My World

The world according to me!

Barbados’ Culture Minister is an Idiot!

Sigh, every now and then there’s an unpleasant reminder that the West Indies was colonised and oppressed. Every now and then, we see the remnants of that oppression in the stupid decisions we make in the region. Real foolishness like signing the EPA. Or this lovely quote from Minister Stephen Blackett, on Emancipation Day no less.

“Sometime we forget that our two major ethnic groups – Africans and British – first arrived on the same ship.”

Wait, what!!?!! Is he serious?

Very actually, because he continues, “This [Emancipation Day] must not be seen as being only for persons of African descent.”

Lord have mercy on me. But thank God, we as a region have done very well for ourselves in terms of producing high intellectual capital, and they’ve come out in their numbers to school Mr. Blackett.

Dr. Kamau Brathwaite and Austin Clark have advised the Minister to “rethink” his statements. As Clark, himself a former university lecturer explains:

“The relationship between the people arriving on those ships into Barbados was certainly not one of equality. The slave was kept penned up in darkened unsanitary holds below deck and the Whites were either the slave catchers, the slave owners, the seamen who had no respect, sympathy or feelings of equality for the other passengers, that is to say, the slaves.”

It’s tragic that this level of ignorance can be spouted by a person of African descent in 2008, on Emancipation Day, especially if that person is the Minister of Culture.

To Minister Blackett I say run, not walk, the to UWI’s History Department and BEG for a personal (and private) tutorial in history. You have a lot to learn. Also, you need to apologise to the people of Barbados for insulting their intelligence.

But in the interim here’s a short reading list for you:Caribbean Slavery in the Atlantic Word

It’s written by one of your countrymen, who you shamed with your ignorance. It’s priority reading for you.

And to put the effects of Slavery into a modern context for you, this little tome by Sir Walter.

Happy Reading!

Thanks to the Nation Newspaper for this story.

Advertisements

3 Comments»

[…] Barbados’ Culture Minister is an Idiot!”The relationship between the people arriving on those ships into Barbados was certainly not one of equality. The slave was kept penned up in darkened unsanitary holds below deck and the Whites were either the slave catchers, … […]

  anonyjw wrote @

He needs to apologise to the whole diaspora, not just to Bajans.

Minister of Whose Culture? Certainly not mine!

  Maximilian Forte wrote @

Holocaust denial is an official crime in Canada. I bet that slavery denial, or denial of the holocaust suffered by Africans, will just be swept aside. There is a global competition of miseries, and a rank order, a hierarchy — say something as flippant about 9/11 in the US and you face a witch hunt; make light of slavery and you get “good boy.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: