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