The real race issues in Barbados


The issue of race is ever present in Barbados, and surely underlies the amazing public furore that has arisen over the recent crowning of a white Miss Barbados beauty queen.

And so, we now take the opportunity to revisit the issue of racism in Barbados, and to share with the public a number of pertinent questions that Mr David Comissiong, President of the Peoples Empowerment Party, posed to the Government-appointed Committee On National Reconciliation way back in 1999.

These questions – as relevant today as they were 17 years ago – are as follows:

(1) To what extent does the false notion of Black or African inferiority still infect black, white, and Asiatic Barbadians? If this is the case, how do we correct this state of affairs?

(2) Are there churches, religious practices and theologies in Barbados which foster and/or perpetuate the false and discredited notions of Black inferiority, subordination and dependence on non-blacks?

(3) To what extent is the distribution of land in Barbados racially skewed and inequitable? If this is so, are specific governmental corrective measures required? Is there a need for Aliens Landholding legislation?

(4) Is the education system doing an adequate job of imparting to our students information about the history and achievements of the various racial and ethnic groups which make up our population? Is the news media of Barbados doing an adequate job of providing the majority Black population with news and information about Africa and peoples of African descent?

(5) To what extent are there racially segregationist regulations and/or practices in place in the clubs, beaches, hotels and social institutions of Barbados? Are governmental corrective measures required?

(6) To what extent do businesses in Barbados indulge in racial discrimination in their employment and procurement policies and practices? To what extent is there evidence of race-based business monopolies and unfair, race-based business practices designed to eliminate competition?

(7) What is the precise state of the distribution of wealth in Barbados across race and class lines? Is there a need for new redistributive policies?

(8) To what extent is there evidence that the lending policies and practices of banks and other financial institutions are based on racial considerations? Is there a need for governmental intervention?

(9) To what extent do the major secular institutions of Barbados – the law courts, police force, Office of the Governor General, etc – still retain elements of an institutional culture that is alienating to Black and/or working class Barbadians?

(10) To what extent are the foreign films, videos and music coming into Barbados propagating racially demeaning notions and sensibilities?

(11) To what extent is the racist historical tradition of the stigmatization and criminalization of the business activities of small black business persons still in evidence?

(12) To what extent do we have a sense of consciousness of the great moral wrong of slavery, and of the inhuman cruelties and disabilities that were inflicted upon Black people? Are we prepared to support a campaign for reparations?

(13) Is there the need for a conscious effort to rectify the imbalance deliberately built into our national culture by investigating, re-evaluating and re-appropriating aspects of African culture?

If the current storm in a teacup motivates us to address our minds to these vexed yet very relevant questions, then something positive would have been achieved.

16 Responses to The real race issues in Barbados

  1. Adam Tyler Mallett
    Adam Tyler Mallett September 23, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    Reparations are due , in my opinion , when there is no justice then this cements in the racial stereotypes

  2. Tim Barr
    Tim Barr September 23, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    And to what extent if any are people prepared to look forward in life and stop this

    • Guto Owen
      Guto Owen September 23, 2016 at 12:29 pm

      That is a bit too easy for us as white folks to say tho isn’t it?! I have visited Barbados & did see elements of racial discrimination, but of course it is NOT people who look like you & I who suffer from it, Tim!

    • Tim Barr
      Tim Barr September 23, 2016 at 12:51 pm

      Hi Guto, I have lived in bar for many years and u are right about there being elements of discrimination . But this constant teaching of hate is the biggest reason it has not come to a end.The level of leadership has been poor ,the country needs the likes of Tom and Barrow back again

    • Maaz A Love
      Maaz A Love September 23, 2016 at 1:30 pm

      Thanks u for admitting the truth as u see it …Let’s stop racism! If more people like u speak out …it could be a step forward . Racism can be unlearned since no one was born a racist

    • Colette Felix
      Colette Felix September 23, 2016 at 3:59 pm

      i am happy you all have opinions on this situation… but its all good and well to say let’s stop racism hoping for instant change, first you must understand racism is a mindset, where people believe that they are more important/above another race, it may be self taught or engrained in ones psychi from parent to parent, but the only way to stop racism is to show those people that they are not more important than you or anyone, how you do it is up to you.

    • Samud Ali
      Samud Ali September 23, 2016 at 4:19 pm

      where do you see teachings of hate?

    • Tim Barr
      Tim Barr September 23, 2016 at 5:08 pm

      Hi Colette, I am sad to say I have come to believe that racism or sectarianism is almost a part of the human makeup .I know of no country that does not have one group of people hating another for whatever reason (religion ,Politics colour or whatever).Hope I am wrong but the evidence suggests I am not

    • Maaz A Love
      Maaz A Love September 23, 2016 at 8:34 pm

    • Maria Leclair Dasilva
      Maria Leclair Dasilva September 23, 2016 at 8:55 pm

      Agree Tim Barr with your comment. It will always exists and unfortunately it will only get worse with time. I was born and bred in Barbados and know only too well what it is all about being I experienced it first hand. I was fortunate to have a mother who was very open minded, she spoke to me about it at young age, as I recall about the age of six, she taught me well, how not to be racist. I could have easily become racist merely by the racist behaviour directed towards myself, as I recall only from males.

    • Maria Leclair Dasilva
      Maria Leclair Dasilva September 23, 2016 at 9:08 pm

      Sorry I am unable to correct my punctuation.

  3. jrsmith September 23, 2016 at 3:54 pm

    Black people and racism which is help by black people because the confusion which is manufactured for black people…
    The confusion has exposed black people to be ever so deceitful and lost .. Things in Barbados is taking a turn as like black (America ) the (USA) with its constitution, with its bill of rights and with the pacifier and conditioning comes the civil rights movement, which given time we will see the same non effectiveness…
    @ , Tim Barr , hail, hail that’s on the button ..
    Black people … this to black women, last year thousands were black skinned this year they have change colour to orange , again very confusing because they cant sun bathe anymore , they have bleached themselves but this doesn’t take much to understand they just don’t like being black…

    How to judge the confusion and the deceit is the issue racism or is it the teaching , black people is wasting away they lives looking forward for this special day when the .. (blonde hair blue eyed Jesus comes to rescue them…
    Let us even things up we as blacks have our own black Jesus

  4. Henderson Cheltenham
    Henderson Cheltenham September 23, 2016 at 4:54 pm

    Every body knows you are a racist

  5. Alex Alleyne September 23, 2016 at 10:45 pm

    Its all about “MONEY”. Spread it out evenly across the globe and the “race” thing will vanish.
    World wide it is all economics that got the people so divided.
    In Barbados a few have everything to lose and another set has nothing to lose.

  6. Hal Austin September 24, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    What are the answers to all the questions?

  7. Donild Trimp September 24, 2016 at 9:03 pm

    Two questions.

    To what extent is Barbados racist?

    Is “extent” measurable?


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