Notes From a Native Son – Know Thyself

Hal Austin

The continuing debate over the faux pas by Sir Roy Trotman, like the general narrative about politics and change in Barbados, has concentrated on what Sir Roy said and did not say, what he meant or did not mean, and the social damage of it all. Typically missing was the substantive point, a case of not being able to tell the wood from the trees.

This is not a national intellectual oversight, but one that goes right to the heart of a cultural tradition of learning by rote, reading and remembering, while missing the fundamental point of critical understanding and analysis.

As the late Czech philosopher/activist Vaclav Havel once said: “The deeper the experience of an absence of meaning – in other words, of absurdity – the more energetically meaning is sought.” In most societies searching for a deeper understanding of their place in history, the statement by Sir Roy, real or imagined, would have been the stepping off point for a serious discussion about the medium and long-term future of the nation. Instead, what we have seen is a concentration on the actuality and its elementary interpretation, rather than the substance – is our society changing and, if so, is it for the better?

I always find the best way of communicating these points is by giving an example: whatever the self-serving background noise, Barbados is in serious economic trouble. Households are finding it hard paying the bills, even for the few with mortgages, keeping a home over their heads is tougher now than it was three or four years ago. And the elites who should be leading the national debate, giving a lead to policymakers and re-assuring the nation, are silent, so there is no intellectual leadership. Where is the quality discussion in the media? Where are the academics clambering to breakout of the restrictions of Cave Hill to share their undoubted knowledge with the public? Where are the politicians giving a lead?

My argument is that a poor society does not have to lose its civic soul; nor, indeed, does a rich society necessarily have a soul. In short, the quality of a society is not money, nor big houses or four-by-four cars, but the nature of its people, how they relate to each other. Take the evidence: gated communities, constant vacuous threats about drug-dealing and the boys on the block, high unemployment, the atomising of social space – the list is endless – all pointing to a society in which citizens do not trust each other, permanently suspicious of strangers, doubtful of people’s intentions. Just look at the family rows, the theft of inherited property, unscrupulous overcharging, aggression and violence, the routine abuse of office, from getting jobs for friends and relatives to sacking people without any justification. All these and more are symptoms of a society in meltdown, a society so deep in self-denial that it replaces the horrors of its own implosion with an artificial nationalism.

One of the great failings is that of politicians and their failure to communicate with the voting public. Because of the amateurish system – one of the foundations of our democracy – they often lack the intellectual energy, fail to explain policy, cannot differentiate between reassuring the public and crusading in a vulgar party political way. It begs the question: is parliament a reflection of society, a talent pool, or the best available potential leaders our society can produce?

In the meantime, we have a society caught up in the most volatile financial and banking crisis since the dawn of capitalism, clearly the policymakers and politicians have no idea of what to do about it, yet they have a false bravado, pushing out their chests and spouting off with the most economically illiterate nonsense this side of the Himalayas. Normally, it is the kind of mess that traditionally most of us would laugh at over a drink, only in this case people are suffering.

In the meantime, stubbornness and arrogance is preventing them from seeking help. Their conceit and pride tells them that if they cannot find answers then, by definition, no other Barbadian can.

Civic organisations
One of the most powerful institutions in our society is the church, yet in all its denominations, it has remained deafeningly silent as the society around it melts down. It is content to abandon its social gospel, preferring to take an interest only in the Sunday collection. In fact, some of the wealthiest people in the society are church leaders, which is why there is a need for tighter regulatory controls of all religious bodies and charities. They should be compelled to bank all their income, invest in approved ethical and socially responsible vehicles and pay national insurance for all their employees.

In short, there must be a clear financial audit trail for all religious and charitable income, not matter the size of the religious body or its denomination or sect.

There are other gaps in our democratic structure. Where is our consumer champion? Our patients’ advocacy group? Who provides free legal advice for the marginalised and abject poor?

I have long called for a skills exchange in which people who are skills-rich, but cash-poor can barter: I will give you three hours of carpentry a week in exchange for three hours teaching my little girl/boy; I will service your car once a year if you can give me financial advice/planning once a year – the opportunities are there, it is just the willingness to share our expertise and knowledge.

In the meantime, while this absence of civic cooperation goes missing with the ‘natives’, the New Arrivants are establishing themselves.

We have one religious and ethnic minority which involves itself with the wider community only on its terms – selling cheap clothing and other household goods, yet it does not interact not even with the banking and financial systems. This to my mind is a case for intense intelligence gathering, rather than the genuflection we get from our officials.

We have another ethnic community which has colonised a large part of the most desired and expensive land in our country, yet we know very little about them, apart from what they want us to know. Who are they? Where did they get their money from? What do they import and export from their luxury, seaside homes and businesses? In truth, we do not know and, apparently, do not care.

The we have the Indo-Guyanese settlement, joined at the hip, with their ethnic brethren in demanding that Barbados, a secularised Christian society, should now  treat Diwali  as part of our national religious celebrations. Next time it will be Id, then Heavens knows.

Analysis and Conclusion:
The greatest challenge facing us as a people is in deciding what kind of society we aspire to and what steps we have to take to make that dream a reality. It is a debate, more a collective discussion, we should have had in the lead up to constitutional independence and, certainly, in the early years after. We did not.

Instead of formulating progressive policies to lift Barbados out of its present social mess, we have focused on a crude form of crony capitalism, with all hands in the barrel scratching for what they can grab. Flirting with Estonians, smiling at the Chinese, kowtowing to the Americans and Canadians, yessing the British, in short, prostituting ourselves for the next cheque.

We have developed a post-independence culture of genuflection, of babbling while pretending any collective noise passes for orderly and civilised public debate when in reality it is repetitive and boring, lacking in focus or any educative value. This must be put down to the educational system.

One of our worst failings as a young nation is that of policymaking and the realisation that policy comes from ideas, not from fear. Yet, despite the claims of following a Westminster/Whitehall policymaking and administrative model, the reality could not be further from the truth. It is this self-deception that has obstructed the formation of a post-independence development paradigm: quality of life over growth, budget discipline over imprudence, the development of human capital over credentialism, a progressive civic society over selfishness and greed.

Our public intellectual climate is stultifying, conservative, a convergence of intellectual dinosaurs and outdated views, and, most of all, totally irrelevant to the social, political and economic dynamism that is shaping the early 21st century.

There are two important global developments that we have failed to realise in Barbados. First, knowledge has shifted from academic institutions to think-tanks and quality publications (print and online), a fact that most people in positions of influence seem to miss. (In the mid-1980s we had eight newspapers – the Advocate, Evening Advocate, Recorder, Observer, Beacon, Truth, Bajan, and the Barbados Commercial Journal –  now we two prints and one digital, of varying quality).  This, along with the failure to develop a body of social historical analysis has led to the normalisation of some ideas which totally misinterpret social evidence to suit party alliance.

A good example is the recent attempt to re-write modern Barbadian social history with a revisionist version which claims to relegate Grantley Adams to a backwater, and project Errol Barrow as the father of independence. Yet, in light of this, our great historians and BLP ideas people have remained shamelessly silent while this character assassination takes place. We as a nation become the weaker for it.

Let us take a simple development, such as the post-independence increase in the number of Pakistanis in the island. Do we know which part of Pakistan they are from? Which sect of Islam they belong to? Which ones of their traditional cultural and religious practices and beliefs they adhere to? For example, are they mainly Sunnis or Shias, and what does this mean for potential conflict? Do they have marriage customs which in Barbadian law may be considered incestuous, therefore illegal? Do they have a parallel legal system which sits in judgment over community members? Do they carry out so-called honour killings on defiant daughters?

These are just some of the questions we ought to know as a society – certainly the authorities – if we are going to prevent social conflict in five, ten, fifteen or twenty-five years’ time. We just cannot sit back and pretend that our Pakistani Muslims are better than those in Trinidad or Guyana or Britain or Canada.

The same applies to the growing Syrian/Lebanese community. What do we know about them? With civil war in Syria, do they send money to support factions, or do members volunteer to fight? So they support Hamas or Hizbollah? If so, are they part of the Diaspora that funnels millions of dollars through various underground banking systems to these organisations? At the very least we must know about those who live among us (see: The Lebanese Connection: Corruption, Civil War, and the International Drug Traffic, by Jonathan V. Marshall, Stanford University Press)

This is not a theoretical issue. For the 2007 Cricket World Cup the Chinese built a new ground for the Grenadians. One condition, I am reliably told by a senior Grenadian civil servants, was that the 250 builders would have to stay on in Grenada. However, what the Chinese did not tell the Grenadian government was that the 250 workers were allegedly all ex-convicts. We have had a similar contingent of Chinese in Barbados. Do we know anything about their backgrounds?

As the Ancient Greeks told us: Know thy self.

49 thoughts on “Notes From a Native Son – Know Thyself


  1. Sir Austin,
    I made the same posit you did, and people said that I was foolish and didn’t know what I was talking about. SOme even called me a racist fool as a result. I wonder what their response to your piece will be. Again, a case of sheeple following and not learning….


  2. @Hal

    Whi;e i apprciate this article, I find it is too long and by the time you finished reading u forget some of the contents. You are losing people by these long article. if u try shorter arcticlles u might get more repsonses.

    @Brudda

    Say what u have to say, people will disagree with you, wasnt Jesus persecuted, then who are we not to espect same.


  3. Austin man you sound real frightened. Tell me, when West Indian immigrants were emigrating to the UK in the early 40’s and 50’s were their backgrounds thoroughly checked? Didn’t they scared the wits out of the British?

    Man has always been a migratory creature and whether we like it or not even with the threat of terrorism there will always be people moving from one country to another. Countries can no longer exist in total isolation.

    In the past when a country accepted migrants, they were accepting their culture, their religion and many cases their habits good or bad. That had proven to be a catch 22 situation and made many countries rethink how to better manage their immigration laws and policies. The melting pot never became a reality. No one became a big happy family.

    It is very difficult to accept different cultures in our own backyard yet when people migrate some make it a point of trying to integrate within the neighbourhood in which they live. Many find it difficult to assimilate, so many ethnic areas develop where immigrants find it more comfortable to live amongst their own. The sad part of all this is that they have missed the opportunity and experience of living in a true multicultural community. Or is that just a piped dream? Some of the natives will be curious and want to learn about their new neighbours while others will reject the newcomers and become hostile. What it has brought home to me is that we really do not know who we are until we have a stranger living in the house next door.


  4. Brudah Bim …Good morning and how are you this early morning?

    Blogger2012…I totally agree withyou on this article. It is too long and Hal bounces all over the place.


  5. all that talk about multiculturalism sounds well and good but leave that for the big giants like USA and britain who have the necessary resources and jobs and skill to encompass one and all. this tiny island can not such afford to offer others when it does not have enough for its own so the people are right to be concerned and scared of seeing what little their have being given away to outsiders.We need to protect our own interest and speak out when those we put in charge think otherwise.


    • BU sides with Hal’s position. Many of these issues BU raised at the height of the immigration debate in Barbados. We have developed a society which has the characteristic of being stable, politically and socially. In order to maintain it we need to understand how we maintain it going forward. There must be structure and planning. There cannot be the adhocism which now obtains. The unwillingness of Bajans to seriously discuss these matters shows a lack of moral and emotional intelligence.


  6. Blogger 2012 i agree wid you !
    as usual hal is being superficial! long winded! and all over the place talking about striking fear in the heart of man. nobody does it better


  7. What an insular, close minded, bullshit view.

    No, Barbados is part of the world, in case you have not noticed.

    You want no Syrians, Chinese, US, Canadians, Indians or jews here?

    Then just blasted say so publicly and get it over with.

    And I am sure that people will gladly but disappointingly go and set up lives in Trinidad or St.Lucia instead.

    Maybe you wont SAY SO publicly (albeit bluntly rather than the veiled statement above), because you know that will be the end of Barbados, business and tourism wise.

    Maybe the USA, Canada should stop letting bajans in there too. After all, what sort of society do they want?

    In case you do not understand, the world has moved on, thankfully young people are past this racial crap espoused above and it is the old johnnies like above and Leroy the Little and a few old bajans whether black or white, who are holding on to the old mindset of ‘fawner’.

    Similar to the down sourth USA ‘we dont want yo kind round hey’!

    Back country hicks.

    Tomorrow’s world…will leave you all behind!


  8. Do we educate our own so they can leave our shores and be exploited and use to build other nationsor should we educate and train them so they can build upon the foundations which our foefathers begunwhy must we always want to depend on the strengths of others Either we are an educate people or not and fullycapable of masterminding our destiny without having to resort to thers who in the long run would continue to chip away at the pie till it is alltheres.then what


  9. Mr Austin wants to know : Where are the academics? They are switching parties and looking to get their parties in power. Yes Sir! The academics can accuse a party of corruption re: GEMS and JAWS and then join them. . Or their pens can be silent when their party is in power an then find everything wrong with the country after their party is voted out. Hope this helps you to understand.


  10. We have no option but to wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Austin. Several years ago we tried to convince the ‘intellectual’ leadership on the Hill that capitalism was dying, to which there was less than a tepid acceptance and an argumentation that in essence argued that capitalism was invisible. Today, we can say without fear or favor that corporate serfdom has finally engulfed the globe and Barbados has not one single strategic response. Our central recommendation is that we get rid of all the elites from everywhere in the society. We have been working on a fuller outline of the means by which this can be achieved.


  11. Al showing his love for his BLP: LOL!
    A good example is the recent attempt to re-write modern Barbadian social history with a revisionist version which claims to relegate Grantley Adams to a backwater, and project Errol Barrow as the father of independence. Yet, in light of this, our great historians and BLP ideas people have remained shamelessly silent while this character assassination takes place.

    I enjoyed his article and would like for him elaborate a little bit more than he did in the piece above. In particular I would like for him to respond to David Commisiong’s article “Grantley – A critical view “The seven deadly sins of Grantley

    http://www.normangirvan.info/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/grantley-adams.pdf


  12. @ad jJohnny | May 18, 2012 at 6:45 AM |
    “In case you do not understand, the world has moved on, thankfully young people are past this racial crap espoused above and it is the old johnnies like above and Leroy the Little and a few old bajans whether black or white, who are holding on to the old mindset of ‘fawner”

    u are just as backward and ignorant as as all those who choose to keep their eyes shut. the world has moved on? where and when? how come the world still treats u blacks as if ur crap? how come the same egyptian jews pays his foreign workers more than the bajans doing the same job? why don’t u learn a bit about ur history and while at it do a bit of travelling and tell me where the world has gone too. the fact that the guy come mention that he fears for his fam just shows that he is looking to divert attention away from the real issue. he yes he is a egypian jew, just like u are an african barbadian. i am mix so i could go any way. but are u retarded or something ? before u put ur dribble on the streets, ask his black employees how they are treated, also ask his foreigners the same? if the world has moved on, why does certain accounting firms and big name enterprises pay black bajans like you, a lower rate than white bajans not like u? i can never understand y people of adult age always chooses to put their head in the sand. Trotman obviously knows more than he’s saying. y don’t u go their for employment? jackass


  13. @smooth chocolate

    I worked at an insurance company years ago, a junior officer to me was getting more money than I was, guess what the black accountant alerted us the policy towards paying black barbadians, so when i challenged the white untrained and unqualified person who was responsible for personnel matters, i was told that it was not so and when i produced the printed information i was chased out of the office, and guess what, attempts were made to ostracize me, but i was too rebellious for them.

    I can say much more on that, and the offshore companies which play white bajans more than the blacks.


  14. @Bush

    Leave smooth chocolate he is on the ball. i can say so much about that. i have a number of friends in the offshore company and who used to work in accountinng filed at some of those accounting company, including the one Mr. Boos used to be with.


  15. Blogger2012 | May 19, 2012 at 11:39 AM |
    it is done secretly, one of my friends was relating his experience while working at R L Seale. about 10 years ago. he had a white friend there, both did the same job, one friday the white man’s envelope dropped from him, my friend took it up to return it and saw that the man was paid more than $100 than he, they were weekly paid employees. i overheard some people sharing reasons why they left Goddard enterprises (not sure which business it was but the reason was that the white bajans doing the same job was paid far times more than they, the black bajans. i also know of this lady who was an accountant at one of the firms up bishop courts hill. the firm give loans to its employees (whom they choose to). she was working there for one year and applied for a car loan, was turned down, a white girl working there for 2 weeks applied for a car loan and was approved.

    i think black bajans who are talking all the foolishness about Sir Trotman somehow think that whites will look at them and see them as equal. i don’t give a rat’s rectum about any white man, i live in a white neighbourhood and see and hear all the crap, i live there because it was a good buy. but i can never understand why black bajans are so quick to bury their head in the sand and pretend. the whites gladly threat them as s…t and purposely pay them less. try listening to conversations about blacks among whites who think they are not being heard and u will shake ur heads. of course not all are like that, i personally have never experience it but then again they probably realize i am not fascinated with them. i know that that Egyptian Jew is only interested in the blacks doing his job, he has little respect for them and shows it. he knew that black bajans including the jackass politicians who supported him, are ignorant and simple so if he cause people to forget about the real issue and look at what Sir Roy said then, people talk and carry on as they are doing now.


  16. Bush Tea | May 19, 2012 at 11:13 AM |
    “LOL
    Bushie was not aware that smooth chocolate could be so rough”

    it totally pains me when i see utter uneducated rubbish. this person obviously has never been employed anywhere, probably is at some learning institution and have white friends…so they assumed as always that their white young friends will grow up to be their white adult friends. they will come to realized the real world when they are walking the streets and see they white friends who will inturn act as if they are strangers. i mix in all kinds of circles, i know what i am talking about. he/she is a perfect poppet to think that the world looks upon the black man and equal, the truth is, after 300 years of emancipation, the black man is still seen as a nigga. he might be vastly intelligent but when they lose their identity and suck to thieves, scum and dogs wearing white skin and bearing money, it makes me want to puke. so that is what i’ve done..puke all over his crap


  17. islandgal246 | May 18, 2012 at 1:49 AM |
    ” Didn’t they scared the wits out of the British?”

    a little learning in English culture: British = black person born in UK
    English = white person born in UK
    u really meant to say “Didn’t they scared the wits out of the English? 😉


  18. And M*th*f*ck*s wonder why I’m so harsh when it comes to demanding stricter immigration policies. LOOK DAMMIT! WE NEED TO KEEP AND DEVELOP OUR OWN WEALTH! NOT SEL OUT TO FOREIGNERS!! BUT NOBODY FRIGGIN LISTENS UNTIL THE GROUNDSKEEPER SAYS SO!

    Every Smooth Choclate sed is true, and yet I bet ppl like Islandgal246 will still argue otherwise….
    STUPID ASS LOT YOU ARE It would seem! THe Black Bajan that is!!
    because he chooses to subsist on the lies of the oppressor!


  19. Brudah-Bim…Good morning to you sweetie pie I see that you have had some razor grass for brekfus and some senna tea that got you talking outta yuh behind again. Just mek sure yuh gots enuff papier de toilette in de house. Have a shitty day!


  20. @ Smooth

    Eh?

    British = all who have British citizenship – black, white, brown, Scottish, Welsh etc

    English = white person of typically anglo-saxon descent born in England as distinct from Wales, Scotland, N Ireland

    Why is it that if someone who has not directly addressed you and who expresses a view with which you do not agree is rubbished by you with words like ‘retard’, ‘backward’. ‘ignorant’ and ‘jackass’? It’s not ‘British’ you know.


  21. Blogger2012 | May 19, 2012 at 11:39 AM |
    “it is done secretly, one of my friends was relating his experience while working at R L Seale. about 10 years ago. he had a white friend there, both did the same job, one friday the white man’s envelope dropped from him, my friend took it up to return it and saw that the man was paid more than $100 than he, they were weekly paid employees. i overheard some people sharing reasons why they left Goddard enterprises (not sure which business it was but the reason was that the white bajans doing the same job was paid far times more than they, the black bajans. i also know of this lady who was an accountant at one of the firms up bishop courts hill. the firm give loans to its employees (whom they choose to). she was working there for one year and applied for a car loan, was turned down, a white girl working there for 2 weeks applied for a car loan and was approved.”

    perhaps black people should learn to do the same when they are in positions to do so and stop whining against the white man for looking after his own kind.


  22. @ AC

    As a matter of fact, we could all swap stories of discrimination if we wished. It works both ways as you rightly discern.


  23. “Mr Austin wants to know : Where are the academics? They are switching parties and looking to get their parties in power. Yes Sir! The academics can accuse a party of corruption re: GEMS and JAWS and then join them. . Or their pens can be silent when their party is in power an then find everything wrong with the country after their party is voted out. Hope this helps you to understand.”

    this disreputable mendicant behaviour has been evident on both sides of the political divide Mr Skinner, long before the person to whom you are alluding sought refuge in the bosom of his political enemies having been unceremoniously rejected by his own. you do not even have to cross the floor for your own to find something wrong with you when you do not toe the line.they even try to get rid of you. ask david estwick if jepter ince wasn’t trying to instigate a no-confidence motion to prevent him from seeking re-election in his constituency.


  24. @Smooth Choclate, Acting in hatred and against persons of other creeds on a widespread basis is no solution for perceived bias. As I said, things are different in Barbados and if you doubt me, you will find out. Young people have no time for this shit anymore, you all can spout all the racist verbiage you want. And yes, racism exists both ways and more so in the older generaiton with grudges to bear, but the future is the young pople who have no time for this, so you can suck salt.

    And yes I have worked overseas too. Mixed with all kinds of nationalities, people I mexed with judges the person, not the skin like you people.

    By the way, interesting this racial talk has popped up, triggered by the Trotman (former DLP Minister) comment, right before elections and when the DLP is known to be flagging and likely will lose the election.

    A case of ‘work the fear factor’???? Fear factor is a powerful thing, as seen internationally in the last few years. Hitler used it and so many others since.

    I wonder….


  25. skins- i empathise with you because i know you feel bad about the performance of your party and if i were you i would feel embarrassed too about a party which promised much and so far has delivered nothing. a party which trumpeted society over economy and proceede to raise water rate by 60% in the process cutting off the water several poor households.

    perhaps rather than return to the DLP fold, you should have remained and helped Dr Haynes re-organise and re-energise the NDP which in these trying times might have eventually proven to be a worthy alternative to what the electorate is forced to choose from now.
    for your information let me refresh your memory with some of the contents of a message from your ex-NDP President, then now Sir Richie haynes to party membershipon 28/12/98 which would include you. Boy can i remeber you now sitting ramrod upright and looking dignified as usual on the NDP’s rostrum.
    dear member
    As you already know, our party would not be participating in the general elections for the reasons already made public.
    You have participated to the development of a strategic set of policies and programmes which have contributed to the rescue of this nation from the economic disater of 1991-1994 nder the DLP and have brought our country to a level of prosperity which it has never experienced before.
    The DLP has done everything it could to try to destroy the NDP. It will not succeed. (seems they succeeded). The BLP, on the other hand, has implemented many of our sound policies and programmes.(credit to them)
    Our party is here to stay.(turned out to be a pipe dream because people like you and vere brathwaithe and ginger bourne and joseph goddard ran away.)In this election i urge you to cast your vote to ensure that those policies and programmes remain in place for the betterment of our nation.
    Richie Haynes
    President
    The question is this skins. Did you heed the urgings of your party president and voted in the 1998 elections to ensure the sound policies and programmes of which you were a part remained in place or did you trick and defy your party president by casting your vote elsewhere?
    now you have returned to the DLP fold which you urged the electorate to repudiate in 1998, how different is your stance from Mr Mascoll’s.


    • What is so difficult to understand what Hal is saying? The man is sharing his experience of living in a multicultural society and the issues which ensue. Barbados has a dominant Black host population and we are willing to overlook the ‘issues’ which can result when different ethnic groups take root? We can’t always allow economic considerations to override.


  26. @ David

    Are you getting worried? Is there a whiff of ‘rebellion’?
    Please tell me where H Austin “shares” his experience of living in the UK?

    What we have here are (a) some mish-mash ideas of H Austin and (b) the usual tribalism routinely wrapped up in fancy, pretentious language – and which proclaims, eg, that there is only one way of looking at history, one way of doing ‘church’ – that’s to say his way – and BU’s way since you endorse what he says on a weekly basis.

    The irony is that he proclaims”know thyself” and warns against missing the wood for the trees. Gee, that’s rich coming from him. Actually, I’d determined not to get involved with H Austin’s posts other than tangentally – but your last blog takes the biscuit. Sorry


    • @robert

      To sustain the stable society which we have enjoyed post Independence we have to plan, it will not continue by accident. Why is it when anyone seeks to probe this matter we dismiss them under the weight of some phobia or generality? You have to read Austin’s body of submissions to paint context to BU’s reference to Austin sharing his experiences.

      Have you read the report produced by the Roy Marshall’s Commission some years ago?


  27. how can we as a nation succeed when we put people in charge who does not believe or trust it’s people we cannot keep blaming those who the leaders believe are better than us but rather put blame where blame should be at the feet of every politician past and present who supposed to show the way forward but has opted for another alternative in the name of progress and intoxicated with power and wealth this not about black or white but those who have detoured from the original course and is finding it harder to charter a way back


  28. @Mad Johnny
    “Mad Johnny | May 20, 2012 at 2:32 PM |
    @” racism exists both ways and more so in the older generaiton with grudges to bear, but the future is the young pople who have no time for this, so you can suck salt… people I mexed with judges the person, not the skin like you people”

    continue to fool yourself… but u will see that u will always be a nigga…sad isn’t it? that how much u try to convince yourself and others, it will never change. look at obama and the disrespect he’s getting. look at the 3 men who was just arrested. they are young, they are white. were they not judging him by the colour of his skin? because someone chooses to see how things really are, does not equate to hatred, it equates to reality. i do not hate the whites, as in all my difficult situations, it was the whites only who came to my assistance (not bajan whites of course). i live among whites and i hear things… so please grow up. do not waste ur time trying to convince urself nor me.


  29. @balance | May 20, 2012 at 1:52 PM |
    “perhaps black people should learn to do the same when they are in positions to do so and stop whining against the white man for looking after his own kind.”

    you are so correct but show me the black man who loves his own enough to do that. it is a real pity that the blacks would run to help all kinds but kick down their own. heard about this white guy who walk of a plane, went to a bank, got the loan, caught the plane back home and never repaid a cent.

    the blacks must learn to love their brothers, stand with them and go all out to ensure that they prop them up. of course this happens in some situations i;ve witnessed in barbados, e.g. the Nigerians help their own tremendously. i was raised in a family where u could not leave our home without taking something, my mom considered it an insult if u didn’t. even today i make sure that i push business for anyone black entrepreneur that i had a good experience with.


  30. @ David

    The post speaks against the loss of the sense of hospitality – but refuses it. Speaks against fear -but demonstrates it. Of course there are things to think about and you might want to say that RR is ruled out anyway though he can tie a wrapper of four yards of cloth with roll at the front and owns an agbada or two – if you see what I mean.

    One of the things which irritates me about H Austin is that in all the posts of his I’ve read, he has never once said “The UK has been good to me” or “I’ve done well here” – yet in the internet reference he describes himself as a “senior editor with the Financial Times”. – which is, I suppose, no mean achievement. And yet this rather mean spirited fellow is taken by BU as a kind of guru – despite the weakness in his position too.

    And, yes, I take exception to his reference to the lack of a legal aid clinic for the underprivileged. He knows bloody well there was one here; that it was set up by a foreign import; and that it was destroyed by a nasty black Bajan and her ‘once upon a time bare foot boy’ accomplice. In a previous post H Austin demonstrated his mean spiritedness about that too.

    So sorry, I don’t take him seriously. My own take very simply expressed is that we should seek to tease out all the undoubted talents on offer here and create..BB has good ideas if only he’ll stop tribalising but, apart from him, I’ve heard very little else except talk and lame pleas for “analysis”. But then the mindset is wrong and tomorrow belongs, as Mad J suggests, not to the do dos like Austin or even me, but to those fresh young minds who are prepared to look to the horizon and beyond and sail through the pillars of Hercules into the uncharted sea untouched by the idols of the market place. But then they need gurus of a similar vision, don’t they? But where do we look? Not to the OT represented by Austin and the rest, that’s for sure.


  31. To the esteemed “balance”:I was never a member of the D.L.P. I was not part of any N.D.P. strategy in 1998 endorsing the B.L.P’s policies. I never “ran away’. I contested one election in 1991. I assisted Mr.Rouse with his first attempt in 1994 and that was my very last involvement with the N.D.P. Quite frankly, the only manifesto I signed was the 1991. I was certainly no part on any ‘endorsement’ of B.L.P or D.L.P. policies in 1998.
    And for the record, one of the major planks of the N.D.P’s platform was Integrity legislation. The B.L.P and D.L .P have both failed to implement that .
    I never attempted to defend the D.L P. Mia Mottley was given a very rough break recently but she did not jump ship. I recently read she is now expected to reply to the budget on behalf of the same colleagues, who”rejected” her leadership. So you see my dear “balance” . In order to have any integrity, one must first learn that you can’t run with the hare and hunt with the hound. That’s why recent polls have Mottley right up there as a preferred Prime Minister.
    I think the public sees her as credible and loyal to what she and her party stands for even if they have internal differences. At least Stuart cannot entice her with a junior ministry. And Mia would not be heard saying: I am here to do whatever the Prime Minister wants/asks/requires
    It is to Owen Arthur’s credit that he never requested any opportunist to poison the water supply of Barbados., Especially one who was prepared, to do whatever/anything/that Arthur had wanted him/her to do.
    Stay cool “balanced”.


  32. thanks for the corrections skins butMr mascoll would have been a dog if he had remained in the DLP under the circumstances. every sore has to be treated on its own merits and miss mottley and mr mascoll might choose to employ different methods to cure similar ores. that is their prergative. mr mascoll like pilate has suffered unecessarily over an event not of his own making and any criticisms of mr mascoll behoves me to defend him. despite his demonising, mr mascoll has continued to educate the public of barbados in his scholarly thursday columns on matters affecting the economic situation in barbados. of course, the purblind DLP loyalists are unable to see beyond their partisan lenses and continue toignore his yeoman service in the extension of his economic expertise to the public (i speak subject to correction) at his own expense in the Barbaod light and power utility rate hearing. For this he like the late Wendell Mclean ought to be commended but no, hell hath no fury like a DLP scorned. Sinceparty politics emerged as a force in barbados in the forties, persons have crossed party lines from time to time. Edwy Talma, Sleepy Smith, Cameron Tudor , Errol Barrow were all members of the BLP before joining the DLP formed by Owen . T. Allder and L. B. Brathwaite in 1955 . Owen t allder was a member of Wynter Crawford’s Congress party before Joining the BLP. According to Wynter Crawford’s biography, four of the leading persons in the DLP administration of 1961namely Errol Barrow, Wynter Crawford, Hilton Vaughan, Erskine Ward and J.E.T Brancker all had reservations abouteach other.So stop bashing Mr Mascoll over a political decision not to your liking but which has always been and always be par for the course.


  33. I agree that Sir Roy knew more than what he revealed. I know full well that whites, Indians and fair skinned businessmen treat blacks unfairly as though blacks are unable to spend money.

    Black Bajans at Offshore companies in a position to increase cost above minimum $5.00 per hr refused to represent an increase for their own but the Black managers were getting 50% less than the whites brought in to oversee the units.

    I ask all posting here to say why one of our CU owned by black barbadians did not go forward to purchase Butterfield Bank. Where were our academics then? Where was Maxine McClean and others? T’dadians bought Butterfield and Bajans with education did not as much as ask Govt to to loan them monies to buy this bank which will more likely profit within 3 years with vision, aggressive marketing and PR strategies.We have academics, skill, capacity, ability and God still on the people’s side.

    Digicel has increased its market share in Bdos, top mgt non-barbadians -Cable & Wireless pay one thing in Bdos converging in J’ca pays their workers more than ours – we keep our mouths shut because if we demand equal rights/pay we will be fired.

    We should call on all Blacks to demand equal pay for services NOW in every company.

    But then again, Ministers of Govt pay their beloved consultants a higher rate than substantive employees who are just as or more qualified than consultants to do the same jobs.

    Tell me again, what are we looking for here?

    I implore Black Barbadians do not be exploited by your own nor any other colour, race nor creed.


  34. Dear All:

    Hal’s open letter contains much useful advice; however, ‘two wrongs do not make a right’. Jesus specified the correct procedure for resolving disputes when the aim is behavioral change.

    1. First communicate with the person privately.
    2. If that does not give the desired result, then communicate with the person privately with one or two other people.
    3. If that does not give the desired result, then go public.

    If anyone else feels similarly inclined to prematurely publish an open letter to Sir Roy, I suggest that they follow Jesus’ method instead.

    Regards,
    Grenville


  35. “In the meantime, while this absence of civic cooperation goes missing with the ‘natives’, the New Arrivants are establishing themselves.”

    Apart from the above editing and an error that in the mid-1980s we had a number of papers, that should have read mid-1950s, the analysis remain solid.

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