Negrocrat Controversy: Barbados Environment Minister Uses “Caucasian” as Racial Slur

Barbados Environment Minister Liz Thompson On Video Using Racial Slur – click on photo

Richard_Goddard_325.JPEG

Sometimes people get so caught up in a discussion, that they forget they are in a public forum. They forget to put on a false front. They forget to use language that conceals their prejudices and hidden motivations.

We have all seen these moments – when the truth about someone’s perceptions, values and their innermost heart just slips out before they can stop themselves.

Mostly, the truth of these moments is only realized by those who are there at the time, but even if the slip is made in a public forum, the incident is soon replaced in the news cycle and fades from public memory.

Mostly.

Welcome, Minister Thompson, to Videotape and the Internet

In October of 2005 at function at the Hilton Hotel, and again at another location in January of this year, Environment Minister Elizabeth Thompson was overheard using the word “Caucasian” as a derogatory racial term. Minister Thompson obviously thought that this was acceptable to the people surrounding her – who were all black Barbadians.

No, Minister Thompson… we don’t all think as you do.

- and it triggered a long-forgotten memory of Minister Thompson making a mistake on television and using that same derogatory term. Now, after two months of searching, Barbados Free Press has managed to find a copy of the video.

In February of 1995, then Minister of Health Elizabeth Thompson participated in a debate about the decision of the Barbados Government to place a garbage dump in the Greenland watershed. In reply to environmental activist Richard Goddard’s determination use the international media to sway the court of public opinion against the Barbados Government, Minister Thompson said…

“I take extreme offense at a Caucasian male telling me, as a Minister of Government in modern Barbados, that he is going to treaten to embarrass a national government in this way. It is completely unacceptable…”

Mr. Goddard is, of course, a citizen of Barbados with lighter skin than some others. Oh yes… he’s a male, too.

We will write more about this tomorrow, but for now, sit back and watch as Minister Thompson reveals a truth about her values, perceptions and innermost heart. A truth that just slipped out…

Click on the above video still of Richard Goddard to see the video.

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47 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, Environment, Island Life, Politics & Corruption

47 responses to “Negrocrat Controversy: Barbados Environment Minister Uses “Caucasian” as Racial Slur

  1. Adrian

    ….Are you serious???? refering to a white man as a caucasian male is racist??? The only story here is the video capability of this site. Is this creating news where none exist? I think so.

  2. Chaca Chaca Koo

    Picture a white male member of parliament saying to a black female…

    “I take extreme offense at a Negro female telling me, as a Minister of Government in modern Barbados, that she is going to treaten to embarrass a national government in this way. It is completely unacceptable…”

    Got it now?

  3. Island Girl

    Adrian:

    maybe Minister Thompson’s point is that she would not have been so offended if the citizen criticising her was a black female…

    either way, Thompson’s racist views surfaced.

  4. ….Are you serious???? refering to a white man as a caucasian male is racist??? The only story here is the video capability of this site. Is this creating news where none exist? I think so. It is obvious that this clip was edited to derived maximum benefit of deception. We do not know what was said to solicit this reply and there is no rebuttal to it. It would seem to me that you are intent on affecting what the Minister accused Richard Goddard of. In your view the PM did a disservice to Barbados by using the word “Negrocrat”, it should be in your view that you are doing the same by reveiling this deliberately edited clip, However in both cases your attempt to suggest that the mare utterance of the words Negrocrat and now Caucasian demonstrates racist intent is frivolous. Racisims is a serious problem to those of us who are predispose to suffer from it’s use, and in your zeal to unearth such evidence, you are making a mockery of it. In my opinion you are running the risk of turn a serious website into one of pure entertainment like mine.

  5. MissingHome

    PM Owen say negrocrat to insult. Liz say caucasian to insultt. 2 pees in da pod

  6. ……Well what make Richard Goddard think that his threat would change the position of government? What is the perception that he thinks his threat would bring to bare? why would a threat from Richard Goddard matter? is it his last name? His international relationships? does he have an ear into Buckingham via the duke of edingburg award program? Is it ties to the Canadian government due to his membership of the RCMP? could the color of his skin and the perceived utility that such has in Barbaodos be a factor? The reverse analogies are disingenous in that they have not taken into to account the history of Barbados. The legacy of slavery, the plantation, and as recent as the 80″s with the mutual affair has led us to a situation that puts whites at a disadvantage in uttering statement that refers to colour or ethnicity. All this said i still do not see the utility of attaching Political correctness to the word Caucasian, and further to it’s use in this clip of all clips, I get the intended inference in using the words “Caucasian”, modern day Barbados, and the threat that we didn’t get to here. I wonder if Richard Goddard was in a Post modern frame of mind when he made the threat that we did not get to hear.

  7. Iko Davidson

    Adrian,

    Thank you for your long unedited verbage. We can all see how your roots are planted… The fact is, it is what she said, and the underlying message she was delivering in the heat of debat on television was basically putting Mr. Goddard down becasue he is white. Almost saying that she is the higher power (race in charge now) and the white (caucasion) man cant speak to her that way in today’s (her, meaning black woman) Barbados.

    Sounds very racist to me… It’s sad that we have come to the point where in the year 2005/6 we are showing more and more signs of racisim towards white people in this modern age.

    Shame on her as a sitting Minister of Government!!! And shame on you for dismissing it!!!

  8. BFP

    Hello Adrian

    Just as soon as we can get the whole videotape digitized, we will post it all – probably tomorrow or the next day. You can read more of the transcript in the previous post (see the comment by John).

    As to Minister Thompson’s comments being taken “out of context” – nice try, but you will see that is just not so. There was no call for her to bring the issue of Mr. Goddard’s race or gender into the debate – none at all. It is so obvious that Thompson just looks at the world with race as the number one criteria. She was just so upset that a white man would dare to criticize the government…. and that is what she said.

    She basically declares that only Bajans of a certain race have a right to criticize the actions of the government.

    One can just hear the same tone and bigotry in her voice as must have been said by some white a hundred and fifty years ago, declaring ““I take extreme offense at an uppity Negro telling me, as a Minister of Government in modern Barbados, that he is going to treaten to embarrass a national government in this way. It is completely unacceptable…”

    Yes it just fits right in.

    This is our leadership in Barbados today.

    All I can say is “Jesus, come soon” an I mean it.

  9. BFP

    Oh Adrian…

    We just checked the tape…

    Mr. Goddard’s threat was that he was going to write a letter to the Guinness Book of World Records and tell them that the Government of Barbados was going to be the first government to put a garbage dump in a National Park.

    That’s it. That’s the threat. A letter to the Gunness Book of World Records. The “threat” actually sounds a bit pathetic…

    But it was way too much for Minister Thompson. How dare that uppity white man criticize a black government! That pretty well sums it up.

    We will post the whole tape tomorrow even if we have to stay up all night to convert it with this very old and slow PC. It may take that long to convert it but we will do it.

    In context, the words of Minister Thompson become even more racist…. BANG – right out of nowhere she goes into race. Says everything.

  10. ….Indeed, well your preception is indeed your perception. It is laughable to me that to utter the word “Caucasian” demonstrates recist intent. It is obvious to me what is going on here, and it is really laughable, but i will go along for the ride.

    BFP, since you claim to be on a crusade to stamp all racist behaviour, I have probably the only remaining copy of Dr. Hillary Beckles book “Mutual Affair” Corporate injustice in Barbados. Can we publish it online for all to see? Actually never mind i will be doing so myself.

  11. Iko Davidson

    Hey Adrian,

    Just a word of caution, but publishing that book online would probally get you in a lot of trouble – BAD IDEA. I am sure you were simply not thinking when you made those remarks – above!

    I am sure Dr. Beckles would use all powers (corporately speaking – I mean he is making money from the books sold like the bigger picture corporate Barbados does. Of which by the way he now is part of the bigger picture / game as he runs the University like a business) to stop you from spreading his work out for free.

  12. John

    How race gets into Greenland? If the place is unstable, it is unstable!!

    But since we are on race, the conference on Racism held in Barbados is worth remembering.

    The motion to expel non-Blacks from this conference might well have been made because the British delegation who moved it felt Barbados was a country where this would be quite acceptable.

    Where on earth might they have got such a crazy idea? Obviously they did not know that we do not tolerate racism here.

    Democracy ruled and non-Blacks had to leave, Caucasian and Asian had to go!! The Democrats had their way.

    Now we know of the existence of Negrocrats, would they have been asked to leave as well?

    My recollection is that the Cuban delegation walked out in disgust!!

    Look it up on Google, my memory is fuzzy!!

  13. BFP

    Hello John

    You are correct… Greenland is unstable, and with the watershed and ocean currents, all it would take would be a single “15 year event” to kill tourism on the WEST coast for years.

    But it was Minister Thompson who obviously viewed the anti-Greenland activists firstly by their race.

    As to the conference on Racism where the whites and asians were kicked out – I will try and dig it up. Sounds like something that would happen in Uganda.

  14. BFP

    Here it is John…

    http://www.indexonline.org/en/news/articles/2002/4/blacks-only-at-anti-racism-conference.shtml

    Blacks Only Allowed At Barbados Anti-Racism Conference

    An international conference on anti-racism in Barbados called by lobby groups from the African diaspora took the unexpected step of voting to exclude non-black delegates from the conference on its opening day. Index on Censorship reports.

    Delegates at an international conference against racism voted to expel non-blacks from the meeting on its opening day in Barbados, arguing that it would be too traumatic for descendants of slaves to discuss slavery in front of them.

    About a dozen whites and Asians at the five-day African and African Descendants’ World Conference Against Racism acceded to the vote and walked out without protest. Those expelled included local interpreters and members of non-governmental organisations.

    The SAPA-AFP news agency reported that vote to restrict the conference to blacks only was proposed by a 60-strong delegation from Britain on the opening day, October 2. More than 200 approved, including a group of African Americans who live in Israel. About 50 others abstained.

    After the vote and the failure of a subsequent vote to overturn it led by Francophone Caribbean and central American delegations, a number of national groups quietly withdrew from the conference proceedings.

    Many sought to avoid giving the impression that they had ‘walked out’ from the debate, to prevent further damage to to the image of the event. Among them were members of the Cuban and South African groups.

    The conference, an independent follow up to last year’s Durban UN World Conference against Racism will be discussing economic development, decolonisation, judicial reform and reparations.

    Senegalese Doudou Diene, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, opposed the exclusion motion. He warned that it could reverse the gains made at the Durban conference and that it would provide ammunition for powerful anti-black groups working to crush the conference’s gains.

    Jean Violet Baptiste, representative for the Guyana-based African Cultural and Development Association, said organisers should have made clear that only blacks were welcome: “You can’t have people come all this way and then ask them to leave.”

    However Conference chairwoman Jewel Crawford of the US told SAPA-AFP: “There are a number of black people who have been traumatised by white people and they suffered psychologically and emotionally and, as a result of that trauma, some of them did not care to discuss their issues in front of them.”

    The prime movers behind the motion were a Black British delegation. The Nation reported Kwaku Bonsu, a London disc jockey and black activist, as accusing local organisers of misleading them about the make-up of the participants.

    The nine page registration form asks for and gives extensive details regarding delegates’ special needs and translation requirments but does not indicate that the event was ‘exclusively’ for Africans.

    “We told them emphatically that we don’t want to be sitting down with no Europeans or Asians and they assured us that this is an African and African only event and that is why we came here,” he was reported as saying.

    David Comissiong, head of conference co-sponsors, the governmental Pan African Commission, accepted that the vote to expel non-Blacks had been done democratically and there was nothing he could do.

    “I think it’s very unfortunate; I don’t think it’s an issue that should have arisen at all,” he told the Barbados daily.

    “We were given an explanation that in England many of these delegates have had bad experiences with events such as these, where they have had people from other races being involved and they have had bad experiences. So we’re told that that is the background out of which their position emerged.”

    The dispute overshadowed efforts to move on the issues raised at Durban, including a plan by black activists to sue France for making Haiti pay millions of francs for recognition of its independence in 1838, 33 years after Haitians defeated Napoleon’s army in the first and only successful slave revolt against a colonial power.

    The exclusion of Asians as well as whites at a conference co-sponsored by the Barbados government could also raise domestic issues. People of European and Asian descent comprise some 60 to 70,000 of the country’s population of 265,000.

    In a sharp commentary for the Barbados Nation Ella Drummond-Hoyos noted: “The Government of Barbados is obliged to guarantee all Barbadians the freedom to associate under the constitution. If it funded a conference with racist motives, someone must account.”

  15. …….I don’t think the book is available in Barbados any longer, I haven’t seen reference to it online. I think there has been a concerted effort to make it disappear, and if Hillary Beckles is complicit in this, that is his cross to bear, not mine. I think the truth it contains is more important than any threat my actions may bring. The History of the Mutual is an interesting one and lend favaourably to the whole race debate. It may not be suited to the agenda of this Board, but race relations in Barbados is bigger than any such agenda.

  16. …..That incident at the Anti-racism conference was totally uncalled for, and i agree with all of Barbados in their condemnation of the Commissiong Position. The Government in it’s usuall tardiness moved albeit too slowly in distancing itself from the position of the conference organizers and should have pull the plugged on the whole thing since governments funds was used to host it. All involved deserved the condemnation that they got from Barbadians and others. This incident had the potential of damaging Barbados reputation more than any use of the word “Negrocrat” and “Caucasian” could ever accomplish.

    BTW: another Black politician uttering a possible PC version of a racial slur. The nationnews has reported that Clyde Mascoll referred to David Thompson as a “Red man”. Oh no say it aint so. :-)

  17. BFP

    Hi Adrian

    You are up early friend! (Me too… must get to work soon)

    What do you think that Mascoll meant by “Red Man”? This has been a racial term for “Indians” in the USA, and “Red” can mean left wing politics…

    But what did he mean?

  18. MissingHome

    da first of what thompson say do says it all

    “I take extreme offense at a Caucasian male

  19. What he probably meant:
    ….Think he meant to place emphasis on his disrespect for Thompson and sought not to use a gentleman custom of reference by name, but to leave no doubt that Thompson who in his opinion is not deserving of such is the object of his disrespect.

    Who he meant:
    David Thompson, one person. He did not say “Red Men” or ”All red men”, or “all red people”, or any other interpretation that would lead to the inclusion of all persons of a lighter shade.

  20. John

    Why do we need leaders who lack the competence and imagination to respond to a challenge in a sane, dispassionate manner?

    Why do we need leaders who get all emotional and try to spread fear and loathing among us when challenged?

    How can we try to make our leaders stick to facts and stay away from the insults and threats?

    It is a waste of time and resources responding to their emotion and innuendo and after all, our leaders are our servants.

    Maybe the fault lies within each of us and we get what we deserve!! Its time to think if we are not doing so already.

    Maybe we can lead our leaders out of the mess we are all in, even if we have to drag them by the scruff of their neck kicking and screaming.

    We all have a vested interest in getting it right. We need to send a message to all leaders and aspiring leaders that there is a basic standard of behaviour we expect.

    We need to lead by example and become their guiding light. Despite our faults, each of us has it in us to do this.

    If we all try on each others account, someone will succeed, and we all will benefit, our leaders included.

    Ah well, if wishes were …..

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  22. Philosopher Queen

    er.. i’m with Adrian. How can it be a racial slur to call a white man a caucasian?

    or a black woman a negro for that matter?

  23. BFP

    Philosopher Queen… let me illustrate it in this way…

    Suppose two people of different races – negro (black-African background) and caucasian (white European background) – are engaged in a discussion and are disagreeing strongly over an issue that has nothing to do with race. They are discussing something as mundane as garbage.

    Then, with race never having been mentioned in the conversation before, the caucasian says, “I take extreme offense at a negro person threatening to issue a press release…”

    The Barbados media would go ballistic if a caucasian person made such a statement to someone of African heritage, but we have a double standard here in Barbados. Persons of African heritage are allowed to make racial comments without public censure. Other races are not permitted to do this.

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  25. Rumplestilskin

    Barbadians politicians seem to have some strange views, nuh.

    Like when a sitting MP, I believe the member for St.Lucy, called into one of the talk shows and expressed his reservation about the make up of the West Indies team then in Sri Lanka……many were of East Indian descent.

    Hmmm….born in West Indies but not the right shade to represent in cricket huh?

  26. Where the hell did you find that? Looks like U-Matic format! Man, I remember that show so well! A lot of folk thought she was wrong to have used race for no reason – I think this is really where it all began, both sides implacable… LOL, wow!

    ************************

    Comment by Cliverton (my duty working the spam tonight!)

    Hi Ian

    U-Matic?

    What’s that, old chap? ;-)

    (Interesting what one can find by the side of the road!)

  27. Rumplestilskin

    Oh, I love the internet. No wonder some want to ‘censor/control’ it.

    Lovely views expressed by our Ministers. Good thing from that point of view they are themselves absolutely incompetent, or else someone might actually take them seriously.

    As for Mascoll calling Thompson ‘red man’, hmmm..

    Mascoll has lost all credibility crossing the floor as Opposition Leader.

    A ‘junior Minister or major Minister with a demonstrated grievance can get away with this.

    However, for the Opposition Leader, particularly one who so recently castigated the Government with poorly substantiated slurs ‘re JAWS’ instead of a constructive and properly presented argument re financials etc, loses all credibility in crossing.

    What a doofus!

  28. The Colonel

    Mascoll is lucky that he can walk up the steps of the House every week. There are some places where people take their politics more seriously. Its life and death.

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  45. boat driver

    haha Adrian ur are a
    rabit female liz made a racist stament she also should adress the baths in silver sands and u also but TEEF from TEEF mek god laugh.

    i would not expecy u to undersyand as u are on yhe same BOAT lol…

  46. judyjudy

    ISLAND GIRL – MAYBE YOU ARE RIGHT

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