Daily Archives: March 5, 2006

Of “Negrocrats”, “Oreos”, “Iggas” and Other Racial Slurs in Barbados

Since we started mentioning racial issues at Barbados Free Press, we have received more than a few letters and comments from Bajans and others urging us to continue the dialogue – which (they say) is missing in the mainstream Barbados media.

In response to our “Blogs Discuss Barbados Holetown Festival, Racism and Cabinet Shuffles”, where we published a piece by Stella lamenting some racial difficulties, we received this post from a reader…

WELCOME TO THE DEEP SOUTH CIRCA 1950′s

One reader has been candid enough to acknowledge and speak of the racism in Barbados. This racism permeates every part of this society. We see it where politicians are afraid to be seen with too many whites or Indians. We see it where major politicians milk their color sensitivities on a daily basis calling each other such things as

“negrocrats”.

These are our leaders???— At the same time we see our leaders scrounging for perceived power and their turn at the trough while their actions are dividing our society and impoverishing Barbadians economically, spiritually and morally. Congratulations for revealing the ugly truth.

There can be no healing by hiding

Prime Minister Owen Arthur Uses The Word “Negrocrat” – And Disgraces Barbados on the World Stage.

On Sunday, February 26, 2006, the Prime Minister once again called someone a “Negrocrat” – this time when attacking Harold Hoyte, the editor of Nation News…

“Week by week, he would say the worst kinds of things about me and other persons,” Arthur said of the President and Editor-in-Chief of the Nation Publishing Company Ltd.

“He picks upon certain people in Barbados politics, because that is the nature of the negrocrat; there are some people who feel they’re better off than people like ourselves and a man like me, in their mind, has no legitimate right to lead this country because I ain’t come from nowhere.”

Barbados Prime Minister Owen Arthur

This from the Prime Minister of our nation!

But it is not just the PM and his political party who use racial terms to call others down. Opposition members have been guilty as well, and words such as “Oreos” (black on the outside – white on the inside) and “Iggas” have been heard to come from the mouths of our elected representatives.

Do these Bajans not realize how this looks to rest of the world? Do they not realize how hurtful and self-destructive this is for Barbados?

The Old Ways

My own grandfather was, in the vast majority of his ways, a good man – and I am sure that God loved him and loves him still in Heaven. But he was of the old ways, and he could not change. When I would walk a certain girl home from school, he would chide me that she was “too dark”.

For my grandfather, the ideal wife would always have lighter skin so the next generation could be lighter still.

I am sorry if the truth of my story of the old way hurts some people inside, but we must all simply be Bajans. It is time for us to lose the old ways, and it is shameful to hear our leaders throwing racial barbs at each other.

Is there not a Leader who will be colour blind and forever say, “We are all Bajan”?

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Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, Politics & Corruption

Choosing Friends in Barbados

Choosing_Friends.jpg

“Choose your friends by their character and your socks by their colour. Choosing your socks by their character makes no sense, and choosing your friends by their colour is unthinkable.”

Sent by an old friend “come home” to Speightstown from doing badly in London town. Doing badly remind all of who is a friend and who is not a friend.

posted by Shona for TJ. Good to have you home girl.

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Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues