Reader Fires Broadside At Bizzy Williams’ Nation News Letter – “Xenophobic, Stupid, Intolerant”

UPDATED: Bizzy Williams’ letter added at the bottom…

Dear Barbados Free Press,

This letter is in response to Mr. Bizzy Williams’ letter to be found on page 13 of the Weekend Nation (May 29, 2009).

Dear Mr. Williams:

Let me say for starters I have not read such a xenophobic piece in a long time. I am a born and bread Bajan who is capable of accurately tracing my roots for over six generations. I am deeply embarrassed that someone with your prominence in our society can pen such utterances.

My wife of over 30 years and three children are not born and bread Bajan, however, they became naturalized citizens of my beautiful country because of my heritage; yet you want to deprive them of a right that they have earned..

If you were to get your way none of my children or my wife would be able to vote in their adopted home country Barbados. This is in spite of the fact that they all pay their taxes on time – inclusive of PAYE, VAT and NIS.

Your intolerance for “foreigners” reminds is no less repugnant than the US’ most notorious media bigots, namely Rush Limbaugh, Bill O-Reilly, Lou Dobbs and Sean Hannity.

Editor's Note: Any man of Bizzy's age who can party until 8am has our respect!

Editor's Note: Any man of Bizzy's age who can party until 8am has our respect!

By the way Mr. Williams, what do you mean by “a culture unlike ours”? May I remind you that culture is a set of patterns and traits exhibited by humans from the time of our existence and such characteristics are often used to define any given period, community, country, ethnic group or class within a respective society. As you can or should appreciate, culture is by no means static and actually it is a very dynamic process which will continue to undergo metamorphosis over time.

Here in Barbados we do not have a homogeneous culture, For the weekly paid construction worker with four children to support will never be able to sip Chivas Regal too regularly much less own a multimillion dollar yacht, however, both you and I are aware of those Bajans in our midst where this is an everyday part of life. There are some of us Bajans who prefer dancing to the dance hall star Buju Banton at Reggae Longue while there are others who prefer a night out taking in the classical violinist Patmore Lewis at Holder’s Plantation House. We are still Bajan in spite of the fact of our differences culturally.

Both you and I know that political parties here in Barbados seldom dance to the tune of the electorate as a matter of fact they are more likely to cow tow to major political financiers. Case in point both parties routinely break election promises following every election.

Mr. Williams I have always credited you with some intelligence, however, you went onto compromise my opinion when you state, “.. everyone (who was born in Barbados) and allowed to vote would at least have grown up in Barbados…”. Do you see the stupidity of such a conclusion? My Brother’s two kids were born in Barbados but migrated from Barbados when they were 3 and 5 respectively and have lived and are still living overseas for the last 20 years. However, if we were to follow your decree my Bajan born but overseas living nephews should be allowed to vote while my non-Barbados born but Bajan by descent kids should never be allowed to vote in the country they have called home for over 25 years. How utterly stupid!!!

Do you realise that if you were given your way most of out Prime Ministers wives (including PM Thompson) would never have been able to vote for their husband’s political party. Mr. Williams it looks as though that your brain was not in gear when you penned your harangue.  .

Mr. Williams how come we never heard a disparaging word from you regarding “foreigners” when Port St. Charles was being conceptualized and built or for that matter Apes Hill and the plethora of other similar projects. Was the conspicuous silence because these foreigners imported a culture that was similar to yours?

May be we are all foreigners for when our ancestors originally “discovered” Barbados some 550 years ago there were unsuspecting indigenous inhabitants that roamed Barbados for centuries who were a lot more welcoming to our fore parents than you are being to our neighbouring CARICOM brothers and sisters.

I consider myself much more culturally compatible to the foreigners you doth vehemently protest about. However, unlike you I am tolerant of the foreigners from both near and far for I see both these groups of people as having the potential to contribute in a positive manner to my beautiful island country called Barbados even it is no more than to diversify our stagnant gene pool.

A Bajan Forever

Letter written by Bizzy Williams…

Reserve vote for born and bred Bajans

5/30/2009

As I see it, the biggest danger to Barbados in allowing foreigners into this island to work and possibly settle is the possibility of a foreign culture being able to determine how we are governed.

There has been non-stop debate about the new Barbados immigration policy announced by our Government in the press and on the call-in programmes, but I have not heard anyone articulate this possibility.

Barbados has traditionally been governed by the BLP or the DLP. The support for these two parties is pretty even and in most cases, seats in an election are won or lost by a small percentage of votes cast. If therefore we allow in and grant residency to foreigners whose culture is unlike our own, we could easily end up with a small percentage of our population that embraces a culture unlike ours determining the outcome of our national elections.

This to my mind is an extremely dangerous possibility because knowing this, our political parties would tend to be very accommodating to the interests of these new residents at the expense of the interests of the wider Barbadian-born population.

The solution to this potential problem is simple. We should only allow people who were born in Barbados to vote in our elections. This would ensure that the shift to the control of the island by a foreign culture would be much slower and everyone who is allowed to vote would at least have grown up in Barbados and had the opportunity to embrace our culture.

I hope this suggestion will be implemented and that its implementation will put to rest the fears of born and bred Bajans who are concerned over losing our homeland to foreigners.

BIZZY WILLIAMS

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44 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, Human Rights, Immigration, Race

44 responses to “Reader Fires Broadside At Bizzy Williams’ Nation News Letter – “Xenophobic, Stupid, Intolerant”

  1. Gio

    Can we see a link to the original article if possible.

  2. reality check

    “A bajan forever”

    well put

    over to you Bizzy?

    A little less rum and a little more forethought.

  3. 199

    “stagnant gene pool”?? Dat’s hard, Bizzy, but is it true??

  4. Hants

    Yes Bizzy. guh down by Fairchild street bus stan fridy nite and try an learn sum real new Bajan culcha.
    If yuh waan ol time Bajan culcha come to Toronta.
    We ol time Bajans up hey en change much.
    Still eating turnovers and puttin n souse.

    Tank goodness wanna still got Lowdown down dey.

  5. 199

    So is d gene-pool stagnant in Toronto, or Barbados?? Which!!

    Lord!!

  6. Hants

    The gene pool is diversifying but de Bajan culcha dominating.

  7. zion1971

    Excellent article bajan forever.

  8. 199

    So, Hants, what r the merits of either!!

  9. Anon

    I tip my hat to you Bizzy.

  10. 199

    I don’t think anybody can answer dah! I think that’s too, tough a question for any Barbadian to answer!

  11. 199

    Does this imply I shoud n’t be allowed to vote in British elections having grown up and lived here for countless years??

  12. PiedPiper

    Bizzy is absolutely right. Do you want your election process and country sold out to a minority whose votes can be so easily bought?

  13. Hants

    There is already a voting block by fairchild street bustand on friday night.

    A lot of people chose to misunderstand Bizzy.
    Imagine 20,000 people who “keep to themselves” and how easily they can be led to vote for the candidate who will give them lobbying power.

    I may be wrong but I see no evidence that the large immigrant communties in Barbados are integrating.
    Multiculturalism……just like Canader eh!

  14. JQ

    Whilst Bizzy’s suggestion may seem extreme, it makes sense considering what has happened in places like Fiji.

  15. skinteeth

    Paragraph 6 Sunday Nation May 24th/09:

    ” The Auditor General said there was no evidence to suggest data on people remaining in Barbados without permission had been requested or analysed by the department’s management on a systematic basis for the purpose of decision making “.
    reference to period 2006 to 2008.

    Ok. So we have a policy anyway. It is my sincere hope that this policy will work based on the supposed fact that the socio and economic problems associated with illegals are too numerous for us to carry ,not clouded with xenophobic and racist trappings. It was ok to have nurses come from Nigeria, help us in our hospital and then for us to degrade and shame them with innuendos about AIDS. And more importantly when our economy turns around not looking to Guyana or the islands to come and work here legally or illegally when it suits our wishes. We can’t have the cake and eat it. We need to get off our lazy backsides and be more self critical .

  16. yatinkiteasy

    I dont understand how implementing Bizzy`s suggestion could “put to rest the fear of born and bred Bajans who are concerned about losing our homeland to foreigners”..
    Its not the ability to Vote that is causing us to lose our land (almost all seaside land too) to foreigners…it is greedy real estate Developers, and the lack of Laws to prohibit or restrict foreign ownership of property in Barbados that is causing us to lose our homeland.
    Get real Bizzy Williams..but then again , it can be easily identified who is gaining from this sale of “our homeland”..the signs are up on all the projects!…Jada, Cow Williams construction, Preconco, etc etc..
    You ain`t fooling me with this red herring!

  17. Sargeant

    First of all let me state that I have dual citizenship; Barbados and the country where I currently reside. I always exercise my democratic right of voting at election time whether it is Municipal, Provincial or Federal. If Bizzy wants in on the Immigration debate he should advocate that the Gov’t enforce the laws that are on the books rather take away the rights of any citizen to vote. Wouldn’t such a measure be an infringement of someone’s Human rights? I am sure that the UN would take a dim view on any such action.

    Why not put laws on the books that will penalize any employer who hires illegal immigrants?. Illegal immigrants stay because they can find work and employers hire them for various reasons and I’m sure that wages are among the criteria taken into account. If a few employers are fined for hiring illegal workers the rest would soon wisen up. Any way it is Bajans like Bizzy who want to have it both ways they want cheap labour and limited or restricted immigration.

    Bizzy you will have to make a choice.

  18. red herrings

    bizzy is throwing out red herrings. the real threat which has actually to a large extent been realised is the sale of our prime land to foreigners. bizzy and his fellow wealthy barbadians have benefitted from this sale so he won’t talk about this! why doesn’t he speak about the influence that rich foreigners and rich barbadians have over politicians and government policy, espcecially policy related to land ownership and development.

  19. Bajan Girl

    It is laughable that Bizzy Williams wrote such a letter, considering he and his brother, CO Williams, are two of the main culprits responsible for selling much of Barbados’ land to foreigners and enticing foreigners to come to Barbados. They never seem concerned about “born and bred Bajans” to me when they are raking in millions from real estate transactions with foreigners. Their greed has been passed down to the next generation. Bizzy’s daughter Natalie and her husband, Harry Manning, own a real estate company called Harry Manning Associates that, according to its website, represents “the dynamic Barbados villas market to investors and holiday-makers from Europe, the UK, the USA and Canada.” I have often thought that the Williams brothers appear to be more comfortable with foreign Whites than “born and bred” Blacks. I have a suspicion that Bizzy is only concerned about immigrants of color. He thinks they have “cultures that are unlike our own.” He doesn’t have a problem with Europeans, White Americans, and Canadians, whom he and his family cater to. Of course Bizzy is married to a much younger Black woman now, but that can be attributed to a midlife crisis and not necessarily a love for Black folks.

  20. J

    I am quoting Bizzy Williams EXACTLY as reported in the Nation of Friday 20th May 2009, page 13:

    “the solution to this potential problem is simple. We should allow only people who were born in Barbados to vote in our elections”

    So Bizzy would deny my Little Johnny the right to vote because he wasn’t born here? Even though Johnny was born of one Bajan parent and one Caricom parent and has lived in Barbados from 5 to 25.

    Question to Bizzy and whoever else feels like answering: At what point would my foreign born Little Johnny become Barbadian enough in order to vote here? Would 20 years be enough? 40 years? 100 years? Would paying taxes in Barbados for 40 years be enough? 50 years? 100 years?

    Does Bizzy really believe that creating a class of people permanently excluded from the vote would be a good thing for Barbados?

    And how would we justify collecting a lifetime’s worth of taxes from these people?

    And does Bizzy believe that these immigrants would happily pay taxes in Barbados for a lifetime even while being denied the vote and necessarily other civil rights?

    And how about my sister or brother who migrated from Barbados at age 5 and has lived in a foreign land for 50 years. Would these people be able to vote in Barbados under Bizzy’s plan? Even though they don’t live here, and even though they have never paid 5 cents worth of taxes here?

    Tek ya time Bizzy and when you have though about it you can give me a well REASONED answer.

    I waiting pun ya.

    I hope that Bizzy understands that if his idea is implemented that the foreign born David Thompson could not vote in Barbados and therefore could not be Prime Minister (or course some may argue that that would not be a bad thing)

  21. 199

    J, I should like to see a qualifying period of say, 10 years of living in Bim before a person could vote and secure my right to become PM, eventually!!

  22. queenam

    @yatinkiteasy. May 31, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    I totally agree. Bajans should be the only ones who may own property in Barbados. All others should lease. It is done in St. Lucia, Bermuda, Trinidad and Antigua etc. It is just a matter of amending laws. What’s so difficult about that? Would these political parties for once take a look down the road to what they are leaving for our great-grandchildren? Look at the issue with Maxwell Plantation. Chinese bought the property, is building condos at a huge profit and putting small families at a disadvantage. But they can do that because our law allows anyone to come and buy as long as you have the money. The banks too give out huge loans to foreigners who are not even citizens on the basis that they have bought some property in Barbados and want to develop it – yet they have no citizenship, nothing to really prove who they really are and some are just here on a visitor’s visa. But they can do that because the banks feel more comfortable putting their trust in an unknown rather than a Bajan. Colonialism still exists.

  23. BajanAuthor

    J:
    I was waiting for someone to bring up the fact that following Bizzy’s idea would disqualify the current prime minister. But, it also pertains to other members of the present administration. I guess Bizzy isn’t aware of these foreign-born bajans who’re contributing to our development.

  24. Sargeant

    @J

    • So Bizzy would deny my Little Johnny the right to vote because he wasn’t born here? Even though Johnny was born of one Bajan parent and one Caricom parent and has lived in Barbados from 5 to 25.
    **********************************************
    There is a word for people who try to talk through both sides of their mouth, I won’t use that word but I’ll say that you want to have your cake and eat it too. You are on record here and on BU advocating the denial of certain rights to Bajans who have lived overseas for a period of time. Now here you are taking Bizzy to task because he would deny certain rights to naturalized Bajans. Essentially you and Bizzy are on the same page you both would deny Barbadian citizens basic rights the only difference is your approach.

    The following formed part of my response to you on the subject in a previous post:

    “Since you feel so strongly about the matter could you get your MP to sponsor a bill which sets out the policy under which these Barbadians can return and enjoy access to health or other facilities. It can be based on the time away e.g. after five years-access permitted;10 years away- access grudgingly permitted ;15 years away- fill out an application so we may consider it; after 30 years don’t even bother applying-stay the hell away we don’t even want to bury you in Bim”.

    Interestingly I noticed that you asked Bizzy to provide a time limit on when naturalized Bajans would be allowed to vote I won’t say you borrowed the analogy from me but “imitation is the best form of flattery”

    Rights are rights are rights, you either have them or you don’t

  25. littleboy

    Wunna Bajans does mek muh laugh!!!
    Bizzy’s brother Cahrles Othneil Williams is married to a NON BARBADIAN…Bizzy does not want her to vote…hah ha ha!!!
    David Thompson PM was born in England…Bizzy does not want him to vote…hah ha ha…
    Alison Hinds and KB Kleen were born in England…Bizzy does not want them to vote…hah ha ha…
    Esther Byer-Suckoo’s mother was born in Trinidad…Bizzy does not want her to vote…hah ha ha…
    Maybe the rum and coke was mixed a little too strong…lighten up and forgive whoever the person is that mixed the drink for Bizzy…hah ha ha

  26. kiki

    Pack up your baggage and leave
    Africa is for the Africans
    Jamdown for the Jamdownians
    London for the Londonians
    America is for the Americans
    Canada for the Canadians
    Step it out of Babylon
    Step it into Zion

  27. Mike Ashby

    I am very impressed that Mr. ‘Bizzy’ William’s letter has created such a firestorm. It has been RIGHTLY characterized as a “red herring” by many of you. But that does not mean that it does not have a valid purpose. There are a lot of like-minded people (Bajans) that share Mr. William’s sentiments. The problem here is that shift the focus away from the actual problem.

    The main problem as stated by Nicholas Cox (caribbeannetnews, 6/2/2009) is “The ambitious policy, aimed at ridding Barbados of the estimated tens of thousands of illegal Caribbean residents, mainly Guyanese, living and working in Barbados was announced by Prime Minister David Thompson on May 6th.”

    That is what all this effort should be geared towards. Not whether one particular Bajan sector benefits more than others from the current state of affairs. Once that question is addressed, then the larger question of, What is Barbados’ role in addressing the socio-economic disadvantaged within the wider Caribbean region as it relates to standing CARICOM agreements?

  28. Hants

    Barbados has a Tourism and Offshore banking economy.

    Unless we create a new land mass we cannot sustain a construction industry to accomodate
    a larger population.

    This recession should be a wake up call.

    Thousands of illegals will be unemployed by the end of this year and they can’t collect welfare.

    What next?

  29. Mike Ashby

    My sentiments Hants, you are right on all counts. Therefore, THIS IS A PROBLEM and we HAVE to address the end-result of this situation. There is no reason not to proceed with the proposed policy. At this stage, this has nothing to do with the 2001 RTC or CSME. As pointed out in the 2008 AG report, there were 15,803 work permits issue over the last 2 years. To date, there are only 328 individuals and 33 businesses applying for entry under the provisions of CSME/RTC.

    This is information both Dr. Gonsalves and Mr. Jagdeo should have acquainted themselves with before running their mouths. Furthermore, anecdotal reports indicate that there is probably between 1 and 2 times that amount without the necessary basis to remain in the country. Something that the CSME makes the provision of deportation for.

    This is a domestic policy that is the responsibility of the local government to address as soon as possible. Future inadequacies in the current policy can be addressed as they arise. A by-product of this whole process should be the COMPLETE overhaul of both the Immigration and Customs Departments, including removal of ineffective incompetence staff.

    In this day when everyone is shouting about terrorists/terrorism, Barbados has drag its foot on this issue and is therefore in no position to speak to others on the issue of security (B’dos is ‘supposed’ to be a leading voice in the RSS) when we have non-existing ports-of-entry.

    Again, while the 2008 AG report underscores the ineptitude and incompetence in this so very important an area, It should also be noted that because of the lack of reliable information from government departments, this report in no way gives the whole picture.

  30. DNewsam

    @quenam – Sorry, you are not entirely correct. Foreigners can own land in Bermuda. They are restricted in that they can only purchase property which is over a certain value thus the property which is affordable to the Bermudans cannot be purchased by a foreigner. A Bermudan can purchase any property that he/she can afford.
    I think foreigners can also own land in St Lucia once they are granted an alien’s land holding license, which I think is also the case in St Vincent.
    Restricting who can purchase land has its own dangers and hardships so it is not something any Government should do without a lot of thought.
    Bizzy makes some good points but his letter does not cover the matter thoroughly. The reply also makes good points but allows biases to flavour its tone a bit too much.
    Controlling who can or cannot vote is a difficult matter. There should be no taxation without representation is still a valid guideline.

  31. Avatar Gurl

    OREOOOOOS…so good with milk!

  32. 740

    to me if ya pay taxes,work and LIVE in a country u should be allowed to vote,govt gets pay by de tax dollars they dont ask if de money from a bajan or vinci etc.

  33. PiedPiper

    Fortunately, 740, few would agree with you. Casting your vote during elections is one of the single most important things a CITIZEN of any country can do. The right to vote should always be tied to CITIZENSHIP which in most countries is not granted for a number of years, no matter how long you have been paying taxes. 740, you seem to be implying that somehow paying taxes, which supports and pays for the education of your children, if you have any, pays for your ability to go to a poly clinic and receive health care, should also include the ability to “buy” a vote. By taking this position, you cheapen and denigrate the election process.
    740, when you have legally obtained your residency status, lived and worked in Barbados long enough to learn the history of Barbados, to know of the many men and women who dedicated their lives to the service of Barbados, to understand the mind-set of Barbadians and how they have a healthy respect for a society that is run on law and order, then maybe, you can apply for and qualify for Barbados Citizenship and in turn achieve the right to vote.

  34. J

    Bajans immigrants to Ontario can vote in local and provincial (but not federal) elections as soon as they have landed.

    I agree with 740 if the government is taking my tax money then maybe I should be permitted to vote.

  35. Sargeant

    @J

    That is not true, you must be a Canadian citizen to vote in any provincial or municipal election in Ontario.

  36. Hants

    To vote in an Ontario election you must be

    •a Canadian citizen

    •at least 18 years old on polling day

    •a resident of the electoral district.

  37. J

    Hants wrote “Barbados has a Tourism and Offshore banking economy. Unless we create a new land mass we cannot sustain a construction industry to accomodate a larger population. ”

    So Hants you don’t believe that it is possible to turn construction workers into tourism and offshore workers?

    So how is it then that in the 1950’s 60’s the British turned cane cutters into bus and train conductors and drivers; and maids and clerks into registered nurses?

    I think that Barbados should keep all the healthy young workers that it has and ramp up education and training so that immigrants can become good successful Bajans.

    This business of deporting healthy, willing young WORKERS is foolishness and we will live to rue the day.

  38. Hants

    J you trying to fool Willie D?
    nex ting yuh kno he up hey at a pollin station trying to mek he X wid landed imuhgrunt papers.

  39. J

    Hants my sister-in-law who live up by you told me herself that in 1960 they (the Bajan authorities then) told her that she was “lucky” because she had only gone to elementary school to get a job as a clerkist on Swan Street. And for a while she believed them.

    Then the British turned her into an excellent registered nurse and the Canadians into a head nurse on a neurosurgical ward; one of the best in your fair city.

    So why can’t we do the same with a Guyanese maid or construction labourer?

    Where there is no VISION the people perish.

  40. Hants

    J says “it is possible to turn construction workers into tourism and offshore workers?”

    Anything is possible but sometimes illogical.

  41. J

    Hants and Sargeant you are right and I am wrong with regard to Ontario elections.

  42. J

    Explain why it is illogical.

  43. Hants

    Your sister in law made herself the success that she is.

    Was she an illegal immigrant?

    I think not.

  44. we culture

    Bizzy Williams is a bajan, he has a right to his opinion, Barbados must control the influx of foreign nationals to our shores, Canada just open some oil fields in Guyana, so i assume the Guyanese will return home, and the son of the soil, will rid bim of the money launders. so pay good attension to BIZZY. He is our boy. drunk or sober.