Tag Archives: Culture

Amazing Barbados Photo: Blacks, Whites, Asians, Mixed Races Attend Party Together! Actually Enjoy Each Other!

Six years ago our friend Light-Skinned-ed Girl declared May to be Mixed Experience History Month. We hope the idea catches on because those of us who are Heinz 57 and/or in mixed-race marriages need to reflect upon our roots once in a while.

If you have to ask “What’s the big deal?”, well, perhaps you need to think about it a little more. There are many more of us than ever before but when we talk with other mixies, the experience is generally the same: neither black nor white, and not really accepted by either race. Here’s a little piece written by Marcus back in October 2006. I miss him…

Barbados Free Press

graeme-hall-party-2.jpg

Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary Site Of Astounding Happening!

Yes, folks – we couldn’t believe it ourselves (what with all this talk of that one incident last week between a light-skinned homeowner and a dark-skinned young man – link here) – it is true that several hundred people of all races, colours and religion all met last Saturday at the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary, and actually enjoyed each other’s company!

The event was the official launch of the proposal to establish the Graeme Hall National Park – but it felt more like a party than a meeting to Shona and Marcus.

One Racial Incident At Party…

There was one very serious racial incident at the party though. For a few minutes around 5pm, the cash bar ran short of cold Banks beer and two men of different races argued over who would get the last cold one.

A Barbados Free…

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Canadian travel agent Yvonne Bramson explains why some tourists are avoiding Barbados

kadooment blocked

Photo from the BFP story Grand Kadooment child-sex scandal

Dear friends in Barbados,

As Crop Over season gets into high gear I would just like to make a few comments. I am a travel agent for a large company in Toronto, Canada and have been to Barbados several times over the years. I have many friends there and also family and am hearing from both them and my colleagues at work (who hear from their travelling clients) that Barbados has changed a lot. What people are observing and saying is that what Crop Over symbolises has become a thing of the past.

I remember when most of the people participating in the grand finale parade were wearing period costumes to symbolise the farm workers, etc. What we are seeing and hearing for the past few years is that is has become something quite different. It seems to be a huge party where many of the women of all ages come out to show off their bodies – many in next to nothing. I happened to have been in Barbados last year at Crop Over time and was literally shocked at some of the behaviour I witnessed from the participants. I saw many women running over to men on the sidelines and gyrating on their laps, I saw many women dancing with their behinds way out against a man’s genitals. I saw women bent over with another woman gyrating on her behind.  Continue reading

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Office etiquette: Is it wrong for me to say, “Wow… Nice tits!” ???

Boys will be boys – especially if the girls encourage them.

by Nevermind Kurt (apparently under the influence of a stiff shot of rum. – Marcus)

Does it matter? Is the President of the Barbados National Council for Parent Teacher Associations being unreasonable in her observations?

The president of this country’s National Council for Parent Teacher Associations (NCPTA) is calling for the licence of the Wadadah Cultural Club to be revoked, to prevent the annual Back2School fete from being staged every Crop Over festival.

Rhonda Blackman told the WEEKEND NATION yesterday that she still had “grave issues” with the staging of the event, since it not only promoted misuse and defacing of school uniforms, but sent a horrible message to Barbadian youth regarding respect for those uniforms, as well as a mixed message regarding their behaviour.

… from the Nation article Wadadah under heavy criticism

My friends remember that two years ago at work I was savaged by management, torn to pieces really, because I had the audacity to get caught looking at some very nice cleavage sported by the woman in the next office over. I was cautioned about my ‘roving eyes’ and sexism. The bosses didn’t like my humorous response that maybe I should craft my pants to show an inch or two of the python – just a hint – for the sake of fashion. I’m so damned confused at work I don’t even want to say hello anymore to anyone wearing a skirt and that includes the 54 year old division manager.

Girls, if you want to let it hang out – expect me to stare. And don’t be surprised if nothing gets done during the weekly strategy session: you wave that thing at me and I have other strategies on my mind. That’s the way the good Lord made me.

I’m a man.

Nevermind Kurt

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Without foreign technicians, Arab countries would revert to camels

Again I ask: Why can’t I hire a good plumber in Barbados?

by Robert

Long time BFP readers know that I (Robert) sometimes disappear for a few weeks or a month or two because I am what used to be called a “journeyman A&P” – in short, an aircraft mechanic for hire. (Aviation professionals around the world will cringe reading the word “mechanic” but I’m writing for a non-aviation audience and the gentlemen will understand I’m sure.)

There was a time when I made my living flying second and third seats on clapped out 727’s delivering cargo anywhere anytime but those days are past. Thank God I had my A/P, 727 and P&W tickets to fall back on because so many front office crew from that time (late 90’s) ended up selling life insurance or stocking shelves at the inlaws’ family fruit and veggie market. (No offense, but our old friend and Twotter pilot Jim Lynch is just one example of the industry carnage.)

I’ve done my share of work in the Middle East because it is lucrative – though stifling, boring and more than absurd in some respects. Try passing a tool or a part to an Arab with your left hand and see what happens. No wonder the Arabs are generally useless on the tarmac.

It’s a cultural thing, not racial, and anyone who’s worked in the Middle East knows about it. The Arabs are sitting on the bulk of the world’s oil, but if they didn’t hire outsiders to change the engine oil in their own equipment, every Arab Mercedes and Airbus would die within a year.

An old friend sent me this story because we’ve both “eaten sand” (worked the Middle East) – but as I read it I felt more and more uncomfortable. I’d never thought of certain similarities between the Middle East and another place, but as I read this piece I had to think about why I can’t hire a decent plumber in Barbados.

Maybe I’m carrying on because I’ve had a smash or two of Jack’s, but there’s just something eerily familiar about this article from Strategy Page. See if you can pick up on it.

Friends, you should go to Strategy Page to read the article, but just in case it goes down like the Nation, we’ll be reprinting it in full here.

Why Arabs Need Their Foreign Mercenaries

Saudi Arabia recently bought 72 Typhoon jet fighters from Britain. The manufacturer, BAE Systems, is energetically recruiting qualified maintenance personnel to keep these aircraft flying. Few Saudis will be recruited, most of these technicians will come from the West. Why is that? Continue reading

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Karl Watson: Does Rihanna’s poor white ancestry have any meaning for her?

Growing up poor and white in 1950’s Barbados

“I often wonder whether Rihanna… ever thinks of or knows anything of her poor white ancestry, their specific role in Barbadian history, their heritage…and if it has any meaning at all for her.”

by Karl Watson

As in everything, the situation at the Yacht Club and Aquatic Club was more complex than it seems on the surface of a compartmentalized black and white scenario. In the early 1950′s and 60′s, the Yacht Club was definitely white with an emphasis on expatriates and upper and upper middle class Barbadian whites.

“Those with the wrong pedigree or background were blackballed.”

The Aquatic Club was mostly white or whitish (i.e. individuals with about a ten to twenty percent Afro admixture that everybody knew about, as genealogies are/were pretty well know for that class) middle class Barbadian with a sprinkling of more obvious i.e.darker mixed race individuals, but also of a middle class back ground.

Working class whites were simply too poor to be admitted…it probably never occurred to them to think of applying for membership.

“So as others have pointed out, in the simplistic equation of poor black and rich white…the fate of the poor whites is often omitted.”

From my personal experience and though we were Bayland poor, my family was not of the poorest, being blond and blue eyed did not save us from being run off the Yacht Club beach in those days. Yes, we “white” children were forbidden to walk on the Yacht Club beach. We would swim to the Aquatic Club with other friends and hold on to the steps like every one else. I almost lost an ear when one day, I made the mistake of stepping on the bridge and was unceremoniously “jacked up” and marched to the entrance to the club and thrown out. You shouldn’t do something like that to a child, but it was done to me. Continue reading

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We really miss Rihanna, the girl we knew and prayed for

The Rolling Stone interview of our Barbados Ambassador for Culture and Youth is just terrible.

Rihanna’s hit single “S&M” is semi-autobiographical. “Being submissive in the bedroom is really fun,” she says. “You get to be a little lady, to have somebody be macho and in charge of your shit. That’s fun to me…I like to be spanked. Being tied up is fun. I like to keep it spontaneous. Sometimes whips and chains can be overly planned – you gotta stop, get the whip from the drawer downstairs. I’d rather have him use his hands.”

Sigh.

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Rihanna’s new video: banana sex, Perez Hilton on leash

Barbados Ambassador for Youth gives S&M lesson in her new video

We haven’t published much about Rihanna lately because we are a tad disappointed in the road she chose.

Isn’t it about time that, ever so quietly, Rihanna resigns as our Ambassador for Culture and Youth? Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, Ethics, Music, Rihanna

Owen Arthur drives nail into Caricom’s coffin: If Barbadians elect a St. Lucian woman they are “without pride”

Updated: June 11, 2012

With Owen Arthur and the BLP getting into election mode like sharks circling a wounded fish, we thought it would be appropriate to remind folks about what Owen Arthur thinks about candidates who were born off the island…


“No greater affront…” than electing Mara Thompson

“I do not believe that there has been a greater affront, and affront means insult, to the Barbadian Democracy and to Barbadian womanhood than the affront that the Democratic Labour Party has (mumbling a bit) put in before the people of this parish. I also say the people of this country.

Than bring somebody here to be elected on the grounds that you’re electing a queen. And I am not going to mince my words!

There is no Barbadian woman who could be wife of a solution-politician who could run in Saint Lucia on the grounds that she is runnin to be the queen of St. Lucia!

Can’t happen!

And if it can’t happen in St. Lucia, why must it happen here?

There is no Barbadian woman married to a Trinidadian man who could dare run in Trinidad at all! (transcript continues here)>>>> Continue reading

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BLP candidate Santia Bradshaw’s message to Barbados’ young people?

Santia, is this YOUR Lil Rick, or not?

“If you don’t like how we talk, now fuck off”

(and that’s the best of the lyrics in the song “Fuck Off”)

Pyramid's Lil Rick

Santia Bradshaw is the hopeful BLP candidate for St. Michael South East, sometimes lawyer and all the time owner of Pyramid Entertainment Management Inc., an artist representation and booking agency. Her company currently represents some of the leading entertainers and deejays in Barbados and across the region – including “Lil Rick”.

An MP3 is going viral with young folks across Barbados. The email it comes with says it is the Pyramid artist “Lil Rick”.

It sure sounds like Lil Rick to us and a whole lot of people – but maybe it’s a clever imitator sent by a rival to do damage to Santia Bradshaw, the BLP and/or Lil Rick. Considering the song has probably been shared thousands of times already and glorifies violence, drugs and a kind of rape – if it isn’t refuted, explained or handled it will be damaging to Santia Bradshaw’s political and legal career. That is a for sure. Continue reading

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What shall we do about the terrible attitudes of Bridgetown shop clerks and government office employees?

Have you ever purchased a train ticket in Belgium or a bottle of rum in Cuba?

by Cliverton

We ‘wild boys’ at Barbados Free Press may have had a drink or three yesterday because it was Friday and because, it was Friday.

Usually by the time the level in the bottle reaches a certain mark on the label we are able to solve huge problems in the world. Two weeks ago we solved the Israel-Muslim conflict in the Middle East. Last Friday we solved the energy crisis in Britain.

Unfortunately though, the details of our solutions seem to vanish the next morning after we sober up, but in the late hours of Friday they sure look viable!

Alas, I hesitate to report that even in our usual state we were stumped last night when we tried to find a solution to the sullen and outright rude persons on this island who are “employed” in positions of service. I say “employed” because so many are drawing their breath and paycheque but do little else. Continue reading

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Bob Verdun: Racist? Well meaning but culturally naive? Just truthful?

Lots to think about in Ian Bourne's photo of Bob Verdun!

Bajan Reporter says Bob Verdun “can overstep the boundaries of being respectful to his hosts”

Here in Bim race is just below the surface on everything. You can’t blame us for that, we come by it honestly. Have a look at our history long ago and more recently and you’ll see that in Barbados race has had social and economic impact upon individuals for hundreds of years. Continue reading

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Thumbs Up for Barbados Prime Minister as he cancels Vybz Kartel, Mavado concert

Auntie Moses plants a kiss on the PM for his leadership.

David Thompson says no to violent Jamaican dance hall culture

Prime Minister Thompson just delivered an unequivocal message: We the people of Barbados don’t want the violent dance hall culture of Jamaica in our country and we sure don’t want our young people exposed to the people who promote this destructive influence.

The PM spoke in a very politic manner, giving as little offense as he could in the circumstances. One has to admire not only the statesmanship of his delivery but also the leadership he exhibited by wading into a mess that had become important enough to require the intervention of the Prime Minister.

Said the PM, “I don’t feel in this particular instance people should be demonised for a well-intentioned effort that could have gone awry, but in circumstances where there is public concern and where the State needs to intervene to protect our young people we will do it…”

Violent culture is a circle – not a linear cause and effect

We won’t re-hash the entire controversy here – except to say that Jamaican violence is a circular problem that is fed by the music of the day and the personalities associated with the music.

Folks can argue about where the circle of Jamaican cultural violence started but that doesn’t really matter – The violence inspires the music that inspires the tribalism that inspires the violence that inspires the music… and on and on and on.

The violence is not a linear problem with specific causes and effects – but a circle that feeds upon itself.

Prime Minister David Thompson just damaged that circle by removing some of the music and conflict personalities from our society – and Barbados is safer and better off for his decision.

Thanks, Prime Minister!

Now – What about the Police leadership?

Or, to be more specific: is conflict between senior police officers negatively impacting the Royal Barbados Police Force?

In the last few days the Barbados public was treated to the disgusting spectacle of Police Commissioner Darwin Dottin having to admit that his Deputy undermined his orders and authority regarding the Vybz Kartel, Mavado concert. Dottin had announced that the police would not grant a license for the show. Hinds countermanded that decision in public.

And the very worst of it was that Commissioner Dottin had to hear about it on the public radio!

The Prime Minister was forced to step in due in part to the leadership punch-up between Dottin and Hinds. That too is embarrassing for all concerned.

So… who should resign, Dottin or Hinds?

That gets complex because it is more than time for Dottin to go – but in this case Hinds was wrong to go behind the Commissioner’s back.

Perhaps the answer is to fire retire both of them and promote one of the three people we know of in the RBPF who have the right combination of professionalism and leadership talent.

Who are they? Ha! We won’t say because that would surely poison their chances. Let’s just hope that something big happens soon to provide the kind of leadership that the RBPF deserves.

Further Reading

This Nation article is a pretty good synopsis of the disgusting public quarrel between Dottin and Hinds…

Angry Chief

THE DECISION yesterday to give the green light for this weekend’s controversial Vybz Kartel and Mavado show has opened a potential row between Commissioner of Police Darwin Dottin and his deputy Bertie Hinds.

In an exclusive interview, a visibly upset Dottin told THE NATION yesterday that he first learnt of the decision to grant licences for the show through a radio news flash while on his way to Grantley Adams International Airport.

“It sends a very bad image and message that the Commissioner of Police has been having discussions on these issues and nobody had the decency to consult him.

“It reflects very poorly on the administration of the force,” he added.

Confirmed reports indicated that Hinds, who acts as commissioner while Dottin is on leave, made the decision to grant the promoters requested licences for the show during a meeting yesterday.

When contacted for comment that he acted contrary to the force’s protocol, Hinds would only say: “I have nothing to say, full-stop.”

… continue reading this article at The Nation: Angry Chief

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Culture & Race Issues, Jamaica, Music, Police

Rihanna: Barbados Ambassador for Culture, Youth and Barbed Wire

Rihanna Russian Roulette

Another Rihanna nasty picture. So sad.

I arrived home this morning to find Shona prancing around the kitchen wearing only knickers and barbed wire. “It’s the latest Bajan fashion for young girls” she said. “It must be – because our Ambassador for Culture and Youth thinks it’s the thing, doan ya know? Rihanna’s photo is all over the world on her Russian Roulette cover promoting Bajan culture. And youth.”

“The boys?” says I.

“Auntie’s” says she with a twinkle in her eye.

“Let’s get that wire off”

“Careful, I don’t think this fashion will last.” says she.

“No way!” says I, “Don’t you know that Prime Minister Thompson who made Rihanna our Culture and Youth Ambassador adopts all her styles? I even have a photo to prove it…”

Prime Minister Thompson couldn't resist naming Rihanna "Ambassador for Culture and Youth"

Prime Minister Thompson couldn't resist naming Rihanna "Ambassador for Culture and Youth"

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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… Continue reading

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

Qatar Police Use Whips On Asian Labourers “Because The Asians Do Not Understand”

“You will never see me accepting another contract in the Middle East. I don’t care how much money I’m offered next time, it is not worth the indignity of being looked at like I’m some sort of lower lifeform by people who don’t even wash their hands after doing the necessary.”

BFP’s Robert talking about working as an aircraft maintenance engineer under contract in Middle East countries.

Whipping Victims Chosen By Race

The Middle East if full of contract workers. Some, like BFP’s Robert, are well-paid professionals who put up with the nonsense as fair trade for the money. Younger workers are also attracted by the novelty and a sense of adventure which, according to Robert, soon fades.

But 90% of the foreign workers in the Middle East can rightly be described as low-end labourers and little more than slaves. Some really are slaves. There is a racial hierarchy enforced everywhere with Arabs at the top, followed by whites with blacks and asians at the bottom of the pile.

When Robert saw the following article online he said we must write about it, so here you go…

Souq Shock For Asian Bachelors

ASIAN bachelors were beaten with whips and even kicked during a heavy-handed police operation to prevent them from entering Doha’s popular souq areas yesterday.
Several encounters, witnessed by Gulf Times, saw Heritage Police Officers using stick-like instruments to herd labourers away from cordoned areas along Grand Hamad Avenue.

When one officer was asked why such force was being used he replied: “They are not allowed inside this family area.” He then explained that whips were being employed “because they do not understand”. 
Although policemen usually patrol the Grand Hamad area on Fridays, they tend to be plainclothes officers who do not carry weapons such as those on show yesterday.
 Shockingly, Gulf Times saw one officer using his whip on five separate occasions within a ten-minute period, even running to catch people before hitting them. 
Other appalled witnesses said they had seen labourers being kicked by the officers if they did not move quickly enough to exactly where they were told.

… continue reading this article at the Gulf Times (Link Here)

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