor most days in Bridgetown, now that would be the truth.

  5. @ David
    On point, the pity is that the employees’ grievance had to be used as the vehicle.

  6. Beautifully written chapeau, In fact, imho, one of perhaps the ten best crafted posts I’ve read on this blog. But unfortunately its beauty is in a philosophy that is inconclusive and lukewarm. Some of our african foreparents would have spat it out. They prefer absolutes, cold or hot, not lukewarm.

  7. “We cannot at all times speak the truth…..”

    ….brilliant philosophy from Yardbroom. This should help us to address all our problems successfully….NOT!

    What a weak suggestion….

    The example given about not telling the boss about his body odour or about sleeping with his secretary has nothing to do with being tactful…. It is about not having the BALLS to stand up for what is right.

    Any philosophy that is built upon deceit is condemned to a miserable outcome…..and Yardie should be ashamed….

  8. Long years of intimidation, state terrorism, and domestication, created A NEGRO that is afraid to face the truth of his continued subjugation.

    They emancipated him from the plantation while at the same time extending the borders of the plantation,

    so that he cannot see the institutional racism that has condemned him to be
    tiptoeing gingerly through his miserabe self-deceiving life as if calling a spade a spade is a capital offense.

  9. Sir Roy in his early days knew diplomacy very well, I’ve had to deal and work with him as a union delegate many years ago. However, quite recently, either through old age,or arrogance, he has become very reckless. Take the AX iussue for instance, here he was ready to bring the country to a halt without all the facts known, now even though there is much truth in what he is saying negotiation is the way to handle such a delicate matter. Maybe it is time for him to step down, but is there a good or adequate replacement?

  10. TRUTH in itself cannot be absolute it should be carefully analyse and dispense of in a way not to inflict harm or damage.yardbroome point is well taken as it shows an attempt to prevent harm or damage to the recipitant and it also borders on good taste and diplomacy.. however what we witnessed over the weekend when Sir ROY told the TRUTH was a verbal on slaught on ROY by the receiptant in orderto surpress the TRUTH

  11. Ras has stepped on the root of which most blacks adhere to the mentality of beleving what we are told by our colonial masters when ones “third eye” is blind because of not being used we are force to accept what we are told because our ability is seriously limted and therfore handicapped because others have been seeing for our abilty to think or do for ourself becomes a challenge and we prefer to stay with the way things are.

  12. “but is Barbados ready”


    Now, given that fact, any understanding and wise leader should lead judiciously in a manner towards getting us there, as opposed to putting spokes in the wheel of gradual education and enlightenment given the “ignorance” of the masses.

    Therer’s more than one road to glory.

  13. OK then so you want to call a SPADE a SPADE? (no racial intent)

    Let’s say I am a senior member of the Chamber of Commerce, would it be right for me to say that Almond Resorts failed because they were black(or worse yet the N word) peeps in senior management that were incompetent???? That certain people were charging $60/ night for a room, an obvious loss, and making up the difference on volume!
    Should I be crucified for such “verbal impulsivity”????

    Would this lead to the right environment for a sensible discussion on race relations in Bim?

    Why did Sir Roy accept the knighthood from the oppressors, the vile racists who have their boots on black peeps necks??? That was the appropriate time to exhibit his position!!!

    Yes customs guys visit certain companies to collect, indeed I know of guys who pass by before work to drink plenty beers gratis.

    The institutional racism practiced today in Bim must surely extend to all the politicians and business peeps, who are not white, and are very successful and happy to take advantage of poorer Bajans.

  14. Hi Bush Tea
    May 8, 2012 @ 7:53 AM

    “The example given about not telling the boss about his body odour or about sleeping with his secretary has nothing to do with being tactful…it is about not having the BALLS to stand up for what is right”.

    “A philosophy that is built upon deceit is condemned to a miserable outcome….and Yardie you should be ashamed”
    – – – – – – –
    Bushie your Logic is flawed, there is no deceit in that example given.
    Deceit is: “behaviour intended to deceive”.

    Yardbroom is not deceiving any-body . Yardbroom would keep his mouth shut, it is not my business. I still have my BALLS, at least last time I checked.

  15. however yardie keeping your mouth shut is not going to solve the problem where there is defniite need for correctivness it should be entirely up to one to use a tactic way to get the message across to the boss that he has aproblem .

  16. My Dear Ac,
    It is not the duty of Yardbroom in an industrial situation to solve the love triangles of others….there are times when it is best to mind your own business….and in the situation I have outlined. I stand by that.

  17. @ Yardie
    If you lead the boss to believe that you are happy with his odour and that you are unaware of his secretarial secret- when you are, then you are practicing deceit.
    Honesty is always the best policy…practiced with tact of course, but telling people what they wish to hear, or what is expedient only creates distrust and false relationships.
    But then we like false relationships in Bim.

    Perhaps in his old age (like Bushie 🙂 ) Sir Roy don’t have any illusions to create, no women to impress, no need for national honours, or any need for false relationships…and can therefore be honest about his assessment of the situation.

    THIS is the special strength that old men bring to positions of power and leadership. Who knows? Like Charles says, maybe coming out of his honesty we will finaly move to address the long ignored problem of relations between the various sectors of our community.

    But Bushie doubts it….

  18. I read where it was suggested that Sir Roy should be relieved of the honour of Knighthood.Are we serious here? Yes an apology is in order,for not only is one due but in the interest of bringing some semblance of placidity to the industrial relations in Barbados one has to be made.Have we not seen where worst was done from higher office?If we got past it then we sure can get through this now.This feeble attempt to belittle the image of Sir Roy is hog-wash.Plain and simple.

  19. Hi Bush Tea
    I did not lead the Boss man to believe anything . I was aware he was playing footsie. Bush Tea you are putting words in Yardbroom’s mouth. I also said if I knew of his secret with the secretary I would not tell the rest of the gang in the boardroom, that is not deceit. They do not know, no one knows but Yardbroonm and he aint squealing…no deceit.
    – – – – – – – – – –
    Some say take away Sir Roy’s knighthood, I entered the discussion because of that remark, a lifetime’s work is of no account because of a moment of “verbal impulsivity.”

    Sir Winston Churchill said:
    ” Ghandi was a “half nakid fakir”

    He said of Hindus:
    “they were a foul race”

    He also said:
    “I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes” [in Iraq]

    No one has yet said Sir Winston Churchill should not have been given a Knighthood.
    I will stand my ground on this one with regard to Sir Roy Trotman, he should apologize but he should not be crucified.

  20. I still up Sin John…..but we still ent hear nah apologies from nobody. We aint seeing no wives reprimand…..BUT what I do remember… the Springer Memorial to be exact….” We have nothing to apologies to make, nor nothing (CLICO) to be ashamed of “…..Charity begins at home my dear friends…Good for the goose, good for the gander….. yet another geese seems to have flown in Parliament today..

  21. Wait….. Dis is old Onions…???
    …de one that bwuse David and vow to done with BU??? The man that pick up his gorgie bundle and walked…?


    Man welcome back. Bushie KNEW that you were never a man of your word – so it was just a matter of time…. 5 whole days!!! LOL

    …probably all that love talk by ac was too much for you…?

    @ David
    How about next time we help Onions to keep his word – by baning him like BFP… 🙂

  22. And why don’t you Bushiee..go wash in the Jordan River….then me might be equals……keepin friends close.. DME even closer

  23. @ yardie

    Hi ! yo! yardie you did make mention of the boss having a body odor to which i made a response and that have nothing to do with industrial relations but for one having to work in an unsanitary environment with an unhealthy co worker is not good and to avoid the issue of not telling him is pretentious, however a solution can be found for anything without being obnoxious and disrespectful. for one with the availability of technology simple problems like that can be solve through email or text message.without him knowing who the sender is .

  24. ef anybody had doubts dey now know dat old onion bag is a politician.Caann keep he word.Either dat or de onion bag aint nothing but a big wind bag.

  25. But Hammie….I thought you all just loved the company of the seasoning man….and duz can’t sleep in peace when i don’t show my face…Is was only because a friend who directed Onions to the wonderful new political threats implemented by David & Co.I am sure you would not have wanted, Onions to lose out (and by extension U2)… thereby missing my invaluable contributions on these ‘lost soul ‘?First it was Aarson, then Bushie now you..Come next week..or whenever these threads die down….Onions getting in the Ole Bertram and gine back on Shoal Bank….promise

  26. LOL @ Old Onions
    Welcome back man. You done know that Bushie miss you bad bad…, could not find a boy to cuss for the 5 days you punished yourself by staying away (and only sneaking back via one of your other handles like gutter perk…lol)

    @ HH
    Old onions have all the traits of a politician….
    He out of work and waiting on elections
    He is usually wrong on most issues
    He shifts his position as necessity requires
    He got ac and IslandGal bewitched behind him
    …and as you point out- he can’t keep his word 🙂

    @ David
    “Peter Wickham has Bushie marked…”
    …he would have to join a real long line… LOL by the time his turn comes around to deal with the bushman he would not even remember that Bushie cussed him and chased him off BU…. 🙁

  27. Man Bushie
    Poetry is like love in motion…….that my dear fellow was like lumps in cou cou….lol

  28. @Bushie

    dats not nice ! wuh you trying to give onions the big head ! now dont start thinking naughty and btw you never gave me the bush bathe!

  29. here we go again with Donville inniss fanning the fames of racial hatred with his attack on Sir Roy because of his comment referring to Hassad as an “egyptian jew”. isn’t Mr hassad an “egyptian jew’ or not are we not known by or race anymore are we trying to rewrite history? isn’t our race the foundation of who we are . Blacks are stilling trying to grasp and understand our ethinicity and our roots because we were exiled fromour homeland and as of recent times some have decided to attach their african name to there country of birth for recognition of whom there are therfore the term African is being attached and there is no racial overtones that goes along when being so called. Mr hassad problem is that along with others who support his calling the term “egyptianjew” as racial is being provocative at least and disengenous the most.

  30. What is really interesting here is that by being an “Egyptian Jew” it means that Mr Hassad is AFRICAN!

    So is Sir Roy spiting his ethnic continent of origin? Jews were slaves in Egypt ie Africa!

    My family was exiled from England due to the Monmouth Rebellion, damn lucky the “hanging Judge Jefferies” did not take his favourite action. It is high time that all Bajans appreciate that we are NOT Black or White because Africans and Europeans would not give a RODENTS RECTUM for us.

    All Bajans should demand fair opportunity and pursue success and not dwell on historical info that places us in a self defeating psychological mode. This is surely the emphasis of the successful Bajans that I know.

  31. @Money brain the only ones talking about “,black and whites are those who took the “.egyptian jew ” coment and has turned it into a racial debate. i would suggested to you that most of those making the allegations may never have heard the term and out of ignorance or some biases against Roy have put a negative conotation to the term

  32. “Oh i love me dat donville innis i know he going to win!”
    “here we go again with Donville inniss fanning the fames of racial hatred with his attack on Sir Roy because of his comment referring to Hassad as an “egyptian jew”. isn’t Mr hassad an “egyptian jew’ or not are we not known by or race anymore are we trying to rewrite history? isn’t our race the foundation of who we are ”

    how do you juxtapose those two positions AC?

  33. @balance when aperson is being unjustly ridicule as in the case of Roy i don,t care which side of the political fence the attacks are coming from i would direct and state my position towards what they have said wether i am in agreement or not.And onions can attest to that

  34. that has nothing to do with are quite an experienced and reconized blogger whose speculative comments are often referred to perhaps because of the combataive nature. you ought to have a forthright position .would you support a politician who is fanning the flames of fire against representation for the rights of workers.?

  35. There is absolutely no doubt that what Sir Roy said was offensive. He made the statement before he met with DI to resolve the matter. In the process he has dragged the whole country into the mess. His approach runs counter to what the social partnership espouses.

  36. “….absolutely no doubt…?”

    Now you are being offensive to the BU family.
    That is ONLY your opinion. Bushie has “absolutely no doubt” that the statement from Sir Roy was TRUE, ACCURATE, and, for the perceptive among us, RELEVANT.

    Commissong is RIGHT for a change…. Even about the need for independent review of complaints against the police.

  37. @Bush Tea

    Offensive for having an opinion like you?

    The big picture is that Sir Roy leads the largest trade union in Barbados.

    The big picture is that Sir Roy is part of a social partnership which has as one of its mandates effectively managing a stable IR climate in Barbados.

    The big picture is that Hassid is a Barbadian by naturalization after living in Barbados for 17 years.

    The big picture is that according to reports DI has not sent home staff through the recession to honour the call from government, unlike OCM, LIME and others which the BWU represents.

    The big picture is that Sir Roy has a lousy record of late resolving conflict to satisfaction, Sandy Lane and Royal Shop anyone?

    The big picture is that reference to a Barbadian by tagging his ethnicity devalues how a Barbadian should be defined. If he was mad on May Day he could have shouted at Sandy Lane management for ignoring him all these months.

    Understand this man maybe a lousy boss and the climate at DI maybe unstable. Understand that 7 went home but others were probably in the slot to go home but why bring the country into the mess? Will it solve the problem?

  38. @ David
    Offensive for your blanket dismissal of contrary views on BU.

    Offensive for coming to a “definite” conclusion – without waiting on all of the facts – to see what would lead a man who have given a lifetime of service to the workers of Barbados, to say what he did.
    Perhaps he was wrong, BUT perhaps he is justified…do you know for sure?

    ..for opting to take the side of the “let’s not bite the hand that feeds us” chorus ….. As if pride and RIGHTNESS pales in the face of mendicancy.

    For allowing yourself to be swayed by the perverse reverse psychology of branding BLACK patriarchs as “racist” – against all the evidence of history.

    Do you remember when Moses saw an Egyptian boss unfairing one of his people? Did he side with those who offered him food and shelter of did he identify with his people? Think on that….

  39. @ Bushie
    Wait….. Dis is old Onions…???
    Listening n Laughing ……

  40. @Bush Tea

    BU is anti the slur and NOT anti Sir Roy the trade unionist.

    Regarding suppressing the views of others,,, taken as not a serious comment…lol

  41. @ David
    It is not a slur to speak a fact of a person’s actual heretage. ….else BT would take offence at being called a bushman… 🙂

    Bushie did not accuse you of suppressing other views (you??) but of Dismissal of contrary views ( by your definitive assertion – rather than expression of YOUR opinion)

    @ Onions
    You can’t get between Bushie and the BU boss, We is We! 🙂

  42. @Bushie

    It is not like you to become swamped in the minutiae of the argument, lol.

    Explain the CONTEXT for referring to the mans ethnicity again. How was it relevant? We all know now he is an Egyptian Jew, a persecuted group which has had to run hither thither and yon.

  43. As a public servant or official, you do not conduct yourself in a manner that becomes of you. Is Sir Roy Trotman an immigration official? In what context did he use the comment?

  44. @ balance
    you have latched on the one part of my comment trying to get political mileage out of it. Donville Innis has to cut a path in this issue that would appease the international community and potential foreign investors to this country and that he did , i am not a stupidooo not to understand his intentions and there were clear but i would be a fool to believe that his intentions were to undermine the workers of barabados while at the same time debating for an Employment bill of Rights which put employers under the gun. so your question becomes null and void and it does not adequately connect the two issues as one in the same light!

  45. the employment bill does not put employers under any more gun than they were under before and employees would continue to suffer the same indignities if the labour dept is not provided with the tools to ensure that workers rights are respected against unscrupulous employers. what certain aspects of the bill would do is constrain small businesses from expanding for fear of the penalties associated with providing stable employment.

  46. yes i would agree that some of the missing tools in favour of the Employment bill should be strengthen however i must emphaised the importance of keeping the voices of those alive that would champion the rights of employee for without them this bill and others previously would never have seen the light of day.It is incumbent that we as a people not be first in line to silence those voices for without them the doors which were open would slowly be is also of importance that those of whom we elected to represent us cannot do it alone they also need the voices of those crying in the wilderness to set a path forward for them to follow . the past week debacle is an example of how easily those voices upon whom we ask and look forward to championong our rights can be SILENCED! BEWARE!

    • We continue to generalize. What parts of the bill should be strengthened because nothing is perfect under the sun. There is no perfect legislation.

  47. Why should Sir Roy apologize? What did he say that was not trutrh?
    Do any of you on this blog get upset if you are referred to as a Bajan Christian, a Bajan Baptist or a Guyanese Moslem? I have referred to my freinds, in their presence, as an Indian Hindu, a Pakistani Moslem, etc.

    Being Jew is NOT a race. It is a religion. Being from Egypt is a nationality, it is NOT a race. Sir Roy was right, NO NEED TO APOLOGIZE to anyone. It is sad to see that in this 2012 Bajans still stupid under the Broken Trident.

  48. Lady Pat
    I agree with you..don’t mind foolish people like…..DEM just in D foolish season..Thanks to Comminsong…

    Sir Roy ain’t got to apologies to a S#te.

  49. Old Onions,

    I gine phone e and tell e NOT to apologize, that we behind him all the way. I know him well, he is quite stubborn.

  50. @ Pat
    If Sir Roy was the kind of sissy that would apologize just because a bunch of sheep get frightened because he called a wolf a wolf,… do you think he would have remained a trade union leader so long…?

    How are you child? When you coming back home nuh? We could do with a real real woman ’bout here to act as a role model for ac and Islandgal (forget Random Thoughts, she too far gone… 🙂 )

  51. @Bush Tea

    You have conveniently ignored the question of relevance posed yesterday. How is referring to the man’s ethnicity relevant.

  52. @ David
    …Bushie thought that it was obvious.

    Sir Roy expressed outrage at the apparent case of blatant union busting- and was making the point that “if that is how things are done in Egypt by Jews” 🙂 then let it be known that this is Barbados and we do things differently here….
    As the grand old Duke don’t you think that he was very much in place to so advise the gentleman from ‘you-know-where’?

    Man David…. Has the bushman ever led you wrong? How can you side with Caswell against the Bushman and expect not to come out on the wrong side? 🙂

  53. @Bush Tea

    Are you saying you are not human and therefore defy the law of fallibility? …lol

    Why did he have to shout in the public place only after meeting with the disaffected employees?

  54. @Charles Knighton: “There is no law of the universe that states whether the desires of instinct or intellect should prevail. But if you think about it, I’m pretty sure you’ll recognize the truth about which one you believe should win the tussle, but is Barbados ready?

    I was reminded of a famous quote by Albert Einstein yesterday by a Government Official…

    “We can not solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.

  55. @ David
    ….almost! 🙂

    He did not have to shout, but that is how it is done….
    It was done in the 40’s
    In the 50’s and it continues ….

    It is outdated; it is inefficient; it is messy; and it really does not work, but that is what we always did!!

    …so what would you have him do? If you are honest most is us continue with our outdated methodologies too…
    Is the court computerized?
    Are Police uniforms practical?
    Are traffic lights intelligent?
    ….so why should Sir Roy be more current than the rest of us?

    The man was just doing it by the book …. Written back in the glory days of trade unionism.

  56. Excuse us EX- Chris
    …but what does the contest between ‘instinct’ and ‘intellect’ have to do with Einstein’s famous quote…?

    What Einstein is saying (as is Bushie) is that we need a new and different philosophical framework around which our lives must be defined – if we are to address the problems that are overwhelming us….

  57. @BT: “…but what does the contest between ‘instinct’ and ‘intellect’ have to do with Einstein’s famous quote…?

    Because it is human nature to stay within one’s “comfort” zone. With what one instinctively feels is the easiest (or, at least, the most familiar) path.

    @BT: “What Einstein is saying (as is Bushie) is that we need a new and different philosophical framework around which our lives must be defined – if we are to address the problems that are overwhelming us….

    Then at least a few of us are on the same page.

    The big question is, are all of us?

  58. I have always said and will continue to say that Barbados Labour Party members have no shame at all.

    “SIR ROY TROTMAN’s attack on the management of Diamonds International was unfortunate and can “scare people away from Barbados”.

    Opposition Member of Parliament George Payne made this charge in the House of Assembly on Tuesday during debate on the Employment Rights Bill.”

    This is the same George PAIN who told white Adrian Loveridge that he was not indigenous enough. Meaning that he was too white for him. That is when George PAIN was Minister Of Tourism. Adrian Loveridge was then Chairman of the Small Hotels Committee and as a result of George PAIN remarks Loveridge was quickly removed from that position and replace with a Black hotelier.

  59. @ buish Tea!

    i remenber asking you previously “what is a real woman” and you told me some hocus pocus nonsense about reading Proverbs any how since you don’t want to answer out of your “fear” of woman i would take that to mean a woman who is subservant to men and lives and abides by his rule of law.

  60. Sir Roy is a leader ! and not a pacifist ! if people want a leader they must get out the way and let them do their job. The opposition would always be there to distract and confuse the sheepile and DI did exactly that Confuse And Distract!

  61. @ The Entity

    But are you not rooted in your comfort zone? I see no ‘new’ philosophical framework in either yourself or those you mention. It’s the same old tribalism wrapped up in fancy language.

Leave a comment, join the discussion.