Tag Archives: Barbados Race and Culture

What it feels like to be Mixed Race?

BFP:

Race permeates everything in Bim. It’s always there even when not visible – always hiding just below the horizon. The politicians bring it out appropriately or not, and often with the intent of causing division or distraction.

But we have to admit, it’s not like the old days even if some folks wish it were so. It was much easier to be a politician in Barbados when all you had to do to deflect valid criticism was to say “whites!” or “curry boys!”.

Jody is a mixie Brit with Bajan heritage. Here’s what she says…

Originally posted on Thoughtful Scribbles:

Someone recently asked me what it felt like to be mixed race and this made me realise, I’ve never really written before about my own ethnicity and culture. Firstly we have the term mixed race – before anyone gets all political with this, mixed race is a term I feel completely comfortable with. Now however, we are supposed to say dual heritage instead, just as we are no longer supposed to say half caste which I do find offensive, along with half-breed. I have been called all of these names (and worse).

download (4)I have a British white parent (a mixture of English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh), and a black Caribbean parent whose own parents are from Barbados. Both my parents are British. My Caribbean grandparents emigrated from the West Indies in the early 1950s as the UK is the mother country of Barbados and the British government asked them to…

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Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson: “Catch a Nigger by the toe, when he squeals…”

UPDATED May 7, 2014: Poll closed due to organised campaign to support Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson

Did Top Gear or Jeremy Clarkson hire some backroom operation to change the results of BFP’s poll? That’s a definite possibility.

BFP’s poll asked if our readers could hearing Clarkson saying the word ‘nigger’ in the YouTube video. For the first few days the results were running about 90% yes… but then we saw dozens and dozens of ‘no’ responses coming from two IP numbers in the UK, where the people involved were obviously conducting an organised effort to change the results of the poll in Clarkson’s favour.

Naughty, naughty!

So we’ve frozen the poll where it ended up, but our readers should know that the displayed result doesn’t reflect the actual views of BFP’s readers that is running about 90% ‘yes’ and 8% ‘no’ and 2% ‘can’t tell, too drunk to care’.

Cliverton

“Einee meenie miney moe…”

“There’s a slope on it…” (Clarkson as an asian man walks on a bridge. YouTube video below.)

And we haven’t even told you about Clarkson’s Nazi salute or his black dog named after a black footballer.

Is Jeremy Clarkson unthinking, always over the line… or truly a racist?

I haven’t decided for myself as yet, but here are a few tidbits for your consideration – including an apology excuse from Clarkson.

Is the BFP crew going to the TopGear festival at Bushy Park? You bet! We wouldn’t miss it for anything… no matter what Mr. Clarkson thinks or says about the colours of our skins.

Jeremy Clarkson’s apology excuse

Hey… no matter what he says about mumbling, I hear the word ‘Nigger’ clear ’nuff in the video at the top of this post. How about you?

Further Reading and Viewing…

UK Mirror: Jeremy Clarkson’s previous ‘race rows': From black dogs and Nazi salutes to Lenny Henry

UK Mirror: Video: Watch Jeremy Clarkson use n-word in unseen Top Gear footage

The Guardian: Jeremy Clarkson ‘begs forgiveness’ over N-word footage

Jeremy Clarkson: Twitter feed with apology excuse.

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When only a white could Captain the West Indies Cricket Team

“I am of the firm belief that whatever is for you in this world, it will come to you. Nobody can stop it; they might be able to delay it somewhat, but they do not have the power to prevent it coming to you.”

Earle Clarke

Sir Frank Worrell

Sir Frank Worrell

When John Goddard resigned after skippering the West Indies team during the 1950 tour to England (video), some hoped that a black would finally be selected to lead – based on talent and leadership abilities, not skin colour. But it was not to be.

Don’t forget: this was an era when only white reporters were allowed to cover events in the Courts of Barbados, and when a person of colour could not eat at the yacht club let alone become a member.

It was another ten years before Frank Worrell (above) became Captain during the 1960-61 “Down Under” tour.

Earle Clarke remembers that it wasn’t all about cricket…

Leadership

by Earle Clarke

Some years ago, I wrote an article containing information which I will use today. In that article, I was trying to show the discrimination in the West Indies Cricket Team against Black captains from the inception of West Indies Cricket on the world stage, but, in today’s column, I will point out the qualities that make good leaders, using the same West Indies Cricket Team as an example. In the 1950’s when I was able to understand the game of cricket, it dawned on me that, although there was a goodly number of black players on the team, it had to be captained by a white man, especially cricket teams which hailed from the sister island of Barbados.

I could well remember listening to a cricket series, England vs West Indies in England in 1950 when I attended the Basseterre Boys’ School at Victoria Road, where all of us from the New Town area would end up receiving lashes from the Head Master for late coming, because we stopped by Pappy, a Taxi Service place right in front of Lime’s office on Cayon Street to listen to the game.

In those days, poor people like us could only listen to radios in the rum shops or by Mr. Pappy on our way to and from school. I remember that the West Indies was skippered by a white Barbadian named, John Goddard. John Goddard resigned after the tour in 1950 to England and Dennis Atkinson another white Barbadian was selected as captain. Continue reading

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Lawyer Mark Goodridge named Queen’s Counsel – How many previously “Most Wanted by Police” are awarded QC?

QC mugshot?

QC mugshot?

Lawyer Mark Goodridge named Queen’s Counsel

“The honour which you have garnered has come at the price of your continued respect of the court system in which you work and of which you have been officers since the date of your admission to practise law,” Sir Marston told them.

“Those junior to you in years called, and in years born, will look to you for guidance and leadership. They must continue to receive it and to see it demonstrated, not only in your words, but in your actions, particularly in your respect for Her Majesty’s judges and her courts,” he said.

And with the words: “May I invite you to take your seat at the Inner Bar?”Sir Marston welcomed Deputy Solicitor General Donna Brathwaite, Speaker of Parliament Michael Carrington, Brian Clarke, Stephen Farmer, Hal Gollop, Mark Goodridge, Deputy Clerk of Parliament Nigel Jones, Milton Pierce and Stephen Walcott as new QCs.

Full story at The Nation Show Respect to Judges

I can’t remember what the end story was about Mark Goodridge…

There was some controversy about him back in 2006. Mark Goodridge and his son were charged with a racial attack on a young black man on his property, but then it all faded away without any public announcement that I saw. What was the ultimate disposition of all the happenings? Does anyone remember… because I can’t find it on the internet.

Barbados Free Press story published October 16, 2006 – Barbados Lawyer Wanted For Beating Of Teen – Thoughts Of Racial Tension, White Privilege & Black Attitudes

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Venus the cat reminds me of our Barbados

Does Gline Clarke appreciate this viral YouTube video?

Can any of us on this rock of mongrels call themselves racially pure? As those of us who have traveled know, what passes for white skin on this island is called coloured or black in some other places. That’s why racists like former Government Ministers Gline Clarke and Elizabeth Thompson are constantly inserting foot into mouth. To Clarke, Thompson and their racist ilk, skin colour is always placed ahead of any other personal traits.

So here’s Venus the cat: like Bim she’s a little of this and a little of that – but all those different coloured hairs make just one cat.

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Barbados Aquatic Club in the old days: A good place for some…

An old friend sent us this photo of the Barbados Aquatic Club. We have no idea who took the photo or owns it, so if it’s your photo and there’s a problem please let us know.

There was a time when the Aquatic Club was one of those places like the Yacht Club where our own Auntie Moses was welcome to clean the toilets or work in the kitchen – but when it came to swimming, sailing or having a rum punch on the outlook, well that was something else. “Europeans Only” thank you, was the reality for far longer than many on this island care to admit. Even after independence it took a while to change the political and economic reality. In the 1970s worthwhile employment opportunities at the banks still listed “European Experience preferred” as a code phrase.

In truth fear was a catalyst during the 1960’s too. It wasn’t like everyone just decided to get together and sing “Kumbaya” one evening after independence. The white plantation class were more than a little worried about “things getting out of hand.” Some very prominent white folks moved to Australia at the time, and I truly hope they and their descendants are doing well.

But… after so many years of mixing who was or is “white” on this rock?

Now it is class division, not race…

…that maintains the curtain that kept Auntie Moses in the kitchen back when Frankie Sinatra hid in the walk-in cooler.

Oh, there are those who love to keep the racial divisions alive on this island of mixed breed mongrels. Owen Arthur is one. Liz Thompson is another, but there are many more prominent Bajans who have profited from race-baiting. Mostly BLP I think, but there are enough examples elsewhere and that’s true too.

So we bring you the photo of the Aquatic Club, and a few lines from another old friend at Oxford, who recounts how Grantley Adams could only drop off his white wife at the Aquatic Club – but was unwelcome to enter himself. Times must have been different for Mrs. Adams to attend when her husband was unwelcome. Very different times fuh sure!

Leisure spaces – including churches – were segregated. The large hotels, the haunts of white society, excluded black people (except as workers), and clubs such as the Yacht Club or the Aquatic Club, and certain cricket clubs, were exclusively for a white membership. Grantley Adams, a coloured, English educated lawyer – who later rose to prominence as the first black Prime Minister* of Barbados – had an English wife. 18 ‘At that time’ Neville recalled,

“She was a member of the Aquatic Club in Bay Street and Grantley was not a member, he was a black man, he wasn’t a member, but she had that privilege as a white woman to be a member of the Aquatic. And Grantley would carry her to the Aquatic Club, drop her there and turnaround and come back down the road [laughs]. Tell me when you’re ready and I’ll come back and pick you up when you go…He drop her there. That is your thing. You belong to that club. I’ll put you there, you come back when you’re ready to come, call me and I’ll come back and pick you up.”

PDF download: Memories of Race and the Formation of Nation: Barbados 1937-1967
Mary Chamberlain Oxford Brookes University

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