Submitted by the Mahogany Coconut Think Tank and Watchdog Group
The Mahogany Coconut Group stands firmly in support of historian Trevor Marshall’s views on the role of white Barbadians in the politics of their country. We also publicly declare that Marshall has never promoted racism but has spent almost four decades in highlighting social and economic issues that affect the entire country.
It was Marshall who first critically examined the role played by Sir. Grantley Adams in Barbados’ political development, to the best of our knowledge, Sir Grantley was black; it was Marshall who questioned the granting of National Hero status to many of Barbados’ National Heroes, most of whom are black. Therefore it is difficult to understand why he is only deemed a racist when he critically analyses the role of Barbadian whites in the country’s development.
We are amazed that some Blacks, who rushed to defend Mr.Ralph Johnson’s description of Barbadian workers as “lazy” and inefficient, would want to give Johnson credit, for essentially painting an entire work force with one brush but would want to crucify Marshall, for asking why Indo Barbadians and other minorities, are not placed in the Senate with the same regularity as whites. It was fair to ask why white Barbadians do not enter elective politics but use their corporate weight to influence public policy.
Against the backdrop of rising petroleum prices at home and abroad, the specter of failing businesses will loom to a greater degree. Of interest to BU will be the number of Black businesses which are likely to flounder in the current environment. Obviously to manage any commercial enterprise in a climate which reeks of unpredictability and stiff competition, calls for high order business skills, in-dispersed with a heavy dose of common sense. We reluctantly have to admit that too many Black businesses in Barbados have attracted comments like “no succession planning”, “a willingness to be too generous with their deposits to the hairy bank” and other disparaging labels too numerous to mention.
A related story which resonated with the BU household appeared in the Nation newspaper last week. It outlined the imminent demise of a popular Black business, the Dining Club which is owned by Chef Peter Edey.
The article outlined the huge debt which Chef Edey’s catering business has accumulated. If we recall what was reported correctly, the debt racked-up is to the tune of $200,000.00. Edey is quoted as lamenting the uncertainty which now surrounds the tenure of his 100+ employees. What floored the BU household is his plea to the government for help!
There are only two races on this planet—the intelligent and the stupid. – John Fowles
It seemed to us here at BU that a question to be answered arising from our recent articles is how do Barbadians visualize our society changing in the coming months and years. On both BFP and BU we have had some solid discourse on the subject of immigration which in small part can be linked to the ongoing implementation of the Common Single Market and Economy (CSME), but we have also had some comments which border on what is not realistic. We sense that some Barbadians continue to feel some sense of disquiet on this issue as far as the current state of Barbados is concerned.
So all you Barbadians__ how do you see the village culture which Barbadians have become accustomed to, changing?
A search on Google of Rayside Construction generated the following error "Error: Access is Denied
It was reported in the media last week that Senator Bynoe of “proppa pork” fame has commissioned a book which is scheduled to be released later this year and will examine the role government has played in the demise of several black businesses over the years. BU looks forward to the book launch because despite the boast of a wonderful educational system many of our black owned businesses are failing because the second generation of family appears to be more attracted to the Board rooms of BS&T and the like.
BU thought that we would focus on one such black owned business which has fallen from its pinnacle. We all remember in the 70s and 80s there were some very competitive battles between Rayside Construction and “COW” Construction. Do you remember that time when COW was not awarded a government contract which went to Rayside and he took the government to court[because of Don Blackman’s comment) and won? Those were the halcyon days when the black owned construction company headed by Keith Rayside stood tall and was a symbol of success which Barbadians felt proud to talk about. As a predominantly black nation we felt a sense of pride derived from when there was construction work to be had there was Rayside Construction Company to stop COW from getting it all. We felt as black people we were making strides.
The once mighty company in 2005 became so burdened with debt that it had to be acquired by CLICO, a private Trinidadian conglomerate.
What many Barbadians are asking is where did it all go wrong for Keith Rayside?