Negrocrat Defined

According to Aurelius Smith in a letter to The Nation, no matter what meaning politicians choose to place on the word "Negrocrat", the linguistic root meaning of the word is "to be an exponent or advocate of black-power".

Mr. Smith makes a compelling argument, but whatever the technical meaning, the Barbados politicians who use this foul word intend it to be a racial slur.

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16 Comments

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

16 responses to “Negrocrat Defined

  1. ….and this remains Mr. Smith’s definition of the word and cannot be attributed to Mr. Arthur’s use of it. Mr. Arthur gave his definition and it is in that context alone that we can honestly judge his intentions. It doesn’t even matter that there is proof in Barbadian history of his definition. If his definition differs from yours and you can prove that your definition is accepted by more persons than his then you would only have a case of proving his use of the word to be incorrect. How valid would such proof be anyway?

    …. which definition is right? And why would we continue to ignore the definition the mutterer of the word gave? Are we willing to deny that Languages, like people, have lives? Languages are born, grow, change, and exist to help communicate. They live useful lives, spreading culture, making distinctions, and expressing emotions. The only language that doesn’t change is Latin and this is so because it is dead.

    I wonder why you would ignore Eric “Fly” Sealy’s comments as related by me, and Dr, Waldo E. Waldron-Ramsay’s article in the Nation news paper dated 3/20/06., and go for this one by Mr. A Smith? Well I am not really wondering, maybe you had not intended on being fair and balance on this issue. 😀

    Negrocrat as uttered by Mr. Arthur remains a definition of a concept, a lifestyle, and an attitude. We know this because Mr. Arthur defined what he meant. The only thing left for us who heard him utter it, is to determine if Harold Hoyte’s lifestyle and attitude intersects with Mr. Arthur’s definition.

  2. Steve

    Richie Haynes once said that perception is everything in politics. Feedback in the country suggests that the populace is unhappy with the use of the word; which means that Arthur who should be in the business of building popularity should be very concerned with the ground swell of resentment to the use of the word negrocrat. We as Barbadians dont accept his definition, especially taken in the context of Arthur attacking citizens under the cloak of parlimentary previledge.

    WHERE SHOULD I PLACED MY X?

  3. John

    A friend from Jamaica opined that perhaps the term was being used in the same way as the term “Roast Breadfruit” is used in Jamaica.

    That was what this friend perceived from Mr. Arthur’s mutterances.

  4. Hi Steve: Well according to you Dr.Haynes said such and more recently Peter Wickham has been saying the same thing, indeed perception is really all that matters in determining where people place their X. It is probably as a result of the power of perception in political matters, that some societies has seen the need to protect their democracies from demogues. Perception doesn’t always line up with the facts and the truth, and the facts and truth cannot be determined by perception. We would not need science or find pragmatism, or empirical evidence so attractive if perception was all that was needed. We can continue to applying our difinition over and above the definition of Mr.Arthur then accuse him of meaning what we infer and not what he has stated. To do so is too argue with one self. Maybe i can add this to my list of Barbadian passtimes. Lets see, loves to create a premise, assigned it to someone, then argue against it.

  5. In the interest of clarity and to appease the language mavens, with the misspelt or is it misspelled 😀 “Demogues” I meant DEMAGOGUEs.

  6. John

    What is a maven?

  7. Hi John:

    MAVEN also ma·vin (mā’vən)
    n.
    A person who has special knowledge or experience; an expert.

    DEMAGOGUE also dem•a•gog (dĕm’ə-gôg’, -gŏg’)
    n.
    1. A leader who obtains power by means of impassioned appeals to the emotions and prejudices of the populace.

    INNUENDO (ĭn’yū-ĕn’dō)
    n., pl. -does.
    1. An indirect or subtle, usually derogatory implication in expression; an insinuation.

    In spite of evidence to the contrary, the people, the mob cried give us Barabus, and thus Jesus was imprisoned and condemed to die. Piontius Pilot knowing this to be wrong engaged in the symbolic washing of hands. Yet we continue to say that perception is all that matters.

    …..Is David Thompson a Demagogue????

  8. John

    Adrian

    Thanks for the answer. Here is another question.

    Is it necessary to become a leader and obtain power before one can be labeled a Demagogue?

    If it is, then David Thompson by definition cannot be a Demagogue.

    If it is not necessary, then Barbados is a nation of Demagogues, David Thompson included.

    If only one person can be PM at a time, then attention would have to be focussed on him/her to determine whether or not he/she is a demagogue.

    The only other person besides yourself I have heard obliquely bring Jesus into this debate has been Owen Arthur through his comments reported in the press on his humble origins …….. “son of a carpenter”, ……..”can anything good come out of Nazareth?”. It has been worrying to hear.

    Perception is necessary and it works because all the facts and the whole truth are never available to make decisions.

    Perception is like a sixth sense or a woman’s intuition. Yes it can go horribly wrong but if it even agrees with the Duck test ……… follow your gut instinct. Perceive!!

  9. Question: 1
    Is it necessary to become a leader and obtain power before one can be labeled a Demagogue?
    Answer: 1
    I defer to the definition I have used to define a demagogue. In so doing it clearly states that it is the PROCESS that one uses to become a leader. The Title can only be honestly attributed if TWO criteria’s are met, the process and the position gain. So yes one has to become a leader (any leader)
    Statement: 1
    If it is, then David Thompson by definition cannot be a Demagogue.
    Answer: 2
    …..I don’t think we can make this determination just yet. The definition says LEADER, it did not say leader of a country, a PM or refer to any specific leadership role. David Thompson being the current LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION, and LEADER OF THE DLP, meets that first of two requirements set out in the definition of a demagogue. We should now look at the PROCCESES that was employed to bring into effect, his leadership of these two offices.
    Statement: 2
    If it is not necessary, then Barbados is a nation of Demagogues, David Thompson included.
    Answer: 3
    One can engage in Demagoguery (the process) without becoming a Demagogue (The leader). Indeed the process can be applied to many.
    Statement: 3
    If only one person can be PM at a time, then attention would have to be focused on him/her to determine whether or not he/she is a demagogue.
    Answer: 4
    The PM is not the only “LEADER” in Barbados, and he is not the only one aspiring to be the “LEADER” of the country in the next reconstituted parliament.
    Statement: 4
    The only other person besides yourself I have heard obliquely bring Jesus into this debate has been Owen Arthur through his comments reported in the press on his humble origins …….. “son of a carpenter”, ……..”can anything good come out of Nazareth?”. It has been worrying to hear.
    Answer: 5
    Pray tell what is wrong with drawing an ANALOGY? Biblical stories has been assumed to be unquestionable facts and as such, the have been used for ages, in debates, as point of references to draw similarities to current situations, for the reason of establishing some level of truth.
    Statement: 5
    Perception is necessary and it works because all the facts and the whole truth are never available to make decisions.
    Answer: 6
    Yes agreed, it is how you use your perception that will work. That is if you use it to question, and seek, trying at all times to gather the truth. We have all heard of the Scientific Method, of asking a question, hypothesizing on that question and gathering information to either prove or disprove your tentative answer.
    Statement: 6
    Perception is like a sixth sense or a woman’s intuition. Yes it can go horribly wrong but if it even agrees with the Duck test ……… follow your gut instinct. Perceive!!
    Answer: 7
    The Duck test isn’t very useful in a world filled with deception masquerading as the truth, the masqueraders have figured out how to make almost anything walk like a duck and quack like one etc.

  10. John

    Adrian

    Nothing wrong in drawing an analogy. However be aware that it can also be perceived as “proving a point” by means of impassioned appeals to the emotions and prejudices of the populace by in this case, introducing Biblical stories as unquestionable facts.

    Suppose Mr. Arthur likens his origins to those of Jesus for whatever reason and you liken the application of perceptions by persons who don’t have all the facts and the whole truth to the baying of the crowd for Jesus’ blood instead of Barabas’, one perception could be that this is an appeal to the emotions and prejudices, of the populace.

    A simple minded person trying to observe actuality and without the time or skills to scientifically enquire could interpret this to mean that Mr. Arthur is like Jesus.

    The conclusion from the definition is that both Mr. Arthur and yourself are engaging in demagoguery, but only one of you is a demagogue.

    This conclusion would only be reached by perceptive persons.

    Age, experience and observation make it well nigh impossible for anyone to fail to observe a duck.

    Ooooooops….., come to think of it, Dick Cheney had a mishap the other day!! OK, so it is not 100% foolproof. But for most people, it will usually work. You or I would have realised it was a man masquerading as a duck attempting to deceive.

    Good enough in an imperfect world!!

    Yes, Owen Arthur is not the only leader and yes time will tell if we end up with a demagogue.

    But guess what, we can make it really uncomfortable for anyone trying to practice demagoguery in Barbados by asking questions, seeking the truth and accepting nothing at face value.

    …..and check out science and uncertainty. There is actually an uncertainty principle on which much of modern science is based!!

  11. John

    Oooops … it was actually a quail, not a duck!! So the jury is still out on the duck test!!

  12. There shouldn’t be any reason to “perceived” such, indeed an analogy should be drawn in an attempt to prove a point. Anyone who introduces analogy would do so base on something that is accepted as the truth. Now it wouldn’t make much of an analogy if the mutterer choose atheists, and or other non-Christians for his audience, and if I have done such with this audience then I would admit error. The reality is that in Barbados there is a rich history of Biblical quotes being offered in politics, and by politicians and others, there hasn’t been any misunderstanding then and I will not accept this attempt suggest that they could be some issue now. I will say that there is a consistency of attempting to make hay out of nothing. Negorcrat, Caucasian, and now the use of Biblical stories as analogies.

    Your Statement
    Suppose Mr. Arthur likens his origins to those of Jesus for whatever reason and you liken the application of perceptions by persons who don’t have all the facts and the whole truth to the baying of the crowd for Jesus’ blood instead of Barabas’, one perception could be that this is an appeal to the emotions and prejudices, of the populace.
    ————————————————————————————————–
    My Answer
    I don’t agree with you. This is false from start to finish. Your premise is a supposition, an assumption, that you have no way of verifying. Indeed Mr. Arthur did not liken himself unto Jesus, we have the comment that he made so there is no need to suppose or assume anything, why use a Hypothetical if you already have the answer? I will not engage you on this, one cannot attempt to extract truth from a hypothesis that ignores the truth.
    Your Statement
    A simple minded person trying to observe actuality and without the time or skills to scientifically enquire could interpret this to mean that Mr. Arthur is like Jesus.
    My Answer
    Ha ha haa,…. There similar misguided believe and contempt that socialist elites display for the ordinary man (I am not accusing of being a socialist). This is why to my mind demagoguery is most appealing to socialist/liberals. They can be no mistaking by anyone for any reason that any man alive to day can be Jesus. One does not have to be a practicing Christian, and intelligent being or possess a complex mind, to understand the teaching of the Bible story “Jesus of Nazareth” in fact this is one of the quoting the “scriptures has a rich history and practice in Bajan Politics, because the stories and the many biblical quotes are easily understood by many more persons than any other set of stories.

    Your Statement
    The conclusion from the definition is that both Mr. Arthur and yourself are engaging in demagoguery, but only one of you is a demagogue.
    This conclusion would only be reached by perceptive persons.

    My Answer
    This conclusion is the result of an assumption. No truth can found in it and none should ascribed. In debate one must agree to accept the conclusion of whatever premise they started with. You started with a false premise, an assumption for crying out loud, and I am yet to see someone who can successfully end such an argument on the side of truth.
    ————————————————————————————————–
    Age, experience and observation make it well nigh impossible for anyone to fail to observe a duck.
    A duck? The real bird? Well of course, and all along I thought you referencing a popular saying, and doesn’t that saying end with “It’s PROBABLY a duck” that doesn’t sound like absolute surety to me.
    ————————————————————————————————-

    Your statement
    …..and check out science and uncertainty. There is actually an uncertainty principle on which much of modern science is based!!

    My Answer:
    I agree, is there really such thing as a scientific fact?

  13. John

    Adrian

    Remember what happened recently when a Danish newspaper published some cartoons drawing an analogy? No amount of scientific analysis could have predicted the outcome.

    Religion is an emotional subject and different people perceive it differently. It has been used for centuries to stir people up and launch wars. Enough said.

    Here is another definition of a demagogue. It’s taken from the an SOED published back in the 1960’s. Just goes to show that a mutterer making an impromptu definition still has to consider that a hearer may have a completely different definition in mind and that there is no such a surety as one definition.

    Demagogue : A popular leader, a leader of the mob
    1. In ancient times a leader of the people as against other parties in the state 1651
    2. In a bad sense: a leader of a popular faction, or of the mob; an unprincipled or factious mob orator or political agitator

    The same Shorter Oxford Dictionary does not contain the word maven or mavin nor for that matter does it contain negrocrat!!

    Perception is required and will be used!!

    Ah well, back to the drawing board.

  14. John

    Maven is apparently a relatively new (post 1954) word. Here is one of many sites where it can be investigated.

    http://www.randomhouse.com/wotd/index.pperl?date=20010702

    It seems to have been borrowed from Yiddish which borrowed it from Hebrew where it has much the same meaning as recently put forward.

    A series of TV commercials in 1964 seem to have given it some measure of acceptability, if the site is to be believed.

    Here is a new word the meaning of which seems to flow logically from long use with a similar meaning in two different language. (According to the site!!)

    Negrocrat is apparently a new word as well. It seems logical to put it into the family of words like aristocrat, plutocrat, autocrat, democrat etc. etc. which all are traceable to Greek. These words have logical meanings which can be derived from the use of the associated Greek words.

    Mr. Aureilius Smith, is an ex headmaster and his definition deserves some level of credence. He is merely applying logic to reach a meaning which fits with his experience of the language.

    It is a free world and anyone can make up anything, but Mr. Arthur’s definition does seem flawed.

    It is left to the perceptions of people to determine how they interpret the word from how it is used, and as could be expected, there will be different perceptions. These perceptions will determine how those people react. It really does not matter how the mutterer defines his use.

    Its a free world!!

  15. Hi John:

    YOU SAID:

    Remember what happened recently when a Danish newspaper published some cartoons drawing an analogy? No amount of scientific analysis could have predicted the outcome.

    MY RESPONSE

    At some point in the near future i will layout the time line between the first appearance of the drawings and the calculated events that led to the riots. You will see that science could have in fact predicted the outcome. For now i will say that people’s blind reliance on their perception was prostituted by a few with an agenda, and no i am not talking about the Peter Wickham Poll that declared Thompy as preferred leader of the DLP. 😀

    I not sure what is the utility of providing alternative definitions to the words i have used and that i have given definitions to clarify my intent.

    If i use the word football to reference the American game and you use the same word the reference the world’s most played game as long as we state our definition our communication will not suffer. I will not however, and you shouldn’t either, allow someone to apply their word meaning to you.

  16. John

    If the rioters were perceptive, they could not have been manipulated, if indeed they were.

    They would have needed few, if any of the facts which you no doubt will outline in your timeline to reach a reasoned common sense decision on what to do, and that decision would have depended entirely on the individual assessor of the facts provided.

    A diamond has no value to a poor man in a desert if he is dying of thirst. He perceives a different reality and it is that perception, or perhaps the reality, which motivates him.

    Maybe we both have different word meanings for perception, or perhaps different realities.

    A second definition is useful to show that there are different interpretations put on the same word. The second one also shows that there can be such a thing as a good or a bad demagogue. Depending on the individual, it may or may not be right!!

    I am glad to know that no individual can apply their word meaning to you. This is how it should be. But don’t let a single definition bind you to an interpretation just because it is a definition.

    I find it is useful never to take anything at face value, even if a politician says it!!

    … On second thoughts, make that even into an especially!!

    And don’t worry about the pollsters, life is too short. Last thing I heard they had discovered that no one read the manifestos which the parties provided at huge cost and were trying to figure out why!! They try to make sense out of numbers, and it is their sense.

    Just make sure you have an unbiased coin!!