Submitted by the Mahogany Coconut Think Tank and Watchdog Group
The Mahogany Coconut Group stands firmly in support of historian Trevor Marshall’s views on the role of white Barbadians in the politics of their country. We also publicly declare that Marshall has never promoted racism but has spent almost four decades in highlighting social and economic issues that affect the entire country.
It was Marshall who first critically examined the role played by Sir. Grantley Adams in Barbados’ political development, to the best of our knowledge, Sir Grantley was black; it was Marshall who questioned the granting of National Hero status to many of Barbados’ National Heroes, most of whom are black. Therefore it is difficult to understand why he is only deemed a racist when he critically analyses the role of Barbadian whites in the country’s development.
We are amazed that some Blacks, who rushed to defend Mr.Ralph Johnson’s description of Barbadian workers as “lazy” and inefficient, would want to give Johnson credit, for essentially painting an entire work force with one brush but would want to crucify Marshall, for asking why Indo Barbadians and other minorities, are not placed in the Senate with the same regularity as whites. It was fair to ask why white Barbadians do not enter elective politics but use their corporate weight to influence public policy.
Whenever issues of race pops up, many Barbadians, seem almost alarmed, that the word white is used. We would be the first to admit that there has been tremendous progress among the Barbadians blacks and whites in terms of the social interaction but there remains a lingering concern about the role of white/traditional corporate structure, in the country’s political and economic development.
We are often regaled about whites who have pulled themselves up from poverty to great wealth. While we do not question this reality; it is also very true that many blacks have done so as well. We also submit that it would have been much easier for the whites to do so because of the underlying racism that was dominant at that period of time. Many aspiring black entrepreneurs could not even enter the banks and other financial institutions far less secure loans. We are still aware of many black business persons complaining that even, at the present time, there is still some concern.
Finally we ask : Why is it that we can criticize: our prime ministers, leaders of the opposition, ministers , parliamentarians, commissioners of police, governors of the central bank, chief justices, national heroes and others but apparently cannot criticize whites ?