There is, perhaps, no greater call upon citizens anywhere than to act with pride and industry. It is, therefore, a blessing that those words, pride and industry, consummate our national motto. Herein, we discuss the role ‘titles of honour’ play in spurring a country’s productive forces. Firstly, by discussing a seemingly small debate within legal circles with immense import for us today and our future.
Queen’s Counsel are Queen’s Counsel under the ‘Crown in right of Barbados’ whose artefacts are, for all practical purposes, grandfathered within Barbados’ constitutional fabric. Arguably, this great colonial “reservation” within our republican system allows Queen’s Counsel to retain said titles since they were conferred upon them personally at that time.Continue reading
Category Archives: Culture
In Response to the CRITICAL Need for IMAGE THERAPY
Submitted by Ras Jahaziel
The images that have been embedded in your subconscious mind are the motherboard that governs the wiring of your psyche – Source: Ras Jahaziel
Read More @https://rastafarivisions.com/wordpress/fineartprints/
Black Enfranchisement a Work in Progress
The blogmaster in between the hustle and bustle of yesterday was able to listen to a few minutes of The Peter Wickham Show. Piquing the interest was an exchange with a caller who sought to raise the issue of Black enfranchisement. Peter Wickham exposing his naïveté was unable to fathom- despite the caller’s best effort to explain- how a country that is Black majority finds its people owning a disproportionate amount of wealth and economic influence in the country, a state brought forward from being an enslaved people.
The argument that because Barbados is majority Black means it inevitably empowers Blacks in Barbados to be craftsmen of their fate is simplistic. Regarding the financial sector Wickham thought he was stoutly defending his perspective by mentioning that bank managers are almost 100% Black. He failed to mention all banks in Barbados are foreign owned and therefore Black managers are binded to policies handed to them. He mentioned the credit unions and other non bank entities that are Black owned. He failed to mention that same institutions have to comply to regulations of international agencies to ensure good standing.
What about the business sector? What is the concentration of ownership of the tourism sector? After answering these questions- who owns the significant interest in retail (food and appliances) sector, who controls distributive trade in Barbados. Do we have active agencies that lend and support entrepreneurs and startup businesses in a meaningful way? What about export earning businesses? What is the predominant ownership?
Let us turn our attention to power generation. Why a Black nation that is strategically located close to the equator, we have been too slow to democratize ownership of this sector? We were quick to sell Barbados Light & Power, a strategic asset. Some of us had hoped by now the legacy of Oliver Headley would have inspired Barbadians to build on it by becoming a model country for the adoption of renewable energy.
The last point, Black empowerment is about developing a way of thinking in the majority of our people that shouts to the world – we are confident in our abilities to compete and support a quality life for our people. Having this discuss is not about çussin’ minorities. It is about having a mature discussion towards building an equitable society on the little isl;and we love so much.
Listen to the exchange at 2hrs 20 minutes.
Join Hands Barbados – Connecting the …
Some on the blog remind us ad nauseam the influence global events have on Barbados. Such a global perspective will fail to resonate with people locked to promoting narrow agendas. It is human nature to retreat to a comfort level thinking, a high level of self awareness is required to be situationally aware at all times as it relates to making the correct decisions in thought, word and deed to realize the best outcomes. Unfortunately external factors often conspire to muddle what is theoretically a good thought process.
With the dismantling of national boundaries made possible with the ease of travel, Internet, tourism and other ‘channels’ that permit DNS like attacks on local culture- the burning question is how are small developing states like Barbados with open economies able to execute countermeasures for the good of country.
Dismantling racist tendencies in the world – join the debate if classism more accurately describes Barbados’ challenge – can be dispassionately viewed against the rise of the #blacklivesmatter movement, #windrush revelations, and of recent the #azeemrafiq affair. The world continues to treat with racism and prejudices, it is endemic in all societies. The struggle is real and must continue until humankind ceases to exist…
Barbados is a country overly dependent on tourism and its nexus international business. There was a time the Caribbean was an easy sell to markets across the pond because of our virgin like appeal and other attributes. Today there is fierce competition from non traditional players who promote offers that titillate imaginations of travellers in ways one dimensional Caribbean destinations cannot now compete. A story about the collapse of tourism costing five Asian nations 1.6 million jobs in the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei and Mongolia due to the pandemic emphasizes what we, including policymakers should know. In order to sustain a quality of life for our children, to rely on a fickle tourism product is analogous to building on sand, although possible, fraught with high risk.
What is a lowly blogmaster living on a 2×3 rock saying? It may be too late but our survival depends on Barbadians coming together with the common aim that positions the interest of BARBADOS front and centre. Down with the divisiveness that continues to have a deleterious effect on our society. There is a reason education receives a large junk of the national budget.
THE FLUTES AND THE VISIONS
Submitted by Ras Jahaziel of rastafarivisions.com
WOKE-ISM AND THE WHITENESS OF CANCEL CULTURE
Submitted by Pachamama
A sign of the nature of these times is the imposition of a new etymology. Whether it is ‘woke-ism’, on the one side, or ‘cancel culture’, on the other, the willful misguidance is no less profound. “Whiteness” is generally defined as being a political construction, a fiction.
In this piece we will attempt to tease out, or even capture, an ‘ahistorical’ moment where a faux progressivism pretends to confront long-held establishment lies, wickedness – across the board.
This convergence of interests should properly be the province of academia and particularly those from the Frankfurt School of critical social theory. Unfortunately though, It has long-failed to help us rethink or reform the social critiques of Marxism, as they had promised, even as Marx gave the ‘soft touch’ to racism and slavery; has not led to the rejection of mainstream political views; its tepid criticisms of capitalism have made it no less vicious; there has been no substantive ‘liberation’ of humanoids anywhere; while domination and exploitation continue at an algorithmic pace.
Some, with rightness, may suggest that woke-ism is deeply culturally bound. Others are reticent to jettison certain unrealities. Others are entrenched in the misbelief, or fear, that there will be some meeting of the minds at a point of moderation. Yet others wrongly look to this divine age of technological innovation to deliver mankind. In reality they intend that establishment systems should only be tinkered with on the margins if at all, but never radically transformed, far less prevent the new formations of the old systems of subjugation now reemerging as more virulent manifestations of technological oppression.
It is however clear that the perceived meanings of woke-ism and ‘Whiteness’ can never comfortably coexisted. For the first is predicated on the existence of what is real, presumably, while the other is entirely based on a deep and wide culture of unreality. An unreality not based within the longer evolution of humanoids.
Those who suggested that the removal of Horatio Nelson from the top of Broad Street was an attempt to ‘cancel’ their ‘culture’ are ideologically well-connected to the Proud Boys and other White supremacist forces in the United States of America, and elsewhere. We include Black lackeys in high places, like ‘a Johnny’ Muh Boy as the quintessentially modern-day house niggers! But still, its mere removal only flirts with the symbolic. The same is true about removals from landscapes elsewhere as well.
And for the lack of historical memory, eminently demonstrated by many on the side of Black Lives Matter, prevents a better understanding of their own arguments. This requires, amongst other things, taking a hard look at the ways in which that movement has been appropriated, internally and externally, by a wide range of interests included the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of the United States of America, no less. It’s a ‘crying shame’ that even the marketing and recruitment of CIA agents, as an historically racist organization, have now fully appropriated wokeness.
There was a time when ‘whiteness’ meant something entirely different. It denoted somebody who was spiritual. It had nothing to do with pigmentation or ‘pinkness’. At that time all the ‘white’ people were Black, there was nobody else around.
But etymology is a linguistic bitch. People who argue that others seek to cancel their culture are ignorantly doubling-down on all the crimes committed in the name of the political construction which is Whiteness as if seeking to eternally be in a march to war against 90% of Earth’s peoples.
When those who represent ‘Whiteness’ talk about the cancellation of culture, or the irrational moderation of just demands, a level of credibility should be brought to the table based on the real and continuing cancelling which White people and their agents have committed for millennia. In the absence of such an accounting there can be no legitimate claims to a genocidal culture still being constructed and maintained on the bones of others.
Hail King Swallow: A Polished Man of Kaiso and Art
Submitted by Dr. Hollis ‘’Chalkdust’’ Liverpool
My last article on ‘’Respect for PhDs’’ caused many eyebrows to be raised: some people wanted to find out if persons without PhDs should not be respected; others asked if we shouldn’t show respect for the Opposition members in Parliament as well. My response to all such vain questions is that at age eleven at Primary school with Mr. Lionel P. Mitchell in Tobago, we had to write in our Government copy books for penmanship the following lines: ‘’Have respect for every man because he is a man.’’ I rest my case.
Well, the need to show respect for every man and woman was, however, again awakened in me when Antiguan Sir Rupert Philo (Swallow), a man in every sense of the word, went to heaven last Friday, for I recalled him telling me in the mid-1980s that it was a joy for him to sing to the Trinidad audience, since singing in Trinidad meant that he was mixing with the top calypsonians, and, ‘’Charkee bwoy, the Trini people does show me respect.’’ In terms of respect, he explained, that when his name was announced by Tommy Joseph at Spektakula Forum, the crowd roared with delight; when he went to book his room at Chaguaramus Flats where he normally stayed annually, the authorities there knowing that he came to Trinidad every year, already booked it for him without any down payment made; when he walked the streets of Port of Spain, all hailed his name aloud; when he checked in to BWIA without having the correct ticket and booking, his seat on the aircraft was already assured; and when he sought to go to a concert of any kind in Trinidad and Tobago, no one dared to ask him for an entrance fee. The voice at the concert door was always: ‘’Swallow, you are free to enter.’’ In addition, Sunshine Awards gave him the prize for the ‘’Best Engineered Recording’’ and ‘’Best Calypso Arrangement’’ in 1989 (Fire in the Back Seat), and had placed him in the ‘’Sunshine Awards Hall of Fame’’ in year 2008. For all the afore-mentioned reasons that sparked of respect, Swallow loved to sing in Trinidad and Tobago and did so up to a few years ago when he appeared nightly at the Calypso Revue Tent with top artists such as Sugar Aloes, Pink Panther, Cro Cro and Sprangalang, to name a few. I recall one year when Swallow was here, while we were travelling to Skinner Park, he fell ill. When I saw blood coming from his nose, I turned my car and headed straight for the hospital. The nurses at the Emergency ward began to interview him, as it were, for on hearing his accent, they were asking him if he was a Trinidadian, since the medical service was for Trinis. I immediately jumped in: ‘’Folks, are you all mad? That is Swallow,’’ I bellowed! Hearing the magic name Swallow, they immediately changed their attitude and wheeled him inside where he obtained, in the hour that followed, the best that a Trini hospital could offer. Truly, Swallow was held in high esteem by Trinidadians, especially after he sang ‘’Trinidad, the Caribbean Godfather.’’ In addition, one of Gypsy’s absolute gems in calypso is the one entitled ‘’Respect the calypsonian.’’
In terms of respect, however, the history of calypso shows that there have been multiple occasions, too numerous to mention, when calypsonians in Trinidad were shown total disrespect. For example, in 1955 one sunny Friday evening, five calypsonians were entertaining tourists on Wrightson Road, then a haven for tourists, when suddenly, the police darted into the calypso crowd and arrested three of them. The litigants spent two days in prison and were charged five dollars for their crime on the following Monday. Years later, one of them told me that he could not travel to New York because of that ‘’criminal’’ stamp placed on his passport and the fact that the bad mark from the Court stained his character for the rest of his life. Headteacher L. P. Mitchell used to make us write also: ‘’When character is lost, all is lost.’’
Another example of the disrespect occurred in the 1960s when calypsonians used to entertain guests at tables in restaurants all over Port of Spain. A few restaurant owners felt that the singers were a nuisance. Indeed, a restaurant at the corner of Frederick and Park streets had at its entrance a large sign which read: ‘’No calypsonians and dogs allowed.’’ I can give you readers several more examples of disrespect shown to calypsonians but the above, I believe, should satisfy the point.
On the other hand, the government of Antigua displayed total respect for Swallow and continues up to this day to do so to all calypsonians. First, for his contribution to the art form of calypso, Swallow was named a cultural ambassador for Antigua and given all rights and privileges to the esteemed post. Second, when I was Director of Culture and travelled to Antigua, I was given an ‘’Official’’ passport. Swallow would ask me where was my ‘’Red’’ passport, since he thought that I ought to have one. I may be wrong, but I have never known any calypsonian in Trinidad and Tobago to have been given a red, diplomatic passport (in some countries they are black). Besides Swallow, other artists namely Short Shirt in Antigua, Frankie McIntosh in St Vincent and Gabby in Barbados (2007) were named as cultural ambassadors for their countries and are holders of such passports which indicate to the Immigration officers of foreign countries that they, as holders, are diplomats and are acting on behalf of the countries that they represent. Thus, everything is usually done in their lands and overseas to make their travel smooth, comfortable and without any hiccups.
Third, in year 2011, Swallow was knighted by the Government of Antigua and the official title of ‘’Sir’’ (the highest award in the state) bestowed on him. Fourth, on being made a knight, he was granted a monthly salary by his state until his death. He called me on receipt of his monthly salary one night to find out if mine was bigger and to ascertain if the state of Antigua was robbing him. He could not believe that the ORTT award in Trinidad given to me carried no perks: salary, housing, medical insurance etc. His knighthood had all such perks to the extent that during his illness, the government of Antigua paid all his medical expenses in New York for more than a year. Fifth, many singers in Trinidad could not understand how Swallow was able to come here for carnival annually. Well, although the calypso promoters in Trinidad had to pay for his hotel and other expenses, the government of Antigua granted him free travel whenever he promoted the land and its culture overseas, so that Swallow, naturally, in singing calypso was seen by Antiguans as selling Antigua to the world. Accordingly, they paid all his airfares.
Sixth, when in the 1980s a band in New York refused to pay him for his performance at Madison Square Garden and was coming to Antigua to perform for carnival there, Swallow promptly told them that unless he was fully paid, they couldn’t come to Antigua. Of course, they laughed at him and landed at V.C. Bird airport. Swallow went to the Prime Minister, then Mr. V.C. Bird, and laid his complaint. History would record that Mr Bird ordered the Immigration to put them out of the state. The band begged him and offered to pay since they had contracts to fulfil in Antigua. Prime Minister V.C. Bird refused. ‘’Leave the state for ridiculing and disrespecting Swallow.’’ It is, in my opinion, true to state that no government in Trinidad and Tobago, colonial or post- colonial, has ever treated any local calypsonian in the esteemed manner, as was done by the Government of Antigua to Sir Rupert Philo (Swallow).
My heart is overjoyed, then, when our Caribbean universities see it fit not only to honour PhDs but to state that artists like King Sparrow, Lord Kitchener, Roy Cape, Pelham Goddard, Merle Albino DeCoteau, Winsford Devine, Eintou Springer, Derek Walcott, Earl Lovelace, Black Stalin, Bro. Superior, Mighty Shadow, David Rudder, Mighty Gabby and Red Plastic Bag in Barbados deserve to be named to the table of doctorates, because of their noble contributions to their nations in particular, and to humanity in general. Their lives explain the meaning of the title, man. Indeed, we can say with Shakespeare: Swallow’s life ‘’was gentle and the elements so well mixed in him, that nature could stand up and say to all the world: this was a man,’’ polished, artful, refined, civilized.
Treating COVID 19 Pandemic in Multi-ethnic Trinidad and Tobago
The stay-at-home-order in the ancient Hindu epic
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley of Trinidad and Tobago delivered his address today (April 6) to update the nation on Government’s plans to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is not the first time that he has made repeated references to the Bible only, and not to the Quran or Ramayana.
Understandably, he is a Christian, but his national address must include references to the major religious groups in the multi-ethnic society. As former Prime Minister Basdeo Panday had said, a Prime Minister must represent all of the people
Prophet Muhammad commanded his followers with the order: “If you hear that there is a plague in a land, do not enter it; and if it (plague) visits a land while you are therein, do not go out of it.”
In his next address, Dr Rowley could also make a reference to the Ramayana, the largest ancient epic-poem in world literature, written about 700 BCE.
The allegory of the stay-at-home-order to avoid COVID-19 is represented by the sacred circle that was drawn around Sita’s hut to protect her from monsters in the forest.
Her brother-in-law, Lakshman, had drawn a circle in the sand with the tip of his bow while chanting a mantra (Lakshman Rekha). He said: “No demon can cross this line. Sita, you stay in the house; not for any reason at all will you cross this line. Don’t come out of the house. As long as you are in the house, you will be safe …”
In anxiety, Sita broke the directive and was kidnapped by the demon Ravan and taken in a flying chariot.
When that tragedy occurred, “the leaves did not flutter. The trees of Dandaka did not move. No breath of wind dared stir about the woods. The fast-streaming Godavari river slackened her speed from fright. The glorious Sun, who every day looks down upon our world, this time dimmed his light from the sadness of what he saw” (translated from Sanskrit by William Buck, 1976: 139).
Dr Kumar Mahabir
Reading is a Human Right
Submitted by Melissa Martin, Ph.D, is an author, columnist, educator, and therapist. She lives in U.S
Give your brain a workout—read a book. Pump up the muscle mass between your two ears. Reading is that important. And people in all countries around the globe deserve the right to learn to read.
Literacy for All
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) estimates that 175 million young people lack basic literacy skills. To address the issues, UNESCO Regional Office of Southern Africa (ROSA) is supporting programs and activities to develop quality literacy materials for literacy educators and learners through integrating mother language in literacy teaching and learning. Fifty-two years ago, UNESCO officially declared September 8 International Literacy Day, with the goal of highlighting literacy as a human rights issue. www.unesco.org/.
In 2018, The International Literacy Association developed the Children’s Rights to Read project.The Case for Children’s Rights to Read lists 10 fundamental Reading Rights. www.literacyworldwide.org/.
According to Atlas (2017), the 25 most illiterate countries include: South Sudan, Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali, Chad, Somalia, Ethiopia, Guinea, Benin, Sierra Leone, Haiti, Senegal, The Gambia, Bhutan, Pakistan, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Central African Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, Nepal, Bangladesh, Timor-Leste, Mauritania, Togo.
Children Need Books
Family Scholarly Culture and Educational Success: Books and Schooling in 27 Nations, a 2010 article in the ScienceDirect Journal found that “Children growing up in homes with many books get 3 years more schooling than children from bookless homes, independent of their parents’ education, occupation, and class.” www.sciencedirect.com/.
Children need to see other kids that look like themselves in picture books. Why? Kids of color need to be represented in literature to show they are important in the world and that they matter. We Need Diverse Books is an organization with a vision of “a world in which all children can see themselves in the pages of a book.” Find more information at www.weneeddiversebooks.org.
Diverse books, both fiction and nonfiction, help kids understand that even though children look different on the outside, they are all the same on the inside. Our homes, schools, libraries, and communities need diverse books on bookshelves.
Celebrate Children’s Book Week
With Children’s Book Week turning 100 years old in 2019, Every Child a Reader and the Children’s Book Council have announced plans for a celebration. The 100th Anniversary theme is Read Now—Read Forever. Look to the past, present, and most important, the future of children’s books. Children’s Book Week is April 29 – May 5, 2019. Happy Birthday to Children’s Book Week!
Established in 1919, Children’s Book Week is the longest-running national literacy initiative in the U.S. Every year, events are held nationwide at schools, libraries, bookstores, and homes. www.everychildareader.net/.
Why is it important to expose babies, toddlers, and younger children to the world of books? Why is it important to read aloud to babies and toddlers? Why is it important to make reading fun for children?
Parents are a child’s first teachers, first role models, and first communicators; talking, listening, singing, making sounds, smiling, laughing, and hugging. Homes are the building blocks of society. “Children are made readers on the laps of their parents,” surmised Emilie Buchwald.
“Learning to read and write doesn’t start in kindergarten or first grade. Developing language and literacy skills begins at birth through everyday loving interactions, such as sharing books, telling stories, singing songs and talking to one another.” www.zerotothree.org/.
“Children learn to love the sound of language before they even notice the existence of printed words on a page. Reading books aloud to children stimulates their imagination and expands their understanding of the world. It helps them develop language and listening skills and prepares them to understand the written word. When the rhythm and melody of language become a part of a child’s life, learning to read will be as natural as learning to walk and talk.” www.readingrockets.org/.
“It is not enough to simply teach children to read; we have to give them something worth reading. Something that will stretch their imaginations—something that will help them make sense of their own lives and encourage them to reach out toward people whose lives are quite different from their own.”—Katherine Patterson
Leh Me Tell Wuhnah Like it is – Real Talk from De Block
Submitted by PUDRYR
“…As long as this blatant system of injustice continues and bajans openly tell you that prison in Barbados is for Black people, we can put forward all the ideas we want to solve the problem but we will make no headway…”
The Average man and woman in Barbados going listening to you, cause, like Barbados Underground Whistleblower says, the Royal Bay Gone Police Force, is leading the corruption, the drug dealing AND abusing de court processes.
Let me brek it down fuh wuhnah people
Some of wuhnah too privilege to even contemplate the reality of poverty and being hungry.
For wuhnah it is an abstract concept, wuh, after all we got free schools and free horspital care so everyting alright.
Few uh wuh nah ever been hungry till you guts grumbling and you only talking loud among de fellers, cause “you don’t want dem to hear your guts grumbling
When you at primary school, you can’t focus cause you ass hungry and focusing pun de blackboard hard as ass.
Lord help you if you ent got school books, pencils and school clothes, cause de teacher and de students gine mek you see hell.
And if you need glasses? as many of these poor children do, well your four eyed defective self will be at a worse disadvantage for your entire school life.
In wuhnah day, there was an unofficial community mechanism that wuhnah could use, But this is my reality!
wuhnah forget all dis when you lef de ghetto for de heights. IF YOU WAS EVER HERE!
Reality Check! my mudda got to raise 4 fatherless kids, as a single female headed household pun $250 a week or less if she wukking at Furniture Limited IN 2019!!
I gots a serious anger problem and wunna antiquated school system, especially secondary level education, CANNOT COPE WITH MY DYSFUNCTIONAL ASS.
Den, toss me into de minibus subculture, for 10 years (primary and secondary school) wid de ZR menses erratic behavior, driving erratically through traffic, just to pay de coolie who own de ZR van, $1000 a week, and you got a next level of anarchy in my ass.
Den, add de “blackies”, and my spliffs I smoking every day.
Man, don’t even add my maladjusted concept of wealth, a concept I developed seeing the drug dealers in my district.
You ONLY got “a shooting waiting to happen”
And unnerstan dis, when a policeman stop a van in in, fuh ovahloading, wuhnah sight how I does be de most vociferous in “representing” my dog? de drivah? de conductor?
See how I does represent a man who I ent know from bull foot?
Wunna feeling me yet?
So when my effed up donkey hear dat my man Stevie, my “family”, a next effed up thug like me, get kill, my black ass gots to go “represent” he!
But all wuh nah people who trying to solve dis crime problem, ent got one effing clue…
Plussing dat wuh nah RH got menses like Michael Carry Way a Ton uh money, 250 large ones and de Prime Minister Fumbles tel he, it alright
AND DE NEW PRIME MINISTER, Mugabe Mottley, inviting 5 of my drug dealer “family” my heroes, to Parliament.
AND WUNNA SCUNT TELLING ME BOUT “wun nah got a Block program fuh me???”
Man get de F out my face befo’ I GLOCK YOUR ASS
this article is accredited to Tee White and a comment he made here on Barbados Underground
Here is the accompanying video.
Dr. Lucas Accuses Mohammed Degia of Showing #islamophobia Colours
Submitted by Robert D. Lucas,PH.D. CFS,
The “Nation” newspaper of the 19th March 2019 published an article captioned “Upset but not shocked” under the by-line of Mohammed Iqbal Degia. Degia attributes the rise of Islamophobia in part to white supremacy. He attempts to juxtapose the Muslim experience with that of Blacks, Jews, Hispanics and immigrants (it is noticeable that he did not include gays). However, Blacks have not resorted to blowing up people and their experience is far worse then that of the Muslims. He seems to be particularly incensed by the year 1492 (when western civilization took off on an upward trajectory whereas the Islamic civilization went rapidly down hill). A psychologist could possibly attribute this reaction to under achievement by high fliers as envy (to use the vernacular). Since then, Muslims have not contributed much to the advancement of human kind apart from suicide bombs and even then, it was the Tamils of Sri Lanka who did so. According to Degia, Muslim terrorists are not really Muslim. He also complains about the western press demonizing Muslim. The Muslim press does the same to Jews and other Infidels
I have been assiduously following his weekly articles, knowing that sooner or later his true colours would emerge. The rabid dislike of western civilization oozes out of his article, so much so, that I am left nonplus by the fact that he still lives in the west. I will deal with a few points to illustrate how warp his thinking is. I have not written about Islam since 2002-2003 in the press
1.The Coptic Christians in Egypt and Christians in Pakistan are constantly being slaughtered in their Churches. I have not heard any Muslims locally condemning these actions. Given the Islamic concept of ummah I would not expect to hear from them. What about Asia Bibi and the baying crowd of Muslims in Pakistan who want to kill her?
The following links are provided for the interested reader to verify the above statement.
2.The uproar in Djakarta over that city’s Christian mayor. The Muslims in Indonesia were all hollering that Indonesia is a Muslim country and that a non-Muslim should never be Mayor. Meanwhile, London a bastion of White supremacy elects a Muslim mayor.
3.The Central African Republic is over eighty percent Christian and about sixteen percent Muslim. There was a coup by the Muslim minority aided and abetted by Chad. The Muslim razed Churches ,imposed sharia law and slaughtered hundreds of Christians. The Christians have fought back and have vowed to wipe out the Muslims and the country is in chaos now.
4.The treatment meted out to sub-Saharan migrants by Libya. The migrants are black and the Muslim treat them like dogs( even those who are also Muslim).
5. The grooming of young white girls in the UK by Asians particularly of Pakistani origin, went on for a long time because of political correctness. It is only now that the scum are being jailed after an outcry over political correctness.
6.Somali Muslims in Minnesota wanting to impose their values by not transporting passengers who had in their possession alcoholic drinks. That was one of the reasons Trump won in Minnesota.
7. Muslim in Barbados reporting Barbados for human rights violations in the USA over the use of the head covering. As far as I know,since 2002 local Muslims have been trying to get the politicians to change the law.
Infidels living in Muslim Majority have obey the law, no ifs or buts about that;it is therefore expected that the Muslim minority obey our laws.
Where ever they go they try to impose their will. The fact remains that non-Muslims are becoming fed up with Muslims; it is as simple as that.
Robert D. Lucas,PH.D. CFS,
Certified Food Scientist
Remembering Bob Marley
Submitted by Melissa Martin, Ph.D., is an author, columnist, and educator. She lives in U.S.
The footprints of Bob Marley appear on the sand in Jamaica and across the earth wherever freedom is held hostage. Likened to Martin Luther King, Jr., Marley desired peace for his people. And for all humanity. Music was the vehicle for his message. His passionate personality was his vehicle for harmony in a chaotic world of violence.
I am remembering Bob Marley with my words in this column. “Bob, you are missed. But your legend of light shines on and on and on.”
Nesta Robert Marley was born in 1945. Being biracial, Marley was bullied as a child, but declared, “I’m not on the white man’s side, or the black man’s side. I’m on God’s side.”
Marley died of cancer in 1981 in Miami at the age of 36 years. He was laid to rest in Jamaica.
According to a 2014 article in the Jamaican Observer, “The lives of many people all over the world have been profoundly influenced by Jamaicans such as Ms Mary Seacole, Messrs Marcus Garvey, Bob Marley, Claude McKay and Usain Bolt. Some who were revolutionary political activists destined to change the world spent an important interval in Jamaica. The most famous was the liberator of Latin America, Simon Bolivar, who penned the famous ‘Jamaica Letter’ from these environs.” www.jamaicaobserver.com/.
Marley received The United Nations Peace Medal of the Third World in 1978. On April 22, 1978, the One Love Peace Concert was held at Kingston’s National Stadium where Marley asked two opposing politicians to join hands. “You entertain people who are satisfied. Hungry people can’t be entertained – or people who are afraid. You can’t entertain a man who has no food,” is a quote by Marley.
The 74th birthday of Marley, the reggae legend, was celebrated at the Bob Marley Museum on Hope Road in Jamaica in February 2019, according to The Gleaner www.jamaica-gleaner.com/.
The Bob Marley museum is situated on the site of the legendary musician’s home. “Bob’s home is filled with rich memories and treasured mementos, which seek to preserve the life and accomplishment of this great Jamaican and outstanding musician.” www.bobmarleymuseum.com.
The Bob Marley Foundation implements social intervention projects that aim to preserve the spiritual, cultural, social and musical ideals that guided and inspired him. “Never expect God to do for you what you don’t do to others,” Marley avowed.
A March 10, 2005 article published in the Rolling Stones sang a tribute to Marley. “But Marley’s early-to-mid-1970s Island recordings were also something a good deal more than pioneering entertainment: They put forth an uncompromising vision of a society kept in hell and ready to storm its gates. Songs like “Burnin’ and Lootin’,” “Small Axe,” “Concrete Jungle,” “Revolution,” “Them Belly Full” and “War” — especially “War,” with its proclamation of eternal worldwide conflict: “Until the philosophy which hold one race superior/And another inferior/Is finally and permanently discredited” — brandish unsettling images and incendiary pronouncements that are among the most authentic in modern music.”
So Much Things to Say, a book by Roger Steffens (Norton & Company, 2017) contains myriad interviews by those who knew Marley. His story begins when his white father abandoned his pregnant mother. From being raised in the slums to becoming a cultural icon, Marley remained true to his roots. He sang about the worst of humanity and the best of humanity.
Sinner, saint, or both. Marley was quite a colorful character. Fathering multiple children with multiple women. Being an advocate for marijuana as a spiritual restorative herb. Humanity’s heroes are not without flaws and foibles. “Who are you to judge the life I live? I know I’m not perfect — and I don’t live to be — but before you start pointing fingers, make sure your hands are clean!” stated Marley.
The legacy of Bob Marley, the singer, the humanitarian, and the man, remains.
The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – Criminalizing Attire and the Rule of Law [II]
“Every person in Guyana is entitled to the basic right to a happy, creative and productive life, free from hunger, ignorance and want. That right includes the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual.” – Article 40(1) of the Constitution of Guyana
The first part of this extended essay last week treated the arrests, convictions and subsequent unsuccessful constitutional challenges both at first instance and in the Court of Appeal of the four accused in that each one, being a man, had appeared in female attire in a public place for an improper purpose contrary to section 153 (1) (xlvii) of the Summary Jurisdiction (Offences) Act of Guyana. They then appealed to the Caribbean Court of Justice [CCJ]. This week, we seek to analyze part of the leading judgment of Saunders PCCJ respect with which the other members of the panel unanimously agreed. The decision is of clear precedential importance to Barbados, among other jurisdictions.
In his view, there were four issues that arose for determination by the Court. These were, namely, whether the section violated the appellants’ rights to equality and non-discrimination guaranteed to them by the Guyana Constitution; whether it violated their identically guaranteed right to freedom of expression; whether it offended the principles of the rule of law in light of the vagueness of the provision, especially with regard to the terms “improper purpose”, “male attire” and “female attire”; and whether the reproving remarks of the Magistrate were appropriate and, if not, their consequence.
First, he sought to place the section in its historical context, and found that it was part of a suite of nineteenth century laws enacted against vagrancy and designed originally to “regulate and exercise control of both the ex-slave population and, in places like Guyana, the newly imported indentured labourers” in order to curtail mobility, to keep close to the plantations those whose labour was essential for continued exploitation.
Second, as a preliminary point, he examined the question of whether the section might be considered an existing law and thus be deemed immune from inquiry as to its conformity with the fundamental rights provisions in the Guyanese Constitution. It is submitted that special attention ought to be paid locally to the observations of the CCJ on this point, since it has been sometimes urged as likely to defeat any challenges to laws that conceivably infringe the fundamental rights of individuals, and was in fact used to validate the 1991 eight per cent salary cut imposed on public officers in spite of forceful informed argument to the contrary. Our provision, section 26, reads as follows-
Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any written law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of any provision of sections 12 to 23 to the extent that the law in question–
(a) is a law (in this section referred to as “an existing law”) that was enacted or made before 30th November 1966 and has continued to be part of the law of Barbados at all times since that day;
(b)repeals and re-enacts an existing law without alteration; or
(c) alters an existing law and does not thereby render that law inconsistent with any provision of sections 12 to 23 in a manner in which, or to an extent to which, it was not previously so inconsistent
(2) In subsection (1)(c), the reference to altering an existing law includes references to repealing it and re-enacting it with modifications or making different provisions in lieu thereof, and to modifying it, and in subsection (1) “written law” includes any instrument having the force of law; and in this subsection and subsection (1) references to the repeal and re-enactment of an existing law shall be construed accordingly.
One traditional defence for the existence of this clause is that it was enacted to secure a smooth transition of the law from earlier times to independent status, but the President gave this argument short shrift-
After more than 50 years of independence it is quite a stretch to say that Guyana (or indeed any other independent Commonwealth Caribbean state) is still in that transition phase.
And he noted its corrosive effect on the guaranteed freedoms and the supervisory power of the Courts –
The broad effect of the savings clause, read literally by many, is that these human rights, so carefully laid out in the Constitution, must give way to the dictates of a pre-Independence law until and unless the legislature amends the pre-independence law…The hallowed concept of constitutional supremacy is severely undermined by the notion that a court should be precluded from finding a pre-independence law, indeed any law, to be inconsistent with a fundamental human right. Simply put, the savings clause is at odds with the court’s constitutionally given power of judicial review.
He referred too to an earlier decision of the Court in a recent appeal from Barbados, where the Court had noted that-
“With these general savings clauses, colonial laws … are caught in a time warp continuing to exist in their primeval form, immune to the evolving understandings and effects of applicable fundamental rights. This cannot be the meaning to be ascribed to that provision as it would forever frustrate the basic underlying principles that the Constitution is the supreme law and that the judiciary is independent.”
The sustained hostility demonstrated by the CCJ to the savings law clause should give some encouragement to those local individuals and entities who now consider themselves hamstrung in challenging legislation on the basis of its perceived fundamental rights infringement, simply because such legislation existed prior to 1966.
Indeed, the court itemized no fewer than four principles on the basis of which the clause itself may be impugned. According to the judgment-
Firstly, even if one were to apply the clause fully and literally, because of its potentially devastating consequences for the enjoyment of human rights, the savings clause must be construed narrowly, that is to say, restrictively.
Secondly, assuming again a full and literal application of the clause, the clause only saves laws that infringe the individual human rights stipulated in the clause itself. It does not preclude the court from holding a pre-independence law to be invalid if in fact the law runs counter to some constitutional provision that falls outside the specified individual human rights,
Thirdly, application of the clause may result in placing the State on a collision course with its treaty responsibilities and it is a well-known principle that courts should, as far as possible, avoid an interpretation of domestic law that places a State in breach of its international obligations.
The fourth approach is the most contentious. But it has support from very distinguished jurists. It is that courts should first apply the modification clause to the relevant pre- Independence law before attempting to apply the savings law clause. We consider each of these approaches in turn.
Legal scholarship has also been generally antithetical to the savings law clause. In an article published in the University of Miami Inter-America law review in 2004, Professor Margaret Burnham of the Northeastern University School of Law, pulled no punches in her withering assessment-
“The clause eliminates the plasticity, organicity, and elasticity that fundamental rights adjudication requires to respond effectively, as it must, both to evolving universal standards” and to culturally specific normative shifts.” In sum, it violates the time- hono[u]red rule, cogently expressed by Alexander Hamilton, that constitutional framers must “look forward to remote futurity.”
One other justification for the savings law clause that I am aware of but that was not treated by President Saunders or the Court is that the guaranteed fundamental rights are not entirely new, but have existed, at least in embryonic form, since earliest times, so that the clause does not detract from the essential nature of the existing right. Given the history of the region, this view is at least of dubious cogency.
Next week -The s.153 offence and the fundamental rights
The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – Criminalizing attire and the rule of law [I]
“The…appellants here, by choosing to dress in clothing and accessories traditionally associated with women, are in effect expressing their identification with the female gender. And the expression of a person’s gender identity forms a fundamental part of their right to dignity. Recognition of this gender identity must be given constitutional protection. –per Saunders P. in McEwan, Clarke and ors. v. AG of Guyana
“If you wear that, town block…per Glenfield Eastmond (The Devil) in “We goin’ do dixie.”
Transgender dressing, or cross-dressing as it is more popularly referred to, especially by males, is not unknown to most Barbadians of my generation. Time was, in the 1970s and 1980s, when there seemed to be a nightly fashion parade of cross dressers in Baxter’s Road and its environs. In that era too, there was, on more occasions than one, a production called “Queen of the B’s” in which males made appearances, as in any traditional beauty show, in the makeup, formal wear and swimsuits ordinarily worn by females in such contests.
Then, this transgender culture was generally regarded more as a source of fascination and amusement than anything else. However, it appears to have fallen into desuetude (some would uncharitably say “died out”) and the newly popular local attitude to gender transformation may have been witnessed in the apparently favourable reaction to a composition in the last Pic’ o’ de Crop calypso competition entitled Sex Change in which the artiste, Billboard, asserted “there is no such thing as being transgender as you cannot change your sex”.
As a Barbados Advocate editorial pointed out – Permanently fixed at birth?, this assertion, while it may be supported in current local law, fails to take account of the modern reality as manifested in legislation such as the Gender Recognition Act 2004 of the UK, a statute that enables transsexuals to apply for a certificate showing that the person has satisfied the criteria for legal recognition in the acquired gender.
This issue of transgender dressing, that appears to be prevalent in most regional jurisdictions, recently engaged the attention of the Caribbean Court of Justice in arguably unusual circumstances. What was once regarded with curious amusement in Barbados, and I assume in the other jurisdictions, has been criminalized in Guyana by virtue of section 153 (1) (xlvii) of the Summary Jurisdiction (Offences) Act of that jurisdiction. This provides-
Every person who does any of the following acts shall, in each case, be liable to a fine of not less than seven thousand nor (sic) more than…dollars—
(xlvii) being a man, in any public way or public place, for any improper purpose, appears in female attire; or being a woman, in any public way or public place, for any improper purpose, appears in male attire…
In the instant case, the appellants had been arrested and charged with this offence. They pleaded guilty before the Magistrate and were fined accordingly. However, in a manner that is not unknown locally, the Magistrate thought it appropriate to deliver an admonition after conviction. According to the judgment-
“The Magistrate told the…appellants that they must go to church and give their lives to Jesus Christ. The Magistrate advised them that they were confused about their sexuality; that they were men, not women.”
They next launched an action in the High Court against the state for a violation of their constitutional rights, most relevant here claiming that the law was bad because it was vague, uncertain, irrational and discriminatory. The vagueness and uncertainty, they said, related to the words “improper purpose”, “female attire” and “male attire” and that it infringed their rights to equality under the law and not to be discriminated against and their right to freedom of expression. They also argued that the remarks of the magistrate reinforced the statal discrimination. This action was unsuccessful, as was the appeal to the Guyana Court of Appeal.
So far as section 153 was concerned, the judge at first instance was of the view that it was immunized from constitutional challenge on the basis of human rights, since it was saved by the savings law clause in the Guyana Constitution. The judge also decided that it was the improper purpose that was the true basis of the criminalization of cross-dressing in public and not the dress itself. Accordingly, “it is not criminally offensive for a person to wear the attire of the opposite sex as a matter of preference or to give expression or to reflect his or her sexual orientation”.
The court held also that the section was not discriminatory because the section is “directed against the conduct of both male and female persons”. Moreover, in an unusually restricted meaning of the word, it was decided that the section addresses “attire” only. In the judge’s interpretation of the law, it was not an offence for a male person to wear a female head wig or earrings or female shoes in a public place, even for an improper purpose. And as for the admonitory remarks by the magistrate, the judge was of the view that while these amounted to “proselytising”, they did not constitute a hindrance to freedom of thought and of religion.
As already noted, the appellants did not fare any better in the Court of Appeal. In this regard, paragraphs 24 and 25 of the judgment of President Saunders are instructive.
The Court of Appeal expressed its “complete agreement” with the trial judge’s view that section 153 carried no taint of gender discrimination. On the vagueness point, while acknowledging that the expression “improper purpose” is broad in meaning, the court pointed out that the use of broad terms in statutory provisions is pervasive. In this case, according to the Court of Appeal, the meaning of “improper purpose”, as used in section 153, is “to be gleaned from the context or more directly, the factual circumstance, including the place and time at which the ‘improper purpose’ as used in section 153 is alleged.” In support of this conclusion, the court referred to statements in R v Crown Court at Wood Green ex parte DPP. It was stated there that the legal meaning of statutes, which are vaguely drawn, is to be determined by courts on a case-by-case basis. The court noted that given the changing times, it is impossible for the draftsman to have captured the degree of certainty which a criminalizing enactment ought to bear. The use of the phrase “improper purpose” was intended to capture a range of different situations.
The Court of Appeal answered the appellants’ concern that the vagueness of cross- dressing in public for an “improper purpose” makes it impossible for a citizen to know how to regulate his/her conduct. The court’s view was that it requires “a measure of internal rationalization so that the citizen is able to determine for himself the consequences which a given action may entail”. The Court of Appeal proceeded to suggest examples of conduct that would fail to meet a “proper purpose” standard. One such example given was where a man puts on a dress, a wig and high-heeled shoes, pretending to be a woman in distress, and then enters a taxi in order to rob the driver.
The Court also unanimously dismissed the complaint against the magistrate on the ground that she had made her comments after imposing sentence and therefore what was said could not have influenced the proceedings. [Original emphasis]
Next week –The decision of the CCJ
African Liberation Education 1
Submitted by Ras Jahaziel
A captive people are not likely to recognize their captivity if they were born in captivity and have no memory of freedom.
Nor are they likely to identify liberation as an urgent necessity… if they have been schooled and churched to see their landless bondage as normal.
(That is why “The Manual of Slave Control” clearly spells out in its preamble: “the need to educate all X-Slaves with the myth that their captivity ended on the day of Emancipation, and to support this myth by keeping the X-Slaves constantly doped, domesticated, and entertained in a drunken stupor.”)
Read full text – Chapter 1