Skin Colour, Wealth and Power In Barbados

An excellent piece by Tony Best in today’s Nation News…

Black and White Myths 

… but the one point that nobody in the article mentions is that the terms “black” and “white” are ceasing to have meaning in Barbados as we are surely a nation of mongrels.

And this mongrel could care less about the colour of another puppy’s fur!


Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, Island Life

30 responses to “Skin Colour, Wealth and Power In Barbados

  1. Hants

    “the terms “black” and “white” are ceasing to have meaning in Barbados.

    Sorry but I don’t agree. Those terms will always have meaning. 90% Black and 3% white has meaning.

    It means something to people who have not forgotten the struggle black people have had over the years.

    You don’t have to forget to live in peace harmony and reality.

  2. De Orginal

    What do you expect from a man who thinks that you should pay for all the services that government currently offer to the poor of our country free of charge. Especially when they would never be able to afford them other wise. He the same guy that think ZR’s are fantastic. I find it interesting that he pushing for government privatisation of public transport in total. After they purchased a new fleet of buses. Got news fuh you Dick since we controling the money and the very powerful government.that aint gine happen. Ask also Dick for the governement to release, when asking for land , automobile and house ownership, the value of these indicators. My maths tell me if 12 men own Toyota Corollas valued at 8,0000 Bds and one man own A BMW X5 that valued 284,000 Bds. He controlling more economic wealth than those 12 men. So what might seem on the surface as more black ownership really works out to economically insignificant compared to lesser white ownership.
    But I aint no economist or business owner just a poor black Bajan.

  3. John

    And what if all 13 men owe the BNB for the cars?

    Who control the economic wealth?

  4. De Orginal

    Interesting John check out the Board of Republic Bank.

  5. De Orginal

    More info John just for you any familiar names……..

  6. John

    Cars depreciate rapidly and are not necessarily a sign of wealth.

    Land so far has appreciated and I suppose is a sign of wealth.

    Have you noticed the number of land developments in which BNB is involved?

    It has done really well this year!!

  7. Bajanboy

    Well, it would be interesting to see the degree of correlation between skin colour (not just arbitrary terms such as black and white) and wealth. People like Bizzy and Sir Charles definitely have a “lick of the tar brush”, and judging from the Bizzy’s current girlfriend, future generations of blacks are going to get richer.

    Seriously, whites really do not control the economy. While the average white is better off than the average black, I would be surprised if the 3% of the population who are white account for more than 6% of the GDP. There has been a radical shift of the distribution of wealth from whites to blacks over the past 50 years, and this will no doubt continue

  8. Tony Best Article is nothing more than the recording of Dick Stoute’s OPINION. If we look at wealth as assets minus liabilities i don’t think the picture would be so rosey.

  9. John

    Net worth is a good way to measure wealth too.

    Depends on the valuation of assets and liabilities and can be subjective depending on how the valuations are done.

    If I owned a house today and real estate prices were high if I didn’t have too much of the mortgage left to pay I might consider myself wealthy because I had a high net worth.

    But suppose I still owed the same amount of the mortgage but the bottom fell out of the real estate market, would I be poor because my net worth fell?

    I am still the same me and once I am paying back my mortgage the bank is happy. But would I be happy? How would other people in the same situation as me feel? Would skin colour matter?

    Guess the definition of rich and poor are very subjective and are different from person to person.

    How Bizzy and the girlfriend get in this? You must read Hoad about the merits of turning 64 vs those of turning 65.

  10. Hants

    Bizzy and his girlfriend are “Celebrities” in the Bajan context so they will become targets in the “gossip” arena.

    I say cut them some slack. Bizzy is one of the “good ones”.

  11. Jane


    “If we look at wealth as assets minus liabilities i don’t think the picture would be so rosey.”

    How do you propose that we look at this? It is a secret!

  12. John


    Besides, Bizzy must see alot of Owen and Owen can guide him in the paths straight and narrow.

    All the same, Owen might be busy berating the deviant youth so Bizzy might be on his own.

  13. John

    De Original

    I guess the Ralph S. DeC. Williams, chairman of the BNB must be Bizzy.

    OK, so he is the chairman of the lending agency which finances people to buy land and houses ….. which I guess Williams Industries has for sale, like at Apes Hill.

    How do you interpret this?

    Looks like a marriage made in heaven, a real win win situation.

  14. Bajanboy

    I keep forgetting that the BFP community is really a diaspora. Bizzy Williams and his brother Sir Charles Williams, are two very successful Barbadian businessmen and have nothing to do with BNB. The tongue in cheek point I was trying to make about Bizzy, who is considered white, and his black girlfriend, was that is it becoming harder and harder to make generalisations about blacks and whites in Barbados.

  15. John


    I was going by this link that De Original put in the blog.

    De Orginal
    December 10th, 2006 at 9:04 pm
    More info John just for you any familiar names……..

    I assumed Ralph S. Dec Williams who is listed as chairman was Bizzy. Always thought Bizzy’s proper name was Ralph.

    Apologies for linking Bizzy to the BNB.

  16. John

    Ok, I see, I got it wrong Ralph. S. Dec. williams is chairman of Williams Industries but is only a director at BNB.

    Apologies for saying Ralph S. Dec. Williams was Chairman od BNB. I was wrong.

    ….but are you sure this isn’t Bizzy Williams?

  17. Hants

    Ralph S. DeC Williams, nicknamed “Bizzy”, is Chairman and CEO of Williams Industries Limited

  18. Let us take a guess that the white or whitish sector own thirty percent of the nation’s assets, and those who consider themselves black own the other seventy percent.

    Obviously the black sector own far more and have control. But equally obviously for 3 percent to own 30 percent is disproportionate to their numbers. (If 3 percent is accurate)

    I see it as a historical process. which is making good headway. Plantation owners no longer call the shots. It is Chief Town Planner who can decide whether a nearly bankrupt farm can get approval to develop residential lots, and make a killing.

    So far as 3 percent white is concerned that is only 9,000 men, women and children out of 300,000. If you allow 5 persons per family, that means there are only 1,800 white households which looks low to me.

    If I had to guess I would say 10 percent of the people are “non-black” if you include Syrians and Indians. Could it be that people who are not lily white, but consider themselves to be white, put down “mixed” to be on the safe side? I guess it’s a grey area, or rather a pale brown one.

  19. Hants

    greengage says “Chief Town Planner who can decide whether a nearly bankrupt farm can get approval to develop residential lots, and make a killing.”

    Chief Town Planner is also known to reject small landowners who try to develope some of their land so they can live in dignity in their old age.

    It is quite amazing that one mans agricultural land is another mans Golf Course and Villas.

    Saw the Prime Minister on TV saying we need to catch up to and surpass Bermuda’s 8 Golf Courses and it is about making the best use of the land.

  20. John

    A real pity Owen doesn’t understand the water issue … a real pity!!

  21. John


    Been hearing about those small land holders too. I heard a year or so ago there was/is an issue out in Silver Hill where the landowner or somebody is ready to string the Chief Town Planner up by his two …. well … um …. thumbs.

    There are people out there cursing. But it is a fact, the land was used for agriculture. But then, most land in Barbados was.

    The plan works kind of simple and supplants the Physical Development Plan required by law.

    Permission for change of use is refused and owners, large and small are frustrated. Along comes someone who offers to purchase but subject to TCPO approval.

    Agreement is signed and hey voila, the land which was previously only suitable for agriculture becomes suitable for …. well, ….. anything.

  22. John

    The really sad thing about the corruption of the natural process of development is that the benefits accrue only to the right people and very often the right people haven’t got a clue about reinvesting in Barbados and employing Bajans.

    They are just happy to end up “rich” as measured by plenty of paper money.

    …. but paper money is just that, paper.

  23. ivan taylor

    Phew! this black and white talk does get tiring, the demographics of the system are there for all to see, blacks run the country, blacks run the schools, blacks run the police force, fire, hospitals, government, customs and the list goes on.

    Whats the deal the few whites hang on to whats left. Is there such a thing as black and white or we just see black and white. Don’t we think it’s time to move on and stop looking back .

    We never seem to look foward much and see where we are going or shall we continue to look back and trip on the tracks that we have just walked.

  24. De Orginal

    Ivan Taylor you are most enlightening saw your kind in the Hilary Beckles play “Redemption of Sister Dinah”. If a man forgets his past he is condemned to relive it.

  25. John


    Hilary is a lightweight.

    Read tatanka.

  26. Anonymous


    Who or what is tatanka? sounds like a WWII Japanese general or a really fast motercycle.

  27. John


    “The Boys in the Band”, The Khaki Boys” etc.

  28. De Orginal

    Well I hope all you enpowered blacks that control the businesses and the powerful government as well as Dick Stoute read the Nation Newspaper today. Help the poor. Is this first world Barbados?