A Heather Cole Column – A Sign of the RH Times
As shocking as the title of this article is, it is nothing but the truth; the two sided truth. First of all, on October 10, 2017, the Cabinet of the Government of Barbados discussed the use of RH anti- littering signs at bus stops and reached a decision that the signage was offensive and were to be removed. The Minister of Transport duly informed the Board of Management which hastily enforced the decision to remove the signs. The signs were an opportunity to emphatically create awareness of littering on the island as the letters had resonated to become a powerful marketing tool.
Prior to this decision reaching the public domain, and the signage at the bus stops being removed, on **, the Barbados Underground ran the most successful marketing campaign in the history of Barbados, with an article under the title Remove This RH Sign – Chinese Sign Greets Visitors to Sam Lord’s Castle in Barbados and signage in Chinese at the construction site of the Sam Lords Castle, was removed in less than 24 hours.
Now that governments decision is now in the public domain, one has to wonder of its intent. The abbreviation can be interpreted to mean the most unique Barbadian words on the planet. It is quite strange that they had only then realized that those words which were mostly likely in existence since the day of slavery were offensive enough to merit a discussion in Parliament. They came to power found those words and will no doubt leave office and those words will still in be existence in Barbados until perpetuity because they are already ingrained in the Barbadian psyche. That being the case government banning the signs was just a time wasting exercise.
Secondly, in terms of what is found to be offensive, the people of Barbados have to date gathered a litany of acts this administration has committed that they deem offensive, yet, the government has not issued directives for remedies. The acts are wide and varied and need not not be mentioned in this article. When one considers that the Minister who has responsibility for Transportation sat in that Cabinet meeting and did not have the same sense of urgency to fix the ton of problems that the Transport Board faces one finds his failure to act offensive.
The Board does not have enough buses to supply a reliable service to the public. The current fleet of buses is aging and in a state of despair not even fit to be on the roads. They are leaky, with torn seating and constantly break down for repairs. There has been misuse of funds and staff under duress caused by poor working condition. There was a recent island wide strike by the bus operators. Then there is the deplorable state of the roads which are filled with pot holes and even the provision of a road for the people of White Hall facilitating their commute to and from work. One can therefore be at a loss that of all the things that are on his plate seeking urgent action, that the Minister responsible for Transport had the audacity and the time to take action to remove signs from 3 bus stops. It is indeed a sign of the RH times.
FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO SERIOUS ABOUT THE MESSAGE OF THE ANTI-LITTERING CAMPAIGN, BUMPER STICKERS CAN BE OBTAINED BY SUBMITTING YOUR NAME AND MAILING ADDRESS TO “ADOPT A STOP” BY IN-BOXING THEM ON FACEBOOK.