Gratitude to Nelson ‘artist’

by Peter Thompson – submitted as a letter to the editor of the Nation newspaper and circulated on social media.

Nelson statue defaced on the eve of Independence Day.

THE LAST SUNDAY SUN Editorial, No Good Reason To Deface Statue, is a lost opportunity for Nation Publishing to contribute positively to a conversation among Barbadians about the history and future together of those who are categorised as black or white. Make no mistake: this controversy is about nothing less.

It is not sufficient for our premier national newspaper to hide behind what reads like a schoolmarm’s condemnation of the bad behaviour of splashing paint on the statue. This is not about the paint; it is not even about the statue. This is about who we are as a people.

The perpetrator is not from among the elite, but their misspellings aside, the handwritten placard they left is perfectly eloquent: “This RACIST white supremacist who would rather die than see black people free stands proudly in our nation’s capital NELSON MUST GO!! Fear not Barbados the people have spoken. Politicians have failed us. HAPPY INDEPENCE (sic).”

I was born to privilege and I have led a privileged life: Harrison College education, a postgraduate degree, a Canadian passport as well as a Bajan one. It humbles and shames me that it was left to a person with none of my advantages in life to speak this truth to power. I hope that they read this so that I can express my gratitude. Thank you.

Talk about race

We have been trying to talk about this since before Independence. The Mighty Gabby sang about the pain that it causes more than 30 years ago. What will it take for us to have an honest conversation about history and race in Barbados? This perpetrator splashed some non-toxic, environmentally-friendly paint that caused no permanent damage at all and took less than three hours to clean off. Are we waiting until some impassioned fool imitates the Irish who took high explosives to their statue of Nelson?

Your editorial complains about “distortions previously fed to us that [. . .] generate extreme feelings among some sections of our people”. Someone who didn’t know better might conclude that the placard contained distortions – it does not.

Yes, there are distortions circulating on social media and Nation Publishing should have set the record straight: no, Nelson did not own slaves or engage personally in the slave trade; yes, the statue was erected to celebrate Nelson’s victory at Trafalgar by racists who believed in white supremacy; no, Trevor Marshall’s assertion that “all researchers today regard Horatio Nelson as one the main factors why the British slave trade was not abolished in 1790, but in 1807 after his death in 1805” is not supported by the evidence; yes, Nelson was a racist believer in white supremacy, as were the vast majority of his British contemporaries, even among those supporting Emancipation.

We have witnessed an outpouring on social media seasoned with anger and pain. The largest ingredient was the lack of knowledge and understanding of our history. Among the conversations that I engaged in there were a few which gave me great hope – where I interacted with white Bajans who started out vehemently opposed to moving the statue and making comments that veered into overt racism, but after a dialogue agreed that the statue was in the wrong place, was offensive to their fellow Bajans, and should probably be relocated to the museum with appropriate interpretive signage to explain the context of its existence.

I think it is the duty of Nation Publishing to pay attention to this national conversation beyond a facile condemnation of defacing the statue. We need you to bring professional journalism to the critical issues that are being discussed. Examine the issues; talk to the experts; analyse the pros and cons.

This is a matter for public education, but it will not be solved by staging an opinion poll or a popularity contest. These are issues of right and wrong that strike at the core of who we are as a people, as a nation.

We need you to take a stand. Please lend your authority to the cries to do what is right and relocate the statue of Nelson to a more appropriate venue.

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467 Comments on “Gratitude to Nelson ‘artist’”

  1. John December 15, 2017 at 10:35 AM #

    Like

  2. John December 15, 2017 at 10:36 AM #

    Why don’t you simply ask Drayton what he intended to convey by his statement before using his words to support your pronouncements. This is a modern world and he should be easily available on FB, email or other social site.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Because I can read!!

    Like

  3. Georgie Porgie December 15, 2017 at 10:56 AM #

    BARBADOS SLAPS DOWN MORON AND ILLITERATE WANNABEE WITH FOUR WORDS…..MURDAH

    Like

  4. John December 15, 2017 at 10:56 AM #

    Of course, an informed cynical reader might argue that the point of the letter was to suck up to Taylor in the hope of a nice fat cash gift from West Indian planters for Nelson having scared off the French navy, the question of slavery itself was not central to the document.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    These are RB’s words on Facebook as quoted in the blog!!

    I would agree I have paraphrased his “the question of slavery was not central to the document” to “absolutely nothing to do with”.

    Readers can judge for themselves if I have done Richard Drayton a disservice!!

    Like

  5. John December 15, 2017 at 10:57 AM #

    … or if Richard Drayton, scholar that he is, has done Barbadians a great service by letting them know something they did not know before!!

    Like

  6. millertheanunnaki December 15, 2017 at 11:27 AM #

    @ Well Well & Cut N’ Paste At Your Service December 15, 2017 at 10:08 AM
    “In Barbados sugar accounts for only 0.2% of foreign-exchange revenues (down from 55% in 1946), but the government says it hopes to revive the industry with a new $270m factory on the site of an old one. The project has now been blocked by an environmental lawsuit.”

    Environmental lawsuit what? The only environmental lawsuit of any import is that situation playing out on the South Coast. Just let one tourist fall sick from the shit floating around and you would see a real lawsuit in action.

    That’s just another ‘get-out’ ploy similar to the Hyatt which has turned into a Priapus of worship by scammers to bilk taxpayers by way of consultancy fees and kickbacks.

    Sugar is dying and only awaits a disconnection from its life-support equipment providing fluids in the form of government subsidies which will have to go through the window under the pending IMF arrangement.

    Moreover, the sole factory is operating on a prayer and a rusty spanner which can at anytime fall into the monkey works and call a final halt to the shambolic game of mismanagement and political football.

    Which overseas lender would take up $270 million in whichever dollar currency and invest in an industry with no viable future or prospects of repayment?

    Stinkliar the clown prince of smoke and mirrors politics has been trying to pull off this heist against the taxpayers since 2012.

    Like

  7. Well Well & Cut N' Paste At Your Service December 15, 2017 at 11:49 AM #

    Lol…hahaha, Miller we just gotta wait, give them a minute.

    They act like the outside world, the real world, does not know what’s happening on a little rock, sugar is dead…they can only fool the Bajan populi.

    It is dishonest to say that Bussa is a figment of Beckles’ imagination, the British museum has an old letter that mention’s BUSSA as leading a slave rebellion in Barbados, it was written by the governor of that day, it was not Beckles said it, the british are the ones identified an African named Bussa, everything else is fairytales and nancy stories…unless they got proof…which they don’t.

    ….when the fraud historians want to make up lies to misinform Bajans…they even ignore the british who have information about what happened back then.

    Like

  8. de pedantic Dribbler December 15, 2017 at 1:20 PM #

    @John, the examination of ANYTHING requires careful and diligent rigor .

    Your rephrase of Drayton’s word is careLESS and inputs a COMPLETELY different meaning to a reading of his authentic words.

    That you would then throw up another canard as you did at 10:57 is ridiculous.

    No one disputes that you can read. Just seems that many others here who can also read find your analysis to be badly skewed.

    In which RATIONAL context can the meaning “absolutely [have] nothing to do with [slavery] ever be the SAME as “the question of slavery was not central to the document”.

    So of course you did a grave and intentional disservice by taking the meaning and intent of the man’s word totally out of context.

    Steeeupse.

    Like

  9. Georgie Porgie December 15, 2017 at 1:42 PM #

    Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,

    2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

    3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.

    4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.

    5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,

    6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

    7 Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.

    8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.

    9 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.

    10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

    11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.

    12 And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

    13 And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.

    14 When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:

    15 And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.

    16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men.

    17 Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying,

    18 In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.

    19 But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt,

    20 Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child’s life.

    21 And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel.

    22 But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee:

    23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.

    Like

  10. millertheanunnaki December 15, 2017 at 4:32 PM #

    @ Georgie Porgie December 15, 2017 at 1:42 PM

    GP, we really didn’t want to do this to an innocent like you but we had no other choice but to ‘outnumber’ you.

    Now it is up to you to decide who plagiarize from whom and who ‘out-myth’ whom and when.

    But please don’t trust the Jewish writers for they are from among a people who had no compunctions about selling out their own mythical Jesus and whose descendants had no second thoughts of morality in their overly active role in the Atlantic slave trade.

    The Egyptian Horus-Osiris/Assyrian-Babylonian Bel-Marduk Myth Parallels to the Christian Jesus Myth

    The Annunciation of the Birth of Horus 1. The Annunciation of the Birth of Jesus
    The Immaculate Conception/Impregnation of a Virgin by God(s) 2. The Immaculate Conception/Impregnation of a Virgin by God
    The Birth of Horus 3. The Birth of Jesus
    The Adoration of Horus by Three Kings/Magi Bearing Gifts 4. The Adoration of Jesus by Three Kings/Magi Bearing Gifts
    Horus was the son of Seb, an earthly father 5. Jesus was the son of Joseph, an earthly father
    Horus stayed with his mother until the age of twelve 6. Jesus stayed with his mother until the age of twelve
    Between the ages of twelve to thirty there is no record of the life of Horus 7. Between the ages of twelve to thirty there is no record of the life of Jesus in the Gospels (Matthew/Mark/Luke/John/Acts)
    At age thirty, Horus was baptized by Anup 8. At age thirty, Jesus was baptized by John
    By his baptism Horus was transformed into the beloved and only begotten Son of the Father, the Holy Spirit, represented by a bird 9. By his baptism Jesus was transformed into the beloved and only begotten Son of the Father, the Holy Spirit, represented by a dove/bird
    The Arrest of Bel 10. The Arrest of Jesus
    The Trial of Bel 11. The Trial of Jesus
    A Priest/Judge Asks “What is his sin?” 12. Pilate Asks “What evil has he done?” [St. Matthew 27:23]
    The Judgment Against Bel 13. The Judgment Against Jesus
    Water Is Brought to the Building for the Washing of Hands 14. Pilate Washes His Hands [St. Matthew 27:24]
    The Scourging of Bel 15. The Scourging of Jesus
    A Criminal Condemned to Die with Bel Is Released 16. Criminals Are Condemned to Die with Jesus; Barrabas Is Released
    Bel is Led Away to the Mount (a sacred grove on a hilltop–a hill for the kill) 17. Jesus is Led Away to Golgotha (a hill called The Skull–a hill for the kill) [SeeNote 1 below]
    Bel is Executed [Bel is “Bound/Caused to Perish”–Most likely Crucified]-Osiris is Executed/Killed. 18. Jesus is Executed/Crucified
    A Commotion: A Riot Begins in a Nearby City 19. A Commotion: An Earthquake, the Renting of the Veil of the Temple, The Dead Rise, and Walk and Talk with the Living
    Bel’s Clothes Are Taken Away 20. Jesus’ Clothes Are Taken Away
    A Burial Garment Is Put Onto Bel’s Body 21. Jesus’ Body Is Wrapped in a Burial Garment
    Bel Is Taken to a Tomb 22. Jesus Is Taken to a Tomb
    Bel Goes Down into a Mountain/into the Underworld 23. Jesus Descends into Hell (The Apostle’s Creed)
    Women/Goddesses Seek Bel at the Tomb 24. Women Seek Jesus at the Tomb
    Bel Is Resurrected/Osiris is Resurrected 25. Jesus Is Resurrected

    With this many parallels to the Jesus myth found in Egyptian/Assyrian-Babylonian myths—25 in all, the chances are excellent that the Jesus myth is a copycat Christ myth.

    Like

  11. John December 15, 2017 at 8:03 PM #

    The message of the Square is one of LOVE.

    It reminds us of the greatest LOVE a man can muster and that is to sacrifice his life so that others may live a few more hours, days or years.

    And yet there is a far greater LOVE.

    God gave us his Son and accepted His Son’s sacrifice for the redemption of all mankind so all mankind could live forever.

    The message of the Square as beautiful as it is can be corrupted, just think about what is going on over these past 20 years.

    God’s LOVE for us cannot.

    It needs no physical monument as a memorial because It is alive in each of us who choose to accept It and It is available for all mankind …. completely free.

    Like

  12. Sargeant December 15, 2017 at 9:14 PM #

    And now for something different
    GF Handel

    Like

  13. Georgie Porgie December 15, 2017 at 10:47 PM #

    YOU GONE OVER THE HEADS OF MOST HERE ON BU SIR

    Like

  14. Georgie Porgie December 15, 2017 at 10:54 PM #

    THAT AINT TOOK MUSIC OR JUMP AND WAVE NOISE
    THAT IS CLASS FROM ONE OF THE TWO BAROQUE COMPOSERS

    Like

  15. Sargeant December 15, 2017 at 11:28 PM #

    Every December my CD of choice is: Messiah Arias and Choruses with LSO under the direction of Sir Adrian Boult featuring Joan Sutherland, Grace Bumbry, Kenneth McKellar and David Ward.

    Here is one from a different performer

    Like

  16. Theophlius Gazerts December 16, 2017 at 12:31 AM #

    It went right by me. No twerking no costumes, no wukking up… What BU coming to?
    A good/great night to all (that includes Hal) 🙂

    Like

  17. Theophlius Gazerts December 16, 2017 at 11:23 AM #

    @VH
    Kinda missing ya.
    Think you are wrong on most things, but I like to see all BUers pitching in.
    You don’t have to hug and kiss me; just make a comment and I will think you are all right. Might not like your ideas, but I wish you well.

    Like

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