Kammie Holder: Are we fooling ourselves about being Independent?

What is your mirror image?

by Kammie Holder

Barbados as a sovereign nation became independent from Britain 44 years ago. As an island we have achieved much in the last 44 years, thanks to the foresight of our past leaders. Most Barbadians, enjoy a standard of living which is the envy of many of their neighbors and others. Free bus fare for school children, free lunch for primary school children, free health care and free education.  How much better can it get? A per capital income of $19,300 and a Human Development Index Rating of 42 out of 169 countries.

However, have our progress and successes blinded us from being strict guardians of our fate?

Probably a case of complacency and ignorance replacing Pride & Industry! Many man hours lost due to water outages and construction work being carried out on highways during peak traffic. Some may complain about my highlighting of the creeping cracks which threatens our accomplishments over the last 44yrs, but my responsibility is to my son and to Bajans not born yet. Therefore I will never forfeit my right to freedom of speech and expression; too many of us want to win a fight without fighting! Take a look in the mirror and ask yourself who or what am I fighting for.

In 2010 we have the major telecommunications companies being foreign owned. Where are the local black businessmen who brag about how much money they have? The power company is about to be gobbled up by a Canadian Corporate giant whose only motive may be supernormal profits. Will the Barbados Water Authority be next?

Why would we consider a Waste to Energy plant in Barbados with the toxic Dioxin being a byproduct, when we can utilize the free sunshine we receive 300 days a year for energy generation.

How much smarter are we in our 44th year of Independence? Where are the investigative journalists in our 44th year of independence or is it a case of media houses putting commercial interests before reporting relevant news?

It’s a sad reflection in 2010 of who we are, after government spends so much money on education, to think there are no locally owned Banks in Barbados – and most are headed by foreigners. Oh how things have changed as black Barbadians were employed in the Banks from the late 60`s now to be relegated in 2010 to be just employees. Banks, still find it easier in 2010 to give the working class persons loans to purchase cars easier than for land purchase. After 44 years of Independence or semi independence we still have a Governor General.

Why are we in 2010 in the 44th year of Independence producing so many academics that are ignorant entrepreneurially? Are we fooling ourselves about being Independent or are we so caught up with Americanism and its corporate culture rather than its entrepreneurial culture.  Every black and white Barbadian should seek to plant the seed of hope and promise for the future.

I am the result of black defiance from Bussa, Marcus Garvey, Rosa Parks, Errol Barrow, Grantley Adams, Samuel Jackman and Clement Payne making a stand.

Black Barbadians are the conclusion of 400 years of resistance. Every Barbadian Black and Redleg are the descendants of hope and inspiration of past black generations. We are the exclamation point at the end of every civil rights speech from “I have a dream” to “By any means necessary.” Barbadians of all classes’ race or creed must co-exist in peace and harmony and those entrusted with our heritage must ensure a fair share for all.

Thus I say, let us work together to rectify these social creeping cracks before it’s too late. Let’s be inspired by the beauty of our history and inspire our families with Courage, Strength, Unity and Pride.  However, I dare say our culture must be maintained and we must never surrender our culture to those who have made Barbados their home.

Author: Kammie Holder
Editor: Ms Roberta Walcott

 

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26 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, History

26 responses to “Kammie Holder: Are we fooling ourselves about being Independent?

  1. bob

    What is all of this foolishness about knighthoods? One would figure that Barbados should have as its primier award, an indigenous honour, not some silly British one. It does not say much for the leaders of this country, all of whom appear to be sycophants of the British.
    Bob.

  2. "Independent" and proud of it?

    We’ve been fooling ourselves for four decades!

    We’ve been fooling ourselves that we “won independence from Britain”
    -not that Britain was sick to death of its too-many poor children hanging around
    and decided to dump the lot of us, to stand on our own two wobbly non-self-sustaining feet..

    Independence has ALWAYS meant financial independence
    and only one West Indian territory can come close to that
    and that island is Trinidad (without poor child millstone Tobago
    who likewise is non-self-sustaining)

    We belong to Trinidad, to the IMF and soon to belong to China.
    That is our grim economic/financial/independence reality, sorry!

  3. Jack Bowman

    This would have been a decent post … if it had contained more answers than questions, and if it had been written in, say, 1978.

    Mr. Holder claims that “too many of us want to win a fight without fighting!” He invites us to “take a look in the mirror and ask yourself who or what am I fighting for.” I took a look in the mirror, Mr. Holder, and I don’t know who or what you’re fighting for. I dare say nobody else does, either, because in 650 words you never actually get around to telling us. You ask a lot of questions, several of which are worth asking, but none of which you answer.

    It’s easy to ask questions, Mr. Holder. The hard bit is providing answers.

    “Where are the local black businessmen who brag about how much money they have?”
    I don’t know. Do you?

    “The power company is about to be gobbled up by a Canadian Corporate giant whose only motive may be supernormal profits. Will the Barbados Water Authority be next?”
    I don’t know. Do you? If so, will you tell us?

    “Why would we consider a Waste to Energy plant in Barbados with the toxic Dioxin being a byproduct, when we can utilize the free sunshine we receive 300 days a year for energy generation”?
    I don’t know. Do you? And why say “utilize” instead of “use”? What’s the point?

    “Where are the investigative journalists in our 44th year of independence …?”
    I don’t know. Do you?

    “Why are we in 2010 in the 44th year of Independence producing so many academics that are ignorant entrepreneurially?”
    I don’t know. Do you? A question at least as important (and, indeed, intimately related): why are we in our forty-fourth year of independence producing such an absurd number of time-serving, low-productivity civil servants to manage an administrative apparatus serving a grand total of 270,000 people? How many civil servants run the supranational apparatus of the European Union (population: more than 500 million)?

    The “I-ask-the-hard-questions” rhetorical device only works in very small portions, Mr. Holder. For a short time it can seem like keen analysis to the uninitiated, but very soon it looks like rubbish even to a dunce.

    Mr. Holder says that “it’s a sad reflection in 2010 of WHO WE ARE, after government spends so much money on education, to think there are no locally owned Banks in Barbados – and most are headed by foreigners.”

    Mr. Holder, let me say this with the utmost respect: have you been keeping up with the last quarter-century’s worth of literature on economic development? Seriously, who do you think “owns” KFC. You think there really is a Colonel Sanders there in Kentucky, overseeing his empire? You think there really is a Mr. McDonald making decisions about the ingredients in the secret sauce on a Big Mac? Or do you think that KFC might be “owned” by Japanese retirement funds, and mutuals in Slovenia, and people who run the investment portfolios of Canadian trade unions? At the end of the first decade of the twenty-first century, Mr. Holder, let me welcome you to the early decades of the twentieth.

    Cheap rhetoric is exactly that, Mr. Holder. It’s cheap. These days I can chose to buy it or not buy it at any one of the million stalls set out on the cyberspace market. If it makes you feel good that you wrote it, then good for you. But these days Barbados needs an imagined history of accomplishment the way we all need a third buttock. What Barbados needs now are answers, not questions.

    And in a meager effort to pre-empt: I know I’m going to get hammered for saying all of the above by the standard line-up of usual suspects. I expect Mr. Bourne’s arrival soon. Go for it. But let me say that in all of the above I mean absolutely no disrespect to Mr. Holder. None at all. I have never met the man and I know him solely through his writings. I do not find his writings to be even minimally persuasive or interesting, but that is not to disrespect the man.

  4. rasta man

    @jack bowman .Could not agree with you more!!!

  5. Pingback: Man Writes Very Boring Thing. Two Barbados Blogs Publish the Very Boring Thing. World Stunned, Vows To Mend Its Ways « Barbados BlogWatch

  6. Kammie

    @ Jack Bowman the Balls Less Literary Genius. Can you tell us why the Banks in Barbados burdening the population with exorbitant fees despite declaring $190 million profit. Oh by the way, thanks for the pointers I am learning how to improve my writing skills!

  7. Straight talk

    @Kammie,
    Admire your posts.. but “why the Banks in Barbados burdening the population with exorbitant fees despite declaring $190 million profit” is an argument worthy of the PDC ‘s manifesto.
    Boards of companies are legally bound to increase, or protect their shareholder value, and the CEO they appoint is engaged purely on his supposed ability to realise those figures year on year.
    They have absolutely no social conscience, their bottom line is increased profits for their investors, and so it should be…..widely recocognised by consumers and potential investors.
    That’s how capitalism works, if you want it, you got it here.
    If you Kammie believe you can produce and market a better product at a socially acceptable price then th market is wide open for you.
    There are many here on this blog who believe they could redefine the economics to provide a “piss up in a brewery”.
    In our current defective system the market rules, if you have a vision of a better alternative then produce it and prosper, otherwise don’t throw stones at those attempting to cope with our current economic woes.
    P.S. I am retired and have no interest whatsoever in any company.
    Commodities , yes but fairy tale annual statements, no.

  8. Stephen Lovell

    Jack, when you are finished grinding your axe I would like to suggest an act of self castration. Ouch !!!

  9. Responder

    I noticed that you have not answered any of the most interesting questions put forward by Kammie, Jack Bowman or maybe there are a little to intellectual for you to comprehend.

  10. Jack Bowman

    It should go without saying, of course, that what follows is said with respect.

    “Kammie” says:

    “@ Jack Bowman the Balls Less Literary Genius. Can you tell us why the Banks in Barbados burdening the population with exorbitant fees despite declaring $190 million profit. Oh by the way, thanks for the pointers I am learning how to improve my writing skills!”

    A couple of news flashes for you, “Kammie”

    First, you are a willing participant in the marketplace of ideas. You choose to publish your ideas to an international readership, in finely wrought paragraphs that, apparently, are diligently edited by Ms. Walcott. In the marketplace of ideas, Mr. Holder, to expect everybody to give you applause and agree with your every utterance is to be a child. It might work that way in the insulated little microcosm of Facebook-friends, Mr. Holder, but it doesn’t even begin to work in the real world. If you publish an opinion to an international readership, you should anticipate the possibility that the opinion might be challenged. That’s how it works.

    Second, Mr. Holder, the ad hominen attack is always the last resort of the dull. To call me “balls less” is to be a child. It says much more about you than it says about me. Perhaps I don’t possess testicles, Mr. Holder. Perhaps I am the proud owner of very healthy ovaries.

    I’m glad that your writing skills are improving as a result of my “pointers”. I didn’t mean to offer you any pointers earlier, but can I suggest one now? The mature writer who cares about her thoughts, and about the words she uses to express them, knows that she should use an exclamation point/mark about once in every 95,000 pages.

    I trust that you and yours are well, Mr. Holder, and I bid you nothing but best wishes for the season.

    PS. “ball-free” works much better than “balls less”. Consider that a pointer.

  11. Jack Bowman

    @ Responder “maybe there are a little to intellectual for you to comprehend.”

    Your rite, Responder. Maybe there are a little to intellectual for me to comprehend. Perhaps I could utilize some help.

  12. Jack Bowman

    @ Mr. Lovell: “Jack, when you are finished grinding your axe I would like to suggest an act of self castration. Ouch !!!”

    Thank you, Mr. Lovell. Very well said. Funny, too. Really funny.

    Sorry, but what axe am I grinding?

  13. I have a feeling if Kammie invented the cure for AIDS, “Bowman” would look at or invent side effects as a means of critiquing the Social Commentator – Kammie, be a nice guy and stop horning li’l ‘Mr Bowman’ whose knickers are so knotted, even Alexander the Great would be hard put to sever…

  14. rasta man

    @ jack owman. As you said, enter Mr Bourne the know it all.

  15. rasta man

    That should be Bowman.

  16. Unchecked Capitalism

    “They have absolutely no social conscience, their bottom line is increased profits for their investors, and so it should be…..widely recocognised by consumers and potential investors.”

    absolutely correct Straight Talk

    with no social conscience it is up to government to impose the checks and balances such as appropriate capital to sustain financial institutions where the public , pensioners and many others can feel that their investments are safe and secure.

    No social conscience equals, Dodds, 3S, Gems and Clico.

    I think somehow we keep coming back to ITAL and FOI along with politicians who have a modicum of integrity.

    Will the DLP now clean house and implement the promises they made and present the electorate with people of integrity or do we need strong independents?

  17. @rm/jb – I really don’t care whether I’m asked or not, the Comment space is open for all, even trolls like wunna (within reason, even I have been warned)

    {Besides my remarks and Kammie’s have far more currency since we place our Identities by our words while you sit there in your cowardly corners and b*tch, b*tch, b*tch…

    {BFP may be anonymous but every now and then they cite legit sources for their concerns, their hiding is far different to yours, as the quest for Truth is dangerous, while you just kvetch as faceless prats with some agenda to grig Kammie, say – is the Nation hurting for lack of his superior column?}

  18. Hey Kammie – the next time Bowman irritates you? Remind him of his own words;- “…in the Barbados media we need all the misfits we can get. In a country where members of the press virtually need government permission just to go to the bathroom — themisfitsare our best hope for democracy.” By that remark, surely Bowman must have some grudging respect for even one like yourself, ol’ KH? 😉

  19. Responder

    Splendid Ian.

  20. Jack Bowman

    Mr. Bourne,

    Splendid, Ian. Well kept, sir. Well kept.

    I have no wish to get into an online tussle with you, Mr. Bourne, not least because there can be little doubt that in the area of clarity of thinking and crispness of prose you would lose. But in the area of deeply disheartening beards, obviously, there can be no doubt at all that you would win. You would beat me hollow on that front. Hit me for six, over the boundary and into the crowd. Complete winner in the face-furniture department.

    Sadly, so far human history has not proven to be a race to determine who can grow the most disheartening beard.

    I stand entirely by the words that you quote from me, Mr. Bourne. For anyone with a background in professional journalism, Bajan newspapers can only take your breath away. They can do little but make you feel unsettled and mildly depressed. Their amateurism, their comical prolixity, their shoddiness of structure and lack of clarity in prose style, their basic failings in the most basic grammar, their craven willingness to print corporate press releases as “news”, their timidity and sheer cowardliness in investigation, can only break your heart or make you laugh out loud, depending on your mood in the moment.

    I’m really looking forward to the next few weeks in da Bajun meeja. Page-3 stories—four columns each, big pic from the snapper, zero subediting—about which department at the Crane was “best of” in 2010 and who sold the most Japanese cars at Nassco. Always LOVE those black-and-white Christmastime plaque-giving stories. Page 2, three columns: airlift up, cruise visitors up. Page 27, two-inch single column: World War Three started today, kind of a downer.

    Mr. Holder, in my reading of his writings, is no antidote to the calamity that is the Barbados press. He writes boring things, wholly unobjectionable to anyone, in a style that still needs heavy use of the blue pencil even when he’s self-admittedly employing an editor.

    I can say with absolute certainty (and I must insist that I say this without the slightest sense of disrespect for Mr. Holder as a man, a man I’ve never met and whom I know solely through his writing) that Mr. Holder’s “journalism” would not pass muster as even student-reporting in any semi-decent college magazine of my acquaintance.

    Where was Mr. Holder during that utterly bizarre episode a couple of years ago, when the “inaugural flight” from Africa to Barbados left a lot of Nigerians and Ghanaians stranded miserably and illegally on Bajan shores? Indeed, where was ANY of the Bajan media in that episode, mainstream or not? I know nineteen year-old journalists who, if something so fantastically weird had happened on their patch, would have spent endless days besieging the local immigration officers, demanding to know what was going on, every single day.

    Mr. Holder seems more comfortable with tedious and wearying clichés, many of them involving some wholly imagined past. It’s not wretched; it’s simply not particularly good: anti-historical, poorly written, unutterably cheap in its rhetoric, and more than a little dull.

    In short, it’s entirely worthy of Barbados’s mainstream media. I look forward to his next one.

    Sincere best wishes to you, Mr. Bourne. And very best wishes to Mr. Holder.

  21. Responder

    If I were a betting man, Mr. Jack Bowman, I would say that you sound like a disgruntled white man with a chip on his shoulder. Is the mere thought of Kammie trying to bring some sense of pride back into his people so repulsive to you? Are you afraid Mr. Jack Bowman that we have seen through your intellectual nonsense, your feeble attempt at trying to keep us where we are. I am not impress Mr. Bowman. The question still needs to be answered by you, is Kammie wrong?

  22. Jack Bowman

    @ Responder: “The question still needs to be answered by you, is Kammie wrong?”

    I think you’ll find, Mr. Responder (I assume you’re a man, because you hypothesize that you’re a betting man) that in a life well lived I don’t have to answer anybody’s questions, most particularly when the question is couched in the passive voice. The mature writer of English, even is she is so unfortunate as to be born with ovaries, knows that you should always use the active voice whenever possible. The passive voice is for the dull.

    And if you were a betting man, Mr. Responder, you would make rubbish bets and you would lose. On what basis do you dare to judge me as “disgruntled”? In the real world, I am very gruntled. On what basis do you dare to judge the color of my skin and the nature of my reproductive apparatus?

    On what basis, sir? What?

  23. J. Payne

    I believe next year The Bahamas might knock Barbados out of the #3 spot.

    https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/List_of_countries_by_Human_Development_Index

  24. Jack Bowman

    Close to 100 Nigerians are now stranded on Bajan shores. What the fuck is going on? Who paid what to whom? Who gained? Who lost? Who made a lot of money and who is now bathing in swimming-pool water?

    Where are the local reporters on this story? Where is the idiot blogger who somehow regards himself as the “fifth estate”? He’s running a blog that is basically graffiti with a bit of misplaced punctuation, but he thinks he’s a “citizen journalist”.

    What the fuck is going on? We’re looking at you, “Kammie”. You seem to have very strong published views about this.

  25. cantspellwontspell

    It r all d folt o ram heah!! An dat whitey wot dis ole man have fuhgot.

  26. I am not Amanda Lynch-Foster

    I really do wish Free Press would pull up its socks, since Marcus died their entries are very inconsistent and they barely moderate comments now – as for Bowman, with (his) dry sarcasm, don’t you have Kiddy Cricket at Scotiabank to coordinate? Or some Island Fashion to compose?