Oh no, Bynoe

Comissiong and Welch differ strongly with Bynoe over need for reparations

It is not a matter of begging, it is about justice!

Chairman of the Task Force on Reparations Professor Pedro Welch has scoffed at a suggestion made by prominent businessman Andrew Bynoe that blacks need to “stop begging” for an apology and reparations from whites for slavery.

“I do not want any apology from any white Barbadian and I will speak for my children, grand children and great grand children who will never want an apology from white or any other colour or race,” said Bynoe, in a strongly letter to Barbados TODAY this week that has also drawn the ire of Pan Africanist David Comissiong.

Pointing out that the first slaves in Barbados were white, Bynoe was adamant that in the same way white descents have moved on with life, blacks needed to do the same. And he said he had taught his children and grandchildren as much.

“Stop begging!  Nobody owes us anything.  It’s a brave new world,” he said in his letter, in which he described the call for blacks to carry the chip on their shoulders as that of “weaklings”.

“Slavery done.  Do I hear the English asking the Romans to apologize for their occupation of Britain and the enslavement of the inhabitants?” Bynoe insisted.

However, Comissiong has immediately fired back at the black businessman telling him: “Do not insult black people with your uninformed comments, and desist from trivializing the extent to which black people have built the modern western civilization.”

Comissiong, who is a social activist and a practising attorney-at-law, also said it was “tragic” that Bynoe and many other black people really did not understand the issue of reparations, neither were they prepared to admit to their ignorance nor make an effort to inform and educate themselves.

He went on to explain that “reparations start from a premise that a criminal act was committed against our ancestors”, one, which he added, was “in fact, the most heinous criminal act imaginable that constitutes a crime against humanity.

“If we the descendants of those ancestors fail to demand reparations we would implicitly be sending a message to ourselves and to the world at large that we do not consider our ancestors sacred beings imbued with inalienable rights deserving of respect and justice,” Comissiong added.

It was in response to a call made by Barbados’s Ambassador to CARICOM, Robert “Bobby” Morris, for an apology from local whites whose ancestors had benefited substantially from the institution of slavery, that Bynoe had issued his call for blacks to stop wasting time and to simply get on with it.

Asked by Barbados TODAY to explain why he felt the victims of slavery were not in need of an apology, the owner of Carlton & A1 Supermarkets told Barbados TODAY an apology was unnecessary since the time of slavery had long past.

He also argued that blacks were also guilty of selling other black people into slavery.

“Let us start from where we are,” Bynoe said.

“But even apart from that, as I have said, the first slaves in Barbados were white people. So I am one of those who wants to look forward, who wants to get on with it.

“That [slavery] is the past, and though that past, to some extent, has conditioned black people, I think it is time we grew up and took our own destiny in our hands. We have it,” Bynoe told Barbados TODAY.

He also warned that unless black Barbadians cultivated “a self confidence” and were prepared to “use their brains”, then they could be asking “the new arrivals from China” to say sorry within 25 years.

“I cannot understand historian Robert Morris and some other politicians who continue to promote and infuse a mendicant mentality as a substitute for effort, to improve the black people of Barbados,” he said.

“We have to stop begging. We have to believe in ourselves. We have to put to use the good education that we benefit from,” Bynoe insisted, while deeming it ironic that when Barbadians go overseas they did not take “that kind of attitude with time and they do very well”.

“So why is it that we would have a group of people in this country who continually raise this matter in this way, to beg either for reparations or to beg someone to say sorry?” he asked.

However, historian Pedro Welch has also sought to make clear to Bynoe that neither he nor any of the other members of the reparations committee “are not begging anyone for anything”.

On the contrary, he said they were engaged in a fight for justice, adding, “We have to reach the stage where Afro-Barbadians are as resourceful as anyone else.

“That is part of the repair . . . Reparations is not about asking for money. It is a matter of ensuring that we repair the damage that was done to our people’s psyche,” argued Welch.

Recalling the history of the slave trade, the retired lecturer in History at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies noted that even though blacks came out of enslavement in 1838, they were made to pay a penalty for another 100 years because the franchise was discriminatory.

He also pointed out that as recent as the 1950s black people were still suffering from deprivation at the hands of the planters and merchants, who controlled state power in Barbados.

“In the 1950s few children wore shoes to school, their parents could not afford to buy shoes. In many cases food was simply biscuits. So when I hear people say that we should not ask any questions, I point out the inequities of the time. I smile at that because it shows a total misunderstanding of issues.”

In further support of the demand for justice, Welch pointed out that from emancipation to the present, there was never a moment when the former enslavers ever expressed any notion of regret for the past.

The historian also took a direct swipe at Bynoe, saying while he lauded his achievements as a businessman, Bynoe needed to acknowledge that there were many others who did not have the “push” he had to succeed.

“You need someone to push you and I understand someone assisted him … [and] all I can say is, he got a push.”

Welch also recalled a recent visit to Jamaica by British Prime Minister David Cameron, during which he donated millions of dollars to construct a prison for deported Jamaicans and suggested that they forget slavery.

However, unlike Cameron, Welch said: “The Jews do not forget the holocaust. These people who ask blacks to forget and stop begging are insulting the ones who are not begging for anything. We are putting a case to the people so that they can see for themselves what damage was done. That is what we are saying. Every area of black life was touched by the institution of slavery.”

12 Responses to Oh no, Bynoe

  1. Simon Gooding
    Simon Gooding April 22, 2016 at 3:27 am

    ……Mr.Bynoe…your comments reminded me of the house slave who would counter-attack the fields slaves for askin questions of bein ill treated, an you have that mentallity of kickin the ladder after you reach the top…..Look…WW2 finish 70yrs ago an the Jews still askin for compensation for what Germans under Hitler had done to them..also the Japanese were compensated by the British….the problem here is not reparation but equal rites an justice……A people without the knowledge of their past history an culture ..is like a tree without roots……..

  2. ch April 22, 2016 at 5:10 am

    I understand Mr. Bynoe’s point. You can’t use a present context to correct past wrongs.
    The horrific experience of slavery cannot be forgotten because our past is a part of us. But there is no price tag on the inhumanity our ancestors suffered and it is an insult to presume that any amount of money compensates for their experience.
    The real enemy of the black man today is mental slavery and black-on-black hatred, not another race of people.
    Today nobody stops us from achieving but ourselves.
    Why is it necessary to insult black people who do not agree with reparations? A person who is confident in his beliefs does not seek agreement.
    I certainly don’t care who agrees with me.

  3. Tony Webster April 22, 2016 at 6:23 am

    What everyone wid eyes, ears , and brain needs to realise, is that IT’S THE SILLY SEASON AGAIN FOLKS.
    Beware of folks selling a pig in a poke; de Brooklin Bridge; mekkin promises left, right, and center….or anything and anyone trying to send your ABILITY TO REASON FOR YOURSELF on vacation…while they get you all hepped-up emotionally.

    Bajans voters apparently have short, very short memories.Thank God, some others have very lean…and FLAT wallets also- which can jolt assist in jolting them back to reality. It’s called the race card- the elections race- and this card it frequently is brought into play.

    Your play, Mr. and Mrs. Citizen.

  4. seagul April 22, 2016 at 9:53 am

    Politicians and businessmen like mr. Bynoe in Harlem destroyed the first organization of M.Garvey—UNIA—and reduced its membership from one thousand to about fifty. The black politician does not allow any other kind of organization within his race to thrive——–So, the DLP people will govern as the BLP people govern because Barbados has no integrity standards or laws to deter the corruption of those who govern.Our political system has NO RULES about accountability, transparency, integrity & conflict of interest standards or laws that allow citizens to access government information. The financial structure is owned by about 1 percent on every island in the Caribbean and they are a hundred percent self-centered–like this bynoe fellow. The house-owners who agree with him doesn’t have a reply on the Jewish and Japanese and so buffoonery continues…..

  5. Sherlock Holmes. April 22, 2016 at 10:51 am

    Mr Bynoe knows very well how his start in business came,do not be too hard on him.

  6. Bernard Codrington. April 22, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    Mr Comissiong claimed that slavery was a criminal act. Did thepresent whitish barbadians commit that criminal act? And in which court will you try this criminal act?

  7. Bernard Codrington. April 22, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    The descendants of British slaves are not Jews . The majority of us are Christians. We do not visit the sins of the fathers on their children or the descendants of former indentured servants. Before Mandela and his doctrine of reconciliation we have moved on. We are quite happy in our skins and know that we are faithful craftsmen of our fates. So those pseudo intellectuals who want to convince us that we are still slaves tell them to wheel and come again . The majority of us are marching on.

  8. seagul April 22, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    We are still awaiting a justifiable response as to why it’s a criminal act against the Jews and Japanese and not one against African ancestry.

  9. seagul April 22, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    The life of a slave and colonial subject is covering you that’s why Yesus told the disciples wash and be clean,” he said. That is not just physical washing but doing away with the way of life and mind of the former masters.You should know Britain owes you more than just sending the Navy tomorrow in your parade. Britain owes reparations to us, that’s an authentic story–it’s real. It’s just that after the hundreds of years that we worked for them for nothing. We made them rich and powerful.
    Rebellion will follow if it is not understood that full pursuit of independence is needed. Are we sure we crafted our fate? Are you sure that land beneath our feet is really ours?” Look at outside investors coming to the islands and buying up land. Are you really independent or is it a process we have to keep on moving until it becomes a reality.

  10. jrsmith April 22, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    Black people have no history relating to slavery which has done any good for our black people. The only persons benefited from slavery was the white slave masters then, and now the new generation of those past slave masters is still benefiting from the past…

    We want reparation ,we want apologise but are we not forgetting black slaves were rounded up like cattle by the chiefs and elders and sold to the white man. so. where do we start. the worst things which has happen to black people, slavery, religion and the bible..in homes you fine 6 bibles no food in the fridge but claims are we are blessed ..blacks have no one to blame any more, what has happen since slavery. Education…
    We are still using the laws of the jungle the only difference we are using guns tattoos and pieces of coloured rags as head ties..to identify what’s tribal.
    In this our Barbados ,we have come to 50 years of independent (DEPENDENCY) are we ready for 51st year, Barbados is here for the taking but not by bajans. As a bajan I have this feeling we are being sold down the river by our politicians…that’s why we have no real establishment…the 1% rich list need not get involve with politics because they are in control…

  11. miche April 22, 2016 at 6:52 pm

    Hearing mr Bynoe brings back memories of a story I read once,in which a monkey got so close to being around eagles,that he allowed them to convince him that he was an eagle, hatched without feathers,,a rare occurrence that could be rectified if each of them gave him one of their feathers. He agreed,, and the feathers were stuck on to his body,,he then allowed them to take hi to the top of a mountain,, from which he would learn to fly,,,,,,and he did for a while,,,or co he thought,,,,until reality of the earth’s approaching at high speed struct home…..too late he recognized that feeling was nothing,,,,its the landing that mattered,,,,This they didn’t teach him

  12. Sherlock Holmes. April 22, 2016 at 8:08 pm

    Miche i love that one,by the way the eagles probably wanted a free meal.


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