Daily Archives: November 4, 2006

I Always Thought That By 2006, Barbados Would Be Exporting Engineers, Medical Professionals…

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From an online advertisement…

Job fair in Owen Sound

Looking for a job? Blue Mountain resort is holding a job fair in Owen Sound today. It runs from 10 AM until 4 PM at the Bayshore Community Centre and a number of human resources staff from the Collingwood area resort will be there.

Spokesperson Krista Garbutt says they are looking to fill 600 full and part time positions — from ski lift operators to ski and snowboard instuctors to food and beverage staff.

Blue Mountain also tried something new this year — hiring 20 workers from the island of Barbados for housekeeping at the resort’s numerous hotels.

Blue Mountain Resort

Looks like a nice place to work in Canada. (Link here)

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Caribbean Splash Waterpark Developer Kerins’ Insulting Advert

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Waterpark Developer Blows Brains Out In Public

On Friday, October 13, 2006, Caribbean Splash Waterpark developer Matthew Kerins published a newspaper advertisement titled Let The Truth Be Told – in what I presume was an attempt to persuade the citizens of Barbados that opponents of his water park project are “snakes in a cane field” with a hidden agenda to (I guess) commercialize Graeme Hall themselves and do all sorts of evil.

While Mr. Kerins’ obvious intent was to assist his own water park project, the response to the advert was such that he must now realize that he effectively put a pistol into his mouth and pulled the trigger.

For a week or so, everybody was talking about the advert – even up here in Grape Hall where I am visiting today – and the response was not kind to Mr. Kerins…

“We all be snakes to him”

“Who does he think he is telling us what is democracy and ours is no good…”

“He park his truck in Grape Hall, he be walkin’ back fu sur!”

And even the most damning condemnation of all… “Typical American think he can come here an do as he please. Push peoples around…”

In my experience, Mr. Kerins behaviour is not typical of most Americans – but he certainly does lend credence to the stereotypical image of an American on foreign soil. Mr. Kerins might want to take a week or so and read The Ugly American by William Lederer. Here’s a passage from that book that always stuck with me…

“For some reason, the people I meet in my country are not the same as the ones I knew in the United States. A mysterious change seems to come over Americans when they go to a foreign land. They isolate themselves socially. They live pretentiously. They’re loud and ostentatious. Perhaps they’re frightened and defensive, or maybe they’re not properly trained and make mistakes out of ignorance.”

Kerins Calls For Truth While Hiding The Environmental Studies

Mr. Kerins’ call for “the truth” rings a wee bit hollow considering that he refuses to publish the Environmental Impact Assessment on the web for all Bajans to see. ONE COPY was placed in the library to fulfill the “letter” of the law, but when interested citizens wanted to photocopy passages or even make notes, Mr. Kerins’ corporation claimed “copyright” violations and forbade this. (See BFP’s previous article and associated comments Caribbean Splash Waterpark – Excerpts From “Secret” Barbados Government Report)

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The Most Insulting Statement In Kerins’ Advert…

I can just picture Matthew Kerins angrily hammering away at his keyboard to create this advertisement. Working late into the night at his New Jersey mansion – surrounded by beer bottles and empty packages of Cheeze snacks and potato crisps – taking a swig of watery American beer and finishing with a triumphant howl “There. That will show those snakes in the cane field!”

In his mind, Mr. Kerins has come up with the ultimate threat – put the fear of God into those lowly illiterates in Christ Church. What would those Bajans fear the most? What could turn them against the Nature Sanctuary?

“I’ve got it!” he cried, “Septic Tanks. That’s it. That’s what they fear. Septic tanks!”

And so, knowing that Bajans prefer to live with untreated human waste going into the water table – to have their children play in the foul green rivulets that weep from cracks and under rocks – Mr. Kerins included the threat in his advertisement: that homeowners might be forced to “install costly septic tanks in the future”.

Horrors!

Quite right, Matthew. Bring on the water park. Anything to avoid civilized sanitation standards on Barbados!

We couldn’t print what Auntie Moses said when she read that part of your advert, Matthew. Good luck with whatever country you force yourself on next. Perhaps you will have learned a lesson on Barbados, but somehow, I doubt it.

BFP Reprints Full Text Of Kerins’ Insulting Advertisement

We think that Matthew Kerins’ Let The Truth Be Told advertisement should stand permanently online as a self-evident illustration of the contempt with which Mr. Kerins views Barbados citizens who dare to disagree with his business plans.

To that end, Shona transcribed the advertisement and we have posted both a picture of the advertisement and the transcription on a separate page. (Link here)

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Filed under Barbados, Environment, Offshore Investments, Politics & Corruption

Booker T. Washington – Dependence On Government Is Slavery

“Looking back, writing in 1900, Washington concluded that the end of slavery hadn’t ended subservience. Ever since emancipation, he said, “our people have looked to the federal government for everything, very much as a child looks to its mother.” This dependence was indeed different from slavery. Yet, he said, it was servitude nonetheless.”

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A Bajan In Canada’s NorthWest Province Sends This Article…

A few weeks ago we received an email from “missinghome” – a Bajan who by some trickery of fate finds himself driving construction machinery at the Ekati mine in the NorthWest Province of Canada. I can’t imagine living in such a cold place where the sun only peeks above the horizon for an hour or two a day. Nope – not for me!

But “missinghome” says he is doing fine, making big money and saving it all because “…there is nothing to do here except movies and read.” His goal is to come back home and buy a house and a business within three years – and he says he is on schedule.

Missinghome sent us the following article from the Globe and Mail newspaper. We enjoyed it and hope you will too…

Booker T. Washington – Dependence On Government Is Slavery

Globe and Mail
Sept. 1, 2006

Slavery showed dependence cut both ways

NEIL REYNOLDS

OTTAWA — Booker T. Washington, the American educator and author, was born a slave — “somewhere, at some time” — on a plantation in Virginia. Although the encyclopedia provides a birth date (April 5, 1856), Washington himself says in his autobiography, Up From Slavery, that he never knew exactly when he was born.

The illiterate slaves used single names and slave owners didn’t keep records. His mother, the plantation cook, was Jane. He was Booker. He never knew his father, a white man. His home was a dirt-floor log cabin, 14 feet by 16 feet. His earliest memory was work, and floggings. Looking back in his memoirs, he could recall no time for play. From these “miserable and desolate” circumstances, Booker T. Washington went on to live a life of relentless labour, a life dedicated to the proposition that the way to move up from slavery, from dependence, was to work your way up.

Washington held that slavery imposed nearly as much devastation on masters as on slaves. “Slavery was so constructed as to cause labour to be looked upon as a form of degradation,” he said. “Labour was something that both races on the plantation sought to escape. The slave system took the spirit of self-reliance and self-help out of the white people. My old master had many boys and girls but not one ever mastered a single trade.” And the slaves had no interest in productivity.

When freedom came, Washington said, “the slaves were almost as well-fitted to begin life anew as the master.” He was there himself at the emancipation. A U.S. government official convened all the slaves at the “big house,” and proceeded to read the proclamation.

When he finished, he told them they were now free to go — anywhere. The exultation lasted only a few minutes. Neither slave nor slave owner was ready to end their mutual dependence. Each, oddly, felt pity for the other. In many cases, freed slaves hired on as farm hands with their “old marster” and their “old missus.” Washington’s family, though, trekked 500 miles by foot to work in the salt mines and in the coal mines of West Virginia. Eventually, Washington managed to attend school part-time — although he had already taught himself the alphabet.

At 16, he gained admission to Hampton Institute, a real school. First, without money, he had to get there, a distance of several hundred miles. Then he had to pass an admission test. He was given a broom and told to sweep a classroom. “I knew that this was my chance,” he said. “I swept the room three times. Then I got a dusting cloth and dusted it four times — the woodwork, every bench, table and desk.” He passed. He had worked his way up.

At Hampton, Washington paid his tuition by working as a janitor. A certain Miss Mary Mackie, the principal, sometimes worked beside him — washing windows, dusting rooms. This white woman insisted that the school be kept perfectly clean. Although she came from a wealthy family, she took pride in manual work — and practised what she preached. “Ever since,” Washington said, “I had had no patience with any school that did not teach its students the dignity of labour.”

Washington kept working his way up, becoming principal at age 25 of Tuskagee Institute in Alabama, a school for blacks that made trade instruction mandatory. Many parents protested. (“The longer the titles on the books,” he observed, “the more pleased are the parents.”) He ignored the complaints.

Through his success at Tuskagee, he persuaded great American philanthropists (Standard Oil’s Henry Rogers, Sears Roebuck’s Julius Rosenwald, U.S. Steel’s Andrew Carnegie) to fund thousands of schools for blacks across the country.

In 1895, Washington gave his famous and controversial “Atlanta Address.”

Delivered at the opening of the Atlanta Exposition, and widelyreported across the country, the speech espoused Washington’sconviction that the only way out of dependence, for black or white,was from the bottom up.

“Ignorant and inexperienced,” he declared, “it is not strange in the first years of our new life that we began at the top instead of the bottom — that a seat in Congress was more sought than industrial skills; that the political convention had more attraction than starting a truck garden.

“It is important and right that all the privileges of the law be ours but it is vastly more important that we be prepared for the exercise of these privileges.

“The opportunity to earn a dollar in a factory is now worth infinitely more than the opportunity to spend a dollar in an opera house.”

Looking back, writing in 1900, Washington concluded that the end of slavery hadn’t ended subservience. Ever since emancipation, he said, “our people have looked to the federal government for everything, very much as a child looks to its mother.” This dependence was indeed different from slavery. Yet, he said, it was servitude nonetheless.

And regardless of race or colour or creed, it so remains.

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