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It’s wrong!

Barbados is not the freest black nation, insists Bizzy

Prominent businessman Ralph “Bizzy” Williams is sticking to his guns that Barbados should not be referred to as “the freest black nation on earth”.

In fact, he maintains it is wrong to refer to it as such.

A national firestorm has erupted over the businessman’s recent criticisms of a video, which was produced and presented at the launch of this island’s 50th independence celebrations earlier this month, with historian Trevor G. Marshall arguing that Williams had opened the long overdue conversation about race relations on the island.

While dismissing Williams’ concerns about the video, which the businessman said left him feeling “slighted and crushed”, Marshall took a broad swipe at white Barbadians, saying while they love Barbados, “they definitely had problems embracing Independence under black rule”.

Insisting that Williams, his former schoolmate at Lodge School, had no real cause for concern, Marshall said: “If Mr Williams is truly concerned about the status of Bajan whites in a country of 95 per cent blacks, he should note that . . . fewer than 50 Bajan whites (the number includes cadets, top policemen and top military personnel) were present at the flag-raising ceremony at the Garrison on November 29-30, 1966, when [the Father of Independence] Mr Errol Barrow, who they call “King Kong” ushered in this island’s Independence from Britain to an audience of over 15,000 blacks,” said Marshall.

In an equally strong response today, Williams said while it was “an indisputable fact that Barbados was a predominantly black multiracial society”, it was both unfair and inaccurate to state that it was the freest black nation on earth.

“I have never denied or tried to belittle the very enormous contribution that black Barbadians have made to the development of Barbados. My track record demonstrates quite the opposite,” said Williams, who questioned why Marshall was so upset over his comments.

“All I asked for is fairness and accuracy in a video that was played to the public and the world. It is simply inaccurate to state that Barbados is the freest black nation on earth.
So why tell that lie and destroy the credibility of our country in the eyes of the world?” he asked.

“In this day when what is said in Barbados travels around the globe in no time we should put personal feelings aside and try to maintain our credibility. What would be wrong with sticking to the simple truth and saying “predominately black” or “black-ruled” or even “multiracial”?”

Williams, who is the chairman of the Williams Industries, said he was well aware of all that was done by late Prime Minister Barrow for Barbados.

“I am well aware that Williams Industries could not have been built without the tremendous contribution of black Barbadians who work from our boardroom to the cleaning of the companies vehicles.”

He also said that “since starting our first company my track record will show that I have always opened my heart to and embraced black Barbadians and ensured that the good fortune of our businesses is shared among everyone who has contributed to their success.

“The very definition of Williams Industries is our company is defined as a joint venture between the providers of capital and the providers of labour in which the benefits derived are shared equally between the two joint venture partners.

“In fact since you [Marshall] mentioned the Tenantry Freehold Purchase Act the records will show that Williams Industries has even paid the $2.50 per square foot that the Government promised to assist people in tenantries to enable them to own their piece of the rock when the person responsible in the Ministry of Housing and Lands refused to assist them.

“That and many more acts demonstrate the respect and acknowledgement I feel about the contribution of black Barbadians to this country,” said Williams, whose wife Shelly is a black Barbadian.

“You see Trevor, I walk the walk, I don’t just talk the talk and it is unjust to disregard my contribution because of the colour of my skin,” he added.

11 Responses to It’s wrong!

  1. Danielle Reid-Melillo
    Danielle Reid-Melillo January 20, 2016 at 5:24 am

    Slow news day? Lol

  2. Ronnie Murrell
    Ronnie Murrell January 20, 2016 at 5:30 am

    Multi racial it is… I just learned last week that my great great grandmother was an Indian woman from Guyana, and my great grandfather was a White man from England… I here black as night wid straight wirey hair and some thin lips… I’m a mutt!

  3. Tony Webster January 20, 2016 at 5:44 am

    Great to be talking and not fightin each other…as in less civilized places! I recommend Bizzie buy his old school-mate a cupple nice cold lager-things in a brown Brazillian bottle….and keep on chatting.

    BTW, Prof. just as a country needs a leader…any viable, thriving private-sector- the REAL engine of growth and a sustainable economy- needs a leader/investor/ action-man…de colour doan really matter: if he yellow—e’ is a good fellow; if e’ black…dat is all right Jack; if e’ white , gi’ e a li’l respect too..dat is only right. Effin’ you doan believ dis bush-banker..den check out what I say wid anudder bearded sage up pon de Hill, over in economics 101. Choose whichin’ colour of an economist yuh wish.

  4. Gigi January 20, 2016 at 7:16 am

    Suppose Obama said that the USA was the most democratic white Nation in the world. How do you think people would respond in Barbados (Those in America included, of course)

  5. jrsmith January 20, 2016 at 10:57 am

    I find ,MR,Marshall comment very childish, and should not have been printed, But if honesty is to prevail, I will ask the question , who owns the big businesses in Barbados, who are the big investors, should this be made a colour issue, hope not.. we should be moving forward..

    I am not so sure of this statement, but I thought , this was said by the same MR,Williams … That the people who shout the loudest in Barbados ,are the ones who has never contributed anything to the Barbados economy…

  6. Watchman January 20, 2016 at 12:06 pm

    @jrsmith, “the people who shout the loudest in Barbados ,are the ones who has never contributed anything to the Barbados economy”
    exactly that !!

    The only place you find white Bajans in Bim is where they have a financial interest and gain.
    What service to the country do they offer ?
    RBPF, one man in de last 20 years, BDF, BFS, how many teachers at the public schools, or nurses in the public health sector ?
    Now by your statement I have to ask, is the economy all that matters ?
    Also certain projects that appear to contribute to the economy certainly dont contribute to the treasury because they get duty and tax exemptions to the maximum then turn around and sell one bedroom condos for 400 and 500 thousand dollars.
    (St.Peter I talking bout you)

    I know the rhetoric, the rich people that buy them will spend money, tell that to de crickets liming at Lime Grove.

  7. David January 20, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    England is consdered White country,China is refer to as Asiatic and Africa as the Black continent. Why because of the dominance of one particular ethnic group in the make up of the population.
    Barbados is a Black dominating country.I see nothing wrong in refering to Barbados as the freest Black country in the world.
    Mr Williams comments in this article give the impression that he seeking some level of self glorification.
    Genuine people who are making genuine contribution to the development of people and their communities do not boast of what they are doing or what they have done.
    Mr Williams is nit-picking at trivia

  8. Bootsa January 20, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    When did we reach to this level of racial divide? I am sixty plus and our nation had never experience such racial issues. This stupidness needs to stop because our nation don’t need this kind of unrest in our Paradise of 166 sq miles. Why can’t we all get along. Bajans need to stop copying everything seen on the USA TV stations. Yes we are a predominately black nation; but let’s discuss our feelings and disagreements in a civilize manner. I hope that we can resolve this issue and move forward. I think this can be solved by understanding each others fee lings with respect.

  9. Antny January 20, 2016 at 10:33 pm

    I read this article and was initially in shock at the tone and the perception that it gives that Barbados is deeply racially divided and no one wants to talk about it. Seriously??? Then I read the comments most of which submit valid points but I would like to submit this.
    I’m a born black Barbadian and proud of it. Not the black part, the Bajan part. I’ve lived in the USA for the past 12 years, Texas the last 5 (take what you will from that.) I recently traveled to South Africa with nothing more than an intent to have a great holiday. While there I was unexpectedly awoken by the story of a gentleman who lived through apartheid and I was moved almost to the point of tears. He told his story with such emotion that it was difficult not to be moved, but he didn’t speak with anger or contempt but with an acknowledgement of where not only he, but where South Africa had come from and with a sense of hope for the future.
    I said all that to say, the one thing I truly dislike about this article is the repetitive use of the word black and the counter being white. To be comfortable in your own skin is a beautiful thing, but I think that we should be taking pride in our country not through our skin colour but through our culture. I am a Bajan and 100% proud of it. Living in the US I quickly correct ppl that think I’m and African-American. (That I am definitely not!) I will accept Bajan, Barbadian or even West Indian. I only allow my culture to define me, not the colour of my skin. One more thing, when it comes to racial discussions in my everyday life one of my favourite things to tell ppl who ask me about what its like in Barbados I simple say. “I’ll be fair when over 90% of the population looks like you it’s hard to feel left out. But when I pick up the phone and call somebody, and they say hello. Whether dem black, white or yella, we’s all Bajans all the same and you would never know de difference!” I love my country and GOD BLISS BIM!

  10. Get Real January 21, 2016 at 8:22 am

    I agree with Mr Williams 100%. Barbados was not built by Black’s alone. He has every right to cry out about the video. If this were in the US, blacks would cry out for discrimination. Just look at the buzz surrounding the academy awards and exclusion of minorities.

  11. Ormond Mayers January 21, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    It is a sin to deny the contribution, of hites in Barbados. Let us face the facts, they invest their money, and find employment for hundreds of Barbadians over the years. something that blacks don’t do. Yes the Country do have a problem ith racism and this is not going cease in this life.


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