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No real merit in apology for slavery – Brome

Seventeen years ago then Anglican bishop the Right Reverend Rufus Brome issued an apology on behalf of the Anglican Church for its role in slavery.

However, today, the retired cleric sees no real merit in white Barbadians saying sorry for the wrongs of their ancestors.

“I am not sure what an apology would do at this stage,” said Brome as he weighed in on the recent call by Barbados’ Ambassador to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Robert Bobby Morris.

During a church service at the St Philip Parish Church last Sunday to mark the 200th anniversary of the Bussa rebellion, Morris suggested that an apology would be on par with reparations from Britain.

But Brome, the former deputy chairman of the 1999 National Reconciliation Commission, told Barbados TODAY that while he understood Morris’ position, the island had already moved on.

“There is a certain measure of integration in the life of the country . . . so I don’t have very strong feelings about whites having to apologize at this time,” the former church leader, who in 1993, was elected the 12th Bishop of Barbados.

He cautioned that such a move could lead to one group being alienated instead of placing the focus on healing and getting ahead.

“Already in my own dealings with people, there are some whites who are beginning to feel that they are being ostracized even within the church. There are some who think there is no room for me when it comes to ordination and that kind of thing. So even though we remember our past it doesn’t have to be that kind of thing,” stressed Brome, who retired in 2000.

However, the former head of the local church was adamant that his lack of support for an apology should not be interpreted to mean he was advocating for the past to
be forgotten.

In fact, he was critical of British Prime Minister David Cameron who, during an official visit to Jamaica in September 2015, called on Caribbean countries to “move on” while rejecting the push for Britain to pay reparations for its role in the slave trade.

“I can’t agree with him at all,” Brome said, while urging strong support for the lobby to secure financial compensation.

“You can’t take people who say just forget the past seriously. The past is part of our history, you cannot forget it. What you can do is to treat persons in different ways. But to say forget slavery is to say forget history and that is part of our history.”

The respected Anglican minister stressed the country should look forward to building a community where all interests are empowered.

Reflecting on the work of the 1999 Commission, Brome recalled that during the meetings, “young people didn’t see colour as a problem in Barbados. They were instead calling for things like economic empowerment.

“What we need to do in moving forward is to see that this country and whatever we have in this country is available to all and it is not enough to sing an anthem and to raise a flag and say, ‘oh yes, we are independent’. We have got to be able to share our resources and so on,” he advised.

Brome stressed that the nation’s wealth should not be confined to “a handful of people”, even as he urged black Barbadians to study the development of their ancestors who survived against all odds.

“Your colour or class does not define you . . . we need to be able to say that. The message of reparation is a powerful message but you have to begin with what Marcus Garvey said. You have to repair the damage of the mind,” he insisted.

8 Responses to No real merit in apology for slavery – Brome

  1. Simon Gooding
    Simon Gooding April 22, 2016 at 4:04 am

    …Ha…the Church have a lottta blood on its hands for they role in the slave trade…not apology but also compensation….

  2. Louise King
    Louise King April 22, 2016 at 4:22 am

    Spirit of truth Jesus Christ reveal to a devout preach-er to follow christ within Ye — give away all Ye stole from de poor–and in U Nicode-mus is de code of Saint Peter — Bet ye know not ;;Slaver-y mean bible turn Ye backward– as in word DONK-EY–A FOOL

  3. Menace II Babylon April 22, 2016 at 5:18 am

    He suffers from a hereditary disease and has been confirmed as the most contagious disease amongst alkebullan people. It is airborne, sexual, contact etc.

    It’s called selective amnesia.

    Ever hear of it? The article states your are respected, amongst who? The old, the grey and the decrepit who have lived their life committed the most Self Imposed Nonsense (SIN) and now turn to the oppressors God seeking forgiveness? If you saw your king getting castrated and his genitals stuffed in his mouth and you were asked to denounce your spirituality labelled demonic and accept Jesus whilst dragging your son or daughter to the same fate what would you do?

    You have no or very little influences amongst babylon caste system only those you sign up to receive weekly brainwashing and fraud. We are black, we practice black, we worship black, we dress black, we eat black and it makes us up in totality.

    You perpetrate the Massa’s lies on religion thus influencing the populace minds away from spirituality into the deity of the oppressor. You encourage the natives to christen your children in your blue eyed, blonde hair pale God otherwise they will be deemed not worthy in your oppressor God eyesight. Name one African Deity? Jus one not two or three and your stuck. You are indoctrinated into their way and have become a vessel for adding an ere of authencity to paganicity and falseness for the black race.

    You program them to pay into your paying tithes and selling false hope and provide public sermons on the ills of the society whilst not offering an analytical approach to the problems the black race face in society/worldwide. Gran can’t pay she water but can drop a 50 in your bowl? You perpetrate a legacy of white supremacy and would quote Marcus Garvey when all you need to do is look at your stained windows, your images, your sermons, your cross and would quote the UNIA leader. Stop picking from Garvey what’s is appropriate to prop up your sermon with Akebulan authenticity as the real Garvey you would not have the level of testosterone required to take it to your pulpit. Coward.

    The same people that tortured you, raped you, slit your ancestors pregnant stomachs open and crushed the baby under the heels of their boots, sodomised young babies, subjected the Akebulan race to tortures beyond description, hanged you for looking at a white woman, tortured you to believe in their crusade of Christianity, subjected you te the same made up slave masters God, we are the only race of people where our God does not look like us, the Chinese, the Indian, the causus, and the only one that is inviting with open arms to our oppressor and his kinship.

    Have you been to Newton and paid your respects since you on ancestors?Do not urinate on the graves of my ancestors who have suffered beyond comparison at the hands of beasts, you are right an apology is wasted. Talk about reparations. You ain’t no role model to the youth and fraid to talk about what’s important. Barbados is one of the most colonised countries in Caricom. Independence is a farce as we ain’t independent we continue to bow in our parliament, our judiciary, and most important our places of education. Stop knowing HIS-TORY and know our story


  4. jrsmith April 22, 2016 at 5:42 am

    And it goes on and on and on.. the only people benefitted from slavery was and is still the white people. The apology should be from the politicians, who has deceived the masses and is always working for the interest of some people the wealthy and not in the interest of the people.
    Black people give themselves no credit at all, anything black people achieve is not because of themselves working hard toward that achievement but its always God, When God speaks to a black person its always go forth and start a church not a business but the white people is always on they way to be the bosses making billions..

    The worst things happen and happening in black people lives , is slavery, religion and the bible, generations has passed as failures lost culture lost heritage blacks are always at the cross roads with tin cup in hand waiting for the hand outs from the new generation of the pass slave masters, this is where we are all being defeated, we must do for our selves..

    For centuries our black fore parents built the world, toiling and suffering by the hands of black chiefs who sold them on to the white man, who was there to support them, where was God and Jesus then, if we don’t turn our selves around we have nothing to add to the future generations… the lost world..

  5. Elliott April 22, 2016 at 7:52 am

    We often forget or ignore the fact that our own black folks in Africa cooperated with the whites folks in rounding up their own people and selling them into slavery into the caribbean, America and elsewhere.
    Another thing to bear in mind is that there was slavery and slaves
    In Biblical times, God approved of slavery and if I am not mistaken, He gave some sort of guidance as to how they were to be treated.
    Some Black folks cooperated with, and facilitated the slave trade, while the brunt of them went through hell’s gates.

  6. Alex Alleyne April 22, 2016 at 9:28 am


  7. Tony Webster April 22, 2016 at 5:23 pm

    Not a word, or a thought, or a care, for the original inhabitants: the Amerindians; the Ciboney; the Arawaks; the Caribs; the Tainos.

    If not mere ignorance ( which is almost impossible given the vast body of established archeological knowledge) there would be only one alternative: these peoples were nobodies, and those folks now strident, stand guilty of arrogance and hypocropisy.

    I cannot understand how educated folks could completely overlook any whit of concern for our rea l”First People’s”… For whom I have the greatest respect and admiration, as an amateur a human being, and at least part-Christian.

  8. Alec Pierre April 22, 2016 at 10:20 pm

    Tony Webster: Not “Caribs” which is a derogatory term, like the ‘N’ word but “Kalinago” No offense meant. Just a correction by a Dominican.


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