Showing posts from February, 2014

Massa Is Alive and Well

Massa is alive and well By Reginald DumasIn the feature address I gave on May 30, 1990 at the memorial service for my late friend Indar Jit Bahadur Singh of Tunapuna and India, I said this: “We must make a start by communicating better and by speaking to one another instead of shouting at one another. If we remain within our separate bunkers, there will be no solution... (We would merely be taking actions) that run the risk of leading only to a re-drawing of the battle lines and a hardening of attitudes. In such an atmosphere, we all lose.” I was speaking about race. Nearly 25 years later, and after several more appeals from me and others, what has changed, except to get worse? Race remains one of our biggest bugbears. It will remain so until we face it and deal with it frontally instead of sweeping it under the nearest floor mat with shallow phrases like “All ah we is one” and “our multiracial society” and “our rainbow nation”, then pretending it isn’t…

Black Barbadians Being Marginalised

By William Skinner “Hotels are now doing tours and transfers with their own taxis, and this should not be so. They should use the taxis in their yards to do such tours on a rotation basis and not give the work to these big companies. These kinds of practices should be stopped. Oh how I yearn for Errol Barrow. How do you expect the local people to survive when all the sweets are given to others? Carl Pinder, Nation Newspaper, 2/21/14 under the caption: ‘Port Taxi men Sucking Salt’ While we immerse ourselves in the tantrums and idiocy of both the Barbados Labour Party and the Democratic Labour Party, there is a growing movement among the poor, and downtrodden that is revealing itself. Those who believe that our nation is only sinking from an economic crisis and essentially uninspiring leadership, across the political divide, are sadly mistaken. We are in the midst of a potentially dangerous social revolt that will have repercussions for at least fifty years, unless we abandon petty party …

Too Black to be Prime Minister: Shackles of Mental Slavery

‘Too black to be PM’: shackles of mental slavery By Ronald Sanders Of all the offensive—and unintelligent—statements made in the politics of the post-independence Caribbean, an assertion that Dr Keith Rowley, the Leader of the Opposition in Trinidad and Tobago, is “too black” to be Prime Minister, has to rate as the worst. It is a telling indictment of the persons through whose minds the thought passed without perishing and from whose mouths the stupidity was uttered.  Fitzgerald Hinds, a former senator of Dr Rowley’s political party, the People’s National Movement (PNM), is reported to have warned at a political meeting that “a group of businessmen and former PNM ministers have agreed that Dr Rowley is too dark in complexion to become prime minister.” In the past, this asinine attitude has been expressed in other Caribbean countries.  For instance, in Jamaica, there was the claim that Norman and Michael Manley were not black, nor were Alexander Bustamante and Donald Sangster.  When P…

Afro Caribbean and Afro America: Closer Ties Needed

We are half way through celebrating Black History month. We in the Caribbean region have joined our brothers and sisters in America in highlighting the achievements of those, who have dedicated their lives to the upliftment of Black people throughout the world. Like Martin Luther King Day, t is safe to say that Black History Month is now part of our regional calendar. One of the great failures of our leaders, especially in this post independence area, is that they never attempted to exploit the historical connections with our Afro American family. As the Mighty Stalin, the calypso maestro reminds us: We took the same trip on the same ship. It has always amazed progressive thinkers, that there is no real vibrant commercial activity between Afro Caribbean business persons and our Afro American counterparts.  Even our tourism planners have not fully marketed our tourism product to those Afro Americans, who can afford travel to the Caribbean. A lack of vision is therefore evident in all a…

Barbados: What Next ?

By William Skinner
At some point, an individual has to look at life and determine whether it is going the direction he or she would want it to. Countries must do the same. As I survey the political scene and pay rapt attention to the rapidly decaying socio –political environment, I am forced to ask myself if Barbadians are really serious about the direction the country is taking. It is obvious to all objective citizens that the country is in turmoil as it transitions from the quaint little village to the world stage. A stage for which it failed to prepare. Hal Austin, a regular contributor to this blog, got it right sometime ago, when he opined, that we were perhaps fooled by the praise that we constantly heaped upon ourselves and that which others gave us. We were told by the world’s top diplomat that we were “punching above our weight”. We bestowed the title great economist on former Prime Minister Owen Arthur. We declared Errol Barrow the fat…

A Stamp of Approval for a worthy African American, Shirley Chisholm, who had 'guts'

This February, as Americas begin to celebrate Black History month, Bajans, Guyanese and the Diaspora at large, can be equally proud that Shirley Chisholm, who has umbilical and familial ties to Barbados and Guyana,  was honoured, on January 31, 2014, with the unveiling of a Black Heritage commemorative stamp, from the United States Postal Service (USPS).  The dedication ceremony was held at Borough Hall, Brooklyn and was attended by former US Ambassador Andrew Young.  The stamp was designed by Ethel Kessler and the portrait is one of a series by artist Robert Shetterly titled "Americans Who Tell the Truth"  and it is part of the Forever Stamp group, which is always equal in value to the current First Class Mail one-ounce rate. 

The then Shirley Anita St. Hill was born in Brooklyn, New York on November 30, 1924, to Ruby Seale, a Bajan mother, and father, Charles Christopher St. Hill, of British Guiana, now Guyana. In retrospect, we can only marvel at the significance of the mo…

Is Massa Day Really Done?

Slavery was abolished by 1838 in the Caribbean and within two hundred years we have almost miraculously attained self government. Our flags flatter in the Caribbean breeze and our school children  sing the national anthems as lustily as their still innocent voices  will permit.. We have witnessed the growth of the Rastafarian movement and the spiritual Baptists thereby giving our Afro Caribbean citizens a religious and spiritual connection to Mother Africa. We are now joining our Afro American brothers and sisters in celebrating both Martin Luther King Day and Black History month. Some of our culture activists are gallantly taking the subject of African traditions into our schools in order to educate our beautiful Caribbean children.
There are government departments dealing directly and exclusively with culture. We have our carnivals and our crop over festivals. Some of our calypsonians and reggae artistes have achieved worldwide recognition and fame. Prominent among them is the great…

Child Abuse Now Rampant In Region

Child Abuse Now Rampant In region

As we have often said, the Mahogany Coconut Group is not in the business of saying: “we told you so”. From our inception, we have tried our utmost to highlight the challenge our Caribbean region faces, when it comes to the continued abuse of our: children, women and elderly. We do not take our positions our lightly.Today's editorial  of theTrinidad Express is instructive. it brings home the hurtful truth of what we have been saying for the better part of the last decade- that the disrespect toward our women in the Caribbean -is going to literally wreck our communities if we do not address this matter with great urgency. We agree that tasks force and other well-intentioned politically sanctioned instruments can be used. However, without progressive legislation, focused law enforcement agencies and the needed state control…

Our National (Regional) Children Emergency

Our national children emergency Story Created: Feb 5, 2014 at 10:45 PM ECT Story Updated: Feb 5, 2014 at 10:45 PM ECT  The consequences of the national failure to deal intelligently and sensitively with the needs of our children stare us in the face today with the staggering figures for teenage pregnancies.
The preference by some to keep our children in the darkness of ignorance, and the inability of our educators and policymakers to develop persuasive responses to parental fears and anxieties have helped to foster the environment in which a 12-year-old can be led into a situation of rape and be pitchforked into the trauma of childhood pregnancy.
Perhaps the problem has been one of terminology. When the proposal of sex education in schools was first floated in the 1970s, significant sections of the national community expressed outrage, many charging the authorities with introducing their children to pornography and with corrupting the children’s minds. Despite the sexual overtones of so …

3000 Barbadian Workers Slaughtered

3000  Barbadian Workers Slaughtered

The Mahogany Coconut Group has steered clear of the shameless political posturing regarding the economic slaughtering of over 3000 workers, in the name of a failed economic policy and a blundering administration led by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart of Barbados. We have already called for fresh elections but we remain certain that even with fresh elections, and a possible victory by the Opposition Barbados Labour Party, nothing will change. Why an elections? We believe that the government has betrayed the country and the only legitimate stamp of approval will be that of the same people it has betrayed. In other words, if elections were called and the Democratic Labour Party is victorious, it would mean that the people have endorsed its current insane approach to economic management of Barbados’ affairs. We urge right thinking Barbadians to take a look at the color of those who are weeping and angry in the newspapers…

Paths to equality for region

Paths to equality for region By Alicia Bárcena Latin America and the Caribbean are at a crossroads. Historically the region has travelled a path that is barely sustainable, with insufficient growth, high levels of inequality, and little impulse toward structural change. And although the region enjoyed an auspicious decade, today it confronts an increasingly problematic external scenario. Since 2002, poverty in Latin America dropped 15.7 percentage points on average. Extreme poverty also fell 8.0 points, even though the pace of that decline is waning. The unemployment rate reached a historic 6.4 per cent, and the purchasing power of median salaries held steady or grew in most countries, coinciding with low inflation, which descended to 5.4 per cent on average from 7.1 per cent between 2011 and 2012. Nonetheless, in our region, the poorest quintile -- 20 per cent of homes with the fewest resources -- receives an average five per cent of total income, while the richest quintile gets 47 per…

The Collapse of Capitalism Continues Apace, While Caribbean Elites Dither

The Collapse of Capitalism Continues Apace, While Caribbean Elites Dither

By Pachamama 

“Complex societies collapse by continuing to do the same kinds of things that cause that collapse”. Derrick Jensen – Philosopher.  “The mass cling to its masters, loves the whip, and is the first to cry ‘crucify’.” Emma Goldman – Anarchist, Political Philosopher, Social Activist.    

Recent comments by the Prime Minister of Barbados Fruendel Stuart (FJS) in relation to the perilous state of the world economy come mere months after similar remarks by the Prime Minister of Saint Lucia. Both maximum leaders rightly located the problems of their countries outside of their respective spheres of influence, even spheres of control. More precisely, Kenny Anthony told us that Caribbean countries were on the brink of collapse while Stuart went straight to the crux of the matter in stating, clearly, that no minister of finance, in the world, knows what he/she is doing. What a profound statement! And in this,…