Batts Rock and Recolonization

Submitted  by Dr. E. Anthony Hurley

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Batts Rock has been, for more than half a century, one of my favorite spaces in Barbados, that means on earth. It was there I had one of my most treasured experiences of childhood terror, when my schoolmates (we were all less than nine years old) suggested I climb up on one of the large boulders in front of the caves that were a feature of the beach in those days. They roared with laughter at my shocked surprise when a wave entered the cave, apparently underground, and washed me off my rocky perch, tearing my swim trunks and bruising my legs as I was knocked into the surf. It was there as a teenager we hung out in the bar built under and around the bearded fig tree that used to dominate the beach.

Over the years, as I lived abroad, I made it a feature of my frequent trips back to the motherland to visit this spot which held so many pleasant memories. On my visits for the last twenty years or so (I usually come at least two to four times a year), my practice has been to walk from Batts Rock to the old Paradise, my favorite (please excuse any American English spellings which my computer insists on using) swimming location.

In the last few months, therefore, I witnessed with increasing shock the renovation (and racialization) of the bar facilities (in front of the lifeguard station) which had been non-operational for many years. I grew concerned when I saw the installation on the beach front under the trees of concrete stands for umbrellas, the laying down of a straw carpet along the path where I previously walked, the setting up of standing light fixtures, and the positioning of tables and chairs.

The way in which the remodeling of this new bar has treated the beach space has conjured in my mind notions of recolonization. This renovation process has provoked in me the question: What’s going on at Batt’s Rock? Beach space that I thought was public has clearly been appropriated by the owners of this new operation. Even the public bathroom facilities, where for decades I’ve left my car keys in the care of the attendants, have been appropriated and colonized, bore a sign for a short while saying “La Cabane,” thereby signaling the ownership of the formerly public (Barbadian) rest rooms.

Colonization, I have been taught, in most cases involves the appropriation of space, of land. Barbados is in this respect a signal example of successful British colonization. The Barbadian land space was forcibly occupied, appropriated, by the British in the 17th century. The British, like other European colonizers of that era, made what was to prove an historical misjudgment by importing masses of Africans as chattel to further the economic objectives of their colonial enterprise. The lack of foresight of these colonizers and their inability to exercise permanent control of the majority populations they enslaved and colonized led to the reduction and destruction of the British and European empires internationally and eventually even to the relative independence of “Little England.”

Octave Mannoni (1899-1989), the French ethnologist, philosopher, and psychiatrist/psychoanalyst, taught in Martinique in the 1920s and in Madagascar in the 1930s. This experience gave him insights into relationships of dependency between colonizers and colonized people, and formed the basis of his 1950 text, Psychology of Colonization. In this text, as part of the understandable necessity to justify France’s brutal colonial practices and the responses of the colonized populations which he had witnessed in Martinique and Madagascar, Mannoni claimed that colonized people suffered from a dependency complex and in fact were unconsciously waiting and wanted and needed to be colonized. According to Mannoni, colonized people suffered from an inferiority complex that existed before they were actually colonized, that colonial racism was different from other kinds of racism, and that France was the least racist country in the world.

Mannoni’s theories of the dependency complex of colonized people were effectively challenged and refuted by two the Caribbean’s intellectuals, Aimé Césaire and Frantz Fanon, both Martinique-born. Cesaire’s Discourse on Colonialism exposed the limitations and fundamental hypocrisy of Mannoni’s assertions, in trying to excuse and justify the violent actions of colonizers, and emphasized that colonial racism was no different from any other kind of racism, while Fanon, himself a distinguished psychiatrist, more respectfully alluded to socioeconomic factors that inevitably contribute to psychological reactions and psychoses. My own explorations of colonial history and psychology also led me to the firm conclusion that Mannoni’s pronouncements were typical of the European need to justify colonial practices that were clearly crimes against humanity.

How therefore do I explain what is happening at Batts Rock? The owners of La Cabane, while clearly appropriating public space, cannot do so without the knowledge, acceptance, approval, or complicity of our national leaders or those in charge of protecting our national cultural heritage. Barbados is, after all, an independent nation. As the politically-conscious and socially-engaged musician, singer, and cultural ambassador Gabby (Dr. Anthony Carter) has had to remind us, our beaches belong to us. They are public. Barbados is a small country, with limited land space. Who gives permission for this tenuous land space to be occupied, to be appropriated, to be recolonized? Were we subconsciously wanting this? Are we suffering from Mannoni’s

132 comments

  • I have really been trying to keep out of this argument, particularly when the subject got diverted to dogs. On that subject, whatever happened to the person whose dogs mauled an elderly black woman in Brighton? The dogs were of high pedigree, not put down at the time by the way and the man (of White ethnicity) recently sold his property and kept his dogs – nuff said – a diversion.

    I have an apartment near Batts Rock and frequently walk that stretch of the beach. I don’t live in Barbados but travel there often. One of the things I admire about Barbados is its use of the beaches on a Sunday or during public holidays for ‘family time’. I have become accustomed to the locals frequenting the public beaches during these times, picnics, swimming and music are the norm and the vibe was welcoming. The locals even took their dogs, not mostly ‘killer’ looking dogs as has been associated with blacks on this post, but more often small sausage looking canine species. I recall being offered food by locals that were picnicking – the vibe along the shoreline was welcoming and nice.

    A couple of months ago, I took the same walk and instead of the multiple, picnicking locals I had grown accustomed to, there was a sea of white people, a couple of ‘foreign’ black people in the mix, with the locals sitting around the outskirts looking as baffled as I was. A few things struck me then and since:

    how is it the white people are able to galvanise their people to support them, even during the slow season (the place was packed!)?
    How is it that they were able to secure that prime spot – was a Government tender ever issued?

    -To what extent is the GOB willing to continue to sell Barbados resources to wealthy white people at the expense of majority Blacks for short term gains?

    One of the problems I have with this blog is respondents are very willing to allow themselves to be side-tracked. This blog did not begin with a conversation about racist dogs but allowed itself the be side tracked.
    The reality is Batt’s Rock has changed its focus; it’s more like a poor white man’s Niikki Beach than a public beach frequented by locals.

    Pertinent questions for me:

    how was this allowed to happen?
    to what extent were the opportunities available on this beach advertised and tendered?
    Instead of moaning, what are the locals who used to frequent this stretch of beach doing about it?

    Liked by 1 person

  • Indicate to me where “he was caught out once again.”

    But I know for sure that T. Inniss was caught out once again.”

    Who is the “pure bred idiot” now?

    Hahahahaha

    Watch muh!!!!

    I got this!!!!!

    Like

  • ARTAX VS MR T! THE FIGHT OF THE CENTURY FOR THE BU BRASS BOWL CROWN! EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT!

    A recap of the fight so far:
    The first round was dominated by the challenger Mr.T who opened up the fight with some fancy footwork,stinging jabs, and plenty of trash talking:

    T.Inniss October 29, 2018 1:16 PM
    “Artax is a real BLP kool aid drinker stool pigeon.
    This man is so puffed in his ignorance and imaginary brilliance….
    .. he likes…. showing up himself to be a pure bred jackass.
    Artax – the joker ….
    ……this shite hound Artax is of a particular brand of stupid.
    I expect no better from this brilliant BLP fool.”

    At the start of the second round, Artax appeared to have worked out the strategy of his opponent. Feeling confident that Mr. T does not possess the power and strength to harm him, Artax decided that it was now his turn to taunt and tease.:

    Artax October 29, 2018 2:08 PM
    “Wow, T. Inniss…..yuh gine kill muh?”

    Then suddenly, Artax shifted gear and took the fight to a higher level:

    Artax October 29, 2018 2:44 PM
    “On a more serious note…….”

    Brimming with confidence, and now beginning to sweat, Artax winked at his fans and told a reporter close by:
    “Watch Muh!!!”
    “I got this!!”

    With lightning speed, he unleashed a 5-punch combination (Ha ha ha ha ha) with the last punch, a vicious straight right on the button, sending Mr.T reeling across the ring.

    Can Mr. T survive this punishing onslaught? Will he beat the referee’s count? Or will he be knocked out and sent scurrying out of Dodge with his tails between his legs?

    For the answers to these questions and more, stay tuned to BU.
    If you blink, you mightn’t see Mr. T sink.

    .

    Like

  • The prime minister is responsible for town and country planning. She can sot it out – if she wants. Who is the local MP?

    Like

  • JUVENILLE BEHAVIOUR.ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT FOR SURE.Sigh

    Like

  • https://barbadostoday.bb/2017/06/19/accused-pitbull-owner-granted-bail/

    Last year.

    He says he is not the owner of the Pit Bulls who killed Verona Gibson.

    Would be interesting to know who he says is the owner!!

    Like

  • Many of you come to this forum ‘claiming’ you want to see Barbados elevate to a better place. Yet by your exchanges onlookers can conclude we get the government we deserve.

    Like

  • I have really been trying to keep out of this argument, particularly when the subject got diverted to dogs.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++

    No diversion!!!

    The blog started with racism and the topic of racist dogs was raised!!!

    People clearly believe dogs can be racist!!

    Like

  • onlookers can conclude we get the government we deserve.

    AND WE DO!

    Like

  • AM I really reading this nonsense from Walter Blackman well,well,well.

    Where did that come from ?

    Very interesting – and here I was thinking this fella was above that kinda shite.

    Yuh really mek muh smile

    I am having a selah moment right now – and recalling nuff things that I had pushed in the recesses of my mind.

    The BU rum shop indeed. Ha ha ha..

    Like

  • T. Inniss,
    You have to become aware when someone needs help and try not to feed their anger. It is the same sociopathic disease that leads to people breaking in to a Synagogue to murder worshippers, or to shoot two elderly black people because you are angry with the world.. Some become keyboard warriors anonymously and express hatred for the world because they do not share their views, then drift away and get drunk.
    A lack of good manners is a common characteristic. They are always ‘vex’, and do not debate to exchange ideas, but to score points, to show how clever they are, since they perceive they are not appreciated, that is why they focus on the micro-issues, the examples, and not the substantive issues. They are the sort of people who talk about spelling mistakes in a work on moral philosophy.
    Such people lash out and translate that anger in to vindictiveness for all kinds of reasons. There are some common features in Barbadian culture. Remember those school boy fights and the reasons behind them? But I digress..

    Like

  • Hal

    Honestly my eyes were opened a little wider this evening.

    A veneer of respectability is just that – A VENEER !

    Like

  • Mr. T SUFFERS A BONE CRUNCHING KO IN THE 2ND ROUND! EXTRA! EXTRA!

    After failing to beat the referee’s count, Mr. T collapsed like a bag of coal from Newcastle midway through the second round of his BU championship fight against Artax.
    With his fighter lying unconscious on the canvas, manager Hal Austin was forced to field questions from reporters. Towards the end of the interviewing session, Mr.T regained consciousness, frantically pulled at the coattail of his manager, and bizarrely started to issue instructions as to how Hal should deal with the reporter:

    T.Inniss October 29, 2018 6:08 PM
    “HAL
    Don’t pay that pure bred idiot any mind and go answering any of his questions.
    He knows all – yet he knows nothing. He was caught out once again.”

    Doctors say that Mr. T is exhibiting the classical symptoms that result from being punch drunk so no country or state should give him a license to box again.

    Like

  • @ss
    I see that someone told you to poison the dog. I would never do that. However, I would tell you to feed it….get the point

    Like

  • I have a grudging admiration for John. He moves between sanity and lunacy quite easily. One moment a fount of knowledge and common sense, the next moment — sheer insanity – spinning tales of Quakers and the good treatment of slave

    He can hijack any topic.

    Like

  • John does not hijack any topic, it is those who ‘follow’ that do.

    Like

  • T.Inniss October 29, 2018 6:36 PM

    “AM I really reading this nonsense from Walter Blackman well,well,well.

    Where did that come from ?

    Very interesting – and here I was thinking this fella was above that kinda shite.

    Yuh really mek muh smile”

    T.Inniss,
    Yes, you are reading this nonsense from me.
    The intention is not to curse or ridicule you. The intention is to punish you, and I’m using poetic license (what you disrespectfully refer to as “nonsense” and “that kinda shite”) to do so.

    Why am I attempting to punish you?

    At a time when Barbadians are trying to exchange ideas and effective strategies as a means of combating the obviously high levels of corruption, malfeasance, exploitation, subjugation, racism, poverty etc, which are turning their lives into a day-by-day, miserable, and pitiful existence, we need the sharpest minds to illuminate a way forward for the others.

    You have ability. You must learn to use it positively and wisely for the benefit of your fellow Barbadians.

    Whenever you use your god-given talent to launch vicious,unwarranted, ad hominem attacks on another blogger, I will be the very first to “light into” your backside here on BU. Be warned, and be not shocked to hear that I am not above using any “kinda shite” with the aim of bringing you to a Christian understanding. I don’t have to know you. I only have to know your mind, and I will try to bend that against your will, if I have to.

    I will watch and monitor how well you take good advice.

    Like

  • Walter

    Who died and mek you god ? Keep in your lane fella.

    All this righteous indignation over someone who was caught out once again parroting lies and ignorance and when pointed out – refused to acknowledge he was wrong and apologise

    Your response shocked me because I could not believe you were condoning that.

    Nevertheless I recognize that something else is at play – but I will stand back and see my hunch coming to pass.

    Since when you became the defender of bloggers .Skipper – go and sleep hear – because in due season all will be understood.

    You mekking yuhself look like a full idiot.

    To take a quote from another blogger #restmuh lol

    Like

  • T.Inniss October 29, 2018 8:38 PM

    “Walter

    Who died and mek you god ? Keep in your lane fella.

    Skipper – go and sleep hear…

    You mekking yuhself look like a full idiot.”

    T. Inniss,
    We have established two things so far:

    You have infected yourself with an unhealthy dose of false bravado.
    You do not have the desire or willingness to take good advice.

    Those two characteristics do not necessarily make you a bad fella, so I will give you another piece of good advice.
    Looking through your eyes, having vanquished Artax and me, and having “mek” yourself look like a full “brainiac”, you must now go forward triumphantly and make those positive contributions to BU which I know you are capable of making. Ditch the false bravado and focus on your “real” self. Minimize the ad hominem attacks. For you on BU, the sky is the limit.
    Good luck, my friend.

    Like

  • Walter

    Uh see this discussion has gone from concentrating on the substantive issue….. Batts Rocks……. to racist dogs, walking dogs and dog poop……and trashing Artax.

    T. Inniss mention of “someone who was caught out once again parroting lies and ignorance and when pointed out – refused to acknowledge he was wrong and apologise,” was obviously a snide reference to me.

    Yuh see, Walter, many of these “smart, intelligent guys” usually FORGET what they contribute to this forum.

    All I did was to point out to T. Inniss that the issue he raised about Sandy Lane and the issue the author raised about Batts Rock are NOT comparable…….in Bajan terms “dem en pun all fours.” Walter, can you or anyone indicate to me where are the UNTRUTHS in my statement?

    Now, Walter………PLEASE PAY SPECIAL ATTENTION to the following excerpts taken from T. Inniss’ October 29, 2018 10:18 AM and October 29, 2018 1:16 PM contributions respectively:

    “……..they objected to the bollards that were placed on the SANDY LANE PUBLIC PAVEMENT where the Bajans beach holders USED to PARK…….” [10:18 AM]

    “During the instance refer to above where bollards were PLACED IN FRONT OF AN EX-PATRIATE RESIDENCE ON THE SANDY LANE AREA – the items place on the sidewalks were referred in the press as ‘Bollards’…” [1:16 PM]

    Walter, yuh see why I used UPPER CASE LETTERS to highlight certain words?

    T. Inniss, the said individual who mentioned I “was caught out once again parroting lies and ignorance” ……..

    ……… “switch he mouf” from “saying” SANDY LANE PUBLIC PAVEMENT to………

    ………..” bollards were PLACED IN FRONT OF AN EX-PATRIATE RESIDENCE ON THE SANDY LANE AREA.”

    Now…… who is de body dat “once again get caught out parroting lies and ignorance?”

    You should also note that T. Inniss DID NOT dispute the point I raised about the boulders that were placed opposite Sandy Lane and how they affected food vendor Sandra and those parking in the area, most of whom work at Sandy Lane Hotel.

    Should not T. Inniss be ASHAMED of himself that a “stool pigeon” who is “so puffed up in his ignorance and imaginary brilliance,” who “shows up himself to be a pure-bred jackass” and is a “shite hound of a particular brand of stupid,” ………….

    …………..was successful in IDENTIFYING him as the real culprit………… “parroting lies and ignorance?”

    But Walter, you dun know that he en gine “refuse to acknowledge he was wrong and apologise.” But, it’s all good.

    Like

  • Oppressive language does more than represent violence, it is violence… does more than represent the limits of knowledge; it limits knowledge – Toni Morrison

    Like

  • The Truth Shall Set You Free

    You have to become aware when someone needs help and try not to feed their anger. It is the same sociopathic disease that leads to people breaking in to a Synagogue to murder worshippers, or to shoot two elderly black people because you are angry with the world.. Some become keyboard warriors anonymously and express hatred for the world because they do not share their views, then drift away and get drunk. A lack of good manners is a common characteristic. They are always ‘vex’, and do not debate to exchange ideas, but to score points, to show how clever they are, since they perceive they are not appreciated, that is why they focus on the micro-issues, the examples, and not the substantive issues. They are the sort of people who talk about spelling mistakes in a work on moral philosophy. Such people lash out and translate that anger in to vindictiveness for all kinds of reasons. There are some common features in Barbadian culture. Remember those school boy fights and the reasons behind them? But I digress.. (Quote)

    THIS DESCRIBES YOU PERFECTLY. YOU MUST HAVE BEEN FACING A MIRROR WHEN YOU WROTE IT.

    Like

  • pieceuhderockyeahright

    Oh dear cant we all just get along?

    @ the Honourable Blogmaster

    Thanks for the collage of Batt Rock.

    It gave a soft of perspective and allowed me to see what looks like a groomed space for a NCC restaurant

    As with these facilities certain people paid kickbacks to the NCC manager and the licence is awarded to someone other than a black person

    Circa 1998 there was a black lady Anne Goring who used to cook some of the best food in Barbados

    She operated the NCC facility at The place there obliquely opposite Regency cove hotel.

    It was called Ryannes

    Well look sharp de NCC manager get pay some silent money and Anne het kick out.

    But de ole man glad doah cause wunna sheeple ent deserve nice places to empower wunna selves

    John should really leh go he dogs pun wunna if he vat h wunna offsides.

    The phenomenon of specific hounds that are owned by white persons only attacking people of colour reminds de ole man of a 1982 picture starring Kristie McNichols called “white dog ” where a trainer attempts to retrain a vicious dog that’s been raised to attack black people, the dog NEVER LOSES ITS ORIENTATION AND HAS TO BE KILLED? I forgot the ending but in the very last scenes I recall the dog that they thought had been reprogrammed rushing at a black man…

    It is indeed a repeatable theme here though, be it showroom manager pushing black man’s head into counter, or Lady Hoagie dumping her trash on black boutique owner’s counter or white man in highgate shooting black man or white restaurant owner shooting black man or white man killing son during domestic incident or white importer of drugs permitted to legally abscond jurisdiction while black kingpin drug dealer languishes in Dodds, it is clearly noted that we have a whites/blacks problem that does not seem to be going anywhere soon.

    And, AND THE BLACK LEADERSHIP HAS BEEN PERPETUATING IT to the shame and disadvantage of blacks

    This article, like others of its type, bring to the fore the festering discontent of race inequality that lovingly? lingers on the shores of this our paradise Bim.

    Try as we may, a simple beach facility being lovingly doled out to a white leasee, in the face of kicking out black leasees cant really promote any confidence or concepts of equality among the 95% black population

    I sorry if I ent adopt the populist view…

    Like

  • pieceuhderockyeahright

    @ the Honourable Blogmaster your assistance please with an item here thank you

    Like

  • ““What people like the author must realise is that times change and development is very much part and parcel of the change.”

    Mr. Skeete

    My reference to the AUTHOR was to Dr Hurley and not you sir- your comments are indeed supported by me. i grew up on Brownes beach when the bathing area was confined to the area where fishing activity took place.

    Like

  • Could the author not have better spent his time contatcting the NCC and finding some facts out, instead of getting lost in his racist “recolonistation” theory?? List of things no one bothers to find out, or understands, before making usual knee-jerk dumb/racist assumptions.

    1) How long had the bar/retail unit that was constructed by the NCC at Batts Rock been vacant, prior to La Cabane taking a lease and occupying?

    2) How long was the vacant unit advertised to rent on the NCC website, as assume this would be how it was advertised?

    3) What area of the land that the NCC deemed was part of the units demise when they granted the lease – has the bar placed the furniture etc. within the demised area surrounding the property they have leased?

    4) The refurbishment of the public toilet block by the owners of La Cabane, and which is still a public toilet block, benefits all users of the beach.

    5) The section of the beach which faces the beach-bar is still fully accessible from all directions, being between the cholera burial ground and the beach, along the track which still provides vehicular access across the lot. Also the beach to the front of La Cabane is the least used section of the whole beach by bathers, given the submerged rocks and reef which are in the waters at this section.

    So if I understand the text above, by these entrepreneurs being white – no matter they’ve spent their own money investing in refurbishing and fitting out the NCC unit, complying and meeting with the NCC rules and requirements for their location, refurbishing the public washroom facilities, and providing food and drinks to all beach goers, who are in no way impeded in accessing the beach by the locating of this operation – they’re being accused of recolonising the beach to the detriment of local users – how so?

    Like

  • Why would you refurbish and fit-out something that is not yours….
    I am here looking at a kitchen that need some work…
    Unlike Barbados – a black or white Bajan can get the job

    Like

  • pieceuhderockyeahright

    @ the Honourable Blogmaster

    You dun see why Edmund Hinkson and Dale smiley get assigned to close down BU under the Computer Data Act of 2019?

    You see how quick de NCC manager get instructions to go pun BU and talk bout demise?

    You see how this much smarter feller in upper management come and put some serious pressure pun de writer by talking bout leases?

    My man dem planning for you real intensely and the demise of this site under dem Lese Laws dat going mek it illegal to speak out about Mugabe or you going get lick.

    Encryption, and a quick delete application, jes in case dem bum rush your offices, like dem do wide Trump lawyer ok?

    Like

  • The recent opening of La Cabane, along with the rerouting of the Batts Rock public road which took place over a year ago and the addition of the well landscaped public areas, the Batts Rock area has been tremendously enhanced and improved.

    Like

  • Are Bajans pleased with the loss of places like Batts Rock ?

    Some of you would suggest that it is more important to create more Tourist spots on the west coast beaches than to leave the traditional picnic/ bathing spots public.

    Again I am pleased to have enjoyed the 50s and 60s and 70s in Barbados..

    Those of you living in Barbados will have to decide what is important to you.

    Like

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