‘We are still enslaved’

Prescod laments as country marks 80th anniversary of rebellion

Eighty years after the 1937 riots, an Opposition Parliamentarian has charged that Barbados is still not fully emancipated.

Barbados Labour Party representative for St Michael East Trevor Prescod levelled the charge Wednesday morning while contending that a lot of confusion currently exists in the country.

Prescod specifically highlighted Monday’s massive demonstration against the recently hiked National Social Responsibility Levy, complaining that as soon as “white people” joined the four major unions in taking to the streets, some reactionaries in the political class sought to pull the race card.

Members of the audience prepare to lay their wreaths and floral arrangements at the foot of Clement Payne’s Statue at Golden Square.

Prescod did not call any names. However, he went on to lament that within, and just outside, the very precincts of Parliament there remains today at least two towering images that only served to reaffirm his position that the country was still mentally enslaved.

“We spent a long time praising [the British Admiral] Lord Nelson.

We turned Nelson from facing the west to facing the east. I do not know if those who did it at the time felt they were progressive thinkers,” Prescod said in disparaging reference to the efforts of former Prime Minister Erskine Sandiford [now Sir Lloyd].

St Michael East MP, Trevor Prescod, St George South MP, Dwight Sutherland and St George North MP, Gline Clarke are about to lay wreaths at the site of the statue of the Right Excellent Clement Payne.

The well-known Pan Africanist also took issue with the fact that the statue of the late Sir Conrad Reeves is still prominently displayed at the top of the stairs of Parliament. Sir Conrad, who was the first black Chief Justice of Barbados, had been accused of making unflattering remarks about members of his own race.

“We talk about emancipation and you have people who are so trapped in the colonial education they received that they cannot see anything wrong with that,” the BLP representative said, while contending that there were other Barbadians more deserving of national recognition and acclaim on account of their personal sacrifices for the sake of liberation and nation building.

“That is why [the late freedom fighter Clement] Payne sacrificed all that he had, in terms of his philosophy and in terms of an advocate. That is what Israel Lovell sacrificed. These men knew just like the men in 1816 [who took part in the slave rebellion] that they could not engage themselves in battle with the militia in this country and the external forces that could be summoned if necessary.

“These men were courageous enough and committed enough to die for the cause in 1816,” Prescod recalled.

Speaking on behalf of the Barbados Workers’ Union, Marketing Officer Sindy Greene also lamented that while Payne had been accorded the distinction of National Hero, his able lieutenants Menzies Chase, Ulric Grant, Israel Lovell and Mortimer Skeete were yet to be recognized nationally.

Director of the Clement Payne Centre, David Comissiong, addresses the audience at Wednesday’s ceremony.

“Payne’s able lieutenants are still on the backburner as they have not been accorded national significance except, perhaps, by local historians and by those of us who are gathered here today to commemorate
July 26, 1937.

“Notwithstanding their sacrifice, our citizens pay little regard to their efforts,” Greene said from her position at Golden Square, the City.

The area was Trinidad-born Payne’s stomping ground during his brief political career.

Calypsonian Adonijah paid tribute in song with the beautiful rendition of his song: “The poor people can’t take no more.”

However, officials also lamented Wednesday that area in which his statue is located, was at times unkempt, with garbage floating around the base of the statue.

In a separate ceremony Wednesday at the St George Parish Church, special tribute was paid to Lovell at his gravesite.


21 Responses to ‘We are still enslaved’

  1. Mudiwa Cisse
    Mudiwa Cisse July 27, 2017 at 12:12 am

    He is right on point..Many barbadians are very much still enslaved..it’s

  2. hcalndre July 27, 2017 at 12:19 am

    Bajans will never change, I heard on a call-in program a caller speaking of the white family that she has, but sometimes I wonder if the fairer complexion she is speaking was originated by force or being one of the house negroes.

    • Hewers of wood July 27, 2017 at 3:23 am

      @hcalndre – before I misunderstand you, can you explain what CHANGE you are talking about please.

      And all this complexion rubbish is nothing but Willie lynch mentality. The lighter your skin is the more sensitive you and your eyes are to the sun. Hence sun glasses and sun cream.

      • hcalndre July 27, 2017 at 7:38 am

        @Hewers of wood; When I say change, what I meant was that many bajans have not free themselves of the mental slavery even with the high standard of education they boost of. Was Barbados the first stop the ships made out of Africa and there is were they where indoctrinated. I heard that the docile and obedient slaves were kept and the uncontrollable ones were sent to the other islands. Jamaica has the Maroons who refused to be enslaved.

  3. Hewers of wood July 27, 2017 at 3:17 am

    This people is so sottish it is not even funny. If the colonial powers set up their SYSTEMS for you to follow to brainwash you and keep you in servitude were kept IN PLACE and aided by our POLITICIANS, EDUCATIONALIST, PRIEST, AND HISTORIANS ETC what do you expect. The whole head is sick. You PEOPLE never removed them systems idiots. Can you people not SEE that the entire systems are those of your oppressor. We are the perfect clone of another people = drone behavior. Even our police mimicking the same oppressor behavior on their own. Then the house negros ain’t no help either they are the stabilizers, concrete mixers and masons, helping to keep you in this thing too. When a people can go to church on a Sunday which is not even following the book, you know that there is serious brainwashing. You are still colonized and in servitude and it will stay that way too. There is nothing you can do. Nothing. Try to change things and see whom will suffer. This emancipation rubbish should not even be celebrated. You have created this oxymoron and is hell bent of keeping it alive. The so called Indians have their own Land, dress code, nationality i.e they know their origin, Names, and have their god etc. Now whom do this people mirror????? in pagan rubbish etc. This is why the Chinese, Japanese, Asians, Arabs etc will progress as a PEOPLE – because they have a strong foot hold which is their past. Then again our foot hold is connected to our past too……….. slavery…………hence……………

    • Hewers of wood July 27, 2017 at 3:41 am

      “These men knew just like the men in 1816 [who took part in the slave rebellion] that they could not engage themselves in battle with the militia in this country and the external forces that could be SUMMONED if necessary”.

      1000% correct. And in any unrest they don’t even have to summon any one, our own defense forces will join forces with them and take there own out as we were trained to do. We are that brain washed. Then we cannot understand why the young people so LOST, when the adults are.

      • hcalndre July 27, 2017 at 7:46 am

        @Hewers of wood; have you not heard the words of “cracking heads” and not me, the police will do the job to their own people, is the words any different from their masters?

  4. Saga Boy July 27, 2017 at 7:01 am

    Trevor Prescod taking bare foolishness. How could bajans be still enslaved and we just had a march where workers get paid to march with employers? Unions and employers, black and white, brow and yellow. Does he not read the newspapers or was he not there walking with them? David Denny was there. Ask him if that is not a sign of true liberation?

    • hcalndre July 27, 2017 at 7:53 am

      @ Saga Boy, did you and your thinking alike yard fowls and lizards said that the white people paid the masses to march, is that not the same thing as obeying the masters as you have said.

  5. Patrick July 27, 2017 at 7:08 am

    Did Commissong march ? If he did not march Trevor should tell us why.

  6. Michelle Payne July 27, 2017 at 7:45 am

    Clement love humanity, he loves Barbadians and Barbados. He left us a strong legacy, a sense of Pride and Courage. Nelson Mandela, lead his people to remove their oppressor, we have to complete that fight Clement started for us, and remove ourselves from the clutches of Colonialism and those with a Colonial mentality. So Barbadians of all hues and ethnicity have to march and remove impeders of Bajan progress. Clement is not at rest–he is waiting for us to finish the “just cause” he started for and with us. We know his history and his “heart.” Clement’s spirit is with us, and the People’s leaders. This week’s march led by the unions and the celebration of Clement’s contribution to our total emancipation is a testimony to this. This activism is a powerful reminder that we are an Enlightened and a Proud People. And, we will Not be intoxicated by Cropover but energized and empowered by it to complete the fight needed to bring about real economic Change for All Barbadians. So we will keep marching, dancing, peacefully, together, like Gandhi and Mandela did with their people, and Clement with us, until We the People, remove the masters of the Oppressive Empire. March on Barbados and Sweep them out.

    • hcalndre July 27, 2017 at 8:03 am

      @Michelle Payne how are you going to remove the black masters that have the same thinking as massa, don`t you hear the speeches and quotes from that fellow, that`s the big problem.

  7. Alex Alleyne July 27, 2017 at 7:51 am

    “WE ARE STILL ENSLAVED”……..Chained and whipped twice per day.

  8. Alex Alleyne July 27, 2017 at 8:42 am

    Just “A WALL OF WORDS”

  9. Lee July 27, 2017 at 8:44 am

    Evidently still enslaved . . . . a self imposed status too !! . . . Sadder because it is being perpetuated in a world that will not care to coddle insecurity. We’ll be treated as inferior for yet another generation.

  10. Helicopter(8P) July 27, 2017 at 11:07 am

    I believe Sir Conrad in his limited capacity could not have been more damaging than Thomas Jefferson who had made children with a black woman. In his journal he wrote that Negroes were inferior to the white race because of their high perspiration odor. Sir Conrad was married to a Barbadian mulatto and had raised children who were considered black. Our thoughts need to be transgress to a new day and we need to stop the nonsense of looking back to the negative aspects of past history for today’s BARBADOS we have lots of area to improve as a progressive nation that’s priority one. Do you believe you can sweep a country’s past under the carpet. If Lord Nelson; King Charles the Second and King George the Third are part of the island’s history then what do you politically inclined want done to the history books and archives. Do you know that Oliver Cromwell sent His Royal Navy to do battle in Carlysle Bay and Speighstown but with the power of the almighty and the unity of both black and white Barbadians (Bajans) their cannons could not fire because of torrential rains and wet gun powder. Col. Allamby died at Sandy Lane defending this here territory against the British Parliament’s taxation measures. Barbadians at that time were Loyalist and Royalist planters. A time of the Round heads and the Wigs!

  11. Helicopter(8P) July 27, 2017 at 11:15 am

    Correction! It should have read in the above mentioned contribution on line thirteen a Col. Alleyne.

  12. jeffrey Durant July 27, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    If we sre still enslave blame the politicians.

  13. Adrian July 27, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    This article is somewhat puzzling. Is the writer suggesting that Barbadians are still enslaved because as he puts it, “that as soon as “white people” joined the four major unions in taking to the streets, some reactionaries in the political class sought to pull the race card”.

  14. Commander Ralph W Talma Royal Navy (retd) July 27, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    1. Mr Prescod, your words are not worthy of a BLP MP, and I suggest your Leader will not be happy with your enunciations. She might want to forcibly slap your wrists. The past is the past, leave it well alone, and try to do better for your people in the future. As a Senior Officer in the Royal Navy (retd), I take umbrage at your comments; and if I was B’dos, I would demand a personal/public apology for those members of the Senior Service (Black and White) who died so that you might behave in the disrespectful manner your are today. My God, politicians in B’dos have changed for the worse since the likes of Adams, Barrow etc. You Sir are displaying your lack of knowledge of the history of your Island and the Indies.
    2. Not good for a member of the party I hope should win the next election. So, BUCK UP or ship out.

  15. Mark Adamson July 28, 2017 at 3:37 am

    Mr. Trevor Prescod is a good man.

    But what he has been reported as having said, that Barbadians are still enslaved, is ABSOLUTE FOOLISHNESS.

    I have not only read about Mr. Prescod having been reported to have said so, but I have also heard with my own two ears many Barbadians utter the said ABSOLUTE FOOLISHNESS.

    By actually uttering such IGNORANT FOOLISHNESS such persons are unsuccessfully attempting to counter an entire historiography outlining those humanitarian/moral, political economic forces that helped to bring the transatlantic enslavement business and plantation enslavement in the Western Hemisphere to an end; and unsuccessfully attempting to fly in the face of an entire theory of historical materialism explaining how the history of all human societies is bound up in the history of class struggles in the context of particular modes of production and between the forces and relations of those modes of production.

    Hence, just four reasons why Barbadians cannot be enslaved

    1) the Constitution of the government of Barbados renders that it
    would be unconstitutional to enslave any one in this country;

    2) thousands upon thousands of people are not only giving to and
    receiving from one another a vast array of goods and services on
    a daily basis and are receiving and giving one another millions in
    dollars of receipts, but they are also competing with one another
    for uses of those goods/services/receipts.

    3) There do not exist an enslaver class.

    4) In the face of mounds of information and guidance from many people on the many advantages to be derived from, say, their having and controlling their own businesses, thousands upon thousands of persons continue being employed by other people and continue garnering many disadvantages and – as such – these said people though disregarding this information and guidance are seen still by many people to be continuing to exercize fair degrees of choice in pursuance of the indulging in their own self-interest.

    So, rather than falsely stating that Barbadians are still enslaved, persons like Prescod must understand the extent to which many Barbadians continue to suffer from the mal-effects of their having been indoctrinated and brainwashed by colonial and post-colonial forces, continue to suffer from the adverse effects of their having been very uncritical in their approaches to their acceptance of various social, political and other influences and ideas, and continue to suffer from having been docile and submissive to authoritarian figures.

    I am sure that even in the white race, there is also a great extent of such people suffering the adverse effects too of indoctrination and brainwashing, uncritical acceptance of many things and from the mal effects of docility.

    Thus, such human conditions and attitudes are present amongst ALL races.


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